The first guest ever to be featured and exclusively interviewed on The J Spot deserves a proper introduction! *I feel like a teacher at the front of the class, excited to share our special guest*
Siraad Dirshe is a New York native, writer, and is currently a Beauty Editor for THEE Essence Magazine! She has written for publications such as Refinery 29, Vogue, Teen Vogue, Popsugar, Elle, Nylon, and many other notable platforms regarding skin care. I first learned of Siraad on the 17th episode during the second season of "Black Girl in Om," previously mentioned in Podcasts You Didn't Know You Needed.
From that podcast alone, I acquired a huge amount of knowledge regarding skin care practices and the special attention for the largest organ in the body, specifically for women of color. Naturally, I followed her on every social media account possible. The information she spoke about pertaining to products was so impactful that I needed more! Over time, I followed her content, liked her pictures, and watched her Instagram stories. Of course, I replied to her polls, videos, and inquired about products that weren't familiar. Then, one day, I expressed my admiration for her knowledge within the beauty industry and asked if she would like to be highlighted as a woman of color within beauty on The J Spot and she said "yes!"
If you don't know, Siraad is known as the GLOW EXPERT! I expressed to her that the J Spot is a platform for my readers, especially people of color, to have a resource and become inspired to try something new. Her skin is impeccable and I wanted her to explain how my readers could achieve it, too. There's six weeks left in winter! Which means there's six weeks left to obtain glowing, luminous skin. Keep reading to see how!
The J Spot: I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to interview The Glow Expert, herself! I discovered you from your interview on The Black Girl in Om Podcast. You have an amazing breadth of knowledge regarding skin care, specifically for women of color, that I want all my readers to learn about. The below questions are focused on your insights on skin care, the beauty industry, and being a creative.
You mentioned in previous interviews that you gravitated towards skincare products instead of makeup. That is so interesting! What motivated this preference?
Siraad Dirshe: Until very recently I never thought I was "good" at makeup, so I was pretty much afraid of it. I also think since beauty brands have historically not created products with us in mind, I never really found colors and tones that complimented my deeper skin tone. So I think skin care just seemed more accessible and easy to understand/use.
TJS: In your articles, you talk about beauty and self love in your articles. What would you say the correlation is between these two topics?
SD: For me those two things are inextricably linked! When I'm taking 10-15 in the morning or evening to pamper myself with skin products, that's one of the ways I show myself some love.
TJS: I recently highlighted self-care and its importance. What is your favorite self-care practice?
SD: Oh there are so many self-care practices I love and honestly, I am conscious to ensure that at multiple points in my day I am showing myself some love. Working out, eating foods that make me feel good, reading, spending time with loved ones, listening to music, and of course taking care of my skin are some of my go-tos.
TJS: How did you accumulate your knowledge regarding skincare, specifically about melanin, which products are best meant for it, etc.?
SD: Because skin care is something I am just completely obsessed with, I never get tired of watching videos, reading articles or listening to podcasts about products and ingredients. So I think the genuine interest and curiosity made it so I was just always learning about it.
TJS: What’s the most unconventional practice you’ve done or heard people do to improve their skin?
SD: I would say shocking my face (it's not nearly as crazy as it sounds) with an electro current facial or getting a colonic for better looking skin are some of the most interesting things I've done.
TJS: What would you say the worst skincare practice is?
SD: Not wearing sun screen! Everyone needs to wear it, no matter how deep your skin color is.
TJS: You’ve been referred to as The Glow Expert! Can you tell my readers what it takes to get the perfect glow, even in the fall & winter?
SD: In my opinion, the best way to get the perfect glow doesn't have much to do with skin care. Drinking lots of water, eating a balanced diet, working up a sweat a few times a week are the best ways to help your skin glow. But a good moisturizer and an occasional mask is a great idea too.
TJS: As a black woman, what do you feel your role is within the beauty industry? Do you feel you have a certain responsibility of any kind?
SD: Of course! I feel like it's my responsibility to help make the industry a place where we see ourselves reflected and to shine a light on the issues and people that Black women find relevant and important.
TJS: What is your biggest challenge as a black writer?
SD: When I was freelancing, I would say it was getting people to respond to my pitches but now that I'm an editor, it's having enough time to respond to the emails I now receive. I want to help those who are trying to break into the industry as much as possible.
TJS: What would be your advice to anyone looking to enter the beauty industry?
SD: The one piece of advice I would give is to don't be afraid to create your own opportunities -- something I wish I had done more of when I first moved to NYC. Last year, I started freelance writing on a whim (I was bored of my current job and knew I wanted to write in beauty). And lots of hard work later, I'm now working in my dream job. Oh, and don't let one person's no deter you from doing what you want to be do!
TJS: What inspires you as a creative?
SD: I find inspiration from other creatives, so I love to listen to music, visit museums, and reading other writers I admire. I also love to travel and experience new cultures, and I always feel inspired after I come back from a trip.
TJS: Here at The J Spot, I refer to the people in my inner circle who support and guide me as my “Tribe.” Who would you consider your tribe?
SD: I have a tribe of 'sisters' (biological and not), that I could not imagine doing life without. They inspire, challenge and support me!
TJS: You write for major publications, such as Essence, Elle, Vogue, Glamour, and many more. What would be the pinnacle writing experience to highlight the complexity and diversity of black women?
SD: Oh man, I'm not sure about that one! Maybe writing a book?
TJS: Lastly, what are your top 3 skincare tips for women? Do you have any for men?
SD: 1. Wear sunscreen 2. Wash your face at night 3. Drink lots of water!
I want to thank Siraad for taking the time to answer the above questions. Make sure to follow her on Instagram @sdirshe and read her article on Essence.com and BlackGirlInOm.com
I learned so much and I hope my readers did, too! Please like this post, share, and leave your comments below on your favorite skincare practices! I'd love to hear your thoughts!