TikTok star, digital creator, and influencer Tinx is a woman who goes after what she wants with great gusto. This is especially true when it comes to thinking of an idea and taking it from the planning stages to fruition.
A prime example is her new partnership with TABASCO® Brand’s innovative new bottled dressing product, Tabasco x Tinx Avocado Jalapeño Hot Sauce Dressing.
From the artful label design to the dressing formulation itself, Tinx was involved in every step of the process, and her many followers around the world are taking notice of having this additional spice in their lives.
Considered to be “a dressing and hot sauce for any occasion,” it is a blend of Tabasco green jalapeno sauce combined with avocado, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, green onion, and spices. The new product launched on February 1.
Tinx, also known as Christina Najjar, is eager to put the new dressing on everything from her favorite salads to fresh veggies and shrimp/grilled chicken dishes, all to give them some extra zing.
“It goes on everything. Obviously, it’s incredible on salads, but you can use it as a marinade,” Tinx explained. “You can dip anything you want in it, such as veggies. It’s just so fresh and zesty. So, it’s extremely multipurpose.”
With millions of social media followers, Tinx is a digital creator, podcast host, and relationship & advice expert. Tinx’s wit and candor have established her as a resounding voice for women, with her uniquely engaging and empathetic approach to content resonating with girls and young women across several social media platforms.
From her satirical Rich Mom content and takes on pop culture, to her theories on relationships, to her honest reviews and recommendations of everything from food and restaurants to beauty, fashion, and lifestyle products, Tinx possesses an effortless ability to capture the cultural zeitgeist.
In 2022, Tinx launched her podcast and live call-in radio show with SiriusXM, It’s Me Tinx, sharing everything her followers have come to know and love about her content while offering an intimate glimpse into her life. She is often called “TikTok’s Big Sister,” and she has shared many aspects of her life and her preferences — from dating advice to her love of french fries — with her massive social media audience.
“We knew that Tinx was already a brand fan, using our product in a unique way, so she was a natural fit as our first-ever talent partner collaboration,” says Lee Susen, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at McIlhenny Company, owners of the TABASCO® Brand. “Innovation is a priority for us, especially products that tap into cultural trends and excite hot sauce fans.”
Read on for why Tinx loves the new Jalapeno Hot Sauce Dressing, her favorite salad recipe, and what her legions of TikTok fans and radio show and podcast listeners mean to her.
Monsters and Critics: How did you get involved in the current campaign with TABASCO®? and what do you appreciate about it?
Tinx: I have been on a quest to normalize hot sauce as dressing forever. I am a hot sauce aficionado; TABASCO® has always been my favorite. I’ve used it since I can remember, and I’m always making versions of salad dressing using Tabasco. Hot sauce is a great dressing, so I thought, why not make it official? And who better to partner with than TABASCO®?
M&C: You are a big fan of this company. Please talk about it.
Tinx: It is an amazing company. I’m truly humbled that we co-created this together. They’ve been making hot sauce for 154 years. I took a trip to Avery Island, Louisiana, to see the whole process, so it is completely insane that we partnered together on this. We’ve launched it, and I love the response. It’s cool to hold the bottle in my hand and just share with everyone what I’ve been working on.
M&C: It sounds like you really enjoy this product.
Tinx: I’ve been using hot sauce as dressing for years. A marriage of my two favorite things: crunchy salad and flavorful spice. I’ve experimented with different versions and finally thought — I should make this official! Who better to turn to than the 154-year-old family-run TABASCO® Brand? I couldn’t be prouder to have partnered with this legendary brand to make my hot sauce dressing dreams come true. I can’t wait for everyone to try it.
M&C: What were a couple of highlights of that trip?
Tinx: Just meeting so many family members, so many people who work on all the different stages of the hot sauce process. It’s an incredible process. There are so many interesting steps, and everyone is such an expert in their step. It was just very illuminating and cool to see how my favorite hot sauce is made.
They have so many cool things on the whole tour. For example, they have hot sauce frozen yogurt, if you can believe it. They have a little hot sauce bar, and you put it on the froyo, which is so good. I loved trying all the different foods. I’d never been to Louisiana before, so they had gumbo, étouffée, and shrimp po’boys. So just eating all of the traditional food from Louisiana with my favorite TABASCO® sauces was a chef’s kiss.
M&C: As an influencer, you are a role model, especially to your younger followers. What does this mean to you personally?
Tinx: I take my platform very seriously, and my relationship with my followers is the most important thing to me. I think that what I feel so lucky to have with my followers is just a relationship that’s built on trust and vulnerability. So, it really goes both ways, they’re vulnerable with me, and I’m vulnerable back with them. And I think that’s probably why I feel so close to them. Some of my followers have been with me since the beginning.
M&C: Tell me about your podcast.
Tinx: I feel extremely lucky to have my podcast and my live radio show because those are just opportunities for me to connect with my community on a very intimate level. And I think that’s why I know them so well. In terms of being a role model, I try to live with integrity. I try to match up my words with my actions and talk about the things and the causes that matter to me. And tell my followers that it’s okay to fail and make mistakes as long as they get up and keep trying. So I really just try to be who I needed when I was younger as best as possible. But I have the best followers in the world; I’m very lucky.
Do you have a lot of fans and followers who are repeatedly coming to you for advice? I wrote a few fan letters when I was a teenager and I got responses that meant the world to me.
Tinx: I’ve definitely written fan letters in the past as well. It’s amazing how people who you’ve never met in person can mean so much to you. I have a lot of people like that for me too. It’s crazy to think that I’m that person for some people. Again, I take that responsibility really seriously.
And especially launching the hot sauce today, they were all writing to me, being like, “I can’t believe it. I remember when you first started talking about ‘Normalize hot sauce as dressing in 2020’ and now here you are three years later.” So again, I feel so lucky to have their support and to grow with them.
M&C: Talk about your radio show.
Tinx: We have a lot of people in our community. I just had a call during my live radio show on Sirius XM this morning. One of my girls called in, and she said, “Oh, I met you when you did your meetup in DC. Remember, we talked about this? I wanted to follow up on it.” So that type of close-knit relationship means everything to me. I really feel like we’re a little friend group; it’s very cool.
I love when people follow up, so people will call in for advice on my show, and then they’ll call in three months later and be like, “You know, I actually did dump that guy. You were right. I’m so glad I did.” And I love that too. It’s really cool. I like that it feels like we’re all growing and evolving together.
What else are you doing with the sauce in addition to using it as a salad dressing? For people who don’t like things too spicy, should they be a little worried?
Tinx: No, it’s just the right amount of spice. Truly it’s not a big kick; it’s just a little tingle.
We were talking about fans and them coming to you for advice. What’s the best advice that you like to give? And what’s the best advice you feel you were given that keeps you in good stead?
Tinx: You know, I always tell one of the mantras that I like the most. I didn’t make it up, but I say it very frequently is “comparison is the thief of joy.” And I think we were talking about role models before and what that means to me, and it’s really important for me to remind anyone who follows me that social media can be deceiving and it can cause a lot of comparisons, unfair comparisons. Because as we all know, there’s a lot of Photoshop on social media, a lot of filters, this and that. So I really think that “Comparison is the thief of joy” is the best and most frequent advice that I give because there’s no point, you are who you are, and any type of comparison is only going to rob you of your joy.
In terms of the best advice that I’ve gotten myself, so much. I mean, I really love to get advice from people that I trust. I think that’s what life is about, is to share human experiences and little tips and tricks. But I guess my mom, Carmine, would always tell me, “Work hard and be nice to people.” It’s so simple but it’s a pretty good motto, so I try to live by that.
What’s your definition of success?
Tinx: I think that my definition of success is to feel happy and fulfilled and do good for others. To leave people in a better mood than you found them; that’s what success means to me. I think when I was little, I thought it was having a pink Jeep Wrangler or having a house for all my cats or whatever. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve really realized it’s just about feeling creatively fulfilled, somehow helping other people, and feeling happy.
M&C: As a businesswoman, what kinds of things would you tell your followers who might be deciding to open a business or launch a product or just get their feet wet in the business space for the first time?
Tinx: I would say do whatever you feel super passionately about. It doesn’t matter if it seems niche, it doesn’t matter if it seems out there. I think if you truly care about an idea or a product, it shines through. There’s so much out there, there’s so much product out there. There are many good ideas. And I think what sets things apart is when people really genuinely care and love something.
So, for me, hot sauce dressing was literally just an idea I had in my head. But I care about it, and I love it, and I use it, and I eat it, and I wanted to share it with the world. I think that’s why it just feels so good to launch it and share it with everyone.
M&C: Tell me more about your podcast.
Tinx: I actually don’t have guests on my podcast. I do little solo episodes, they’re like 20 to 30 minutes. I design those to just be really easy and digestible so that if people are on their way to work or getting ready for a date, they can just throw one on. And then my radio show, which is live every Wednesday, is call-in, which is so fun because I never know what I’m going to get.
I might get someone with a really serious problem, like should they break up with their boyfriend, whatever. Or I might get a fun one. I had a fun call today, someone called and said she was going to Italy and didn’t know how to juggle her time between her family and her boyfriend. It’s always a mix, it’s always exciting, and I love that I can’t prepare for it because it’s just whoever calls.
I love that element of surprise because I feel like today everything is so prepared, and we always know what’s coming. And everything is so edited and pre-taped and what have you, so I love that live aspect of just talking to my followers and talking through things.
M&C: So, your influencer career really took off during COVID.
Tinx: That was when I started. I made my first TikTok video on April 1, 2020. It’s crazy to think about.
M&C: And your life has changed exponentially since then.
Tinx: It’s truly been a dream. I wake up every day and pinch myself so that I get to do something that I love. And get to just share my life with all my amazing followers, it’s really crazy. To anyone out there who maybe hasn’t found their passion yet, I was nearly 30 when I started making content, so there is no age limit on finding what makes you happy. Sometimes it takes a while, but it’s worth it.
Do you find that when you talk about a product or a book or a movie or something, all of a sudden, because you have so many followers, the thing just blows up?
Tinx: That’s definitely happened in the past. It’s funny, when it was still in quarantine in 2020, I made a video about this specific type of reusable water cup. And that went super viral, and those cups sold out for a while. I remember I did a video about these slippers that you can buy on Amazon, they were like 20 bucks, and those sold out for a while.
Again, bringing it back to our previous conversation about taking my responsibility, I am very careful of what I recommend because I know that people trust me. So those recommendations matter. Especially, in all seriousness, we’re going into a time of economic uncertainty, so I think influencers need to be really careful with what they recommend and the brands that they work with. I’m proud of every product and brand that I talk about because I take recommendations very seriously.
What are a couple of guilty pleasures when you have time off?
Tinx: I love Real Housewives; I just love it. Nothing relaxes me more. I feel like those ladies are my friends, I’ve watched them for years. In some form, I watch Housewives at least every other day, some form. I even rewatch the old episodes.
M&C: What else do you want to do or build on for the future?
Tinx: Right now, I’m really focusing on my radio show and my podcast, those are my babies. And of course, sharing the good word about my hot sauce dressing with the world. I have a couple of other cool projects this year that are bigger.
At my core, at the core of everything I do, I’m interested in just connecting with my community in new ways and just continuing to grow with them. I feel very lucky that they’re willing to go there with me, and I appreciate each and every one of them.
Tinx’s full Hot Girl Salad recipe is below.
2 cups of mixed greens
1/3 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
½ radish, thinly sliced
1 green onion, sliced
½ ripe avocado, pitted and sliced
3–4 cooked shrimp, shells removed
TABASCO® Brand x TINX Avocado Jalapeño Hot Sauce Dressing
1. Combine the mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, radish, green onion, avocado, and shrimp in a large bowl.
2. In the bowl, hold two knives at an angle to chop the salad into small, bite-sized pieces, just like at your favorite restaurant.
3. Drizzle your desired amount of TABASCO® Brand x TINX Avocado Jalapeño Hot Sauce Dressing onto the salad for just the right flavor and spice.
4. Place a cutting board or plate over the top of the bowl and shake vigorously to ensure every piece of salad is coated.
TIPS FROM TINX:
·It’s essential to pre-chop your salad. Stuffing huge pieces of lettuce into your mouth isn’t a great look.
·Once dressed, shake the salad to within an inch of its life! You want every bite evenly coated so there’s no more sad salad.
·Anyone who knows me knows I always prefer to eat my salads with a spoon. It helps you get the perfect bite, and you can scoop up all of the delicious dressing that falls to the bottom of the bowl.