Style

Beauty Uniform: Paola Mathé

Beauty Uniform: Paola Mathé

After featuring Paola Mathé in this wedding post, we got countless requests for her beauty uniform. So, here we are! Paola lives in New York City, where she founded of Fanm Djanm, a head wrap brand that celebrates women’s strength (Fanm Djanm translates to “strong woman” in Paola’s native Haitian Kreyòl.) Here, she talks about why she loves short hair, how she calmed her nerves on her wedding day and the trick to making lipstick last…

Beauty Uniform: Paola Mathé

When did you move to move to the U.S. from Haiti?
I moved from Haiti to Newark, New Jersey, right before high school. It was a total culture shock. I went from wearing a uniform at an all-girls school with everyone listening to their teachers, to going through a metal detector and seeing fights in the halls. I remember being teased in high school because I dressed so colorfully. I was once called “Skittles,” but that’s all right by me. I come from a colorful culture. Our laughter is colorful. Our food is colorful. Hell, even our sneezes are colorful! I always say that my dream is to share these colors with the world.

Beauty Uniform: Paola Mathé

Color is definitely part of your beauty look, too.
Yeah, I feel naked without color — I use it to express myself. I love a bold lip. I’ve been into Sad Girl by Anastasia lately. On my skin, it’s a combination of brown and pink with shimmer! I also love Gold Label Cosmetics lipstick in First Class and Dark Children.

Do you like any drugstore lipsticks?
I recently purchased Revlon’s Cocoa Craving, and it’s amazing!

Do you have any tricks for making lipstick last?
My lips get dry easily, and to avoid peeling, I exfoliate with coconut oil and a warm washcloth. Then I always apply a basic lip moisturizer like Carmex or Blistex before lipstick.

Beauty Uniform: Paola Mathé

You have incredible style. Has living in New York affected it?
I moved to New York City after college, and it was a breath of fresh air! There is so much style inspiration. I live in Harlem, and I’m in love with the traditional attire worn by the West African ladies. I love watching the old-school men with the cool hats, the older ladies with their church hats, and the young professionals all dressed up for brunch. New York is the place I found myself; it challenges me to step outside of the box. I started wearing things like a sequined skirt, Nike sneakers and a head wrap without thinking too much about it because it’s New York, and why not? Now I take that mentality and do the same anywhere.

When did you start wearing head wraps?
When I was around 10 years old, I tied a scarf around my head, and it grabbed my attention in the mirror. It was the first time I felt beautiful. After that, I went through phases with my hair — I relaxed it, I wore extensions, I had braids, I had an Afro — it’s all part of my culture, we love wearing our hair differently. But I started wearing head wraps more when I moved to New York. At first, I just wore them on weekends. But one day I decided to wear one to the hotel where I worked in marketing department. I was terrified that my boss was going to say something because it had never been done and we had a pretty strict dress code. But when I walked in, she just stared at me and said, “Cool look.”

Beauty Uniform: Paola Mathé

What do you like about wearing a head wrap?
It’s a celebration of who I am — my culture, my colors, my struggles. They make me stand taller and feel more confident. I love the act of wrapping them in various styles, too. That in itself, symbolizes creativity, patience and love.

So how did Fanm Djanm come about?
People around town started asking me where I got my head wraps, but I was just buying fabric or using scarves. Black women have been wrapping their hair forever, but there wasn’t a head wrap store you could just walk into. We were just getting creative with random things. So, in 2014, I launched the line at a pop-up shop, and to my total surprise, everything sold out.

Beauty Uniform: Paola Mathé

Is there any feature you weren’t into when you were growing up that you’ve now made peace with?
I was a very awkward child. I remember my mom saying things like “Stop slouching, make eye contact, smile more.” She wanted a better life for me, I can tell; that’s why she was so tough. At my school in Haiti, the European standard of beauty was big. Even when I was four years old, women would constantly ask my mother, “What are you going to do with this child’s hair? You need to relax it.” People would tell her to put clothespins on my nose to make it straighter, or say, “She is so dark, she needs to bathe more.” I used to cry as a five-year-old because the chemicals on my head were burning my scalp. Nothing made me feel uglier because I had to do so much to be considered normal. But now that I’ve grown up, I love every inch of my body. And the natural hair revolution that has happened recently is just amazing.

Beauty Uniform: Paola Mathé

How long have you had short hair?
I grew an Afro after college, then shaved it all off a few years later and never looked back. I don’t have to worry about my short hair, and I can color it without worrying about it breaking off. I’d like to dye it teal soon, even if that only lasts two days. I love the freedom of short hair — it’s like telling the world, “Here I am!”

What do you do to style it?
I go to a barber shop every three to four weeks, and buzz, buzz, buzz! I have short hair so I just use my husband’s shampoo. I use the same oil I use on my skin on my hair and scalp when I need to.

Beauty Uniform: Paola Mathé

What parts of your Haitian culture have brought to the U.S.?
I listen to Haitian music, and there’s a Haitian restaurant in Brooklyn — La Caye — where I love to bring my non-Haitian friends. My husband is a great cook and does most of the cooking in our home, but I like making pikliz (a Haitian condiment with shredded cabbage and spicy peppers) and fried plantains.

Beauty Uniform: Paola Mathé

What’s your daily facial skincare routine?
I wash my face with Clinique liquid facial soap or First Aid Beauty face cleanser in the morning and evening. They are my favorites because they wash away a good amount of makeup, oil and dirt. I love using a washcloth when I wash my face at night to get rid of as much makeup as possible, but I’m always cautious around the eye area. After I wash my face, I follow with Clinique Clarifying Lotion 2. I love that it cleans off whatever the cleanser left behind. There is a slight tingling sensation for the first few seconds, and then it leaves my face feeling fresh. In the morning, I apply the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion to start the day. And in the evening, I go with FIRST AID BEAUTY Ultra Repair Hydrating Sleeping Cream to get some major hydration going!

Beauty Uniform: Paola Mathé

Your skin is so glow-y! What is your secret?
Scrubbing my skin with a washcloth! And I spend time moisturizing my body. It’s my gift to myself. I try to not think about work during that time, and massage the lotion and oil into my skin as I get ready in the morning. I use a super moisturizing lotion, topped with coconut, or sweet almond oil, and in the winter castor oil. I have really dry skin, so if I don’t moisturize, I’m in big trouble.

Beauty Uniform: Paola Mathé

Do you wear makeup every day?
Most of my days are not very glamorous — they’re mostly just answering emails and going to meetings — so it’s sometimes easier to skip makeup. But I will wear makeup if I’m taking photos or going to an event. Then it’s one pump of Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra foundation, and three dots of NARS concealer under my eyes. I set with COVER FX Illuminating Setting Powder. I fill in my eyebrows with Anastasia brow pencil and swipe on a good bold lipstick.

Do you change things up for special occasions?
I’ll add some winged eyeliner, and I do some very basic contouring on my cheeks. I use any gold eyeshadow as a highlighter, blush and just some Sephora dark brown eyeshadow, nothing too fancy.

Beauty Uniform: Paola Mathé

You recently got married and looked gorgeous. Tell us about your wedding beauty routine.
We got married in Vermont, and I got a great facial from Stowe Mountain Lodge Spa the day before the wedding. It was only the second facial I’ve had, but I think that should change! I also brought my amazing makeup artist and friend, Lanea Singleton, to Vermont because I knew I couldn’t trust my shaky hands that day. I sat facing the mountains, and every time I started speaking about things that worried me, she would tell me to listen to the wind. It was so special and therapeutic.

Beauty Uniform: Paola Mathé

Do you ever do any other beauty treatments?
I just recently started getting my eyebrows threaded and tinted a dark brown shade every four weeks. I treat myself to a pedicure once a month, and I wear Formula X nail polishes religiously for my mani/pedis. They last a while, and I love the richness of their colors.

Beauty Uniform: Paola Mathé

Who’s your celebrity crush?
I have a lot of celebrity girl crushes: Grace Jones, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Eartha Kitt.

What is your beauty philosophy?
Beauty is when you’re comfortable with yourself without apologies — it’s about feeling good. Feeling good comes from treating yourself and those around you with care and love.

Beauty Uniform: Paola Mathe

Thank you so much, Paola!

P.S. More awesome women share their beauty uniforms, including a neuroscientist and a restaurant owner.

(Photos courtesy of Paola Mathé. Interview by Megan Cahn.)

  1. Hattie says...

    Love her style! She looks like royalty in every photo! That wedding dress!!!

  2. Mama Rach says...

    It would be lovely to see a beauty uniform with a beautiful plus-sized lady… Unless I’ve missed it?

  3. Laura says...

    This is the best one yet. Stunning.

  4. Absolutely gorgeous!
    I love hearing the details about growing up in Haiti and the Western appearance being the go to “normal.” I can relate to that being a multiracial woman in America. I remember begging my mom (who is white) in kindergarten to let me get relaxers so I could have straight hair like all the other pretty white girls. It’s nice to see that someone went through similar struggles and grew up to love every inch of themselves.
    So happy this was shared. Love

  5. Tawny says...

    Her beauty philosophy is PERFECT! And she is also just super cool and lovely!

  6. Nathalie says...

    What a stunning woman in every respect! She is radiant!

  7. Christina says...

    Oh my goodness, her wedding photo looks like a photo out of Vogue! She has amazing style.

  8. Cora says...

    Thank you so much for doing a beauty uniform piece about Paola. Her wedding pictures had me itching to know more about her. I love her style, she is a beautiful woman.

  9. Daniah Din says...

    I’m a Muslim woman who wears hijab, and I might just buy some head wraps off her shop to wear, they’re gorgeous!

    • Kaycee says...

      I wear hijab too and I just purchased one! I’m excited to rock it!

  10. Robin says...

    She is so gorgeous. I love her style and her attitude even more.
    I went through a period where I wrapped my hair when I was younger but when I left school I stopped – maybe I need to pull out my scarf collection again. I’m white, so it makes me look like a total hippie but I love it. So colourful, beautiful and practical. thank you so much for this. Inspiring, as always.

  11. Leah says...

    These are the most stunningly gorgeous photographs of a stunning and gorgeous woman. Wow.

  12. Nan says...

    What an amazingly gorgeous and stylish woman Paola is! Where is Hollywood, they need to sign her up.

  13. She’s so beautiful! Great style. I can relate to the super-dry skin. I’m always slathering myself in various oils and creams. :)

  14. Krystal says...

    Loved this! So refreshing and gorgeous!

  15. Adrien says...

    What a gorgeous woman! She looks so regal, and I love her style!

  16. Laura says...

    Oh my gosh, this was such a beautiful, inspiring, life-filled interview to read – thank you so much! Paola is radiant and so lovely and generous of spirit. So uplifting!

  17. Kelli says...

    I literally got chills reading this-she is so unbelievably colorful and beautiful. Best Beauty Uniform yet!

  18. Kate says...

    She has such beautiful, natural style- I love it! Great moisturizing tips as well.

    I’d love to hear her thoughts on white women wearing head wraps and the issue of cultural appropriation.

    • Anna says...

      I would also like to know!

      Anna

    • Nina Simone says...

      Dear white ppl: we don’t want you wearing head wraps. For us by us. Thanks.

    • Robin says...

      Yes please!

    • Hi Kate,

      I know this question is posed to Paola and I do hope she’ll answer. I’m hoping you don’t mind me also sharing some thoughts from my perspective as a black West Indian woman.

      For Black women, there is a great level of sensitivity when it comes to cultural appropriation. For hundreds of years we’ve seen much of our culture (from what we wear, how we speak, our men) lifted by white women without so much as an acknowledgment of our existence. Making matters worse, when black women do anything or own anything the value of said “thing” (whatever the thing might be) is illegitimatized. Yet, when a white woman lays hands to it suddenly the thing becomes more valuable, decadent and sought after (see Kim Kardashian’s butt).

      If women live in the margins of society, Black women don’t even get to be on the page. So, we’ve built for ourselves markers to our own spaces in this world. This is why the natural hair revolution is such a huge moment for black women. We may not be seen by the world but we see ourselves – dark skin, full lips, kinky hair, broad noses – present.

      What does any of this have to do with a headwrap?

      The headwrap has a rich and powerful history among women of the African diaspora. For white slave owners, headwraps were imposed as a way for us to cover our hair, which wasn’t seen as beautiful. We turned the imposition on its head and began making elaborately designed wraps to mimic crowns like those African (mostly West African) queens would wear. It was a silent act of rebellion to wear a garment that was intended to be an additional reminder of our slavery with such pride.

      The headwrap, for black women, is more than a fashion statement. It is a crowning of history reminding us of our reclaimed beauty. So, you can wear a headwrap (It’s a free country, after all) but I urge to do so prudently and with great sensitivity to the women whose backs were bloodied solely for being born black.

      With love,
      Shakirah

    • KylieO says...

      This is in reply to Shakirah’s comment below: Thank you for such a beautifully written, respectful response. You didn’t make the original question seem stupid or disrespectful, you just answered it with facts. I loved reading it! X

    • Amy says...

      This is why I fucking love the Cup Of Jo community. This is the second time in three months where reading and seeing something on Cup of Jo brought tears to my eyes. This post was so beautiful, and the meaningful dialogue generated from the comments has been inspiring, funny, kind, constructive, and thought-provoking. As an Asian person, cultural appropriation is one of trickier things to try explain to someone who doesn’t quite grasp why it’s so problematic–and it’s hard to call someone out without wondering if that person is looking at you like you’re Candace & Toni from Portlandia! Anyway, this is the only blog I’ve found where the post AND the comments often combine into something amazing. Thanks Paola and readers…

  19. Trish O says...

    oh my, she is so beautiful. what personal style. what an inspiration.

  20. This completely made my day. Adore. Totally inspired…

  21. Katie says...

    Man, she is FLAWLESS!

  22. Erin says...

    LOVE the beauty uniform posts – and the week of outfits posts. Cup of Jo ladies, could you please include some plus size women – larger than size 16-18?

  23. Melanie says...

    These are my absolute favorite posts. I can’t get over how stunning she is.

  24. She is so beautiful and inspiring. Love this!

  25. emma says...

    WOW! Thank you for sharing! So inspiring.

  26. Paola is beautiful, confident and honest. I love that combination. I also love seeing someone with a style I can love and appreciate but not necessarily try to emulate. You know? We each have our own style, and these beauty uniforms are a testament to the beauty in each one. Love all of her color, her skin and her perspective!
    Amy

  27. Sommer Brown says...

    She is awesome! Thank you!

  28. Anne says...

    Wow, she is an authentic woman. Love her style.

  29. Erin says...

    She might be the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen!

  30. VP says...

    Paola is an absolute stunner!!! I love her style and words.
    My heart breaks when I hear women of color talk about their childhood experiences with beauty expectations. I can SO relate to the dark skin thing as an Indian woman. It took a very, very long time for me to accept and love my skin color. Sometimes I find myself still doubting it, but then people and stories like Paola’s pull me right out of the rut. As an aside, I recommend watching the documentary “Black Girls” — it’s on Netflix!

    Thanks so much for this lovely piece. Paola is too cool for school! ;)

  31. carrie says...

    wow – she is beautiful. love her style. makes me feel plain jane =) but thats okay.

  32. Lisa says...

    Wow. This woman is just.. wow.

  33. Such a gorgeous, gorgeous girl.

  34. Martha says...

    This is a wonderful post, thank you team!

    Something I would like to see more of in the new year – more posts featuring women with disabilities. There are lots of women on Instagram and YouTube you could speak to. I think it would be great – Cup of Jo is one of the few blogs I trust to do it right and do it well!

    • Anna says...

      Can’t wait for this!

  35. Laura C. says...

    She is great. I am the girl in grey, white, black, navy blue. I can’t wear bright and strong colors, it doesn not match with my personality… but, oh, how I’d wish to wear that look with the Ali t-shirt!!
    Really inspiring. Thank you Paola.

  36. What a beauty inside & out! Paola is stunning, I just love her air of confidence and short natural hair

  37. Hannah says...

    She is seriously dreamy!!!

  38. amanda june says...

    She is stunning! And it’s so true that she glows. Love!

  39. Julia says...

    She is beautiful inside out! And that photo with her bridesmaids – how is it possible that all of them are _so_ freakin’ cool gorgeous?! The big smiles, the dresses, everything. Oh my.

  40. Kat says...

    What a babe! I am inspired to go lipstick shopping, and to buy more lotion. Thank you for the post – my favorite, as always.

  41. Sarah says...

    I’m 100% with her on foundation – I can’t rave enough about Tient Idole – tried a sample and it was the first and only foundation I’ve ever used…!

  42. Cheryl says...

    Wow, she is so supercharged with positivity I can feel her vibe through the computer screen. I’ll have what she’s having! Gorgeous!

  43. Tiffa says...

    I think her style is absolutley wonderful and I really enjoyed this interview! Thank you for this superb post. xx

  44. June2 says...

    Her bridesmaids photo is the best one I’ve ever seen – I love all their dresses, hers especially, and the group vibe is just so cool and sexy and fun. Also, the mother/daughter photo – so good.

  45. em says...

    Wow. She is gorgeous.

  46. Alex says...

    Gosh, you guys have been killing the beauty uniforms lately. Paola is a true beauty, a true role model. Thank you for sharing such incredible women!

    • Anna says...

      YES!

  47. Maya says...

    This woman is amazing. Inspiring.

    You need to feature her in a style piece, too! Please and thank you!

  48. Meggles says...

    She is so gorgeous it’s like she beamed in from another planet. She looks so different from me, with such different style, and I love seeing how beautiful she is in her own unique way. Joanna, thank you for featuring women of all different ethnicities and styles. More than ever, I am aware of the importance of celebrating and appreciating each others’ differences.

  49. Tracy says...

    I love her so much! She makes me feel more beautiful and confident in my own style just looking at her :))))

  50. Denise Rodriguez says...

    Love it all! The woman is fierce!❤

  51. Favourite beauty uniform yet! Love Paola’s badass simple and authentic aesthetic!!!

  52. JENNIFER says...

    I devoured every bit of this post. Such beauty!

  53. Rae says...

    I love these headwraps! The tricky thing for me is if I can wear one respectfully, without crossing over into appropriation territory. Or should I just admire from afar?
    Any thoughts from the Cup of Jo community?

    • Geraldine says...

      I do what I like and think of it as a tribute as I am not using anything commercially. It is generally very we’ll received. I am sure that Paola would live to have you as a client!

    • Geraldine says...

      I do what I like and think of it as a tribute as I am not using anything commercially. It is generally very well received. I am sure that Paola would love to have you as a client!

    • Rae, I love that you asked this. Joanna, it would be so indescribably wonderful if you could do a post on cultural appropriation in style, and navigating those waters with sensitivity, respect and awareness. It would be great if it featured the voices of women of color. This has come up so much lately in our beautifully diverse country, especially with new large women’s gatherings like the Spirit Weavers Gathering where this issue is not always acknowledged head on. How can we share and revel in beauty and style from a multitude of cultures and traditions without crossing into appropriation? I have such love for how CofJ approaches issues of diversity and think you could tackle this topic in an illuminating and inspiring way, while touching on the heart of Rae’s lovely, respectful question in the process!

    • Maggie says...

      Yeeeees, was wondering the same thing. Paola’s beauty uniform is my favorite so far. Maybe I should stick to emulating her gorgeous lip colors and admire her wraps from afar, though?

  54. Ceridwen says...

    She is brilliant! I loved that Beauty Uniform. I’ve learned so much from these women and this series has really changed how I see myself, in a really positive way. Love, love, love her!

  55. f says...

    She is gorgeous! Love the variety in your blog.

  56. Kadija says...

    SHE. IS. THE. BOMB.

  57. I also love colour and feel dull and boring without it. I also feel a bit naked without bold lipstick. I think she is elegant and graceful and love that she wore such a beautiful head wrap at her wedding instead of the veil

  58. Kristyn says...

    She is so stunning! That picture of her and her girls on her wedding is everything! Joanna, as always, you find the coolest and most interesting women to feature! xo

  59. Margaret says...

    My family moved to Northern New Jersey from Virginia when I was in middle school and we were called the Skittles too! My sisters and I always wore colorful coats (still do) and my new classmates could not wrap their heads around our non-black wardrobes. Nothing like a pretty pink or bright yellow coat to make you feel beautiful and happy despite the weather and naysayers.

    • Absolutely. I love wearing colour. I’ve been complimented on wearing bright colours in winter and wonder why so many people think colour is scary

    • Margaret says...

      Also – Paola and her husband went to college with me. She had epic style and I’m so glad to see that nothing has changed.

  60. Jane says...

    Wow! She’s absolutely stunning! Love this feature.

  61. Maria says...

    a zillion heart eye emojis for this woman!!!

  62. Anne says...

    a true beauty queen.

  63. Paige says...

    Such a true beauty- inside and out!!

  64. Aya says...

    Oooh! The one I’ve been waiting for since you highlighted her on her wedding day! Okay…gonna go read now.

  65. Talor says...

    she is so fantastically beautiful…

  66. Laurel says...

    I mean…seriously…can I just BE HER???

  67. She’s beautiful!

    Sarah
    SarahJaiheLee.com

  68. Alexia says...

    She has AMAZING style and reminds me of Lupita Nyong’o

  69. Christy White says...

    Stunning – thanks so much for sharing!

  70. Rae says...

    Love!

  71. “When I was around 10 years old, I tied a scarf around my head, and it grabbed my attention in the mirror. It was the first time I felt beautiful.”

    “But now that I’ve grown up, I love every inch of my body.”

    WOW.

  72. Hania says...

    Wow! Just stunning.

  73. Courtney says...

    I love this post. She is so beautiful and motivating.

  74. Hilary says...

    Holy moly, she is so incredibly gorgeous! Thanks for another great beauty routine, this one was total eye candy!

  75. Jenny says...

    She is stunning!

  76. My goodness, her website is incredible! I want everything.

  77. Vee says...

    Thanks for this fabulous piece. Very refreshing.

  78. Janell Ives says...

    I never say this but… this is my #goals.

    I recently cut my hair 13-inch long after having locs for 6 years! I have always wanted to rock a super short fade. At first I was so hesitant because I was afraid I’d feel unfeminine, but the moment I did it, I felt amazing! Plus my husband really loves it and he makes me feel so cool.

  79. Thanks for this! Paola is amazingly awesome!

  80. Dawn says...

    I am convinced that this woman is one the most glamorous women on this planet!! She’s got a style that she totally OWNS~ what an inspiration. Please tell me that she has an instagram account!

    • Laurel says...

      It’s findingpaola :)

    • Alanna says...

      She does! I had to find it after she was featured in the wedding tips post :) @findingpaola

  81. M Embry says...

    She is so sincerely beautiful it’s uplifting to look at her. Like, maybe the world isn’t so bad after all.

  82. wow, just wow. her confidence is freaking awesome and she rocks whatever she’s wearing.

  83. Amy says...

    I LOVE THIS. What a lovely beauty philosophy, Paola!

    Yes to celebrating women of all styles, ethnic and national backgrounds and gender and sexual orientations! I’d love to see a transwoman featured in this series one day!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      great idea, amy!

    • diana says...

      I nominate my boss who is a gorgeous and talented transwoman & activist. email me if you want contact info!

    • Amber says...

      I second this idea!

  84. Michelle says...

    Oh but where does she get her earrings?? Loved this post (but please, links to earrings??)

  85. Liz C says...

    You are absolutely stunning – beautiful inside and out!

  86. She is completely STUNNING. And that green dress? I’m dead! I absolutely loved this feature!

  87. Celeste says...

    Her beauty philosophy brought tears to my eyes! So true and beautiful. Thanks for sharing, Paola.

  88. Elisabeth says...

    She is STUNNING. This was a great Beauty Uniform!

  89. Emma says...

    I could stare at her photos all day. So stylish and gorg!

  90. Jenna says...

    I am SO GLAD you did a beauty uniform with Paola. I’ve been obsessed with her since you posted the picture of her and her bridesmaids. She is so damn gorgeous!

  91. Ally says...

    She is fabulous! My favorite beauty uniform so far! As someone drawn to grey and black clothes, I am so inspired by her use of color.

  92. LGF says...

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE – dying to know who makes the great ruffled green cutout dress she’s wearing! She, and the dress, are perfection! xo

  93. Caitlin says...

    Please please please – who makes her wedding dress?!

  94. lynn mckoy says...

    What a beauty!!! I honestly feel prettier after looking at her. Her look is magnetic! Great pick.

    • I know, right? I feel the same way.

    • Emily says...

      Same. What a gorgeous human.

    • Anna says...

      Yes! Me too! I actually tried to stand up straight with my chin up after and realized those muscles need practice. I don’t have to think too hard to recall the different events that invited me to put my head down in this society. NO MORE!!!!! I’m over it. If I learned one thing in these past few months it is that I will not be putting my head down in front of selfish men any more.

      Chin is up and walking proudly into the new year. Let’s stand taller together.

  95. Sophie says...

    Her beauty radiates!!! One of my favorite features yet! I love her confidence with color, and her love of body moisturizing. I’ve recently started taking more care with my moisturizing routine (exfoliating, sweet almond oil, spf) and I feel 100% better afterwards. It is such a special treat.

  96. bisbee says...

    So beautiful! Her skin is gorgeous!

  97. LOVE!!!!

  98. Elisha says...

    Simply amazing! I’m ordering a wrap immediately! I want to support cette femelle féroce AND add some flavor to my style. Thank you for this piece!

  99. Her skin is phenomenal! What a beautiful glow she has-it’s not just moisturizer. That’s a woman who knows who she is and owns it. Nothing is more beautiful than confidence and self acceptance.

  100. Hope says...

    The photo of Paola and her bridesmaids exudes joy – what an amazing shot. It made my lunch break.

  101. Amber says...

    What a beauty! Her style is so inspiring!

  102. jen says...

    Wow, she is absolutely gorgeous!

  103. Korin says...

    This is my favorite beauty uniform so far! She is enthralling.

  104. Em says...

    You are stunningly beautiful. Thanks for sharing your routine. I have dry skin right now too.

  105. Ashley Prillaman says...

    Does Paola have any online clothing recommends?? Love her style!

    • Sophia says...

      I second this question! Paola’s style and clothing picks are amazing.

    • Alexia says...

      Third this–would love to see a week in outfits from her.

      On a somewhat more sensitive note, I am curious to know if it would be culturally insensitive for a white woman to wear a headscarf? I love them but would never want to offend anyone:)

    • Tracy says...

      Ashley! I wondered the same thing. If you look on their website they do occasionally have white women features who tend to wear the scarf more as a headband instead of a turban wrap. They can also be used as scarves too! I’m Asian and totally want to buy some and support them but I’m not totally comfortable wearing it in all the styles they have so I will probably use mine as a cool scarf or a headband until I learn more about the cultural context behind it! It’s always nice to be comfortable with what you are wearing and if in doubt maybe you can email someone from the store!

  106. Tania says...

    Beautiful. And all her bridesmaids looked amazing, too — love, love love the beautiful scarlet red color scheme.

  107. Lesley says...

    Her style is outstanding. Very, very inspiring.

  108. Kiley says...

    Beautiful! I look forward to the Beauty Uniform series, it’s one of my favorites that the blog has ever done :)

  109. Sala says...

    Yep. We have a fashion stylist in the UK called Caryn Franklin who used to wear hairwraps in the late 80s and 90s – looked amazing

  110. Sarah K says...

    Oh, how lovely is this woman and her beautiful confidence! I wish I had felt as comfortable in my own skin when I was younger…I am 37 now and just starting to feel like I know what my look is and I’m cool with it. I hope I can help my daughters reach that confidence much earlier than I did!

    Also, I love how wonderfully happy everyone looks in these wedding pictures. They radiate joy!

  111. Beauty, inside and out! Such a lovely read <3

  112. Goooorgeous! I love her beauty philosophy :)

  113. Summer says...

    When I saw it was the same woman from the wedding post, I think I actually blushed and looked away.

    She is soooo beautiful and seems so genuine, a definitely girl-crush!

    When I read that first sentence about moving here right before high school, I thought, wow, her parents are brave, but clearly had enough faith in her to succeed.

    Lovely uniform, thanks for sharing!

  114. Geny says...

    What a BEAUTY, in every possible ways! And her style is just flawless. Thanks for featuring such inspiring women COJ!

  115. chelsea says...

    i love me the way i am. but if we’re getting wishes…i’ll take that green dress and those lips! gorgeous all around. :)

  116. heather says...

    Wow. I cannot stop looking at these photos. How are some people just born knowing how to put together a creative outfit and look smashing in it? If I wore a t-shirt with a boxer on it plus pink pants I’d look so silly, but she’s killing it.

    Whatever “it” is, she’s got it.

  117. Heather says...

    genuinely inspired by this post. what a stunning woman on the outside, but so clearly powerful, smart, and kind on the inside.

    Also this>>> “Nothing made me feel uglier because I had to do so much to be considered normal. But now that I’ve grown up, I love every inch of my body.”

    that is power!

    and those looks for the wedding!! and vermont, my favorite place!

    I could go on… thanks for featuring such an awesome woman!

  118. She is stunning, stunning, stunning. I love that a part of her beauty uniform story includes some acknowledgment of colorism and how it shapes our sense of who and what is beautiful. Real talk that so many women can relate to. Love her style and powerful presence.

  119. patty blaettler says...

    I wish her 5 year old self could see this.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      YES.

  120. Laura says...

    Just fabulous.

  121. So beautiful! Funny, I am pale as pale can be and just got the sad girl as a sample from sephora and LOVE IT! its super dark but I let it sit for about 20 minutes and then blot off and its a gorgeous stain. I don’t mind the dark but I think people might be wondering if I’m goth…

  122. Amanda says...

    Yay! I was waiting for this one! She is just gorgeous. I would love a feature on her head scarfs too and the many types of people that wear them.

  123. Slayed! Be still my heart.

  124. Rachel says...

    Holy smokes, Paola is stunning!!! What grace, style and beauty! One of my favourite beauty uniforms to date!

  125. Rachel says...

    Holy smokes, Paolo is absolutely stunning!!! What grace, style and beauty!

    • Rachel says...

      *Paola!

  126. Chesley says...

    She is STUNNING.

  127. Natasha says...

    AHH! I’m Haitian too and it’s so true that we are a very colorful culture–so many things she said struck a cord and made me smile! My grandmother also tried to put clothespins on my nose….thankfully my mother nipped that in the bud. Funny but not funny when you think about the reasoning behind it.

  128. Maggie says...

    That is one strong, stunning and intelligent woman! Girl crush x 10000000

  129. I’m SO glad you did a beauty uniform on Paola! She is so inspiring and DAMN if she isn’t mind-blowingly beautiful. She has such an air of confidence! Love, love, love her.

  130. Kerry says...

    That woman is luminescent. And her husband looks very, very (and rightfully) smug.

    • Rebekah says...

      I love when you can tell how lucky a guy feels to be with his lady!

    • Jill says...

      Haha I agree! His pride for her is in his eyes :)

  131. Mallory says...

    Oh, what a beautiful piece. Warms my soul on a cold, South Dakota morning.

  132. Roz says...

    Could she BE more cool and beautiful?! Sheesh! Loved this!

  133. Erin says...

    I kept saying, “oh my god,” with each photo. She is stunning!!

  134. Sara says...

    When my family moved from Virginia to northern New Jersey my peers called us the “skittles family” because of our colorful clothing, go ahead girl! Love her honesty, style, and grace.

  135. Love her!!

  136. Jill says...

    Omg she’s so beautiful. Definite girl crush.

    Btw, can a skinny white woman like me pull off those beautiful head scarves?

    • Of course you can!! Go for it!

  137. Lisa says...

    I love her style, particularly the head wraps.

    I wear headscarves for synagogue, particularly on high holidays. I felt so self conscious at first, as the synagogue I go to is more of an elaborate hat kind of place, but you feel so regal and tall I really started to love it and embrace it .

    She’s so incredibly gorgeous!

  138. All of these brilliant colors in her photos alone made my day brighter and happier! Her zest for life jumps right at you…wonderful! What dazzling energy this woman has.

  139. Lauren E. says...

    My right arm to look even half as cool in a Muhammad Ali t-shirt and pink trousers. This is my favorite Beauty Uniform to date. GORGEOUS.

  140. Long-time lurker, no commenter…but holy craps, this woman is 150% stunning.

    • Dinah says...

      I second this comment!! Stunning woman and my new girl crush!

  141. Nadia says...

    Thank you so much for your diversity in this series – more than I can say for certain other blogs that do similar features. Ahem.

    On another note, I love the idea of treating body moisturizer as a gift to yourself! That’ll get me moisturizing for sure.

  142. Marcelle says...

    WHAT IS THIS WOMAN? shes absolutely fantastic! New Girl crush!!!

  143. Gorgeous photography! I mean the outfits are just stunning!
    Merry Christmas from London!
    xx finja | http://www.effcaa.com

  144. Marissa says...

    OMG. Her in that green dress.

    • Abbie says...

      AHHH every photo is so stunning–but that green dress has my mouth gaping open! Need deets!