red lipstick

the beach dc


after lots of traveling and jam-packed weekends, i finally visited the beach exhibit at the national building museum. it’s like the ball pit at chuck-e-cheese’s times 100! needless to say, i had a blast. i hope your weekend was full of adventure.


earrings (sold out), peace images jewelry | shirt, dopeciety | jeans, h&m

lupita nyong’o

brace yourself for lupita nyong’o, the most beautiful woman in hollywood.

lupita nyong’o is the kenyan actress who starred beside chiwetel ejiofor in 12 years a slave.  a politician’s daughter and recent yale school of drama alum, this woman literally takes my breath away.

ruby woo: a black girl’s best friend

red lipstick 3“she too dark to  have on that red lipstick.” apparently, asap rocky isn’t the only person who believes black women on the darker side of the melanin spectrum shouldn’t wear bright lipstick.  according to my big sister kdj, she faced this not-so-quiet whisper while boarding the bus, and was quick to couch it among the bevy of criticism and judgmental stares that she receives while wearing her precious ruby woo lipstick. not easily intimidated, kdj was unfazed, but her comments made me think: how many black women shy away from bright colors because we’ve been told that we’re too “dark”?

when i turned 16, my mom took me to the fashion fair counter and purchased my first makeup kit.  the sales associate counseled me to wear warm colors and quickly applied a golden lipgloss that was as thick as molasses.  the message was clear: dark-skinned girls like me shouldn’t venture to the more colorful side of the lip color rainbow.  thank God some of us are challenging the ridiculous notion that skin color should be the only determinant for lip color.

reds, pinks and the current trend of even bolder colors like blue and purple are being worn by sisters as chocolate as sudanese model alek wek (pictured below).  beauty is all about self-expression and confidence; let the naysayers mumble under their breath while we dark-skinned-red lipstick wearers continue to swag the fuck out.  remember that the roots of this “no bright colors” rule comes from the same racist and sexist paradigm that tells us we’re not beautiful.

i’m sending power and love to sisters who boldly eschew the restrictive norms that are associated with being dark skinned.  i see you.

bannerred lip collage


_IGP0334 _IGP0303 _IGP0301_IGP0305 _IGP0330_IGP0311 _IGP0331 my what a difference a pop of red makes. thanks to stila’s red matte lipstick for putting in so much work.  oh and thanks to tosin’s frida shirt for giving me life.

photographer: michael idiokitas

me: dress: h&m | chambray shirt: zara | shoes: converse | necklace: urban outfitters | double-face watch: nordstrom | bangles: gifted and thrifted