Hands of the Earth: Rachel Dorrell of Scrumblewood Farm.

I’ve always admired women who ran their own businesses. I’ve admired them because I come from a legacy of women who have done just that. My great-grandmother Dorothea ran a bakery that supported her, my mother, and her older brother, my Uncle Percy. My grandmother was a seamstress and domestic who still managed to sell her Scorpion and Scotch-Bonnet peppers to her neighbors, as well as her hens’ eggs in retirement while raising me. Even my mom has dipped her foot in the entrepreneurship game from time to time, most notoriously working two jobs seven days a week to help put me through college. So as a result of being raised by women who took their destinies into their hands in order to feed their children, I have developed a deep respect and admiration for women who dare to run their own businesses, which brings me to my old friend Rachel.

When I came up with this concept of interviewing amazing women with radical businesses, the first person who came to mind was my old friend Rachel Dorrell. Read on to find out more about her radical entrepreneurship journey on 21 acres of lush farmland in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State.

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Pivot, Turn, Charge: An Interview With Laura Grantham Broussard

Pivot. Turn. Charge..png


Hello, everyone!

I’m back with another Pro.File feature! I know, I know…it’s been a year since the last one, but life happened while I made all these plans.

So my next interview is with my friend Laura. Funny thing about Laura: We’ve never actually met in person. She’s a native of Port Charles, Louisiana, where she lives with her lovely family…and I’m still spreading the love in the Brooklyn way from my perch in Flatbush, the greatest ‘hood of all time. We met via the Catholic Fashion and Beauty Group on Facebook, which is a fashion and beauty daily that’s geared towards Catholic women, and we became good friends outside of the group through our daily comments, posts and suggestions. I’ll be honest with you: when I saw how much she accomplished during the day while taking care of her family and working at her job, I’d always say to myself “How on Earth does she do it?” But my admiration of her grew leaps and bounds when she changed jobs from working as a social media manager at Grovia to becoming a paralegal for an immigration law firm. After her dinnertime interview, she changed into comfy clothes and drove to the office (at night, mind you) to pick up documents so that she could get straight to work. 

So without further ado, my friend Laura.

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Revolutionizing Beauty-The Concept of Mindful Consumption

In the last ten years, the beauty industry has gone through a massive evolution via the behemoth highway that is social media. Social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook have revolutionized not only how we process and absorb beauty, but also how we buy our products. We’ve gone from buying our products via physical stores and websites to crashing platforms all in the name of scoring our latest palette, lipstick, or magical potion which promises to do everything, even pay our bills.

However, I’m honestly of the opinion that there is indeed such a thing as too much beauty products. I’m tired of the never-ending parade of “collaborations” between social-media influencers across all platforms who (if Marlena Stell of MakeUpGeek is to be believed) have no qualms about taking cash to trash the business of competitors. I abhor the constant stream of Instagram make-up tutorials from people who constantly repeat the same look over and over again with their favorite palette or lipstick ever…of the week. And if I see another group post where group members talk about how superior they feel because they believe in the power of science or nature, I’ll scream.

I think we’re at the point where we as beauty consumers need a reckoning, en masse. We need it from a financial perspective, a consumption perspective, and a social media perspective. Now, I’m not saying that the beauty industry as a whole needs to take a hike, because our keen attention to this industry has caused more positive changes in the last five years than our forebears did in the last fifty, from Rihanna’s elegant elimination of the excuse that POC don’t buy foundation to the rise of independent lines like Beauty Bakerie,Juvia’s Place, SIGMA, and Herbivore through the almost exclusive use of social media. These are all great accomplishments. What I’m truly saying is that we need to stop consumption for consumption’s sake when it comes to how we engage in beauty. If we’re struggling to make rent, why the hell are we shelling out upwards of $60 for eyeshadow? Why are we allowing ourselves to be talked out of our money for the sake of increasing views of individuals who can only demonstrate makeup techniques on their own faces in addition to our stockpile of expired make-up? Even better: why are we arguing with individuals whom we’ve never met on Facebook, all for the sake of being considered a ride-or-die über-fan? 

I’ll be brutally honest with you. I’m tired of it. So as I’ve gotten older, I’ve made a conscious decision to be more mindful of how I engage with beauty from both intellectual and practical standpoints. I’m no longer looking for the next greatest social media influencer who can sell me my own name, but not show me how to apply makeup for glasses-wearers. Rather, if I’m going to seek out advice, I seek out professionals who can explain the mechanics of how products work, as well as how they would use those same products on their actual clients. When I buy makeup and skincare, I look for professional recommendations from actual artists and skincare professionals, and I NEVER buy without sampling first. I don’t buy every overpriced item that promises to render Ponce de Leon’s quest for the Fountain of Youth obsolete, but I make sure that I invest in high-quality ingredients and technology which promises to  address the needs that I have. In regards to engaging with others, I don’t engage in conversations with others if they devolve into personal insults and attacks. Rather, I keep the conversation to the products or practices at hand.

It keeps me happy.


What are some ways in which you’ve adopted mindful consumption into your routine? I’d love to hear from you!


Handcreams: Why I’ll Never Be Without Them

My name is Andrea, and I have a confession to make.

I am a hand cream addict. No. I am a hand cream Obsessive.

Now, if you’re reading this, then you’re probably wondering “Why is this woman acting as though she is is an addict about LOTION?” 

Yes, lovely people of the Internet. I am a hand cream snob, and I won’t apologize for it. 

It all started in 5th grade, when my mother (the OG beauty junkie and the person responsible for showing me the possibilities of this addiction) bought me my first hand cream, which was the Burt’s Bees Almond Milk Hand Creme. It was my first favorite hand cream EVER, and not just because it smelled like almond cookies. I loved it because it was a light texture, but packed enough grease to keep my hands soft. I still think of it whenever I smell almond-scented body products.

Fast forward 19 years later, and I still have a love affair with hand creams. However, I’ve now graduated to hand creams that you find in specialty stores like Sephora, Bluemercury, C.O. Bigelow’s and the like. Basically….the bougie stuff. I do a lot of things with my hands, and I need to know that my hands are well-hydrated and moisturized. However, there is a catch-my limit is $20.00. Here are my top three hand creams that I keep on current rotation from my third favorite to my first favorite,.

(3) M-61 Hydraboost Hand Cream (Peptide and Vitamin B5 Hand Cream)- I found this hand cream when I meandered into the Bluemercury near Grand Central while on my way to a P3 (Prayer, Penance, Pub) meeting. I had intended to restock on my all-time favorite, but I asked the saleswoman to show me another option, and this was the one I liked the most. A bit of background about the M-61 line: It’s Bluemercury’s house line, and it was founded by Marla Malcolm Beck as a luxurious, highly efficacious vegan alternative to the high-end lines that she carries in her stores. This cream is unscented, and very hydrating, but not greasy. I like to use it at night on top of other serums that I may use on my hands when I have the time to do so. 


Hydraboost Hand Cream










(2) Deborah Lipmann’s “Rich Girl” Hand Cream with SPF 25- I decided to buy this hand cream when I got my copy of the May issue of InStyle magazine, and the editors voted this hand cream as their favorite.Since I’m a huge fan of their beauty section, I HAD to have it. So I went to the one place I knew had their entire line in stock, aka C.O. Bigelow, and I tried it out. Besides the rich, buttery texture and the perfume-like scent, this hand cream is one of the rare ones on the market that has SPF in it. I tested this at my nail salon on my hands AND feet when I wanted to protect them from the effects of the UV light during a gel manicure session, and I can say that it did the job. *A word of warning: This cream works really well on skin that has been exfoliated. If your hands are dry and crusty….nah. It’ll feel like grease on top of breadcrumbs.


Deborah Lipmann Rich Girl Dermstore com










(1) Caudalie’s Hand and Nail Cream- This is my favorite hand cream EVER. Besides the smell, which smells like a grape vineyard in your house, I love the feel of this hand cream. It’s thick, but it goes on lightly, and it makes your hands feel hydrated without being greasy, and the hydration was still there after a few hours. For me, this cream is an experience: I can feel it working, smell the French sunshine, see how it hydrates my hands instantly, and hear the lack of ashy crustiness as a result of using this cream.

Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream Caudalie com









So there you have it. These are my three favorite hand creams which I actually use. What are your favorite hand creams? Are you into hand creams? Or do you not see the need for them? Let me know!

How I Deal With My Loved Ones When They Talk… Ish.

Hello, people!

Long time no hear…I know. I’ve started a new job in the past few weeks, so it’s taken up quite a bit of my time. Add to that my birthday (the divine 29, anyone), along with general spending time with the loved ones, and my time goes out of the window. On the subject of this topic, I’ve been thinking about this topic for years now, and finally….I feel mentally strong enough to write about it. Bear with me.

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What it REALLY Means to be Pro-Life in America-A Discussion.

Today, March 14th is Pi Day. Pi Day was founded under the auspices of celebrating the number pi, which is  3.14159265359. My fellow nerds usually have celebrations of the magical number, while my fellow food-lovers use it as an excuse to create all sorts of sweet and savory magical concoctions with flour, fruit, caramel, and the like. Normally, I’d be in pi-e heaven. Pun intended.

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The Reward Is In The Routine-The Importance of Consistency in Beauty

Hello, everyone!

Have you missed me? Well, I missed you. If you were to ask me where I’ve been, I’d say that I’ve been taking care of the business of living my life. I’ve been working on my friendships, relationships, my blessings, my food, and everything else.

But I haven’t been as consistent in my beauty routine, and so I decided to talk to you today about how important it is to remain consistent in maintaining your routines. Not only for your outer beauty, also for your inner beauty.

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Vulnerability-The Stone Blocking Your Path to Greatness

During this past Christmas season, I signed up for the opportunity to attend a Blessed Brunch which was to be hosted here in NYC. Blessed Brunches are part of the Blessed is She ministry, which aims to foster community and sisterhood amongst Catholic women via their website, social media pages, as well as in-person meetings. The brunch took place this past Saturday in Harlem, and a group of us from different parts of the five boroughs came together to talk about the value of Faith and its multifaceted importance in our daily lives. There were young professionals, young mothers, wives, career women all together in one room to talk about our love for our Catholic faith.

It should go without saying that this was one of the best discussions I’ve ever attended. Not only did we really delve into the nitty-gritty aspects of what having faith requires, but we also delved into the deep about what keeps us from having faith, and the word that kept on coming up was….. vulnerability.

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Why We Need to Avoid Social Media Arguments-A Rant

I remember the days before social media.

They were halcyon days. They were peaceful days. They were “The Hills Are Alive With the Sound of Music” days. Okay, maybe not.

However, if you disagreed with someone, then you argued with a person and ONLY that person. Maybe you did it via letters which were then burnt. Or perhaps you called who you needed to call on your phone and agreed between the two of you to never speak of the argument in question again. Or….you used my favorite method- you met up in person to break bread…and decided to never speak to each other again.

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Three Product Roundup: Cleansing Oils

Hello, people!

I’ve been MIA for awhile, and I’m sorry! I’m currently in the midst of trying to get my life together (#adulting), and a lot of things have fallen off. However, I’m back with a three product round-up to show you that I’m still in this to win this.

Now, first things first: cleansing oils are not new to the beauty scene. For millennia, women have been using oils to cleanse their faces throughout the world. However, the modern iteration of cleansing oils (which originated in Asia) use emulsifying agents housed in oil bases to break down makeup, sunscreen, pollution, and other impurities on the surface of the skin. Some people say that they aren’t necessary, but considering the fact that we in the West wear long-wearing sunscreen and makeup which boasts about lasting more than 24 hours, we do need to safely break down those products. Water-based cleansers won’t cut it because those long-wearing products I told you about are housed in silicone, oil, and wax bases. Translation- They are made to stay ON.

Cleansing oils are one of my favorite products. I tend to use them as a first cleanse on the days that I’ve worn sunscreen, but not any makeup. If I wear makeup, then I use a cleansing balm. With that in mind, here are three different cleansing oils that I’ve tried, and here are my opinions on each.

They are:

(1) Shea Moisture Peace Rose Complex Cleansing Oil ($12)

Shea Moisture CLeansing Oil-Target

Photo Credit- Target

(2) Biossance Squalane + Antioxidant Cleansing Oil ($30)

Biossance Cleansing Oil

Photo Credit- Sephora

(3) Fresh Seaberry Skin Nutrition Cleansing Oil ($44)

Fresh Cleansing Oil-Sephora

Photo Credit- Sephora

I. Amount in packaging: 

Shea Moisture: 4 fl. oz

Biossance: 6.7 fl. oz

Fresh: 150 mL (5.1 fl. oz)


II. Marketing Jargon (Taken directly from company websites whenever possible)

Shea Moisture: This natural cleansing oil gently yet thoroughly melts away make-up, dirt and impurities without leaving an oily residue. Enriched with skin-nourishing certified organic Shea Butter and our proprietary complex of Alpine, Damask and Musk Rose Oils, it transforms into a creamy, soft emulsion when blended with water. Sensitive skin is left softer, smoother and refreshed.

BiossanceAn antioxidant-rich cleansing oil that gently removes long-wear makeup and leaves skin with a beautiful, healthy look and feel. Formerly known as “The Purifier”—it’s a brand new look, same effective formula.

The lightweight oil lifts away makeup and impurities, then rinses completely clean with water. Formulated with our sugarcane-derived, sustainable squalane oil, it helps keep skin hydrated and feeling fresh.

Fresh: Seaberry Skin Nutrition Cleansing Oil helps remove impurities and makeup, including waterproof. The blend of nourishing oils and protective extracts effectively cleanses the skin while maintaining natural moisture levels, so skin feels soft and supple and looks healthy and radiant.


III. Ingredients:

Shea MoistureHelianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Sodium Isostearoyl Lactylate, Fragrance (Essential Oil Blend), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter**, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Rosa Centifolia Flower Wax, Rosa Damascena Flower Wax, Rosa Canina Flower Extract, Rosa Centifolia Flower Water, Balanites Aegyptiaca Kernel Oil, Rhododendron Ferrugineum Leaf Cell Culture Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract.


FreshVitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, PEG-20 Glyceryl Triisostearate, Caprylic/Capric/Succinic Triglyceride, Camellia Oleifera Seed Oil, Hippophae Rhamnoides Oil, Nigella Sativa Seed Oil, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil, Bixa Orellana Seed Extract, Haberlea Rhodopensis Leaf Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Fragrance, Water, BHT, Benzyl Alcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid, Limonene, Linalool, Citral.

IV. Directions for Usage (According to company directions)

Shea Moisture: Massage the oil onto face with hands. Add warm water to transform the oil into a milky emulsion. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry.

Biossance: Apply to dry face with fingertips and gently massage. Add water and continue to massage to [break down] makeup and impurities. Rinse.

Fresh: Gently massage 3-4 pumps onto dry face and closed eyes. Add warm water to emulsify. Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water.


V. Texture and Scent

Shea Moisture: This smelled like the generic European-style rose-scented soap that I like to buy from time to time. However, it felt like the cheap liquid handsoap you get from Target.

Biossance: The scent of this is very mild. It smells like the beginning of orange creamsicle, but it never actually gets there, so it’s not an annoying smell. It’s pleasant, but not cloying and annoying, as I like to say. Due to the squalane, this cleansing oil feels very decadent. It’s a thick oil, so if you prefer oils to remove your makeup, you will like this one.

Fresh: This smells like a mild version of berry and citrus together. Very mild, but a lovely scent. Unlike the previous two, this oil is very thin.

VI. How Did I Use It?

I used all according to the package directions. Like I said in the intro, I usually only use oils to remove sunscreen. However, for the Biossance and Fresh oils, I used four pumps each every time I used the product, and then I used a warm clean washcloth to remove it.

VII. My Thoughts on Each Product

Shea Moisture: This. Crap. Burned. My. Eyes. It removed my sunscreen quite well, but it burned my eyes. To be honest, this is more a soap than a cleansing oil. I hated it. I used it twice to be sure I had the same reaction, and then I put it in my cabinet and forgot about it until I needed a brush cleanser.

Biossance: I love this product. I love the size, the smell, and the feel of it on my skin. This product removed all of my sunscreen and the minimal makeup (on the rare occasion I wore any.) I’m a firm believer in the double-cleanse method for my skin, but if you are someone who likes a single-cleanse, then you should try this. Furthermore, you can’t beat the price for the size. This product had me questioning whether or not I needed my second cleanser. Major.

Fresh: This is another “I love it” product. The texture is very thin and delicate, but it packs a punch in terms of removing sunscreen and surface dirt. My washcloth looked disgusting when I used this for my first cleanse. I did also use this for a second cleanse, and I liked how my skin felt. Furthermore, this bottle may not look like much, but I bought this bottle at the end of August, and I just finished it about a week ago…so clearly, it’s worth the money, even though I did complain about the price. when I first bought it.


VIII. Final Verdict

Shea Moisture: For the skin, this product is not my cup of tea. I have very sensitive eyes, and if a product burns, I usually get rid of it pronto. However, this does make an amazing brush cleanser so I would buy it again to use exclusively for that purpose. But only as a last resort.

Biossance: I like this one so far. I’ve only been using it for a week, and I can tell that there has been some improvement in my skin since I’ve started using it. My skin is not nearly as dry as it usually is in the winter, and the texture of my skin seems to glow more. I find that it’s made my treatment cleansers work much more effectively. I will definitely be repurchasing this.

Fresh: I love this product. It’s compact, but it definitely does what I need it to do. The only thing that bugs me is the price. Since I live in NYC, the price of this goes from $42 to $45 thanks to sales tax. That being said, the Sephora VIB sale is approaching, and I would add this to my list of “nice to haves” that I usually consider buying once I’ve bought my essentials.