The Brown List: Staff Picks for April 2018

Spring, where art thou? The weather may be gray, but don’t let that spoil your mood! Brown Girl Magazine is back at it again with a host of exciting staff picks.

With finals week right around the corner, our latest Brown List is packed to the brim with study break ideas. So, whether it’s a new pad thai spot or a better product to cover your under eye circles, you can be sure to find something fresh, new and exciting this April.

1. “How To Cook Every Indian Dish Ever” by Buzzfeed India

Cooking for yourself is hard as it is and desi cooking is a completely different beast on its own, but making a home cooked meal doesn’t have to be hard. BG Proma found the best all-in-one cooking hack video from Buzzfeed India.

“How to Cook Every Indian Dish Ever” might be a no-brainer for some people, but it’s a nice, straightforward guide to easy Indian food that you can customize to your taste preferences,” she said.

2. Book of the Month: “Dark Matter” by Blake Crouch

dark matter
[“Dark Matter”/GoodReads]
Blake Crouch‘s award-nominated “Dark Matter” is a perfect study break book!

“If you enjoy futuristic science fiction thrillers, then this ‘Dark Matter’ is for you,” BG Nadia said. “You’ll never suspect the plot twists or how the story ends. ‘Dark Matter’ is a look into how your regrets and successes may impact your life and what would you do if you could change the decisions you’ve made. This idea of past regrets somehow perfectly melds in with actual scientific concepts, like quantum mechanics. This book is a mind bender!”

You can find “Dark Matter” at Barnes and Noble or Amazon! Your mind will spin from the unique physics of the story world and the unexpected turns the author takes throughout the plot.

3. Advanced Therapy Healing Ointment by Aquaphor

[Aquaphor Healing Ointment (14 oz.)/Aquaphor ]
Never underestimate the power of tried and true essentials. Sometimes, overpriced designer moisturizers can’t measure up to basic, drug-store lotions. BG Anjali is a firm believer in good, old-fashioned jar of Advanced Therapy Healing Ointment by Aquaphor to keep her melanin poppin’.

“Aquaphor’s Advanced Therapy Healing Ointment has become the biggest hack for me” BG Anjali said. “Unlike Vaseline and other balms, Aquaphor can work with any kind of skin, on almost any part of your body. With just a swipe on my lips on a regular basis, my matte lipsticks feel softer when I do my makeup and I don’t wake up to flaky or unhealthy lips anymore.”

Jars of the humble Aquaphor can be found at AmazonWalgreens or Walmart.

4. Movie of the Month: “A Quiet Place”

A Quiet Place
[“A Quiet Place” movie poster/Roseburg Cinema]

Two thousand and eighteen is already on fire with a string of hit blockbuster films. So get ready for a new hit with Emily Blunt’s “A Quiet Place.” BG Anita raves about the film:

“‘A Quiet Place’ is a unique take on science fiction. This movie will keep you on the edge for your seat,” BG Anita said. “Also, I must mention that the film’s existence is truly a positive step for the deaf community to gain more recognition for their talents. Plus, I want to give major kudos to Emily Blunt and John Krasinski for their power couple starring roles. Fun fact: Krasinski also directed and wrote the screenplay to the film!”

5. SkinActive Clearly Brighter Anti-Puff Eye Roller by Garnier

[SkinActive Clearly Brighter Anti-Puff Eye Roller by Garnier]

Your skin reacts to stress and sleepless nights, so in an effort to combat dark under eyes — try the OG eye roller from Garnier. The SkinActive Clearly Brighter Anti-Puff Eye Roller is relatively cheap and has a potent caffeine formulation to combat under-eye puffiness. BG Rishma swears by the results she’s seen so far:

“I’m not a morning person by any stretch of the phrase. My eyes are always caving in when I’m tired until I discovered the SkinActive under eye roller,” BG Rishma said. “It’s so much more affordable than other eye rollers that I’ve seen and it helps reasonably widen your eyes in the morning. If you have the same issues with dark circles and under eye puffiness, this Garnier eye roller is worth a try. After all, it’s so cheap and effective!”

Garnier’s SkinActive Clearly Brighter Anti-Puff Eye Roller is on Amazon and at Walmart.

6. Travel Spotlight: Ireland

[The cliffs of Moher in Liscannor, Ireland/Flickr]

March may have come and gone, but April is actually the best time to visit the Emerald Isle. With the weather warming up and spring in full bloom, Ireland is the perfect vacation destination for those suffering from wanderlust. Our staffers are huge fans of this European island. BG Nadia can’t stop talking about her last trip there.

“Ireland is such a breathtaking country in all aspects. From the Giant’s Causeway in the north to Blarney Castle in the southern town of Cork,” BG Nadia said. “Forget about fancy hotels or long, enclosed bus tours, self-driving is a must! I remember driving through the countryside by yourself and getting lost in the Irish mounts. However, the adventure of finding my way back and taking time to explore the region is an experience I’ll never forget. I would recommend packing a light jacket and a pair of rain boots if you plan on walking through the elements often. Irish weather has a tendency to change about five times a day.”

7. Mineralize Moisture SPF 15 Foundation by MAC

Mac Makeup
[MAC Mineralize Moisture SPF 15 Foundation/Amazon]
With school, life and work obligations piling up, you may find yourself with stress-induced bad skin. BG Marina uses MAC‘s Mineralize Moisture SPF 15 Foundation to turn her skin woes into wins.

“The spring season brings a host of new allergies and headaches, so it’s no wonder my skin is at its worst during this time. I like to use mineralized foundations, because they have light reflecting particles to help your skin have a glowy sheen,” BG Marina said. “Also, this particular MAC [product] has sun protection in it and it’s extremely hydrating. I always recommend this product to my friends who have extremely dry skin and want a regular sheer to medium coverage. The price is pretty good, considering you only need a few drops at a time. One regular sized bottle will last you for months.”

The Mineralize Moisture SPF 15 Foundation is commonly found at Macys, Nordstrom and Bloomingdales.

By Marina Ali

Marina Ali is a medical student, writer, poet, and blue lipstick enthusiast. She is the poetry editor for Brown Girl … Read more ›

17 Ayurvedic Beauty Brands on our Radar Right Now

Holistic beauty trends are more prevalent than ever — that makes ayurvedic beauty brands incredibly sought-after, as well. Do you find yourself asking what your beauty products are actually made of? A lot of us even resort to food products for a skincare routine such as honey for face wash.

The term “Ayurvedic Beauty” is getting more recognition outside the South Asian world as well.

Ayurvedic beauty is coined upon the term “Ayurveda,” which originated in Hindu culture as the basis of utilizing the five life forms — air, water, ether, fire, and earth — to heal the human body.

[Read Related: The Budget-Friendly Beauty Guide you Need This Spring Season]

Ayurvedic beauty brands focus on using herbs and natural ingredients to create their skincare range and consumers around the world are attracted to these natural products.

Scroll down to see some Ayurvedic beauty brands founded by South Asians.

Soma Ayurvedic

Is your skin feeling a little dry this winter? Nourishing your skin with body oil will lend it the right amount of moisture — Soma Ayurvedic’s jasmine body oil can do that trick! Shop the oil, and their full line of products, here.


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Sama Tea

If you’re familiar with author and podcast Host, Jay Shetty, then you may have heard of his tea line, Sama Tea. Herbal teas provide many natural benefits. Has it been a stressful week? Try their lavender rose chamomile tea for some TLC. Check them out here.


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Sahajan Skincare

Know the Netflix show “Ginny & Georgia?” Loved the actress’ fresh-looking skin? Sahajan Skincare is behind that glow! They’re a must-try, featured in both Vogue and Elle India. See their full range of products here.


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Shaz and Kiks

This unique company showcases its brand with an emphasis on ‘holistic.’ Whether it’s bad hair days or excessive shedding, not only do Shaz and Kiks provide the products to help but also break down the science behind the problem. Go on your very own shopping spree by clicking here!


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Looking for accessible ayurvedic beauty products? Look no further! Ranavat is now in Sephora. With a beauty line that covers both hair and skin, there’s something here for everyone. See for yourself here.


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UMM Skincare

UMM Skincare is known for its brown sugar body scrub, made with natural ingredients, and Bakuchi oil known to improve signs of aging and hyperpigmentation. Try it for yourself by shopping here!


Give your skin the best by adding ZAILA to your daily skincare routine! Click here and start shopping!


This brand is all plant-powered, and we’re here for it — you should be too! Check out their full range of products here.

Inde Wild

Are you looking for brown skin-friendly sunscreen filled with nutrients? Look no further. Inde Wild has its very own SPF 50, with natural substances such as liquorice extract and cica, and it’s a mineral SPF suitable for all skin types. See what the brand is all about and shop it here.


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Mango People

I’m always in the market for brown girl-friendly lipsticks, and ones that are made of natural ingredients are a huge plus. Mango People does just this with their unique lipstick colors that suit all brown skin tones. Try them out here!

Kama Ayurveda

Need to swap out your shampoo for something better? Try Kama Ayurveda’s Ayurvedic Hair cleaner, infused with a variety of herbs and pulses with key ingredients like vetiver, tulsi, rose, moong beans, and shikakai. They have a variety of products to choose from so start with your hair and keep shopping for more here!


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Forest Essentials

According to Forest Essentials, night time is the best time for hydration. Check out their night cream, filled with nutrients to enrich your skin. You can shop their wide variety of products here.


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Koppen Ayurveda

A brand made for modern living, their essentials are all worth a shot! Start shopping here!


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Looking for a new face mask to try? AAVRANI has a variety of face masks and explains in detail when you should apply the mask during the week depending on your skin type. Take a look here!


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Plant-based skincare, anyone? Delhicious has got everyone covered, so click here and fill your baskets!


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Pratima Skincare

Just getting into skincare and don’t know where to start? PRATIMA skincare has starter sets, with basics, that every woman can use such as vitamin C serum, essential oils, and collagen creams. Grab yours now by shopping here!


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Fable & Mane

Struggling with hair care recently? Fable & Mane includes various hair oils in their collection that help grow and nourish your hair. Not only that, they have a scalp detox line as well — definitely worth checking out. See their full range of products here.


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[Read Related: 10 Clean Beauty Products That’ll Have you Winning on Earth Day]

In a world that’s becoming more conscious of holistic living, embracing Ayurvedic beauty in your day-to-day is a step in the right direction, and these brands are here to help you get started.

By Hrishika Muthukrishnan

Raised in North Carolina, Hrishika Muthukrishnan spent 18 years thinking there wasn’t much to the suburbs before she discovered how … Read more ›