Mind Health Science Now + Beyond

Keeping a dream journal gave me clarity about real-life anxieties

I always dreaded when it got dark and the day would end. Instead of seeking comfort in sleep, I saw it as a chunk of time I would never get back. I never remembered my dreams, anyway. So, in the past few years, I developed a habit of stalling when it came to dozing off.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved being in bed under my cozy duvet. But I wanted to stay alert, so I kept the curtains open so I wouldn’t be tempted to sleep. I needed to process the events of the day and replay the conversations I had, often spiraling into regret. Did I say the right thing? What did they mean when they said…? 

The way I saw it, the day is a scattered pile of emotions and memories. At night, I can start sorting through them. Otherwise, I wake up the next day with a mess in my head. The time before I fell asleep was precious. To preserve it, I slept the bare minimum amount of hours I needed to get by. It was worth it, for the clarity and sense of control I felt over myself. But I couldn’t keep it up for long. 

That’s when I had the most vivid dream of my life. I was in my childhood home, laying on my back in the hallway. People walked over me, chattering away and I could not get up. I shouted and shouted but no one noticed. Then I saw myself, an older me, trying to pass. I clutched onto her and she got stuck as well. 

I woke up feeling breathless. Grabbing one of my course journals, I scribbled what I could remember onto the page. Deep down, I knew my brain was trying to tell me something. I had a class to go to, so I left it there. But when I came back in the evening and read through it, I could see the parallels with my real life. I was holding myself back, skipping out on sleep, hanging onto each day, and clinging onto every single detail. That dream was a reality check, that I was harboring so much regret and that I needed to let my past slip-ups go. 

Maybe there was something worthwhile in dreaming, after all. The key is to recall those dreams, as 95% of them are typically forgotten a few minutes after we wake up. The reason this happens is that the hormone associated with memory is switched off. That night, I went to sleep almost as soon as I slid into bed. 

From then on, when I remembered something from my dreams in the morning—even the slightest detail like crawling in a desert—I would write them down into a spare journal. The act of writing my dreams down in a dream journal encoded them as a memory in my head. Keeping this up as a practice trained my brain to store my dreams, at least until the morning came.

Another trick I learned was through mental affirmations. Telling myself that I was going to remember my dreams and that they were important to me, made me more cognizant of them. I began to remember dreams in more detail and could start picking out patterns in my subconscious mind. 

Writing frequently in the morning, even in nonsensical bursts, became a way to start the day with a load off my chest. I felt lighter than ever. This should come as no surprise, as studies have shown that journaling has a positive impact on our personal wellbeing.

If you’re looking to start keeping a dream journal, remember that it doesn’t have to be complicated. There are great dream journal apps like Capture that help you keep track of your dreams with ease, and can even remind you at the beginning of your day. Write down what you remember before you do anything else so that it doesn’t slip out of your mind. If it is a complicated or even dark dream, I also add in what happened in the past few days that might have prompted those emotions. There are also countless templates online that can be followed, which I use every now and then to switch things up. 

At the end of the day, what I needed was time to process, as well as to feel like I was in control of my thoughts. I now enjoy the routine of waking up and writing down the bizarre images my brain cooked up the night before. Keeping a dream journal helped me look forward to shutting down for the night, which had amazing effects on my previously sleep-deprived self. Just as I have trained myself to remember my dreams, I can choose to forget the trivial things that used to keep me up at night. 

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Family Life Stories Life

Children don’t owe their abusive parents forgiveness

My brother texted me recently asking if I had ever gotten in contact with a woman living in the city I had moved back to a few years ago. The woman in question had been friends with my stepmother when I was a child. Her daughter used to babysit my brother and me, and sometimes we would spend the night hanging out at their place. I enjoyed their company well enough but when my brother asked about contacting her, I hesitated to reach out. I eventually decided I wouldn’t. Not because I have a personal problem with that woman or her daughter. But because of her connection to my stepmother, who was emotionally abusive.

Last year, my previous therapist had come to the conclusion my issues with depression and anxiety can be partially attributed to my separation from my biological mother when I was six years old. My dad had to put a restraining order on my mother because she was violent towards him, my stepmother, my brother, and me. I haven’t seen or spoken to her since childhood. My therapist suggested I should try to reconnect with her; however, I expressed my hesitance because of her abuse. My therapist noted that my mother had been a practicing addict when I was younger. She felt there was a possibility that in the twenty or so years since we spoke, my mother could have gotten sober and changed for the better.

The thing is, while I believe society should be more empathetic towards people struggling with addiction, I don’t believe victims of child abuse should have to be among those to extend that sympathy or understanding to their abusers. In the past year, I have re-evaluated many of my relationships. And I took a certain level of satisfaction in cutting out people I had long maintained a connection with, simply because I had felt obligated to due to family history. While there are people in my life I know I need to work on forgiving, there comes a point when some relationships do need to be severed permanently.

Making the decision to block my stepmother on Facebook was an example of having reached this point. After she and my dad divorced when we were children, my brother and I put on a show of missing her and being devastated by the separation. I don’t think we knew that was what we were doing; but at least on my part, demonstrating some grief felt obligatory. When my stepmother’s aforementioned friend asked my brother and me how we felt about the divorce, we claimed to be upset about it. However, when my dad asked if we wanted her back, we told him no.

My brother and I actually kept in contact with my stepmother for a few years after the divorce. It wasn’t until we got older that we started to distance ourselves from her. This came as a result of coming to understand that we had, in fact, been abused. As adults, we had come to reassess the experiences we had as children from a more informed perspective, now truly understanding what constitutes abuse.

We didn’t understand what we had experienced from my step-mother was abuse partially because we compared it to our biological mother’s physical abuse and neglect. So our stepmother’s behavior in comparison seemed like normal parenting. I had grown up believing that I was a bad child because my stepmother would find something to yell at us about, bringing me to tears daily. I thought we deserved her wrath, and that her constant outrage towards us, for every minor thing, was justified.

And because conversations about child abuse and mental health were practically non-existent when I was growing up, no one called my stepmother’s behavior out for what it was. As a result, the abuse was normalized. I even thought it was simply how parents disciplined their kids. Emotional abuse is insidious that way though. There don’t seem to be well-defined laws in place that outline what it is. So when there are no specific societal rules outlawing emotionally abusing minors, it is therefore perceived to be legal, and thus normal and acceptable.

This normalcy and consistency of abuse have had consequences for me. I grew up being bullied at home and at school, which left me feeling as if there was something wrong with me. In conflicts, I always assumed I was the one in the wrong. When I am hurt or angry, I invalidate my own feelings. I tell myself that my feelings are not justified. I am being oversensitive, and I shouldn’t feel the way I do. I am uncomfortable with expressing myself emotionally for fear of being shamed. I don’t handle criticism well because my stepmother’s voice lingers in my head, berating me for every mistake I make.

Yes, my stepmother is only human. She was also recovering from addiction, and it’s possible she was raising my brother and me the only way she knew how. It’s also possible she has grown and changed as a person in the many years since she was an active part of my life. However, the biggest benefit to me being an adult is I can control who I keep in my life and who I don’t. I had no such control of my life as a child; rather, I grew up with a constant feeling of helplessness.

All relationships should be beneficial to everybody involved. Keeping people in my life or maintaining a connection with those who have caused me harm does not benefit me. In the years leading up to me blocking her, I had barely concealed my rage anytime my stepmother spoke to me, and only because I thought I owed her that grace. But I’m tired of feeling like I owe my abusers my time, my energy, and my forgiveness. This is my life; ultimately, I decide who I keep in it. And I do not owe anyone who doesn’t or hasn’t served a positive purpose in my life a single damn thing.

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Money Now + Beyond

‘Runaway’ money and financial independence are not the same thing

If there’s one thing that my mother always taught me, it’s to have your own personal account and money stashed away. When I was younger and she told me about her own card, a different color than the family one that I’ve seen her use before, I was shocked. It disturbed me. It was as if she was keeping secrets from my father and I felt ashamed on her behalf. I was raised with the idea that, in marriage, you give yourself completely to your partner. So why would she need her own money? Was she planning on leaving? I could not wrap my head around it so I kept quiet. 

But for my mother, financial independence meant so much to her. Although she was no longer making her own money, she could feel a sense of independence through buying what she liked every now and then. It was liberating to not have to report to anyone.

In the culture that I grew up in, it is only recently that women have been able to freely open their own financial accounts. Even without legal barriers, it was frowned upon by tradition for a long time. A married woman having a personal account, that her husband could not access, was a massive red flag. It’s called ‘runaway’ money. 

This phrase, ‘runaway’ money, is used around the world when referring to bank accounts that women hold that are unconnected to their family or partner—secret or not. I always hated the way that it sounded, like it was a dark thing, almost like conning your partner. Even the idea that you would need a stash of money to one day make a quick exit implies a lack of trust in a relationship. In those terms, owning a personal bank account is an ultimate betrayal.

As I grew, however, my mother and I started a personal account on my behalf. I was about to begin my first year at college in another city, much to the disagreement of my father. Having my own account meant a lot to me as I didn’t feel bound to anyone else’s plans but my own. I could add the money that I earned into the account and pursue my own life plan. While I didn’t have a lot on my own, I wasn’t limited by anyone else’s approval. I slowly came to realize my mother’s perspective from all those years.

“Money is psychological,” said Andrea Kennedy, the author of the book Own Your Financial Freedom. It’s true. It is a testament to my mother’s independence and my own, even when we are still constrained by the lives of other people and how my father, extended family, and society expected us to be living. Having a personal account shouldn’t be shameful or a sign of distrust in a relationship. Instead, it is a validation of your sense of freedom.  

Furthermore, I eventually realized that there is an immense difference between choosing to stay in a relationship and having to. Some women genuinely believe that it is impossible to be happy in a relationship if you are dependent on your partner.  ‘Runaway’ money isn’t about having one foot already out the door; it’s about having a choice in your relationships. Every argument becomes a kind of ultimatum; either you let it slide or you cease to be able to support yourself. Today, I can understand how that kind of pressure can strain any relationship.

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Plus, whether it is said aloud or not, financial dependence creates a power hierarchy in relationships that can potentially become dangerous. Although women will always face their own financial hurdles, such as gender wage gaps and even lower credit scores, at least having a personal account can potentially set us on equal footing in our relationships.

For so long now women have been reluctant to hold their own money. They’ve been conditioned to think that it is selfish, especially if they are part of a traditional family. The labels that women have over their heads (‘daughter’, ‘mother’, ‘wife’) are all in relation to someone else. But having their own bank account and a stash of money, no matter how small, can be a step to claiming their own selves back. Money may not be a source of happiness, but it is inarguably a source of independence.

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My community has made me afraid of my own (potential) marriage

I have seen countless episodes where children would fantasize about their weddings. We’ve all seen Annie’s massive wedding planner in Community or Monica’s wedding planner in FriendsA wedding is meant to be a celebration of love, a moment where you confess your feelings to your significant other. It’s meant to be a day of romance and happiness, a start to a great marriage. Unfortunately, that’s not what I’ve experienced. In fact, I’m slightly afraid of marriage.

I’m from a small Indian Muslim community – this means that our weddings are, more often than not, arranged by our parents. I’ve heard weddings being described as a ‘union of two families’. The weddings I’ve attended aren’t joyous for the couple (they barely know each other), but for the families at large. I know that my family definitely looks forward to having a lavish, fancy wedding, a time for everyone to get together and actually meet the other half’s family.

It means that the wedding isn’t fun, but formal and ceremonial. In a tight-knit community, a wedding isn’t about being with who you love, but about making your family happy. That means being with someone that fits with communal values, one that adheres to what’s important for the community. This includes being part of the same religion, having a ‘respectable’ job, and fulfilling any number of arbitrary conditions that are placed down. 

In fact, I was given a marriage proposal when I turned 18. My grandmother suggested the idea, and I blew up – it was the first time I argued with her. I’ve had to constantly fight for my independence from most adults in my community. It’s taken a while for my parents to understand what I want from life. Even now, my mom tries to change my mind, saying, “don’t you want to grow old with a partner?” Mom, I’m 23. I want to grow, to understand myself, and learn about who I am before I spend the rest of my life with a stranger because he’s a Muslim who graduated from med school. 

I’ve heard people say that marrying young is good because when you’re young, you’re willing to change habits and get accustomed to the other person, but when you’re older, you’re set in your ways. It’s the shittiest argument I’ve ever heard because they say that it’s bad for you to assert your own preferences. You are meant to bow down and obey, and when you’re young, it’s easier to manipulate you into doing so. 

I’ve questioned young marriages before, and my mom rebuts me, saying, “this is what they wanted. If you’re a feminist, that means accepting all choices. Why can’t you accept this one?” and it’s hard to argue that. Is this what they truly wanted? Can you actually make such a monumental decision at 20? We’re asked to make life-changing decisions in our early 20s all the time, but this one is different somehow. It’s because families get involved, feelings can get hurt, and it can cause irreparable damage to two families. 

The worst part? I’ve seen some ‘love’ marriages in my family – the struggles the couple had to go through to be accepted, the hoops they’ve had to jump through. I’m genuinely afraid of bringing someone back home because I know they’ll be rejected for not being the same type of Muslim that I am (kicker is, I’m not even religious). What’s annoying is that in such a large family, there will be a few cases where love marriages go wrong – these are then touted as examples, to prove that ‘parents know what’s best for you’. 

Do I dream of a happy marriage? Sometimes, but it’s vague, like I dream of happiness, but not a happy marriage. Heck, I fantasize about the party, more than the actual marriage itself. Do I want a small wedding? Absolutely. More importantly, I want to choose when I get married, and who I want to spend my life with. For me, it’s an intensely personal decision, one that I don’t want to be influenced into doing. As of now, I’m happily single, and ready to build my own future, instead of relying on a partner. 

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LGBTQIA+ Policy Inequality

South Africa was the first country to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation: here’s why that matters

Today The Tempest is celebrating Spirit Day in support of queer youth against bullying!

In 1996, South Africa became the first country in the world to constitutionally outlaw discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The post-apartheid constitution enshrined a number of progressive anti-discrimination laws, aimed at ensuring equality and freedom for all citizens.  

The nation continued on this progressive trajectory, becoming the fifth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage, in 2006. Since then, a host of LGBTQ+ rights have been granted, including equitable policies on issues such as adoption and parental leave.

Despite this, anti-LGBT+ sentiments are still exceedingly common. Religion features heavily in our society; it’s not unusual for people to use the excuse of “that’s not what god intended” as a defense for their bigotry. I remember teachers in school promoting these notions by reminding us that it was, “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.” This tactical rhetoric is particularly problematic because rhymes are intended to stick, especially in the minds of impressionable children. 

The worst thing about these types of statements is that they aren’t overt, so nobody can be called out for using discriminatory language. It’s the loophole of all bigots’ dreams – and whoever wrote Facebook’s community standards, apparently.

Fortunately, societal disapproval has failed to influence legislation. In 2009, parliament rejected an application filed by the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa, calling for LGBTQ+ rights to be removed from the Constitution. 

Given the historical injustice of apartheid, the South African constitution emphatically emphasizes respect of cultural and religious traditions and values. Although unquestionably necessary, this has muddied the grounds on which the protection of LGBTQ+ rights have been opposed. 

As such, the government reformed policy to prevent these defenses of discrimination. In 2018, a previous law which allowed for a marriage officer to object to performing a union on the grounds of conscience, religion and belief, was repealed. 

Although progress towards the recognition of the LGBTQ+ community has been frustratingly incremental, all moves towards inclusivity deserve to be celebrated. If there are no official measures to safeguard rights, the possibilities for discrimination are endless. 

Despite significant pressure, the government has continually defied public opinion in order to maintain its comprehensive anti-discrimination laws. This is testament to the country’s democratic principle that “South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity.”

However, this principled approach of freedom and equity has largely failed to translate into society.

While on paper South Africa may appear to be the pinnacle of inclusivity, the reality is decidedly different. LGBTQ+ hate crimes routinely fail to garner the attention or outrage afforded to other instances of discrimination and the laws meant to protect the community often fail to be enforced. 

Strong heternormative ideals of familial structure and gender roles continue to hinder public acceptance of queer identity, particularly in Black communities. Black LGBTQ+ people are frequently alienated and excluded, with many being subjected to violent retaliation.

Because LGBTQ+ rights were constitutionalized on the grounds of equality, rather than as a result of public consensus or promotion, the queer community in South Africa continues to be marginalized.

This prevalence of discrimination and hate-crimes serves to highlight the fact that legal protections are only effective if enforced. Such enforcement, however, also begs the question of whether or not certain demographics might be targeted above others. 

Nevertheless, LGBTQ+ rights have been hard-won; the fact that they are constitutionally enshrined is a BIG DEAL. 

In a time where LGBTQ+ rights are being repealed in countries claiming to be democratic, the significance of protective law is evident. Without official recognition, the door is wide open for abuse without consequence. 

It’s undeniable that South Africa still has a lot of work to do. However, the foundations for future progress have already been laid. The current anti-discrimination laws make it clear that anti-queer perspectives stand in opposition to the fundamental principles of our democracy.  

The Constitution advocates for equality and freedom, above all else. No citizen is legally allowed to discriminate against any person on the basis of their sexual orientation. And that really does matter. 

This Spirit Day, I’m focusing on the wins, however small they may seem.


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Family Life

The reality of living with a baby sibling

When my parents told me they were expecting in my final year of high school, I didn’t believe them for about a month or so. My youngest sister was 12 and I didn’t really think my parents wanted another child. But I fell in love with my baby sister before she was born, before we had even decided what we were going to name her. When she’d stepped into our lives, everything we’d planned for our future had changed and we didn’t even realize it. 

I teared up when I first saw her, sleeping in her incubator. Her cradle was decorated with moon-shaped fairy lights. I’d spend hours staring at her, bewildered. How could God make someone so beautiful? Her hands were wrinkled and her eyes barely opened. Her cries were music to my ears. Every little word she said made me jump out of my seat (I say “wordbut I still can’t make sense of anything she says). 

It’s a completely different experience when you have a baby at home but none of the responsibility that comes along with it. There’s no stress about poop-filled diapers, nappy rashes, or sleepless nights. You spend your evenings doing what you want, and your days basking in the bundle of joy. Everything that you watch your parents do is exciting and adventurous. 

It may sound a bit too poetic, but babies don’t stay babies for long. Their cries get louder, their demands get more complicated and they learn all the things you don’t want them to learn. The most dreadful part of a growing baby is when they’re obsessed with touching and tasting every single thing they see. 

Living with a baby is an entirely different experience than watching a 2-minute video of them on Instagram. You’ve already made space for them in your heart. Now you’re making space for them in your room. Your habits are changing; you can’t binge-watch TV series, your desk is always clean and there are toys in every corner of your room. All the time you spent reading in peace is now spent finding a place to hide during your game of hide-and-seek. You feel helpless when she’s pulling on your sleeve while you’re attending an online class.  

They know when your attention is half-hearted. They make you vulnerable. You’re starting to change and you don’t realize it. You’re questioning all the things you took for granted before. Your time isn’t yours anymore. Even if you aren’t actively parenting them, your presence in their lives is enough for them to learn from you.

We tend to compare our upbringing with our siblings’, but there’s an entire generation gap between me and my sister. There is nothing similar in the way we are raised. My parents are different people now as compared to when I was born. I grew up with my grandparents and cousins; my sister only knows them through a screen. She knows how to navigate Youtube at the age of 2. I held my first phone when I was 10. My favorite shows were televised in the morning. She can watch anything she wants, anytime. At the end of the day, we do not have anything to argue about. But then again, is it possible for us to agree on the same things?

Parenting styles differ as parents grow older. We cannot, however, generalize which set of parents have the upper hand. My parents continue to instill the same values in her as they did in me. However, our standards of living are different than what was 15 years ago. I often question how different a person she will grow into.

The decisions I’ve made let me watch her grow. Sooner or later, I will move away from her. Nevertheless, life is volatile and our relationship is fragile. Despite my immense love for her, will we grow apart and never find a thing in common to talk about? Or will the fact that we were raised in the same home be enough to maintain our bond?

Style Fashion Lookbook

21 amazing fashion and beauty brands donating to the Black Lives Matter movement

Following the wave of protests that have erupted around the world after the murder of George Floyd, a number of fashion and beauty brands have been more vocal about supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.

While allyship comes in many forms, one of the many ways brands (and people) can help in the fight against systemic racism is by financially supporting organizations and Black-owned businesses. Here are some brands you can support – and fight systemic racism while doing so.

1. Haverhill Jewelry

via Haverhill Jewelry (Image Description: The Haverhill Hope Collection, a dangly gold necklace adorned with Amethyst, Sapphire and Blue Topaz charms)

The jewelry brand is donating 100% of the sales proceeds from the Hope Collection to the organization Color of Change which includes a collection of bracelets and necklaces.

2. Fear of God 

via Instagram (@fearofgod) (Image Description: Black t-shirt with a gray GF logo embroidered in the middle) 

Fear of God released a new T-shirt with the mission to support George Floyd’s six-year-old daughter, Gianna Floyd. They recently collaborated with eight other street style brands including Pyer Moss, Off-White, Denim Tears, AwakeNY, Noah Clothing, Just Don, Union Los Angeles, and Melody Eshani, for this charitable cause. 100% of the shirt’s proceeds will be donated to the Gianna Floyd Fund.

3.  Mented Cosmetics

via Instagram (@mentedcosmetics) (Image Description: Series of tinted lip glosses in pink, peach, salmon, glossy red, caramel and chocolate brown)

The Black-owned beauty brand announced on Instagram that they will donate a percentage portion of every sale to benefit protestors around the country, beginning with bail funds in New York City.

4. Staud Clothing 

via Staud Clothing (Image Description: woman dressed in green and white cut out dress holds a small white bean bag)

Staud has already donated $10,000 to the Color of Change organization and has additionally pledged to donate 10% of all sales made in the month of June to the nonprofit.

5.  Peter Do

via Peter Do (Image Description: Series of women dressed in (clockwise L-R, black long sleeve dress with heeled boots, leather black tank top with a pleated white shirt, olive trench shirt with boot-legged olive green pants, gray sweater with a pleated gray skirt and metallic boots, black sweater, pleated leather skirt, black riding boots and gray dress, gray coat and black riding boots)

This contemporary clothing brand recently announced its plans to donate a percentage of their e-commerce sales to a number of BLM organizations including Color of ChangeBYP100, and Black Visions Collective as well as charities and organizations who would be receiving the donated funds.

6.  Vernon Francois 

via Vernon Francois (Image Description: Series of Haircare products including shampoo, essential oil and hairspray)

Vernon Francois, a Black-owned vegan and cruelty-free haircare brand is committed to donating over a third of their online sales to several grassroots organizations in support of racial equality and justice.

7.  Citizens of Humanity 

via Citizens of Humanity (Image Description: series of face masks in navy blue, denim, cream, camouflage and bright white)

Citizens of Humanity is standing in solidarity with BLM, by announcing their mission to donate 100% of their e-commerce sales of face masks across 10 organizations, including Black Lives MatterACLUColor of ChangeRebuild Foundation, throughout the month of June.

8. 10Dee

via 10Deep (Image Description: A canvas tote with logo 10Deep embroidered in the middle in rainbow colors.)

This New York-based streetwear brand said that they will reduce items available on their website to those who speak directly to issues of racial injustice and donate 100% of e-commerce sales of these items to organizations such as the National Bail Fund which is working to help those arrested in the nationwide protests. 

9. Prabal Gurung

via Prabal Gurung (Image Description: Black Sweater with phrase ‘Stronger in Colour’ embroidered in the middle)

This reputable high fashion luxury brand is one of the few designer brands dedicated to fully supporting the BLM Movement. They recently launched the limited edition ‘Stronger in Colour Collection’ comprised of t-shirts and sweatshirts, and are committed to donating 100% of sale proceeds of this collection to The Bail Project

10. Aerosoles

via Aerosoles (Image Description: collection of wedges, white strappy sandals and white/black/cheetah print high heels)

This reputable shoewear brand recently announced their mission to support racial justice and combat discrimination by donating 10% sales proceeds, starting June 2nd to the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund

11.  Agmes

via Agmes (Image Description: Black necklace adorned with a Sculpted Heart Pendant)

This NYC based jewelry brand, who counts model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley as a fan, is committed to donating 100% of proceeds from sales of their exclusive Sculpted Heart pendant, small Vera earrings, pearl studs, Luca earrings and mini Astrid hoops to the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. for the remainder of June.

12. Alder New York 

via Alder New York (Image Description: Cooling Mineral Hydro Mist)

This NYC based beauty brand announced their plans to donate 10% of sales from their Cooling Mineral Hydro Mist throughout the month of June to BLM organizations including Fair Fight, The NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and Communities United Against Police Brutality.

13. Alison Lou

via Alison Lou (Image Description: series of rainbow, cloud, shooting star and lightning charms and studs)

This celebrity-adorned jewelry brand showcased in numerous editorial magazines is committed to donating 15% of proceeds for sales on new arrival orders to The Loveland Foundation, a nonprofit organization committed to providing resources to communities of color, particularly Black women and girls.

14. Bychari

via Instagram (@bycari) (Image Description: collection of gold rings, earrings and chained necklace)

This LA-based jewelry brand will donate 25% of profits from sales to Black Girls Code and Girl Trek for the remainder of June. 

15. Deviant

via Deviant (Description: Bottle of black labeled skincare cleanser)

This modernistic and ethically sourced skincare line will donate 15% of online sales profits to the Emergency Relief Fund and The Okra Project between June 1st – July 15th.

16. Fleur du Mal

via Fleur du Mal (Image Description: Woman wearing a black lace-paneled dress)

This NYC based lingerie brand, with celebrity followers such as Emma Roberts and Devon Baldwin, is committed to  donating 10% of sales to the Know Your Rights Camp’s Legal Defense Initiative

17. La Porte

via La Porte (Image Description: Three women wearing a cut-out swimsuit in blue, pink and white)

This luxury swim brand, as featured on Harper’s Baazar and ELLE Magazine, announced that they will be donating 50% of all sales to the NAACP and Minnesota Freedom Fund beginning on June 1. 

18. Laurus

via Instagram (@laurus) (Image Description: Woman carries a vibrant green, alligator print handbag with gold adorned logo on the handle)

This Italian handbag and accessories brand will donate 100% of profits made throughout the month of June to organizations such as NAACP and Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp and Show Racism the Red Card.

19. Lou Dallas

via Instagram (@loudallasbyraffaella) (Image Description: Man wears a black t-shirt with a design)

The bold streetwear brand launched two campaigns in support of BLM. They will donate 50% of sales from the End Militarism T-Shirt to Black Visions Collective and 30% of sales from the Crop Savage Hoodie to organizations such as The Okra ProjectBlack Trans Femmes in the Arts and the Black Trans Travel Fund.

20. Mai Mia

via Mai Mia (Image Description: Woman wears a cut-out demi bra, black leggings, leather gloves carrying a black pole)

This LA-based swim line with fans like Korean-American YouTuber Jenn Im is committed to donating 30% of profits from all online sales to the ACLU throughout the month of June.

21. Tanya Taylor

via Tanya Taylor (Image Description: Woman wears a long colorblock dress in teal, yellow and blue)

This designer label, who was recently featured on Vogue Magazine, will be donating 20% of net sales to the NAACP beginning on June 1st. 

Love + Sex Love Life Stories

I no longer wake up in the middle of the night missing you 

I used to wake up in the middle of the night missing you.

When we parted ways, I experienced this intense feeling of nostalgia and emptiness rolled together.

It was so debilitating that it made it impossible for me to pick up the broken fragments of my heart and carry on. I would toss and turn in bed every night, with an empty mind and a broken heart. I fervently missed you and the memories we made together.

I missed all the mornings I would wake up with you beside me, feeling the cold morning breeze and your broad shoulders encasing me under the warm covers. I missed all the ways you made me feel, this feeling which I can’t quite put into words because it was so intoxicating and powerful. I scrolled through old messages and pictures, watched romantic movies trying to imagine you and me as the male and female leads. 

I thought you were my forever. I couldn’t imagine my life without you, and frankly, I didn’t want to.

You were my everything, and my heart belonged to you.

I was too attached to try to move onto someone else. I was too selfish to apologize and try to win you back. I was too reminiscent to try to forget about you.

But then, as time passed, I started to realize that my perception of you as ‘The One’ was merely just an illusion. I realized that I didn’t actually miss you but rather, I missed the fact that you weren’t the person I wanted you to be. And in turn, I stopped missing you.

I no longer miss seeing you smile and hearing your voice.

That smile I was so attracted to and so intrigued by was a simple distraction. That voice which I so longed to hear over the phone was nothing more special.

I no longer miss your presence next to me.

Before, all I’ve ever wanted to do was run back into your open arms. But now, I’m happier alone, and don’t need your arms to protect me as a security blanket.

I no longer wait anxiously for your text message to light up my phone, and consequently, light up my day.

I’ve realized that my happiness isn’t defined by a good morning text and that you in no way or shape have any ability to control what my day becomes.

I no longer miss your compliments

Your compliments weren’t much more than a simple validation that you approved of me, and how I looked to you. I don’t need your approval to make me feel like myself, and to think that I am worthy and important

I no longer ponder over the memories we’ve built and become fond of how you made me feel

The nostalgia is gone, I’ve deleted you, the old pictures, and dated text messages from my phone and my memories.

Most importantly, I no longer wake up in the middle of the night missing you.

I’ve been able to move on past the heartbreak, realize my self worth and move on from the fact that your presence was a part of me. We weren’t meant to be with each other. And you aren’t the One for me, no matter how much I’ve pretended you were. I finally was able to realize that I’m happier without you and that my independence is something I should truly cherish.

So, here’s me moving on for good, and leaving you, the memories, and our toxic relationship behind. 

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Fashion Lookbook

Why Tehran and Istanbul are the fashion capitals of the future

When you hear the phrase ‘fashion capital’, you might immediately think of Milan, London, Paris, or New York. After all, some of the most iconic fashion designers of recent times – Coco Chanel, Tommy Hilfiger, Alexander McQueen, and Gianni Versace, to name a few – have emerged from or are strongly affiliated with these cities. 

But there are two cities that are strikingly fashion forward, yet rarely recognized for being so: Tehran and Istanbul. Seemingly different, yet similar, these two cities have one pursuit in common: the breaking of stereotypes through self-expression. 

[Image description: A woman wears a red headscarf and stares into the camera.] Via Milad Shams on Unsplash.
When I traveled to Tehran for the first time, my trip gave me a brand new perspective on what the words ‘fashion statement’ really meant. In Iran, what you wear is more than just the brand name. Your style is a gateway of self-expression and individuality, an attitude that allowed me to embrace my truest self through my wardrobe.

Islamic dress code has in many ways inspired Iranians to create newer, more intricate ideas that fit into this framework for women and men alike. Iranians have mastered the idea of turning a simple look into a unique, chic style tailored to one’s individual personality. Many shop owners travel abroad to different countries, finding the newest, most fashion-forward trends to bring back home. In some cases, sellers open boutiques, called mezon or maison, in their own homes, where they sell only the latest trends. Here, you will find styles that are not yet on the market in many countries, but have been introduced only in cities like Paris or Milan.

Iran has its own set of designers and taste-makers that are redefining street style and Islamic or modest fashion.  For modest, yet fashion-forward styles, designers like Naghmeh Kiumarsi are setting the standards. Breaking free of the traditional black or blue chador, Naghmeh incorporates rich colors, like deep maroons and emerald greens, to pull off a sophisticated look. 

Another designer, Shadi Parand, ensures that her customers have a one-of-a-kind outfit, as she never makes the same design twice. Shadi incorporates traditional Iranian prints and integrates them into more modern styles. She also designs looks that are to be worn both indoors and outdoors.

Recently, Tehran has revamped the tried-and-true trend of pleated skirts paired with traditional loose coats by adding patterned head scarves with just the right pop of color that are tied or arranged in a number of different styles. It should be noted that these styles are complementary for both Muslims and non-Muslims, such as myself, and allow us to access the fashion world and the latest trends on our own terms.

[Image description: Two women in pink and blue coats and sparkling heels walk along a street in Istanbul.] Via negativespace.
Istanbul is equally unique, but for a different reason. Istanbul is on the cusp of the Middle East and Europe. Because of this, it has become noted for its unique take on fashion that is influenced by both East and West. 

In 2018, one of the more prominent fashion shows, MAGIC, held its annual show in Las Vegas, where Istanbul was named as a fashion capital for the first time. There, prominent Turkish designers showcased their newest designs for the American public. Designers from the most notable fashion capitals, like Milan, London, and Paris, have implemented Turkish designs and ideas into their own collections.

Designers like Zeynep Guntas moved to Milan to pursue her fashion line. Zeynep hand-paints all of her clothing, which has grown in popularity in Milan, especially as streetwear. Turkish designer Bora Aksu has grown rapidly popular in London, where he incorporates designs tailored to a more European style. Another Turkish designer, ERDEM, is based in Canada. He creates chic evening wear that is elegant and unique with intricate patterns.

[Image description: A girl in a red sweater and black headscarf is seated on a bench with her back to the camera.] Via Erfan Amiri on Unsplash.
As of late, Istanbul has shifted from mostly purely European styles to integrating more modest looks that incorporate Islamic values and Turkish culture. One notable modest fashion line is  Modanisa, which aims to produce more modest interpretations of the latest fashion trends. 

These designs not only have an ‘East meets West’ element, but also recapture a global discourse that has historically been dominated by the Western world. In a day and age when there are many misconceptions about the Middle East and Islam, designers in both Tehran and Istanbul have been working to break free of stereotypes. They also give new meaning to what it means to be fashionable or on-trend.

Not only are both cities fashion forward, the designs they produce appeal to a large, previously uncatered-to audience. This has allowed them to practice self-expression without compromising their values or preferences. This open-mindedness, creativity and innovation make both cities worthy of being the future fashion capitals of the world.


10 of the most heartwarming wedding traditions from around the world

Wedding season is here again, and with it comes non-stop action and excitement for brides, grooms, and everyone else that’s a part of such a momentous occasion – not to mention many wedding traditions!  If you’re a bride to be, you’ve probably glanced over many a wedding magazine, and Pinterest is probably your new best friend.

However, wedding planning is often as exciting as it is draining. One thing that might help when it feels like you’re running out of ideas is exploring wedding traditions from other cultures. Random as it may seem, cultural traditions can help give you inspiration for your own wedding, especially regarding what meaning and mood you’d like it to embody.

The cross-cultural wedding traditions on this list will make any girl swoon – from sweet well-wishes to the couple from guests to a literal knife dance (yes, really), there’s a little bit of inspiration here for every kind of couple. 

1.  Henna night, Turkey

[Image description: Bride is celebrated during henna night.] via Shutterstock
[Image description: Bride is celebrated during henna night.] via Shutterstock
During a Turkish henna night, known as Kina Ginesi, the bride has henna placed on her hands prior to leaving her mother. The bride wears a velvet dress and a veil and is surrounded by her female friends and family members.

While the bride sits and has her henna done, the other women sing sad songs around her. The idea is to make the bride cry before she leaves home, and once the women succeed, they each put henna on the bride’s hands and then on the hands of the bride’s mother and other guests.

While this tradition may be seen as sad to some, it commemorates the beautiful bond between a mother and a daughter.  As someone who is super close to her mom, this one gives me the feels for sure!

2. The couple’s entrance, Assyrians

[Image description: Assyrian wedding entry with woman and man seated on chairs.] Via Unsplash
[Image description: Assyrian wedding entry with woman and man seated on chairs.] Via Unsplash
I might be biased when I say this, but Assyrians really know how to throw a wedding. My favorite part of an Assyrian wedding has always been the entrance by the couple – not only is it a beautiful site to see, but it’s so much fun!

Prior to the couple entering the hall, families, and friends gather near the entrance doors. As the couple proceeds into the hall, family members and friends dance and sing in front of the newlyweds. Women often wave their yalikhta or dancing veil around the happy couple, and the touching moment displays the happiness of the couple’s family and friends for their union.

3. Zaffe, Lebanon

[Image description: Man and woman dance in the Lebanese wedding tradition.] via visualizepictures
[Image description: Man and woman dance in the Lebanese wedding tradition.] via visualizepictures
I’m not even Lebanese, but I don’t have to be to love this tradition. Typically, the zaffe takes place at the respective homes of the couple. Drums are played, zaffe dancers perform, and friends and family partake in the celebrations.

Both the bride and groom dance around the drummers, with family and friends joining in. It’s a fun and celebratory tradition that’s guaranteed to get the party started at any wedding.

4. Knife dance, Iran

[Image description: An Iranian knife dance takes place] via Fiona Hall Photography
[Image description: An Iranian knife dance takes place] via Fiona Hall Photography
There’s everybody else’s version of cutting the wedding cake, and then there’s the Iranian version. Known as raghseh chagoo, this tradition begins when a female family member or friend begins dancing to a Persian tune whilst holding the cake knife in her hand.

In true Iranian fashion, the women dance gracefully despite having to hold a knife in their hands throughout the routine. The couple then has to give her money in the hopes of earning the knife.

The woman may accept the money and then proceed to give the knife to another woman. This continues until a female relative or friend feels the bride and groom have earned the knife. It’s a unique way of celebrating the cutting of the cake and is super fun to watch.

5. Kanyadaan, India

[Image description: A bride’s hand is seen being placed on top of the groom’s hand.] via Giphy.
As a daughter, the thought of being given away is an emotional one. In Indian culture, the Kanyadaan is the process of the father giving away his daughter. During the Kanyadaan, the father of the bride takes her right hand and places it on top of the groom’s right hand. This act is the way the father asks the groom to treat his daughter as an equal partner.

After the hands are placed on top of one another, the mother of the bride pours holy water on top of both hands. As people chant during the ceremony, the water soaks through the bride’s hands and into the groom’s, signifying unity.

6. The wishing tree, the Netherlands

[Image description: A Dutch wedding tree, filled with wishes] via Shutterstock
[Image description: A Dutch wedding tree, filled with wishes] via Shutterstock
Some cultures have a wedding guestbook signed by well-wishers that couples can have as a keepsake, but the Dutch go above and beyond in this respect. In the Netherlands, there is no wedding book. Instead, there is a tree that guests adorn with well-wishes for the bride and groom.

Friends and family of the couple write down their well-wishes on small note cards or leaflets, while the tree is typically placed adjacent to the couple’s table.

After the notes are written and collected, they are given to the couple to read aloud, after which the couple ties the notes onto the tree with colorful ribbons. It’s a lovely way of wishing the couple a lifetime of happiness from the people that matter most to them.

7. Releasing doves, Philippines

[Image description: A couple holds a pair of doves.] via Shutterstock
[Image description: A couple holds a pair of doves.] via Shutterstock
Throughout history, doves have been symbols of peace, so it should be no surprise that they are often released during weddings. In Filipino tradition, the bride and groom release a pair of doves, one male, and one female.

This is seen to symbolize unity, prosperity, love, and peace within the marriage.

8. Giving the bride a pair of lovespoons, Wales

[Image description: A pair of lovespoons for a Welsh  couple] via Shutterstock
[Image description: A pair of lovespoons for a Welsh couple] via Shutterstock
The history of lovespoons alone is enough to make you swoon. Historically, lovespoons were carved out by a man and given to the woman he loved, and the spoons would usually be decorated with intricate designs symbolizing the love between the couple. The woodwork was also important to the father of the bride as it symbolized the groom’s capability to provide for their daughter.

Today, Welsh couples are gifted lovespoons by friends and family. The grooms may also gift these spoons to their brides-to-be before the wedding or in some cases after the marriage. The token of love is not just a display of creativity, but also a beautiful way to express one’s love.

9. Unity bowls of rocks, Australia

[Image description: An Australian wedding ceremony might feature the tradition of a unity bowl.] via Pinterest
[Image description: An Australian wedding ceremony might feature the tradition of a unity bowl.] via Pinterest
Prepare yourself for the waterworks. In Australia, the friends and family of the happy couple fill a bowl with various stones. At first glance, this may seem a bit strange, but the meaning behind the tradition is genuinely touching. The stones vary in color, with each symbolizing the color each family member or friend brings to the lives of the couple.

At the end of the wedding, the couple is given the bowl full of stones. The bowl serves as a symbol of the love and support that the couple has from their friends and family. It’s a lovely way to include your friends and family in one of the most important days of your life and serves as an important reminder of their love and support.

10. Bringing the flames, South Africa

[Image description: A display of a South African fire ceremony] via Shutterstock
[Image description: A display of a South African fire ceremony] via Shutterstock
This tradition is incredibly beautiful and touching. In South Africa, the parents of the bride and the groom carry firewood from their own homes to the home of the couple. There, they begin burning the wood in the hopes of igniting the flames of the new home.

What is important about this tradition is that the firewood that is brought over by the parents is a symbol of the flames from the couples’ childhood homes and the continuation of that warmth and light into their new homes and lives.

In other words, this touching tradition reminds newlyweds that home is not too far away and that the feelings of comfort and security from their childhood homes are with them always.

Family Love + Sex Love Life Stories

9 things I really wish I could tell my Indian mother-in-law

I had an arranged marriage.

My husband and I decided that we will live with his parents. There were several reasons why we chose to do that and the main one was their age. My mother-in-law is 66 and my father-in-law is 70. We wanted to be around them and support them as much as we could. They come from a traditional Indian family but they’re slowly adapting.

While they’re progressive in certain ways – I am not expected to get up and cook every day, or attend every other family event – I do end up having aggressive arguments with them on several issues.

Why should I keep a bindi every day?

Why shouldn’t I work late hours?

Why shouldn’t I get to choose if I want to have kids right after the wedding?  

These are some basic ideas we’ve argued about.

The one thing that I am constantly told is that “You are like our daughter and we are saying this for your own good.” And yet, I’m still made to feel like an outsider.

Why am I like a daughter and not their daughter? Why are their separate rules for my husband, and me? As much as I have adapted to their lifestyle, I will always be the odd one out.

1. Let’s start with the food that’s made at home.

[Image description: Woman shakes her head, disappointed] via Giphy
[Image description: Woman shakes her head, disappointed] via Giphy
It might sound silly or even border on immaturity but when your husband gets his preferred food all the time and you don’t – it doesn’t leave you with a good feeling. Your mother always made your favorite food. I don’t expect the same treatment here. But making my choice of kheer (sweet dish) occasionally is not going to hurt anyone.

Will it?

2. Will it always be him first? 

[Image description: A child rolls her eyes, annoyed.] via Giphy
[Image description: A child rolls her eyes, annoyed.] via Giphy
Is there an excuse as to why your husband gets served first and then you? Clearly an example of ‘my-son-comes-first-then-it-is-you.’ Is there a rule why the daughter-in-law is served last?

3. The son is always right – except when he really isn’t.

[Image description: Woman rolls her eyes and picks her newspaper back up] via Giphy
[Image description: Woman rolls her eyes and picks her newspaper back up] via Giphy
There is nothing wrong that a son can do. But a daughter-in-law is always wrong. Finding ways to prove her wrong is just not done. That is not cool.

4. I’m just going to stop trying to help since my suggestions aren’t wanted. 

[Image description: Woman looks annoyed and says,
[Image description: Woman looks annoyed and says, “You’re exhausting me.”] via Giphy
When my father-in-law lost his phone and I suggested purchasing OnePlus, my proposition was brushed aside. But when his son recommended the same phone, the phone arrived home the next day. Even if my husband and I share the same opinion – mine will always come secondary.

5. No, just because I’m your daughter-in-law doesn’t mean I’m open to your every critique.

[Image description: Girl lays on a pillow, rolling her eyes] via Giphy
[Image description: Girl lays on a pillow, rolling her eyes] via Giphy
The daughter-in-law is better off staying within her limits. My opinion or advice is unwarranted and unasked for. But I should always be open to suggestions, advice and unsolicited opinions. Does anyone know what hypocrisy sounds like?

6. We get it, your son deserves your prayers, but maybe remember me in those, too?

[Image description: Woman prays during a meal] via Giphy
[Image description: Woman prays during a meal] via Giphy
While we understand that the son is the apple of your eye, he has a partner and she needs to be equally happy. Pray for them both. My son should become a manager, he should travel abroad, he needs to get a new car, or he should have a baby doesn’t work anymore.

7. I know it’s hard, but you can throw a compliment every now and then.

[Image description: Woman blows glitter toward the camera] via Giphy
[Image description: Woman blows glitter toward the camera] via Giphy
Compliment her if she is wearing new clothes, encourage her if she is trying a new dish in the kitchen, listen to her when she suggests a change at home. She is not wrong always. Nope.

8. Why should I be blamed for what your son does?

[Image description: Mother gives her son a beautiful meal.] via Giphy
[Image description: Mother gives her son a beautiful meal.] via Giphy
Every individual is responsible for their own actions. Weren’t that what moral science classes were all about. How did the logic change after marriage? Why is the son never blamed but the daughter-in-law is blamed for everything? Isn’t that injustice of sorts?

9. If you don’t like something, just tell it to my face.

[Image description: Woman says,
[Image description: Woman says, “If you have something to say about somebody, look the person in the eye and say it.”] via Giphy
Cold wars and passive-aggressive treatments are specially custom-made for daughters-in-law. How hard is it to communicate? Why is it so difficult to be straight-forward and say things up-front?

Make your daughter-in-law, your daughter. Be sweet, firm, treat her equally, and welcome her with open arms, and she may do the same as well.

Makeup Lookbook

10 last minute Halloween makeup looks for anyone who still doesn’t have a costume

It’s the spookiest time of year again! Halloween is just around the corner, pumpkins are having their yearly moment and children’s blood sugar levels are spiking. Halloween and I have always had a love/hate relationship – every year, I plan the perfect costume, my busy schedule results in me frantically doing last minute shopping, and in the end I’m left wondering whether it was all worth it. I know I can’t be the only one, either. Let’s face it, a lot of us are really busy and while we want to partake in Halloween festivities, life and work usually get in the way. There is, however, a solution to all of our problems: Halloween makeup.

[Image description: A girl wearing sugar skull makeup and a black hat looks directly in to the camera.] Via Unsplash.
As people are packing stores looking for the perfect costume, you can opt for an easier, more affordable way to achieve a Halloween look. Sure, costumes are great, but sometimes all you need is the right makeup look to be just as spooky or cool.

Luckily, with the help of some of YouTube’s most trusted makeup artists, you can get spooky in a snap.  Below is a list of 10 Halloween makeup tutorials that will help you pull a last minute look together in no time.

Look 1: The Sugar Skull

This look has been my go-to for a while now, and I’ve always received loads of compliments on it. Word to the wise: you may want to trial this the night before, just in case. It’s a lot easier than it seems though, trust me!

Look 2: The Cat

Another Halloween makeup look that I’ve done before, this one’s not only adorable, but is also incredibly easy. You’ll be surprised by how many people think this look took you longer than it actually did.

Look 3: The Comic Book

This comic book look is as fun to look at as it is to create. If you want to kick things up a notch, add a colorful wig to the mix and bust out your inner Archie character in this creative Halloween look.

Look 4: The Witch

The Wicked Witch of the West look is a go-to for a reason. This Halloween classic never gets old, and it’s a relatively simple one to pull off. All you need handy is some green body paint, or even just some green eye-shadow. For those of you that want to stray away from the green witch look, there are other equally wicked alternatives that you can find here.

Look 5: The Clown

Although the finished  look is absolutely terrifying, putting it together is surprisingly easy. To top it off, majority of the makeup products used in this tutorial can be easily substituted with products you already own. This Halloween makeup look will have you looking equally spooky and cool.

Tip: The white contacts worn in the video are optional, and the look works just as well without them!

Look 6: The Unicorn

I haven’t tried this one yet, but my goodness, isn’t it pretty? My inner child is leaping for joy just looking at it. While it seems more complicated than it actually is, this tutorial will have you looking like a mermaid-unicorn hybrid in under twenty minutes.

Tip: If you want to achieve this Halloween makeup look, but don’t want to over-spend, consider using dupes – anything by NYX is a great option!

Look 7: The Mermaid

One of my favorite things about this tutorial, aside from the fact it’s a mermaid, is that it uses affordable makeup. Majority of these products can be found at your local drugstore! Also, who doesn’t want to be a mermaid? And remember, you can customize the mermaid look any way that you want.

Tip: I do advise what she suggests – using the fishnet stockings – as they will bring the look together a lot more easily.

Look 8: The Deer

I actually tried this look last year and fell in love with it. It’s easy to do, the finished look is super cute, and I promise you’ll get lots of compliments! Also, it’s more skin friendly for those with sensitive skin.

Look 9: The Scarecrow

This is such an easy look to accomplish. You can legitimately swap any and all of the products she uses for dupes that are more affordable. And once you’re done, you’ll be left looking like the most adorable scarecrow in the world.

Tip: The actual tutorial starts at 1:10!

Look 10: The Zipper

I haven’t tried this one yet, but I’m dying to. It’s a relatively simple Halloween makeup look that requires little effort, yet looks amazing. You can also swap the colors she uses and create your own unique version. If the rainbow look isn’t your thing, fret not! There are loads of other alternatives for this look!

Tip: Liquid latex is not for all skin types. If you have sensitive skin, you may want to skip this look or find a product that is more sensitive skin-friendly.

Bonus: Scar from The Lion King

For my Disney lovers! Find your inner evil lion and give this Halloween makeup look a try. Then do some vocal exercises and a quick run through of ‘Be Prepared’ and you’re ready to go!

Tip: The actual tutorial starts at 2:10!