Cafecitos with Briana Brown: Native New Yorker with a heart for Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood

We sat down with Briana Brown this week to discuss her personal style and beauty routine. She’s an entrepreneur and self proclaimed “builder, traveler, and over-thinker” who moved to Little Haiti a little over a year ago.

We asked Briana the secret to her slayage, and she had a lot to say…

MUST HAVE BEAUTY ITEM

“Earrings! I’m very much an earrings and accessories person. I only just started wearing makeup, like actual foundation and things within the last 2-3 months. Just this year! I don’t wear makeup all the time but I always keep a spare pair of earrings in my car for the days when I forget to put some on.”

FAVORITE ACCESSORY

“I looove hoops. I wear hoops all the time. I think part of it was that my mom wouldn’t let me wear hoops. Like, when I wore them they had to be really really small. But then in high school I think she gave up. And my dad doesn’t really care, but he thinks hoops of this size are a hazard. I’m like, yeah, but they build it so it will fall out easy! No one’s gonna rip your ear off! Honestly most of my earrings can fit over my arm and can be worn as bracelets. That’s how I tell if the size is good enough!”

FAVORITE THING ABOUT LITTLE HAITI

“I like the personality of the neighborhood. From what I’ve heard, and I can see it, it’s very defiant. I think there’s a lot of people who are against gentrification here and are working really hard to make sure that the neighborhood stays true to itself, which I really appreciate.  I definitely appreciate living here, more than I’ve ever appreciated living anywhere else outside of New York. There’s so much culture here. I love that I can just walk to stuff that reminds me of home. Where some people can say, ‘I can’t support black businesses,’ that’s not a problem here. There are so many black owned business and treasures in this neighborhood that I’d like to discover and support. “

BEAUTY REGIMEN

“My skincare routine is generally taking good care of my body. Drinking more water, and less alcohol. My gramma says: use hydrogen peroxide, Clean and Clear astringent, and then moisturizer. My gramma and mom both have beautiful skin and my gramma’s in her seventies. So I know I’m going to be okay, but I just need to get their regimen down. Most products they use are astringents each night, then moisturizer, something light. I’m trying to get on their level!”

FAMILY BEAUTY SECRETS

“I would say aloe vera. My family uses aloe vera for everything, and I’ve kind of been rediscovering it. I’m gonna get a plant, because I mean, every Jamaican household I’ve ever been to has an aloe vera plant. Whether it’s for cuts, or using the jelly for their hair.”

PERSONAL STYLE                                                                                   

“I have very different styles. Some days I look like a total professional, and some days I look like I just walked off the streets! I just dress how I feel. Whatever I wear I try to be able to capture how I’m feeling for the day. And sometimes it’s ‘I’m feeling shitty’ so I’m gonna wear bright colors to perhaps feel better.”

STYLE INSPIRATION

“I LOVE Brooklyn Betty (@Br00klynbetty on Instagram). Her style is just so colorful. I can just look at her outfits and get inspired. I love the way she mixes sneakers into her outfits. It’s just a very New York-esque style. Like you just don’t give a fuck about how people think as long you like it and think it looks good. I also really admire a friend from college, @gabsoul on Instagram. Her style is also very New York, but it’s a bit more simple and earthy. I admire the feeling of the clothes and her style as opposed to the clothes themselves.” 

BEAUTY SERVICES

“When I was living that corporate life, I would get a mani pedi twice a month, and I loved it. It was my treat to myself. The people that I would go to knew my name, and they’d ask me about my hometown, New York. I used to get my brows waxed, but my skin was sensitive to it, so eventually one of my friends helped me grow my brows out to a more healthy length with threading. You can target the hairs a little better with threading than with waxing. I’d go once a month. Now, I go about once every two months.”

SPLURGE-WORTHY BEAUTY

“If I had a bonus, I would go get a massage. I love getting massages. I’d go to a fancy ass place where they have chocolate and champagne  with an amazing atmosphere, they give you the nice little robes, and they just cater to you. The peace of mind that you get for X amount of hours is just worth it. I love to eat, so I would leave from there and go have a really nice meal.”