When it comes to real ladies and their beauty secrets, we just can't get enough. And clearly, neither can you. So, this time, we turned the spotlight on the lovely Nikkia Reveillac—with her shoulder-length braids and streamlined makeup—and got the inside scoop on how she makes her everyday look so effortlessly cool.
Nikkia Reveillac, 31, Consumer Insights Manager
Where do you get your makeup and hair inspirations?
"I've experimented with various styles as an adult, even shaving all my hair off back in 2004, but I always seem to return to my boxed braids—it's me. I've always kept my makeup pretty au naturel, too. It goes with my natural hair, I suppose. I typically draw my inspiration from beautiful women who are successful at enhancing their features, while still looking polished and put together with minimal makeup. When I have the opportunity to go a little funky, I look to my favorite fashion mags."
When did you start wearing your signature look and why?
"I've been rocking my boxed braids since my hair was long enough to plait. My cousin recently uploaded a few very old childhood photos to Facebook and I was astonished at how little has changed with my hair! If it ain't broke, don't relax it. When it comes to makeup, for me, eyeliner and a little mascara rule. My state of readiness to face the world is dramatically different before and after those two are applied."
What favorite products do you use to help achieve your look?
"For my hair, it's all about moisture. The drier my hair, the more likely breakage will occur, and it doesn't take much to dry out my hair. I apply natural oils, like coconut oil, almond oil, even olive oil, every other day. Right now, I'm using Bajaj Almond Drops, a brand of almond oil that I found during a recent excursion to an Indian community in Edison, New Jersey. For my skin, I use Ambi Even & Clear Daily Moisturizer and Origins A Perfect World for Eyes firming moisture treatment with White Tea."
What's the craziest beauty mishap you've dealt with lately?
"Here's a good one: Last summer, I decided to try out under-eye concealers for the first time. I bought a concealer that was lighter than my complexion (as I knew I was supposed to do) but when pictures from a party appeared, I was horrified to see that I might have gone a few shades too far. In every picture, two freakishly obvious moon shapes hovered below my eyes like weird upside down sunsets. I stopped wearing concealer after that. Maybe I'll get it right one day."
What's your favorite, quick-fix beauty trick?
"Translucent face powder! It's perfect for quickly removing any sheen from your forehead, nose, and cheekbones, and doesn't interfere with your makeup. I grew up in a warm climate—I'm originally from the beautiful twin island republic of Trinidad & Tobago—so, shiny-face syndrome was a frequent issue and a little translucent face powder does the trick!"
What's one of your favorite places to shop for beauty and skincare products?
"I actually really enjoy shopping for beauty and skincare products in drugstores like Duane Reade, CVS, and Walgreens. Since I'm not a huge makeup buyer and only indulge in a few types of products, going to one of these stores is a quick and easy way to restock on my essentials. And, because I'm not loyal to any one brand, I like to browse the shelves for new stuff."
What do you think your beauty look will be when you're 70?
"Probably a simple, pulled-back hairstyle with even less makeup than I wear today. I think I might also swap out my black eyeliner for dark-brown eyeliner, so that I don't look like I'm overdoing it. And a nude-colored lip gloss to tie it all together."
What's your position on plastic surgery? Yay or nay?
"Nay. I'd rather spend my money on trips to far away places."
Do you have a favorite go-to hairstyle?
"I throw my braids into a ballerina bun when I can't think of anything else to do with my hair."
Photographs by Mark Iantosca