Be Well for Real: Nikisha Brunson’s Wellness Edit
Words: Editorial Team
Images: Katherine Squier
March 21 2017
In a culture this obsessed with prescriptive cleanses, celebrity-endorsed meditation apps, and glistening revenge bods, getting healthy can actually make you feel worse. Fortunately for anyone who doesn’t have it all figured out, Austin-based beauty and wellness guru Nikisha Brunson offers the perfect antidote.
With her unpretentious, real talk brand of holistic health, the Urban Bush Babes co-founder and non-toxic beauty connoisseur takes the intimidation, and competition, out of getting well. “Even health gurus had to start from somewhere—it’s never an overnight thing,” encourages the former public school teacher with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s in Childhood Education. After ditching Brooklyn, New York for Austin, Texas in search of homeownership and a slower pace of life, Brunson finally found the physical and mental space she craved to zen out, detox, and create.
Eager to explore other facets of herself, including a passion for minimalism, cooking, DIY, and health, Brunson branched out from exclusively blogging about beauty and natural hair trends into spreading the gospel of holistic health. Inspired to make a product that her friends and family could guiltlessly indulge in, she crafted her own line of 100% natural skincare called Folie Apothecary (which appropriately translates to ‘madness’ in French), and is a favorite of the one-and-only Solange Knowles. “Women are multidimensional creatures—we like more than just one thing,” says the blogger-turned-beauty entrepreneur with a flair for high-waisted trousers and a signature muted palette.
A few years ago, Brunson was also diagnosed with ADHD, depression, and anxiety (thanks, mom!), a trifecta that solidified her commitment to self-care and healing through natural means such as supplements, lifestyle changes, and essential oils. “Holistic health is an approach to wellness that addresses the body, mind and spirit. They are not independent of one another. They are intertwined,” says Brunson, on a mission to demystify and democratize health. “Being able to look back at my journey, through all of the mistakes, failures and struggles I went through, and to be able to share with people how I’m overcoming it on a day to day basis, is really important to me. I try to make it really accessible, because I know it’s a luxury. I try to show that you can take baby steps or big steps at home.”
In the sea of hyper-curated and superficial, Brunson stands out—not just for the infuriating effortlessness with which she wears a shapeless linen jumpsuit or a custom gold grill—but for initiating an uncensored and raw dialogue around the importance of mental health (all the while, still garnering fashion clout from the likes of Man Repeller and Vogue). “On Instagram, I share about the times when I’m not doing well, and when I’m trying to figure things out. People can relate to the fact that it’s not a total highlight reel.”
For a starter’s guide to wellness—one that doesn’t leave you more full of self-loathing than breakfast—we met up with Nikisha Brunson in her hometown of Austin, Texas for her ultimate (and actually attainable) guide to style, smoothies, and fitness.
“I love going to the gym and lifting weights. It helps me to maintain my curves and stay healthy and strong at the same time. I love to wear high-waisted workout leggings so my booty has full coverage during exercises where I might bend over. I also love wearing a sports bra because seeing my stomach while working out and seeing the progress keeps me motivated.”
ON UNWINDING AT HOME
I love a hot cup of tea, listening to some chill music or watching a good Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, or HBO show.
FAVE SMOOTHIE RECIPE
1 banana preferably frozen
4 small pitted dates ( I used Trader Joe’s Deglet Noor Dates)
palm full of fresh organic kale
1 frozen pack frozen coconut (I use Inner-Eco brand coconut found in freezer section at Whole Foods)
1 1/2 cups vanilla almond milk (Or any favorite plant based milk)
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
a pinch of black pepper (activates the curcumin in turmeric which gives you all the benefits of turmeric)
AFRICAN BOTANICS RESURRECTION EYE CREME
It has all natural non-toxic ingredients which are a must for me. Secondly, it addresses all the issues I would like to treat/pre-treat. It stimulates skin’s healthy collagen and elasticity. Softens the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Plumps, tightens, and moisturizes around the eyes.
GO-TO HEALTHY SNACK
I love cherry tomatoes and seedless cucumbers with hummus (preferably the brand Grandma’s Hummus or Trader Joe’s Beet Hummus). It’s my favorite snack.
MOON JUICE BEAUTY DUST
The amazing ingredients are rich in antioxidants and contain adaptogens. Two very important things that I always include in my daily supplement intake.
ON PERSONAL STYLE
“I dress for myself. Whatever I feel good in, whatever mood I’m in, whatever I feel I want to express to the world. I even dress cute in the house—it’s an art. I’m never worried about what everyone else is wearing. I’m not that friend that’ll be like ‘what are you wearing tonight?’ When my friends do that, I get irritated.”