FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONs

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WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

Born and raised in my beloved Harlem, I was born in an area called “Sugarhill”.

WHen did you start dancing?

I started dancing at the age of 4 years old at Harlem School of the Arts. I studied Ballet, Jazz, Modern, West African, & Hip-Hop until I was 17 years old.

What is your college degree in?

I graduated from The Art Institute of Philadelphia with my BS in Fashion & Marketing

When did you become a mua?

I studied “Beauty Artistry” at the Makeup Designory School in Soho in 2006. Before I attended my 2nd college while amongst the 9 to 5 grinders I wanted to follow my dream of also trying my hand at makeup. The corporate work days were bland and as a treat to myself and creativity I put my self through makeup school.

when did you start your own business?

Similar to my story of pursuing makeup artistry, I felt like something was missing in my world of many things and various talents and I wanted to create a platform that celebrated the multifaceted NYC based visionaries who used their skills & talent for more than just their passion but also for social change. In June of 2016 I officially introduced www.artliving.us to the world.

HOW’D YOU MEET YOUR fiance?

Jonathan and I met our freshman year while in college at Harvard University, but we didn’t start dating until senior year. After that, we dated long distance across continents and states for about four years, which definitely made our relationship stronger! Here’s our funny engagement story, some snippets from our Kenyan-Nigerian wedding, and our 1 year 

 

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN NATURAL?

My last and final relaxer was June 2009, and I big chopped in May 2010 after a year of transitioning with braids and weaves. I did not originally intend to go natural, but I had a roommate who braided my hair for free and then I became curious to see my natural hair texture, since I’d been relaxed since I was a toddler. I cut my hair into a tapered fro every so often; I did one in February 2015 and again in February 2018.

WHAT IS YOUR HAIR TYPE? HAIR COLOR?

I don’t believe in the traditional hair typing systems, and I expound on why in this video. For a professional opinion, check out this video. My hair is extremely porous due to frequent coloring, and super kinky.

I’ve colored my hair once a year pretty much since the day of my big chop, and have had highlights, ombre, red, and blonde! Here are tips for coloring natural hair and minimizing damage.

WHAT PRODUCTS DO YOU USE?

I use products without sulfates and parabens, and I gravitate towards products that are for moisture versus for styling. Since I used to be a natural hair blogger, I have a TON of products and still receive press gifts from a variety of brands, so I’m often trying something new. I do have a top 10 favorite natural hair products list!

 WHERE DO YOU LIKE TO SHOP?

I’m trying to shop more sustainable, slow fashion both for the benefit of the environment and my wallet. I use Rent the Runway‘s Unlimited membership to have a never ending rotation of clothes, and usually shop in bulk at the beginning of each season rather than shopping every weekend. I prefer to shop online – I frequent Shopbop because of the on-trend suggestions and wide variety, but I also find a ton of gems on Amazon!

WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR GLASSES?

I’ve been wearing glasses since I was 10, so I know a thing or two about the struggle to find the right frames! Here’s my go to for stylish eyeglasses at an affordable price.

WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE?

Check out the Press page for some additional interviews, the Research page for more about my academic journey, and feel free to ask me any questions on social media (at the top of the page) or via email!