-by Melanie Mercedes-

Why You Should Follow @alexandrajay
Here it is you guys, my first ever featured Friday post. If you haven’t checked out the Feature Friday nomination page, then you might want to know what this is. I’ll be posting once a month, someone or something you should follow. It may be a cause you could get behind, another blogger who has blessed me with just me following them. Maybe it’s a friend, acquaintance or family member doing some really great stuff that I would love for you to connect with. It can be an album that is making noise, a brand making a change, a book wrestling with my heart. My goal with this blog series is to shed light on people of color doing some great things for the glory of Christ, whether big or small, they are making some sort of impact. I also want to highlight the great things done by these people and others; books, pieces of art, projects, you name it. I would also like to extend this to you guys, my readers, so that you’d be able to nominate something or someone you think is deserving of some attention and honor. So, for my first ever featured Friday, I am featuring my first ever, best friend. Kirsten.
Baby Kirsten, two friends that shall remain anonymous and baby Melanie.
I met Kirsten when we were both probably like 10 or maybe younger. Her mother attended the church that I grew up in and we became fast friends bonding over our love of singing and boy bands (hello Backstreet Boys and O-town) we became inseparable. We told each other our secret crushes, dream careers and had more sleepovers than we can count. When we were teenagers, her mother re-married and they moved away to Louisiana, and in young teenaged girl fashion, we were dramatic about now being in 2 different states. We stayed pen pals and wrote to one another, sent pictures, drawings, little knick-knacks, all the cutesy stuff girls like. (All pre social media, thank you very much.) I have the best memories with this girl. I am blessed to still have her in my life though we are thousands of miles away. I’ve gotten to see how God has stretched her, made her grow and uses her. And she will be the first to tell you that she is still growing, stretching and learning. My friend is doing great things. From watching her do make-up tutorials on IG live, to watching her use her beautiful voice to lead worship, she is truly a gem to follow. Wife an ATL pastor, Kirsten isn’t your typical make-up loving, Jesus praising 20 something. She takes everything that she loves and turns it into a tool for the kingdom, starting with her YouTube channel, Alexanndrajay. Sure you’ll see a GRWM (get ready with me), a tutorial on how to apply false lashes and even a vlog or two featuring her raw vegan eating habits but what sets her apart is her transparent Thursday videos. She opens her heart and talks about one of the most difficult times in her life and marriage all to point to the redeeming nature of our heavenly father. Her first video quickly gained thousands of views and comments from other young Godly women, both praising her for her transparency and relieved that even someone like her has moments with her humanity. She shares her testimony openly and freely and you find yourself walking away from her YouTube video or IG post saying, “Man, God is so good”.
courtesy of @alexanndrajay on Instagram
But, she doesn’t stop there. She is the make up guru, after all, it is because of her that I used my first beauty blender, and not the Target brand ones I was used to (even though they are JUST as amazing, hello Sonia Kashuk). She both manages a Sephora and freelances as a make-up artist, even using that to bring glory to the father. She has a new website with featured pictures and a way that you can book her for your events in the ATL, GA area. Wish you could do your own make-up? She is even doing lessons now! Both in groups and one-on-one. (reach her through email and/or her site) Her website is definitely worth a peek, even if you’re not in the area, you may find yourself inspired to try a new lip color. If you are looking to add inspiration to your IG feed, or YouTube feed she is a MUST FOLLOW. You will find some great make-up looks but you will also always get yourself a little word. I absolutely love this girl for so many reasons, and I know that you will too. There are so many messages bombarding us as women. “Be thinner”, “be thicker”, “wear this to be beautiful”, “buy this to look like that” and so much more. In a moment of complete transparency, the messages started to infiltrate my life. I began to think in the same sentences these messages were thrown to me in. I found myself discontent with where God has me and honestly with the way I was made. I found myself wanting to be thinner, no thicker, with longer hair, no, shorter hair. I hated not feeling comfortable as myself. So a few months ago I decided to “clean up” my social media. I unfollowed anyone and any pages that were glorifying sinful, unhealthy living or were causing me to be ungrateful begetting discontent. I unfollowed celebrities and influencers that were selling beauty even though they had undergone several surgery knives, basically selling unrealistic exceptions and standards of beauty. I replaced them with real women living their authentic lives. Natural beauties with natural hair, natural skin and natural bodies (though nothing wrong with enhancing what you already love with healthy beauty regimens). These were women who advertised healthy spiritual lives and who lived humbly. And everything changed for me. We need to even be picky in who we choose to follow on social media, they’re called influencers for a reason. What we let in is what we will let out, in thoughts, words and even actions. So following Kirsten is the fresh air your feed needs.
Why follow her you ask? Well you will;
  • Still get your dose of makeup but her make-up looks will leave you inspired in more ways than one. Not only are you witnessing a cut crease that can cut a steak (I’m so hungry!) you are always reminded that it doesn’t define your beauty.
  • Be encouraged in the exact moment, where you may be in your life.
  • Get real life stories, experiences and testimonies from a real life woman sharing her unapologetic self with you.
  • Laugh! oh you will laugh, she’s her true authentic silly self for all the world to see. You’ll even get to hear her beautiful voice.
Here is how you can follow her: Instagram : @Alexanndrajay YouTube: AlexanndraJay Make-up Website: alexanndrajayk.wixsite.com/website Tell her Melanie sent you!! 🙂 And if you have someone or something that you would like to nominate for an upcoming Featured Friday please click here and submit your nomination.