1. Hey girl! So excited to have you be featured and that you’re back from Cuba. How was it?
Cuba was a very educational experience! We spent a lot of time talking to locals and learning about the current state of the country. We discovered so much and are very happy we went.
2. You are one of my friends who travel A LOT — you’ve even studied abroad. How do you maintain your beauty routine overseas?
Yes, I have lived abroad five times and have traveled to twenty-nine countries. It is so crucial for me to ensure that I have all of my beauty staples when I go overseas. You really never know what will be available in a new place. When I lived abroad, I knew that hair products would be a challenge so I was sure to stock up before I left. Also, being aware of different climates is so important. For example, when I went to Thailand, it was incredibly humid, so I knew I would wear my hair curly most days. Therefore, ensuring I had enough hair products was a must!
3. I jumped ahead of myself a little, tell us what your 9 to 5 is?
I manage the Small Business Development Center at Columbia Business School. We help local business owners find the resources they need to excel in the world of New York City entrepreneurship. I enjoy my work very much and have been here since 2012.
4. You recently got engaged, yay! How was that experience?
I did! It was an incredible day filled with wonderful memories. John did a tremendous job making sure everything was perfect – I woke up to a HUGE bouquet of roses, followed by a walk in Central Park (where he proposed) complete with a fabulous photographer. Last but certainly not least, he put together an amazing surprise engagement party, post proposal, which was really special. And I so appreciate your help with the party planning!
5. Have you thought about your beauty look yet for the big day? If so, what are some looks you’re considering?
I haven’t thought about my look too much yet. All I know is that I don’t want to go overboard with makeup to where I don’t look like myself. I want to look back at my photos in twenty years and actually be able to recognize my face. In terms of hair, I think a low updo…maybe…? Ha!
6. What bridal beauty trends do you hate?
Tiaras, french tips, cakey and / or intense makeup, bright eye shadow, pineapple-shaped up-dos, thick liquid liner…
7. Tell us about the products you’re showcasing today.
I have two skin conditions and sensitive skin so good skincare products are definitely a must for me.
Bio Oil – I love this because my skin scars very easily. Also, with me having Tinea Versicolor and Pityriasis Alba, it is important that I use something to keep my skin hydrated and as smooth as possible.
Rose Water – This product is a great way to lessen any redness or puffiness in the morning before putting on your moisturizer.
Almay Eye Makeup Removers – I love the Almay makeup removers because they are gentle but tough enough to get off all of the mascara that raccoons my eyes every night after washing my face. Since I love mascara, I think it’s the perfect antibody.
Lip Sleeping Mask by Laniege – This is a fabulous lip moisturizer, especially during the brutal winter months. You simply slather it on at night, go to sleep and wipe it off in the next morning. Your lips will feel soft and moisturized all day.
Malin + Goetz Lip Moisturizer – Another wonderful lip product. It will give you a glossy sheen but isn’t sticky! Winning 🙂
All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray – This is a great little product I use to help my makeup stay on all day and night.
8. What are your everyday beauty staples?
It is hard for me to leave the house without being fully moisturized from head to toe. I use Eucerin Lotion and Bio Oil, as mentioned before. I also have to use a pressed powder (by Jane Iredale) and an eyebrow pencil (Lancome) – my face feels pretty naked without those two items.
9. Talk to me about your hair. I know the story, but can you give us background on your hair journey from natural, to relaxed then back to natural again?
I had my first relaxer at age nine and got them habitually until nineteen. Once I got to college, I realized that both coloring (I was dying it black back then) and relaxing my hair was entirely too damaging. I knew I had to cut out at least one, if not both. Also, by the time I was nineteen I was in college and much more confident in myself and my hair. For some reason it didn’t occur to me until then that I didn’t even know what my natural curls looked like–because I had been processing my hair for so long. I decided I had to make a change! So I let my new growth go for almost a year and chopped off the remaining inches of relaxed hair. I have not looked back since. A couple years later, I also stopped coloring my hair black.
10. What made you decide to go blonde? I love it, it is your signature now!
I was a blonde baby and my hair slowly started getting darker around age six (naturally I am a hazelly brunette). I was looking at old pictures and I had a mess of curly blonde hair which looked super cool. After two years of being completely [hair] chemical free, I thought it would be fun to do something different so that was the inspiration.
11. How do you maintain the blonde and still keep your tresses healthy and luxurious?
I make a conscious effort to not to get my hair colored more than four times a year because I feel too many sessions would be too damaging. If I’m being real, any session is too damaging.. but I digress.
I leave my conditioner in for at least ten minutes whenever washing my hair and try to go back and forth between straightening and leaving my natural curls as to not to go overboard on heat styling tools. Also, hair oil is helpful, I’m not too picky about brands, but Davines and OGX have always worked pretty well for me. I am not going to lie, colored hair–especially when lighter, is incredibly difficult to keep moisturized but I apply oil every night before bed and in the morning. Sometimes I keep oil in my purse too –I can’t get enough!
12. Leave us with some pearls of wisdom, what’s some beauty advice you’d give to other black women?
I would say no two people are exactly the same – complexion, hair texture, etc. Just because your girlfriend, auntie and sister swear by something does not necessarily mean it will work for you. That being said, I encourage everyone to try new products until finding a solution for your unique body. Many times, combining a few products can be just the trick!
- Bio Oil ($11.99)
- Leven Rose Pure Moroccan Rose Water Toner ($13.97)
- Almay Longwear & Eye Makeup Remover Pads ($5.99)
- Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask ($20)
- Malin + Goetz Lip Moisturizer ($14)
- Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray ($14)
- Eucerin Daily Replenishing Moisturizing Lotion ($8.99)
- ORS Oil Moisturizing Hair Lotion ($4.79)