'My name is Diarrha N'Diaye [@diarrhaxo]—pronounced Gia-da, like the chef!—and I live in Harlem. I'm very much a social media junkie, so it made sense to make a career out of it—I started at Rebecca Minkoff as social media coordinator and now I'm the assistant digital communication manager at Temptu, a line of airbrush makeup.
My immediate family and I emmigrated from Senegal and came to New York when I was six. When we got here, my mom opened Aminata African Hair Braiding Salon in Harlem and has been running it ever since. Back when Brandy had her show, Moesha, at least 10 girls would ask for 'Brandy box braids' and Senegalese twists every weekend. There's something empowering about it—being able to transform like that.
Even though we had the salon, we were really simple at home, and just stuck to the same products my mom grew up with. My family back in Senegal is the same way—my aunts and cousins use the same lotions for everything, which totally does not work for me. I actually think that's part of the reason I went so bananas for beauty—it was my version of a coming-of-age rebellion. But one thing I did pick up from my African roots is using Shea butter for literally everything. I swear, in its purest form, that stuff is sent from heaven and it can fix anything from cuticles to split ends.
To keep my skin looking its best, I start with Bosica Detoxifying Black Cleanser, which gives a nice, warming sensation on your skin. Depending on how long and nasty my days are, I may use my Clarisonic with Murad Clarifying Cleanser or Philosophy Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash. On breakout days, I do the GlamGlow Mud Mask or whip out the heavy-duty, no-mercy Exfolikate by Kate Sommerville.
I could literally swim in the number of serums I've tried—I love them. Caudalie Vinoperfect Serum was my favorite until I discovered Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair during Fashion Week, when I was going out way too much and heading to work the next morning to looking like I slept in the back of an 18-wheeler. The first time I used it, I woke up looking completely refreshed—it’s the ultimate cheat product. For sunscreen, I’ve been alternating between Shiseido Urban Environment Oil-Free Protector, SPF 42 and Clarin UV Plus HP Sunscreen SPF 40—both spare me of the unsightly, gray ashy look.
These days, most of my makeup inspiration is coming from Lupita Nyong'o—she's my dream come true! Growing up, I never felt like I saw many people in Hollywood who looked like me, and now here she is and she's so daring. I also look to Lauryn Hill, Phylicia Rashad, Sade, Erykah Badu and Nia Long—they keep it simple, elegant and always accentuate their stunning features, but never too drastically.
Before applying any makeup, I prep my skin with Becca Ever-Matter Poreless Priming Perfector or Josie Maran Argan Oil. If I don’t have to, I won’t wear foundation and just glaze a BB cream on my face instead. The only one that I’ve found that doesn’t leave a shocking, ghostly cast is Iman Skin Tone Evener BB Cream in Earth Deep. Concealer has become my friend since college, it makes me look alive. I picked up a Kiko Full Coverage Concealer in Cocoa when I was last in Paris [ed note: not available in the US]—it does the job well and doesn’t budge all day or look insane in photos. No other foundation I've tried blends as well AJ Crimson Dual Skin Crème—it literally melts into your skin. On special occasions, I break out the Yves Saint Laurent Le Teint Touche Éclat Illuminating Foundation in Beige 90, paired with my Touche Éclat Concealer in No. 7. I use my Temptu Airpod Blush in Hot Pink or Blushing Coral for my blush. On occasion, I’ll use my Nars Multiple in Palm Beach as a bronzer, especially when I’m traveling, or Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder in 8.
I am big on eyes! I love the Balm Schwing Felt Tip Eyeliner or Kat Von D Ink Liner for my classic cat eye. I’ll then use Sephora’s Jumbo Waterproof Pencil in Gold in my eye's inner corner and waterline. My lashes have been growing like crazy since I started using Urban Decay Lush Lash System every night. I used to wear glued on semi-permanent falsies in high school, which was terrible for my lashes, so this is like a little rehab. For mascara, I base my lashes with Lancôme Cils Booster XL Super-Enhancing Mascara Base, then I use my Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara or The Balm The Body Builder Mascara. I’m all over the place with lipsticks and color—I let that be my statement for the most part. There's no one color I stick to except my standby MAC Artificially Wild Tinted Lipglass in Spite—the absolute best nude for chocolate girls.”
—as told to ITG
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