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Image via Mented's Instagram page.

11 Black Owned Beauty Brands To Keep You Glowing This Holiday Season

These will make great gifts for the beauty lover in your life—especially if that person is you.

This is our second gift guide in the run-up to the holidays. Keep checking for more lists of great African products here. And for more ideas check out the Okayafrica Shop.

Some of the most useful, stimulating and loving gifts you can get for your boo, loved one (or yourself) during the holidays are beauty and body products. Nothing says "I appreciate you" better than giving a gift that one can actually use, and that makes them feel more luxurious and beautiful - especially during the cold, skin-cracking months ahead.


But if you really want to spread joy this holiday season, you can kill two birds with one stone by buying from a black owned business. We rounded up 11 black owned beauty and body brands that will make your self care and glow dreams come true: from lip glosses and nail polish to body butters and all natural soap.

Limegreen

Limgreen's mantra is "live your multi". The vegan brand's mission is to make skincare accessible and multifunctional. Their multi-oil revitalizes the skin, moisturizes hair and is a natural makeup remover, and their wax-oil candle doubles as a massage oil - plus, comes in a container that can be used as a mug once the candle runs out. Skincare can be a pricey investment, but if it can be used all over the body, you're definitely getting your money's worth.

Mented Cosmetics

As black people, we have various shades of complexion and are always looking for the perfect nude lippie. Mented Cosmetics offers a handful of nudes - from berries to browns and caramels - in hopes that you'll find one, or more, that suits you. They also just released a gorgeous lip gloss line, which I am excited to try (I am obsessed with gloss right now).

Hunny Bunny Boutique

Founded by two adorable little girls in Washington, D.C., Hunny Bunny features a delicious array of all natural body treats. You'll find olive oil, cherry almond and rose clay soaps, charcoal facial bars, star-shaped lotion bars and all natural deodorant, among other delights. The cutest part - a handwritten letter from the young founders are included with your purchase.

Breedlove Beauty Co.

If you're looking for pure, minimal essential oils that you can mix and match for your liking, or classics like liquid black soap and charcoal cleansers, Breedlove Beauty Co.'s got you covered. The Baton-Rogue based company makes luxurious handmade hair and body butters, organic rosewater facial toners, scalp serums, clay masks and beard oils for anyone to enjoy.

Coloured Raine

Looking for an eclectic array of matte lipstick, eye shadows and highlighters? Coloured Raine has all that, in magical shades that bring out your inner god or goddess.

LIT Brooklyn

Sure, candles aren't necessarily a body or beauty product, but the right scent can revitalize your mind and body and make you feel beautiful. LIT Brooklyn has a collection of scents that will make you feel nostalgic, sexy, relaxed or uplifted. With names like "Home", "Muse" and "Beau", these citrusy, floral and woody scents are sure to invite any mood.

Kaike

Here's a special one if you're buying gifts for someone with a sweet tooth. Kaike (pronounced “cake") makes skin and hair butters that feel, and smell, as smooth and inviting as frosting. Their all natural, vegan products have names like “Frosting" and “Marshmallow Mask" and “Sugar Scrub" and unlike edible baked goods, they're entirely guilt free.

The Lip Bar

Here's another lip wear brand for those who are as obsessed with lip stuff as me - especially lip gloss. The Lip Bar has vibrant lipsticks, liquid mattes and a funky selection of pigmented lip gloss. Perfect for holiday parties or just staying at home and feeling yourself.

Ginger + Liz

Colourful nails can brighten up anyone's mood and outfit during the cold season. Ginger + Liz offers a variety of gorgeous and uplifting colors that inspire and express all kinds of personalities and styles.

Bahi Cosmetics

Offering skin care and makeup, Bahi Cosmetics is a nice pit stop to satisfy beauty and body needs. They sell powder highlighters, primers and lashes as well as dewy mists, facial cleansers and serums. Dope.

Beauty Bakerie

Here's another shop for the sweets lovers in your life. Beauty Bakerie's whole aesthetic revolves around vibrant and fun makeup that makes you feel...tasty. They offer a variety of products, from matte and creme lip whips to eyeshadows, glitter and palettes.

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Image via TONL.

Uganda Has Lost Millions of Internet Users as a Result of Its Controversial Social Media Tax

The infamous tax is effectually driving Ugandans off the internet.

The number of internet users in Uganda has declined significantly since the implementation of the highly-criticized tax on social media, which went into effect in July of last year.

While the government claimed that the tax would assist in raising government revenue and help "maintain the security of the country and extend electricity so that you people can enjoy more of social media, more often, more frequently," said Uganda's Finance Minister Matia Kasaija at the time. President Museveni also suggested that the tax would help "curb gossip" online.

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Cover art for Riky Rick's "You and I"

The 14 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Riky Rick, Mr Eazi, Moonchild Sanelly, Burna Boy, Blinky Bill, Niniola and more.

Every week, we highlight the cream of the crop in music through our Best Music of the Week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow OkayAfrica on Spotify and Apple Music to get immediate updates every week and read about some of our selections ahead.

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Image courtesy of Doubleday.

Oyinkan Braithwaite's 'My Sister the Serial Killer' Is the Lagos-Set Novel Rocking the Crime Thriller Genre

We speak with the Nigerian author about the success of her debut novel, and breaking the boundaries of "African Lit."

"I have always been drawn to dark topics," says Oyinkan Braithwaite, the 30-year-old Nigerian author behind the critical darling of a novel My Sister, the Serial Killer.

Her declaration helps explain the subject and title of her debut novel, which tells the story of Ayoola, a young woman who has developed a not-so-healthy habit of murdering her boyfriends, leaving her older sister, the book's protagonist, Korede to clean up her mess. You may have noticed it's ubiquitous cover—which features a young black woman wearing a headwrap, casually looking on as a knife-wielding hands is reflected in her sunglasses—on your timeline or at your local store. The internationally-released, Nigerian-made novel sits confidently on retail shelves previously reserved for mass-market thrillers.

The dark and humorous, Lagos-set novel is extreme—but not just because of all the murdering that happens. It also examines the extreme nature of the many things that can push people to the edge. For the sisters, it's: intergenerational trauma, abuse, the prevalence of a culture that rewards beauty above all else, as well as having to battle with their own personal shortcomings—just to name a few.

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