What’s the best beauty advice you’ve ever received?
I gravitate towards feminine energy, and I’ve got a lot of women in my life that have taught me tons about skincare, makeup, haircare. The biggest tip that I've heard so far—and it’s not a revelation, but for me, having melanated skin, it was—was to wear SPF. No matter rain or shine, SPF. Always. All the time. There was this myth when I was growing up that if you had darker skin, you didn’t need to use SPF. Now, a lot of older women in my life that are in their fifties and sixties are shouting from the rooftops to the younger generations, “Sis, you need SPF.” On a very aesthetic level, sunscreen evens out skin tone by preventing spots. But health is a huge thing for me as well, when it comes to beauty. Look after the inside of your body, and it shines outwardly. I hate to be all doom and gloom, but it’s really important to take care of your skin’s health, not just its aesthetics. SPF does both, which is rare.
I find Black women incredibly beautiful and inspiring. There are so many different types of Blackness and woman-ness that I see in the world. Beauty starts from the inside and radiates out. It’s a feeling.
Why do you think we need to prioritize self-care?
I think it’s really important to spend time in front of the mirror looking at yourself. We don’t tend to do it often enough. I’ve got a background in psychology, and I think it’s a real therapeutic practice to spend some time in front of the mirror—barefaced—just looking at yourself, noticing your face and paying attention to yourself. It’s a really rare moment in the day. It grounds me. It makes me walk a little bit taller. I feel more sure in my skin, and that feeling of centeredness snowballs throughout the day. It’s very rare that there’s time just for you to spend with yourself. Carving out that time is really important for me. It’s easy to get swept up in the things you think you should be doing and fall into the rhythm of the rest of the world. If this past year has taught me anything, it’s that life is yours to create. By spending time with yourself—truly, deeply looking within and at yourself—questions that perhaps you haven’t asked yourself in a while naturally arise. Maybe you won’t come up with the answers straight away, but it’s really important to take control of the life you’re creating.
What’s your most treasured possession?
I don’t have a lot of stuff, quite purposefully, because I’ve moved around a lot over the last 10 years. But my most treasured possession, at the moment, is my first piece of artwork, which I bought by an artist named Joy Yamusangie. It’s of a person flying a kite. The kite reminds me to be as free as possible. To be as playful as possible. To take a moment to breathe and enjoy whatever is around me. To be present.
What’s your most recent beauty purchase?
I’ve just recently come to understand the power of serums. I have quite naturally oily skin, so I’ve tended to veer away from anything that feels moisturizing, or heavy, in texture. At the same time, my skin is quite dehydrated. I used to be very strict in going cleanser, toner, and sometimes I’d skip moisturizer, which is awful. Now, I know better. Once you know better, you do better. I’m treating my skin as though I love it, and I want to take care of it. It’s not something I’m just extracting out of, but something I’m giving back to as well. I’ve learned that in the form of serums. My skin just looks more alive. I’ve got quite an alive energy, in spirit, so I want my skin to match that. I think vitamin C serum, which brightens the skin, syncs up the alive spirit with the alive skin.
“I find Black women incredibly beautiful and inspiring. There are so many different types of Blackness and woman-ness that I see in the world.”