Banter Babe: Nyakio Grieco
Nyakio Grieco, the beautiful founder of the eponymous skincare line, Nyakio, a brand inspired by her Kenyan heritage and her worldly travels and adored by celebrities like Wonder Woman’s Gal Gadot, Kristen Bell, and Minka Kelly, answers our favorite beauty questions below:
What’s your beauty vibe?
My beauty vibe is definitely boho-relaxed, natural and glowy, with a pop of color! I’m usually in minimal makeup with a touch of blush, mascara, and a bright lip. I love to naturally highlight my cheeks and eyes.
What’s the first beauty product you owned and loved? How old were you and why did you love it?
The first beauty product I owned and loved was nail polish with glitter. I was eight years old and got a nail polish making kit, and it had a tube of glitter to splash into the color you created. It was AMAZING! To this day, I’m always adding sparkle anywhere I can!
What’s your favorite beauty treatment splurge?
My favorite beauty treatment splurge is an LED Light Facial with my amazing esthetician, Shani Darden. It’s a transcendent experience, and my skin loves it!
What’s your daily makeup routine — and how long does it take?
As a busy mom and entrepreneur, my makeup routine takes all of five minutes! For full-coverage on my face, I use Cover FX Anti-Aging Primer ($38) with Custom Cover Drops in color P100 ($44) to blend to my skin tone. For under eyes, I use Laura Mercier High Coverage Concealer #7 ($30). I apply Nars Blush in Desire ($30) on the apples of my cheeks.Then, I add Benefit they’re REAL Mascara ($24) on upper and lower lashes. I add a drop of Nyakio Marula & Neroli Brightening Oil ($42) to my cheeks and eyelids for highlight and glow. I finish with Smith & Cult The Shining Lip Lacquer in The Queen is Dead ($22).
What’s your daily skincare routine?
For my daily skincare routine, I use my own clean and green Nyakio skincare products! As the founder of Nyakio, I ethically and sustainably source ingredients from 13 countries around the globe, so it’s a collection I feel good about using and sharing with women around the world. The products are cruelty-free, and made with natural and certified organic ingredients. My skincare brand was inspired by Kenyan family beauty secrets – secrets passed on to me by my girlfriends, as well as learned in my travels.
For my 5 -7 minute skincare routine for day time:
1. I double cleanse with Nyakio Sweet Almond Cleansing Oil Balm ($28).
2. I use Nyakio Marula & Neroli Brightening Oil ($75) on my face and neck.
3. I apply Nyakio Quinoa De-Puffing and Firming Eye Cream ($39) to my under eye area. The ceramic tip applicator helps to instantly de-puff the eye area.
4. I apply Nyakio Baobab Youth Infused Daily Defense Cream ($35) on my face and neck.
5. I apply Nyakio Baobab Lip Balm ($22) to my lips.
Twice a week, I use Nyakio Kenyan Coffee Face Polish ($32) as an exfoliator before double cleansing. Once a week, I combine Nyakio Chinese Rice Powder with Almond Cleansing Oil Balm ($26) for a gentle buffing and brightening treatment.
Age gracefully or filler and Botox, please and thanks?
At 44-years-old, I have chosen to age gracefully. I have no judgment around using modern medicine to treat the skin, but what has worked best for me is using targeted formulations with natural ingredients that have been used for centuries by beautiful women globally. My grandfather was a medicine man, so for my entire life I’ve been taught about the power of cold-pressed organic oils. Hydration is the key to younger looking skin. Our skin is made up of oils: as we age, we need to use oil to combat signs of aging. Even if you have oily, overactive skin, you need oil to balance out your natural oils to achieve a natural glow. Also exfoliation is an important anti-aging step, which is why I look to natural ingredients like Kenyan Coffee for gently removing dullness to achieve radiance.
What are you top five, can’t-live-without beauty products?
1. Nyakio Tamanu Firming Face Balm ($45). Tamanu oil also has anti-inflammatory benefits and is loaded with anti-oxidants; it’s the foundation of my Tamanu Firming Face Balm, which can be used all over the face and décolleté, as well as other areas that need anti-aging care, such as the hands, cuticles, elbows, back of the arms, knees, thighs, and feet.
2. Leila Lou perfume oil! This essential fragrance oil truly makes me happy. It reminds me of spring time, my favorite time of the year. It’s a fresh and clean fragrance that is truly addicting.
3. Nyakio Kenyan Coffee Lip Polish ($24). I am obsessed with lip products! Our lips are the thinnest skin on our face, so we need to remove that dull, dry skin so that all our lip products work better. It’s important to keep lips primed for best application of lip color, especially matte colors.
4. Smith & Cult Lip Lacquer in The Queen is Dead ($22). The Smith & Cult glosses are so hydrating, so your lips never feel dry. Although this lacquer is a gloss, the pigment is excellent so you can maintain great color without drying out your lips.
5. Coola Suncare SPF 30 Unscented Moisturizer ($32). As a woman of color, it’s often hard to find sunscreen that doesn’t go purple on my skin. This sunscreen has the perfect amount of coverage without interfering with my makeup, as it goes on clear and is fast absorbing.
6. Sorry, I’ve got 6! Nyakio Marula & Neroli Brightening Oil ($42). This oil is lightweight and my skin just drinks it up. Marula is known as “Africa’s Miracle Oil for anti-aging,” and Neroli helps to brighten the skin. I love using this first thing in revitalize my skin and give it that glow that takes me through the day.
What product do you buy in bulk?
SheaMoisture Extra Virgin Coconut Oil ($11). I use this product for hydration from head-to-toe!
What’s your save-the-day hair product?
I have two save the day hair products: I use Madam CJ Walker Beauty Culture Wonderful Deep Conditioner Masque ($32) once a week as a deep conditioner to nourish and treat my hair. It’s a miracle in a jar, and smells so good! I also love Ouai Wave Spray ($26) because it gives you that gorgeous beachy summer look all-year long.
Who is responsible for your haircut and color?
Irinel de Leon and Briana Mercado, both in Los Angeles. The best!
Best piece of beauty advice you’ve received?
“Always be true to yourself, kind, loving and compassionate…that’s true beauty and will shine from the inside out.” – My mom, Njambi Kamoche
Who is your beauty icon, and why?
My mother is my beauty icon. She’s one of the kindest, most compassionate, determined, hardworking, and intelligent women I will ever know. She’s a naturally beautiful woman inside and out!
What’s your least favorite beauty trend/ look?
I love a matte lip, but I don’t love seeing a matte lip with a lot of dryness and creasing. Exfoliate and hydrate those lips!
If you could only do one beauty treatment on the weekly, what would it be and why?
That’s a tough one! I love my blowouts and face masks, but I also believe self-care is crucial so I would opt for a massage and body scrub at the Korean Spa.
What’s your best kept beauty secret?
My best kept beauty secret is: “The most beautiful woman is a happy woman who is living her most authentic self. Do better for others, be a great girlfriend and surround yourself with the same, be good to the planet and others, and smile A LOT!”
–Nyakio Grieco, founder of the skincare line, Nyakio.