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Ever since I was 13, I’ve always had a problem with acne. It is something that I feel self conscious about, even till this day as a 22 year old. When I was in my freshman year of college, my mother took me to an amazing Beverly Hills dermatologist by the name of Dr. Susan Evans. She was able to get rid of my acne but I was still suffering from small dark marks and hyperpigmentation. For those of you who don’t know what hyperpigmentation is, it is ” a common, usually harmless condition in which patches of skin become darker in color than the normal surrounding skin. This darkening occurs when an excess of melanin, the brown pigment that produces normal skin color, forms deposits in the skin” (http://www.aocd.org). Now that I am a young adult, it’s time to say goodbye to those acne days  FOR GOOD and hello to clear skin.

Many people use chemical peels or other skin brightens to get rid of their dark marks, but I tried it before and I felt it was too harsh for my sensitive skin. I also started to realize that my skin was getting lighter. When I looked in the mirror, I felt as if my skin looked like I was bleaching it instead of brightening it. I was recently in Morocco and I had a minor break out. Some pimples left some scars and I began to freak out. I thank God that I had  my True Botancials skin care products with me because it made a drastic change in my skin.

My night routine that helped with the scarring, consisted of the hydrating cleanser, toner, cellular repair serum, and the vitamin C booster. The hydrating cleanser was able to fight any recurring acne and the cellular repair serum mixed with the vitamin C booster was able to battle the scars and minor marks.  The cellular repair serum  is ” a true force of nature that strengthens the barrier function in aging skin while fighting adult acne. “(True Botanicals). The vitamin C booster ” stimulates collagen production, firms and repairs skin, fights wrinkles, evens skin tone, brightens aging skin.” (True Botanicals). Lastly, at the end of my routine I used the toner to give my skin an even complexion. I highly recommend this routine if you are looking for products that are natural. I am trying to stay away from using too many chemicals on my face or body, so I feel that True Botanicals is a great substitute.

USE CODE ” TCG20 “ for $20 off your next purchase at https://truebotanicals.com/

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Cellular Repair Serum, CLEAR

Prevents blemishes. Improves barrier function and moisture retention. Nourishes aging skin. Restores suppleness. Imparts soft, dewy, smooth skin.

Full Size (1 fl oz | 30 ml) $ 140.00

 

 

 

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Vitamin C Booster

Vitamin C in its freshest form. Stored in a dark glass shaker, it retains its maximum potency until the moment it’s mixed with a serum.

Full Size (Net wt .49 oz | 14 g) $ 90.00

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One thing that I truly love about myself is my hair. I feel like the hair that I have is like having a super power. Since it is so versatile, I can literally transform who I am. One minute I can have bone straight hair like Cher in her prime or I can become Diana Ross with my wild curly afro. As a young women, I believe that women and girls have the ability to change their look as much as possible. I remember seeing a meme on Instagram of a guy telling his girlfriend “we need to see other people” and she changes into multiple wigs (see meme below, IT HAD ME HOLLERING!).

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I genuinely love being able to switch my hair but wearing it curly and big is definitely my favorite style. When I was in Morocco, I didn’t see a lot of women with curly hair, especially hair like mine. Since my hair made such a statement, vendors at the market would yell out “Shakira!, Shakira!” since my hair is curly and I guess that’s the only celebrity reference they associate curly hair with. Obviously, the Latina pop sensation and I look nothing a like, so I know it had to be the hair. Growing up, my mom always recited two really cool quotes  about having big hair, “the bigger the hair, the closer to God” and “the bigger the hair, the more they stare”. My mom was absolutely right, I sure did get a lot of stares. Being a woman of color with a lot of hair, many individuals ask to touch it and the answer will always be NO! My hair is not a creature and neither am I. There are so many dynamics in regards to hair and what it means to a woman, but for me it means a lot. I make sure that I treat, clean, and nourish my hair using Form Beauty because it’s important that anyone with hair knows how to take care of it.

My favorite product that I have been using recently is the Multitask 3-in-1 Leave-In Lotion. I use it on my hair almost everyday because it’s great for layering, moisturizing, and styling. Whether I want to wear my hair slicked back in a puffy bun or out in a fro, this leave-in-lotion keeps my hair hydrated. I truly detest when I put leave-in products in my hair and they are too heavy or too creamy. This product is also great for braids as well. If you wear box braids, cornrows, or any other protective style, it’s important that you give your scalp and hair moisture. Why I love this product is because it’s easy and simple. All I really have to do is spray, style and go. It cuts down the time when doing my hair and it keep my hair smelling fresh. I couldn’t ask for a more fun and easy hair care product.    

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FORM Beauty

Multitask.

3-in-1 leave-in lotion

12 fl oz. – $32.00

 

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Photographed by Thaïs Martin

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If you ever go to Morocco, YOU MUST DEDICATE TIME TOWARDS BUYING A CARPET! It is nothing like purchasing interior decor in the states, it is a journey. Literally, it’s a journey getting lost in a Moroccan souk. A “souk” is a market in Arabic/North African countries. You can buy almost anything in a souk: doors, lights, furniture, jewelry, clothes, spices, and more. On my 3rd and most recent trip to Morocco, I made sure I took my friend Tori, co-founder of The Colored Girl, to experience what it’s like to search for a Moroccan carpet (scroll to the bottom to watch video).

When we entered the souk, we walked into the space where a majority of the carpets were sold and I felt like I was in heaven. We asked a vendor where the best carpets were and he took us on a long stroll through the souk. We made so many left and right turns, my head was starting to hurt, but on our last turn we made a sharp right into one of the greatest carpet warehouses. The warehouse manger and his workers were so kind, they were eager to pull out multiple carpets so we could figure out which one we loved the most. They explained how the carpets were made and what tribe they came from. They became even cooler when they offered us lunch and if you know me, food is the way to my heart. I don’t know what I was more shocked by, how kind the owner was or the variety of carpets there were. There were so many colors, textures, and designs. Here’s a fun fact, some rugs are made for winter and some rugs are made for summer, but there are also some rugs that are for both, like a 2 in 1.

I took a seat on the mountain of carpets and Tori snapped a cute photo of me (see picture above). When I looked at the photo, I realized how defined my curls were, giving off an old school Cher vibe. I was trying to think about how they looked so good and I realized it was all thanks to Form Beauty. The night before, I co washed my hair with the Moisturizing Conditioner, which gave my hair a lot of hydration. Also, before heading to the souk, I applied the Defining Curl Gel to my damp hair and allowed it to air dry. I love when my curls look defined AF. When my hair is on fleek, I feel like a kid in a Moroccan carpet shop, lol, maybe not a kid, but me. After I was done hyping up my hair, we continued to scan around the warehouse, but realized we were  almost an hour late for our lunch meeting. The best thing that I can recommend when shopping for a carpet in Moroccan is MAKE SURE YOU HAVE TIME! It’s not a easy process and you must figure out which one speaks to you. I call it a journey because you must dedicate at least 4 hours. You must see, choose, and barter. It takes time my friends, but if you’re like me and you really love cultural decor, it is definitely something you will devote time to.

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Photographed by Thaïs Martin

Carpet shopping with Tori

 

 

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Being in Marrakesh, Morocco, at the amazing boutique hotel, Jnane Tamsna, was an incredible experience. It was full of great food, great people, great culture and a whole lot of dry heat. It was so hot, that 110 degrees was normal. Don’t get me wrong, I loveeee the heat, but that was heat that could fry some bacon. That being said, when it’s too hot outside, I tend to wear my hair in a style that is pushed away from my face. In high heat, gel tends to feel like it is melting on my scalp. Pomade gives my hair a good hold that feels light and I always want my edges to be laidddddd, so I started to use the Form Beauty, Polish Pomade.

 

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The polish pomade is lightweight and  “uses a blend of oils to lock in moisture, fight frizz and provide a smooth look and soft feel” (www.formbeauty.com). I was able to create the hairstyle, in the pictures above, in four simple steps.

  1. Since I was going for a sleek but bushy look. I first brushed out all of my curls.
  2.  I made a part in the center of my head but I only parted it half way.
  3.  I then damped the front part of my hair so my edges and the front could be slicked down and the back could big and bushy.
  4. Lastly, I brushed down the front area down and pinned it tight. I made the back part of my hair bigger and bushier for as 70’s style inspired look.

Inspiration

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Ever since I could remember, my Papa, Eric Maurice, has always been the beau of the ball. His dapper demeanor never goes unnoticed when he enters a room. He is in a class of his own with his salt and pepper hair, fierce walk, impeccable style, and that sexy french accent to top it off. Papa is definitely not your average 56 year old man. He manages to live a 007 lifestyle between Los Angeles and Paris while staying fit, fashionable, and fearless.

Over the years, he always made it imperative that he dressed for success. Growing up with a European father with exquisite taste made shopping 10x more fun. Papa never believed in leaving the house in pajamas or sweats, he believed in dressing how you wanted to be addressed. Every season, he would take my brother and I to the big outdoor outlets in Camarillo or Pam Springs, located in California. Together, we would shop all day, maybe get a Auntie Anne’s pretzel in between stores, then continue shopping until we heard  “Attention! the shops will be closing in 15 minutes”. During those long days of shopping, my father taught me color swatches, fabrics, quality versus quantity, and the essentials I needed to have. If Eric Maurice was going to look his best at all times, his kids were going to as well.

Since my father blessed me with dual citizenship between France and The United States, we’ve had many shopping dates that have occurred in Spain, Paris, and London. I’ve been so fortunate to see different cultures and fashions around the world because of my father. He has opened my eyes up to see that fashion everywhere, it is inspired by architecture, food, and people. Still to this day, Papa reminds that having one style or being good at one thing isn’t good enough. Yes, you should have a signature look that represents your style, but also be able to diversify your style. Being able to show people that you can tap into different genres of fashion and life, expands how people view you as a person.

The best lesson that Papa has taught me about style is that there is power when entering a room well dressed. No matter how many designer brands you buy, it will never equate to confidence. Along with Papa’s Sean Connery looks, his confidence is what makes every outfit perfect. To me, Papa is Mr.007 because he isn’t an ordinary man who allows the suit to wear him, he wears the suit. He knows that he can accomplish anything when he looks good and that fuels him to make every mission possible.

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Photographed by @Mamadivisuals

http://www.mamadi.co/