Can you walk me through your morning and evening skincare routine?
I, of course, use Shani Darden’s line. She’s also my esthetician, so she does my facials and all of that and knows my skin very well. I just really trust her products. I start with her face wash, then I will use her toner. In the morning, I will also use IS Clinical’s Pro-Heal Advanced Serum ($158)—it’s fantastic. Then I will do the SPF moisturizer. At night, I’ll pretty much do the same thing but remove the Pro-Heal Serum. Then I’ll do the Dr. Dennis Gross peel pads, which are life-changing. Again, I love the practicality of it. I will do that maybe once a week, and then if I’m not doing that, at night, I will do the retinol that Shani has. I just really feel like it’s a game changer for women my age. It just keeps my skin really nice and smooth.
Is there anything about your beauty routine that might surprise people?
I feel like when people talk about beauty routines, they only focus on outward things as opposed to what’s going on inward. I am very intentional when it comes to recognizing what I’m putting into my body, meaning what I’m eating. I’ve noticed that certain foods can cause breakouts, so I try to stay away from those things. It doesn’t mean that I’m always staying away from those things, but just as a whole, I do. And then drinking water. I think water is just really essential when it comes to skin health and removing all of the toxins out of your body. I think the biggest surprise would be the mental health component. I think that really focusing on your mental health, getting your sleep, meditating, and doing things that reward your emotional well-being helps with your skin because stress can take a toll. When I’m monitoring my stress, I feel like I have seen huge benefits with my skin.
I totally agree! I’m all about meditation. It can make a world of a difference. I’m also excited to learn more about 4U by Tia, your new haircare line! What inspired you to create your own brand, and why is this really important to you?
I usually explain this in four different categories. One of the main reasons why I created 4U is because of the four passions that I have in my life. Representation, community, family, and accessibility are things I’m just really really passionate about. It’s really what my “why” is and why I get out of bed every day. I want to continue inspiring, encouraging people, and bringing awareness when it comes to representation. I know the importance of visibility when it comes to seeing someone that looks like you. I feel like when you have a relatability factor, you see it, and you can be it. It just makes you feel empowered.
Growing up, I just didn’t see women of color with curly hair that were celebrated, especially in the beauty category. It was more focused on European standards whenever beauty was discussed, whether that was on television, whether that was in magazines, whether that was just even in conversations at school. When I would wear my hair curly in school, I was picked on. It was not something that was celebrated. It was something that was looked at as if it was an abnormality. I believe that caused some sort of insecurity in me. My point is representation is so important. When you see someone that looks like you, then, like I said, you feel valued, you feel heard, you feel seen.
I didn’t start feeling confidence about my hair until there was this wonderful movement on social media called the big chop. A whole bunch of women came together and finally put their foot down and said, “You know what? I’m no longer going to conform to what society says is beautiful. I’m going to embrace my coils, my kinks, my curls, my waves, and my natural texture. I’m going to cut off all my hair, and I am going to celebrate me living my truth and living in my authenticity.” I joined that movement, and that was when I fell in love with my hair. Also, I feel like there were some insecurities because there were just no products that were available when it came to looking and feeling my best in regard to my hair. I would go into a beauty supply store, and there were just no products that were made for me by women like me. Again, it just makes you feel like there’s something wrong, and you ask, “Am I not important? Why is this the case?” So I wanted to come out with a line where I am empowering women to be themselves, to live their authentic selves, live their truth, shine, and bask in all of their glory when it comes to our beautiful hair and give them options. We deserve to be a part of the conversation, and I wanted to make sure that the ingredients within the line were clean, natural, safe, and recognizable.
Since becoming a mom and being diagnosed with endometriosis, I understood the power of wellness, and I started to prioritize that. I wanted to give conscious consumers an option where they can use something that not only makes them feel confident within their looks but also feel confidence as a consumer when it comes to their health. It’s sustainable and also accessible, meaning this is a luxury brand. We have high-performing ingredients that are quality but at an affordable price. I feel like there’s a void when it comes to that. A lot of quality brands are priced so high that it’s not an accessible or tangible product. So those are the reasons why I decided to launch such a beautiful, intentional haircare line, and I’m just happy that people are embracing it.