If you were blessed to have melanin skin, be sure to thank baby Jesus. However, while we were born to glow, we still have to maintain it. Let's be honest - finding a well-balanced skincare routine without messing up our unique skin can be stressful. That's why we are grateful for people who know their skin and who know how to share the wealth. People like, Siraad Dirshe.
Siraad has made it her business to help black women, no matter their age, feel like their most beautiful selves. And not just on the outside but the inside too, because that's what helps us empower ourselves to live our lives unapologetically. Siraad's resume includes heavyhitters like Clinique, Nike, Vogue and most recently, Beauty Editor at ESSENCE. Needless to say, the saying "Trust Black Women" was high-key referring to Siraad.
She told the J Spot Collective, "I never thought I was 'good' at makeup, so I was pretty much afraid of it. I also think since beauty brands have historically not created products with us in mind, I never really found colors and tones that complimented my deeper skin tone. So I think skin care just seemed more accessible and easy to understand/use."
xoNecole has been intrigued with Siraad and her magic so it was only right that we talk with her about all things beauty, self-care and the virtue of black women.
You have been deemed "The Glow Expert," how did you come to snag this title?
SD: That's funny! I think it's something I just kind of claimed for myself because I thought it was catchy. A few years ago, it seemed like everyone was after having glowy and bright skin. I also had a lot of friends at the time who had asked about my skin care routine and how I would get to be so glowy. So I thought what better name to call myself (laughs).
What's your secret to glowing skin?
SD: I know this is super cliche but I really think 60% is not the masks, serums, or moisturizers. Of course, they're great but I really think it's things like sleep, water, and what you eat that truly make your skin glow and have the radiance that everyone wants. I make sure to get (at least) 8 hours of sleep, drink a gallon of water a day, and try to avoid things like dairy. I feel like once I started doing those things, my skin started to really change for the better.
What advice do you have for women struggling to maintain great skin?
SD: I would say that there's no such thing as great skin, there's only better skin. I think beauty companies can sell us a false ideal that we should all have glowing and clear skin and for some, that's just not realistic. So I instead say, strive to get your skin in a healthy place that makes you feel your most confident self.
"There's no such thing as great skin, there's only better skin... I instead say, strive to get your skin in a healthy place that makes you feel your most confident self."
When it comes to moisturizers, what's your go-to?
SD: I have super dry skin so for me it's all about cocktailing a mixture of oils, serums, and moisturizers so my skin stays hydrated all day. In the morning, I tend to be a bit lighter on the oils and serums (especially if I plan to wear makeup) and just go for a heavy moisturizer. A few of my favorites include Charlotte Tilbury's Magic Cream or Drunk Elephant's Protini™ Polypeptide Cream. Both are hydrating but also light enough that I can layer makeup on them and it won't slip or slide.
As a woman of color, what do you think makes us beautiful?
SD: Wow, this is such a loaded question for me. There are very few things I find more beautiful than Black women. While there's no denying our physical beauty, our range of skin tones, hair textures, bold features, I think it's our spirits that make us most beautiful. In addition to being resilient, creative beyond measure, and intelligent we also have an incredible love for each other that makes us truly beautiful.
Let's say you have 30 minutes for a beauty look, what products would you use for your desired look?
SD: I actually really try to keep my makeup to under 15 minutes so this 30 minutes seems like so much time. After washing my face and doing a quick mask (I'm really into this one right now) I'll use one of the above moisturizers. Next, I'll use a tinted moisturizer -- Glossier's new formulas are pretty great and give you some coverage without being super cakey (I'm shade G2). Then I'll use NARS' creamy concealer, which is hands down one of the best concealers. I like to use that under my eyes and then on any spots I want to cover up.
While I don't use eyeshadow everyday, when I do I love to use a super bright color. Because why not? Colourpop has amazing colors and their products are super affordable. I love their pinks or blues and I'll usually use the shadow on my lashline for a nice pop. Then I'll finish off the eyes with lots of mascara. I like it super clumpy and think and NARS' Climax mascara one is super good.
If I go for a bright color shadow then I'll keep lips simple with gloss. As of late, I've been really into the old school MAC Lipglass. I used to use it a lot in highschool, so it's super nostalgic for me.
Self-care has become a huge buzzword – what does self-care mean to you?
SD: Self-care to me consciously living and constantly checking in with my body and spirit to see where I am. It also means having healthy ways of helping myself get back in balance when I am feeling off. It also means exercising the word "no" a lot more. If something is jeopardizing my well-being, I know it's okay to say "no" to that event, hang out, or even relationship.
Can you share three products you swear by?
SD: Three products that I swear by are:
1. Biologique Recherche p50,
3. Vintner's Daughter serum.