Skin Care Self-Care Beauty Lookbook

I have a hard time caring about skincare

Before I started working at a pharmacy with an expansive beauty section, my skincare routine consisted of rubbing ivory soap on my face and body in the shower once a day and then applying lotion. I didn’t use a cleanser specifically designated for facial use, and neither a facial lotion nor toner. I didn’t use anything.

When I was assigned to stock the beauty section with my coworkers, I inevitably heard their conversations about skincare, often a subject of conversation women have as a point of common interest. They would talk about the efficiency of certain cleansers, how scrubs could be bad, and what moisturizers they liked to use. I didn’t often participate in the conversations, but listening to them got me to pay more attention to skincare and these terms.

Stocking the skincare section also got me to take notice of the huge variety of skincare products available in a way that I never had before. They used pretty, attractive packaging and pleasant scents as a marketing technique to draw women in – and it worked. I found myself wanting to use a lot of the products simply because they looked cute and smelled nice, and deep down, I’m basic.

Of course, these products also used other, more harmful forms of advertising that I fell for. They used images of airbrushed, touched-up complexions of women to make people believe, and to make me believe, that skin should not only look perfectly smooth, ageless, and blemish-free, but that it must look this way. Every time I looked in the mirror, all I could see was the blackheads lining my nose, cheeks, and chin. Suddenly, caring about my skin had equated to me hating it and needing to “fix” it.

When I bought new cleansers, I didn’t just go for affordable, simple facial cleansers, I specifically bought products geared towards acne and blackhead removal, even though I didn’t need them. The consequence of this was that my skin didn’t take well to these products. I ended up breaking out when I didn’t have an issue with breaking out on that level before. In my pursuit to achieve a look that wasn’t real to begin with, I got caught up trying out as many different products offered without doing proper research on them.

I didn’t know about all of the acids needed to exfoliate the skin, and all of the harmful ingredients in many of the products to avoid. I didn’t know what type of skincare products I needed to use to have an efficient skincare routine in the first place. To this day, I still struggle sometimes to embrace the idea of skincare being valuable. I know that it is. I know it’s not just about trying to achieve the perfect look that is sold to us by these big companies, that it’s not just superfluous fluff about beauty. It’s more than a superficial concern; the right routine can protect your skin from the harsh effects of winter and summer UV exposure.

More than that though, a skincare routine can provide a sense of control and order in a chaotic, disorderly world. Skincare is sometimes dismissed as a con, not only because the multi-billion dollar beauty industry perpetuates harmful, unattainable beauty ideals, but because of how our patriarchal society tends to demean anything associated with femininity as being unnecessary, vain, and indulgent. Patriarchy convinced women that our value is in our looks, and then it mocks us for the way we invest in ourselves. The beauty industry treats women as a commodity, preying on the standards that our patriarchal society has imposed on us.

Saying that, the use of skincare can still be healthy in moderation. I soon realized that a skincare routine could be good for my mental health. When struggling with the lows of my depression, the one thing I often felt good about accomplishing on a day-to-day basis was taking the steps necessary to take care of my skin. Washing my face, applying moisturizer, occasionally using a face mask, and applying these products in a specific order with a designated amount of time dedicated to each step was sometimes the only ordered, structured part of my day when the rest of it consisted of me sleeping or dragging myself through an otherwise empty, pointless day.

When I’m berating myself for being unproductive trash, as I often think of myself, I could at least take small comfort that at least I washed myself up, cleansed my face, and moisturized. When you spend much of your time sh*tting on yourself for what little you accomplish, getting through even a simple skincare routine feels like a win.

I still struggle to care about skincare the way I see other women do. I still feel flabbergasted when I see people applying an eleven-step routine – the purpose of which I still can’t really understand. I still see the huge array of products offered in stores and various beauty articles that make me feel like I’m not nearly doing enough to take care of myself. I still wonder what the hell the difference is between a purifying mask and a mattifying one and whether this is that something I need to worry about. But it does serve its purpose, even if only to make me feel better about myself. I won’t let toxic beauty standards and patriarchal scorn take that from me.

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Outfits Wedding Style Fashion Lookbook Weddings

ASOS really thought they could appropriate South Asian bridal fashion

If you hang around Twitter, you may have seen the now-viral post from ASOS about their upcoming South Asian bridal line. I first saw the post with my sister – she looked confused and agitated as she held up her phone to show the photos to me. My thought was, “well, it can’t be that bad.” Initially, it didn’t make sense to me why my sister was so troubled over the photos, and it didn’t even really sink in what it meant for a brand like ASOS to be selling South Asian bridal lehengas.

Screenshot of a Tweet by ASOS announcing 'We've just expanded our bridal range' accompanied by two photos of a model wearing a pink dress and a grey dress.
[Image Description: Screenshot of a Tweet by ASOS announcing ‘We’ve just expanded our bridal range’ accompanied by two photos of a model wearing a pink dress and a grey dress.] Via Twitter
Then I got a close-up look at the lehengas – it couldn’t be avoided as my Twitter feed was flooded with every South Asian person I know retweeting and sharing their opinions. As you expect, it wasn’t good. I know that living in North America, I should probably have lowered my expectations from the start. And besides that, fast fashion is never reliable when it comes to fair, cultural representation. I mean, look at Shein and the mess they stirred up when they marketed Muslim prayer mats as Greek carpets. So one can imagine the standards are already low. 

But seeing my culture turned into, as said by the great words of my friend, ‘white girl prom dress core’, really hurts. Maybe it’s time we stop settling for this kind of appropriation, which is watered down to the white gaze.

So you might be wondering, what exactly did ASOS do wrong? And I could say everything, but that doesn’t cut it. For starters, the beadwork is too light. South Asian bridal dresses are known for the heavy beadwork and glamorous sparkle. The tweet below shows some great examples of dresses that would be on the higher end of the spectrum, but the concept remains the same even with affordable bridal lehengas and gowns. 

Screenshot of a Tweet by hajar | hijabi skinfluencer that says 'ACTUAL bridal outfits. A simple google search would show u what South Asian brides wear. I promise you, we do NOT mess around with our outfits. Not for the mehndi, or engagement, and certainly not for the wedding', accompanied by four images of South Asian bridal wear.
[Image Description: Screenshot of a Tweet by hajar | hijabi skinfluencer that says ‘ACTUAL bridal outfits. A simple google search would show u what South Asian brides wear. I promise you, we do NOT mess around with our outfits. Not for the mehndi, or engagement, and certainly not for the wedding’, accompanied by four images of South Asian bridal wear.] Via Twitter
Then there’s the actual design of the beadwork, which ASOS got wrong on both dresses. The pink outfit has the beadwork all over, but it’s an unstructured mess – the beads should not be dangling around. It would be a hassle to wear with heavy jewelry, another staple in South Asian weddings. The top on the grey outfit looks better in comparison, the beadwork is more structured, and there’s some semblance of a design, but when your eyes gaze at the skirt, there’s just nothing. A plain lehenga skirt might become the monster that haunts my nightmares.

The worst offense by far is the simple lack of a dupatta. No words can describe how important a dupatta is to a woman’s wedding look. Many women will choose to have two dupattas, one to match their outfits and the other to match the groom’s outfits. Honestly, these outfits are such a disgrace to South Asian bridalwear that it’s safe to say I would never wear them to any event. God knows that I would be the least stylish person in the room if I did.

But while all of that is enough to rile up anyone with a mild interest in fashion, it doesn’t hit the root of the issue. This all comes back to the western appropriation of other cultures. That grey dress with its more structured design? The concept is taken directly from more well-known South Asian designers like Élan and Sana Safinaz

Image of a woman wearing traditional, South Asian bridal wear by fashion designer Élan. A blush pink dress with silver embellishments.
[Image Description: Image of a woman wearing traditional, South Asian bridal wear by fashion designer Élan. A blush pink dress with silver embellishments.] Via Élan on Instagram
Of course, this isn’t the first time fast fashion has failed us by appropriating our culture. Some discourse went around a while back where Shien, Romwe, and Zaful all appropriated the traditional Chinese dress known as a qipao to make the traditional dress appear more western and “sexy.” And let’s not forget Kim Kardashian and the “Kimono” drama. 

And yet, the appropriation of our cultures doesn’t stop there! Oh no, because you see, the west has been taking pieces of Asian culture for years now. We’ve had “chai tea” (that literally translates to “tea tea”), henna tattoos sold at stores like Claire’s, several different Victoria’s Secret shows which have appropriated many different cultures, bindis being turned into a white girl fashion trend, and more. I could go on for days if I were to recount every time white people stole something from another culture and then watered it down, threw out the cultural or spiritual significance, and then proceeded to mock us while using our stuff anyways. 

Even if ASOS got this right and made spectacular South Asian wedding lehengas, we would have to question the legitimacy. Fast fashion aims to make quick money off the hard work of others who are never appropriately compensated. Their claims of representation are usually just sugar-coated lies. And it hurts to think that ASOS will get away with this. I mean, other fashion brands have done for years. They will either end up unscathed and make bank on these ‘exotic’ dresses, or they’ll make an apology after seeing the backlash and then move on as if it never happened. 

If you care at all about South Asians and stopping appropriation, I implore you not to let this slide. When you see something like this happen, speak up. Explain this to your friends and make them stand with you. Choose local and authentic South Asian shops. Let’s finally make progress towards stopping cultural appropriation.

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Outfits Style Fashion Lookbook

Corsets are finally back in style — here’s what you need to know

The corset is regarded as one of the sexiest undergarments, with its ability to define the hips, enhance the bust size, and most notably, shrink the waist.

This last point, though, can come at a price.

Squeezing four inches or more from your waist to achieve the “perfect figure” has consequences.

The Victorians found this out as a result of tightlacing. When tiny waists were trending at their peak, some women would faint from their corsets being too tightly laced. The constant use of corsets could even lead to misshapen and damaged ribcages.

When corsets were worn in the Victorian Era, they were often introduced at a very young age and worn by women after childbirth to shrink the size of the waist.

A long corset made by CK in Belgium, circa 1890. From the collection of L. Hidic, corsetsandcrinolines.comvia The Antique Corset Gallery.

They actually did accomplish this, as women’s bodies changed in the form of ribs being displaced, compressed lungs, organs crushed against the spine, while others were forced down into the lower abdomen.

Women continue to be pressured to meet an ideal size to be considered attractive, and they give in because society has conditioned us to believe that our value lies in how attractive we are to men.

This made it difficult for the women to breathe, their hearts to pump, and their guts to digest what they could manage to eat.

The latter point is what may have led to recent years have seen an uptick in the use of what is essentially a modern corset: waist trainers.

Kim Kardashian, Snooki, Nicki Minaj, and Jessica Alba reported using them to help them lose weight. While wearing a waist trainer is unlikely to actually help anyone lose weight by virtue of the fact it isn’t doing anything to remove fat cells, it can indirectly help wearers lose weight, though not through any healthy means.

See, being cinched into a corset prevents the stomach from expanding when you eat, causing you to feel full faster, so you limit your portion size. And if you end up eating too much with it on, it could cause vomiting.

Yeah – not great.

It can also lead to heartburn, since extreme compression of the abdomen leads to an elevation of the diaphragm and pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter, the collection of muscles at the low end of the esophagus, where it meets the stomach contributing to acid reflux. The lower intestines can also end up being pushed into the pelvic region, this can cause kidney, gastrointestinal and lung issues.

They can also potentially cause bruising and yes, fainting.

Setting aside the “health” benefits, corsets are nothing new to our contemporary trends. Up until the punk movement of the ’70s, corsets were strictly undergarments, never intended to be worn in public. In their quest to be shocking, punks started wearing old-fashioned lingerie as outerwear.

Haute couture designers like Vivienne Westwood and Jean Paul Gaultier quickly put this brazenly sexy look, drawn from the bondage porn of early decades, on the runway. Then, in the ’80s, mega pop stars like Cyndi Lauper and Madonna brought it to mainstream America.

Madonna on the Blond Ambition tour, 1990. via Getty Images

In more recent years, they’ve flooded the fashion ecosystem. On Emma Watson’s Elle UK cover, on Maria Borges for Grazia Australia, on Natalia Vodianova for Porter, and on Madonna for Vogue Italia.

They showed up on celebrities like Rihanna — on-tour via Adam Selman, on the runway via Fenty x PumaKylie Jenner, and Gigi Hadid.

While corsets have enjoyed a comeback, and have even been given some slack in regards to how oppressive they are, it’s important to remember that they were not always made for the benefit of women.

(Let’s be honest — Bridgerton showed that perfectly, in the “fitting” shots of women getting dressed, the cuts seen on Daphne’s back, and the ever-present swoons.)

Though it is often women who are mocked for putting themselves through such unreasonable measures to achieve a perfect figure, our patriarchal society has done a lot to contribute to that.

Corsets create the epitome of a hyper-sexualized female body, from enlarging their breasts to slimming their waists. In turn, they’re setting, yet again, another ridiculous beauty standard.

Though it is often women who are mocked for putting themselves through such unreasonable measures to achieve a perfect figure, our patriarchal society has done a lot to contribute to that.

Of course, there’s a long history behind that cinched waist, so let’s dive into it.

If we go back in time, we see a heavy patriarchal force firsthand in 1675, when Louis XIV ordered that women’s corsets and habits be exclusively made by men, despite having all other women’s clothes designed by women.

While corsets were often worn for the purpose of supporting breasts, in the same way that bras are now, their history is quite complicated.

Back in 1600 B.C.E., the first version of what we would consider to be a corset was a tight band of cloth that held up the breasts. This particular garment was called an apodesmos. But there was another garment, called a strophium, used by the Romans, to bind women’s breasts and slim their bodies down to the ideal shape.

We’ve often been told that men during the Victorian Era supposedly loathed the corsets, leading to the widespread erroneous conclusion that women strapped into corsets simply to feel more attractive.

This illustration from a 1900 issue of Ladies Home Journal shows the change from Victorian to Edwardian silhouettes.

Yet that argument is quickly squashed when the initial layers are peeled away, and we learn that men considered women with curves to be the most desirable and attractive — the curvier, the better.

Ultimately, that history hasn’t faded away, even in our current era.

Yes, corsets can be sexy, and, yes, they have provided support for people with back problems.

But – and this is a huge one – a lot of the drive behind the current trend of wearing them now comes down to body shaming and diet culture. Women continue to be pressured to meet an ideal size to be considered attractive, and they give in because society has conditioned us to believe that our value lies in how attractive we are to men.

While wearing a properly fitted corset on occasion to feel sexy isn’t necessarily harmful in moderation, the fact remains that women doing anything harmful to their body for the sake of a thinner waist has always been, and always will be bad.


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Outfits Style Fashion Lookbook

Here are the top Oscars Red Carpet 2021 moments picked by The Tempest Lookbook editors

It’s finally time to marvel over some of the best-dressed stars at the 2021 Oscars. Even after months of quarantining, our favorite actors and actresses still know exactly what red carpet fashion is all about. This year’s outfits genuinely raised the bar, making it an absolute pleasure to compile a list of the best looks.


Viola Davis


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This custom Alexander McQueen snow-white gown, comprised of a laser-cut bodice and flowing skirt, looked breathtaking on Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom actress Viola Davis. She never disappoints when it comes to the red carpet!


Maria Bakalova


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The breakout talent from the comedy Borat Subsequent Moviefilm said she had one word in mind for her Oscars look: “princess.” Bakalova achieved just that with this gorgeous Louis Vuitton gown. Nothing says “princess” like layers upon layers of tulle.


Carey Mulligan


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Promising Young Woman star, Carey Mulligan, arrived on the red carpet dripping in gold sequins, wearing a Valentino bandeau and dramatic skirt. Now, this is how you make a statement at the Oscars!


Andra Day


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Our jaws fell to the ground when we set our eyes on Andra Day. The star of The United States vs. Billie Holiday opted for sexy cutouts in this fluid gold custom Vera Wang gown made out of metal. Yes, you read that correctly. Only Andra Day could pull off this look.


Amanda Seyfried


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The star of Mank, Amanda Seyfried, epitomized Old Hollywood Glam in this rouge Armani Privé gown. The ruffles, broad silhouette, and deep neckline look stunning on Seyfried.


Laverne Cox


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We are OBSESSED with this Christian Siriano creation on Laverne Cox. This fuschia, part sheer, part tulle (over 1,000 yards according to Siriano) couture gown is full of fun experimentation, and yet oozes glamour fitting for the Oscars. Laverne Cox is a queen in this gown!


Regina King


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The butterfly-wing sleeves on this custom Louis Vuitton powder blue ensemble are the ultimate showstopper! Regina King looked breathtaking in this gown adorned with 62,000 sequins and more than 3,900 crystals. 




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Zendaya can do no wrong when it comes to the red carpet. I mean, what’s not to love about this sunshine yellow dress? Her flowing hair and fabric of her Valentino gown offer a more relaxed, breezy look that compliments Zendaya beautifully.




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The winner of Best Original Song for Fight For You featured in Judas and the Black Messiah is a vision in this cobalt blue Peter Dundas ensemble. The color, the draping, the embellishments… H.E.R looks iconic.


Tiara Thomas


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A post shared by Tiara Thomas♕ (@tiara_thomas)

Fellow winner of Best Original Song for Fight For You, Tiara Thomas wore an all-white Jovana Louis jumpsuit with a matching blazer. This fresh, fierce ensemble adorns Tiara elegantly.


Angela Bassett


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A post shared by Alberta Ferretti (@albertaferretti)

Angela Bassett knows how to make an entrance on the red carpet. The bold red hue, wide off-shoulder organza sleeves, and thigh-high slit in her custom Alberta Ferretti gown ooze drama and glamour.


Halle Berry


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Halle Berry wowed us in this free-flowing lavender gown by Dolce & Gabbana, with a new bob hairstyle to suit. The sweetheart neckline, elaborate bow on the waist in the sumptuous color floored us.


Margot Robbie


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Margot Robbie opted for an understated look in this floral Chanel dress. The intricate silver work and straight cut offer a more delicate vibe that suits Robbie perfectly.


Ariana DeBose


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A post shared by Ariana DeBose (@arianadebose)

Orange has never looked this good! The West Side Story and Hamilton actress, Ariana DeBose, made her debut at the Oscars in a breath-taking one-shoulder Versace dress. It was a wonderful opportunity for stylist duo Zadrian + Sarah to show off their talent. The cutouts, leg slit, and tropical orange color truly made the dress stand out in the crowd.


Laura Pausini

We love a classic off-the-shoulder black dress and Laura Pausini gave us just that. This elegant Valentino number was the perfect red-carpet look for an artist performing at The Academy Awards. Pausini performed Io Si/Seen from The Life Ahead with Dianne Warren for The Oscars pre-show and it had to be one of the highlights of the event.


Yuh-Jung Youn


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Minari took the film world by storm and so did Yuh-Jung Joun’s outfit. She wore a simple, yet tasteful dress by Egyptian designer Marmar Halim. It’s a classic example of, “less is more”. At the end of the day, her shiny new Oscar award was the ideal accessory to elevate the look even more.


Alan Kim


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Alan Kim’s outfit might just be the only outfit at the Oscars that mattered. The Minari actor looked adorable in a shorts, blazer and bow-tie combo by Thom Browne. Even the slightly mismatched socks added to the look in the best way possible.


Yeri Han


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We’re a little bit obsessed with the Minari cast and their outfits, so Yeri Han had to make the list too. She wore a bright and beautiful Louis Vuitton dress that paired well with her makeup and accessories. The gold embellishments on the front of the dress are a great touch!


Riz Ahmed and Fatima Farheen Mirza


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Sound of Metal actor, Riz Ahmed, and his wife, Fatima Farheen Mirza, made their red-carpet debut at the 2021 Oscars and it was wonderful to witness. Riz opted for a blue and black Prada tuxedo and Fatima turned heads in a caped Valentino gown with heels.


Daniel Kaluuya


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Daniel Kaluuya took home a well-deserved Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in Judas and the Black Messiah. Fortunately, he did it in a great outfit too. The British actor rocked a black double-breasted Bottega Venetta suit with a Cartier diamond necklace.


Sacha Baron Cohen


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Who would have thought that English comedian Sacha Baron Cohen would have one of the best menswear looks at the Oscars? To be fair, you can’t really go wrong with a classic Ralph Lauren suit. He definitely made the right choice for the event.

Nobody can deny that there was some great red carpet looks at the 2021 Oscars. This year, we saw plenty of show-stopping gold outfits paying homage to the Oscars statue itself. We also can’t forget all the wonderful midriff-baring dresses, monochrome colors, and fitted suits. It was everything we needed and more. We can’t wait for next year!

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Street Style Style Lookbook

You don’t need to wear name-brand clothes to have a great sense of style

Autumn has just begun in my beautiful home city, Johannesburg.

And I’ve found myself frantically scrolling through Instagram and Pinterest, desperate for some seasonal fashion inspiration.

However, all my social media feeds have completely missed the mark – at least, in my eyes. All I see are influencers wearing Gucci, Dior, and loads of name-brand clothes that are way out of my budget. With that being said, I have three main reasons why I’m on a quest to level up my sense of style without splurging on branded clothing.

1. Everyone is wearing name-brand clothing, so it’s kind of…basic.

[Image description: A GIF of Moira Rose from Netflix's Schitt's Creek wearing a fluffy black hat, black jersey and white skirt. The text at the bottom of the GIF says "THAT'S WHAT EVERYONE'S WEARING." via Giphy
[Image description: A GIF of Moira Rose from Netflix’s ‘Schitt’s Creek’ wearing a fluffy black hat, black jersey, and a cream white skirt. The white text at the bottom of the GIF says “IS THIS WHAT EVERYONE’S WEARING?” via Giphy
Streetwear fashion brands have completely taken over, especially for hype beasts. In case you were wondering, a ‘hype beast’ is someone who devoutly wears hyped-up fashion brands with the intent of impressing others. Brands like Nike, Off-White, and Supreme have wormed their way into mainstream culture largely because of the “hype beast effect.” Everyone feels the need to wear branded clothing and it’s making their sense of style trendy, but totally unoriginal.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a clean pair of Nike Air Force 1s. But I think you can develop a unique fashion sense if you give big brands a rest. Consider thrifting, making your own clothes, or finding smaller clothing brands that cater to your style preferences.

2. Name-brand clothes are expensive!

Image description: A man checks the price tag of a brown and white winter jacket.] via Giphy
Image description: A man checks the price tag of a brown and white winter jacket.] via Giphy

We can all agree that name-brand clothes are more expensive than department store clothes and low-end fast fashion brands. However, I’m not advocating for cheap fast fashion because it’s unsustainable and incredibly generic. The UN confirmed the fast fashion industry is responsible for 8% of the world’s carbon emissions as of 2019.

So instead of delving into fast fashion, you can support local clothing brands that put more care into their production process. Perhaps you’ll end up paying the same price as you would for a name-brand item, and that’s okay. At least it will be a unique fashion piece purchased from a small business in need of support. I found that buying clothes from local brands has already helped me level up my fashion game, and the people around me have noticed too.

3. Branded clothes don’t make you feel better about yourself

Rachel Green from the show friends sitting on a couch and wiping her tears with a white wedding dress.
[Image description: Rachel Green from the show Friends sitting on a couch and wiping her tears with a white wedding dress.] via Giphy
For the longest time, I thought buying new name-brand pieces would make me feel better about myself. If the pretty girls on Instagram are wearing cute Nike leggings, then surely I’ll feel pretty if I wear them too. Right? Realistically, that’s not the case. I feel the best about myself when I genuinely like my outfit and it’s an expression of my personal style.

The key takeaway here is that you can be trendy by developing your own personal style and sticking to a budget that’s reasonable for you. Name-brand clothes are awesome and you’re welcome to buy them. But don’t let society pressure you into thinking branded clothing is the only way to put together a killer outfit. 

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Style Sustainable Fashion Fashion Lookbook

This is what you need to know about greenwashing in the fashion industry

Have you ever come across a brand that says they’re ‘green,’ environmentally conscious, or sustainable and questioned whether these claims are accurate? The likelihood is that these fashion brands are implementing greenwashing tactics to depict an eco-friendly image.

So what is greenwashing? It is when a company misleads its consumers into believing that they’re doing more to protect the environment than they really are. This can involve investing time, money, and resources to convince consumers they’re an environmentally friendly brand.

It is when a company misleads its consumers into believing that they’re doing more to protect the environment than they really are.

It’s a deceptive marketing trick designed by companies to make fabricated claims about their environmental practices and products.

Greenwashing is going on full-scale in the fashion industry. Brands were jumping on the sustainability bandwagon in 2020, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic when consumers were rethinking their shopping habits. Evidence of changing attitudes has been highlighted in a 2020 Conscious Fashion Report by Lyst.

Since the beginning of 2020, Lyst has seen a 37% increase in searches for sustainability-related keywords. Over the past three months, searches for “upcycled fashion” have grown 42%. Demand for “second-hand” and “pre-owned” fashion pieces has increased by 45%. Over the past 12 months, the term “slow fashion” has been responsible for over 90 million social impressions, suggesting the beginning of a shift in shopping behaviors.

As consumers are rethinking their habits and becoming more sustainably conscious, brands are modifying their approaches to show that they are also eco-friendly in a bid to reconnect with consumers. But are they really refocusing their efforts on sustainability? The stark reality is that any green initiative brands instigate are just a ploy to increase profits.

Here are the ways some brands are putting greenwashing strategies into practice.


A woman walking outside wearing a red dress and carrying an H&M bag, wearing a black crossbody bag and holding her phone.
[Image Description: A woman walking outside wearing a red dress and carrying an H&M bag, wearing a black crossbody bag and holding her phone.] Via Fernand De Canne on Unsplash
H&M’s Conscious Collection has been under the microscope by the Norwegian Consumer Authority for greenwashing. The collection is said to be made out of sustainable materials like organic cotton, recycled polyester, and Tencel. However, H&M has not explained how these materials are better for the environment.

H&M has also been accused of burning tons of unsold clothes in 2017, a practice unfortunately common in the fashion industry despite uproar by consumers on this practice, and holding an inventory of $4 billion in unsold clothes in 2019.

And it doesn’t stop there – last week, the fast-fashion retailer announced that Game of Thrones actor Maisie Williams is the brand’s global sustainability ambassador, igniting further criticisms of greenwashing by hiring a high-profile celebrity to front a slick marketing campaign that glosses over how quickly and cheaply they churn out clothing.

Anti-fast fashion campaigner Venetia La Manna spoke about H&M’s contradiction when it comes to sustainability and greenwashing practices, explaining that “Ultimately, the sheer amount of product H&M produces is causing irreversible harm to both planet and people, and completely outweighs their sustainability efforts. Fashion this fast can never and will never be sustainable.”


ASOS logo is displayed behind a computer keyboard. A toy trolley and device displaying the ASOS website is placed on top of the computer keyboard.
[Image Description: ASOS logo is displayed behind a computer keyboard. A toy trolley and device displaying the ASOS website is placed on top of the computer keyboard.] Via The Guardian
ASOS recently launched its first 29-piece circular fashion collection. The term circularity refers to minimizing ‘virgin’ natural resources and adopting reused and recycled materials as part of a continuous closed-loop process.

ASOS introduced its own eight circular design principles which cover zero-waste design, minimized waste, and disassembly, and are said to be aligned with the three foundations of the circular economy defined by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation: design out waste and pollution, keep products and materials in use, and regenerate natural systems.

Although this sounds like a promising start to a sustainable future for the company, you have to look at the bigger picture – this collection represents just 0.035 percent of the brand’s 85,000-strong product offering.

What is also baffling is that ASOS will consider a piece to be circular if they meet at least two of their eight principles – not all eight.

As journalist Sophie Benson argues, “Creating one small collection that cherry-picks circular principles is akin to putting a plaster on a broken leg; a tokenistic move that doesn’t solve the issue in hand.”


A white and black concrete building. The Primark logo is placed on the building.
[Image Description: A white and black concrete building. The Primark logo is placed on the building.] Via Jonathan Kemper on Unsplash
Primark launched the “A Better Future” campaign in September 2020. They released new clothing and homeware collections, which have been made using either material derived from recycled plastics or using sustainable cotton.

Although these can be seen as positive steps, it needs to be said that Primark still carries out unsustainable practices. As reported by Forbes, cotton takes around 2,700 liters of water to grow enough cotton for one t-shirt and has led to depleted water supplies in some areas of the world. It is also Primark’s most used textile across clothing and homeware such as bedding and towels.

As with H&M, Primark also has its own celebrity endorsement. TV presenter Laura Whitmore is the ambassador for Primark Cares, the retailer’s sustainability initiative. This goes to show how celebrities are easily and inevitably caught in the greenwashing agenda set by fast-fashion giants.


A brown shopping bag featuring the Zara logo is laid flat on a green park bench.
[Image Description: A brown shopping bag featuring the Zara logo is laid flat on a green park bench.] Via Silviu Beniamin Tofan on Unsplash
Back in July 2019, Zara’s parent company, Inditex, announced that they will only use sustainable, organic, or recycled material in all of its clothing by 2025. An encouraging development, but greatly undermined by the fact that they wouldn’t commit to producing less clothing or slow down its manufacturing process. Their current business model has a design-to-retail style of five weeks and introduces more than 20 different collections a year – a model that isn’t feasible to maintain if Zara is truly committed to their 2025 target.

What else do these brands have in common?

According to Fashion Checker, these brands provide no public evidence that their suppliers are paying a living wage. That means these brands cannot prove that the workers making their clothes earn enough to live on. Sadly, workers in the fashion supply chain are not given a second thought by brands when it comes to paying workers enough to live on. If it means less money to line the pockets of shareholders, it isn’t deemed worthy.

How to spot greenwashing

There are more brands complicit in greenwashing. Here are some of the ways you can spot and avoid greenwashing:

  • Watch out for buzzwords with no clear meaning: These can include words such as ‘environmentally conscious’ or ‘eco-friendly’.
  • Watch out for green imagery: Brands are likely to display images that make them look environmentally friendly. For example, forests, farms, wildlife.
  • Check the label: Check to see the breakdown of the materials used in the clothing. Brands may claim that their clothing is made out of recycled material, but the recycled material may only make up a small percentage of the clothing.
  • Look for third-party certifications: Third-party endorsements can help verify that the brand you’re buying from is genuinely sustainable.
  • Look for transparency: See whether a brand openly provides details about their suppliers and processes.
  • Check the cost: Ethical and sustainable clothing cost more to make (by adopting environmentally friendly resources and paying garment workers a living wage) and will cost more than fast-fashion clothing. If prices are fast-fashion cheap, can they really be ethically and sustainably made?
  • Rethink buying from fast fashion brands: Sustainability and fast fashion can’t go hand in hand. If a brand mass-produces clothes at a low cost, and the same brand releases a sustainability drive, they are evidently employing greenwashing tactics.

Fast-fashion brands, in particular, are doing everything they can to convince consumers that their business isn’t detrimental to people and the planet, so that consumers can shop guilt-free. To stand against their greenwashing practices, we as consumers need to be fully aware of their tactics so that we’re not tricked. So let’s use this knowledge to make more informed decisions on what to buy and what not to buy.

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Fashion Lookbook

17 vintage jewelry accessories you have to order from Etsy

Every so often, I quietly shuffle through my parents’ wardrobes looking for any remnants of their 70’s childhood. Unfortunately,  they’re anti-hoarders and got rid of all their trendy clothes and accessories from back in the day. 

However, I have noticed that my frantic searches for cool pieces in my parents’ closet reflect a popular phenomenon: the widespread interest in vintage clothing and accessories. The rise of thrift stores and second-hand shopping has affirmed that vintage is not simply a trend, but a lifestyle. 

Here are some of my favorite vintage accessories from Etsy to level up your wardobe this spring. 

1. Sterling Silver Locket Ring

Sterling silver ring locket placed on a wooden surface.
[Image description: Sterling silver ring locket placed on a wooden surface.] via Etsy
There’s something special about this vintage sterling silver locket ring. It’s one of a kind and you’ll certainly make a powerful statement.

2. Gold Oval Locket

Gold locket necklace with flower etchings.
[Image description: Gold Oval Locket sold by Ringostone] via Etsy
This Gold Oval Locket is a great alternative to the previously mentioned locket ring. It’s perhaps the more recognizable form of the locket due to its size and aesthetic. Place a photo of a loved one, or even yourself.

3. Lady Cameo Ring

This is a ring. There is a cameo of a lady, which is to say a bust, on a blue drop background. The shank surrounds the size of the backdrop in intricate silver detailing.
[Image description:  Antiquated Silver Filigree Ring sold by ragtrader] via Etsy
This ring falls under a particular style of jewelry called ‘Cameo jewelry’. The main characteristics of this style of jewelry are a portrait engraved in a gemstone against a solid background. The style originated in ancient Egypt and was eventually adopted by the Greeks and Romans. The rings generally depict religious and mythological figures. 

4. Peridot Ring

Diamond peridot gem with a thin gold shank.
[Image description: Peridot Ring sold by AbahyDesignArt] via Etsy
If simplicity is your style, then this vintage gemstone ring is for you. The peridot gem is known to help open up your heart and create harmony in your life.

5. Brass Ring

Brass ring with flower engravings around the circumference.
[Image description: Floral Brass Ring sold by chloesvintagejewelry] via Etsy
This beautiful band ring is suitable for anyone who seeks comfort in a sturdy, statement ring. The intricate flower details bring the perfect balance of delicate and rigid.

6. Vintage Ring

Vintage woman's ring with a turquoise gem. Hugged with a very vintage style silver shank.
[Image description: Vintage Woman’s Ring sold by LittlejoyshopByMD] via Etsy
Sometimes you can’t go without a simple vintage ring, especially one that sizes a bit smaller. Create layering in your rings by sizing down to give you one that sits halfway down your finger. Make sure that you choose one that adjusts to your finger size. The one linked is a size 5 ¼. 

7. Labradorite Gem Ring

Silver shank droops down onto a labradorite gemstone.
[Image description: Sterling Silver Labradorite Ring sold by 925SILVERSMITHSTORE] via Etsy
The labradorite gem nests in the hands of sloping arcs, drawing your attention. The unique slope of the ring acts to beautifully elongate and accentuate the finger on which it lies.

8. Set of Rings

Assorted set of 15 bohemian rings. One has a pearl crystal hanging off it, another has a silver flower. Another has three consecutive turtles on the band. Many of them are simple silver rings with varied designs.
[Set of 15 Bohemian Rings sold by V2Sbeautiful] via Etsy
Can’t decide which ring to get? Get them in a set to have a selection to mix and match from. 

9. Victorian Brooch with Chain

Gold brooch. Regal emblem with chains hanging off it.
[Image description: Victorian Style Brooch with Chain sold by SassySuziTreasures.] via Etsy
Believe it or not, brooches weren’t always a standout fashion statement. Instead, they were created for utilitarian purposes in securing clothing. They only become ornamental during the Byzantine period of the middle ages. Now, they can be pinned almost anywhere!

This particular brooch stands out with its multiple hanging chains. It’s a great piece for someone who isn’t afraid to be the center of attention. 

10. Gold-Tone Cabochon Brooch

Gold brooch. The pink glass cabochon is the main feature. It is surrounded by gold embellishments, similar to a headdress. There are mini pink and beige colored pearls amongst the gold.
[Gold-Tone Filigree with Pink Glass Cabochon sold by ChasAndVivVintage] via Etsy
If the previous brooch didn’t suit your style, look towards this dainty one. Made in Germany, it embodies the perfect balance between femininity and reality. 

11. Turtle Brooch

Jade green ceramic turtle brooch
[Image description: Ceramic Turtle Brooch sold by TinysToysAndMore] via Etsy
Who knew a brooch could be so damn cute? This turtle brooch doubles as both an adornment and a simple comfort buddy wherever you go.

12. Pearl Crown


Silver pearls in flower shape surrounding a gold-wire tiara.
Pearl Flowers Silver Metal Crown sold by SweetheartVintageUS

From watching ‘Princess Bride’ to scrolling through countless Princess Diana photos, I am very drawn to a nice crown. It creates a sense of sophistication. 

Special headgear, in fact, was always used to discern rulers in society. The Romans had diadems, Native Americans wore headdresses, and the pharaohs had uniquely individualized crowns. 

This beautiful crown is adorned with flowers following the intricate gold circumference. It’s absolutely stunning. 

13. Vintage Bridal Tiara

[Image description: Vintage bridal tiara placed on pink silk sheet] via Etsy
[Image description: Vintage bridal tiara placed on pink silk sheet sold by ShadowCatCharms] via Etsy
When one imagines a tiara, the vision hardly deviates from this classic vintage one. The gems surrounding the tiara are sure to catch the light and twinkle with beauty.

14. Cool-Toned Necklace

The deep shades of blue and purple bring the necklace a cool ambience. There are jewels and beads assorted in a symmetrical pattern between wire.
[image description: Necklace sold by RebasDesignsNFinds] via Etsy
This is the most beautiful necklace. Period. The deep shades of blue and purple create a cool ambiance. The ensemble of jewels and beads are absolutely gorgeous in their alignment. This necklace is sure to upgrade an outfit. 

15. Pearl Necklace

There are three large pearls amongst a sea of smaller white ones, all separated by elegant clasps.
[ Image description: Pearl Necklace sold by Haengseongworkshop] via Etsy.
All I can say is I’m super grateful that cultured pearls exist. The elegant clasps between each pearl make this necklace worth having.

16. Pearl Necklace + Earrings

Necklace and earring set. Both are accented with pearls but the main focus is porcelain paintings of pink roses.
[Image description: Necklace and Earring Set sold by roxiesvintageattic] via Etsy
If you’re looking for a jewelry pair, then look no further than this vintage 1928 necklace and earring set. Both have pearl decals centered around porcelain rose point, taking you back to a time of balls, extravagance, and glamour (along with the racism, sexism, and added problems that we won’t dive into right now). 

17. Rhinestone Necklace + Earrings

This is a necklace and earring set. Big blue rhinestones are hanging off both the pieces of jewelry.
[Image description: Necklace and Earring Set sold by BrocanteSisters] via Etsy
This lovely blue rhinestone necklace and earrings are the perfect level of extravagance. Pair these with a stunning evening outfit and you’re good to go.

A blast from the past is always a good time. Ordering some vintage jewelry and accessories is a great way to immerse yourself in the past while looking amazing this spring. Online marketplaces like Etsy have made it all the more accessible for young people to explore various clothes and accessories and purchase items directly from one another. Styling and wearing vintage items helps to cultivate a sense of self in a unique and eco-friendly way. It’s a win-win situation. 

Check out The Tempest’s Etsy favorites and make the most of what’s on offer!

This is a sponsored Etsy article with Awin affiliate links. 

Hair Lookbook

I chose to go natural after 11 years of relaxing my hair – here’s how it went

For Black women, hair is a huge part of our identity, esteem, and culture. Unfortunately, many of us have grown up relaxing or perming (straightening our hair using chemicals) our hair to hide our natural curl pattern. Relaxers were so common among us because kinky hair has been historically viewed as unkempt, unprofessional, and undesirable. Personally, I began relaxing my hair when I was 8-years-old. After that, I spent the next 11 years chemically straightening my hair, and in turn damaging it repeatedly. When I turned 19, I finally decided to do what Black women call “the big chop” (cutting all the chemically damaged parts of your hair off) and fully go natural. 

The emotional process while chopping off your hair can be tough. Like I said, for Black women, our hair is a tremendous aspect of our self-esteem. Undergoing the big chop feels as though you’re shedding dead weight in an attempt to release the insecurities that led you to continuously straighten your hair to the point of damage.

However, my natural hair journey has not been linear. As perfectly encapsulated by Giselle La Pompe-Moore in her i-D Vice article, “Natural hair journeys are as diverse as the spectrum of afro hair textures experiencing them.” Like many other Black girls, I initially struggled with my confidence while being natural as I had always been insecure about my kinky curls. It was particularly hard to see my hair so short after I spent my whole life having an unhealthy obsession with length. For a while, I would even use protective styles like braids or wigs to hide how short my hair was. And in between styles, I would wear scarves to avoid having to embrace my short length. It took baby steps to gain the confidence I sought in my natural hair.

First, I had to learn how to upkeep my 4c hair texture. 4c hair is very particular in how it grows, how it’s styled, and how it must be managed. So, I had to trial and error (emphasis on the error) my way through finding products that worked best for my hair. Then there’s the detangling process. Honestly, it took me years to learn how to effectively detangle my hair. All of which came with years worth of tears and frustration as well as me trying to refrain from hating my hair all over again; this time, for its difficulty to manage.

Though, once I figured out how to manage my hair, I had to learn to style it. Unsurprisingly, this took another long while before I perfected my signature slicked updo with laid edges. Admittedly, it was the easiest style I could manage learning, so now it’s my signature look when I’m not wearing a protective style. After I found a way to make my hair presentable enough, I would periodically tease showing my natural hair outside of my house. For example, if I was going somewhere I was sure no one I knew would see me, I would test my confidence while wearing my natural hair out of a protective style or scarf.

However, three years since embarking on this hair journey, I’m in love with my 4c hair texture and kinky edges more every day. Going natural taught me how to be truly confident, for being natural allowed me to work towards loving myself in ways I never could before. It forced me to get to know a version of myself I hadn’t even seen since I was a child. Regardless of difficulties along the way, I began to find comfort in my nonlinear road to self-acceptance and love because I thoroughly liked the person I was getting to know. 

In addition, many Black women seem to be undergoing the same journey of acceptance. Thanks to social media and Black female influencers who started the hair love movement, Black women everywhere are embracing their natural hair texture. In fact, a short film titled, “Hair Love” won an Oscar last year due to social media’s strong support of the project, which has been further impactful to the movement.

To any Black girl reading who is thinking of going natural, despite how it may seem on social media, the process is not easy, but it is worth it. It’s likely you won’t immediately fall in love with your kinks, and it’s likely you may even feel self-conscious for a while. However, there’s so much power in our natural hair as well as the way our hair connects us to our identity and lineage. We should’ve never been made to feel insecure about the hair that grows naturally from our scalp in the first place. Simply being natural feels like you’re a living act of resistance. A resistance that firmly rejects Euro-centric beauty standards pushed onto Black women and allows us to reclaim our confidence on our own terms.

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Editor's Picks Skin Care Lookbook

Unilever removing “normal” from skincare labels is going to drastically change our inclusive view of beauty – for the better

When I discovered skincare routines in 2016, I was blown out by how many different products existed.

As someone with a recurring acne issue, I was fascinated by the snail mucin-based creams and the tea-tree ointments that promised to have your skin return to its “normal”, beautiful self. The goal to achieve was clear, blemish-free and dewy skin, which glowed even in absence of sunlight. All along in my skincare journey, I was told that clear skin was what “normal” skin looked like, I tried argilla face masks, peeling creams, aloe vera serums. Every product has a helpful label that tells you what skin issue is trying to solve, whether it be acne, or blemishes, or dry skin.

All skincare junkies have heard of the 10 step Korean routine at least once, which FYI includes at least two cleansers, a peeling solution of some sort, a serum, a hydrating cream, a sunscreen lotion, a sheet-mask and a face mist. This tendency to diversify products, each with their specific function, translated into a continuous growth of the skincare industry. Fortune Business Insights reports that in 2018 the global skincare industry was valued at 133.9 billion USD, and it is projected to keep growing 189.3 billion USD in 2025.

If you type skincare on TikTok, you will be submerged with videos such as this one, where the author uses more than 10 products in one sitting. All of these to maintain a “normal” skin. Eudermic, a well-known producer of skincare goods, states, on their official website, that there are usually 4 types of skin. Out of these, “‘Normal’ is a term widely used to refer to well-balanced skin.” But what is “normal” skin?

That’s what Unilever decided to challenge with their Positive Beauty campaign. According to their press release, they decided to remove the term “normal” from the labels of their products to work “towards helping to end discrimination and advocating for a more inclusive vision of beauty.” In other words, after conducting a study on 10,000 people across the globe, Unilever found that there is a shared feeling that the beauty and personal care industry should be more inclusive, and make people feel better. Unilever, parent company to brands such as Dove, Axe, Sunsilk and Lifebuoy, among others, believes that taking ownership of social changes with a move such as this one will certainly have a positive effect on both the company’s revenue, and in changing beauty norms.

Unilever is not new to this type of attempt to change the stereotypes around beauty: in 2004 they launched “Real Beauty” within their Dove products, which portrayed “real” women instead of airbrushed models. At best, their campaign was innovative at the time as it shifted the focus around the consumer, rather than the advertised product. The brand pledged “to always feature real women, never models; to portray women as they are in real life; and to help girls build body confidence and self-esteem.”

The Real Beauty campaign was considered as the best campaign of the century by Advertising Age, and in the following years it kept inspiring new ads as recently as 2013, with the Dove Real Beauty Sketches. The main goal behind Real Beauty was similar to Unilever’s Positive Beauty campaign, but many at the time criticised the brand for failing to include in any way the “Fair and Lovely” products that the company is responsible for, which encourage skin-whitening practices.

Unilever is also the parent company to Axe, which targets a very different segment, and in doing so, promotes a vastly different ideal of beauty, which is objectified to please a mostly male audience. 

Positive Beauty being launched by Unilever will see all products under all the brands owned by the company opt out of the “normal” labels for skincare products. Unilever CEO Sunny Jain states that although she believes that brands can make a real impact, she is aware that “[this campaign] will not fix the problem alone, but it is an important step forward.”

Comparing it to Dove’s Real Beauty Campaign, it is easy to see that even as controversial and self-contradicting as it was, it ran successfully for almost two decades. It definitely drew attention and awareness to beauty stereotypes, even if it was not in the original way that was intended. Whether the Positive Beauty campaign will have a similar effect remains to be seen, but it certainly resonates within a larger industry trend, as skincare products begin to be more socially aware of their audience.

I don’t know whether not seeing “normal” as the synonym for the perfect skin type will personally help build my self-confidence, but sparking these types of conversations could bring in a wider, structural change. And perhaps one day when buying beauty products, no one will have to think that their skin is not “normal.”

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Editor's Picks Culture Lookbook Weddings

There’s a dark history behind that beautiful engagement ring

You have been dating your partner for three years. Conversations about a future with each other have been brought up and discussed more times than you can count. You’ve only been looking at engagement rings every day for the past year. You live together, know each other’s family and friends, you even have a DOG together. But, one thing is missing. Where’s the ring? One day, you are out to dinner together, and you are sure this is it. They are talking about how much they love you, how much they care about you, and how they can’t wait to spend the rest of your lives together. This is it! This is the moment! They kneel down, they propose. 

You say yes, wailing with tears and trying to hide your ugly crying face. You pop out your hand, waiting for the cold feeling of a diamond-encrusted ring to slide up your ring finger. Except…the feeling never comes. Your wails stop. You open your eyes to see your partner gleaming back at you, diving back into their vodka sauce pasta.
Your partner looks at you, mouth full of pasta, and exclaims, “oh, you expected a ring, didn’t you?”

You nod, your mouth wide open and gaping. They let out a little chuckle and say, “you don’t really want one. Do you even know about the dark history behind engagement rings?” You shake your head.

This didn’t go as planned.

The fact of the matter is, for women and some minorities, engagement rings have a dark origin that many might not know about. What is supposed to symbolize the love between two souls might not be as simple as you think.

Engagement rings can be traced all the way back to Ancient Egypt, where circles symbolized eternity and couples exchanged circular reeds on their left ring finger. Similar to what we do today, they were placed on the left ring finger as it is believed there is a vein in the left finger that leads directly to the heart.

In Ancient Rome, this is where it gets a little dark as the marriage between a man and a woman was seen more as a business transaction between the husband and the wife’s father.

Only women were forced to wear rings, made of ivory and iron, to show their obedience to their husbands.

In other words, a woman wearing a ring was supposed to assert the husband’s dominance over other men and prove ownership to their wife. 

Trouble didn’t end when diamond rings were brought into the fold.

The Archduke Maximilian of Austria is said to have been the first person to have proposed with a diamond ring to Mary of Burgundy in 1477. Diamonds were only possible for noblemen and royalty to possess because of its value and limited accessibility.

Portrait of Mary of Burgundy next to a close up image of the first diamond engagement ring from the Archduke Maximilian of Austria
[Image Description: Portrait of Mary of Burgundy next to a close up image of the first diamond engagement ring from the Archduke Maximilian of Austria] Via Cape Town Diamond Museum
It wasn’t until the 1880s, when diamonds were discovered in South Africa, that the craze began.
The company De Beers Consolidated Mines quickly monopolized diamonds. They spread
 the message internationally that diamonds were a precious stone that only the most powerful and devoted men could afford and gain access to, making the market easily controllable from their end.

The world became power-hungry for diamonds, and the business has been corrupt ever since. 

The diamond industry exploited African Americans and forced them to mine precious gems in hazardous conditions. Minorities were exposed to extreme temperatures and many died from diseases they contracted underground or developed respiratory conditions as time went on.

As diamonds became more popular and South Africa went international with their ad campaigns, the conditions only became more grueling and cruel.

Diamonds are definitely not a girl’s best friend, but you know what is?

Resisting patriarchal ideals that tell women a man owns them.

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Check out our top 10 looks from India’s FDCI x Lakmé Fashion Week

The Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) and Lakmé Fashion Week (LFW) launched a unified fashion week last week – and they did not disappoint.

As I’m getting more and more fed up with the comfy sweats uniform I’ve adopted since the pandemic began, it was a visual delight to see India’s top designers showcase their Spring collections.

I’ve picked out the top 10 looks from FDCI x Lakmé Fashion Week that truly took my breath away.

1. Anamika Khanna

A lady wearing a longline ivory jacket with a hand-painted illustration on the jacket.
[Image Description: A lady wearing a longline ivory jacket with a hand-painted illustration on the jacket.] Via Vogue India
Khanna knows how to make a statement with this longline jacket. The multi-colored, hand-painted motif stands out beautifully against the ivory shade.

2. Pankaj Nidhi

A lady wearing a multi-colored mini-dress.
[Image Description: A lady wearing a multi-colored mini-dress.] Via Vogue India
The array of geometric patterns and rainbow hues makes this mini-dress the ultimate party wear for post-lockdown revelry.

3. Geisha Designs by Paras & Shalini

A lady wearing a floor-length lilac ball gown.
[Image Description: A lady wearing a floor-length lilac ball gown.] Via Vogue India
I can envision Deepika Padukone in this dreamy, romantic ensemble. The soft lilac hue coupled with the delicately crafted pleats makes this gown the epitome of finery and elegance.

4. Nidhi Yasha

A lady wearing a floor-length turquoise gown.
[Image Description: A lady wearing a floor-length turquoise gown.] Via Vogue India
The striking color, sexy cut-outs in the bodice, and cascading ruffles make this a visionary ensemble.

5. Manish Malhotra

A lady wearing a sparky, gold ball gown.
[Image Description: A lady wearing a sparky, gold ball gown.] Via Vogue India
This billowing, shimmery gown in dusky gold is the ultimate showstopper. Malhotra knows the exact formula for creating dramatic, praise-worthy looks.

6. Payal Singal

A lady wearing a matching light blue crop top, jogger pants, long lightweight jacket and holding a bag. All clothing and the bag has Aztec prints.
[Image Description: A lady wearing a matching light blue crop top, jogger pants, long, lightweight jacket, and holding a bag. All clothing and the bag have Aztec prints.] Via Vogue India
The athleisure trend isn’t leaving anytime soon. In this look, Singal has added a glamorous twist by including Aztec prints into the mix.

7. Nitin Bal

A lady wearing an ivory color saree with gold, 3D embellishments.
[Image Description: A lady wearing an ivory color saree with gold, 3D embellishments.] Via Vogue India
The ivory saree coupled with unconventional 3D embellishments shows how Bal offers a new-age, futuristic statement in this piece.    

8. Gauri & Nainika

A lady wearing a floor-length white gown with floral prints.
[Image Description: A lady wearing a floor-length white gown with floral prints.] Via Vogue India
Nothing says spring has arrived with a floaty, wispy, floral gown. This gorgeous floor-length dress by Gauri & Nainika makes me speechless.

9. Bodice

A lady wearing a yellow crop top with long sleeves and a multi-colored skirt.
[Image Description: A lady wearing a yellow crop top with long sleeves and a multi-colored skirt.] Via Vogue India
Color-blocking will be a major trend this spring if this outfit by Bodice is anything to go by. The pop of color and soft pleating is the brunching-with-my-girlfriends look I am loving.

10. Suneet Varma

A lady wearing a striped, multi-colored lehenga that's covered in sequins and mirror work.
[Image Description: A lady wearing a striped, multi-colored lehenga that’s covered in sequins and mirror work.] Via Vogue India
Stripes, mirror-work, sequins, a kaleidoscope of colors – nothing is off-limits with this lehenga by Varma. This outfit is giving me serious discotheque vibes.

So, do you agree with this FDCI x Lakmé Fashion Week Top 10? We’d love to know your thoughts! Let us know on Twitter & Instagram.

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Editor's Picks Street Style Style History of Fashion Fashion Lookbook

The little-known yet weirdly fascinating history of leggings

Leggings have a far more interesting history than one would expect. Most of us think of leggings as a staple fashion trend that popped up out of nowhere in the ’80s.

Surprisingly, leggings date back to the 14th century and have weaved their way through various fashion trends and controversial clothing debates.

Of course, they’ve changed drastically over the years, but one thing holds true from decade to decade.

Leggings are generally tight-fitting and allow for unmatched comfort and mobility. I would argue that their only contenders are a good pair of comfy sweatpants.

1950s: The debut of modern leggings

[Image description: Drawing of women wearing shirts, leggings and pumps, 1955, featured in Butterick Pattern Book.] via Wikimedia Commons
[Image description: Drawing of women wearing shirts, leggings and pumps, 1955, featured in Butterick Pattern Book.] via Wikimedia Commons

Leggings as we know them today, first came onto the scene in the 1950s.

Famous actresses in the 50s and 60s started wearing leggings as part of their everyday outfits. Italian actress, Sophia Loren, was photographed dancing in an elegant pair of black leggings in 1955.

Soon after, actresses like Audrey Hepburn and Ann-Margaret wore similar outfits. At the time, leggings weren’t made of stretchy spandex or cotton.
In fact, most people would consider 50s leggings really tight pants by today’s standards.

1960s: The invention of spandex and the start of a leggings revolution

[Image description: Two women pose for a fashion photoshoot, 1963.] via Wikimedia Commons
[Image description: Two women pose for a fashion photoshoot, 1963.] via Wikimedia Commons
In 1958, a renowned chemist by the name of Joseph Shivers invented lycra, otherwise known as spandex. This allowed leggings to evolve into the slim-fit stretchy pants that we know and love.

From this point onwards, fashion designers started to explore the possibilities of wearing leggings with pants or pairing them with dresses and skirts.

1970s: Leggings take over the fashion industry

[Image Description: Sandy Olsson from Grease (1978) wearing a black body suit and jacket with a cigarette in her mouth.] via Paramount Pictures
[Image Description: Sandy Olsson from Grease (1978) wearing a black bodysuit and jacket with a cigarette in her mouth.] via Paramount Pictures
Olivia Newton-John wore a smoldering tight black outfit for her role as Sandy Olssen in the film Grease (1978), and nobody could deny the impact of leggings since then.

Shiny, high-waisted pants became the norm as plenty of young women tried to replicate this iconic look.

1980s: Madonna and Jane Fonda make it impossible to forget about leggings

Madonna wearing a black dress and bright blue leggings, 1984] via 'Like a Virgin' official music video
Madonna wearing a black dress and bright blue leggings, 1984] via ‘Like a Virgin’ official music video

Almost every Madonna outfit in the 80s includes a pair of cool and colorful leggings.

Given that Madonna is one of the most influential pop stars in history, it’s no surprise that leggings became even more popular in the 1980s.

The Madonna craze was also coupled with the technicolor outfits and the aerobics fad that took the 80s by storm. Jane Fonda in tight leggings, a bodysuit, and leg warmers also became the symbol of 80s aesthetics.

1990s: Leggings continue to pop off

Tiffani Thiessen as Kelly Kapowski from 'Saved by the Bell' stretching] via Alice S. Hall, NBCU Photo Bank
[Image description: Tiffani Thiessen as Kelly Kapowski from ‘Saved by the Bell’ stretching] via Alice S. Hall, NBCU Photo Bank
80s and 90s leggings are pretty much the same energy.

The key difference is that 90s leggings are a little less shiny. Cotton leggings became more common and we should be eternally grateful for the arrival of these more breathable leggings.

Actress Tiffani Thiessen, better known as Kelly Kapowski from Saved by the Bell (1989 – 1993), went on to define a generation in various outfits paired with cotton leggings.

2000s: The controversy begins

[Image description: Miley Cyrus walking in a parking lot] via Instagram
[Image description: Miley Cyrus walking in a parking lot] via Instagram
In the early 2000s, leggings suddenly lost their novelty and nobody can pinpoint exactly why.

It didn’t take long for the garment to lose its status as acceptable pants to wear in public. And if you did decide to wear leggings, it was usually under a dress or skirt.

The “leggings are not pants” movement gained momentum as the boomer generation decided they no longer liked the thought of women showing off their bodies in a tight pair of pants.

Nevertheless, the likes of Lindsay Lohan and the Olsen twins continued to wear leggings and paved the way for a major comeback.

2010s: Athleisure brings leggings back from the dead

A woman wearing an olive green sports bra and leggings with black trainers.] via Unsplash
[A woman wearing an olive green sports bra and leggings with black trainers.] via Unsplash

Athleisure is clothing that is made for athletic activities and everyday outfits.

It didn’t take long for leggings to solidify their relevance when athleisure became more prominent in the 2010s. Once again, it was socially acceptable to wear a hoodie, leggings, and sneakers out in public.

However, even in the 2010s, a group of nay-sayers made a conscious effort to rebuke the tight-fitting pants.

In 2015, Christian blogger Veronica Partridge went on Good Morning America to speak about how she removed “lustful” leggings from her closet as part of a change in her sense of style. But no amount of TV interviews could stop fashion retailers from re-stocking leggings like never before.

2020s: Life remains legging-clad, and the world is better for it

As an avid wearer of leggings, I can confirm that they’re one of the most versatile and comfortable pieces in my closet.

For this reason, I’m not ready to let go of my countless pairs of black leggings. They’re still a fashion staple in 2020 and I couldn’t be happier.

Above all else, leggings symbolize the moments that popular fashion went against the grain and created out-of-the-box outfits that defined each generation.

That’s reason enough for me.

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