Written by: Madison Duboise
Many expecting mothers focus on preparing for the baby, thinking about baby names and satisfying their crazy cravings, but just like for any expecting mother there is much more on their minds than these few things. This was especially true for expecting mother, beauty director and blogger, Dana Oliver.
“The concept behind my beauty and wellness Instagram account @beautyforbreakfast and blog came about before I had completed graduate school. After undergrad, I went on to hone my digital media reporting skills but had the idea to launch a website that was the culmination of my passions as a black woman,” Oliver said. “However, I didn’t get the drive to bring it to life until I literally was filled with life, being pregnant with my son gave me a newfound purpose and push to really see my dreams through.”
She set a goal of debuting her blog on her birthday, August 16, 2019. She launched the blog just a few days earlier and that was with intention, as she was eager to start building a community where women who look like her can congregate and share their experiences with beauty, wellness and self-care without judgment.
“Before becoming a mother, I knew my life would dramatically change and that I wouldn’t have as much “me time.” Taking care of another human being has been the most humbling and challenging task yet,” Oliver said. “That’s why I believe wellness is a priority not only so that I can be the best mother possible, but to show my son that it matters to his existence, too.
Oliver’s career path prepared her when it came to starting her own blog however, it was her willpower and determination that she credits to her success. Oliver attended Temple University in Philadelphia, where she majored in Journalism and minored in African-American Studies. She then went on to receive my master’s in Journalism from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
“I started working professionally 13 years ago in the beauty industry as a paid intern for AOL’s lifestyle site. Even though I was just starting out, I had a lot of responsibilities that truly shaped me into the no-nonsense editor that I am today. I literally worked my way up the masthead at AOL and then the Huffington Post, holding roles that included assistant editor, beauty editor and executive fashion and beauty editor,” Oliver said. “I joined Yahoo Life four years ago as their very first beauty director, and as a Black woman in such a high-profile role for a mega media brand, I didn’t take that lightly. As I’ve always done in my previous work, I use my platform to create content that is inclusive, inspiring and informative. My mission is to have everyone feel as though they can connect with my work, no matter their background. However, I especially make it my work’s purpose to carve out spaces where black women’s voices are heard and stories are celebrated.”
Oliver hopes to debunk the myth that black women must be strong at all times. She believes they are strong but also soft and deserving of self-care. She wants to pour into herself so that she can continue to pour into others, something that she is constantly working on.
“I try not to fall into a rigid editorial calendar when creating content from my blog. I find that the posts resonate deeply when the topics come from a place of honesty and authenticity,” Oliver said. "I draw inspiration from my everyday life, whether that’s juggling the responsibilities of being a new mom and working a full-time job, relaying life lessons like the power of “no” and why self-care is important to my overall well-being or beauty products and routines that work best for my unique needs and wants as a black woman.”
Being one of the few black beauty directors has opened many doors, but Oliver also realizes that there are many doors that remain closed because of racist constructs that existed much longer than many on this earth. That is why she likes to use social media as a tool to enlighten people on the realities of what this seemingly luxe lifestyle really entails.
“When it comes to self-care, I don’t focus on luxury treatments, products with ingredients that have lofty claims or what is the latest celebrity trend. I see self-care as being very personal and I have to be diligent in deciding regimens/practices that will deliver results for me,” Oliver said. “Keeping fit mentally and physically has played a pivotal part in maintaining a positive outlook on life. I make it a priority to seek the professional expertise of a therapist and I engage in a yoga practice that allows me to check-in with myself. These tools are a must-have to being a better me holistically.”
Growing up in South Carolina, maintaining a healthy diet was not a part of Oliver’s lifestyle as a child. She loved fried foods, indulged in starchy snacks and demanded a cold Coca-Cola with every meal. It took her years to realize the effects of the foods she was eating and the products she used had on her body.
“When your loved ones have illnesses and diseases that are largely influenced by their diet and you see how it affects them, it causes you to rethink what you put into your body,” Oliver said. “I gradually started my smarter choices and have consumed a mostly plant-based diet for well over a decade now. I believe I’m better because of this choice, and it is a lifestyle that I am teaching my 1-year-old to live by showing him that his body is his temple.”
These types of choices that Oliver promotes on her blog and lifestyle page. Anything beauty or lifestyle related can be found on her page including tips and tricks for all women. She hopes to encourage and inspire others during this period of time in which many are lacking wellness.
Some of her current favorite beauty products include:
Hyper Skin Hyper Clear Brightening Clearing Vitamin C Serum: “It’s one of the most gentle serums I’ve used to help lighten my dark spots and scars; plus, it’s made by a Black woman and fellow mother,” Oliver said
SK-II Facial Essence Treatment: “One of the products I’d take if on a deserted island.”
BlackGirlSunscreen: “The name says it all — this SPF works to protect me from the sun without making me look ashy.”
Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb in Hot Chocolit
The Doux Mousse Def Texture Foam: “Amazing product that gives my curls major definition.”
Amika Soulfood: “This hair mask has really helped to strengthen my postpartum hair.”
Check out Oliver's blog: http://beautyforbreakfast.com/
Photo Credit to Mama Photography: https://www.instagram.com/mama.photog/?hl=en