Insider’s Guide: Maimah Karmo shares her favorite hidden gems

After surviving breast cancer and two Liberian wars, Maimah Karmo, founder of the Tigerlily Foundation, aims to empower others.

maimah karmo
Photo by Christin Boggs Peyper

Maimah Karmo is a Liberian-born author, life coach and founder of the Tigerlily Foundation, which educates and supports women in all stages of breast cancer. She’s built her own American dream after surviving breast cancer and two Liberian wars and aims to empower and help others create joy in their lives.


I love getting pampered at Salamander Resort and Spa in Middleburg. For skin care, I love Proactiv. I cannot go without VitalC by Image—it’s my favorite moisturizer and smells yummy. For foundation, I wear Macao Sheer Glow by Nars for a light, dewy look. I love Shea Moisture’s Perfect Brow Kit. Lip-wise, my favorite color is Urban Decay’s Vice Lipstick 714 Mega Matte. It’s a bright red that takes your lips from zero to 60 in the time it takes to pucker up. I also can’t go without Bath & Body’s My Favorite Night Balm Lip Treatment by Bigelow.

Photo by Christin Boggs Peyper
Place to Play

I love Reston Town Center. You can do everything there.

Spot for Relaxation

I love going out to Middleburg. The town is so rustic and beautiful. It’s great for dining with friends and family and has some great wineries and lots of activities to do with kids.

salamander resort
Photo courtesy of Salamander Resort

My favorite place for brunch is Oz Arlington, owned by my friend Ashley Darby. My friend Eve, Ashley and I host our monthly Bliss Brunch with our girlfriends there, and the food is amazing. I also love doing happy hours at Eddie V’s in Tysons.

Splurge Shopping

I do not like to shop, so my cousin and stylist, Wynee Cummings of Styling by Wynee, does all my shopping for me. All I do is go to her house, try things on and keep what I like.

Photo by Christin Boggs Peyper
Casual Attire

I love to work out, so [I shop] anywhere I can find cute gym clothes. I love Lululemon workout gear and anything that’s by Spiritual Gangster or that has unicorns on it. I also love jewelry; Alex and Ani and Kendra Scott are favorites.

Health Routine

A great skin care regimen can only work if you take care of your body from the inside out. I run 5-7 miles five times a week. I train with weights three times a week or more, meditate, pray a lot, eat clean and drink tons of water. I love my green smoothies, too, and I get lots of rest.

Green smoothie in a glass with straws isolated on a white backgr
© Jenifoto, Adobe Stock

(October 2017)