Morning Skincare Rituals with nyakio | Demo + Review

As a beauty blogger, I receive TONS of emails to try new brands -- especially skincare products. Recently, I was given the opportunity to try nyakio™, a skincare brand that I learned is under parent company, Sundial Brands (i.e. Shea Moisture, Madame CJ Walker Beauty, Nubian Heritage).

I'm fairly picky about the brands/products I try and absolutely have to have some type of interest in order to accept them for potential review. When I researched the brand, there were a few things that ultimately intrigued me:

  • The brand is founded by a woman of color, Nyakio Kamoche Grieco (first-generation American of Kenyan descent). A large percentage of my readers/followers are black women like myself, so I always love when I can support a sista.
  • nyakio™ is available exclusively in Ulta stores and online -- something I didn't even know and I spend a lot of time wandering the store looking for new things to try! 

  • I appreciated the brand's focus ethically and sustainably sourced indigenous ingredients (I'm all about what's in my products) as well as philanthropy through non-profit organization, Girls Inc. 

  • Each product in the nyakio™ line has a story that ties to Nyakio's childhood and family traditions

Sweet Almond Cleansing Oil Balm


I love a good melting cleanser/balm. A few that I've tried are: YesTo Coconut Melting Cleanser, Colleen Rothschild Radiant Cleansing Balm and EVE LOM Cleanser. However, none of those are quite like the nyakio™ Sweet Almond Cleansing Oil Balm. When I first opened the jar, I noticed the rose color and slight glowing shimmer in the light. It was gorgeous, yall! Plus, I love pink.

How To Use: The texture was smooth, simple to scoop and quickly melted from balm to oil from the warm touch of my fingertips. A small amount goes a long way with this balm. I massaged the Cleansing Oil Balm on my skin in tiny circles for approximately two minutes before placing a warm washcloth over my face and wiping away. You can also use tissue to remove, but I prefer a regular washcloth or muslin cloth.

The Results: After removing the balm, my skin felt baby soft and smooth from the nourishing sweet almond oils sourced from Spain. It is extremely conditioning! I didn't have makeup on the first time I used it, but these types of formulas are usually excellent for breaking down makeup and the Sweet Almond Cleansing Oil Balm is one of them. 

Kenyan Coffee Face Polish


Exfoliating a few times a week is über important! I'd say two to three times depending on your skin is sufficient. I've been on the hunt for new exfoliating treatments to try out and this one combines antioxidant-rich Kenyan coffee beans, jojoba oil and shea butter. Initially, I assumed the formula would be a bit rougher, but it's actually quite gentle and creamy to have coffee grounds blended in it. It also doesn't have a strong coffee scent as I expected which wasn't exactly a negative thing whatsoever.

How To Use: Be sure to shake the Kenyan Coffee Face Polish before using it! When I squeezed my first bit out, it seemed that there was a little bit of settling or separation while it was in transit causing a runnier consistency -- nothing a quick shake couldn't fix. A quarter size of this exfoliator was just enough for a light layer over my entire face. I massaged in small circles and really focused on my nose, cheeks and forehead because those are the areas that tend to become the roughest and produce the most oil. After a few minutes, I rinsed the Kenyan Coffee Face Polish with a warm washcloth. 

The Results: Upon rinsing, I noticed a difference in my nose. No more roughness due to daily impurities, so it definitely did the job!

Tamanu Firming Face Balm


No matter whether you have dry, combination, sensitive or oily skin, moisturizing is a step that none of us should skip. Since it's summer, my Tamanu Firming Face Balm was melted upon arrival; however, I always pop my completely melted products in the fridge or freezer for about 30 minutes or until solid again. This will help the product return to its natural smooth texture rather than crystalize and get lumpy.

How To Use: While the packaging states this moisturizer can be used for day and night, I recommend it for night if following an oil or serum. Whenever I did use it in the morning, I skipped my serums and oils so my face wouldn't be too oily and I could jump into makeup without having to wait for my skin to absorb all of the product I'd applied. For this balm formula, remember that a little bit goes a long way

The Results: The nyakio™ Tamanu Firming Face Balm's consistency reminded me of shea butter, but with tons of extra beneficial ingredients. Actually, shea butter is the very first ingredient of this balm, so it really provided and locked in all of the moisture. It's pretty intense unlike some formulas that are more water-based. Provided a tiny amount is applied, it can definitely be used prior to makeup.

Red Ginseng Line Smoothing Eye & Lip Cream


I though the Red Ginseng Line Smoothing Eye & Lip Cream would be really cool to try because I've never seen a cream for both the eyes and lips. I don't really have lines or wrinkles in those areas, but it's never too early for anti-aging products, so I'm always down to use a good cream to help prevent or reduce those things especially with the benefits of red ginseng. 

How To Use: This works just like any eye cream where you press into the skin under and around the eyes, but it can also be use around the mouth area as well.

The Results: I can't say I noticed a difference or improvements for lines because I don't have any but, as I mentioned, I still use eye creams. Since I'm always using refrigerated masks to reduce puffiness in the morning because of tiredness or allergies, I'd like to try the Quinoa De-Puffing & Firming Eye Cream and see how that actually works for me. I will say that I can feel that it's hydrating which is huge plus because when allergies/itchy eyes kick in, the constant rubbing can cause dryness and the skin around our eyes is already very delicate.

Have you tried nyakio™ skincare products from Ulta before?

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Wakanda-Inspired Bantu Knot Style with Eden Body Works

Wakanda forever! Black Panther has definitely been such an inspirational film this year from the messaging to the intricate hairstyles. As a naturalista, bantu knots are not new to me at all, but I was so fascinated by Nakia's beautiful head of textured knots. I'm a twist-out queen, but wanted to try and share something different!

For this style, I used Eden Body Works Coconut Shea Natural Pudding Soufflé to achieve a perm rod set and bantu knots on blown out hair and the Edge Glaze to lay my edges.

I added embellishments at 12mm, but definitely could have used smaller ones -- however, I  decided to work with what I had. Enjoy!

6 Mistakes You Make When Washing Your Face

How can you possibly make mistakes in face washing for goodness sake? It should be pretty simple, right? Dunk your face in a sink full of water, work up a little soap lather on a washcloth, scrub it on and then rinse it off. Ahhh, but it takes a little more care and thought; how you wash your face, when, how frequently, and what you use all make a difference.

With a little consideration of method and products, you can improve your skin health, curb acne breakouts, and reduce skin inflammation. To these ends, I will become the Queen of Clean for your enlightenment.

Wash your face before bed

Even if you don’t wear makeup you should always wash your face at night before turning in. All day natural oils and sweat collect on the skin as well as dirt and pollution from the environment. Leaving this accumulation of gunk on your skin at the end of the day can cause acne breakouts, skin irritation, and inflammation.

Don’t skip the morning cleanse, friends

Cleansing your skin before bed is fine, but another rinse in the morning is a good idea. Germs like to leap from your pillowcase to your face as you sleep so you should wash your pillowcases often. Even then, bacteria from your saliva and oils from your hair make their way to your fresh new pillowcase and then to your face and eyes. A quick rinse in the morning will freshen your skin and ensure that any other skincare products you apply have the best possible base.

Keep the water temperature low

Hot water may feel good in the shower especially just after a muscle numbing workout, but it could also be causing damage to your skin. High water temperatures can cause dilation of blood vessels and the possible breakage of delicate tissue as well as strip the skin of its natural oils. Your skin will more quickly dry out and become itchy and flaky, so use lukewarm water to cleanse your face instead of hot.

Don’t use only a makeup wipe to clean your face

A makeup wipe or cleansing cloth is not good enough to deeply clean your face. They remove makeup and surface dirt but also leave behind a residue. If you do use them, rinse away the residue and then use a gentle cleanser for a deeper clean. Wet your face with lukewarm water and apply cleanser using your fingertips in a circular motion for 20 to 30 seconds, then rinse and softly pat dry with a clean towel.

Use the correct cleanser for your skin

That new cleanser on the market that your co-workers and crafting pals keep raving about might not be the best for you. Skincare companies create different product lines for different skin types for good reason.

  • Normal skin has an even skin tone and a soft texture with no blemishes, red or flaky patches, and the skin surface is neither dry nor greasy. Look for a simple cleanser that doesn’t go too heavy on the exfoliants or the moisturizers. Find a solution here for normal skin.

  • Dry skin has a dull skin tone and looks rough, flaky, and is often itchy. If your skin is on the dry or sensitive side, choose creams and lotions that are designed to hydrate while cleansing gently. Find a solution here for dry skin.

  • Oily skin appears shiny, often showing blackheads and pimples and is more prone to acne. Gentle foams and gels will be the best choices to cleanse an oilier complexion without leaving the skin totally stripped. Find a solution here for acne-prone skin.

Moisturize right after you clean

Studies have shown that applying moisturizer while the skin is still damp after cleansing will help to lock in that hydration. Waiting even a few minutes will allow the surface cells to dehydrate and they will become more resistant to retaining moisture. As an added note, even if your moisturizer does have an SPF factor, apply a sunscreen on top to ensure adequate protection for your skin.

So, how did the Queen of Clean do? Are you now enlightened and glowing in the knowledge of correct washing procedure? In all seriousness, if you follow these tips and use the links shown above for more information, you will have beautiful skin, glowing with health.

This guest post is sponsored and written by

REVIEW | Camille Rose Leave-In Collection on 4C Stretched Twistout [Updated 2018]

A few years ago, I did a review of the Camille Rose Naturals Leave-In Collection and I loved it! Since it's been so long, I decided to post an updated video and blog post talking about my experience using the collection over the years and some new uses I've found for each of the leave-in conditioners.

Watch my stretched twistout method using the Grace Eleyae satin-lined cap:

Let's talk about the triple threat...

The Leave-In Collection features three leave-in conditioners: Honey, Latte and Herbal Tea. I've heard from many other naturalistas that they're not quite sure how to use the products and there isn't , but there's such a freedom to use the products however you'd like. 

I like to use all three as a LOC (or LCO method), so I use Honey to hydrate after I get out of the shower, Latte to define my texture before styling and then Herbal Tea as an oil to seal. 

Here are the details about each leave-in conditioner:

Photo by @JaleesaCharisse

Photo by @JaleesaCharisse

Honey | This one is fairly thick, but blended with several oils. Some people say it's too thick and sticky for them, but if you have kinky/coily hair like mine, then it's like food for the coils. The consistency is just like honey and I LOVE honey as an ingredient in beauty products! Personally, it's my favorite of the trio because of this. While I feel like it deeply conditions my hair when I let my twistout form overnight, I also think Honey could also use this as a rinse-out hair treatment during the washing process.

Latte | As more of a lotion-like consistency, I've actually heard a few people say that they've use this one as a lotion on their skin in addition to using as a defining leave-in conditioner. Latte isn't really my favorite to use alone, but when I do use it I like to pair with the Honey leave-in (hydrating) or Almond Jai Twisting Butter (super defining). Some can use this alone to define their hair, but it doesn't work that way for me -- I need at least one other defining product.

Herbal Tea | There are so many uses for Herbal Tea because it has an oil-like consistency. I've used this leave-in conditioner in the following ways:

  • To massage my scalp occasionally
  • As the "oil" step in the LOC method
  • To coat my fingertips before manipulating my hair in the morning (ex. unraveling twists)
  • A few drops in the bathtub with The Body Collection for a soak
  • All over my body after a nice shower or bath

Because the collection is so coveted, you may not be able to find all of the blends to purchase at once since they're sold separately now on Camille Rose's website, in select Target stores and Target'e site. It's great to the entire Leave-In Collection, but I think it's important to think about your own hair and what types of consistencies work best for you. My 4C hair drinks these products up, but you may feel that you need less or a different combination. Want to try out some of the Camille Rose blends I mentioned? 

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Patrick Starrr x MAC Cosmetics Me So Fleek Full Face Kit | REVIEW

The weather is at a perfect 75 degrees, flowers are blooming and the new Patrick Starrr spring full face kits are now available at MAC Cosmetics. Early last month, I received the Me So Fleek kit and fell in love with the shades especially for deep skin. Beautiful pops of blues and pinks always get me going!

Take a peek at the Me So Fleek kit:

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Products received courtesy of MAC Cosmetics. All opinions and thoughts are my own.