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The Khalm

Khalm is a new skincare brand that's making waves throughout the market, and we can attest to WHY! From the time of arrival, Khalm sets a tone for what they want you to know about their brand. It's a luxury brand, through and through, of the highest standard. The Khalm Skincare set's slate-grey box packaging and rose gold metallic pressed design really stands out and is not a packaging you throw away with its detailed messaging inside.
From the first use, I started with the facial cleanser and night elixir before bed. Traditional I have dry skin and suffer from eczema, in comparison to some of my favorite brands like Image skincare, La Mer, or Caudalie my face has never felt so soft and hydrated! 
After trying and testing a couple of different combinations for BEST use, I've found this order to be the ideal order(at least personally) to feel your the best and look the most refreshed. If you're familiar with the scent of Oud, maybe from a brand like Tom Ford, it is a very identifiable relaxing yet woody scent. To start your routine use the cleanser first (three full squirts in the morning), the smell is a great and refreshing way to wake up in the morning. After the cleanser I recommend using the elixir, two drops in your hand instead of direct to face, it'll help last longer, and because the elixir is so rich - a little goes a long way! Massage the elixir into your face fully and finally apply the Khalm moisturizer (three full squirts). However, if you want a more glossy and shine to your look for the day use the elixir last. For the night routine, you can skip the moisturizer and simply cleans your face and follow with the elixir before bed. Another key is to use warm and hot water to open up your pores and really help the elixir and moisturizer seep into your skin. 
Although Khalm is an American based brand, the manufacturing is in France and follows the EU regulations for skincare. Beyond the Luxurious feeling I get when wearing Oud, it's a brand I feel confident to use with its anti-animal testing activity, environmentally conscious nature, and 90%+ natural ingredients like Oud extract which is perfect for red puffy and inflamed skin naturally.  By Jarrett Demetre

Fashion and our Identity

Fashion is more than clothing; fashion is a way for individuals to show off their Identities. Have you ever had a pair of pants that fit so perfectly you never want to take them off and every time you wear them you feel amazing? Then you understand how clothes can have such an impact on your confidence and self-esteem. Fashion is not just the clothes and accessories we wear, it is who we are and how we present ourselves to others every day. Whether people dress up or down we can show what makes us different.
Personal identity is creating a stable image of ones’ goals and skills over time. However social identity is how people categorize themselves and others into categories created by societal norms. We can individually have styles of our own that we wouldn’t necessarily wear out, and instead wear something simpler and more conforming to societal standards. Styles can be seen as a way for individuals to communicate without words. However, our personal styles can simultaneously be influenced by our society. Just like following new trends we can also be influenced by family, friends, and others who can impact our self-identity. As we start to find our inner styles and listen to ourselves, rather than others, it becomes easier to have confidence as individuals. Everyone has their own personal identity and style they just have to find it.
By Willow Kroger

The beauty in the details

The process of at-home personal nail care has been long overlooked and often forgotten about. The modern woman goes to a nail tech for every update, and it's few and far between in women's eyes that the everyday gentleman pays attention to his cuticle cleanliness. Unlike most new and upcoming brands in makeup, an online dropshipping store, or skincare brands, Go Beauty CEO Linda Cecilia has chosen a more unique approach to where her brand focus lies. The two-part curated beauty bundle Linda has put together focuses on one mascara and two cuticle health and cleanliness. Go Beauty's signature golden glow pen is the beauty enhancement item you didn't know you were missing. Rather man or women the Glow pen reminds you to look and focus on your nail hygiene and brings out the polish of both natural and manicured nails unlike you've ever seen.

With a luxurious visual look and an infused lavender scent, blended with its natural oils, the glow pen alone will easily find it's way into your daily items. If you've gone through your entire stash of skincare and haircare products during quarantine, welcome to your next inexpensive add that couldn't come at a better time, and will easily become the side convo of brunch when you decide to make a statement with your new golden fashion accessory!

Why This Lifestyle brand, is the aromatherapy you didn't know you were missing.

Galore Candles is a soy-based, organic, hand-poured candle company with a slow burn.

From the moment we opened our Galore Candle box set, the aroma of the candles was very robust and distinctive. We tried both the sandalwood and sweetest taboo, and the taboo is definitely our personal favorite

Rather the glass poured 9oz jar or the 8oz soy tin poured candle, Galore's personal home design comfortably fits any interior aesthetic. The infused scents are light and calming, something that's ideal for either or both your bedroom or bathroom creating a perfectly transformative getaway. As we spend more time indoors, and working from home now becomes the daily reality, the importance of a calm, comfortable, and focused environment is key.

A Candle is an everyday product that influences home decor on multiple levels, and the artisan style Galore offers mixed with their soy scent truly makes it an amazing usable accessory that is not only inexpensive but comparable to many other high-end brands in its organic delivery at a price point of only $19.99. So If you find yourself in the market while planning decorations for not only a festive decor perfect for the Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas holidays but also something different I would highly suggest Galore and picking up two of their Sweetest taboo candles for multiple rooms. Switching rooms with the same scent burning from one to the other truly expands a space(especially if you find yourself in NY this season)

Savanna Rooftop

There's a rooftop that's beautifully decorated with lavish faux grass, modern lounge-style table sets, and a colorful mural by Brooklyn artist N. Carlos J. With a 360° pan, the views are beautiful during the day as well as during the night. So what's the name of this rooftop you ask, the name is Savanna Rooftop located in Queens, Long Island City.

Last week, I had the pleasure of stopping by for a tasting of their signature cocktails along with a few small bites. The manager and host Vicente welcomed us and gave a tour of the space. The seating areas are nicely arranged for social distancing, and as the weather gets cooler for fall/winter, there'll be a new seatup called Sky Suite. Sky Suite will be built to keep guests warm as they enjoy the views.

As I made myself comfortable and went over the menu, Vicente suggested some bites plus drinks to start with, and I was pleased.


Guava Mezcal Margarita (recommend)
• mezcal poblano liqueur, orange liqueur, guava and lime

refreshingly sweet

Mojito (recommend)
• rum, mint, lime and soda

this was very nice, one of the better mojitos I've had recently.

Skyline (recommend)
• vodka, aperol, grapefruit and lime

If I remember this correctly, this was spicy and sweet... very refreshing.

Savanna Colada (recommend)
• rum, coconut, pineapple and lime

Umm, coconut and pineapple with a splash of rum...yes please! This was a good colada.

• Hennessy

similar to a hot toddy, this was nice to sip on...recommended as the night's get cooler.


Guacamole & Chips

Chicken Satay
• chicken satays are pieces of chicken served with a sweet chilli sauce.

Savanna Beef Slider
• grilled red onions, sriracha mayo, gruyere, pickles on a brioche bun

Grilled Adobe Chicken Tacos
• pickled red onions, charred salsa verde, corn tortillas

So there you have it, you have to visit Savanna and experience the beautiful 360° views and trendy lounge sets. Make sure to wear something cute, because you'll be tempted to snap a pic or two with the city scape backgrounds and ambience.

Until next time, thanks for reading.

lifestyle editor | VOLATILE

Renaissance Harlem123

If you're looking to explore new restaurants, and add to your list of tasty cocktails and delicious small bites to try, check out The Renaissance Harlem Restaurant. You'll have to be willing to travel uptown, but I promise you'll enjoy your visit. The outdoor setup is pretty nice, and because the restaurant is located on the corner of the block, there's two sides to choose from for your seating preference whilst practicing social distancing.

Last week, I visited the space for a tasting of their signature cocktails along with two small bites, and I was very pleased. Our host Valentine welcomed us with kindness, and was very courteous throughout the evening. The menu offers a variety of American and African style cuisine, with a selection of wines, beers and cocktails to choose from.

To start, I ordered the Caribbean Breeze which was very delicious and nicely garnished, then went on to ordering bites and more drinks.


Caribbean Breeze (highly recommended)
• burial supremo, hibiscus, muddled strawberry and lime.

Refreshingly sweet, the muddled strawberries made this drink pop, and the garnishes complimented it well.

Pear + Elderflower Martini
• pear vodka, st. Germain and citrus

This was sweet & tasty as well, but presentation was blah...would have liked something added, maybe a slice of pear + a cherry on a stick.

Harlem Romance
• virgil kaine bourbon, mezcal, roasted pineapple and citrus

Very delicious, sweet, taste of roasted/smokiness, but again presentation was blah. An actual roasted pineapple slice in the drink, or split onto the rim would have brought the drink to life.

Renaissance Lemonade
• croft pink port, fresh strawberry and mint

refreshing, taste like any other lemonade

Feeling Good
• high west bourbon, grand marnier, luxardo, maple syrup, and peychauds bitters

Old fashioned with a twist using the maple syrup...very strong, definitely a gentleman's drink. Would have loved some cinnamon sticks in addition to the orange for garnish.


Grilled Octopus
• fingerling potatoes, wilted spinach, and brussel sprouts

This was delicious, loved the octopus and potatoes...highly recommended

• white bean fritters with North African spicy sauce

OMG, this was so good. This pairs nicely with the Caribbean Breeze, gives off a nice island vibe especially when seated next to the greenery.

So there you have it, overall another great experience with some added favorites for you to try.

Until next time, thanks for reading.

Latain Palmer
lifestyle editor | VOLATILE

Tsion Cafe

The Tsion Café in Harlem offers a lot of history, and each item on the menu from dishes to cocktails are inspired by an ensemble of entertaining/historical figures like Nina Simone and Redd Fox.

Recently we went in for a tasting of their signature cocktails & small bites, and was very pleased! The host welcomed us into the cafe and shared a little background on the how the cafe came to be. The cuisine is East African based with an Ethiopian background, and is meant to be experienced in a "wholesome style eating." They believe in eating well in a communal essence, and that the "body should be the first priority." Before COVID, the space was well known throughout the neighborhood as the meeting place of Malcom X and Redd Fox as well as a place for local artists, screenings, and more. Today, with post COVID guidelines, they're welcoming back the neighborhood to enjoy their favorite dishes and drinks. There's outdoor seating in front of the cafe, and a little patio in the backend spaced.


Honey Wine /
don't believe I've ever had honey wine, but this was nice to the palette. Apparently queen sheba used to drink this wine amongst her squad in a leisurely way back in the day.

Sweet Nina (inspired by nina simone)
• vodka, lemon juice, passion fruit, and agave with sugared rim

this was my favorite cocktail, sweet and refreshing...very island like, taste wise.

Redd Foxx
• tequila, sorrel, ginger, agave, lime juice, and jalapeño

this was nice, of course spicy ... similar to an hibiscus drink.

Kafa Martini
• vodka, Ethiopian coffee, Amarula, berbere

this was another favorite, think Starbucks coffee with some baileys added :-)

• cachaca, ginger, lime juice, mint, and simple syrup


• fried pastry filled with lentil and/or chicken

loved the chicken, so yummy.

Malawack With Honey
• delicious Yemeni pastry with honey glazed over, and sprinkled with coconuts flakes

OMG, this was so yummy. Highly recommended for dessert... pairs nicely with the sweet nina cocktail.
So there you have it, if you're ever in the area, or just wanna try some tasty Ethiopian cuisine... head uptown to Tsion Café.
Until next time, thanks for reading.
XO•Latain PALMERlifestyle editor | VOLATILE
lifestyle editor |

The Mondarin on Park

The rooftop views on top the Mondrian Hotel are just picture perfect, and with the new COVID guidelines in place, the outdoor seating areas are designed to give you social distance with a peace of mind.

Just last week we visited in for a signature cocktail and small bite tasting. We met with the associate director of sales Esther who was our personal host for the evening! As we warmed up to each other, our energy took off to a whole new level of down-to-earth professionalism. We spoke as if we knew each other from way back when, sharing cultural experiences as we sipped and compared cocktail notes. We touched on how this luxury boutique hotel has been around for just three years and has already established themselves on the renowned Park Ave and have captured the attention of celebrity entertainers, socialites & athlets alike, and how COVID really hit hard an unexpected, but since reopening are coming back strong and safely to be one of the most accommodating hotels around. The city's reopening gives hope to bringing back locals and visitors to the vibrancy their hotel and of the terrace with a cocktail lounge alike.

As the evening grew darker, we tasted four signature cocktails, and munched on a delicious hearty "big burger" with house fries(highly suggest pairing this with the "Jalisco with Live"). The menu is curated by chef Rocco Dispirito, and cocktails by Zane Harris.

Overall, our experience on the Terrace was super chill,very relaxed, and accommodating. The staff and bartenders were friendly and provided great customer service.


Pineapple Stinger
• el tequileno tequila, lime, and agave...served on the rocks

this was nice to start with, sweet and refreshing

Maison Mai Tai
• plantation xaymaca, dry orange curacao, l'orgeat, and lime...served on crushed ice

this was so delicious, nicely garnished with fresh mints + dried orange dusted with sugar...the sipping experience gave me beach, and poolside vibes

From Jalisco With Love
• casamigos mezcal, lemon, agave syrup and strawberries... served on crushed ice

sweet and smoky

Spa Day Cooler
• spring 44 vodka, lime, simple syrup, cucumber, and mint

this was refreshing, but my least favorite...reminded me of a mojito

So there you have it. If you love sipping on cocktails with a view, meet me at The Mondrian Hotel, located at 444 Park Avenue South....15th floor. When you get to the bar, ask for Koko or Zoe. These ladies know how to make a great cocktail, and will hook you up with any special request, like on the sweeter side, or extra garnishes please.

Until next time

lifestyle editor | VOLATILE online

The Ainsworth Midtown

Ainsworth Terrace in midtown Manhattan offers a spacious lounge on their outside deck upstairs, and a sidewalk seating area for social distance dining. It's a great spot on the eastside for grabbing bite to eat and a delicious cocktail.

Few days ago, two editors from VOLATILE and lifestyle blog over at went in for a cocktail tasting, and tried a few small bites from their menu as well. Everything from the service to the drinks and bites were good. And even though it rained right before we got there, it turned out to be a great experience on the Terrace. My co-editor complimented the playlist, for it had him jamming to the vibes of the beats (some with explicit lyrics) Ainsworth provided.

the cocktail experience
listed in order of preference ...

• jalapeno-infused deleon, lemon, and agave

This was spicy and delicious, of course on the sweet side cause that's how ya girl likes it. Highly recommend

• vodka 6100, lavender simple syrup, blueberries, lemon juice, and ginger beer

Um, yes please. I love a good mule. Recommended

• bulleit bourbon, honey-ginger syrup, blackberries, and lemon

This was good too, though I can't decide if I like the mule more, or equally...decisions, decisions

• classic frozen rose

This was actually not bad, it was sweet enough, the texture/consistency was decent, and I liked the little strawberry pulps blended out in the drink

Small Bites Experience
lunch/dinner menu

• basil, tomato, shredded mozzarella, marinara

OMG, I really enjoyed this flatbread. It was delicious, and the presentation was good...I especially liked the little green drizzle on top. Definitely recommend this selection for lunch or dinner. Serving is good for two, or one if ya have the room.

• cheddar, caramelized onions, tomato, pickles, ainsworth special sauce

You get 3 yummy sliders, with a hint of sweetness to it.... not sure if it's the sauce or the bun. Serving is good one one, you can share, but someone is getting 1 less, or

• served with fried tortilla chips and warm fried pita bread

The dip was good, though we preferred and felt it tasted better with the fried pita bread instead of the chips. Serving is good for two.

So there you have it, delicious cocktails and yummy bites on a terrace on the eastside of town. Burp!

Thanks for reading VOLATILE.

- Latain Palmer LiFe&Style Editor

Refinery Rooftop

When it comes to sipping signature cocktails with a view, count us in. Now let's take that view from the ground level to the rooftop with views of the empire state building, and a scenic sweep of Manhattan skylines is icing on the cake. For this experience, let me transfer you to the Refinery Rooftop. Sure, it's not the only rooftop with said views, but it's one of the best places to start, and it's easily one of the city's top 10 rooftop lounges with open views you'll want to add your New York cocktail lounge experience, whether you're a resident or just visiting.

The vibes at Refinery Rooftop offers a sophisticated yet fashionably comfortable ambiance from the moment you walk through the double doors with golden double R's, to the moment you reach the top and the elevators open to their fountain and sectioned seating area. To adhere to the new normal of COVID guidelines, each staff member wears a mask. Menus, seated areas, and surfaces are sanitized between seatings with a personal spray sanitizer at your table. They do ask that you wear your mask upon entering, and as you walk around when not seated at your table.

For this visit we along with lifestyle editor at large and blogger at went in for a personal cocktail tasting. We experienced 6 signature cocktails each individually captured to share with you, including the layout of Refinery itself, so you'll know what to expect when you decide to visit for your next cocktail rondeau.

From the outdoor decor (spaced for social distancing) to the drinks, Refinery Rooftop has much to offer in the heart of midtown Manhattan. As the city continues to reopen, make this a stop to experience as the warmth of summer wines down, and that sweet spot of fall rolls in. Refinery is located on W38 street, between 6th and 5th avenue.

Signature Cocktails
in order of our favorites :-)

this one is sweet and spicy, a well deserved drink at the end of a long. It gave me that grown and sexy vibes ;-)

• gin, cucumber and lime
a refreshing blend suitable for brunch, or an early evening refresher

• vodka, watermelon and pineapple
subtle, early evening refresher vibes

• vodka cherry, lemon and club soda
this felt a little eh, like an everyday drink with dinner...nothing special, but still nice

• french rosé, cointreau, orange's and apples
decent drink for brunch, I personally would prefer it sweeter by using a sweeter rosé

the idea of frosé is always welcome, but this one landed last on the favorite list because it didn't wow me. It needs some kind of a kick to it, and a little garnish for presentation...a cherry or two maybe.
By Latain Palmer

Places in New Jersey to Visit

New Jersey is known for a lot of things but to me it's simply just home. I’ve put together a list of the best places to shop, eat, and visit. Finding activities to do here is not always the easiest thing. We aren't as cool as New York or Miami but we have gained media attention over the years. Where do I even start? Last year the MTV VMA awards were happening only 20 minutes away from my home at the Prudential center in Newark, Essex County.

The hit movie the Joker was also filmed in Newark, it was a huge thing for my small state. It brought so much traffic for a couple months Lastly, my guilty pleasure Jersey Shore. Lowkey people hated that show but I’ve always loved it. Residents of NJ were upset when this show came out eleven years ago. People believed it made the Seaside Heights (where the show was filmed) and my entire state look “trashy” but it turned New Jersey into a tourist attraction overnight. Let's get into all the fun places to visit.

Chart House restaurant in Weehawken. This is my favorite restaurant, The food and the views of the water & city are amazing! It's classy, luxurious, and expensive. My ultimate favorite part is that you are able to personalize your own menu with your name. Its the perfect place to celebrate birthdays, graduations, and anniversaries. It's currently open for outdoor dining. If you go please order the coconut crunchy shrimp, paneed chicken(with extra citrus butter) and their signature chocolate lava cake. It will cost you a lot but luxury is worth it.
Short Hills Mall in Short Hills. This had to make the list, I'm a little biased because I work there. But they have the best places to shop for luxury and designer. Im talking about Gucci, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Prada, Chanel and more. People from all over travel to Jersey just for this mall. Because our sales taxes aren't as high on luxury goods as other states and we don't tax on clothes!
Grammy Museum in Newark at the Prudential Center. I feel so ashamed to say I have never been there. Considering it's only five minutes away from my campus(shout out to Rutgers University-Newark). Their exhibits are filled with musical artists that have been influential in the music industry. It is currently closed thanks to Covid-19. However you can still view exhibits virtually.
Prudential Center in Newark is our own version of Madison Square Garden. I have seen so many great performances there. Such as Rihanna, Travis Scott, Drake, Future, Chris Brown, and Tory Lanez. I loved it when concerts were being held there. The venue was ALWAYS PACKED with the entire Essex County. Fun fact my college graduation was held there when I graduated with my Associates degree. I felt so honored to walk the same stage Rihanna performed on.

Bangz Salon & Wellness Spa in Montclair. It is an award winning spa that has been recognized as the premier hair salon and spa in New Jersey. This place is huge and offers so many different services at different price ranges that is suitable for everyone.
Willow & Olivia Creations a black-owned bakery located in my hometown West Orange. They have the best chocolate chip cookies ever. If you're craving anything sweet please do me the favor and go there.
Hyatt House hotel in Jersey City. Is the perfect place to stay during your visit. It's relatively close to everything on this list. The rooms are spacious and have beautiful views of the city.

Sarah Fontanges