The Humblebrag Diet Creator on Quarantine Cooking and Self-Care
Style, cooking, and social media
Taking a quick scroll through Folu Akinkuotu’s social media feed, you’ll laugh, you’ll learn her skincare secrets, and you’ll get really, really hungry. That’s because the Boston resident is the creator of the “Humblebrag Diet,” a series of stunning kitchen concoctions on Twitter.
a year ago in japan vs today pic.twitter.com/MVgXFQ3LHc
— folu (@notfolu) April 19, 2020
With stay at home orders in place, we’ve watched on social as every day Folu either cooks something amazing, or does something to make her amazing skin even more amazing. Or both.
Keep scrolling to learn more about Folu’s humblebrag diet, and check out her tips for thriving during self-isolation:
As the mastermind behind the HumbleBrag Diet, you’ve proven yourself to be a whiz in the kitchen. What’s the etiquette for someone dating a really good cook or baker?
It is kind of my saving grace as a baker, but I tend to get bored with the snacks that I make and I just pawn them off on my friends whenever I get a chance. At this point, none of my friends are surprised when I pull out a huge bag of the cookies when I walk into a party.
When I’m dating it is always a bit more organic. I might end up making a fancy grilled cheese sandwich if we get home and it is too late to order take out, or bake him a cake for his birthday.
You live in Boston. Give a tip of the hat and a wag of the finger to guys’ style in the city.
I’d be happy if I never saw another pair of ill-fitting pastel colored shorts paired with a white button-down ever again, but I will, because it is the only warm weather outfit that men in Boston wear.
I love when men keep it simple, but they have to make sure their clothes fit perfectly.
For a city that looks so messy in pared down summer clothes, it’s almost irrational how great Bostonians look in cold weather clothing. Everyone is so good at layering!
What tips can you share with a guy who’s looking to “build his brand” online or otherwise?
I think the people with the strongest “personal brands” have just found ways to share what they love in a way that is relatable. Just talk about the stuff that you genuinely enjoy and the rest will come with time.
The internet has a way of consuming you if you don’t know how to unplug.
I try to turn off my phone if I start to feel like I’m putting more effort into online #content than my IRL relationships and responsibilities.
What’s a great first date outfit?
As a short-haired woman, I’m also a sucker for a dude who looks like he spends a lot of time in the barber’s chair.
What’s the most stylish thing a guy can do?
Listen! Men who truly take the time to listen, without interrupting or explaining what I’ve said back to me are quite rare and I treasure them.
What about the least?
I loathe a hypebeast. I would rather set myself on fire than wait with you for hours to buy a pair of shoes just because the internet says that they’re cool.
What’s one thing you wish guys understood about women?
We’re not a monolith. Each woman you meet is a different person, and should be treated as such.
What’s one thing women could do a better job of explaining to guys?
Obsessing about appearing manly is a huge waste of energy and really boring to experience. I really don’t care if you enjoy pink or fruity drinks or whatever you’ve decided “real men” shouldn’t like.
Boston has notoriously hard winters. What cold weather essentials do you hope to see guys bundled up in this year on the T?
I’m a strong believer in statement coats and I hope that more dudes will start to experiment with coats that aren’t black, navy, or gray.
Folu’s Quarantine Self-Care Tips
I came into this era of social distancing and self-isolation as a person who has been working remotely for a few years so I had a few well-tested strategies to keep me somewhat productive but I’ve still had to mix it up a bit to feel like a person.
Mostly, I’ve been trying to acknowledge that things that could make me feel comfortable could also harm others and trying to seek ways to support people who are struggling in more concrete ways that I am through donations and mutual aid projects.
I’m a skincare obsessive. Not in the sense that I love trying new products, but more that I’ve developed a slightly unhealthy attachment to the products that work really well for me and it’ll take a lot for me to replace them. This toner/essence is one of those products because it’s calming & moisturizing without being heavy.
Everyone is lying when they say any hand cream can save you from the drying effect of all this handwashing.
The key is adding an occlusive, like Vaseline or Aquaphor, on top of your hand cream to help lock in all the moisture. This type is technically for babies but I prefer it because it is affordable and doesn’t have fragrance.
The one tip I give anyone who asks me about how to get started as a home baker is to buy a cooking scale.
Baking by volume is always tricky because the weight of ingredients varies so much and using a scale helps to cut down on that margin of error. I’ve been using my scale a lot to help me cut large recipes in half. I live alone! I don’t need 36 cookies!
Libby and other library lending apps
I’ve given up on trying to break my screen addiction and instead concentrate on redirecting my energy from hours on tik tok or obsessing over catastrophic news updates on twitter to using digital lending apps from my local library to read more.
Digital lending is nice because libraries are supporting the authors and the 2 week lending period gently negs me into actually finishing books that I want to read instead of letting them languish on my nightstand for months.
Favorite men’s cologne to smell on a guy walking down the street
I love the smell of men’s soap, especially Irish Spring.
Grooming product you’ve stolen from a boyfriend
Razors. Those fancy ones with like 23 blades.
Beauty product you’ve had a boyfriend steal from you
A red panda
Go-to road trip snack
My white chocolate birthday cake rice krispies or fruit snacks.
First celebrity crush
Maybe Brock from Pokemon? Are cartoons considered celebrities?
Champagne or Whiskey
Whiskey neat at the bar, champagne straight from the bottle at a party.
Ben Affleck or Matt Damon
Even after watching Gone Girl, I’m still Team Ben.
Fenway Park or Faneuil Hall
Fenway. I used to work next to Faneuil and it was the worst.
Call or text
Texting with a few voice memos peppered into the mix.
Cake or pie
I could easily eat cake each and every day of my life.