SKYN: Thank you for interviewing us Opal, let's start with the basics, who are you and what do you do?
OPAL: My name is Opal Stewart and I’m a “fashion influencer” on paper but in my mind I’m just a girl trying to carve out her path in the world.
SKYN: What inspires your style as a fashion blogger?
OPAL: I get most of my inspiration by walking down the streets of New York. There are so many unique people going outside the mold and creating extraordinary style in this city. I also love going to fashion exhibits, The Met and Brooklyn Museum are always displaying something good. I remember going to the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum and being blown away.
SKYN: He particularly has an eccentric perspective that would blow anyone away. Speaking of being blown away, we have to say, your skin is absolutely mind blowing! What on Earth is it that you use? Walk us through your daily skincare routine.
OPAL: Ok, so I have a lovely Korean friend who introduced me to the Korean skincare brand called Nature Republic and I've been hooked ever since. I traveled to Korea a few years ago and discovered how invested they are in skincare and trust me, they’re way ahead of the game. Most of the products I use now are from this brand. I have very oily skin so for daytime, I like to cleanse & tone with the Bee Venom line from Nature Republic and use the Ole Henriksen Mattifying Moisturizer before putting on my makeup. At night, I try to hydrate as much as I can so I cleanse, tone, put on a drop of Vitamin C serum then I use a hydrating moisturizer from Nature Republic as well. I also exfoliate my skin at least 2 times a week and use a face mask sheet at least 3 times. Skin Care is important to me so as you can see, I'm invested!
SKYN: It sounds like Nature Republic is a major key, and it's great that it's from somewhere so far away, it's like bringing the international element with you every where you go. The perfect fit for someone living in New York City. Tell us what you love about living there?
OPAL: I love the diversity the most, both in people and neighborhoods. Exploring the city never gets old because I love finding new areas and their hidden gems whether it’s a hip bar in brooklyn, a restaurant or small boutique store. NYC also has great food options. I can easily get all sorts of cuisines from across the world without having to leave the city.
SKYN: I can see how one could easily get lost in that. The sights, the sounds, the people, and ugh, the food. Definitely makes my mouth water. Now that I know your favorite things about the city, what about telling me one of your favorite things about yourself. What do you believe is your best physical feature?
OPAL: My lips because I love lipstick. I actually used to be very insecure about my full lips when I was younger but over time I've learned to embrace it and accentuate it even more with lipstick.
SKYN: Yes lipstick for the win! Just the kind of thing to give you that ultimate pick-me-up on a bad day. What about on a great day, when you are hanging out in your bedroom and the sun is shining, what song would you like to be playing?
OPAL: *laughs* fair enough. 'Dance With Somebody' by Whitney Houston, because that song gives me the ultimate feels and makes me wanna bust out dancing. I’d also follow that up with 'Lust for Life, by Lana Del Rey, because it just awakens my heart everytime I hear it.
SKYN: Ugh, I hear ya, Both two fantastic tracks. Ok so when you're in that room, thinking of what to weear what do you go to for downtime dressing? Do you prefer maxi dresses over jeans?
OPAL: I definitely prefer Jeans because they are so versatile. You can dress them up by pairing them with strappy sandals and an oversized blazer or dress them down with a T-shirt and sneakers.
SKYN: Yes, Jeans are more versatile for sure. Alright, away from the practical, let's go for something more funny this time around, what was the last lie you told?
OPAL: I still use my student ID at Topshop to get the student discount. Is that a lie?
SKYN: Ha, no, that's not a lie that's your right to fight for style *laughs*. Alright now let's say you got away with some huge savings at Topshop and wanted to celebrate with a drink, what is the alcoholic beverage you would generally go for?
OPAL: I could lie to you and name some fancy cocktail but I’m pretty simple. Give me an IPA and I’m good. I’m a beer girl. I've been loving Moscow mules lately though.
SKYN: That's awesome, so classic and so simple. Speaking of clasic and simple, one of the most classic and simplest things I can think of is love. What are your thoughts on love?
OPAL: I love a love you can feel. The kinda love where you don’t need reassurance from the other person to make you feel secure. The kinda love where you know that your lover brings out the best in you and loves you just as deeply as you love them if not more. Just an open kinda love where you can bust each other's chops and be best friends first above all.
SKYN: It’s the gift that keeps on giving. What do you think is the most prominent style trend right now?
OPAL: Velvet. I see it not only in fashion but also home decor from the couch to the decorative pillow sitting on it.
SKYN: Good eye! What is your workout routine like?
OPAL: I say NYC is my gym because I’m always running around nonstop. I hardly have time to make it to the gym, but when I do, I do about 1 hour of weight training at least 3 times a week and incorporate cardio on one of those days. I like hardcore workouts that goes straight to the burn.
SKYN: That is still super active. Who is your favourite aesthetic illustrator?
OPAL: I don’t have a favorite illustrator because I don’t really follow that world but my top bloggers are @urbanbushbabes & @songofstyle. I love that they’re not afraid to experiment with their aesthetics.
SKYN: Both very popular influences for sure. Do you have any strange phobias?
OPAL: I’m really scared of rollercoasters or just the sensation of falling. So you won’t find me on any of those big scary rides at Six Flags.
SKYN: No kidding, feeling close to death isn’t for everyone *laughs* Where would you love to travel in 2018?
OPAL: Seoul, Tokyo & Bangkok sound really good right now. I stopped in Seoul on a trip to the Philippines 2 years ago and fell in love with the city and the people so I’d love to explore more of Asia.
SKYN: And there is certainly lots of time to do that. Thigh high boots or platform sandals?
OPAL: Definitely platform sandals. I always need help taking off my thigh high boots.
SKYN: Yes thigh high boots are a pain in that regard. Nautical stripes or Kente cloth designs?
OPAL: I’m all about vibrant colors and patterns so definitely Kente cloth designs.
SKYN: They are definitely gaining popularity which is nice to see. What is your favourite piece of style advice that you can share with our readers?
OPAL: It’s important to experiment with your looks because that’s how your style will evolve. I find that trying on pieces that you’d never think to wear can sometimes be pleasantly surprising. Something that looks simple on the rack might be the next article of clothing you fall in love with after trying it on. It's free to try things on so no commitment necessary.
SKYN: I like that, that's solid. What is the most insightful book you have ever read?
OPAL: I’m going to go with a fiction here and say Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes. The mind is a powerful thing to waste and it gives an insightful perspective on how much we take for granted our ability to think independently.
SKYN: What is your take on Rupi Kaur Poetry?
OPAL: I love her rawness. She’s someone who every girl should emulate. Her words dive so deep and forces open dialogue about real issues challenging women today.
SKYN: Being relevant is what forges personal connections so I definitely agree. What is your greatest weakness right now?
OPAL: Spending too much time with my puppy Pluto. He’s such a beautiful distraction it's hard for me to get anything done when he’s around.
SKYN: It’s like having a baby around so I don’t blame you at all. If you are outside what are you most likely doing?
OPAL: Shopping or eating or both.
SKYN: Or both *laughs* one last question for you, how do you find that you deal with criticism?
OPAL: Criticism pushes me to do better and be better. I always welcome constructive criticism and ignore all the other noise.