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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….

Image result for black girl magic gif

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.

Image result for banana boat summer color

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!

Image result for neutrogena acne wash
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.

Image result for I hate ingrown hairs gif

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!!


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Nikki Taught You: Coupon Codes 101

Nikki Taught You: Coupon Codes 101

Disclaimer: For some reason this post has some serious spacing issues. I have been trying to resolve them but I think It may be a WordPress glitch. I apologize for the appearance. Please look past it and enjoy the post! Thanks!!


plural noun: coupons

1. a voucher entitling the holder to a discount for a particular product.
2. free money bih!

So we alllll know what coupons are right? Discounts, vouchers, tokens, tickets… or as I call them FREE MONEY! Many years ago I was watching Suze Orman ( I love her!) and she was discussing how americans are so silly for not using coupons for often. She specifically referred to coupons as “free money”. Considering that Suze is known for her expert financial advice, we should all take a lesson from her! Ever since that day, I am always on the lookout for how I can use a coupon during checkout.

Since we are in the digital age, its pretty rare that we are still printing out coupons (no shade if your are lol). I mean I just ran out of ink in my printer and the way my bank account is set up, paying $56 for ONE ink cartridge is not a priority. So enter in: coupon codes! Coupon codes are like cold stone ice cream for me (I told you I can easily be bribed with ice cream), they are like new shoes on sale, like a slice of watermelon on a summer day, like your mother’s home cooking, like meeting a cute guy and liking him for longer than a week lol (this is a real problem for me – but that’s another post). Anyhoo, you get the point! Coupon Codes are straight AWESOMERY. So here are some of my coupon code tips for beginners so you can join the cool kids club:

 Tip #1: Always ALWAYS sign up for the email list.

Remember when those Beyonce tickets went on sale?! If you weren’t part of the Bey-hive you were stuck waiting until those general public tickets went on sale and MADT about it lol.

Signing up for the email list is like the e-version of the VIP line. I cannot tell you how many times I have gotten coupon codes sent to my inbox with discounts from 10% to 40%! This goes for anything! Concerts, retail, your favorite author, your favorite whatever! Sign up for the email list! I know I know, you are thinking “but I hate spam mail!” Girl! Me too! That’s why I have an email account set up JUST for email lists and loyalty programs. I check it maybe once a day just to see whats in there and if there are any major sales going on. Its a great way to know when there are private sales, pre-sales (beyonce), private screenings and free shipping days. Also, retail sites almost always offer 10-15% off your first purchase! Like.. aaalllllwaaaaayyyyzzz. If you are furniture shopping or shopping in general, this is a great way to guarantee a discount at checkout.

Tip #2: If there is a box that says “enter coupon code” at checkout – THERE IS A COUPON CODE TO BE FOUND!

Listen, I am Special Agent 007  when it comes to finding a coupon code. My friends and family will tell you! I will google and search high and low! Cause again – Free. Money. Just call me Free Money Nikki. LOL. I will say, it is addictive. When you are used to having a discounts of about 20% on average its really hard to just pay full price. Whats the best way to find a coupon code? 1. Google 2. Retailmenot (Coupon holy grail!!), 3. Coupon Cabin. Those are my top 3 go-tos when conducting my search 🕵🏾.



Tip #3: Join loyalty programs

This slightly piggy backs on tip #1, but takes it a step further. You are a consumer and companies want your loyalty! So do what I do… be loyal to them alllllllll *evil smile*. Giiiiiirl! I will sign up for a loyalty program with a company and ALL their competitors. Why? Because I want to know who offers the best discounts and the best sales. I will also use that “loyalty” to request price matching. Price matching is a whole nother (yes, that is a word) lesson, but its basically saying “ummm, I found this exact same shirt at and they have it on sale so…… you price matching or nah?”. I’ve done this over the phone AND in person with a 75% success rate 💅🏿 Of course the main reason to join the loyalty programs are to get those private sale offers, discount codes and all the other perks that come with membership.

AAAAAND often times you can stack the discounts they offer.

Example: Target Card offers 5% off all purchases, Target cartwheel app offers DAILY discounts, target MOBILE coupons in the regular target app offer discounts – AND THEY CAN ALL BE USED TOGETHER GIRL!!!!

The thought of that makes me feel like Beyonce on stage dancing to Panda.
dance dancing beyonce bey formation world tour
 Tip #4: Save your larger priced item purchases for holidays
I’m sure you already knew this but I wanted to make sure I didn’t leave it out for those who don’t.
When I say holidays, I mean pretty much all of them: Labor Day, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Easter and of course Christmas! Sidenote: I didn’t mention Thanksgiving because black friday sales aren’t real sales for the most part. I’m sure you can still find good sales around thanksgiving, but the prices are often lowest AFTER christmas.
Anyway – back to discount codes. If you sign up for those email lists like eeeyeee toooold youuuu tooooooo, then during these times they will be FILLED with discounts and/or coupon codes! But the real winners are people shopping for big priced items like furniture, tvs, kitchen sets, etc.  According to, July is the best month to buy furniture . Mainly because summer months are the slowest months in retail, therefore forcing companies to offer larger discounts to drive sales. So those looking to buy furniture, this post is right on time for you. You’re welcome.
Tip #5: Complain 
I know.
I’m a savage.
A low down dirty savage.

Let me clarify what I am suggesting: Lets say you buy a product or service and it wasn’t what you expected. It LEGIT wasn’t what you expected… not, it kinda wasn’t. Not you ordered food, ate 97% of it and now you want to complain so you don’t have to pay the bill 🙄. It really, 100% wasn’t what you paid for….THEN SAY SOMETHING! Giving feedback is almost always appreciated by businesses and in return it costs them little to nothing to offer you a “discount” or coupon in return. Just look at it as doing your consumer duty lol. This also keeps companies conscience of maintaining the integrity of their product or service.  Being a consumer automatically makes you an expert at what people want. Companies usually appreciate the complaint or feedback as long as its done in a respectful manner. Sidenote: I will say there have certainly been times where I have shown allllltheeeewaaaaaayyy out… but those are few and far between. I’ve matured since then 😊.

Alright kids! That concludes Nikki Taught You – Lesson 101 on Coupons. I hope you go out and snatch those free dollars. If you know of any other coupon sites or discount code sites, let a sista know! Spread the wealth!!! I’ll be doing more posts on travel discounts and apps I use in the coming weeks. As always, your thoughts, comments and feedback are much appreciated.

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Why I Hate Dating

Why I Hate Dating

Before we get started, a few things:

  1. This is a judgement-free zone. Don’t. Judge. Me.
  2. I use the word “dating” interchangeably with being exclusive.. so just use your brain and stay with me.

Ok, carry on.



My Dating Life.

My non-existent dating life.

My self-inflicted, non-existent dating life.

Let me give you some context:

I was hanging out with friends and we were grabbing a bite to eat and one of my guy friends said “so Nicole, whats new with you? How is your dating life?”. Now, this is a normal question that normal people ask other normal people. But for me… FOR ME I HEAR THIS: “So Nicole, you lonely miserable person, whats new with you? How come you’re not married, pregnant and barefoot?”. Ok, perhaps that’s a bit extreme, but let’s be honest, in this society if you are attractive and unmarried for too long, the perception is that something is wrong. I get that question from my friends a lot and its a perfectly reasonable question to ask. But my answer is always the same: ” I’m not interested in dating”. I then change the subject to something completely random like the latest brownie or cookie I made with no butter or sugar (yes I’m lame) smh. After realizing that my answer for the most part is ALWAYS exactly the same, I wanted to blog about it. So basically this is my bootleg form of therapy. SMH.

Why is my dating life non-existent?

Because I honestly, seriously, literally, truly hate dating. So much so, I would rather sit at home and watch paint dry. I hate dating so much, I’d rather have an arranged marriage. I hate dating so much that I cancel 97% of them last minute.

I am a horrible person.


Reason #1:

Dating to MEEEE has no real point unless you’re ready for marriage. In other words: I’m not a casual dater. I don’t spend time with people I don’t like. That goes for friends and prospective dates. I don’t care about free meals or VIP section in the club – If I’m not interested, i’m not interested. Period.

So the bigger question is: Am I ready for marriage? Ehh.. maybe..perhaps.. not 100% though. I can admit that. I mean there are still days that go by and I may have dishes in the sink (remember.. judgement-free zone. I live in NY where 96% of the apartments don’t have dishwashers and I HATE washing dishes by hand). There are still days where I want to do what EYE want to do, when I want to spend more money than I should without someone telling me I shouldn’t. There are still days that I wash clothes and I don’t put them in drawer for a week, cause umm.. I don’t feel like it.  There are days where I may return from a trip, and I won’t unpack my suitcase for 4 days. There are days where I may eat leftovers 2-3 days in a row… cause I wanna. These are probably signs that I’m not quiiiiite there yet. Right? I still like to do what EYE like to do, when EYE want to do it, on MYY time schedule. You know.. beating to my own drum.

Gotham selina kyle i do what i want youre not the boss of me i'll do what i like

At the same time, I haven’t met anyone that makes me want to make those adjustments either. Because I totally could.. and would. I’ve loved 2 men in my life and since they didn’t work out (obviously), I politely decided to take a seat over in the “I’m not dating right now until I’m ready” corner. And to be honest – this corner for the most part is pretty awesome.

Let me be clear about something: I am pro marriage. I will get married. I will have 1 child (i’m not sure I have the tolerance for more than one). With that said, I also know that choosing a spouse is the single most important decision of my life. OF. MY. LIFE! So I want to take my time making it. Even if it means my child will be 6mos old while all my friend’s kids are 6 YEARS old, and I’m ok with that. That just means I can have all their hand-me-downs, strollers, bassinets and I ain’t gotta pay for nothing (aaaayyyee!).

Now, back to dating.

Reason #2:

I hate dating because It sucks black hairy monkey balls its not fun for me. I don’t really enjoy it. I kinda wish God would’ve just assigned me someone at birth and I wouldn’t have to do it. I’m so serious. I am also one of those people that hates being fake. I don’t want to act like I like someone when I don’t. If I go on a date with you and we don’t have chemistry then we will either be just friends or complete strangers. I’m ok with either option. Chemistry can’t be faked nor do I believe I should have to “make” myself like anyone.  I know, I know.. I can hear people say “well sometimes you can grow to love someone” – not me bruh. Not. Me.

Reason #3:

I hate dating because ni**as be lying  there are so many questions I need answers to! Like what am I gonna wear? Does he have roommates? Will he get along with my friends (my friends are – different lol)? Will he get my dry sense of humor? Will he get my sarcasm and smart mouth? Can he hold his own at my family functions? Does he even believe in marriage? Does he believe in God? Does he go to church? Does he have a prayer life? Did he come from a 2-parent home? (sorry not sorry.. that’s important to me. Judgement-freeeeee), Does he have kids? Is he a mama’s boy (ugh), Does he understand the concept of work? Does he understand the concept of loyalty? Can he handle my crazy? (pshhhhhhh) Does he pay attention to due dates? Does he keep his own place clean? (I’m not your maid bruh).

Now, yall may be thinking “Its just a date Nicole.. you’re being too serious” NO GIRL I’M NOT! I don’t have time to be going on date after date that EYE HATE and not asking questions. I’m not saying I interview people, I just make sure alot of these are addressed in casual conversation *wink*. Or, instead of answering all these questions, I can just have a seat over in my “I’m not ready yet” corner and watch everyone else’s relationship drama. That’s what I’m currently doing 🙂


Reason #4:

Dating in this day and time is for the birds  kinda exhausting. With social media, people have a perception of you that may (or may not) be the truth. Take me for instance, I enjoy social media, but there are a lot of things I wouldn’t share. Like who I’m dating and what we’re doing. It’s just not my thing. People start dating and let the world know, but when they hit a rough patch (and you WILL hit a rough patch) everyone is in your business. I am a secretive person by nature and I would need to date someone who is somewhat similar. Not saying I won’t tell anyone, but social media is the last place I’ll be “promoting” my relationship. You won’t be hearing about my relationship on FB until our rehearsal dinner lol. I’m not knocking other people who do it, its just not MY thing. To each it’s own girl.. to each its own.

Reason #5:

Lastly, well not lastly, cause I have a zillion reasons why I hate dating – but for the sake of this post we are going to make this my last point. I am old school. Old school as in I take my time getting to know someone and I pay attention to everything. We live in a society where everything is “Now now now”. Nobody takes the time to be friends. Because I am so secretive and private, you would have to be my FRIEND before I’d even consider being a girlfriend. And we are only doing this girlfriend/boyfriend thing with the goal of marriage. I’m not into the whole “let’s just see” – nah.. that’s what being friends is for.  Again – my perspective.

I also keep clear definitions of my relationships. There is a difference between friends, girlfriend/boyfriend, fiance and wife/husband, and I treat you accordingly. Friends don’t get boyfriend benefits and boyfriends don’t get husband benefits. I understand that a lot of people don’t think this way about dating and relationships, especially men. I am fully aware of that and I don’t care lol.

I am also old school in the sense that I believe men should plan the date. Men usually want the most for the least  don’t plan dates anymore. What happened to that? Nothing is more attractive than a man who asks you out on a date, asks what day/time you are free, shows up AT that date/time (Please don’t be late – pet peeve!) and has the entire date planned. Whew! My friends and I have discussed this plenty of times and we all agree. It’s not about an expensive date – it could be free. It could be a walk around Dumbo park in Brooklyn. But the fact that it was planned and you didn’t keep asking “so what you wanna do? What you wanna eat? Where you wanna eat? What you wanna do now?” the entire time is so refreshing! Sidenote: I honestly don’t mind going dutch. Cause If I don’t like you, I don’t want you to waste your money.

To sum it up, if you are a man looking for a wife, not a girl a WIFE – the woman who will change her last name for you, cook, clean, and stretch her vag to the size of a bowling ball to have YOUR babies, the LEAST you can do is plan a date.  Be a gentleman, open doors, pay attention to detail, bring unique flowers, pick up the phone and stop texting so much. Treat her like a LADY!

I have soooooo much more on my mind when it comes to dating, but I will save that for another blog. In the meantime put a sistah on your prayer list and pray the arranged marriage comes back in style lol. That’s one less major life decision I have to make lol.

Do you have any crazy dating experiences? Hate dating too? Just wanna say “girl hang in there!” lol Comment below! I love hearing your thoughts and feedback.


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