Make Your Money Work for You: The Ultimate Guide to Setting Financial Goals

Saving money is all well and good in theory.

It’s pretty hard to argue having more cash in your pocket could ever be a bad thing.

But what are you saving for? After all, money is just a tool. If you don’t have solid financial goals, all those hoarded pennies might end up floating in limbo when they could be put to good use.

Figuring out where your money should go might seem daunting, but it’s actually a lot of fun.

You get to analyze your own priorities and decide exactly what you think you should do with your hard-earned cash.

Talk about adulting, right?

But to make the most of your money, follow a few best practices while setting your goals.

After all, even if something seems like exactly what you want right now, it might not be in future-you’s best interest. And you’re playing the long game… that’s why they’re called goals!

What to Do Before You Start Writing Your Financial Goals

To keep yourself from deciding your financial goals are “buy the coolest toys and cars, get deeply into debt and watch my credit score plummet” — all super easy to do — we’ve compiled this guide.

It’ll help you set goals and create smart priorities for your money.

That way, however you decide to spend your truly discretionary income, you won’t leave the 10-years-from-now version of you in the lurch.

First Things First: How Much Money Do You Have?

You can’t decide on your short- or long-term financial goals if you don’t know how much money you have or where it’s going.

And if you’re operating without a budget, it can be easy to run out of money well before you run out of expenses — even if you know exactly how much is in your paycheck.

So sit down and take a good, hard look at all of your financial info.

A ton of great digital apps can help you do this — here are our favorite budgeting apps — but it can be as simple as a spreadsheet or even a good, old-fashioned piece of paper. It just takes two steps:

  1. Figure out how much money you have. It might be in checking or savings accounts, including long-term accounts like IRAs. Or, it might be wrapped up in investments or physical assets, like your paid-off car.
  2. Assess any debts you have. Do you keep a revolving credit card balance? Do you pay a mortgage each month? Are your student loans still hanging around?

Take the full amount of money you owe and subtract it from the total amount you have, which you discovered in step one. The difference between the two is your net worth.

That’s the total amount of money you have to your name.

If it seems like a lot, cool. Hang tight and don’t let it burn a hole in your pocket. We’re not done yet.

If it seems like… not a lot, well, you’re about to fix that. Keep reading.

Create a Budget

Once you’ve learned your net worth, you need to start thinking about a working budget.

This will essentially be a document with your total monthly income at the top and a list of all the expenses you need to pay for every month.

And I do mean all of the expenses — that $ 4.99 recurring monthly payment for your student-discounted Spotify account definitely counts.

Your expenses probably include rent, electricity, cable or internet, a cell phone plan, various insurance policies, groceries, gas and transportation; and other looser categories like charitable giving, entertainment and travel.

Pro Tip

Print out the last two or three months of statements from your credit and debit cards and categorize every expense. You can often find ways to save by discovering patterns in your spending habits.

It’ll depend on your individual case — for instance, I totally have “wine” as a budget line item.

See? It’s all about priorities.

Start by listing how much you actually spent in each category last month. Subtract your total expenses from your total income. The difference should be equal to the amount of money left sitting in your bank account at month’s end.

It’s also the money you can use toward your long-term financial goals.

Want the number to be bigger? Go back through your budget and figure out where you can afford to make cuts. Maybe you can ditch the cable bill and decide between Netflix or Hulu, or replace one takeout lunch with a packed version.

You don’t need to abandon the idea of having a life (and enjoying it), but there are ways to make budgetary adjustments that work for you.

Set the numbers you’re willing to spend in each category, and stick to them.

Congratulations. You’re in control of your money.

Now you can figure out exactly what you want to do with it.

How to Set Your Financial Goals

Before you run off to the cool-expensive-stuff store, hold on a second.

Your financial goals should be (mostly) in this order:

  1. Build an emergency fund.
  2. Pay down debt.
  3. Plan for retirement.
  4. Set short-term and long-term financial goals.

We say “mostly” because it’s ultimately up to you to decide in which order you want to accomplish them.

Many experts suggest making sure you have an emergency fund in place before aggressively going after your debt.

But if you’re hemorrhaging money on sky-high interest charges, you might not have much expendable cash to put toward savings.

That means you’ll pay the interest for a lot longer — and pay a lot more of it — if you wait to pay it down until you have a solid emergency fund saved up.

1. Build an Emergency Fund

Finding money to sock away each month can be tough, but just starting with $ 10 or $ 25 of each paycheck can help.

You can make the process a lot easier by automating your savings. Or you can have money from each paycheck automatically sent to a separate account you won’t touch.

You also get to decide the size of your emergency fund, but a good rule of thumb is to accumulate three to six times the total of your monthly living expenses. Good thing your budget’s already set up so you know exactly what that number is, right?

You might try to get away with a smaller emergency fund — even $ 1,000 is a better cushion than nothing. But if you lose your job, you still need to be able to eat and make rent.

2. Pay Down Debt

Now, let’s move on to repaying debt. Why’s it so important, anyway?

Because you’re hemorrhaging money on interest charges you could be applying toward your goals instead.

So even though becoming debt-free seems like a big expense and sacrifice right now, you’re doing yourself a huge financial favor in the long run.

There’s lots of great information out there about how to pay off debt, but it’s really a pretty simple operation: You need to put every single penny you can spare toward your debts until they disappear.

One method is known as the debt avalanche method, which involves paying off debt with the highest interest rates first, thereby reducing the overall amount you’ll shell out for interest.

For example, if you have a $ 1,500 revolving balance on a credit card with a 20% APR, it gets priority over your $ 14,000, 5%-interest car loan — even though the second number is so much bigger.

Pro Tip

If you’re motivated by quick wins, the debt snowball method may be a good fit for you. It involves paying off one loan balance at a time, starting with the smallest balance first.

Make a list of your debts and (ideally) don’t spend any of your spare money on anything but paying them off until the number after every account reads “$ 0.” Trust me, the day when you become debt-free will be well worth the effort.

As a bonus, if your credit score could be better, repaying revolving debt will also help you repair it — just in case some of your goals (like buying a home) depend upon your credit report not sucking.

3. Plan for Retirement

All right, you’re all set in case of an emergency and you’re living debt-free.

Congratulations! We’re almost done with the hard part, I promise.

But there’s one more very important long-term financial goal you most definitely want to keep in mind: retirement.

Did you know almost half of Americans have absolutely nothing saved so they can one day clock out for the very last time?

And the trouble isn’t brand-new: We’ve been bad enough at saving for retirement over the past few decades that 20% of today’s seniors can’t afford to retire.

If you ever want to stop working, you need to save up the money you’ll use for your living expenses.

And you need to start now, while compound interest is still on your side. The younger you are, the more time you have to watch those pennies grow, but don’t fret if you got a late start — here’s how to save for retirement in your 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s.

If your job offers a 401(k) plan, take advantage of it — especially if your employer will match your contributions! Trust me, the sting of losing a percentage of your paycheck will hurt way less than having to work into your golden years.

Ideally, you’ll want to find other ways to save for retirement, too. Look into individual retirement arrangements (IRAs) and figure out how much you need to contribute to meet your retirement goals.

Future you will thank you. Heartily. From a hammock.

4. Set Short-Term and Long-Term Financial Goals (the Fun Part!)

Is everything in order? Amazing!

You’re in awesome financial shape — and you’ve made it to the fun part of this post.

Consider the funds you have left — and those you’ll continue to earn — after taking care of all the financial goals above. Now think: What do you want to do with your money?

What experiences or things can your money buy to significantly increase your quality of life and happiness?

You might plan to travel more, take time off work to spend with family or drive the hottest new Porsche.

Maybe you want to have a six-course meal at the finest restaurant in the world or work your way through an extensive list of exotic and expensive wines. (OK, I’ll stop projecting.)

No matter your goals, it’s helpful to categorize them by how long they’ll take to save for.

Make a list of the goals you want to achieve with your money and which category they fall into. Then you can figure out how to prioritize your savings for each objective.

For example, some of my goals have included:

By writing down my short- and long-term financial goals and approximately how long I expect it will take to achieve each, I can figure out what to research and how aggressively I need to plan for each goal.

It also offers me the opportunity to see what I prioritize — and to revise those priorities if I see fit.

I’m happy to see my goals revolve around gaining new experiences and increasing my financial freedom, rather than buying fancy-but-expendable new stuff.

You get to figure out what makes you happy to spend your money on… which is figuring out what kind of person you want to be.

Told you this was gonna be fun.

Jamie Cattanach (@jamiecattanach) has written for VinePair, SELF, Ms. Magazine, Roads & Kingdoms, The Write Life, Barclaycard’s Travel Blog, Santander Bank’s Prosper and Thrive and other outlets. Her writing focuses on food, wine, travel and frugality.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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The Ultimate Loafer Shoes Guide For Men

In this series on men’s footwear, we have previously presented a guide to Moccasins and the Driving Moc, which is related to the loafer, but not the same. What exactly is a loafer, then? In this guide, you will learn all about loafers, their different styles, and the history of this wonderful shoe.

Loafer Guide for Men (Video)

Before we dive into the history of the loafer, let’s set a few ground rules for what distinguishes this type of footwear from other slip-on styles.

Penny Loafers by Rancourt
Penny Loafers by Rancourt

Characteristics of a Loafer

  1. A loafer has no laces; in other words, it’s a slip-on shoe.
  2. A loafer is a “low shoe,” meaning that the ankle is exposed, and the shoe does not wrap snugly around it.
  3. The sole of a loafer is separate from its upper.
  4. Loafers often feature heels with a relatively low profile.
  5. The upper vamp has a moccasin-like construction.
  6. Loafers will sometimes (though not always) feature a piece of leather across the vamp, which is known as a saddle.

From the above description, one can see the similarities between a moccasin and a loafer. However, there are a few key differences:

  1. All loafers have a separate sole; this is not the case for the majority of moccasins.
  2. Similarly, loafers have a defined heel, while moccasins do not.
  3. Unlike moccasins, loafers lack embroidery, beading or other ornamentation on the uppers.

The last difference is the primary reason these shoes, though similar in many ways, evolved into two different and distinct types of footwear. Important to note is that loafers and moccasins developed on separate continents. For more, here’s an historical overview.

Weejuns in the 1960's - a symbol of elegant leisure
Weejuns in the 1960’s – a symbol of elegant leisure

History of the Loafer

Unlike most other shoes, the loafer has multiple origin stories. One such story is that the loafer came directly from the moccasin, thus adding to the confusion. However, menswear and clothing historians are largely in consensus that loafers:

  1. Came from an English royal commission for a new form of house shoe, and/or
  2. Had their beginnings when a Norwegian man, Nils Gregoriusson Tveranger, hybridized traditional Native American and Norwegian footwear.

While it is comparatively difficult to pinpoint the definitive origin of the loafer compared to other types of shoes and boots, its evolution is still quite interesting. For purposes of clarity, this article subdivides the history of the loafer based on types while maintaining a rough timeline.

Wildsmith loafer in brown with Moccasin construction and typical saddle
Wildsmith loafer in brown with Moccasin construction and typical saddle

The Wildsmith Loafer

in 1847, Matthew and Rebecca Wildsmith established a footwear manufacturing business in London by the name of  Wildsmith Shoes. The mainstay of their business was making and subsequently repairing boots for the Household Cavalry, whose mounted unit, the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, was part of the Monarch’s official bodyguards.

Covent derby brown leather with U Broguing by Wildsmith
A “Covent” brogue derby shoe in brown leather by Wildsmith Shoes

In 1926, Matthew and Rebecca’s grandson, Raymond Lewis Wildsmith, was commissioned by King George VI, to make a country house shoe that he could wear mostly indoors with his shooting hose. Raymond came up with a low-heeled design that did not include laces and which could be comfortably slipped on and off. The construction of this shoe had a lot in common with the moccasin, though it’s unknown whether Raymond was familiar with that related style, or if he came up with the design based on the very specific instructions he received.  This design soon appeared in his ready-to-wear collection as the 582 (later the Model 98). Today, the style is known simply as the Wildsmith Loafer. While they were designed for indoor wear in a casual fashion, they very soon gained in popularity and began to be worn as a casual choice for outdoor wear.

The Aurland Loafer from Norway & Hand Drawn Moccasin Model for Reorder by Gardner
The Aurland Loafer from Norway & Hand Drawn Moccasin Model for Reorder by Gardner

The Aurland Loafer

At the beginning of the 20th century, Shoemaker Nils Gregoriusson Tveranger (1874-1953) introduced a loafer in the town of Aurland, Norway. Nils had traveled to North America at the age of thirteen to learn the art of shoemaking, and spent approximately seven years there. In 1930, he introduced a new design with heels which came to be known as the “Aurland moccasin.” This design was influenced by two sources: the moccasins worn by the Iroquois tribe of North America, and the traditional, moccasin-like shoes worn by the fishermen in his hometown of Aurland.

Penny Loafers from Aurlands in black leather. [Image Courtesy: Aurlands]
Penny Loafers from Aurlands in black leather. [Image Courtesy: Aurlands]

He slowly started marketing his design in the rest of Europe, where it became extremely popular. At that time, many Americans began traveling to Europe, where they stumbled upon these shoes, took a fancy to them, and brought a pair home. They came to the notice of the editor of Esquire magazine, and the publication began promoting them. Around 1933, the Spaulding family of New Hampshire sensed a business opportunity and started making shoes based on the Aurland Moccasin. They named their product the “Loafer,” which was by that point a generic name for slip-on shoes in America.

Around 1940, industrialist and U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Arthur Gardner bought a pair of Aurland shoes. Later, when he was unable to obtain them in the U.S., he made an unusual request to the Norwegian ambassador, providing him with a sketch of the “slippers”. Apparently, Gardner did not know where the shoes were made, but the ambassador recognized that he must have been referring to Aurland shoes. The local mayor organized production and three months afterward, four pairs of ”moccasins” were mailed to Washington, D.C.

Crockett & Jones Penny Loaffer Model Boston in Scotch grain calf on a classic Last & Variation Mertin on a more modern last
Crockett & Jones Penny Loafer Model Boston in Scotch grain calf on a classic Last & Variation Mertin on a more modern last

The Penny Loafer

In 1936 (some sources put the date as 1934), the G.H. Bass shoe company introduced its version of the loafer, and the company is known for it to this day. Their design included a distinctive strip of leather (the saddle) of the shoe with a diamond-shaped cutout. Bass gave their loafers the name “Weejuns,” to sound like Norwegians – a nod to the Norwegian roots of the shoe, and to differentiate them from the Spaulding loafer. Weejuns became immensely popular in America, especially among the Prep School students in the 1950s, who coined the term “penny loafer.” Legend has it that, wishing to make a fashion statement, they took to inserting a penny into the diamond shaped cutout of their Weejuns. An alternate theory is that, in the 1930s, two pennies were sufficient to make an emergency telephone call.

Bass Weejuns - Made in Maine Reddish Brown & Olive Green
Bass Weejuns – Made in Maine Reddish Brown & Olive Green

Whatever its origins, the name “penny loafer” stuck, and the G.H. Bass penny loafer has achieved the status of a classic, and is a staple of Prep and Ivy Style. In 1937, the American brand Nettleton trademarked the term “loafer” for “Ladies’, Men’s, and boys’ shoes made of leather, rubber, fabric, and various combinations of such materials.”

In the 1930s the Duke of Windsor was a big proponent of penny loafers, and he often wore a brown and white two-tone Penny Loafer with his suits.

The Tassel Loafer

It remains unclear what the roots of the tassel loafers are. Alan Flusser has claimed tassel loafers were popular with the Ivy League set in the 1920s, though our research has been unable to corroborate this. U.S. President Harry Truman wore derby shoes with tassels, but he did not have tassel loafers. Rather, evidence suggests that after the end of the Second World War, the little-remembered but rather debonair American movie actor Paul Lukas bought a pair of oxfords with little tassels at the end of the laces while on a trip abroad. Upon his return to America, he took the shoes to the New York shoemakers, Farkas & Kovacs, and asked them to make something similar. Not fully satisfied, Lukas then took them to Lefcourt of New York and Morris Bookmakers of Beverly Hills. Ironically, both of these firms would pass on the request to the Alden Shoe Company.

Alden Tassel Loafer
Alden Tassel Loafer

The then-president of Alden, Arthur Tarlow Sr., Came up with a slip-on pattern keeping the leather lace and tassel as a decoration. Alden, realizing the potential of the shoe, continued to experiment with the design for another year, finally launching it in 1950 through Lefcourt and Morris stores. The “tassel loafer,” as it became to be called, was a success, finding favor with the sophisticated set of New York and Los Angles. In 1957, Brooks Brothers approached Alden to make a line of tassel loafers especially for them. The resultant design was a tassel loafer with a decorative seam at the back part of the shoe which, to this day, remains exclusive to Brooks Brothers.

The Gucci Loafer

While the loafer grew in stature in America, with the tassel loafer being worn with suits by the 1960s, it was not quite the same story in Europe. In Italy this style of shoe was more widespread, but all other Europeans considered the loafer to be a casual shoe that had no place in the city. However, things changed in 1968 when the Italian designer Gucci introduced a loafer with a golden brass strap in the shape of a horse’s snaffle bit across the front–in keeping with the company’s saddle-making heritage. Gucci opened his New York office in 1953 and noticed the popularity of the loafer. He refined the lines, added the bit, and made them in black (loafers were usually in brown in keeping with their status of being a casual shoe).

The Gucci Horsebit Loafer
The Gucci Horsebit Loafer

The result was a shoe with just enough formality to make it acceptable to be worn with suits.  These went on to be named the “Gucci loafer” and helped establish the loafer in Europe and across the globe. Gianni Agnelli and John F. Kennedy were just a few of the big supporters that helped to popularize the style. In 1969, Gucci sold 84,000 pairs of loafers just in their U.S. stores. In keeping with the continued journey of the loafer, it crossed the pond to America, where it was adopted by 1970s businessmen and almost became a uniform on Wall Street.

Until Gucci designed this loafer, it was a brand known merely to insiders who appreciated saddles and quality luggage. The men’s loafer known as the Model 175 was designed in the mid-1950s. Initially, it sold for approximately $ 14. Subsequently, Gucci developed the Loafer Model 360 for women, and the very similar model 350, which was offered in seven unusual colors. Consequently, the fashion journalist and critic Hebe Dorsey dedicated an entire article to the shoe which was published in the International Herald Tribune and made the shoe an overnight success. Since 1985, the Gucci Loafer has been part of the permanent exhibition of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

The Belgian Loafer

Another popular style is the so-called “Belgian loafer,” invented in the 1950s by Henri Bendel, whose family store also brought Chanel, Dior and Balenciaga shoes to the U.S. Its characteristic features were:

  • A small bow that was easily recognized
  • Soft-sole construction; the shoe was sewn inside-out
  • Unusual colors and materials

After the Bendel family sold their store in 1954, Bendel purchased two 300-year-old shoe factories in Belgium in 1956 and started producing men’s and women’s loafers. The shoe became an instant hit, and the bow was easily recognizable. As such, he single-handedly rescued the Belgium shoe industry, which earned him a Knightship of the Order of Leopold I in 1964. Just six years later he was made Knight Commander of the Order of Leopold II.

Belgian Loafer
Belgian Loafer

Bendel died in 1997, and although the shoes are sold around the world, the only retail store that carries Belgian Loafers is located at 110 East 55th Street in NYC. Of course, you can also find them online. If you enjoy extravagant shoes, Belgian Shoes may be the right fit for you.

Loafer Construction

Since loafers are casual shoes, most of them are Blake- or Blake-rapid-stitched, though you may occasionally find Goodyear-welted loafers. While these are a little heavier, they offer an additional layer of cork, which makes walking in them a bit more comfortable. For casual summer use, an unlined, Blake-stitched loafer might be the better choice if you don’t intend to walk much in them. On the other hand, if you are looking for a more robust, multi-season loafer, a Goodyear-welted version with leather lining is probably the better choice. Twice a year Gucci releases a new version of their loafers, and while the summer ones are unlined and made of very thin leather, the fall-winter collection is leather lined and made of thicker leathers.

Slip-Ons – Not Loafers

Many men and women confuse slip-on shoes with loafers. As the name suggests, you can slip on the shoe just like a loafer, but it lacks the moccasin seam on the uppers and looks more like a regular oxford or brogue. The slip-on is favored by men who wear business suits when they fly because you can easily pass security and unlike a loafer, it is appropriate with a pinstripe business suit.

Slip on Shoe - Not a Loafer because it lacks the Moccasin construction
Slip on Shoe – Not a Loafer because it lacks the Moccasin construction

Loafer Style Advice

The Loafer is a piece of footwear that straddles the two worlds of casual and a more formal style, making it quite a unique piece in that respect. No matter what you read, a loafer is never a truly formal shoe because of its casual heritage.

Scarosso Model Mezzano Tassel Loafer in black suede with red tassels
Scarosso Model Mezzano Tassel Loafer in black suede with red tassels

Gucci Loafers

Gucci loafers are often combined with all sorts of outfits. Of course, using a black, polished box calf leather with leather lining and refining the shape will make the loafer more formal than an off-white, unlined Gucci summer loafer in suede, but at the end of the day, it is still a loafer and not suited for tuxedos or white tie ensembles. Likewise, it is historically not appropriate to wear one with a classic three-piece business suit simply because it is too casual. On the other hand, a casual suit will look just fine with tassels.

Selection of worn out Gucci Loafers
Selection of worn out Gucci Loafers

Tassel Loafers

Many American businessmen over 50 will wear business suits or sport coats with slacks and black or brown tassel loafers. As a rule of thumb, black or oxblood tassel loafers are about as formal as a navy blazer with grey flannel slacks. Wearing tassel loafers with business suits would probably not be considered to be a faux pas, but we would still encourage you to wear them with casual suits or blazer/sport coat combinations and choose an Oxford with more formal garments.

Penny Loafers

Penny loafers are a perfect companion for corduroy pants, chinos, flannel slacks and in the summer even linen or seersucker. In terms of formality, they rank just slightly below a tassel loafer and are a great companion for a blazer outfit with Oxford shirts and a tie or bow tie.

Penny Loafers are versatile
Penny Loafers are versatile

In a casual setting, the loafer can replace any of your other casual shoes to add a bit of dash to your look. However, unlike Boat Shoes, it is recommended that you keep your socks on when you wear loafers. Casual loafers can be worn with denim and khakis, and some men even wear them sockless with shorts. The beauty of rules is that you can break them elegantly once you have mastered them.

What Loafers Should You Buy?

Every man should have at least one pair of loafers. With that said, there is not one style that is objectively more necessary than another. While some would consider the penny loafer or Gucci loafer the number one choice, we would argue that tassel loafers make a good first pair; they can be worn in any situation where the other styles could, but the tassels will add a unique touch to your wardrobe. Here are a few options for purchasing loafers:

Penny Loafers

If you want to invest in a penny loafer, you have many options. Bass Weejuns offers foreign-made models for $ 118, Made in Maine versions for $ 295, and about twice as much for shell cordovan. Apart from that, you can also find them from Allen Edmonds ($ 225 – $ 365), Alden ($ 498), Rancourt ($ 225), and Brooks Brothers ($ 198). For a more high-end interpretation of this style, take a look at Gaziano Girling. In Europe, Jay Butler offers an affordable RTW option for under $ 150, and Crockett & Jones offers a large selection of different styles and lasts.

Monaco Penny Loafer & Variation by Gaziano Girling
Monaco Penny Loafer & Variation by Gaziano Girling

Tassel Loafers

All the brands mentioned above produce tassel loafers as well. Also, Meermin offers interesting budget tassels; Scarosso has an affordable MTO Program, though their offerings would not technically be considered loafers. For an excellent selection of various penny and tassel loafers, take a look at Pediwear.

Gucci Loafers

Although copied many times, Gucci is still the originator of the shoe. Bear in mind that they issue many different versions in gold and silver horsebit hardware. Priced between around $ 450 – $ 630, you certainly pay much more for the brand name than for the quality of leather and workmanship. We’d suggest that you invest that kind of money into higher quality and buy from places like those mentioned above, but to each their own. If you want a Gucci loafer, the most classic bit loafer is black leather with gold hardware, which sells for $ 590. For a more affordable version, check out Jay Butler, which sells them for just $ 175, which is great value for the money.

our Conclusions on Loafers

With this knowledge of the loafer’s rich history and many variations, what are your thoughts about this versatile shoe? Do you have a favorite variety, and how do you wear them? Let us know in the comments below.


Gentleman’s Gazette

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Where to experience the ultimate safari adventures


Imagine waking up to the sound of a lion, or looking across the plains while you eat breakfast, to see a giraffe eating her own breakfast from the trees. Seeing animals roam around or even hunt right in front of you is something that is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and a safari is usually on most people’s’ bucket lists! So, if you want to see the wild in action, where is best?

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

When you imagine a safari, what you are likely picturing are the endless plains of the Serengeti National Park. It is the site of the start of the annual great migration where over two million wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle travel from the Serengeti to the Masai Mara between May and December, and if you time your trip to experience this, you won’t regret it! You may also be lucky enough to spot lions, cheetahs, elephants, giraffes, crocodiles, baboons, and a whole lot more. No wonder this is the most popular safari destination in the world.

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Kruger National Park, South Africa

If you want to get up close and personal with the Big Five (elephants, lions, rhino, leopard, and buffalo) then Kruger National Park is a pretty good option! There are so many options to tailor your safari perfectly to what you want, for example, you could stay in a tent for an authentic experience, or upgrade to a luxury lodge for a more romantic trip. You can choose a jeep, walking, boat or even hot air balloon safari or one tailored to children and families.

Chobe National Park, Botswana

One really popular option for Chobe National Park is a photographic safari, where your guide is also a professional photographer and who will teach you the tips and tricks to capturing the best photographs of these incredible animals such as zebras, buffalo, elephants, lions, and endangered African painted dogs. There are some fantastic bird species in Chobe, so alongside your game drives, be sure to check the skies too!

Chobe National Park, Botswana

Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

Set across over 1,500 square kilometers, the Masai Mara National Reserve is a fantastic place to visit for a safari adventure. Over 40% of Africa’s larger mammals live here, from lions and leopards to elephants and zebra. Not to mention, of course, the incredible Great Migration which ends up here. If you visit in the dry season, between June and October, you are likely to catch some of the migration before it heads back to the Serengeti National Park, as well as a whole host of other incredible animals.

A safari will be an incredible experience that you will never forget. It’s so unpredictable, and you never know what you are going to see – photographs just won’t do it justice. Whichever park you choose, all you really need is a knowledgeable guide to get the most out of it. Although a lot of parks will let you do a safari on your own, it’s better (and safer!) to go with a reputable guide. So, get booking! But beware: they can be quite addictive…

The post Where to experience the ultimate safari adventures appeared first on Worldation.

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Ultimate survival guide for music festivals


Going to a music festival is something we should all do at least once in our lives, but there are some things you should know before you go. Prepare yourself for some fun in the mud as we give you our ultimate survival guide for music festivals.

Sleep exhaustion

If there is one thing you can pretty much guarantee is going to happen to you at a music festival, it will be not getting enough sleep. There’s just too much going on at night for you to even think about turning in. You’ll have to come to terms pretty early that you’re going to be tired. The best thing you can do is book an extra couple of days off work afterward so you can sleep all of the partying off.

Photo: Pexels.com

Drinking water

You’re most likely going to be standing in the sun for long periods during the festival so you’ll be losing a lot of water. Then you’ll most likely be dancing around a bunch plus all the drinks you might be having will also dehydrate you.

Most festivals have places where you can drink water, and you should take advantage of those at every opportunity. For every strong drink you have, you should have some water in between, that way you’ll still keep your hydration levels up which will make you feel miles better.

Wet wipes

Most festivals don’t come with shower facilities, or if they do, there’s a line a mile long to use them. You’re going to want to clean yourself as much as possible as you’ll get covered in dust or mud after a long day in a field.

One of the best tips we can give anyone going to a festival is to bring wet wipes with you. That way you can clean all of your vital areas without having to hope and pray that there’s a shower available to you.

Pick one that suits your taste

Make sure you go to a festival that suits your taste in music. You’re less likely to have a good time if there are a bunch of bands or artists around that you don’t like. The whole point in going to a music festival is to enjoy the tunes, right? Don’t just go to a festival because it’s close to where you live, or the tickets are cheap, make sure there are going to be acts there that you’ll enjoy.

Photo: Pexels.com

Agree to disagree

Lots of people go to music festivals with their friends. If there’s a group of you going then you aren’t likely to all agree on which acts to see. Most festivals announce their lineup well in advance so you and your friends can arrange which acts you’re going to see together and which you’ll see alone. Don’t be afraid to miss out on some time with your pals just to see an act that you really like, this might be the only chance you get to see them live.

With these helpful tips, you can make sure to survive just about any music festival you find yourself at. You’ll be able to keep the party going for longer by following this survival guide.

The post Ultimate survival guide for music festivals appeared first on Worldation.

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ULTIMATE 2019 GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES: Unique Gift Ideas

ULTIMATE 2019 GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES: Unique Gift Ideas



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Alpha Kappa Alpha sisters will love this subscription box tailored to the tastes of this sorority’s members. According to the company’s website, The Ivy box is “a curated package of licensed Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. products delivered to your doorstep. Every month, we pick high-quality apparel, accessories, and stationery products according to a Sorority theme.”

 

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The Kiva Card is a quick, easy and meaningful gift option that gives your friends, colleagues, and family a way to support entrepreneurs around the globe. For as little as $ 25, Kiva Cards give those special people in your life the opportunity to change someone else’s — halfway around the world or even in their own backyard.


Greentop Gifts

 

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Greentop Gifts offers unique black-themed products like this “Clarence Claus” Black Santa wrapping paper.


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Dream Vacations is a black-owned travel franchise that caters to and accommodates the needs of clients, recommending destinations and resorts that make guests feel welcome.


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The post ULTIMATE 2019 GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES: Unique Gift Ideas appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

EMPLOYMENT SEARCH UPDATE:

Prince Harry shares his ultimate parenting tips days after the birth of royal baby Archie

Words by Maisie Bovingdon 

Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle welcomed their first child, Archie Harrison Mounbatten-Windsor, into the world earlier this week.

Just days after the Duchess of Sussex gave birth, Harry jetted to the Netherlands for an engagement at The Hague for the Invictus Games 2020.

During his visit Harry had a heart to heart with former soldier Dennis van der Stroon, who has his sights set on competing in the games, about fatherhood.

Dennis recalled his conversation with the 34-year-old royal to Hello! magazine: ‘We talked about how my wife, Mireille, is 20 weeks pregnant with our first child, a girl, and he told me how special it was that his son has just been born.

‘Above all he said he was just amazed by the miracles in the world, and how his child has made a lot of people happy.

‘But he also told me not to make too many plans and that there’s no way you can plan for when the baby arrives.’

Harry has revealed his four-year-old son is ‘very quiet’.

Dennis added: ‘He also told me he’s really happy that his son is so far very quiet.’

The pair continued to bond over fatherhood, and losing a parent.  During the heart to heart Harry admitted he doesn’t feel ‘so alone’ when he speaks to other people who have loved and lost a close one.

Dennis continued: ‘Harry said missing a mother is like missing some kind of security, how you need that as a son and it falls away when you lose your mother. He said he meets a lot of people in his work who have lost a mother, father, sister, brother or relatives and when he hears their story, as he heard my story, he said he doesn’t feel so alone.’

We can’t deal.

The post Prince Harry shares his ultimate parenting tips days after the birth of royal baby Archie appeared first on Marie Claire.

Marie Claire

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Ultimate Buy Black Mother’s Day 2019 Gift Guide

Buy Black Mother’s Day 2019 Gift Guide

This Sunday marks Mother’s Day 2019. Not only do we honor the beautiful women who gave us life—but we honor the figures in our lives who nurtured us; be they mentors, teachers, godmothers, aunts, or anyone who stepped into the role and has looked out for our well-being with unrivaled strength and wisdom. Mothers of color in particular often go that extra mile, making whatever sacrifices they need to ensure that their young charges not only survive but thrive. What better way to honor the mothers in your life, and also help support some mompreneurs, than by shopping for Mama from this comprehensive Mother’s Day gift guide. Simply click on the category or image to pull up a list of each black-owned business collection.


 

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The post Ultimate Buy Black Mother’s Day 2019 Gift Guide appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

FASHION DEALS UPDATE:

Houseplants are the ultimate stress reliever you need in your home

Words by Maisie Bovingdon 

April is here, and that means it is Stress Awareness Month.

Some people battling with stress, left feeling on edge or anxious, may turn to calming apps such as Headspace or Calm, attend yoga classes or speak to a therapist. But wellness expert Emma Mills has insisted there is another very simple way to put our minds at ease – houseplants.

Research has shown plants in the home can reduce tension in people by almost 40 per cent, because they remind us of the outdoors, nature, and a slower pace of life, which is instantly calming.

The award-winning British author and consultant – who specialises in meditation and wellness – exclusively told Marie Claire UK: ‘By bringing the outside in and enriching our indoor spaces with houseplants, this reminds us of a natural simple way of living. A pace of life that is slower yet still incredibly intelligent, beautiful and efficient.

‘Plants remind us of a natural, simple way of living. A pace of life that is slower yet still incredibly intelligent, beautiful and efficient.

‘Human beings are hardwired to respond positively to the natural environment. For example, studies now show a significant reduction in stress when plants are introduced to the workplace with a 37 per cent fall in anxiety, 38 per cent decrease in fatigue and 38 per cent reduction in hostility and anger.’

Emma has insisted not only having greenery indoors can relieve stress, but the act of watering plants can do wonders for the mind too.

Emma, and a spokesperson for The Joy of Plants, Chanel De Kock, tell us everything we need to know about the health benefits of plants in the home…

How and why do houseplants help to relieve stress?

Chanel: ‘Green is the most predominant colour on the planet after blue. Green balances our energies, and it can be used to increase our sensitivity and compassion towards others, and the care we put into our plants is also an act of mindfulness, connecting us with nature.’

Emma: ‘Usually in our day to day working lives we have a directed sharp focus, heavily concentrating on the screen for example, or intense analytical thinking in a meeting. This is important and useful. Yet after a while we can fatigue our attention and this isn’t without consequence. Attention restoration theory suggests that certain things that can relieve us of our attentional fatigue, one of which is plants and the natural world.

‘Studies have suggested looking at nature or plants – even photos of plants, that are fascinating but not demanding – can switch the brain into a different mode of processing better suited to relaxation, gentle focus and creativity. ‘Further ideas by the human species report into the global impact of biophilic design in the workplace suggest that working in natural elements brings a 15% spike in reported wellbeing and 15% increase in creativity.’

Are some plants bigger stress relievers than others?

Chanel: ‘It all depends on your capabilities when taking care of plants. Large foliage plants do help to create a serene space that brings a sense of calm with it, but if you’re not able to stick to a once weekly watering (and misting schedule if needed), that will not be beneficial to relieving your stress.

‘Choose a plant that will work for you – the last thing the plant should do is cause anxiety. If you are a beginner, opt for low maintenance plants like yucca, dracaena or a zz plant (zamioculcas). They will instantly inject green into your space and you will feel a sense of achievement, and zen.’

‘We believe that all plants are equal in terms of relieving stress, but from an aesthetic point of view, plants with softer, rounder or trailing shapes tend be more relaxing as they appear to be friendlier than plants with hard, striking architectural forms. Imagine walking into a room filled with plants that look ready to welcome you with an embrace – a ficus Lyrata or monstera with their huge rounded green leaves also adding lots of green, and a wall covered by flowing green plants like rhipsalis, Devil’s ivy and hoyas spilling over like cascading waterfalls from a shelf. Visually, these plants will create a more relaxing space for you to stop, relax, and breathe.’

When did you notice that plants helped with your mental health?

Emma: ‘Both houseplants and gardening have always been a big source of joy for me over the years, playing a role in my own wellbeing and the guidance I share with others. Being close to nature has significant and wide-ranging health benefits and that’s why I encourage people to enjoy the natural world as often as possible. I am hugely passionate about helping you to feel happier and healthier through not only meditation, but a holistic approach to life guided by a balanced diet, regular exercise and quality sleep— as well as taking time for the beauty of art and nature. I believe that small steps each day can make a big difference to your wellbeing.’

The Joy Of Plants has revealed there are five must-have houseplants we all need in our homes, or office, to create a space of zen, and with Lidl selling a string of houseplants for under £3.

Monstera

Monstera

Monstera is a must-have because it helps to balance energies and boost your mood.

This plant is in its element when placed in bright, natural light with poor ventilation, and it needs moderate watering.

Devil’s Ivy

Devil’s Ivy

Devil’s Ivy is said to bring luck and good fortune to your home, as well as extra zen – perfect!

This must-have, which gets its name from the heart shaped leaves, needs to be OUT of direct sunlight and draughts, although a spritz of water is all it needs – simple, right?

Asparagus Fern

Asparagus Fern

The Asparagus Fern is a very strong and sturdy houseplant that is easy to care for, so it’s perfect for a homeowner with a hectic lifestyle.

This shrub thrives when it receives daylight, although it shouldn’t be in direct sunlight.  If you want to bring out its full green glory treat it to some houseplant food each week from May to September, then stand back and watch it grow. We promise it won’t turn into a scene in Little Shop of Horrors.

Dracaena

Dracaena

This houseplant will make you feel like you’ve just got off a flight and landed in an exotic climate with its vibrant leaves.

Similar to Devil’s Ivy, all the Dracaena needs is to be in a light and airy space, away from direct sunlight, with only a light mist every now and again.

Aeschynanthus

Aeschynanthus

Aeschynanthus is also known as the lipstick plant because of its red flowers, but the name isn’t the only reason it’s a fan favourite.

While we may be swooning over the heatwave this April, this plant is not. It needs to be out of indirect sunlight and watered only moderately but be careful not to soak the soil.

And for those who have a true love of plants, this may be the perfect job for you.

Now time to fill our homes with greenery!

The post Houseplants are the ultimate stress reliever you need in your home appeared first on Marie Claire.

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The Ultimate Prescription for Dealing With Medical Debt

So you went to the ER or underwent an expensive medical procedure. Now the bill is here, and you’re worried that the shock is going to send you back to the hospital — and further into debt.

Your health is your most valuable asset. Yet there’s something so frustrating about going into debt over it. You didn’t decide to splurge on a hospital stay or a costly battery of tests just because.

Add in the maze of medical jargon and coding, health insurance and hospital billing departments, and medical debt can be downright maddening.

It’s probably of little comfort, but if you can’t afford to pay your medical bills, you have plenty of company.

About 3 in 10 people reported that they or someone in their household had trouble paying a medical bill in the past year, according to a 2017 Kaiser Family Foundation poll of 1,160 Americans over age 18. That same poll also found that 45% of people reported they would struggle to pay a surprise $ 500 medical bill.

Consider that the average patient with health insurance will pay more than $ 1,000 out of pocket for a hospital stay, and it’s easy to see how medical bills can quickly become a burden.

But there is hope. You have options for reducing or eliminating medical debt that don’t involve being hounded by debt collectors or filing for bankruptcy.

How Medical Debt Really Affects Your Finances

Before we talk about how to tackle your medical bills, let’s talk about how medical debt works.

Unlike your mortgage lender or credit card company, your doctor or hospital almost certainly doesn’t regularly report your medical payments to the three major credit bureaus. That means that unless your medical debt becomes delinquent, it will not affect your credit score.

Left unpaid, a medical bill will probably end up in collections, just as any other unpaid bill would. That’s when the credit bureaus will be notified.

Even then, medical debt collection works a little differently from other types of debt collection.

Regardless of when the debt was incurred, debt collectors must wait 180 days to report a delinquent medical bill to the credit bureaus, giving you extra time to work out an agreement with your provider or insurance company.

If the collections account is reported to the bureaus, expect your credit score to plummet. The exact impact depends on your credit situation, but even someone with a good credit score could see a drop of as much as 50 to 100 points, though the effect will lessen over time.

The good news is, FICO 9 scoring model weighs medical debt in collections less heavily than past models. The bad news: Most creditors are still using FICO 8.

Like other derogatory marks, an unpaid medical bill stays on your credit report for seven years, though if your insurance company pays the bill, the credit bureaus have to remove the debt from your file.

You could also be sued for what you owe. If a creditor gets a judgment against you, it could result in your wages being garnished or your assets being taken through a court-ordered bank levy.

The statute of limitations for unpaid medical bills varies by state. Typically, it’s between three and six years after the bill was reported as delinquent, though in some states, it’s as long as 15 years. If the statute of limitations has passed on a medical bill, a creditor can’t sue you over the debt, though they still might keep bugging you to pay up.

7 Ways to Deal With Medical Debt You Can’t Afford

Closeup of a senior man at an MRI scanning clinic waiting to be examined

When you can’t afford to pay a medical bill, the single worst thing you can do is ignore it. You have a lot of power to negotiate your bill, and medical providers are often willing to work with you.

Trust us: A hospital or doctor’s office will almost always be easier to work with than a debt collection agency. And when you’re dealing with medical debt — or any kind of debt you can’t afford — it’s in your best interest to take action right away.

If you need medical debt relief, try these seven steps. Note that these are all steps to take before your bill has been sent to collections. If your bill has already been sent to collections, don’t just silence your phone. Follow these tips for dealing with debt collectors.

1. Check Your Medical Bill for Errors

As many as 80% of hospital bills have errors, so the first thing you should do when you receive a bill is scrutinize it for mistakes.

Ask the hospital or medical provider for an itemized billing statement, which will include the charges for all medications, tests, procedures and other services.

If you have health insurance, ask your insurer for an explanation of benefits (EOB). This statement will tell you what services you were billed for, how much your insurance was billed, how much your insurance did or didn’t pay, and the amount you still owe.

Some inaccuracies will be tough to spot if you’re not a medical coding expert, but here are some common errors that could be easier for a layperson to catch:

  • Duplicate billing, i.e., when you’re billed more than once for the same service. This is one of the most common billing errors.
  • Incorrect patient information: If your name is misspelled, or your insurance information or Social Security number is incorrect, your insurance company could deny your claim.
  • Charges for canceled tests or procedures
  • Inaccurate medication quantities

If you don’t understand a charge or believe that your bill has incorrect information, call the hospital billing department or doctor’s office. Be sure to document every conversation.

2. Review Your Insurance Policy

If you have health insurance, read up on all that stuff that made your eyes glaze over during open enrollment — your copays, deductibles, out-of-pocket maximums and whether your providers are considered in-network vs. out-of-network.

Make sure your bill and explanation of benefits match up with what your policy says it covers.

If you think a service should have been covered under your health plan, call your insurance company. You may find that your claim was denied due to an error — say, a procedure that your doctor incorrectly coded — that can be easily corrected.

But sometimes, claims are denied for more complicated reasons. For example, your insurance company may say a treatment is experimental or not medically necessary. In these cases, you have the right to appeal your insurance company’s decision. You can ask for an internal review by your insurer, but the Affordable Care Act also allows you to request an external review by an independent third party. Just be sure to ask your insurance company about any deadlines.

Pro Tip

If you’re appealing your insurance company’s decision, be sure to let your health care provider know to avoid having your bill sent to collections.

3. Negotiate to Pay Less

If you can’t afford to pay your bill, the best thing you can do is be honest about it. Call the hospital billing department or your doctor’s office and tell them about your financial situation. Be ready to provide documentation verifying your status.

Your provider is more likely to negotiate in hopes of getting something, rather than nothing, if they know you don’t have the means to pay the bill in full.

If you can afford to pay at least part of the bill in cash, you’re in an especially good position to negotiate. Try starting small by offering to settle the bill for 25% or 30% of the total in cash.

Pro Tip

Even if you can afford to pay the whole bill, ask if there’s a prompt pay discount. Some providers will give you a discount of as much as 30% when you pay upfront.

If you don’t have health insurance or were billed for out-of-network services, research what an insurance company would have paid for the services you received. Use a website such as Healthcare Bluebook, which estimates what insurers pay for treatments, and offer to pay the discounted price an insurance company would pay.

Regardless of your tactic, don’t expect to negotiate a major discount with a single phone call. Expect to hear “no” a lot. Don’t accept it. Keep asking for the supervisor of the person you’re speaking to and explaining your situation. Document every conversation. If you do agree on a reduced amount, be sure to get it in writing.

4. Ask About Financial Assistance Programs

When you think your medical bill is accurate but you still can’t afford it, call the hospital billing department or provider’s office to let them know.

Hospitals often have financial assistance and charity programs available for people who can’t afford to pay. You’re likely to qualify if you’re on a low income or don’t have a job, are uninsured or still owe a significant amount beyond what your insurance covers.

Some hospitals will require you to first apply for Medicaid, which will cover up to three months of expenses retroactively if you qualify, and then allow you to apply for financial help if you’re rejected.

5. Ask for a Payment Plan

If you can’t negotiate your bill down to an affordable number and you don’t qualify for financial assistance, many hospitals and providers will still allow you to pay your bill in monthly installments. The good news is, this option is often interest-free.

Just be realistic about what you can afford each month, and as with any agreement, be sure to get it in writing.

6. Work With a Medical Bill Advocate

If you’re dealing with an especially large or complex bill, it may be worth consulting with a medical bill advocate who can negotiate for you and possibly find billing errors you wouldn’t be able to spot on your own.

Medical bill advocates typically charge either by the hour (expect to pay $ 100 per hour or more) or a percentage of the amount they’re able to get reduced from the bill (25% to 35% is the norm). If you’re experiencing hardship, you may be able to get free or low-cost services through a nonprofit advocacy organization.

The Alliance of Claims Assistance Professionals and Medical Billing Advocates of America are two good resources for finding an advocate.

7. Consider Bankruptcy, but Only if You’re out of Options

There’s no such thing as “medical bankruptcy,” but if you’re overwhelmed by medical bills, filing bankruptcy might be your only option.

Unlike your student loan or tax debt, medical debt can be discharged in bankruptcy. Individuals and couples have two options: Chapter 7 bankruptcy, aka “liquidation bankruptcy,” which is for those who don’t have the means to repay their debt; or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, aka “wage-earner bankruptcy,” for those whose income makes them ineligible for Chapter 7.

Bankruptcy will kill your credit score, so be sure you’ve considered all your options before filing. Chapter 7 bankruptcy stays on your credit report for 10 years, while Chapter 13 sticks around for seven years.

Pro Tip

Keep in mind that bankruptcy won’t protect you from future debts, so if you’re anticipating significant medical bills in the near future, you might want to hold off on filing.

Medical Debt Relief: 4 Mistakes to Avoid

Pharmacist taking a credit card payment from a female customer in a pharmacy

Being proactive is key to getting medical debt relief. That said, some solutions sound good but are either unreliable or could make your financial situation even shakier. Here are four things to avoid if possible.

1. Paying Your Bill With a Credit Card

Medical bills typically don’t accrue interest, while credit card interest rates are currently north of 17%. That means you’ll save money on interest by negotiating a payment plan directly with the hospital or doctor’s office.

Even if you have a credit card with a zero-interest introductory period, it’s way better to work out a payment plan. You won’t increase your credit-utilization ratio, which you want to keep low to have a healthy FICO score. Plus, your provider is way more likely to be flexible about adjusting your payment plans or late payments than your credit card company.

2. … Especially a Medical Credit Card

If you can’t afford a medical bill, your doctor’s office or hospital might suggest applying for a medical credit card that typically comes with what’s advertised as an interest-free period. Once that’s up, though, you’ll often pay more in interest than you would with a regular credit card.

But what makes medical credit cards really scary is that “interest-free period” is actually deferred interest. With a deferred-interest card, if you don’t pay your bill in full by the end of the introductory period, you’ll owe interest on the entire amount you charged. Seriously. So if you charge $ 3,000 and have a $ 500 balance at the end of the so-called interest-free period, you’ll owe interest on the entire $ 3,000.

3. Consolidating Your Medical Bills

If you have multiple medical bills, it can be tempting to consolidate them with a loan so you’re making a single payment. But remember: Medical debt usually isn’t accruing interest. So with medical debt consolidation, you’re likely to pay more in the long term.

4. Taking Money From Your Retirement Plan

You may be able to avoid the 10% penalty you’d normally pay on an early 401(k) or IRA withdrawal if you can prove medical hardship. But your 401(k) is protected from creditors in bankruptcy, as is up to $ 1,283,025 in your IRA, so avoid tapping into these funds if possible.

Plus, when you withdraw from retirement savings, you’re borrowing against your future. If you’re 35, withdrawing $ 20,000 from a Roth IRA to pay a hospital bill could amount to nearly $ 115,000 in lost savings by the time you’re 65, assuming average annual returns of 6%.

Pro Tip

Don’t count on crowdfunding to make your medical debt disappear. A 2017 review of 200 GoFundMe campaigns for health care expenses found that 90% of them did not reach their goal.

How to Avoid Medical Debt in the Future

This advice isn’t helpful when you’re already facing medical bills you can’t pay, but the best way to avoid medical debt is to plan ahead before you get treatment.

If you’re planning to get medical care, be sure to verify that your doctor is in your insurer’s network and that your insurer covers the procedure. Ask upfront about projected costs, and then comparison shop.

Also ask your doctor about cheaper generic alternatives to pricy name-brand drugs. If you have health coverage, your insurance company’s drug formulary is a great resource for figuring out what your plan covers.

When possible, avoid the ER and get treatment from your primary care doctor. If you can’t afford to go to the doctor, try these alternative ways to get treatment.

But when it comes to medical bills, the most important thing to remember is this: Don’t put off treatment because you’re worried about the bill. You’ll pay more money in the long term, and it could cost you your most valuable asset: your health.

Robin Hartill is a senior editor at The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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The Ultimate Guide to Babysitting (Plus How to Command a Higher Rate)

Years ago, I worked as a live-in babysitter for a couple of months. I didn’t have to dress up like Mrs. Doubtfire, and the kids were OK, but the experience still might be part of why I chose to never have children.

However, if you like being around kids more than I do, you could make decent money as a baby sitter. By the end of 2018, Care.com found that the national average hourly rate for a baby sitter was $ 15.83, which was more than a 30% increase from $ 12.07 rate in 2013.

And that’s just the base rate. But more on that later.

All this is to say that babysitting is no longer just a business for teenagers; as an adult, you may be more likely to find work.

Thinking of adding a babysitting side hustle to your income? Here’s what you need to know.

How to Become a Babysitter

What makes a good babysitter? Yes, you should like children. But it’s not all fun and games, according to Connie Fong, vice president of brand, Care.com, who notes that newbies to babysitting should brush up on those invaluable soft skills.

“Taking introductory courses can help aspiring sitters learn the key skills to babysitting, like responsibility, problem-solving, decision-making and leadership,” Fong said in an email. “Places like the American Red Cross offer classes in child care that cover the basics of caring for kids and even better, many classes can be found online.”

When you’re just getting started, word-of-mouth is one of the best ways to boost your babysitting business and to find new customers. Provide great service to friends, family and neighbors, then ask them to refer you to their network of parents.

Depending on your location, you may find opportunities posted on Monster.com and Indeed.com. You can advertise your services for free on Craigslist.

If you don’t want to go it alone, there are several online platforms specifically set up for connecting parents and baby sitters, including Care.com and Sittercity. Both offer free membership options as well as paid versions that include background checks and improved placement.

When setting up your profile on babysitting sites, include more than the basic facts to attract parents who are looking for specific work history and personality traits that are a good match for their family, according to Fong.

“Share information beyond, ‘I like caring for kids,’” Fong wrote in her email. “[Babysitters should] include more specific details such as their years of experience, the types of responsibilities they have had, and special skills or passions that may help with the job.”

So maybe all those arts & crafts classes could finally pay off.

How Much Can Babysitters Make?

Your pay rate will depend on a variety of factors, including the following:

  • Location. You can charge more in cities with a higher cost of living. The Care.com calculator suggests the rate for babysitting one child in San Francisco, California, is $ 21 per hour, while in Toledo, Ohio, the going rate is $ 13.50 an hour.
  • Number of kids. You can typically charge $ 1 or $ 2 more per hour, per kid.
  • Age of sitter. Adults earn more.
  • Time. Late night and on-demand schedules typically result in higher pay. You can also charge a premium for high-demand nights like New Year’s Eve.
  • Additional qualifications.According to a 2017 Care.com Babysitter Survey, 66% of parents say they would pay more for a sitter with CPR and safety training,” Fong wrote.
  • Additional responsibilities. You can charge a higher rate for going above and beyond regular babysitting duties, such as picking the kids up from school or helping with homework.

Which Should You Be: Babysitter, Nanny or Daycare?

The line between being a baby sitter and a nanny can be a tough one to determine, but the more important question is whether you’re an independent contractor or a household employee.

First, if you don’t get paid more than $ 2,100 by any one client in a year, you’ll normally be considered an independent contractor, which means you’ll need to pay the self-employment tax along with your income tax.

If you earn more than $ 2,100 per year from one client, then the IRS considers in-home caregivers to be household employees, which means your employer has tax-compliance responsibilities like payroll taxes.

However, the IRS says, “A worker who performs child care services for you in his or her home generally is not your employee.” So babysitting in your own home makes it clearer that you’re an independent contractor and that the parents won’t need to deal with payroll taxes.

If you do decide to babysit kids in your home, you might be classified as a daycare operator, in which case you may need a license and have other legal complications. Each state has its own laws covering daycare, and you’ll want to make sure you’re on the right side of them.

For example, child care law in Illinois specifies that you need a license from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) if you care for more than three children (your own are included if they’re under 12 years old). So if you live in Illinois and want to avoid the need for a daycare license, simply limit your service to watching three or fewer kids.

Consult a tax specialist if you’re in doubt about your status.

Whatever path you choose — babysitter, nanny, daycare provider — there’s plenty of responsibility involved when it comes to caring for other people’s children, so it shouldn’t be a job you enter into half-heartedly.

You may not be able to retire early on a baby sitter’s income, but expect your bonuses to come in the form of hugs and cookies — not a bad deal.

Steve Gillman is the author of “101 Weird Ways to Make Money” and creator of EveryWayToMakeMoney.com. He’s been a repo-man, walking stick carver, search engine evaluator, house flipper, tram driver, process server, mock juror, and roulette croupier, but of more than 100 ways he has made money, writing is his favorite (so far).

Tiffany Wendeln Connors, a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder, contributed to this post.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Ultimate Basketball Fan Barack Obama Reveals His 2019 March Madness Picks

Former president and noted basketball enthusiast Barack Obama revealed his NCAA tournament brackets just in time for March Madness 2019, continuing a tradition he began while he was in the Oval Office.

Obama, who memorably began publicly sharing his brackets during his time as the commander-in-chief, posted his picks for this year’s tourney via the Obama Foundation, as he did last year. This year, Obama has selected the Duke Blue Devils to take it all for the men’s championship, while for the women’s tourney, he selected longtime NCAA champions, the University of Connecticut.

For his men’s picks, Obama selected Michigan, Tennessee, UNC, and of course, Duke for the Final Four, predicting that Duke will beat known rival UNC. His decision to select Duke as the champion might have surprised some, as Obama has frequently favored the Tar Heels in his March Madness picks in the past.

See all the Obama bracket picks below.

Sports – TIME

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Nike’s Air Max 98 “Vast Grey/Fresh Mint” Is the Ultimate Daily Sneaker

Nike’s Air Max 98 is returning in a lush gradient grey color scheme that was originally utilized on its Air Max 95 predecessor. The unique iteration is a much-welcomed homage to the original retro release of the famed silhouette nearly 19 years prior.

The shoe arrives in two shades of grey, with its mudguard donning a darker-hued “Atmosphere Grey” while the top upper portion utilizes a more neutral, lighter-colored “Vast Grey.” Its suede and mesh upper is met with a dark-colored grey that totes a vibrant “Fresh Mint”-colored Air Max sole unit, with similarly colored hits marking the Swoosh branding and lace-loops. Sure to be a welcomed addition to weekly sneaker rotations, the flexible calm and relaxed color hue offers a breadth of garment-pairing abilities.

Check out the upcoming sneaker above, and be on the lookout as these are expected to drop sometime this month or next via Nike’s web store, with a retail price set at $ 160 USD.

For more sneaker news, McDonald’s is roasting Balenciaga over its French fry carton looking shoes.

Click here to view full gallery at HYPEBEAST




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How to make the ultimate Super Bowl commercial

Today’s the day advertisers try to do to each other what the LA linemen want to do to Tom Brady: crush ’em. But creating the perfect Super Bowl commercial for the game’s 100-million viewers comes with challenges. “Every other [TV] show, advertisers know how many men are watching, how many [people] in an age group,”…
Media | New York Post

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The ultimate vlogger event is coming to London for the first time

If you’re serious about becoming a big name in the vlogging world, make sure you’re at VidCon London

vidcon
Mandatory Credit: Photo by David Buchan/REX/Shutterstock (5736762b)
Michael Buckley, Tyler Oakley, Grace Helbig, GloZell and Niomi Smart
VidCon 7th Annual Convention ‘Behind the Book’, Anaheim, USA – 24 Jun 2016

In 2009, brothers Hank and John Green founded a grassroots movement in sunny SoCal to celebrate the vlogging community. Now, ten years and 90,000 attendees later, Vidcon, the ultimate vlogging event is hitting London for the first time on 14th February.

The four-day event will include featured creators such as lifestyle vlogger and podcaster Marcus Butler, the UK’s top female gamer on YouTube, LDShadow Lady, and Mark Hoyle AKA LadBaby.

Even the uninitiated should recognise the Hoyle, who as well as being voted Celebrity Dad of the Year in 2018, also bagged the 2018 Christmas No.1 spot with his spoof song ‘We Built This City… On Sausage Rolls’ and donated all proceeds from the sale of the track to The Trussell Trust, a foodbank charity.

With the line-up also including names such as American YouTuber Joey Graceffa (who has over 2.2 billion views on his YouTube channel) and Family Fizz (who have 1.5m subscribers), you can learn the tricks of the trade from those who know them best. There’ll even be brand activations from huge companies including Facebook and Instagram.

This year, VidCon have introduced single day tickets, meaning that even more fans can watch the exclusive panels on Saturday and Sunday. The events will showcase the best online video has to offer, thanks to a huge range of creators. With panel topics including My Online Life vs. My Offline Life, Gamers Unite and LGBTQ+: Coming Out Online, there is truly something for everyone.

View this post on Instagram

Too much pink? 🙈

A post shared by LDShadowLady (@ldshadowlady) on

This year, VidCon is also keen to highlight the role of women as online creators, and also has a series of panels set to inspire the next generation of female creators and leaders, with Featured Creators including Patricia Bright and Hannah Witton/

For those who opt for the full four-day experience, there is even more to look forward to, whether that’s the Meet & Greet Lottery, or the Friday night Opening Show on the main stage.

The full line-up is available here and tickets are available to buy on the VidCon website.

VidCon has been at the forefront of video creation and vlogging since its foundation in 2009: this is the event for any budding influencer.

The post The ultimate vlogger event is coming to London for the first time appeared first on Marie Claire.

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The Ultimate Christmas Soul Playlist

I’m only 30 but when I think of classic Christmas soul music, I don’t think of Boyz II Men or Mariah Carey, like many of my counterparts do. I think of Otis Redding and James Brown. Now don’t get me wrong, they have Christmas classics, but when I am looking for that bottom of the gut, soul churning Christmas music. I skip most of the 1990s.

The other day I was listening to my Christmas playlist in my office and a co-worker asked, “what do you know about that?” I quipped, “a lot”.

Since I was a kid, my family has been playing the same Christmas cassette tape. It has a small white piece of half peeled tape on it, that reads “Christma ongs”. It was dubbed by an aunt or cousin but despite moves and life changes, this cassette has lasted. The songs are the soundtrack of such special memories.

I’m not walking around with a Walkman, so I have now pulled the playlist together on a streaming service and here is the list:

Gee Whiz, It’s Christmas – Carla Thomas 

Back Door Santa – Clarence Carter 

Santa Goes Straight To The Ghetto – James Brown

Christmas Ain’t Christmas – Bobby Womack 

Let’s Make Christmas Mean Something This Year- James Brown 

Presents For Christmas – Solomon Burke 

All I Want For Christmas Is You – Carla Thomas

May Christmas Bring You Happiness – Luther Vandross

White Christmas – Otis Redding 

Please Come Home For Christmas – Charles Brown 

Everyday Will Be Like a Holiday – William Bell 

This Christmas – Donny Hathaway 

Silent Night – The Temptations 

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus – The Jackson 5

One Little Christmas Tree- Stevie Wonder 

What Do The Lonely Do At Christmas – Emotions 

Happy Holidays To You – The Whispers 

Merry Christmas Baby – Otis Redding 

For my family, this is the quintessential Christmas soul playlist. When it cranks up, I know we’re ready to cook, eat, or play a game of spades.

What’s on your family playlist? Let us know in the comments!

HEAD BACK TO THE BLACKAMERICAWEB.COM HOMEPAGE 

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ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES: Tech, Recreation, Toys, and Games

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES: Tech, Recreation, Toys, and Games



Cards For All People

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

(Image: cardsforallpeople/Instagram)

 

Cards For All People is at trivia gaming company that celebrates diversity and inclusion. By infusing humor with trivia the company creates opportunities to highlight cultural micro-communities and the issues they care about while keeping it entertaining. Games include Black Card Revoked (which is now a TV show!) and Girls Night Out.












MekaMon Robots

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

(Image: Reach Robotics)

 

Co-created by a young British-Nigerian engineer, MekaMons are four-legged robots that players can control via a smartphone using a companion app for augmented reality gameplay. Multiple players can battle their bots against each other. MekaMon is available in the Apple Store and the manufacturer’s website.

 






Black Excellence Playing Cards

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

(Image: mycarddecks.com)

 

This standard deck of playing cards depicts black excellence and beauty.

 


Blebrity 

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

Actor and activist Jesse Williams launched the Blebrity app, the blackest trivia app game you’ve ever played.


Tip Off

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

(Image: TipOff Game)

TipOff is a fun, app-based word guessing game not only promises good times and a way of connecting with family and friends—it also raises money for scholarships to historically black colleges.


TriviaMob

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

TriviaMob, a live game show app, allows players to face off in two separate “mobs,” where they answer questions about art, science, entertainment, and more to win prizes. 


Fishing Caddy 

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

 

The Fishing Caddy allows fishing enthusiasts to pack up their myriad of gear into one convenient portable caddy. It includes fishing rod holders, tacklebox, a compartment to keep fish live and fresh plus more great features.


Toys Like Me

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

 

Toys Like Me creates African American backpack dolls, emoji dolls, and even black mermaid dolls.


Ikuzi Dolls

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

 Ikuzi Dolls is a line of dolls that are sensitive to diversity and the many different and beautiful ways little girl of color can look.

 








Please note: Black Enterprise makes a small commission when you purchase one of these products via the embedded Amazon links. 

The post ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES: Tech, Recreation, Toys, and Games appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

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ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES: Unique Gift Ideas

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES: Unique Gift Ideas



Ivy Storehouse Box

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

(Image: Ivy_Box/Instagram)

Alpha Kappa Alpha sisters will love this subscription box tailored to the tastes of this sorority’s members. According to the company’s website, The Ivy box is “a curated package of licensed Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. products delivered to your doorstep. Every month, we pick high-quality apparel, accessories, and stationery products according to a Sorority theme.”


Kiva Card

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

kiva.org

The Kiva Card is a quick, easy and meaningful gift option that gives your friends, colleagues, and family a way to support entrepreneurs around the globe. For as little as $ 25, Kiva Cards give those special people in your life the opportunity to change someone else’s — halfway around the world or even in their own backyard.


Greentop Gifts

 

Buy Black Gift Guide

(Image: greentopgifts.com)

Greentop Gifts offers unique black-themed products like this “Clarence Claus” Black Santa wrapping paper.


Luxury Vacation 

Buy Black Gift Guide

(iStock/michal_staniewski)

Dream Vacations is a black-owned travel franchise that caters to and accommodates the needs of clients, recommending destinations and resorts that make guests feel welcome.


Please note: Black Enterprise makes a small commission when you purchase one of these products via the embedded Amazon links. 

The post ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES: Unique Gift Ideas appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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BEAUTY DEAL UPDATE:

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses: Clothing, Jewelry, and Accessories

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses: Clothing, Jewelry, and Accessories 



Tracy Reese

Tracy Reese

Propelled to the limelight after Michelle Obama wore several of he designs, Tracy Reese is one of the brightest light in the fashion world. In an interview with Black Enterprise, she said her designs, “reflects my own vision and continually yields looks that are timeless and wearable, yet fun and feminine.”

 














 

I AM HER Apparel

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

(Image: iamherapparel.com)

I AM HER Apparel is a collection of unapologetic, trendy clothing that makes powerful statements.


Nubian Skin

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

(Image: nubianskin.com)

 

Nubian Skin launched with a carefully edited collection of lingerie and hosiery to provide the essential underwear needs to women of color. Headquartered in London, Nubian Skin delivers worldwide. (from the Sista Circle: Black Women in Tech, Holiday Gift Guide curated by Sista Circle founder, Lexi Butler, and stitched together by designer, Adanma Ojukwu.)

 














Mahnal

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

(Image: mahnal.com)

Mahnal is a collection of delicate and contemporary jewelry that accents the natural elegance of a woman. Mahnal takes inspiration from the places we find most meditative, exploring themes like silhouettes in nature, the repetition of lines in architecture, or how light plays against texture. Hopefully, with each piece’s organic imperfections, we’re inspired to slow down and feel again. (from the Sista Circle: Black Women in Tech, Holiday Gift Guide curated by Sista Circle founder, Lexi Butler, and stitched together by designer, Adanma Ojukwu.)


Tradition

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

(Image: Rae-Vaughn Lucas )

Rep your HBCU with apparel from Tradition, a collegiate and lifestyle brand.


828 Clothing

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

828 Clothing is a clothing line with a name inspired by the Romans 8:28 Bible verse. The line features versatile styles with the modern mother in mind.


Naja

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

(Naja)

 

The Nude for all Collection by Naja is redefining the color nude for all races and ethnicities. The lingerie line features three styles of seamless underwear with a matching bra; underwear sizing from XS-XXL and bra sizing in 32-40 with cups A-DDD–all in seven shades of nude. Nude for All is also a movement that empowers women; the products are made by single mothers or women heads of households.


Off-White

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

(Off-White/Instagram)

Designer Virgil Abloh’s “Off-White” label has been named as the “Hottest Brand on the Planet” by The Lyst Index, a quarterly ranking of popular fashion brands and products. Off-White is known for its extremely expensive T-shirts, hoodies, and sneakers. It’s also noted for placing signature quotes on its clothes. The brand is often flaunted by celebrities like Rihanna, A$ AP Rocky, and Julia Roberts. 


Treason Toting Co.

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

(Treason Toting Co./Instagram)

This Baltimore-based company’s products has caught the attention of NBA star Stephen Curry, who was seen wearing the Charles backpack from the original spring/summer collection, not to mention J. Crew and Nordstrom both having previously featured Treason Toting Co. for pop-up shops.










LaQuan Smith

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

LaQuanSmith.com

At just 29 years old, designer LaQuan Smith is making waves in the fashion industry. The native New Yorker is responsible for the sleek, body-hugging dress that Beyoncé wore as she presented Colin Kaepernick with the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award at Sports Illustrated’s Person of the Year Awards in December. Smith’s signature sexy, show-stopping pieces have also been flaunted by fashion trailblazers such as Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and Kim Kardashian West.


Pyer Moss

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

pyermoss.com

Kerby Jean-Raymond, the founder of the Pyer Moss label, is renowned for using fashion as a fierce weapon of force to address and combat social injustice








Lyfestyle 

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

lyfestyle.com

Born in Brooklyn, Lyfestyle captures the essence of New York City urban art, style, and flavor. The brand was birthed from the imaginations of four friends who loved the lavish fashion on Fifth Avenue but were limited to shopping on a SoHo budget


Abdju Wear

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

abdjuwear.com

Abdju Wear is a clothing line that sports high-end clothes and sneakers at affordable prices. The brand offers everything from polo-style shirts to high-top sneakers in traditional Pan-African flag colors.


Sassy Jones Boutique

Custom Bags (Image: Sassy Jones Boutique)

Custom Bags (Image: Sassy Jones Boutique)

Sassy Jones Boutique’s inventory consists of everything from earrings to bracelets, handbags, and much more, all customized, unique, and stylized. The boutique has also expanded its glamorous repertoire by introducing an ultra-luxurious mosaic handbag collection under $ 100. Exclusive to Sassy Jones Boutique, these bags are hand-crafted by women artisans in India.

 














Made Leather Co.

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

www.madeleatherco.com

In November 2016, Lenise Williams, an Atlanta-based mom, entrepreneur, and attorney traveled to Marrakech, Morocco, as a guest speaker for a United Nations conference. Little did she know, she would turn her newfound love of Moroccan leather goods into the Made Leather Co., a product-based business that would leave a legacy for her children and attract the attention of several NFL players.


Agbara Life

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

Agbara Life

Agbara Life creates highly functional and fashionable powered backpacks that feature a sleek matte black look complemented with gold or silver hardware and triple USB output power to keep you connected while on the go. Their Type-C with Power Delivery option allows you to charge the latest phones and laptops including the MacBook Pro.


Mo’s Bows 

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

mosbowsmemphis.com

Mo’s Bows is a line of handcrafted bow ties sewn from scratch created by teen-aged entrepreneur Moziah Bridges.




Curvy, Curly, Conscious 

These whimsical holiday sweaters feature a meditating “Santa Bae” and a meditating “Santa Zaddy.” Order them online.


The Hairbrella

Hairbrella

The Hairbrella is an innovative way to protect hair and makeup from getting ruined in inclement weather. Think of a rain hat for your hair, but the company stresses that “this is not your Grandma’s hair bonnet”






No Sweat Liner for Headwear 

The No Sweat Liners are disposable moisture wicking liners that stick inside any hat, visor, helmet or hard hat. The patented SweatLock technology offers sweat protection from sweat marks, yellow stains, and odors.

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

The No Sweat Liners are disposable moisture wicking liners that stick inside any hat, visor, helmet or hard hat. The patented SweatLock technology offers sweat protection from sweat marks, yellow stains, and odors.


Blended Designs 

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

Blended Designs offers backpacks and travel backs celebrating the culture.

 


Vertical Activewear

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

Vertical Activewear is “a contemporary, multi-active lifestyle brand for both traditional AND alternative workouts, such as pole and dance fitness, barre, and various forms of yoga.”


SLAPS by Grace Eleyae

(Facebook)

 

Keep your hair game tight with this assortment of stylish, yet protective, satin head wear.

 














Please note: Black Enterprise makes a small commission when you purchase one of these products via the embedded Amazon links. 

The post Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses: Clothing, Jewelry, and Accessories appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

FASHION DEALS UPDATE:

Ultimate 2018 Buy Black Holiday Gift Guide

Black Enterprise presents the ultimate 2018 Buy Black Holiday Gift Guide. The listing includes the latest and vetted products and services from a wide-range of black-owned businesses including software, fashion and beauty products, food, tech, games, and so much more. Click on each category name (or image) to pull up each list of products.


 

Buy Black Holiday Gift Guide

(Image: mahnal.com)


 

Buy Black Holiday Gift Guide

(Image: marjanibeauty.com)


Buy Black Holiday Gift Guide

(Image: longevitywines.com)


Buy Black Holiday Gift Guide.


 

Buy Black Holiday Gift Guide.


Buy Black Holiday Gift Guide.

(Image: That Melanin Life/Etsy)

The post Ultimate 2018 Buy Black Holiday Gift Guide appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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EMPLOYMENT SEARCH UPDATE:

Ultimate Buy Black Gift Guide: Home, Decoration, Baby, and Pets

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES: Home, Decoration, Baby and Pets



Beddley

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

(Image: beddley.com)

 

Beddley makes gorgeous, snuggly duvet covers designed to cover a duvet with zero hassle.


That Melanin Life

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

(Image: That Melanin Life/Etsy)

 

That Melanin Life is a home decor and stationery shop that celebrates all melanin beauty (from the Sista Circle: Black Women in Tech, Holiday Gift Guide curated by Sista Circle founder, Lexi Bulter, and stitched together by designer, Adanma Ojukwu.)


Harlem Candle Company

 

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

(Image: harlemcandlecompany.com)

 

Decorative, frangranced candles inspired by the Harlem Renaissance.




















S&S Luxury 

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

(Instagram)

S&S Luxury is a luxury blanket and children’s accessories retailer in Atlanta’s Phipps Plaza mall. You can also order online.


Darlyng & Co.

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

Darlyng & Co. is a lifestyle brand with safe products for parents and babies including the Yummy Mitt Teething Mitten.


 Enjoy-A-Bowl

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

Created by a black veterinarian, Enjoy-a-Bowl is patent-pending pet bowl design. It’s a three-part feeding system that allows pet owners to entice their pet’s powerful and unique sense of smell to stimulate their appetite.


The Unique Seat

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

This black mompreneur-created invention  is equipped with two versatile chairs that attach to bleachers, roll into pillows, and have pockets. The interconnected queen-sized blanket is weighted on all of the corners as well as a waterproof bottom to keep everyone comfortable. Perfect to carry to the beach, cook-out, or game day.


Father Figure 

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

Father Figure is a lifestyle brand for new dads and includes products such as the Bandana Burp Rag Set (shown above).


The DreamPad

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

The DreamPad is a pillow featuring patented sound technology to help you get a great night’s sleep.


Please note: Black Enterprise makes a small commission when you purchase one of these products via the embedded Amazon links. 

The post Ultimate Buy Black Gift Guide: Home, Decoration, Baby, and Pets appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

EMPLOYMENT SEARCH UPDATE:

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES: Food and Drink

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES: Food and Drink



Chocberry Kreations

 

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

(Image: chocberrykreations.com)

Know someone who is always here for chocolate-covered strawberries? Chocberry Kreations allows them to become their own chocolatiers with this DIY chocolate dipping kit.


Capital City Mambo Sauce

 

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

(Image: shopcapitalcity.com)

 

Capital City Co. is a  family-owned company based in the Maryland suburbs, owned by Charles and Arsha Jones. Mambo sauce originated in the D.C. area, according to the company’s website. Pick up the sauce is D.C. or have it shipped via ordering online.






Not Just Tea

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

(Image: notjusttea.com)

Not Just Tea offers “hand-blended teas and whimsical tea accessories.”


Longevity Wines

 

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

(Image: longevitywines.com)

 

This family-owned winery is located in California’s Livermore Valley wine region. From their website, “We handle everything from bin to bottle,” says winemaker Phil Long. Current production is around 2000 cases, with plans to increase production to max out at around 2500 cases. “At 2500 cases it’s still more fun than work”. All of the wines are produced in small batches to keep a hands-on approach to quality control.”


Finally Ginger

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

(Finally Gnger)

 

Finally Ginger founder Carol Emeruwa started baking ginger cookies 30 years ago to please the finicky taste buds of her child when chocolate chip cookies weren’t cutting it. Now her artisanal cookies, baked with three kinds of ginger, are available in five flavors: original ginger, lemon ginger, orange ginger, chocolate chunk ginger, and oatmeal cranberry ginger. All of the flavors were hits at the Black Enterprise office; there was literally nothing but crumbs left in the reusable metal git tins. They’re sold in select stores in New York and Ohio and online as gift boxes (1 or 2 dozen cookies), snack packs (individually wrapped in sets of two), and subscriptions (for three or six months).


Just Add Honey Tea Co. 

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

 

In business now for 12 years, the husband-and-wife founders of the Just Add Honey Tea Co. are serving up more than tea at their café in Atlanta, Georgia. They sell extensions of their brand online as well as tea gift sets and accessories.


My Chocolate Soul 

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

Mathematician turned pastry chef Ramona Thomas created My Chocolate Soul to share chocolates made from simple all-natural ingredients with the world.


Live Alkaline Water 

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

Live Alkaline Water is 100% natural alkaline spring water was founded by Dr. Shayla Creer and Robert McCray whose family owned the spring for more than 100 years in North Carolina. It is available in Walmart and online.


 Sweet Dames Artisan Confections

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

 

Not only has Sweet Dames Artisan Confections landed in Bloomingdale’s stores, the mouthwatering gourmet macaroons were voted one of the Top Five Desserts in NYC PopMarkets by MetroNYC and are available online.


3 Some Chocolates

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

Everyone loves chocolate, but what makes 3 Some Chocolates so different? They blend three chocolates everyone loves—milk, white, and dark—combine it into one bar, and name it a “3 Some.”


 Sanaia Applesauce

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

 Sanaia Applesauce is for applesauce-loving adults.


Flaky Bakes

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

Flaky Bakes ships “piekies” – miniature pies in delectable flavors including pecan, cinnamon apple, and sweet potato.


Tummy Yum-Yum

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

 

Tummy Yum-Yum makes gourmet candy apples including Snickers, S;mores, and cheesecake candied apples.


Please note: Black Enterprise makes a small commission when you purchase one of these products via the embedded Amazon links. 

The post ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES: Food and Drink appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

BEAUTY DEAL UPDATE:

Christmas beauty gift sets: the ultimate christmas beauty gift guide

Something for everyone

christmas beauty gift sets
Wayne Tippetts/REX/Shutterstock

It’s seriously time to start thinking about Christmas presents. Isn’t it much better to be prepared and to spread the cost of everyone’s presents over a couple of pay days?! That’s what we thought. You know what else? Everyone LOVES Christmas beauty gift sets.

However, there are quite literally too many Christmas beauty gift sets on offer this year. So we’ve been jolly helpful and rounded up the best of the bunch.

You. Are. Welcome. Happy (early) Christmas.

Tom Ford Fabulous Gift Set, £262 Selfridges

christmas beauty gift sets tom ford

Yes it does say ‘Fucking’. Give this to your most fantastic, your utterly wonderful and ‘fucking fabulous’ friend.

Buy Now

Tiba & Marl x Honest Skincare Beauty Gift Set, £60

christmas beauty gift sets tiba & marl

This set was designed with expectant and new mothers in mind, so find your favourite preggo (or new mother) friend. The soothing oil helps with stretch marks, the all-purpose balm really is all-purpose and can be used on dry patches and lips, and then candle is just for them to light at the end of the day when the baby’s in bed.

Buy Now

M&S Autograph Nail Collection Trio, £7.50

christmas beauty gift sets M&S

Do you have a favourite workmate? Give them this before the office party and you can nick it as you get ready together. A deep, dark red and glitter gold are really the only two colours you need this season.

Buy Now

Percy & Reed Stars of Wonder, £30 Marks & Spencer

christmas beauty gift sets Percy & Reed

Good hair? One of the best gifts you can give. This set of wonders (see what we did there?!) works on every hair type. So you could help condition someone’s curls, soothe someone’s dry ends or tame someone’s frizz. That’s a great gift.

Buy Now

Votary Hello Darlings Gift box Set, £105

christmas beauty gift sets votary

This is one heck of a luxurious gift set, so give this to someone who has been very, very nice this year. The Christmas beauty gift set contains their fab cleansing oil, the fragrance free Super Seed Facial Oil, that nourishes skin to make it winter-proof, their overnight Intense Oil, which helps to firm and their newest oil – the teeny tiny rollerball eye oil. Plus a soft flannel (much kinder to skin than the rougher muslin) and ANOTHER handy bag!

Buy Now

Lancome Hypnôse Drama Mascara Miniature Collection Gift Set

christmas beauty gift sets

Eyelashes with heaps of volume are a winter trend we’re 150% here for and Lancome’s signature Hypnose mascara will get you there with just a couple of swipes. This collection is perfect for the beauty geek who’s all about eyes as it brings together four of their mascaras: a full sized Hypnôse Classic and three travel mini sizes of the Hypnôse Classic, Hypnôse Doll Eyes, Hypnôse Volume-A-Porter.

Buy now

L’Occitane The Best of L’Occitane Collection, £69

christmas beauty gift sets l'occitane

You should buy this Christmas beauty gift set for three reasons. 1 – someone will get to enjoy all of these wonderful L’Occitane goodies. 2 – This box will make for very useful and smart storage in the future. 3 – £10 from each sale will go directly to Unicef to provide life-saving eye care treatment to those in need.

Buy Now

Alaïa Paris Nude Eau de Parfum Gift Set, £67 Harrods

christmas beauty gift sets alaia

It is highly unlikely that the majority of us will ever be able to afford a piece of clothing from Alaïa, which is a crying shame. However, most of us would be chuffed as anything to receive the sensual Nude fragrance, shower gel, body lotion and this buttery vanity case this Christmas. A little bit of Alaïa is far better than no Alaïa.

Buy Now

IT Cosmetics Your Luxurious Must-Haves Brush Set, £120 Selfridges 

Christmas beauty gift sets

This is a brilliant gift. Not only are IT Cosmetics brushes some of the best on the market, but LOOK AT THIS CHICER THAN CHIC CLUTCH! A winning combination.

Buy Now

Foreo Here and There Gift Set, £119 Look Fantastic

christmas beauty gift sets Foreo

Lovers of beauty gadgets will get a kick our of this gift set on the 25th December. There’s a normal-sized everyday cleansing brush, and a matching teeny tiny travel one. The vibrating tools help lift away dead skin and unclog pores to reveal glowy skin.

Buy Now

Face Gym Double Detox Gift Set, £85

Christmas beauty gift sets face gym

If you’ve ever had a Face Gym facial then you know that it can leave your face more sculpted, drained of all toxins and generally just looking about 10-years younger. Now there are sets for you to use in between appointments. Give this to someone who loves an at-home Sunday night pamper session.

Buy Now

Stila Enchanted Eyes Shimmer & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow Set, £49 Fabled

Christmas beaut gift sets stila

Stila’s glitter eyeshadows – if you know, you know. These beauties are the best (and easiest) way of applying a little bit of magic to your lids. The shimmery ones work well as a base, with sparkle on top. The ideal gift for those with Christmas parties galore.

Buy Now

Surface Anti-Pollution Wash & Cream Set, £68 at Luisa Via Roma

christmas beauty gift sets

More and more brands are becoming aware of the need for anti-pollution skincare, especially when you live in a sit that’s prone to mucky air. This skincare set from Surface includes both a face cream and face wash to keep you looking so fresh and so clean.

Buy now

Sumptuous Lashes Xmas 18

Oskia Secret Book Of Beauty, £48 Cult Beauty

christmas beauty gift sets Oskia

If your friend (or let’s be honest, you) don’t know Oskia very well then this it the perfect introductory set. Four of their bestsellers, in super handy travel sizes. Find your faves and fall in love with this really brilliant niche skincare line.

Buy Now

Liz Earle Bontanical Body Care Duo Skincare Gift Set, £26 John Lewis

christmas beauty gift set Liz Earle

Bodies deserve love and attention as well you know?! Yes their Cleanse & Polish is legendary, but their body care collection is often overlooked. The Orange Flower scent of this body wash is sublime.

Buy Now

Harry Potter Swish & Flick Cosmetic Brushes, £20 Boots

christmas beauty gift sets

We all know a hardcore Harry Potter fan, who listens to the audiobooks on repeat, the film soundtrack when they clean and has been to the Watford theme park over four times. Imagine their face when they open up this on Christmas morning. Exactly.

Buy Now

Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch Good Enough to Steal Palette, £39

 

christmas beauty gift sets The Grinch x Pur cosmetics pallette

Yes, we love Christmas, but sometimes, our inner Grinch takes over and sentiments like ‘Christmas Whatever’ and ‘Go Away’ make so much sense. Which is why we’re still not sure if we’re going to make like the Grinch and keep this 12-piece face palette and color-changing lip balm set for ourselves, or gift it to a loved one…

Buy Now

Ameliorate 3 Steps To Smooth Skin Christmas Limited Edition, £19.50

christmas beauty gift sets

If you know somebody who really struggles with dry skin this time of year, Ameliorate’s gift set is a total lifesaver. It’s got everything you need for glowing skin including a Smoothing Body Exfoliant, Nourishing Body Wash, Transforming Body Lotion and Exfoliating Body Mitt. Packed with omega oils and designed to be deeply hydrating, you’ll want to buy two of these.

Buy now

GHD Dry & Style Gift Set, £199 Look Fantastic

christmas beauty gift sets ghd

This. Is. A. Great. Gift. Brilliant hair dryer? Tick. Incredible hair straighteners? Tick. Expect joyous smiles.

Buy Now

Crabtree & Evelyn Everyday Winter Hand Collection, £36

Crabtree & Evelyn are renowned for their luxury hand creams, which smell good enough to eat (though you probably shouldn’t). This set comes with six of their bestselling anti-ageing products including lavendar, rosewater, pomegranate and argan oil and more.

Buy now 

Medik8 Midnight Miracle Gift Set, £65

christmas beauty gift sets medik8

This is like giving someone the gift of youthfulness. Vitamin A, or retinol creams and serums, are meant to be the key to fighting the visible signs of ageing. Give this to someone and by next Christmas they’ll look 10-years younger.

Buy Now

Goldfaden MD The Glow Kit, £85 Space NK

christmas beauty gift sets goldfaden md

Another cracker of a present for post-party skin. If you have a friend who knows how to party, they’ll be super grateful for this skin saving kit. Ideal for New Year’s Day.

Buy Now

Pixi Skintreats Besties, £28 Marks & Spencer

christmas beauty gift sets

Give anyone a bottle of Pixi Glow Tonic and they’ll like you forever. Give that same person the Glow Mud Cleanser too, they’ll love you forever. Everybody is happy with the gift of glowing skin.

Buy Now

Elizabeth Arden Sparkle On Holiday Collection, £98 Look Fantastic

christmas beauty gift sets

This set is so incredible. Look at what you get inside – two eyeshadow palettes, a blush and highlighter palette, two lip glosses, a mascara, an eyeliner, four lipsticks AND a super chic red holdall. You’ve basically got yourself a whole new make-up. All of this is worth £292. Billy bargain.

Buy Now

The Organic Pharmacy Discovery Kit Face Care Set, £62 LuisaViaRoma

christmas beauty gift sets

Looking to make an eco-friendly shift in your beauty routine? This intro skincare kit from The Organic Pharmacy is a great shout as it comes with the brand’s bestsellers ranging from their carrot butter cleanser through to double rose ultra face cream

Buy Now

Away The Beauty Set, £75 (Out 13th November)

Away suitcases are THE fashion-packs go-to luggage. Why? Probably because you can charge your phone on them. Neat, eh? This Christmas sees the launch of the brand’s new beauty travel cases. In true Away fashion, the cases are filled with some incredible beauty products. No one who would be unhappy opening this on the 25th.

Buy Now (Out on 13th November)

Bioderma Beauty Essentials, £22.50 Look Fantastic

christmas beauty gift sets

This is quite literally the gift of good skin. Bioderma is a classic French pharmacy brand that delivers good results for a low price point. The micellar water is a cult classic and that little pouch of cotton pads will bring even the biggest Grinch a huge sense of joy.

Buy Now

Illamasqua Beyond Powder Vault, £125

christmas beauty gift sets

Ready to glow up? This dreamy set from Illamasqua comes with four of their most popular and super pigmented highlighters, ranging from pearlescent Frost to a bronze Epic.

Buy Now

Neom Limited Edition Beauty Sleep In A Box, £25 John Lewis

Christmas Beauty Gift Sets

This is the perfect gift for someone going on a long flight soon. The combination of the eye mask, pillow mist and super nourishing face oil is sure to knock anyone out. Each one is scented with their own blend of English lavender, sweet basil, jasmine and chamomile – it’ll calm your mind and body. Even in Economy class.

Buy Now

BeautyBlender Sweet Surprise Mystery Blind Bag, £19 Fabled

 

christmas beauty gift sets

Christmas is all about surprises and not even you will know what’s inside this pouch. What you do know is that each one contains a Beautyblender sponger and a matching cleanser, but you haven’t got a clue which colour. It’s the simple things…

Buy Now

Jo Malone London Pine & Eucalyptus Scent Surround Room Spray & Scent Surround Diffuser Duo, £108

Christmas Beauty Gift Sets

It’s not Christmas without a bit of Jo Malone London under the tree. Every year their gift selection sets pulses racing – you could opt for the full on cologne set or the beauty advent calendar, but this Pine & Eucalyptus duo will have any home smelling like Santa’s grotto.

Buy Now

Byredo Rose Hand Care Gift Set, £78 Liberty London

Christmas Beauty Gift Sets

You could buy your loved one a Byredo fragrance, but wouldn’t you rather put that money to buying yourself a Byredo fragrance?! That’s what we thought. However, give them this stunning hand wash and lotion set and you’ll still be the most popular person in the room. (Smelling so sweetly of Gypsy Water.)

Buy Now

Rossanno Ferretti Parma Esperienza 2 Volume Regime Set LuisaViaRoma

christmas beauty gift sets

Need a little more joozh? This luxury hair care set comes with shampoo, conditioner, spray and a movement enhancer – all designed specifically for fine hair that needs a little more volume. The only problem is that the box is so cute, you’ll never want to crack it open.

Buy now

Malin & Goetz Weekender Kit, £39 Space NK

christmas beauty gift sets malin and goetz

The best Christmas beauty gift set for that annoying person who just can’t pack light. Do it for them, with this essential (under 100ml) set.

Buy Now

Emma Hardie Cleansing Kit, £30 Marks & Spencer

Christmas Beauty Gift Sets

So many people don’t wash their faces properly. Emma Hardie’s Moringa Cleansing Balm removes every scrap of make-up and dirt and add some of the Rosehip Exfoliating Seeds to the balm and you’ve got yourself one heck of an exfoliator. Give this to someone, then give it a couple of weeks, their skin will vastly improve and they’ll have you to thank for it.

Buy Now

Elemis Frangipani Stars, £40 Fabled

Christmas Beauty Gift Sets

Frangipani is Elemis’ most beautifully scented range. Whilst this set is essentially a shower gel and body oil, this is the most luxurious shower gel and body oil anyone will ever receive. Trust us.

Buy Now

MZ Skin Christmas Eyessentials Kit, £165 (Out early December)

Christmas Beauty Gift Sets

If you really want to treat someone, then look no further. Dr Maryam Zamani is an Oculoplastic Surgeon and leading Facial Aesthetics Doctor with a long list of loyal clients, but with this gift box you have access to her expertise. This set includes her De-Puff & Define Contouring Eye Rescue, which will be super helpful after the party season, the Hydra-Bright Golden Eye Treatmant Mask and the brand new Tone & Lift Geranium Contouring Facial Roller that helps with skintone.

Buy Now (Out early December)

Espa The Replenishing Collection, £65 Look Fantastic

Christmas Beauty Gift Sets

An ideal gift for natural skincare lovers. Not only will this help with skin that’s seen too many late nights, but it will also soothe sore skin that’s suffering with the colder weather.

Buy Now

Benefit Homemade Hotness Complete Makeup Set, £29.50 Debenhams

Christmas Beauty GIft Set

We all know a Benefit-obsessive and it doesn’t get much better than this. This is a complete make-up look in one set and it’s stuffed full of all of their bestsellers – BADgal BANG! (their new and incredible mascara), Hoola bronzer (who doesn’t love this?!), Gimme Brow (how did we cope without it?), They’re Real! Duo ShadowBlender in Brazen Bronze and They’re Real! Double The Lip in Lusty Rose. Actually, forget giving this one away. Keep it yourself.

Buy Now

Neal’s Yard Wild Rose Hand Care, £10 Fabled

Christmas Beauty Gift Sets

No matter what you do, somehow you always end up involved in a Secret Santa. Don’t be that person who buys a lame joke present that no will ever use, be kind and buy this SUPER DUPER useful gift. Everyone always needs a hand cream, everyone always needs a nail file. Women and men.

Buy Now

Nars Riot Velvet Matte Lip Pencil Set, £49

christmas beauty gift sets

Nars’ Velvet Matte Lip Pencils are some of the best lipsticks on the market. They glide on, they last for ages and the colour payoff should win an award. Plus, come on you know that people can’t get enough of handy little pouches.

Buy Now

Aveda Limited Edition Rosemary Mint Gift Set, £30 Fabled

Christmas Beauty Gift Sets

This gift set is for that person (maybe a housemate, maybe a lazy boyfriend) who struggles to get out of bed in the morning. The Rosemary Mint collection is invigorating and zingy. 10 minutes in the shower with these babies and it’s like a quadruple shot of caffeine for that sleepy person.

Buy Now

Sunday Riley Vault Kit, £296 Cult Beauty

Christmas Beauty Gift Set

OK, yes it’s pricey at £296. BUT the contents are actually worth £465. This way you can look OVER THE TOP generous, when actually you’ve only been VERY generous. Keep this gift set for someone you’re trying to impress.

Buy Now

Patchology FlashPatch Wink & A Kiss Set, £10 Harvey Nichols

christmas beauty gift sets

Christmas and New Year is the season of snogging – under the mistletoe and drunkenly at 12am on the 1st January – so it’s vital that lips and peepers are in prime condition. Patchology knows how to make sheet masks; the Rejuvenating Gels hydrate tired, partied-out eyes and the Hydrating Gels plump up lips.

Buy Now

Ouai Swing Both Ouais Kit, £40 Selfridges

Christmas Beauty Gift Sets

Ever since Jen Aitken launched her haircare range we all now have access to Kendal Jenner’s and Chrissy Teigan’s hair. And these two products are the heroes of the collections. Nothing will give A-List hair like these, so give them to your most bouji friend.

Buy Now

Romilly Wilde x Jessica Russell Flint Silk Eye Mask & Gift Set, £110

christmas beauty gift sets

There are three wonderful things in this set – a 100% natural eye serum that moisturises the eye area to help with dark circles, a super chic eye mask to protect the delicate eye area and a matching silk bag that you can use as a knicker pouch when you travel.

Buy Now

The Body Shop Olivia the Owl, £18

christmas beauty gift sets

You can always rely on The Body Shop to delivery the cutest Christmas beauty gift sets that put the joy into the festive season. This year’s offering is no different. Inspired by the magic of the forest, each gift celebrates nature and in classic Body Shop style is committed to sustainability and minimising package waste. Not only is Olivia stuffed full of products to tend to your body’s winter skin, but afterwards you can use her as moneybox.

Buy Now

Hourglass Confession Refillable Lipstick Set, £50 Cult Beauty

christmas beauty gift sets

Yes, we know that smoking is bad for your health (blah, blah, blah), but how cool does this cigarette box-style set of lipsticks look? You get three stunning lip shades for winter – a dusty rose, a deep rose and a red currant – and two pink metallic applicators.  The applicators are chicer than chic and will look incredible when you stop to reapply.

Buy Now

Kiehl’s Limited Edition Zesty Grapefruit Body Care Set, £25 Debenhams

christmas beauty gift sets

We don’t know one person who doesn’t like Kiehl’s. These four little pots of happiness will whip your winter-worn arse into shape. Smooth, moisturised limbs are there for the taking.

Buy Now

Clarins Double Serum Collection, £63.75 John Lewis

Christmas Beauty Gift SetsHere are the four reasons whey should get this christmas beauty gift set for a dear friend (or you know, yourself). One – their Double Serum (full size) is their most powerful anti-ageing serum and has won countless awards. Two – if you’ve never tried their Beauty Flash Balm, you quite literally have not lived. This cult product should be used in place of your normal day cream when skin needs a wake up. It brightens, tightens and moisturises. Three – the Lip Comfort Oil plumps up lips better than any balm. And four – look at that jolly bag they all come in.

Buy Now

Lixirskin x Lykke Wulf Gift Set, £140

Christmas beauty gift sets

Screw everyone else, buy this for yourself. Not only do you get some brilliant skincare, but look at this super smart bag that will have you sorted for the party season. Screw them all.

Buy Now

There’s something for everyone in this list.

Or, you know, all for you… We’re not here to judge.

The post Christmas beauty gift sets: the ultimate christmas beauty gift guide appeared first on Marie Claire.

Marie Claire

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Style Your Home’s Outdoors with All the Perfect Additions from MacKenzie-Childs! Save on Tables, House Letters & Chairs. Shop Now!

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses: Books

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses: Books



For Kids:

I’M A BRILLIANT LITTLE BLACK BOY!

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

I’m a Brilliant Little Black Boy is targeted to African American children ages 6-11 years old.

 




I Am Unique 

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

I Am Unique is a book and global empowerment brand reaching children in the United States, Africa, United Kingdom, Philippines, and Australia.


Sasha Savvy Loves to Code

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

This book written by a teen author is to further the culture of science, technology, engineering, and math, while teaching some programming basics as well.




Harlem’s Little Blackbird 

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

This book tells the story of Florence Mills, a singer with a voice like a bird.


Fly High! The Story of Bessie Coleman

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

Bessie Coleman was the first African American to have a pilot’s license – she traveled all the way to France to earn her license after every American school refused to teach her.




Little Melba and Her Big Trombone

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

This book highlights Melba Liston; a child prodigy trombonist who played with everyone from Count Basie to Billie Holiday.




For Adults: 

Becoming Michelle Obama

Throughout the book, Obama shares insights of a life of pomp and circumstance as a first lady, yet one also filled with the everyday worries, anxieties, and self-doubts so many women who hold it down as mothers and working professionals face.




Standing Our Ground

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

 

Part memoir, part history lesson, this is the story by newly-elected congresswoman Lucia McBath who became an activist after the murder of her son Jordan Davis.




An Extraordinary Life

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

Author Wendy Jones can’t exactly prove that her mother, Josephine Jones, was the first black woman manager at a Fortune 500 company, but she certainly makes a strong case for it in her book.


Getting to the Other Side of Victory

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

This autobiography is a story of hope and action to teach people how to hit the reset button, tap into their hidden strengths, and rebuild their lives after crisis and loss.




Rise and Grind 

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

 

In this collaboration, Daymond John looks at everyday routines of individuals including, Gary Vaynerchuk, Wendy Williams, Carlos Santana, and Catherine Zeta-Jones, who people consider to be winning and at the top of their fields.


Black Fortunes 

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

This book is an ode to the nation’s first-known, post-slavery titans, a few of whom reside in his own family tree, concentrates on six African Americans who escaped slavery and became millionaires.


Please note: Black Enterprise makes a small commission when you purchase one of these products via the embedded Amazon links. 

The post Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses: Books appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

EMPLOYMENT SEARCH UPDATE:

‘FIFA 19’: Watch Two Champions Go Head-to-Head for Ultimate Bragging Rights

Former Smosh Games streamer Lasercorn is a champion-level gamer who entertains hundreds of thousands of fans on his YouTube channel. Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer leveraged a star-making turn on So You Think You Can Dance into a professional dance career. Now these two champions in their respective fields are going head-to-head in FIFA 19 to determine who’s the ultimate champion on the pitch.

They’re trying out one of the new Kick Off modes, Survival, which removes a player from a team whenever that team scores a goal. Watch the video above to see who comes out on top!

Champions Rise

Lasercorn and Cyrus also took time to chat about their origin stories — how they got started doing what they love and how they rose to the tops of the games. Watch the video above to find out.

Anatomy of a Champion

Once you make it to the top of your field, how do you stay on top? Lasercorn and Cyrus break down their current day-to-day routines to find out how to stay a champion-caliber performer. Watch the video above for details.

The post ‘FIFA 19’: Watch Two Champions Go Head-to-Head for Ultimate Bragging Rights appeared first on FANDOM.

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ENTERTAINMENT DEAL UPDATE:

Ultimate Design Challenge: Vote for a Chance to Win!

The Challenge: We asked two designers to create a room concept using Beauti-tone’s 2019 Color of the Year, Tropic of Conversation. Vote for your favorite today for a chance to win a $ 250 Home Hardware gift card from Beauti-tone!

Yvonne’s Cheerful Bedroom

Yvonne Whelan: For this cheerful, modern bedroom, I started with a warm earthy Antique French floor in Bordeaux and a neutral wall color paired with Beauti-Tone’s Color of the Year, Tropic of Conversation. I would use this bold color to paint a sliding barn door for a stunning feature. Furniture and accessories in bold, black and white patterns give the space a very modern feel. A few pops of orange carry the barn door color throughout the room without over complicating the look.– Click here for more information and sources.

Jacklynn’s Contemporary Living Room

Jacklynn Little: My inspiration started with the Color of the Year from Beauti-tone called Tropic Of Conversation and a beautiful French Antique floor in Bordeaux. I added hot pink to both balance out the bright orange and give the room a bold look. The sofa is a neutral shade of cream which gives great contrast to the wall color. Pillows in orange and pink fabrics in a variety of patterns will make this room both contemporary and fun to live in. A luxurious rug pulls together all the colors in the room and the gold coffee table and side tables give the look an elegant feel.- Click here for more information and sources.

ENTER TO WIN:

Use the widget below to vote for your favorite design board and then earn extra entries using the listed options! One lucky contestant will win a $ 250 Home Hardware gift card from Beauti-tone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post Ultimate Design Challenge: Vote for a Chance to Win! appeared first on Home Trends Magazine.

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BEST DEAL UPDATE:

‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ trailer syncs up perfectly with a Queen classic

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Ain’t it great when things just work out?

Like the latest trailer for Nintendo’s upcoming Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which perfectly syncs up with Queen’s classic 1978 hit “Don’t Stop Me Now.”

This magic little match was realised by YouTuber Fennec Fox, who perfectly timed and edited the track and the trailer together for your viewing pleasure.

Two enthusiastic thumbs up for the supersonic timing of Sonic the Hedgehog’s arrival.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is out on Nintendo Switch Dec. 7. Read more…

More about Nintendo, Mashups, Queen, Nintendo Switch, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate


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Everything You Need to Play Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on Switch

If you buy something through this post, IGN may get a share of the sale. For more, read our Terms of Use.

Each passing day brings us one day closer to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. It’s the ultimate Smash Bros. experience, so calling it Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was a good call on Nintendo’s part, in my opinion. We now know the full Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster, and with 74 fighters, it really is the ultimate Smash Bros.

You have plenty of time to prepare your body (and your gaming station) for the upcoming Super Smash Bros. entry on Switch. For starters Nintendo, being the savvy company that it is, is reissuing Smash-themed GameCube controllers with a Switch adapter. With every character ever returning to Smash, there are going to be some people climbing out of the woodwork to get back into the action. This list should help you welcome in the upcoming Super Smash Bros. Ultimate future in which we all soon will live.

Continue reading…

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SHOPPING DISCOUNT UPDATE:

GameStop, Inc.

Watch Marvel Fans Test Their MCU Knowledge in the Ultimate Trivia Competition

Marvel fans recently turned out in droves at NYCC to play a game of FANDOM Feud, presented by the all-new 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback. They came prepared to test their MCU knowledge against other expert superfans in this ultimate trivia competition. Who comes out on top? Watch and find out!

The post Watch Marvel Fans Test Their MCU Knowledge in the Ultimate Trivia Competition appeared first on FANDOM.

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ENTERTAINMENT DEAL UPDATE: