More Than 1…

Over the past couple of years the topic of diversity and inclusion across all industries has been at the forefront of so many important conversations. When I chose to pursue a career in fashion I was aware that the presence of people who look like me wasn’t felt and definitely not seen, whether it was on runways or at the offices of magazines people of color have not been represented the way we should. I wanted to be part of the change I wished to see in the fashion world I was just as well versed in fashion history (if not more) than my caucasian peers, my passion burned hotter than any flame, and creativity ran through my veins so why wouldn’t I want to have a career doing what I love while representing my people? Recently celebrity stylist Law Roach (@luxurylaw on Instagram) posted a picture of the Essence magazine cover featuring Kelis and in his caption he spoke about the fact that this was only the second time in his career that he worked with an all black team. Considering how long he has been styling and how many clients he has this is kind of crazy and is a great example of why diversity in the fashion industry is so important. In the caption he also invited all creatives to use the hashtag #morethan1 to challenge the norm of there only being one black person in the room, I was immediately inspired because there have been several times where I was the only black girl in the room. Whether it was at an internship or in a classroom while pursuing my degree I know what it feels like to acknowledge the fact that you are the only one in the room.

As a young black woman who is pursuing blogging and has had great interest in the industry for many years I am well aware of the lack of diversity in the blogging community. Whether its a blogger award or a press trip there are always one or two black bloggers that have managed to reach a level of success that has allowed them to be recognized or included, but one or two is not enough especially when there are hundreds of talented black bloggers all around the world. Instagram is a prime example of how white washed the blogging world can be, if you go into the style section on the explore page it is 90% white and I’m not saying these women aren’t talented and don’t deserve to be there I’m just saying that there are plenty of black women who should be there also. Women who have dedicated uploading schedules, amazing style, unique content, and pristine pictures and yet they don’t receive the same acknowledgment.  When I decided to take blogging seriously I told myself I want to be part of the change that needs to happen I wanted to be someone who pushed for the necessary conversations to be had and to ultimately represent black women alongside others who feel the same way I feel about the lack of diversity. I’m a pretty small blogger I don’t even have 1,000 followers yet but I know I’m going to continue to grow as a brand and I promise to always use my platform to represent black women in this community. I will be using the #morethan1 hashtag on my posts moving forward and I hope that my fellow creatives of color do the same. We can’t only depend on celebrities and people in high places to speak for us and do the work we have to do it ourselves.

xoxo Ash.

Current Skincare Favorites (winter edition)

Happy New Year everyone! I’ve been into skincare a lot more the past few weeks now that the weather has changed, if you live in New York then you know how brutal winter can be and our skin often feels the effects of the cold weather the most. Since I am not a fan of dry skin I go the extra mile with my overall skincare routine to make sure my skin is still well taken care of. Here are few of my current favorites listed below.

1) Mario Badescu Facial Spray – I am absolutely OBSESSED with this stuff. I spray it on before I moisturize and I also use it after I do my makeup to help any powders melt into my skin. There is a cucumber and green tea scent as well as a rose water and both smell amazing! You can keep the smaller size in your bag to refresh the skin throughout the day.

2) IT Cosmetics Confidence In A Eye Cream – I used to think eye cream was only for older women until I too began to age slowly but surely. Not only am I getting older but I am a concealer whore and dry under eyes do NOT mix well with concealer. Once again New York winters are brutal and the skin around your eyes is the thinnest on your face, so show it some love with a good hydrating eye cream. This is the first eye cream I’ve tried and although I don’t see a major brightening affect I do feel like my under eye is hydrated and my concealer application is super smooth.

3) Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Cream – I’ve been wanting to try the Clinique moisturizer for a while now and I must say I’ve been impressed. It leaves my skin super soft and I don’t feel dry at all, there are some moisturizers that leave you wondering what’s the point because you still feel dry. This isn’t one of those. If you have normal to dry skin this is a good option for you. The cream is thicker than the lotion which I like for this time of year but I’ll probably switch to the lotion during the spring and summer months.

4) MAC Prep + Prime Essential Oil – After interning for Marie Claire in the beauty department I became a fan of facial oils. I have a few I want to try but right now I am using this one from MAC and I love it. I put it on after my moisturizer to help lock in the moisture, the same way I would do with my hair when I seal my ends with an oil. Not only does it smell good (it has a light citrus scent) but my skin hydrated and I swear my makeup looks even better! I have a healthy glow and I’m all about the glow honey.

5) MAC Strobe Cream – Speaking of the glow this last product isn’t necessary but it will add extra hydration and make your skin look luminous before you even apply your highlighter. I put it on underneath my foundation or I just put it on the top of my cheekbones as a base for my powder highlighter.

What are are some of your winter skincare favorites? Comment down below!

Happy Monday!

Fenty Beauty

I think by now we have all heard about Rihanna dropping her Fenty Beauty line during fashion week, if you haven’t you’re living under a rock. I honestly didn’t know what to expect from the collection even after her teaser videos on Instagram I still wanted to hear and see actual reviews on the products. I watched multiple reviews on YouTube, looked at swatches, and stalked beauty gurus on Instagram to see the looks they created. It was so crazy to see how this launch shook up the beauty industry, the collection launched with 40 shades of foundation (and more to come!) and really took into consideration the variety of undertones in our complexions. As an African American woman I know the struggle of finding a foundation shade and I’ve heard the complaints from my friends who have even darker skin tones than my own. So to see that she thought of everyone made me even more excited to try it out.

The foundation is a soft matte finish and it pretty much sets itself so unless you are super oily you don’t need to powder. Not only was the application flawless but it looked and felt just like my skin! If you wear makeup you know that sometimes you can feel the products sitting on your face which I hate. The foundations I own are pretty light in coverage and mostly water based because I hate that feeling, I also have pretty good skin so full coverage isn’t necessary. I will say that you shouldn’t guess what color you would be in this foundation because there are so many different undertones that you may be wrong. I tried 2 shades before finding my perfect match in shade 360.

The match stixs come in 20 shades that you can buy separately or in a trio, I purchased the trio in Tan 300. The concealer shade is lighter in coverage than what I am used to but it’s good for your everyday look, and the contour shade in Truffle is perfect for everyday as well. I struggle with contour shades for some reason but I love the way this one looks on me. Products that come in stick form can either be too dry and hard to blend or too creamy but I felt that these were the perfect consistency. The star of the trio in my opinion is definitely the highlight in rum, I can’t get over how beautiful this looks on my skin. I’ve already decided it will be my highlight for work because of how wearable it is and when you layer the killawatt highlighters on top you will get your ENTIRE life!

All in all I am really impressed with Fenty Beauty, it will definitely be in heavy rotation in my makeup collection. Any foundation that keeps me looking flawless for over 8 hours is good in my book. I will be trying out more products from her line as it expands and I look forward to adding them to my collection.

Happy Sunday!