In About Face, xoNecole gets the 411 on IGers who give us #skincaregoals on the daily. Here they break down their beauty routines on the inside and out, as well as the highly coveted products that grace their shelves and their skin.
Morgan Brown, better known on Instagram as @itsheymorgan, is a 22-year-old content creator taking the world by storm. "My favorite part about my work is that it didn't exist five years ago," she told xoNecole. "Although this is a challenging space, molding a career path that doesn't included a 1-2-3 step guide, I enjoy most the creative autonomy I have to create almost anything I want in my truest and most authentic voice, and self."
Whether it's through her IG-worthy travel journeys, her transparent af YouTube channel, or enviable excursions into being a skincare enthusiast, Morgan steadily proves she's a multifaceted creative to watch. And with an online following of over 52,000 and counting, she's found an untapped niche in providing beauty tips and tricks from a flawless and ever-glowing canvas. Her earliest memory of beauty was when she was five or six watching her mom's nighttime routine. "This would include removing her makeup, putting on eye cream, and tying her hair up in a silk scarf. This was the moment I learned: Never sleep in makeup, eye cream IS important, and if you want edges -- get you a silk scarf," she revealed.
In this installment of xoNecole's About Face, Morgan talks her daytime and nighttime routines, meditation, and the importance of being kissed by the sun.
My morning routine looks like...
"Mornings are so fun for me (I KNOW, actually weird). I enjoy them because it's the most intimate time and space I have with myself. So, typically a morning for me always start with prayer, a cup of coffee and the newest episode of 'ASK VIV'."
For my skincare routine in the AM...
"My daytime skin routine:
- Cleanse: Tatcha The Deep Cleanse Exfoliating Cleanser (Amazing for sensitive skin!)
- Serum: Joanna Vargas Revitalizing Serum (My go-to serum for months now. It leaves my skin super hydrated and glowy!)
- Moisturize: Seed Phytonutrients Hydrating Facial Lotion
- Face Oil: Lastly, I use Go-to Skincare Face Hero Oil (Super lightweight and soothing!)"
And for my skincare routine in the PM...
"At night? I would definitely say my routine is a bit more intense at night. I still include all the products in my daytime routine, with a few add-ons: Exfoliating with ELEMIS Blackcurrant Jelly Exfoliator (only 1-2x per week) and a good 'ol mask. i'm currently reaching for the Kiehl's Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Mask."
My go-to makeup look consists of...
"I am SUPER invested in my skin, so makeup isn't an everyday thing for me. However, there are days when an eyebrow, highlight and a bomb matte lip won't hurt."
How I approach beauty from the inside-out...
"Meditation, journaling and sitting in the sun."
What self-care looks like to me...
"Always, always, a good face mask, a warm cup of tea and silk PJ's."
How I do skincare when I travel...
"I am THAT girl when it comes to traveling with my entire skincare cabinet (Yes, entire). Traveling cannot stop this glow!"
For more of Morgan, follow her on Instagram.
Shop Morgan's Beauty Staples:
TATCHA The Deep Cleanse Exfoliating Cleanser
Joanna Vargas Rejuvenating Serum
Featured image by Morgan Brown/Instagram
Originally published June 19, 2019
Black women are not a monolith. We all are deserving of healing and wholeness despite what we've been through, how much money we have in the bank, or what we look like. Most importantly, we are enough—even when we are not working, earning, or serving.
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32-year-old social media influencer and mother of five, Ariel B, did not set out to tell her story; but it was her truth that set her free. Her truth is also the inspiration for her new podcast "This Too Shall Pass," produced by Idea To Launch Productions. The podcast delves into Ariel's life and journey as a single parent and a domestic violence survivor. But it also serves as a window into her past traumas that have fostered her resilience.
In an exclusive interview with xoNecole, Ariel B. reveals that her online following grew after she decided to share the realistic, non-curated parts of her life on social media at the advice of her therapist. "Growing up, I was taught to hide things that made you seem less than," she says. "I didn't mind speaking at the shelter for women and children. I didn't mind speaking in my domestic violence group with other women, but I was ashamed to talk about it with people that I felt had a perfect life. So [my therapist] said 'No, you need to get used to telling your story. If you don't like it or you feel some kind of way, just delete it.' I started first on Instagram, and that was probably the first time I dipped my toe in the social media world of telling the truth."
Ariel's followers became inspired by her honest and raw day-in-the-life perspective: the days when she would be over her budget, her kids' rooms wouldn't be the tidiest, or when she'd be running late for pick-ups and drop-offs. Her relatability made single mothers everywhere feel seen, but there's much more to life Ariel's story that she's found the bravery to open up about.
The Florida native had her first child when she was 16 years old. Growing up in a middle-class suburban family, she says she felt judged by family and peers for having children out of wedlock. "I already had two kids before I got married," she says. "And when I got married, I think that was my parents' sigh of relief. Like, oh my gosh, she's finally married. She's not a single mother of two. She should be safe. It was a disaster."
Ariel says marriage was great in the beginning. Her ex-husband presented himself as loving and was a proud stepfather to her two children. After welcoming two more children with her ex-husband, she says that's when the problems started. "We were arguing all the time. The finances were bad. And then it got to the point where he was consuming a lot of alcohol all the time," she says. "And when the alcohol got bad, it got physical. I was embarrassed. I just invited all of my family to this wedding and everyone's so happy that I'm married, but I'm miserable."
Ariel eventually filed for divorce, and was then forced to get a restraining order after her ex proceeded to stalk her. Though these frightening moments are behind her, she's working every day to address the residual trauma. "It was a lot of trauma to get where we are, and a lot to finally feel safe," she says. "But I just wanted to do whatever I had to do so my children wouldn't have to heal from a choice that I made."
It's clear that Ariel's adorable children, ranging from ages three to fifteen, are her biggest inspiration. She often posts videos of herself teaching them important life lessons like how to create a budget and maintain good credit. It's these important life skills that many of her followers said they wished they learned growing up. For Ariel, her greatest goal is to fill up their self-love tank. "The world is going to knock you down enough when you get older," she says. "So if I can push them out there at a hundred percent if the world can only knock them down to 80, I'd be happy with that. But if they only go out there at 80 and the world can get them down to 60 or less than half of who they are, that's a problem for me."
When it comes to her new podcast, Ariel isn't afraid of the judgments that may come, both from loved ones and strangers. "When you tell the truth, there's nothing to hide from," she says. "I am a single mother of five. I do have more than one child's father. We are on a budget. And when I was able to just be honest, I think I wasn't shameful anymore. I didn't have to pretend and I was able to tell my truth out loud."
"This Too Shall Pass" is out now!