“I think you have to find what works for you. For me, it’s been finding a community of like-minded individuals who serve as a sounding board and support system.”
Please briefly introduce yourself.
I am Cynthia Andrew, a lawyer/blogger. I feel equal parts Cameroonian and native New Yorker moved here in my teens. It’s been home ever since. I went to law school in the city and practiced law up until a few years ago where my travel and style blog took me across the globe and led me to work on brand campaigns and print and TV ads – something I could have never imagined or hoped for. I now live in Brooklyn, in our recently renovated townhouse with my husband and 4-month-old twin boys.
What is a typical day for you like?
A typical day for me has definitely changed over the past year and even more so since I had twins. Now the day begins with feeds, changes, and maybe bath for the twins. Then I do a handover to dad, so I can shower, maybe eat and check emails as well as social. I may complete campaign shoots with the twins next to me (just barely out of frame), or just add them in the shot for even more shenanigans.
There’s no such thing as a set time for lunch or getting work done. It mostly revolves around their naps. Their nap time is always much too short but I try to do every single thing, from pumping, cleaning, organizing, laundry, getting on zoom calls with brands (with the camera turned off). Sometime in the evening, I go through my to-do list and shake my head at all the things that will have to be added to the next day. And then I hug my boys and hubby and count my blessings.
There’s also no such thing as bedtime, everything above, just continues until my eyelids can no longer take it. Every now and then, my husband drops a warm blanket over me as I likely fell asleep, phone in one hand, pacifier in the other, and mouth wide open.
"I want to inspire others – especially young women who look like me. We live in a world where a dark skin black girl (+ immigrant) can feel unseen and unloved. And I know that’s not true. So I want to inspire those girls (and others) to dream bigger and accomplish beyond what they could have even imagined.”
How has your background and experience shaped the person you are today?
I was born in the US but raised in Cameroon. It’s almost cliche at this point, but so true that most African parents only consider a few careers as real professions. Those would be Doctors, Lawyers, and Engineers. It’s likely for that reason, including the fact that my father was also a lawyer that I ended up in Law. And while I am not currently practicing, the discipline that was required of me from a young age in school has permeated through everything they do. It has helped me make a business out of a hobby. It has empowered me to be analytical in creative situations and confident in how I work with brands.
Does balance play a role in your life?
I try to. All work and no play is never a good idea. I believe in downtime, work time, fun time. I think all those things make us the best versions of ourselves. I don’t want to burn out, but I don’t want to forget that almost always, the things that are worth accomplishing, take time, effort, and work.
What are some tips on maintaining balance and taking care of your well-being?
I think you have to find what works for you. For me, it’s been finding a community of like-minded individuals who serve as a sounding board and support system. We encourage each other, we remind each other to take time for ourselves, we give each other permission to sleep an extra hour when we find it.
What does beauty mean to you?
Beauty is joy
Beauty is confidence
Beauty is kindness
Beauty is humility
Beauty is honesty
How has your perception of beauty evolved over the years?
When I was younger, beauty was about how much and how well I could hide and cover the things I didn’t like with flashy clothes, heavy makeup, etc. Now, beauty is about how much I don’t have to hide. Less is more.
Are there any beauty tips from your culture that you can share?
Manyanga Oil – a palm kernel oil that did wonders for my skin in a way that nothing on this side of the world has been able to. I really need to stock up and someone likely needs to package it better cos I think the world would go wild for it.
What are your beauty and wellness rituals?
I love when I have the time to apply my moisturizer and skin oil without rushing, just letting my skin soak it all in.
Spa time used to be a thing I did when I traveled – perfect to forget everything and ease my anxiety. Nowadays, when travel is rare, I’m trying to schedule little nature escapes as a replacement.
What is the best beauty advice you’ve ever received?
Early and often – skincare. My roommate in college – she had a skincare regimen as a freshman – wish I had listened sooner. I see her today and I know it’s cos she started early. You don’t wait until your car falls apart to fix it. It requires regular maintenance just like your skin. So many women wait till the wrinkles and spots and everything appear to start taking care of their skin. Better late than never, but earlier would have been better.
What are you reading or listening to that has made a lasting impression on you lately?
Nina Simone. Music and words so relevant, you think they were released this year.
What are conscious decisions we can make to help the environment and our planet?
I wish we could all shop at no waste, no container grocery stores, and that water wasn’t sold in single-use plastic but what I’m learning is that something is better than nothing. So, if you can’t do it all, pick 3 things you can do. And since old habits die hard, the best we can do is teach the kids to be better and do better, before they develop our generation’s bad habits.
What is your personal or professional mission?
For all the things I could never do or accomplish, I want to inspire others – especially young women who look like me. We live in a world where a dark skin black girl (+ immigrant) can feel unseen and unloved. And I know that’s not true. So I want to inspire those girls (and others) to dream bigger and accomplish beyond what they could have even imagined.
What does being a Good Egg mean to you?
Sounds silly but true, for me, it’s about kindness and putting out truth and positivity in a world that can sometimes feel anything but.
Make a wish for your future self.
I just did. It’s a secret.
Follow Cynthia's journey at @simplycyn.