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Mother Essentials: Nikki Osei-Barrett

Written by Katie Hintz-Zambrano

Maryland-based mother Nikki Osei-Barrett is a busy woman, especially of late. Beyond juggling her three kids, she’s the founder of Osei Public Relations (a boutique PR agency for a variety of fashion, beauty, and lifestyle brands), co-founder of District Motherhued (a 503(c)(3) non-profit for DC-area millennial moms of color) and The Momference (a full-scale conference for Black mothers), and now she’s also a newly minted children’s book author!

Just in time for Black Breastfeeding Week (August 25 through August 31), Nikki has revealed the cover for her upcoming book, Boobies Go Bye-Bye, a weaning story she co-authored with Cyana Riley (Not So Different). The book was written to help mom and toddlers with the breast-to-cup transition, and it tells the real life story of how Nikki weaned her youngest daughter Faye after 22 months of extended breastfeeding. Boobies Go Bye-Bye is the first weaning-themed kids’ book written by Black women and the first featuring Black main characters!

Below, Nikki fills us in on the products and habits that are keeping her afloat—from baby wipes and coffee to beauty must-haves.

Clinique Skin Care. “I have relatively low maintenance skin, and the Clinique Three-Step Skin System (for normal to combination skin) keeps my skin clean and blemish free.” Three-Step Skin System, $32.50, Sephora.

Fenty Starter Set. “I also love the Fenty Skin Starter Set. The moisturizer has SPF and it goes on smoothly with a beautiful finish.” Fenty Skin Start’r Set, $40, Sephora.

Go-To Nude Lipstick. “My current go-to lippie is NYX Butter Gloss in Lava Cake. A good nude-ish hue takes you from day to night.” NYX Butter Gloss, $5, NYX Cosmetics.

Coffee. “I’m a coffee girl. I NEED that morning jolt to wake me up. I’m not too picky about coffee blends (I buy an assortment), and drink it both black and with lots of coconut/vanilla creamer. I don’t have a lot of counter space in my kitchen, so the Keurig K-Mini is the perfect size for my counter. And the teal Oasis hue adds a pop of color.” Keurig K-Mini Single-Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker, $69.99, Target.

Candles With Meaning. “I like candles in my office and throughout my home. Lindsey Created has cute, bossy candles that smell great and keep you motivated with cute phases like, ‘Great Client’ and ‘Paid Invoice.’ As the brand says, ‘These are not just candles. They’re mindset shifts.’” Candles, $25, Lindsey Created.

Style Me Momma Clothing. “Style Me Momma takes all my money! They have the cutest, trendiest pieces and accessories for little girls. My most recent purchase was their Jia Romper.” Jia Romper, $30, Style Me Momma.

Play Pits Deodorant. “I switched to natural deodorant at the end of 2019 and I swear by Play Pits, which is a Black-owned, mom-owned natural deodorant brand, created for kids. They also have an adult line. My son Nick and I both use Play Pits and it keeps us dry and smelling fresh, even in the dead of summer!” Family Combo Pack, $19.80, Play Pits.

Lashes. “I just learned how to apply strip lashes myself! Lashes are essential to my daily look, and my go-to’s are Camara AUnique Beauty lashes. Her faith-based lash line features lashes specifically named after iconic women from the Bible with an intent to make their stories relatable to what visionary, faith-focused women do everyday.” Lashes, $25, Camara AUnique Beauty.

Exercise. “Exercise is how I decompress. I enjoy lifting and cardio, but my current exercise of choice is step aerobics via Extreme Step. I go to classes and also step at home with Coach DG on YouTube.” Get Fit With DG via YouTube.

Go-To Fragrances. “I love a good scent; right now I’m wearing Maison Franics Kurkdijan and Philosophy Grace Ballet Rose.” Maison Franics Kurkdijan Satin Mood Eau de Parfum, $300, Neiman Marcus. Amazing Grace Ballet Rose Eau de Parfum, $62, Ulta.   

The Bible App. “I’m a believer, and there’s absolutely no way I could get through the day without my morning word and scriptures to lean on. The Bible app has a verse of the day format that’s kind of like an Insta story, featuring different pastors from across the globe, devotionals, and a closing prayer. It’s how I start the day, and I check my Bible app throughout the day for reinforcement and encouragement.” YouVersion.com/the-bible-app

Wakati Reactivating Conditioning Mist. “This keeps Faye’s and Nick’s hair moisturized, and makes detangling and styling breezy without weighing the hair down. It’s the only product I use on their hair (besides shampoo).” Wakati Conditioning Mist, $12.19, Target.

Ami Colé Products. “My new favorite beauty brand is Ami Colé. It’s a clean beauty brand created with melanin women in mind. The brand’s Skin Enhancing Tint is fabulous! It’s perfect for summertime when it’s too damn hot for a full beat (although, I’m here for a full face when the temps drop). The founder, Diarrha N’Diaye-Mbaye, is a Glossier alum, and she was in her bag when she created this formulation. The finish is satiny smooth, with subtle dewy glisten. Ami Colé nailed no makeup, makeup.” Skin-Enhancing Tint, $32, Ami Colé.

SheaMoisture Baby Lotion. “This is yet another product we were introduced to at The Momferece. It smells amazing, and it’s all that I use on Faye Faye!” SheaMoisture Raw Shea Chamomile & Argan Oil Baby Lotion, $7.99, Target.

Relaxing With Lavender. “I love the scent of lavender, and at the end of a long stressful day I like to light lavender-scented candles and soak with Dr. Teal’s Lavender Epsom salt.” Dr Teals Lavender Epsom Salt, $4.89, Target. 

Huggies Natural Care Wipes. “These are the only wipes I use on Faye Faye. They’re thick enough to clean off sticky faces and hands, and are unscented and gentle enough to use on more delicate areas.” Huggies Natural Care Baby Wipes 3-Pack, $12.48, Amazon.

FENDI Carryall & Kicks. “I carry my FENDI tote daily. I purchased it right after I had my daughter, (Fancy) Faye, in 2019. I had a traditional diaper bag, but I wanted a large, elevated tote to carry my baby essentials in. Paired with my matching FENDI sneakers, and I look cool, polished, and put together for my daily errands.” FENDI Glazed Fabric Calfskin Tote, $1305, Fashionphile. FENDI Rockoko Knit Sneakers, $870, Neiman Marcus.

Carmex Lip Balm. “I keep 2 to 3 Carmex Classic Lip Balms in my purse at all times. This balm soothes, heals, and moisturizes lips better than anything else.” Carmex Classic Lip Balm Medicated Tube, $4.89 for 4-Pack, Target. 

DMV Mom Crew. “I co-founded District Motherhued with my good sis, Simona Noce Wright, in 2016. We’ve created the ultimate community for Black, millennial moms, and I’d be lost without my mom squad and #DMVMomTribe.” @districtmotherhued and @missnocepr on Instagram.

Jesus Calling. “I love the Jesus Calling devotional by Sarah Young. It’s a 365-day devotional, and too many times to count each day the scripture and message was relevant to exactly what I was going through at the time.” Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence, written by Sarah Young, $7.53, Amazon. 

Mommy & Me Style. “Call me corny, but I love coordinating outfits with my children. I’ve been doing this for over 15 years (before Instagram was a thing and you could document it!). My house might look like a tornado blew through it, but when we step out, our outfits will be coordinated!”

For more Mother Essentials, peep our past columns with Blair Paysinger of Post 21, Idia Lanlokun of Ola & Mide, Karam Kim of Bluecut aprons, children’s authors Evan Sargent and Joanna HoEli Yonas of Toki Mats, Shaina Kerrigan of Molly J., Jenna Levine of LINNÉ botanicals, Eunice Byun of Material, and Sandra Lin of Kiwi Co.

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