It’s not often can someone divulge the best hair and makeup secrets, share DJ Khaled’s (hilarious) beauty routine, and spill the latest foodie finds all in the same breath – unless you’re Shyema Azam.
Currently calling Allure home, this dynamic writer has served as a beauty and research editor at nearly every publication strewn on the coffee tables of any stylish woman. When Shyema isn’t racking up accolades – like being tapped as one of the top influential beauty writers by Vogue India – you can find her on a food-meets-beauty journey in her blog, Beauty and the Feast. Hope you guys are hungry and ready to soak up grooming tips because we caught up with Shyema to chat about overrated products, first date activities, and athleisure…
Read on as Shyema Azam tells Style Girlfriend What A Woman Wants:
You’re from Chicago, and went to school in the Big 10 (like me!) What are the biggest differences in how guys dress and act in the Midwest versus here in NYC, where we live now?
It’s been a while since I’ve lived in Chicago so it might not be fair to say since what I remember from men’s style was college which was lot of sweatshirts. I do think men in NYC are quicker with picking up trends and a are little more adventurous with them. It makes sense since fashion-wise, NYC is a very inspiring city. As far as how they act – well, I’ll just say I think men are universally very similar and I’ll leave it at that.
You’re an editor at Allure; what can a guy do to make himself more “alluring” to women?
The first things that come to mind is to just be engaged in the conversation, show you’re interested by asking questions, and just be yourself. Oh, and mind your breath. There’s nothing less attractive than bad breath.
Name an underrated skincare/grooming product that not enough guys use.
Sunscreen! Even if you’re not a product guy, the least you can do is save your skin and use sunscreen daily. It’s a good habit!
What about an overrated one?
Hair dye. I personally don’t mind the grays, because #Clooney.
What would you say to a guy who’s interested in trying something generally thought of as “for women” when it comes to grooming or skincare – and I’m not talking manicures or face moisturizer (which everyone can and should do) – but rather, skin peels, hair coloring, botox…?
I think men’s skin tend to be a little more resilient than women’s, or because of stigmas, they don’t think of going that extra mile as much. Generally, I think taking care of yourself can give you a little confidence boost whether it’s going regularly for massages, or getting a facial once in a while – why not? It’s whatever you’re comfortable with. I wouldn’t say I have a strong opinion about it, but if you’re curious, ask a girl friend since they probably have some insight.
You also write about your love of eating well on your blog, Beauty and the Feast. What’s your ideal food day, here in the city?
I honestly love to cook for myself and others now, but if I had to think up an ideal day: I love avocados and eggs so my breakfast usually has that. I still have my favorite places: Café Mogador, Norma’s, or Spoon. Then I’d probably make some coffee, my favorite beans are from Irving Farm Coffee Roasters, their Ethiopia Konga blend. I love the Stumptown coffee bar at the Ace Hotel too. For dinner, in the city I love ABC Kitchen or a few places I’ve recently tried in Brooklyn are so good – Boaburg, which has Asian-inspired tapas, or Arepera Guacuco has Venezuelen food to die for. And I’m obsessed with desserts – any kind of chocolate lava cake, butter cake, fig date cake topped with ice cream…I think you see the trend.
What’s a good first date activity?
I think I’m pretty traditional with dinner to get to know each other or walk around the city. After that, I love creative dates. If we’re not NYC, show me your city through a festival or a show or something we can do together. I love hikes and being in nature because we don’t get a lot of that in the city.
For a guy looking to impress you, what’s a can’t-miss first outfit?
Maybe because I work in a creative field, if you’re too prim and proper it’ll already make me a little nervous! I’m pretty laid back, and I don’t mind if he dresses that way too. I’m a jeans and T-shirt girl. That doesn’t mean be sloppy though — take a shower, wear clean clothes and be comfortable, that’s all I ask.
Song currently on repeat at the Allure offices?
Tough one! My Spotify playlist is all over the place. I’m at the office right now and the last songs I listened to was Fetty Wap’s “679”, DJ Snake’s “Middle”, and Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” – his new stuff is good!
Grooming product you’ve stolen from a boyfriend?
I used to steal his cologne whenever he was out of town. Just smelling it made me feel like he wasn’t that far.
Beauty product you’ve had a boyfriend steal from you?
Reluctantly, my shiny Fresh Sugar lip balm when he couldn’t find his Chapstick.
Favorite men’s cologne?
Call or text?
Call if we’re homies. It’s always nice to hear someone’s voice.
Sometimes I say a cat, because I just want to ball up and cuddle…or be left alone to recharge. My friend calls me a mouse though because I’m always scrambling around with a million thoughts, or trying to do ten things at once. She calls it ‘mouse-ing out.’
Go-to road healthy snack?
I love almonds, especially ones with different flavors like Sriracha, or honey Dijon.
First celebrity crush?
John Stamos – who didn’t have a crush on Uncle Jesse?
Athleisure to the office, a do or don’t?
You can pull it off at a magazine as long as you dress it up a little with nice outwear or even heels. Probably not OK for most other fields though!
WHAT DOES YOUR IDEAL DAY OF EATING LOOK LIKE?
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