A Closer View + Giveaway - LUYA


For this post, I collaborated with LUYA to provide insight to not only the specific products that I used over the period of three weeks but as to directly connect the consumers to the mindset and vision of LUYA from Founder, Carlos Barksdale.


Carlos and I are acquaintances from outside of the beauty community and I was so eager when he extended an invitation for me to produce a genuine review and content creation for LUYA.

We all know that I am a huge fan and supporter of small business and in addition minority owned businesses. From the perspective of a small business owner in beauty/e-commerce it is essential to formulate an impact. I’m appreciative of the fact that LUYA is consumer-driven and strives to get the consumer not only invested in their health from a beauty and grooming perspective but also through a fundamental application by regular blog post and information sharing. LUYA houses products that are conscious in their crafting, formulated with the best ingredients and multi-faceted in their usages. These products aren’t catered specifically to women or men but both; which I think also bridges the barrier of encouraging males to be knowledgeable of their grooming product through the endorsement and backing of a male figurehead for the brand. Let’s read what the Founder & Owner of LUYA has to share.


Carlos Barksdale, Founder

Why do you do what you do? What inspired you to create the LUYA platform.

“I feel like Black consumers are an afterthought in the personal care, beauty, and grooming space - and I want us to be at the forefront of attention. “

That’s not only in having products that are made for us and marketed to us but also products that are beneficial for us.

If you do 30 seconds of online research you’ll find that many everyday personal care products are toxic. They can lead to skin irritation, hair loss, illness,  and some women even experience menstrual complications. It’s heartbreaking.

But many of us don’t know this because we inherit our buying habits from our family and friends. In my community they say, “If you knew better, you’d do better.” I want us to do better when it comes to the products we use.

If we buy better then we’ll be better and we’ll do better - in every aspect of life. I truly believe that.

Describe what sets LUYA apart from other e-commerce brands?

We’re intentional and genuine. You’re not going to come to LUYA’s site and find 100 brands,  because we want to provide shoppers the most naturally-crafted products that actually drive results that they’re looking for. We acquire, evaluate, and review products before they ever touch our site. It’s not enough for a product to just be natural and healthy. It has to work. Our evaluation process allows for us to provide the most curated selection in the industry.

“Moreover, our brands are fueled by real people.”

These aren’t multinational conglomerates. They are mothers, fathers, wives, mentors, and eternal lovers - each with their own unique story, problems, and perspective. They are our neighbors, childhood friends, fellow church goers, family members. They create the perfect products for us, because they are us. That type of authenticity can’t be faked, and LUYA’s foundation is grounded in that familiarity.

How do you define natural and high-quality products?

“Can you eat it and be ok? Haha!”

I’m only half-way joking though. Many people forget that what you put on your body goes in your body. Your skin is the biggest organ on your body. I wouldn't mix toxic chemicals in my tea. So, why put in on my skin?

LUYA provides products that are free of parabens, negative sulfates, chemical fragrances, and other major harmful ingredients.

What are the consumer concerns that your brand addresses?

Today’s consumers are more conscious than ever about what they consume - especially millennials.

“We question everything - food, education, news & media, etc. Personal care and grooming are no different.”

We give consumers peace of mind by offering a curated selection of products that are naturally beneficial for their skin, hair, and body.

As of now, what are some of your favorite items on the site and why?

“Wow. This is a trap. “

First, let me say that I love ALL of the products and they ALL sit on my shelf. Nonetheless, a couple that really speak to me are the Styling Paste by Trinity Hills and the Haitian Black Castor Oil by Kreyol Essence.

The Styling Paste draws me because I’ve had waves my entire life, and when I started my journey towards using healthier products a few years ago, I could not find a natural hair pomade that did the job. If you’re a waver then you know how important the pomade is! The Trinity Hills Styling Paste is the best pomade that I have ever used. I’m never looking back.

I’m infatuated with the versatility of the Haitian Black Castor Oil by Kreyol Essence. I use it rejuvenate my scalp, smooth my skin, and heal wounds. It’s literally like magic in a bottle. I’m amazed by the plethora of benefits of natural products, and this is one of the best oils I’ve encountered.

When people think of beauty and grooming they readily associate that image with women. Does this have any effect on your practices and day-to-day operations?

Yea, definitely. I think men are generally overlooked in the industry. That tide is just starting to change, but there are still so many segments where we just lack representation.

“The homies want good skin too!”

I want to break down the limitations of consumption. Hair is hair. Skin is skin. A good product is a good product. If it works for you, buy it. I think that providing a space where men understand that it’s okay to consume with care is important.

And we’ve already seen some of that with about half of our sales of our KAIKE brand being men. I never would have thought that!

LUYA submitted to me six products. Items are from Jacq’s Organics, Plant Apothecary, and Kaike.


Jacq’s Organics

Healing Clay Cleanser - This facial cleanser is ideal for someone with normal/combination skin based on the pink clay composition. The cleanser is light foaming and the consistency is slightly watery. Since the composition of the cleanser is a little on the watery side, this cleanser was ideal for double cleansing within my regimen. I included a cleanse with a gel-based cleanser to better assist in my skin being purified and hydrated at the same time. Starting with the clay cleanser, I lightly dampened my hands and applied the cleanser in roughly two to three pumps and creating a lather in my palm. I then move to apply to my face rubbing in circular motions and avoiding my eyes. The scent of the cleanser is pleasant and not too overwhelming. The cleanser works great at initially removing all dirt and debri but for follow-up I move in with another cleanser. Please shake before use as the clay can settle at the bottom. Overall, a good product to include in your routine for your more oily or breakout moments as the clay serves as a decongestant and detoxifier for the skin.

Revitalizing Toner - I typically grab for this product in the mornings and during periods of time where I may have some outbreak or skin changes. I enjoy the fragrance of this toner as the mint smell is invigorating and bright. Following the usage of this toner, my skin feels supple and clean. This toner in my opinion serves as a quick morning refresher following a night-time routine where I tend to be more treatment oriented. The contrast of the hibiscus and mint is perfect and I appreciate the fact that this toner is delicate yet has some impact on the skin. I apply this product by saturating a cotton round or facial cotton and wiping

Nourishing Face Moisturizer - Included this moisturizer in both my AM and PM regimen. In the morning, this moisturizer works great as a build-able product with the Jacq's serum and finishing with SPF. I enjoy that the product is build-able and has a foundation of hydration that leaves the skin dewy and nourished. In the evening, this lightweight formula also works well to not leave the skin feeling heavy and overwhelmed with product. The moisturizer has great spread-ability and a little goes a long way. Overall, I recommend to anyone looking for versatility in a moisturizer especially as it relates to working well with other products. This is a fantastic product for really hot and/or humid days where you want to leave the skin moisturized but not feel its heaviness.


Frosting - This product is for the hair and body, however I have only used this item on my body. The cream has this fluffy look and feel to it that instantly melts on contact with your skin. I apply this product like nothing! I love it, I’m actually almost out [LOL]. I typically apply by rubbing into my palms and them applying directly to the areas of my skin that need some moisture and hydrating. The beautiful thing about this item is the finish, the product melts into you skin leaving you moisturized and oil-free. Check out more about this product on my IGTV.


Plant Apothecary

Be Gentle Soap Bar - I typically apply this product in the shower; it is a non-stripping, unscented all-natural soap bar. I love the fact that this item is engraved, its so adorable to the eye. This item leaves the skin hydrated and doesn’t strip the skin after usage which is a biggie for me for body cleansing products. The bar has a great lather and spreadability.

Get It On Body Wash - I love the scent of this body wash. I think it’s the ginger that gets me every time. The scent although pleasant in my opinion; isn’t overwhelming and perfectly provides a sense of aromatherapy in the shower. This product I apply with an exfoliating cloth and like the bar soap, it is hydrating and non-stripping.

check out my full thoughts on these products via my IGTV

Where should people find out more information about LUYA?

People can sign up for our email list online at www.luya.care, follow us on Instagram @luya.care, and follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/luya.care

Giveaway Details

The giveaway terms include:

1) Follow @therreineeffect & @luya.care

2) Tag a friend on the post.

(Tag as many as you want separately for additional entries). 

3) Like the photo on IG. 

For five additional entries, share to your Instastory and tag (LUYA & TRE)

Giveaway will close December 8th at 9PM EST. 

Must be 18 or older and reside in the United States.