My name is Linda. I am Syrian-American, Muslim, Feminist, Leo, Creative. In no particular order. I am 23 years old, grew up in Houston, Texas and have been living in New York City for the past 6 years. I am truly a third culture kid. I am Syrian, German, and Turkish. I fluctuate between 4 different languages with my family. Growing up, summers were spent among Aleppo, Berlin, or Istanbul. All three were very much present in our house and integrated into my upbringing. I acknowledge, appreciate, and am thankful for all of them.
The first thing I do when I wake up is drink a hot detoxing lemon water in addition to a matcha latte or iced coffee depending on my mood (I need caffeine in my veins to function properly). I make a simple but filling breakfast bowl that consists of Greek yogurt, blueberries, bananas, cinnamon, and Manuka honey. I try to exercise before I start working which usually means boxing, yoga, or going on a run for an hour.
I keep my beauty regimen pretty simple throughout the week. I moisturize with the Weleda ‘Skin Food,’ apply Glossier’s ‘Invisible Shield’ SPF afterwards, Benefit Brow Gel in Deep Brown, NARS Velvet Eyeliner in the shade Black Moon, and the Maybelline Shaping Lip Liner in 110 Purely Nude with Chanel Allure Gloss on top. At bedtime, I take off all of my make-up with the Andalou Naturals sensitive, micellar facial cleansing wipes. Then, I wash my face with the Origins Checks & Balances frothy face wash. A little goes a long way with this product. To finish the cleansing process, I apply the Thayer’s Witch Hazel toner in Rose Petal using a cotton pad or directly spray Alteya Organic Bulgarian Chamomile Water onto my face. On my body I use Avalon Organics Lavender cream shave, Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle body wash, and the Herbivore Botanicals Coconut Rose body scrub. All of these are made with organic and all natural ingredients. For my skin, I use Shea Moisture African Mint and Eucalyptus body lotion, Weleda Calendula face cream or Fat and the Moon face oil. I use the Aesop ‘Resurrection’ balm on my hands, which combines mandarin, rosemary, and cedar scents. Heavenly! Also, one of my favorite products that is SO versatile is the Honest Co. organic, all-purpose healing balm.
I am pretty fair-skinned, which contrasts with some of my really dark features like my hair and eye color. This makes a cat eye or bold eye make-up work really well on me (Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette is my personal favorite). My favorite feature is my eyebrows! I am obsessed with thick Middle Eastern brows and I love that daily reminder of where I come from. I love a classic nude colored lip to not distract from my eyes (Charlotte Tilbury lipstick in the shade KKW is the perfect pinky nude). My hair is textured and thick so I try to find the most hydrating hair products that tame while adding shine. The Oribe products work extremely well for my hair type. My favorites are their shine cream, texture lotion, and anti-humidity spray. I don’t need to wash my hair often since it’s pretty dry so when I need a hair refresher the Byredo hair perfume is my go-to. I use the Flowerhead and Bal d’Afrique scents.
My skin type is normal to dry and I tend to lean more on the sensitive side, so when I overload on product my skin will respond negatively to it. I save doing a full face of make-up for the weekends or special occasions to allow my skin to breathe. I appreciate the subtle and not so subtle ways in which our body communicates to us what is working for it and what is not. Pay attention to these signs, then change what is necessary. Listening to our bodies is so imperative for healthy, glowing skin. I do notice a stark transformation when I eat right, exercise, and drink 1-2 liters of water on a daily basis.
I participate in a range of creative projects which results in my work schedule becoming predominantly unpredictable. Sticking to a wellness schedule guarantees stability for myself when my jobs are spaced sporadically. To me, a wellness schedule can be anything that benefits you mentally and/or physically. This can range from a consistent sleeping schedule, regularly meditating, to actively encouraging self-love. Practicing yoga is healing for me in more ways than I can count; it teaches me mindfulness, flexibility, and strength training for the mind/body simultaneously. I also go through cleansing periods where I put my phone on airplane mode for X amount of time throughout the day.
My mom has been preaching to me about natural beauty ever since I can remember. My parents were both born and raised in Aleppo, Syria. All of the products they used growing up were locally sourced and 100% natural. It was not trendy to be ‘healthy’ with green juices in hand when I was growing up so unsurprisingly I would rebel against my mom when it came to buying all natural skincare products. It wasn’t until I moved away for college that I genuinely started to appreciate how spot-on my mom was all along about paying attention to what you’re putting into your body. Skincare wise, I am constantly reviewing product ingredients through different beauty outlets to see if the product I am using or want to buy has preservatives, artificial ingredients, or harmful properties inside.
The ideal beauty product to me is reasonably priced, beautifully designed, organic, and works. I value the packing and design of a product so I pay a lot of attention to thoughtful branding and consistently invest in products that mutually appreciate how they’re marketing themselves. All I really want is for beauty products and their packaging to be biodegradable! We need to reduce our carbon footprint collectively. With make-up, I’m a lot more lenient on the ‘all-natural’ part than I am with skincare. I’ve used organic products that my skin didn’t like and vice versa so it’s a trial and error process. I love shopping Basalt products. They’re a great example of a beauty brand who carries these values.