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Nikki Taught You: Beauty Secrets for Women of Color 

Nikki Taught You: Beauty Secrets for Women of Color 

When you find a beauty secret that works, you be like….

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As you all know, I am all for black girl magic, but sometimes we have to go the extra mile because our skin can present challenges like: scarring, hyper-pigmentation, ingrown hairs, dandruff, thinning edges (LORDT – LE STRUGGLE) and others! Alas.. our black girl magic continues to shine thru and I have some beauty hacks to aid in the process. These are some beauty secrets that I have found to work and use on a regular basis:

Spray Tanning & Tanning Lotion

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Honeeeyyyyyyyyyyy let. me. tell. you..
Spray tanning and tanning lotions are one of my faaaaaavorite ways to get that blackgirlmagic glow to come all the way thru!! Not that we need it, but it does a great job at evening out skin tone & making you look like a bronzed goddess! Especially if you are wearing white, or green or any bright color, it really makes your skin look amazing. If I have a hot date which is never or a big event where I want to stunt on everyone else which is always, I will schedule a spray tan 2-3 days before. Or you can go the budget friendly route and get a great self-tanning lotion.

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I use the Banana Boat Summer Color in deep/dark. I apply it after I shower/exfoliate at night in place of lotion. Give it some time to dry and in the morning you will wake up looking like you just got back from Jamaica. It lasts for about 7 days and sometimes I just mix it with lotion to keep my bronze in tact. Sidenote: Make sure your skin is freshly clean, exfoliated and dry before getting a spray tan or applying tanning lotion. Go get that summer glow year-round ladies!!

Neutogena Acne Facewash – prevents ingrown hairs!

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Have you ever gotten a bikini or brazilian wax and shortly thereafter had ingrown hairs? Its the worse right?!
Besides being a great face wash to keep acne at bay, this also is an excellent product to prevent those horrible and annoying ingrown hairs. Due to its 2% salicylic acid, its a good exfoliating cleanser and prevents ingrown hairs from rearing their ugly head.

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What I do: After getting a wax, while in the shower I apply a tiny bit on the corner of a wash cloth, lather it up and apply to the waxed area in small circular motions and rinse. The next morning its allllllllllll clear!!! lol. I’m fortunate that I dont really have troubled skin, but the few times I’ve had issues, this stuff worked a miracle!

Pure Glycolic Acid

So about two years ago, I started getting these dark spots on my legs out of nowhere. I was literally freaking out!! I couldn’t figure out 1. Why they were appearing and 2. How to get rid of them! So I went to my dermatologist and she informed me that it was genetic hyper-pigmentation. Basically, some people are more prone to dark marks genetically than others. She then prescribed me a bleaching cream that was expensive AF  and came in this tiny tiny tube. She also told me I may need more than one tube. I was pissed. I knew I wasnt gonna spend $60 on a tiny tube of bleaching cream so I started looking for alternatives. I literally tried evvvvverything! Finally after browsing deep on google, I came across this particular brand of Bona Fide 7% pure glycolic acid.

Daily Glycolic Acid Peel 7.5% Pure AHA for Anti Aging Acne Blackheads Oily Skin

This stuff has literally changed my skin. It is strong enough to deeply exfoliate your skin, but gentle and safe enough to use at home. It has a clear/water consistency and should be used very carefully. I use it on both my face and dark spots on my body to help lighten and keep my skin clear. Make sure you check with your dermatologist first before using if you have sensitive skin. I use once every week (sometimes every two weeks) after a gentle cleanser, rinse with cold water, followed by a good moisturizer. Only use at night. You can purchase on amazon here.

Exfoliation Gloves
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Cheap. Simple. Self-explanatory. You will have the softest skin in life. Use these before a beach day, self-tanning, big event or date night… I proooooomise your skin will glow and be baby soft. Make sure to follow with a good moisturizing lotion. Purchase at your local Target.

Exfoliating Lotion

If you can’t tell, I am obsessed with soft smooth skin!! Another easy way to achieve that is by using an exfoliating body lotion. Lotions with AHA or Lactic Acid are a great way to make sure your legs and body are getting those dead skin cells sloughed off!! I rotate an exfoliating lotion with my regular lotion during the week and have great results. This stuff just makes your legs and skin glow while being soft and hydrated beyond words! You can purchase one of my favorites by Perfect Image here , its a little pricey, so I found a budget-friendly version here.

Gly 10% + Sal 2% Exfoliating Body Lotion - Enhanced with Green Tea | Papaya | Bearberry | Licorice | Amino ComplexAmLactin Alpha-Hydroxy Therapy Moisturizing Body Lotion for Dry Skin, Fragrance-Free, 15.8oz Twin Pack (7.9oz per bottle)

Apple Cider Vinegar 

This stuff is basically God’s magic potion. There are literally 13409234792347 uses for ACV, but I want to point out one in particular… a conditioner for your hair. Yes. You read that correctly… If you have psoriasis, dandruff, dry brittle hair, or really any hair issue at all, ACV can take care of it!!! I’ve been rinsing my hair with ACV for about 2 yrs and I can vouch for the amazing benefits:
– Balances hair PH
– Cleansing and Clarifying
– Antibacterial/Anti-fungal
– Detangles & Add Shine
– Stimulates hair growth

How to use: mix one part ACV with 3 parts water and pour over hair after shampooing. Let sit for 5-10mins while massaging scalp. Rinse. You can follow with a conditioner if you’d like, although its not needed. Dont worry about the smell.. it evaporates when you blow dry. (If you dont blow dry your hair.. you’re on your own with this lol… the smell is brutal!). My hair and scalp have been so much healthier since using ACV! If you can get past the smell I promise you will be satisfied with the results.

Dry Brushing
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Got Cellulite?
Cellulite be-gone! That’s what dry brushing does.
Dry brushing is exactly what it sounds like… brushing the skin in a particular pattern with a dry brush, usually before showering. It stimulates the lymphatic system which is responsible for collecting, transporting to the blood, and eliminating the waste our cells produce. Along with normalizing lymph flow, it leaves your skin softer, pores clearer, and your whole body with more energy. One of the byproducts of dry brushing is reducing the appearance of cellulite that we absolutely hate. I try to dry brush 2-3 times a week before showering at night, followed by a good body lotion.

 

 

Do you have any beauty secrets that you swear by? Please share! Sharing is caring sis!!  I want to see your #blackgirlmagic shine thru everyday!!

 

As always, share, comment and subscribe!

 

“You sound like a white girl” – Race From My Perspective

“You sound like a white girl” – Race From My Perspective

I started this blog because like most people who start blogs, I wanted to have a place on the internet to come and share my thoughts and ideas. These thoughts and ideas are often very direct, straight to the point and unbiased. It doesn’t matter if you are my friend or my enemy, if you ask me for advice or perspective you’re going to get it from a straight-shooter. My posts will typically be light-hearted, but due to the climate of our Nation I wanted to make a serious post about race from my perspective. Anyone who is NON black that reads this post, please know that what I am going to say is fair, it’s honest and from the heart. That was my disclaimer. Now lets begin.


I am a black woman that is 33 years old. That means I have 33 years of experience at being black. Growing up in Raleigh, NC I can honestly say I had a pretty good childhood. I had great parents that loved me, I lived in a middle-class neighborhood and I attended both public and private schools. One of my early childhood friends was filippino. Her name was Nancy (heeey Nancy!). Nancy’s dad would pick me up every morning for school. Another childhood friend was an italian girl named Kara (heeey Kara if you are reading this lol). She lived across the street from me and I was ALWAYS at her house after school. I had diverse friends but it was also during a point in my childhood when I had yet recognized the differences of our race. I knew we looked different but I was unaware that these differences would be amplified 20 years later.

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It wasn’t until around 7th grade that I realized a few things:

1. I am black

2. Our family was the only black family on our street

3. I talked like a white girl.

You see my first middle school in 6th grade was pretty much 98% white. Most of my friends were white and that atmosphere seemed like the norm. I transferred to Carnage Middle School for 7th grade because my mom wanted me to attend a magnet school that would allow me to participate in creative classes and electives. I want to clarify and say I DID have black childhood friends as well. Just not as many as I did white.

Carnage Middle School was very different. Very urban. Very diverse. Very segregated.


I remember walking in the lunch room and the white students were on one side and the black students were on the other. Without saying, you basically had to choose. The white tables would have 1-2 “token” black people and the black tables would have 1-2 “token” white people. I’m pretty sure this is how it is at most schools in the south, although, we as humans tend to want to be with our own. A poll done by Reuters in 2013 showed that about 40 percent of white Americans and about 25 percent of non-white Americans are surrounded exclusively by friends of their own race. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it may just be a human nature thing. However as we get older, depending on where you live, we either continue to embrace that segregation or  search for diversity.

Fast-forward to my 20’s, I’m reminded of that moment in 7th grade when a black girl interrupted my conversation I was having to ask “why do you talk like that? You sound like a white girl”. I was so confused. It was categorized as “white girl” because it was proper, because I pronounced all my words clearly, because I was meeting a standard that in her eyes “brown girls” rarely met. It was also a much larger realization that if she believed that, her parents probably believed it too. Stay with me, I’m making a point.


In America, white is the standard. Roland Martin made a great point when dragging Wendy Williams for being an uncle tom by saying “One of the reasons you don’t have historically white universities is because we just simply call them universities. The fact of the matter is you can go around the country and you will see universities, Wendy, that are 70, 80, 90, 95 percent white.” This is 100% true. White is the standard for pretty much everything. This is why all barbies at first were white. Babydolls were white. Cartoons on TV were white and it was completely normal. Superheros were white. Most print ads I saw growing up had white models. Most runway models were white. We can go even further and discuss stereotypes in movies. Have we progressed? Yes, but I want white people to understand that the passion and pride that black people feel is because slowly but surely we began to realize that “white” no-longer has to be our standard, AND THAT’S OK!  BET was created because OUR perspective and OUR story and OUR actors and actresses were’t being shown on mainstream TV. So we created our own channel. I need you to realize that our decision to create our own does NOT equal hate and division. I want my child to have a diverse upbringing but I also want him or her to know that they are a man or woman of color, and its a beautiful thing.


In my 33 years, I have experienced racism. I have also seen racism first hand. It DOES happen. It IS real. It DOES exist. These are all facts. Nobody is looking for a handout. We just want to be treated and viewed FAIRLY. When it comes to #blacklivesmatter, to me it is a beautiful movement.  Its an uprising of people taking pride in the color of their skin and demanding that it be respected. Respect the fact that our struggle is real and takes place FOR SIMPLY EXISTING. Being born black in someways is almost like being born with a handicap. You have to be creative and extra smart and extra whatever to beat the odds. Am I saying that being born black IS a handicap, no. But in america it is.

Photo: Andre L. Perry

As I marched in support of #blacklivedmatter on July 7th in Manhattan, New York, I was so comforted to see so many white, black, asian, indian and spanish people marching alongside me. They were holding signs, chanting and yelling for OUR cause. They acknowledge that there is a privilege to being white.  They understand that there are experiences that we’ve had that they will never encounter. Most importantly they understand that the first step to healing is admitting there is a problem. America has more than just a race problem, there is a HUMANITY problem.
Photo: Andre L. Perry

As a woman of color it literally breaks my heart to see video footage of black men being unfairly profiled and judged time and time again. That heartbreak turns to frustration and anger when someone of another race decides to belittle the situation and act like pain is not an emotion we’re entitled to. Like “how dare you be angry over this when there is black on black crime everyday!” Let’s address that quickly:

According to FBI homicide statistics (sourced from www.usuncut.com):

  • Between 1980 and 2008, 84% of white homicides were committed by other whites.
  • Whites kill more whites than black people kill each other.
  • Whites commit more crimes than any other race.
  • Whites kill more members of vulnerable populations than any other race.
  • Gang murders are most common among white gangs.

In other words, “White on white crime” is just as real as black on black crime, yet the term white on white crime is never used by mainstream media. So we march and chant “Black Lives Matter!” to express our frustration and desire for equality. In turn we are villainized for desiring the very thing America was supposed to be built on. Its exhausting.

Photo: Andre L. Perry

 

So you might ask, “what is it that African Americans want?” The answer is simple:

We want respect and acknowledgement. Sincere respect and acknowledgement. Respect the fact that we helped build this country. Acknowledge that we are just as good as you. Our children are just as talented.  Our men are just as smart. Our women are just as beautiful.  Our skin color holds the same value as anyone else’s. We are EQUAL to you. Then TREAT us as such. In the workplace, in social settings and most importantly, inside and outside the Court of Law. Treat us the same!

Until then, we will continue to take pride in saying, chanting, yelling and screaming……#blacklivesmatter.

Because they do.

 

Nicole

A black girl that speaks like a well educated black girl.