Mercedes Edney (Instagram)

When Chrissy Teigen isn’t tweeting about food, the Housewives franchises or trolling President Donald Trump — or husband John Legend for the matter — Teigen is being the supportive best friend we all imagine her to be.

Last month, Mercedes Edney, 32, launched a YouCaring crowdfunding page to cover the cost of her tuition for the Academy of Nail Technology and Esthetics. 

Edney wrote that her goal was to “further my skin care knowledge by getting my license in esthetics,” but financial aid nor scholarships were available. Her target goal was $5,995 and she had received about $300 in pledges by Saturday (April 8) before Teigen stepped in and paid the remaining balance. 

“I’ve seen this be your passion for such a long time. So excited to see you fulfill your dream!” Teigen wrote alongside the generous donation. 

Edney shared the news on Instagram and posted a heartfelt thank-you to all who’ve supported her along the way.

“I haven’t been this happy in a very long time,” she captioned a photo of the receipt. “Thank you Chrissy and thank you to everyone else who voted or [retweeted] my link or have supported me this entire time. It means more to me than you’ll ever know.”

FYINTERTAINMENT checked in with Edney via email, where the self-proclaimed Skin Care Genie dished on her relationship with Teigen, skin care tips for Black skin, and her wishes for the beauty industry’s inclusion of Black women.

1. How long have you wanted to become an esthetician? Is it an industry that you work in now or do you have a 9 to 5 outside of the beauty industry? 

I started looking into being an esthetician since around a year and a half ago. I am partially already in the industry as a business owner of skincare products for the past 5 years. I also work a 9-5. In fact, I started a new job last month on third shift JUST so I could eventually attend esthetician school in the mornings. 

2. Chrissy wrote, “I’ve seen this be your passion for such a long time now.” Were you guys familiar with each other prior to this moment?

We have been following each other on Twitter for over a year now at least, but considering she follows over 4,000 people, I never knew she even noticed my skin care tweets or business. She never said anything to me about it. So I was shocked that she had been paying attention this whole time. 

3. For some, a crowdfunding page is the last resort. Why did you set up a page, what made you finally pull the trigger and seek help from the online community?

The online community has been one of my biggest supporters of my business. I decided to crowdfund because I figured, the most that would happen is I wouldn’t get any donations and I would have to do as planned which was save up the money myself. I never thought I would get all the money, but if I could get some donations to help my monthly payments, I’d be thankful.

3. Why did you start Ixora Botanical Beauty?

I started it because I always wanted to work in skin care but couldn’t seem to get into the industry so I decided to create my own lane. Natural skin care was becoming a bigger market at the time and I wanted to be a part of it. 

4. What do you hope to accomplish with your company?

My ultimate goal is that I want to be a one-stop skin care shop. I want to grow my product lines, and as an esthetician, I want to be able to service my customers with skin care help and services as well as have them use my products to fix whatever skin care issues they may have.

5. Finding an esthetician that truly understands Black skin is hard to come by, what are the steps and must-have products Black women and men should take to maintain healthy skin?

  • Know your skin type;
  • Wear SUNSCREEN. Not wearing sunscreen is a huge misconception in the black community that because of our melanin we don’t need it and that is dangerous and untrue;
  • Consistency is key. You have to be consistent with a regimen for at least 3-4 weeks before you can decide whether the products are working for you or not (unless you have an adverse reaction)

7. You refer to yourself as the Skin Care Genie. What are your three wishes for the beauty industry and it’s inclusion of Black women?

  • That more Black beauty bloggers are included in industry events;
  • Makeup lines create lines with better options for black women skin tones;
  •  More black women at the top to facilitate the industry into making black skin as much of a priority as others.

8. Finally, what do you say to those who feel nobody is paying attention and all of their work is for naught? 

Do it because you love it. Never do it in hopes that people pay attention. Your passion and love for something will always shine through. This entire time I have been working on this, I have been at war with myself and the goals I set for myself. The attention came because people noticed my love and for what I do. So always lead with your love of whatever it is that you do because people will gravitate to it. 

Follow Mercedes Edney on Twitter @CruzanChoklate and shop at the Ixora Botanical Beauty Website here.

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