• Nicole Jacobs

My Five Favorite 2020 Holiday Brands

Your social media feeds have probably been filled with festive, holiday gift guides and adorable family Christmas photos. This year, I wanted to share a few of my favorite products most of which are created by small, black or women owned businesses. With COVID impacting many of us, I wanted to be cognizant of the brands included within this list, so a few of them are high quality products that are still very cost efficient.


Love any of the brands listed below? Let me know! I'm a huge believer in continuous support and investment of companies and founders that genuinely care about their customers, the environment, and giving back to those in need.

(Brands listed below are in no particular order)

kae by karrueche

I love this new jewelry line by Karrueche! When she had her make-up collaboration with ColourPop Cosmetics a couple of years ago, I basically purchased her entire line of lipsticks and eyeshadow palette. When I first heard she was launching her own jewelry line, I immediately followed her brand awaiting the release of her first collection.


From her goldmine drop, I treated myself to the Baby Nuggs (small hoops + jade studs), Baby S (anklet), Eclipse (brass rings), and KnockHer (earrings inspired by bamboo details). I love how her pieces are simple, but still stylish without being too flashy. I'm a 90s baby and also love how her line is inspired from that period of time. The 14K gold finish on all of the products in this collection are timeless, classy, and chic. I'm not a fan of heavy earrings or jewelry and appreciate the fact that hers are lightweight and durable. The majority of her jewelry items are less than $35 each and won't break your bank if you need any last minute Christmas gifts or just want to treat yourself!

bala

This next brand is for all my fellow lovers of fitness + tv show, Shark Tank! Bala was founded by a wife and husband duo who believe in functional fitness and inspiring people to move their bodies. Their main product line features weights of three different varieties, one of which being the Bala Bangles. I love how these weights can be worn on your ankles or wrists by a simple adjustment of velcro straps. The bangles are comfortable and can be used for high intensity workouts without the worry of them falling off or becoming loose.


They are also great for just walking around and add a nice little extra weight without being straining on the body. There are currently three different sizes to choose from (1/2lb, 1lb, 2lb) and from my experience with the 1lb set, they are perfect! I enjoy these bangle weights so much that I'll most likely be purchasing another set in the future.









equilibria

A CBD brand founded by two women who believe in quality & service and are living proof of the benefits and power of CBD for everyday nuances. I was introduced to Equilibria when one of my favorite trainers posted about the brand on their Instagram. When I learned that their products could help to have less restless nights and better sleeping patterns, I was curious to try out for myself.


They currently have a curated holiday collection and since I'm fairly new to this brand, I thought it made the most sense to test out a couple of their products to start. I tried their, Peace of Mind gift set which includes two dynamic rollers and one bottle of daily drops.

I can confidently say that after taking the cranberry elderflower daily drops right before I sleep has made a difference. I've taken it for a few consecutive nights and I noticed that I was able to not only fall asleep faster, but I also did not wake up once during the night. As someone who is usually always tired (queue Jhene Aiko's "Born Tired"), I wouldn't say I was fully rested when waking up in the morning, however, having nights of uninterrupted sleep has really been key for me.


What I like about the dynamic roller duo is that there is one for day (energizing) and night (calming). The aroma of both rollers are soothing, encourage relaxation, and smell great. For anyone who is trying out this brand for the first time, the rollers are a nice place to start. Their products are a bit more on the higher end, but in this instance, quality definitely passes quantity.

blk and bold

This is one of my favorite brands I've been introduced to this past year. They are black owned. A portion of their profits are given out to communities in need. They are in several Target locations. They are also a delicious coffee brand. ☕️


I'm sure I'm not alone when I say this, but I admittedly drink way too much coffee. However, if I'm going to consume as much coffee as I do, it just makes sense to support small, support black and minority owned, and support local. Depending on how much time I have in the mornings, I will usually

either make something quick with my Nespresso machine or make regular drip coffee. Blk and Bold's signature medium roast coffee, Rise & Grnd, is so flavorful and easily one of my favorite coffee brands.


They are 100% certified fair trade and are also located in select Target stores across the nation. Have any favorite black-owned businesses? Feel free to share! I love discovering new brands who have a mission to do good and give back to communities and those in need.



osea malibu

For anyone else who has eczema or very sensitive skin, you may also enjoy a few of these products from Osea! Compared to the other brands featured on this list, they are another brand on the high price-point end, however their products are amazing. Growing up, there were times where I was self-conscious of my skin due to all the rashes, dark spots, and irritation my eczema has caused. Having to use fragrance-free products for basically the rest of my life isn't fun, however it's nice to know there are certain brands like Osea who aren't as harsh and offer products catered towards sensitive skin.


What I like about Osea is that they offer products based on concern (sensitivity, hydration, anti-aging, blemishes, etc.) and have a quick skin quiz online that you can take that will help determine which of their products are best for you based on your skin type. I was fairly new to this brand at the time and started off with a few products for my sensitive skin that are actually the travel size before committing to the full sizes.


The Undaria Argan Oil, Ocean Cleansing Milk, and Ocean Lotion are the first three products I sampled and truly enjoy! The Ocean Cleansing Milk and Ocean Lotion are fragrance free, lightweight, and gentle enough for my sensitive skin. I usually use Osea

products as a part of my night time skincare routine, but either day/night or both work perfectly. The Undaria Argan Oil is a game changer. I have to be very cautious of the products I use and this oil is

so hydrating, lightweight without being greasy, and has a subtle scent that leaves my skin feeling moisturized. A little goes a long way with this one which can be helpful if you're on a budget and you don't have to worry about restocking as often.


For anyone looking to introduce a new skincare brand into their routine, I highly recommend trying Osea!


Nicole Y. Jacobs