Model Halima Aden 
By Erickka Sy Savané
My 8-year-old daughter is obsessed with Somalian model Halima Aden. Kinglimaa as she is known on instagram, made history as the first teen to wear a burkini during the Miss Teen Minnesota USA pageant in 2016, the first hijab-wearer to grace the cover of Allure magazine last summer, and she's walked for Yeezy and shot campaigns for Nike and American Eagle. All this, and she's not even 21. For my daughter, who considers herself Muslim like her dad, and went through a stage in Pre-K where she loved wearing a hijab scarf, Halima is the perfect role model. As a mom, I'm not mad at her being enamored by a young woman who is always tastefully covered- call me funny that way. But not so funny is that not all moms can see the value of someone like Halima. In fact, not so long ago in high school, this Muslim who was born in a Kenyan refugee camp and raised in Minnesota, set off an alarm in the mother of her bff who made her stop being friends with Halima because she feared she'd recruit her into ISIS. Yes, this happened. How did Halima handle it? How does she handle racism period? Halima recently gave a speech at Glamour's Women Of The Year Summit where she shared just that...


Halima Aden 
Halima shares,
"At first I was like, 'You're kidding, right?' It made me want to cut myself off from everybody who doesn't share my race and culture. But my mother told me, "Sometimes people won't understand you. You have to show them who you are. And you'll have to understand their stories too." 
To understand someone else's story is empathy, and my mother taught me living a rich life requires radical empathy. I can practice radical empathy because the empathy I've received has overwhelmed the bigotry. From aid workers at the refugee camp, to teachers who helped me, to pageant officials who let me compete for Miss Minnesota USA wearing my hijab and burkini, and launch a modeling career. When you swap anger for empathy, you can begin to understand my friend's mom; she's seeing Muslims portrayed as terrorist on the news. Meanwhile, Muslims haven't found much of a voice in this country. 
I see the path forward. Show them who I am. Seek out people different from you. You might get hurt, but do it anyway. And if that girl and her mom are watching now, I hope they'll understand: The only radical thing about me is my empathy."
Bravo Sister!
Halima covers Allure
Halima with her 'Rock' aka Mom

Halima with model Winnie Harlow who she calls 'the sweetest person on earth'

All photos via Halima's IG!
How do you handle bigotry? 
Erickka Sy Savané is managing editor of, a wife, mom, and freelance writer based in Jersey, City, NJ. Her work has appeared in,,, and more. When she’s not writing...wait, she’s always writing! Follow her on Twitter, Instagram or
Leah Vernon
By: Lenora Houseworth

Less than a decade ago, the face of Muslim women was that of an invisible onlooker in both fashion and beauty, with virtually no representation anywhere. Now, in the midst of a turbulent political climate, those days are officially in the past. With big retail brands and beauty companies forming partnerships pushing diversity, Muslim beauty gurus have become a viable and much-needed voice. These ladies are defining beauty on their terms while showcasing their faith like we’ve never seen before. Check out some of these gorgeous beauty bloggers and learn some of their tips and tricks!

The other day I was browsing a forum where one of the ladies wanted to share something that she noticed.  To help boost her immune system, and help fight a stubborn cold, she loaded up on her vitamin C intake.

Taking in all of that vitamin C was supposed to help her recover from her cold, but instead, it gave her incredible skin that she had to rave about.
Specifically, she noticed brighter skin that appeared smooth and poreless.  Her hypothesis was that these changes were brought about by her copious intake of vitamin C. Since she wasn't able to maintain her skin regimen while feeling sick, she believed the antioxidant intake make a huge impact on her skin.

Is she right?

We all know that using vitamin C infused serums could help brighten our skin. But what about taking it internally?

 Here's some information that sheds some light on the role of ingested vitamin C and the skin:

  • Both the dermis and the epidermis contain high levels of vitamin C.  The epidermis (outer most layer of the skin) has a higher vitamin C content.  
  • As we age, vitamin C levels on the skin will decline.  
  • Excessive sun exposure also depletes vitamin C stores. 
  • Taking vitamin C internally can help the skin combat photoaging (aging caused by the sun's rays).
  • Vitamin C deficiency results in a skin condition known as scurvy.
  • Scurvy is essentially the breaking down of collagen and results in skin issues, receding gums, changes in our hair and poor wound healing.
A study determined that higher intake of vitamin C resulted in the healthier, younger appearance of the skin.  This is the confirmation we need to support the woman's claim that increasing her vitamin C intake could have caused the transformation of her skin.  

Let's not forget how important the role of vitamin C plays in collagen formation. It basically helps increase the levels of Type I collagen in the skin.  It's used directly in the collagen-building process. So whenever new collagen is formed, our vitamin C levels deplete.  After helping to build collagen, vitamin C goes one step further to help protect it from attack by free-radicals. Basically, vitamin C preserves our bodies from breaking down. 

It appears that vitamin C is well received when placed topically on the skin so if you don't have a vitamin C serum, you need to get one, stat!  But we need to take it a step further and make sure we're eating a diet rich in vitamin C or supplementing at the very least.  For those us who are fans of collagen supplements, we need to take our vitamin C intake seriously.  

Let this woman's testimony be a source of inspiration for us to make vitamin C a priority.  Perhaps vitamin C can help take our skin to the next level. Not just during cold and flu season but all year round.  And if you need more motivation, let me remind you that vitamin C can also help you reach your healthy weight goals as well.  

Lately, I've been obsessed with finding the perfect pinkish-nude nail polish.  For the past few years, I've pretty much relied on my staple nail polish -- Essie's Sand Tropez.  I own several bottles and I believe everyone should have this color in their collection.

But lately, my eyes have been set on a different shade of nude.  Before we know it, spring will be here.  We must prepare now by finding out perfect pinky nude.

The shade you see in the picture above is of OPI's Tickle My Fance-y.  I love this shade because it's muted pink that works perfectly with brown skin.  It's a subtle, yet bold color that I absolutely must try.

Next on my list of potential shades to try is Essie's Princess Charming. As you can see, this polish looks great on pretty much any skin tone.  Plus, I love Essie's formula so this one is definitely a yes for me.
I'm not sure the name of the polish in this image but I have begun the search.  Currently, I've got my eye on Essie's Ladylike or Essie's Gel Couture in Touch Up (pictured below).

 According to the product description, Essie's Gel Couture can last up to 14 days.  No lamp required.  For this reason alone, I think I'll experiment with their gel couture line first before trying hues from others.

Now that I have my running list of potential pinky nudes, next I search for the perfect red polish and my list will be complete.  Once I have a roundup of my favorite red's, I'll be sure to share.

If you're still looking for the perfect neutral shade, make sure to check out this post.

By Erickka Sy Savané

We live in a society where vanity is practically celebrated, until you're locked in a room with said vain person and then it's not so fun. Are you vain? If you can't answer with a definitive 'no' then go ahead and read these 10 signs. If at least 3 apply to you, well, we'll chat about that after... 

1) Every conversation steers back to you. 

2) You’re always in the mirror.

3) Your kids are always in the mirror.

4) You hold people prisoner with your conversation.

5) You stay taking selfies. 

6) You think every song is about you.

7) Your'e the most beautiful person you know.

8) Kanye West is your idol. 

9) You refer to yourself in the 3rd person.

10) People who don't like you are all 'haters.' 

Okay, so if at least 3 apply to you, you are vain AF, but it's not the end of the world. First, forgive yourself for you knew not what you were doing, then do something nice for someone, call a friend and let them talk the entire conversation, and go a week with no selfies. It may not completely cure you, but it's a start! 

Are you vain?

Erickka Sy Savané is managing editor of, a wife and mom, based in Jersey, City. Her work has appeared in and more. When she’s not writing...wait, she’s always writing! Follow her on Twitter and Instagram or