Growing up, local writer and social media guru Jamila Rowser rarely saw characters like herself — young, female, black and Latina – in the comic books she loved. Months of work and one successful Kickstarter campaign later, that’s changed. Her new book, Wash Day, created with illustrator Robyn Smith, is an engaging, slice-of-life comic about the beauty and endurance of women of color.
“Wash day is such a big event for black women, whether you have natural hair, a weave or whatever,” Rowser said. “It tends to involve a lot of patience and energy, and we usually spend a few hours on it. I wanted to honor that experience and create a positive story about black hair.”
Here are a few of her beauty-and-wellness favorites, with some comic-book inspiration:
Bubbles: Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo
“A super-gentle cleanser. It seals in moisture and keeps my hair healthy.” ulta.com.
The Incredibles: The Curlology Studio
“I found them on Instagram! The stylist knew how to cut my hair in its natural state – not blown out – so she could really shape it well.” vagaro.com/thecurlologystudio.
Green Arrow: Screaming Carrots
“A great vegan and organic restaurant. I really like the sautéed portobello and peas.” screamingcarrots.com.
Retro Girl: Warby Parker
“I recently got some cool cat-eye glasses in the Wynwood store. Even if I’m not wearing makeup, there’s something fun happening on my face.” warbyparker.com.
Crimson Dynamo: Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint
“I love matte lipstick, and this universal red (“Uncensored”) is the best. I can wear it for hours, and my lips still feel soft and moisturized.” fentybeauty.com.
The Flash: Pontie Wax Wild Orange Candle
“One of my friends makes this candle, and it’s so good. I like to light it when I’m writing – it gets me in a calm, creative space.” Pontie Wax at etsy.com.
Free Spirit: Fanm Djanm
“I have a whole drawerful of bright African headwraps. Especially here with the humidity, they’re so easy to throw on and look great.” fanmdjanm.com.