Based in Washington D.C., Ayren Jackson-Cannady is so savvy that we wished she lived closer to NYC so that we could swap products with her. This beauty writer knows what’s up (she’s written for Fitness, Glamour, and Gloss Daily) and we’re excited to have her sharing her know-how and multi-culti beauty expertise as a contributing editor.
One of my beauty girl crushes is Kimora Lee Simmons. Not only is she incredibly successful, but her cheekbones are ridic, she’s got the best skin, and her eyebrows are crazy-perfect. Naturally, I jumped at the opportunity to speak with her directly and get the 411 on her beauty regimen. The Cliff’s Notes version is this: Simmons just launched her own skincare line (Shinto Clinical), her grandma taught her everything she knows about being gorgeous (drink your water!), and she love love loves anything packed with Argan oil (i.e. Shinto Pore It Out, FIXX Argan Oil Shampoo, and Kahina Giving Beauty Facial Lotion). Check out my one-on-one after the jump, and then tell me who your beauty girl crush is in comments.
You’ve already put your stamp on the fashion world. Why skincare? Why now?
I began my career as a model and, since then, have tried almost every skin care product on the market. I reached a point at which I’d been outrun by the early visible signs of aging. And so many of the women that have supported me over the years and have grown and evolved alongside me are arriving at the same point. We’re all fed up with products that over promise and underwhelm. So I took matters into my own hands and went into the lab and developed Shinto Clinical for the skin of evolving women.
What’s the best beauty advice that your grandmother has given you?
Well the first and foremost thing to remember is that on the surface of the skin, water reflects light. So that brightness that you want and that dewy quality you long for can only truly be attained via hydration. Drink a lot of water and hydrate your skin as needed. Secondly, when it comes to cosmetics, don’t let a trend wear you. My grandmother is a very chic lady, but what always sets a woman apart is her ability to interpret a technique to suit her style. So that may mean dialing down. Or it may mean using a softer shade than the red carpet illusion you’re adapting. Don’t let the makeup wear you.
What’s your favorite beauty product ingredient?
My favorite ingredient? I have several, but I think the benefits of argan oil are pretty undeniable at this point, no? Part of what enables Shinto Pore It Out to give you a silky matte finish is a complex I developed called Silktek, which is formulated with argan. Moroccan argan oil is also a key ingredient in one of my favorite hair products Fixx Argan Oil Shampoo.
Speaking of argan oil, Josie Maran just launched a limited edition set.