Welcome to All Things Black and Beautiful - the series where Lara Senbanjo, co-founder @ The Cornrow scours Beyonce's internet so you don't have to.
If you're looking for something for yourself or something to gift someone fabulous, and you would rather it be from a Black-owned or diversity proactive brand then look no further.
Each week expect a short sharp list of 5-6 products for you to vibe with from the world of home, beauty and wellness.
Follow along on TikTok - @thisislaraland
There is always someone in need of a gift, maybe its you
1. A Man Of The People Tufted Wall Hanging
This hand tufted rug by By Ms James is inspired by the classic book cover for the novel - A Man of The People - the political satire by Chinua Achebe which tells the story of unrest in a newly independent African country. It is also a gorgeous rug available both as a floor rug and a wall hanging on the By Ms James site. I see this as a gorgeous accent piece in a dining room or bedroom. It's very Solange.
I also think these rugs are an investment piece - there is nothing like buying original hand made art - whatever format it might be in. By Ms James is an excellent talent - she could be the next Jerry Pinkney - the 5 time Coretta Scott King Award winning African American illustrator who's work has covered several childrens' picture books.
Read our article here on the importance of investing in Black art.
2. The Blacker The Berry Throw
If you're looking for a throw to jazz up your couch, this piece by Nappy Head Club might do the trick. It is super soft cosy cotton and the illustration of gorgeous black grapes with blue leaves adorned with the words "The Blacker the Berry, the Sweeter the Juice" will bring style and humour to your home. A perfect gift for a friend who has just moved house as well.
These throws are so delightful, one of our favourite home content creators, Media Grillo of grillodesigns bought one and she adores it. The first drop sold out within 2 days so don't spend too much time thinking about it.
3. Erborian BB Cream
Ok so while I am big fan of Korean Skincare, when it starts getting into beauty, as a melanated woman, it can be challenging. There is still huge room for improvement from the Korean Beauty industry but I came across a TikTok sister absolutely raving about this BB cream and was pleasantly surprised to see 2 dark shades (there are only 2 light shades as well). If you're looking for that halfway house between makeup and skincare, give this a go. It even has SPF20!
If you have tried it, please let us know what you think in the comments.
4. Mirror Margarita
Dry January who?? Mirror Margarita made my Christmas. I discovered this black-owned margarita brand on Insta and have not looked back. It comes in two flavours Tequila and Mezcal. Mezcal is my preferred but I have re-stocked on both.
The founder runs a tequila bar called Hacha in London which I am now desperate to visit. Until then, at least I have it on tap.
This would make a lovely gift for your friend that always orders a margarita, but hasn't quite cracked making one. I have attempted several Margaritas but despite the relatively simple ingredients, whenever I make them at home they never quite tase like the ones that come expertly crafted from a bartender. I am so happy to have discovered this Margarita bottle which saves me faffing around with cointreau and triple sec and lime juice.
£36.00 or £70.00 for both flavours
5. Lorraine West Necklace
Ok this one's EXPENSIVE but if you are thinking about saving for a Cartier bangle or a Van Cleef necklace, perhaps don't? They don't need your money. Don't be basic, get something people will really look twice at. I think this hot comb necklace is fabulous, I love items that take something so culturally relevant and nostalgic and make it cool and contemporary. It's my favourite thing ever. If you grew up in the 80s and 90s with afro hair you are probably old friends with a hot comb. Sometimes you gotta burn to be beautiful. While I am glad we left that in the past, I think a reminder like this is wonderful.
I hope you have enjoyed this round up of products. Whether it is somebody's bday, anniversary, housewarming or if you are looking for something wonderful for yourself, I hope this blog gives you some ideas.
I always try to seek out independent brands, black owned brands, and brands that pay attention to designing for diversity. Sometimes there might be something I couldn't resist from Zara on here but usually it will be a bit more special.