The #ITGTopShelfie interview series focuses on the beauty routines of the lovable, consummate, and loyal Into The Gloss reading community. Submit your own on Instagram – post your Top Shelfie (tag us with @intothegloss!) And add the hashtag #ITGTopShelfie so you can be featured on ITG.
“Hi! I’m Ruqayyah Al-baari (@ ruqayyah.zb) and I create custom gold grillz. I’m originally from Miami, Florida, and gold teeth are a big style in the south. There is a particular style of grill called perms that is stuck to teeth becomes – they’re permanent, you can’t take them out. Perms indicate a degree of freedom. When someone comes in to get perm it means they’re a boss and no longer need to work in the system. It got me really inspired to see all of these young people, especially young blacks, crown themselves this way. It was the energy that attracted me. Somehow I came across an apprenticeship at a gold grill shop in Miami and started there learning the trade, it was surprisingly lucrative and I wanted to try other things.
Now I live in LA and I also do ceramics, textiles and flower arrangements. I like working with my body and staying physically busy which is another reason I love what I do. When I work with organic material on a weekly basis, I definitely think more about keeping my skin clean. I also go to a ceramic studio in the morning, which leaves me with very dry hands. I always rely on my hands and it tends to get messy.
I try my best to keep my body healthy and prioritize what is going on internally. I wake up around 5am most days even though my bed is filled with lots of small pillows and pillows that keep me in a deep sleep. Eating a proper breakfast is important to my overall vitality during the day, and right for me means rice, vegetables, and soup. I also go to bed before 9:30 p.m. whenever possible. When I’m full and rested, I probably look my best! It’s important for me to laugh regularly and sit back often. In addition, my approach to beauty is what requires minimal maintenance throughout the day.
I wear a lot of leggings and my skin is very dry, especially when I live in LA. My butt has to deal with a lot of friction. I love using Sol de Janeiro Brazilian bum cream on this part of my body – I was looking for something that would help with firmness and this is the only product that I have actually noticed a difference in. It smells amazing too, is very moisturizing, and keeps my skin soft and hydrated even after a full day of wearing super tight jeans. In the shower I use Aesop’s Geranium Leaf Soap and sometimes I mix a little tea tree oil with it. And to keep the rest of my body hydrated, I use baby oil mixed with Aesop Geranium Leaf Lotion. I also do a lot of DIY treatments for my body. I make a turmeric, honey, and baking soda mask for the dark spots on my armpits. I learned that as an adult from Indian friends. Honey is a very nice sedative, and I like to use raw honey. It’s a little too thick to confuse, so I’ll melt it in the microwave shortly beforehand. I also do a honey brown sugar scrub that I use all over my body twice a month. And the great beauty realization I made recently was using lime juice as a deodorant. I started over the summer and it really helped with body odor and sweat.
I’m almost militant about my skin care routine. No matter how tired I am from being out late or up late, I try my best to completely take off, cleanse, and moisturize my makeup. It keeps my skin soft and helps minimize dark circles around my eyes. Aesop’s Parsley Seed Facial Cleanser is great for those who live in a city and are concerned about air pollution. It doesn’t dry out my skin and has helped me clear up common breakouts that I had about a year ago when I moved to LA. Sunday Riley’s UFO Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil was also a lifesaver to help my skin adjust to new acne caused by dry weather. The results were almost overnight. I always apply Aesop Camellia Nut Moisturizer as soon as I wake up and before I go to bed. I recently started using a jade roller in the morning to aid absorption and smooth out my puffy eyes. Finally, I do a turmeric mask once a week. It’s similar to my armpits, but I swap out baking soda for lemon juice. It might just be me, but I feel like honey is really targeting my pores.
I’ve been using the Bareminerals Foundation since 2011. I love the way it gives me a natural glow, even when I’m full-faced, and how moist it keeps my skin. I can also adapt very well to my skin tone, which is often a challenge for me with other brands. I remember when I was a teenager walking around glazed with body glitter and feeling like the prettiest girl in the playground. I still love glitter, but now I use a glitter stick that is hands down the most innovative beauty product I have ever tried. It’s from Ka’oir Cosmetics, the original creator of the glitter lipstick look. It’s one of the most durable lipsticks I’ve ever worn and it comes in super fun colors. Sex is my favorite glitzstick shade – it’s a super bold, deep red shade that is just perfect. I love it so much that I use it on my eyes too. When I do that, I like to double up with shadows from the Ka’oir K palette, which is my all-time favorite. You can achieve so many different looks with these colors. My favorites are probably Vday and Twisted – I wear a lot of pink when I’m feeling particularly sensitive, which kind of makes me more sensitive.
My hair is natural. If you’re looking to grow your hair, the two biggest things don’t wash it every day and make sure it untangles as you sleep. I will wash my hair twice a week, which sounds gross to some people. If it’s hot and I’m sweating, I’ll wash it again. Keracare Hair is by far the best shampoo and conditioner I’ve ever used. It’s a reset to my texture, and if I have flatness or lack of volume from wearing my curls for a few days, this stuff brings it back to life. It also gives my hair a lot of shine and moisture. If you have curly hair like mine, you need to make sure it doesn’t get tangled. If the hair becomes tangled, it will come out when you finally brush it. Untangling leads to less breakage overall. I cut my hair with hair ties, sprayed it with a spray bottle of water to keep it damp and not soaked, and untangled it with a wide tooth comb.
Another thing that has made my hair super healthy is a deep conditioning mask that I do myself. I mix about two tablespoons of the raw honey with an egg, apply it to my hair, and put a plastic cap on to seal it completely. Then I clean my house or just hang out for a couple of hours and rinse it off. I do flat twists when I go to sleep to keep my texture overnight and I will sometimes put heat on my hair and wear it straight. But honestly, I really love the idea of not investing in my hair so constantly just to have a style. I am fascinated by the advancement of wig culture and how realistic a wig can look when properly installed. Obviously a good wig is super expensive so definitely an obligation, and most of all I think it’s a lifestyle. But I would love to try a full lace wig with human hair, especially a fun color. I’ve never dyed my hair before so it would be fun to experiment like that. “
– as ITG said
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