Monday, November 28, 2011

On The Couch With Yvette Nicole Brown!

While working in entertainment I relocated to Los Angeles to pursue a career opportunity. One of the first people I met and promptly fell in love with was Ms. Yvette Nicole Brown. We bonded over boys, life, work, spirituality and of course…hair. I saw in her such drive and passion and I just knew she was destined for GREAT things. Life took me back to NYC but Yvette and I have stayed in touch over the years. I am FIERCELY proud of this sister! She is an amazing talent. And the hair…yea…omigoodness can you say #haircrushalert.


When did you 'love affair' with acting begin?
I've loved acting since I was a kid. It's ironic that commercials are where I got my on-camera start because I remember as a kid acting out EVERY commercial and singing every jingle for anyone who would listen. I also really loved sitcoms. I'm shocked daily that I get to do this for a living.

How long have you been acting?
Professionally since 2000. I started with a touring gospel play. Barring a kids' television show I did back in Ohio when I was a teenager, the play was the first time I was paid to act. I was on the road for a year. Once I returned home, I got headshots, a commercial agent and haven't looked back since. :)

Where did you study?
Aside from drama class in high school, a couple of classes tagging along with a friend when I first moved to LA & a drama ministry at my church out here in LA for a year back in the late 90's, I'm not a studied actor. I've been blessed that my natural ability...whatever that may be (lol!) and innate foolishness have been enough for whatever job I've booked so far. Once I reach the end of the ability God gave me, I will surely be sitting in somebody's class immediately! :)

What has been your career high-light to date?
Getting to meet and work with Henry Winkler, one of my childhood heroes. He is an extraordinarily kind man. One who's never met a stranger. And I've learned so much from watching him work and being able to witness first hand the decent and respectful way he walks thru life. He's one of our national treasures!

What are your goals and aspirations?
Career-wise, I'd love to create and be a part of--either as an actor or executive producer--a hit, multi-camera, network sitcom that's a throwback to shows like Golden Girls and The Cosby Show. A show that's hilarious but accessible to folks from eight to eighty. One that viewers and critics alike love! How's that for writing the vision and making it plain? Lol!

What was your 'princess' moment? A time when you just wanted to pinch yourself?
That's just about anytime I'm on a red carpet and the photographers are kind enough to actually take my picture and call me by name. That may sound like a small thing, but every actor starts out on the carpet as someone no one knows or wants to "waste" film on...and this is in the age of DIGITAL (lol!). And please know that I'm not saying any of this from a place of ego. It's not really about the picture; it's about having worked hard enough and in enough good projects that the photographer knows that taking your picture isn't a waste of his or her time. That they know they will be able to place that photo of you somewhere. That gives me that solid, princess-y moment of feeling like I have actually contributed something memorable to this industry. And as a little black girl from East Cleveland, that's miraculous! Divinely miraculous! :)

We have to ask...the hair...what is the best thing about being Naturally Curly?
That rain isn't my Kryptonite! ;) My hair is big, wild and has a mind of its own, but it's unique and pretty much indestructible. I love that!

What are three pieces of wisdom you have for anyone looking to pursue a career in acting?
I've gotta do four. Is that okay? :)
1) Make sure you count the cost...acting may seem easy and glamorous, but it's never the former and rarely the latter. I work 16 hour days, 5 days a week. I am up at 3:30am EVERY Monday and not home until 7pm that same day most weeks. It's a fun job, but it's a job. Know that going in, along with what you "lose" along with your anonymity and you're ready to give it a go! :)
2) Be professional...actors work on multi-million dollar sets, it's important to be on time, be respectful and know your craft (your lines, your mark, etc...) You don't wanna be the guy slowing down the day. Nobody likes that guy. ;)
3) Do your own it finding an agent, acting class or headshots; it's YOUR job to figure it all out. Folks already in the business should only be "used" to confirm information you've found out for yourself. Barring nepotism, no one is gonna hand you a career in this industry. You have to earn it. But it's so much sweeter when you do. I promise!
4) SAVE YOUR MONEY!...There will be lean years. If you're serious about acting for the long-haul, there will be stretches when you're not working. If you want to make acting (and only acting) your career and you only want to act in projects and with people you respect, saving your money will give you those options. I am a legal secretary by trade (& I love that I have that skill!) but saving my money has allowed me to not have to do that in between acting gigs. Save, save, save!!!!

What is the one piece of advice you wish someone had given you before you began your journey? Before every audition, vet everyone you will be working with should you get the job.

What are your thoughts on being a fab curvy in Hollywood?
I love being curvy. I think it's an honor to have the body-type that most of the women in America have. And I am blessed to have been able to have this wonderful career where I have never been asked to lose a pound. Talk about miraculous! :)

What is next for Yvette Nicole Brown?
Sleep and lots of it once we finish this season of "Community"! :)

Be sure to check Yvette out on “Community” airing Thursday Evenings at 8PM EST on NBC!!!

For more information on this fab diva go to:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My Accidental Review of the Condition Shampoo Condition Method

Chicago do I have beef with you!

I traveled recently to Chicago for business and when I arrived I realized that my Ouidad Double Detangler Comb was hanging in my shower and NOT in my carry on…sigh.

I immediately called down to the front desk to ask if they had a gift shop and was informed that they did not. I hung up wondering to myself ‘how am I going to wash, condition, detangle, AND style this head of hair in the morning with NO comb’…I called down to the front desk again and asked if they had emergency toiletries for guests who forget grooming supplies and asked if they had a comb and THEY DID! Woo hoo! Score! The bellman arrived at my room and handed me a 3” mini comb with fine teeth…yep I know…it was not gonna happen…at least not with that comb.
The next morning I woke up early, threw on sweats and hit the streets of downtown Chicago in search of a drugstore. #fail

After hitting three drugstores in the area all I could find was the ACE Comb featured in the picture. With my back pressed firmly against the wall, a day full of business activities scheduled and a desperate need to wash my hair…I bought it…I knew that I was going to need some extra assistance in the shower so I also bought a large bottle of Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Conditioner with Argan Oil & Apricot.

Back in my room I hopped in the shower and decided that today was a good a day as any to try the Condition Wash Condition Method recently featured on or at least my modified version of it. I saturated my hair and then applied ¼ of the bottle (and yes it was super sized) to my hair. I worked the conditioner in from roots to end, and gently finger detangled in sections, rinsed and then repeated. After the second conditioning/finger detangling I very gently shampooed with my Doris New York The Reconstructor Shampoo, after I rinsed I applied my Doris New York Extreme Deep Conditioner, covered my hair with the plastic hotel shower cap, stepped out of the shower and watched TV for 30 minutes while I allowed the deep conditioner to work. I got back in the shower and poured a mix of the Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Conditioner that I had diluted with warm water over my head to seal and gently finger detangled again. (insert choir singing here) and then I was able to detangle my hair in small section with that teeny weeny ACE comb!!!

I must say that I am a fan of the condition wash condition method! My hair was much easier to work with and I was able to save the day for Lola (my hair)!

But seriously downtown Chicago….with all of the beautiful naturals living and working there how you not gonna have wide tooth combs readily available???!!! #just sayin

Until Next Time,

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Cheaters: The Hair Edition

Dear Hair Stylist:

I am so sorry to have to break up with you...on Facebook nonetheless...but it is over.

Last July when I started cheating on you my Facebook status went from In 'A Relationship' to 'It's Complicated' but now I am so in love with my new hair stylist that I am changing it back to 'In A Relationship' but just not with you :-(. I wish you well.

Seriously curlies how hard is it to find a hair stylist who is actually a curly hair expert?! One who actually gets your 'complicated side'...the multiple textures all fighting for world domination! What's not to 'heart' about that?!

This is my second trip to Christo Fifth Avenue and my second appointment with Tameeka McNeil Johnson and I am incredibly pleased!!

I used to dread visits to the 'beauty salon', (raise your hand if you used to book an appointment and block the rest of your day out because you just KNEW you would be there for HOURS); my experience at Christo Fifth Avenue and with Tameeka as my stylist has topped every single expectation that I had.

Tameeka has been styling hair for over ten years; she is professionally trained and knows how to work with a variety of textures from straight hair to kinky curly hair.

My hair is tightly coiled with very defined and tight 's' shaped curls, it can be obnoxiously dry, and let's also throw in the mix that I have a patch in the back that is type 'z' and scoff's at the notion of moisture...and on most occasions curl definition!

Oh and least I forget to mention...Luscious Lola (yep my hair has a name) will turn into a big 'ol 'fro in the blink of an eye.

Tameeka aka hair goddess cut my hair wet, taught me how to define my curls so that they 'pop', and has made specific recommendations on conditioning techniques, oils that moisturize, products, etc based on my unique texture.

I have found her to be incredibly knowledgeable about hair care AND since I have been seeing Tameeka my hair has never looked better! She took time before our appointment to look at my hair; she listened to my concerns and gave me exactly what I asked for. My cut and color are...#fierce.

The right products + the right hair stylist = CURL LOVE


If you are in the NYC area and in search of a Curly Expert make an appointment to see Tameeka! Your locks will thank you!

For info on Tameeka or to contact her:

Until Next Time,

Monday, November 14, 2011

Natural Hair Is...Apparently TSA's Newest Security Threat

I recently returned from a business trip to Chicago and while rushing to make my departing flight I went through the TSA full body x-ray at the security checkpoint. Upon emerging from the x-ray the TSA Agent tells me she needs to search my hair...YES I HAVE been 'fro checked'!!

With the number of Naturalista's being subjected to airport TSA 'fro checks' on the rise I am wondering exactly what security risk we pose especially AFTER being scanned by a full body x-ray? Is it attack by curl??? Whaaaat?

I mean really?! I was not flagged by the TSA while entering the security screening area. My name did not pop up on some 'terrorist list or watch list'. I was dressed comfortably in jeans, sneakers, and a turtleneck. Oh! I know my massively big, beautiful curls were pulled up in my signature afro puff...silly me...that even after the full body x-ray which included my head AND hair I could still be 'packing'...a headful of beautiful, soft, well moisturized curls.

I am sorry TSA but was the full body x-ray not enough for you to see that there was NOTHING else in my hair but a goody 'ouchless' band and styling product? Must I stand there and look sheepishly around while blushing from the ridiculousness of it all while you 'pat' my afro puff down?

I went natural because I no longer wanted to allow society to dictate to me what the standard of beauty was. I went natural because I was tired of being a slave to every straightening product and tool on the market. I went natural because I am perfect (every single inch of me including my bodacious head of curls and coils) just the way I was created.

So my message to the TSA Agents is: When you allow the woman with the fair skin and naturally straight blonde hair and the African American woman with the relaxed hair and the Asian woman with the jet black straight hair go straight through security without having their hair checked you are telling me...that just because I chose to embrace my natural beauty I now pose a potential threat to security and that is so NOT OK.

I was rushing to make my plane but I was absolutely incensed. If Random hair checks apply to 'naturalista's' then they should APPLY to every head of hair across the board...kinky, curly, wavy, straight and weaved. #justsaying



Monday, November 7, 2011

In Review: The Brooklyn Diner

You know how you have your spot…maybe it’s a lunch spot, happy hour spot, or favorite hang-out spot?
Well one of girls Thembisa S. Mshaka (author, VO Actor, Writer, Producer, Filmmaker, Daughter, Sister, Mother, Wife, & one of my besties) and I have our ‘spot’ for lunch, The Brooklyn Diner in NYC.

The Brooklyn Diner NEVER disappoints. I have never had a bad meal here, from the Turkey Burger to The Chicken Pot Pie to The Caesar Salad…ok making myself hungry but you get the picture. The food is always ‘on point’!

I had been eyeing the ‘Shelley’s Baked Macaroni & Cheese’ for well over a year and a half…the menu description reads: Fresh Tagliolini Pasta, Parmesan Cheese, Honey-Glazed Canadian Ham…but it is made with Ham and since I don’t really do ham it was a deal breaker for me…

As I sat and poured over the menu…yes poured…this curvy likes to eat…good company + good food = HEAVEN! #just sayin I wondered to myself ‘hmm let’s ask and see if it can be made without the ham’…AND THEY SAID YES!!!! Ahhhh insert harps playing and angels signing here!

My plate arrived and it was everything I wanted plus a whole lot more! The dish was a creamy, savory, not your boxed Mac N’Cheese plateful of delishhhhhousness! I have had it twice since! Yummy! This dish is curve approved.

Brooklyn Diner:

Thembisa S. Mshaka:

Until Next Time,

Friday, November 4, 2011

BlueDini: Protecting Your Skin From The Winter Elements

As the temperatures outside begin to fall and the winter months grow nearer, we encourage you to protect your skin from its harmful effects by taking the following steps:

1. Consult the experts. A good esthetician or dermatologist can examine your specific skin type and recommend products that are best for you. Even those who typically have oily skin may start to notice some drying in the winter and a good skin care regime can help combat that.

2. Stay hydrated! Drinking plenty of water and using a good moisturizer regularly will help maintain your skins natural healthy glow. You should also cut back on sodas, coffee and other caffeinated beverages because they tend to dehydrate the body.

3. Use sunscreen. Summer isn't the only time of year you need sunscreen. Winter sun along with snow glare can be damaging to the skin. Choose cosmetic and skin care products that contain sunscreen to help protect your skin. This will save you time so you don't have to apply sunscreen separately.

Hopefully these tips will help you give your skin the TLC that it needs during the cold winter season. Be blessed and beautiful!

Makeup by Asha Tanielle
Facebook: Faces by Asha Tanielle
Twitter: Asha_Tanielle

Photo Credit: Tom Castles

Model: Ali Clark

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

To Scarf or Not To Scarf…That is the Question

Every Naturalista knows Rule # 1 thou shall protect thy locks of hair when lying down to slumber. Ok so that’s easier said than done…and for a variety of reasons might I add.

I personally sleep like I am running a marathon or something, I am all over the bed and so I wake up to find the head scarf at my feet, under a pillow, on the floor, you get the drift.

Satin pillowcases are all cool and the gang but once again when you sleep like you are running a marathon…you wake up and the pillowcase is half off…#really.

Enter Doris New York Chic Satin Sleeper… and then the angels sang.

They say: Now you can go to bed guilt free, looking simply beautiful! Keep your hair full of moisture while you sleep and look chic doing it. SHOOT, "IT MAY BE TOO FLY TO SLEEP IN" Adjustable for all "HAIR SIZES" *Excellent Stocking Stuffers* Comes in 3 delicious prints; Exotic Zebra, Abstract Leaf, and DNY Signature.

I say YES, YES, YES. I have A LOT of thick curly hair and when I pineapple at night the puff is larger than most BSS scarves will accommodate. I don’t like bonnets because I wind up walking around with the tell-tale ring around my forehead for hours, and Doo Rags…umm shall we say NOT SEXY!

I love my Satin Sleeper, she and I have been having a ‘hair affair’ for several months now. My hair has grown 2 ++ inches since I got her and she quite easily adjusted to accommodate my new length.

For info on the Doris New York Satin Sleeper:

She is sleek, she looks nothing like the infamous ‘head rag’, and she will lovingly caress your locks at night so both you AND they wake up…well curlicious of course!


The Condition-Wash-Condition Method

Hmm..thoughts anyone?

Needless to say I'll be trying this on wash day!

The Condition-Wash-Condition Method