Black Models and “Professional” Hair

Black models hair is so unique and versatile. One of my most Frequently Asked Questions is, How should I wear my hair to a Casting?

More specifically, I get that question from Black aspiring models the most.

So how should you wear it to a casting…Its a simple answer really.

Wear it HOWEVER you want, just make sure it is out of your face.
In essence:

via GIPHY

If you have a huge afro…wear it (as long as its out of your face)
If you have a lace front…wear it (As long as its out of your face AND looks natural)
If you have a weave…wear it (As long as its out of your face)
If you have a relaxer…wear it (as long as its out of your face)

via GIPHY

…see where I’m going with this?

You can wear your hair out, up, down, and swirled around town. Just make sure it is out of your face.

BUT

Be prepared to possibly be told that they will want to style your hair differently to fit the look for the booking. If its something your aren’t comfortable with, be professional and say “thank you for your time” and politely decline.

Then move on to the next gig.

Want to know if you should wear braids to a casting?
Check out my post about braids.

Alean Elston, Model, various hair styles and focused on black models hair

The hairstyle that made me stand out to modeling agents #modellife #modeladvice

Over the weekend, I was in a Modeling Competition that one of my agencies holds every year. I’ve been with them for about 10 years now and I’ve never entered it, I never entered ANY modeling competition before but I’ve worked numerous events behind the scenes of them. They have a bunch of agents come from all over the country and the world to judge it and give out some amazing prizes. What made me enter it this year was the opportunity to go to China for an all expenses paid, paid model booking. Who could give up a chance for a free trip to China, international modeling creds to add to my resume, and did I mention being paid to model in China?! lol

Memories of my Last out of the country modeling related excursion. Ready to blow the dust off of my passport.
Memories of my Last out of the country modeling related excursion. Ready to blow the dust off of my passport.

I was a little self conscious about entering the competition, mainly because MOST of the people competing were literally half my age or younger (if you can guess how old I am, theres 50 brownie points for you lol), and a tad bit slimmer than me. I’m still slim just not supermodel skinny like I used to be! lol But I entered this competition because it was for a lingerie/swimwear client in China, and swimwear and lingerie is PERFECT for my body type so I thought I could walk away from this competition confidently with the winner’s trophy in the bag.

So did I win?

3 Reasons Why You Didn’t Book That Modeling Gig #modeltip #modeladvice

1. You showed up to the casting all types of wrong!

If you wore any of the looks that Tyra is wearing in the above picture, THAT’S WHY YOU DIDN’T GET THE GIG! Let’s go down the line here…

  • If you are attending a swimwear casting, you need to wear a SOLID color bikini under your clothes(preferably in all black or white, stay away from neon colors, stripes and patterns and flashy embellishments), just in case there isn’t anywhere to change. One piece swimsuits or Monokinis don’t really show your shape, they can hide your shape, body flaws and in some cases make you appear worse. And leave the huge hoop earrings and Hater blockaz (huge sunglasses) in your purse, don’t wear them to the casting.
  • Wearing a ton of accessories is a NO NO when it comes to castings. Keep everything to the absolute minimum. Colorful necklaces, huge costume jewelry, and kiddie cute headbands, please leave that stuff at home.
  • Wearing a bad lace-front wig or a hair color that has no business being matched to you for your skin tone. Do I really need to go into details about this one?

and…

Did you wear all of the make up you own to the casting, complete with hot pink eye-shadow and lipstick, and lashes that make you look like a puppet? Casting agents don’t want to the “All Made Up” you, they want to see the natural beauty that you really are. Castings are meant for the decision makers to see what they’ll have to work with from scratch, they’ll make you over to what they want you to look like. The most amount of makeup you should be wearing is a light application of concealer to cover up problem spots (or a sheer application of foundation all over your face), mascara, and a neutral lip gloss.

 

2. Your portfolio/comp-card is wack or non-existent

I hope this makes since and I’m going to state the obvious here…

IF YOU DON’T HAVE A PORTFOLIO TO SHOW WHAT YOU CAN DO, YOUR CHANCES OF BEING BOOKED ARE SLIM TO NONE!!!

In the words of Iman, “If you want to survive as a model, you have to be a good businesswoman and understand that your pictures are your currency.” Loosely interpreted, if your pictures aren’t on point, or they don’t exist, you don’t have anything to use to help further your career and make you money! It takes money to make money people! Invest yours in QUALITY photography (stay away from Guys with cameras aka “GWCs” who just want to see you for reasons other than professional ones and take a bunch of “booty” flicks) and watch your return increase. Another note to this: GET YOUR PICTURES PRINTED! I cant tell you how many models I have met that have said, “You can see my port on model mayhem, or on “abc dot com” here’s my account number.” If they wanted to select you based off your pictures on a website, they would have done so! When you meet someone in person, especially at a casting it is expected that you leave something behind (a comp-card or a picture from your port with your info on the back). If you have nothing to leave behind, guess what? You won’t have to worry about getting booked! Be a professional and get your pictures in a portfolio book and make sure you have various looks please!

A rule of thumb I use when selecting photographers: If their portfolio of work doesn’t look like something that should be in a magazine, I will not work with them. Also, if they are new photographers I’ll consider working with them considering they have grasped certain concepts. i.e. lighting and not cutting off vital limbs and great photo elements to a shot.

 

3. You’re all tatted up!

I know I know, you know plenty of models with tattoos that are working, and blah blah blah.

Well, I have been to castings and on jobs where models have lost the gig SOLELY because they had tattoos that they didn’t/couldn’t/wouldn’t cover up. Granted that tattoo of Winnie the Pooh on your shoulder blade might look cute to you, but to a fashion designer and her strapless or backless gown, they wont find it as the right complement to their look and thus can result in you not getting booked. Best way to get around this in case you do have tattoos is to invest in Dermablend. Its a brand of makeup that can cover up tattoos and large scars very well. Get in the habit of applying it if you don’t want to be turned down for jobs!

 

Are there any reasons why you have been turned down for modeling jobs? Let me know, comment below or tweet me with the #modeltip hashtag. 3 MORE reasons will be coming soon!

All I want for Christmas is… [Beauty wish list]

Ok, Ok, Ok, I know it has been over a month since I blogged but it has been for good reason. I have been EXTREMELY busy with life, business, and the pursuit of happiness lol. There are so many things that I have wanted to buy for myself lately, but this is the season of giving and if you happen to be in the giving mood, here is my Christmas list…which I may update up until 12/25/11!

Full Cuticle Mongolian Kinky Curl Machine Weft from ONYC Hair

I know this hair is expensive, but I WANT THIS HAIR!!! Its the only weave that I have found so far, that matches my texture and it is human hair so that I can straighten it and wear it natural to make my natural hair appear longer and to keep it protected in the winter months. I would like to get 2 packs of the 18in 3C-4A curl which according to the website will cost $379.98

 

Hair Steamer from Huetiful

One of my friends has this and when I used it to deep condition my hair….MAAAAAAAN it was like my conditioner worked a million times better. My hair was so full of moisture, it was just so hydrated and shiny and my hair felt and looked so healthy. Bottom line, priced at $114 I want this!

 

Nail Polish in “Sugar Daddy” from Essie

This polish, this color in particular is one of my all time favorites and I happen to be running low on this and I need a repleishment. lol This color makes the perfect base for american and french manicures and it also looks great alone. At $8 a bottle, its okay if you want to buy me more than one! 😀

 

Paris Amour from Bath and Body Works

This particular scent for Bath and body works smells soooo pretty. I only have the shower gel pictured here but I would like the whole set, puhweeze!

 

Flower Hair Clips

For those of you that know me, know that one of my signatures is a flower in my ‘fro. I’ve been searching for some really unique flowers and I have found a lot of good ones online, especially on Etsy. there are some really creative people on there! I’d prefer the flowers not be from the hair store as I have already raided their supply lol but if you have something truly unique let me know. I’d love to have it in my collection!

 

The Pink Glitterati from Violent Lips

I’ve wanted to try this out for the longest but for some reason, I haven’t gone through with it… I think its because I know I couldn’t get away with wearing it on an everyday basis or even a special occasion, unless it was for a photoshoot or an event where I knew I would have to show up and show out! If there are any photographers who would be interested in doing a beauty shoot with me wearing the any pattern from the Violent Lips, let me know, I know of a great MUA who can bring together a gorgeous extreme look to work with this. Just comment this post or shoot me an email and lets get to work!

 

Thats about all I can think of. The fashion wish list should be up next. What beauty items would you like to get for Christmas, I might add them to my next list, let me know!

Stay tuned!

Model Advice: What to Wear to Casting Calls and Go-Sees

Be sure to check out my other posts on

What to Wear to a Winter Casting and

Should I wear Weave or Braids to a casting for more info!

I recently went to a casting call and I had to come home and write this post, because the girls there were doing too much in terms of their outfits. Large gaudy earrings, too much makeup, hair looking like they were about to do an ad for skittles, and every other major NO was in appearance at this casting call.

Just to clarify the difference between a casting call and a go-see

Casting Call: In the performing arts, casting (or casting call) is a vital pre-production process for selecting the right talent for the project or show.

Go-see: When a client has a specific look that they are going for and you have been selected to be viewed in order to make a final decision on which model to use for the project. Expect that there will be models there who have a similar look to yours.

Rule of thumb when going to casting calls, keep it to the MINIMUM! Your beauty and talent should be the thing they remember the most, not something totally outrageous that you are wearing to stand out.

This means:

  • VERY light makeup – no pinks, purples, or greens etc on the eyes and no red or hot pink lipstick. Keep your makeup natural, this means a basic face: concealer, foundation (if you need more coverage than concealer), mascara, and a skin tone lipstick or gloss.
  • Hair should be pulled back and out of the face. Go for a simple ponytail or a bun. If your hair is short, style it in a cute style but make sure you don’t have any bangs covering your face.
  • Nails – Neutral nails PLEASE! A picture of spongebob should not be all on your nails along with glitter rhinestones, and your social security number, and they should not be extremely long either. This includes the toes. Go for a french manicure, or american manicure or any light pinks or browns. Think flesh tones.
  • Your clothing should be form fitting, not extremely tight! and should be neutral as well. No need to over accessorize, the casting directors, designers, Make-up artists need to see you as you are. You need to be seen as a blank slate so that can envision what they are able to do with your look.
  • Shoes – NEVER  show up with flats or sneakers on! Its OK to wear them around town on your way to the casting or go-see but once you get to the building where it is being held, you need to change into your heels before you walk in. Often times once you get to the location where they are holding the casting its right there as you enter or step off the elevator, no time to make a second first impression, you are judges as unprofessional if you walk in there without heels on. Consider High heels as a part of your work uniform as a model. When you are in model model mode, you cannot be seen without them, PERIOD

Here are a few visual examples of what I am talking about:

Clothing

Being that it is summer, this is along the lines of what I wear to a casting call. Its cool, simple and shows off the form. When I am running around and I don’t feel like being in my heels a cute pair of flats or flat sandals will work perfectly with this. For a casting call in colder months, I recommend swapping the shorts for a pair of leggings or skinny jeans and the open toe heels for a simple pump or cute high heeled bootie.

 

CastingCall1

CastingCall1 by CompleteBeauty featuring short shorts

 

Makeup and Nails

These are a few of my faves. I personally don’t wear all of this at one time, but most of the time on a casting call or go-see I’ll have on the concealer, mascara, and lip-gloss. For my nails they are usually done with an american manicure, but in the the event they aren’t I just have them with clear polish.

 

CastingCall2

 

MAC Select SPF 15 Foundation, $27
MAC ‘Pro Longwear’ Concealer, $17
Dior ‘Diorshow – Black Out’ Mascara, $25
NARS NARS Lipgloss, $24
Essie Nail Polish, $8
MAC Nail Lacquer, $14

 

Hair

Have Natural hair like me?

You are in luck, there are different styles that are acceptable for go-sees and castings. These are a few styles that I wear

A simple bun

A simple pony

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Again, when in doubt, go with the minimum but keep it sleek and neat. If you have any questions that you want me to address in the next post, comment this post so I can address it.

 

Thanks! 😀

My 1st NO WEAVE Anniversary and Why I Stopped Wearing Them

Wild Thang

Yes it has been a while since I have written a post, but I assure you, Its not because I didn’t want to its because I’ve been too busy to sit down here and do it. But now I’m back and I’m ready to get back to bloggin!!! YAAAY!

And yes you are reading the post title correctly, I have not had a weave in my hair for slightly over a year. Let me tell you the story…

You see, a few years ago, back in 2003, I was in a car accident that injured my thumbs. (This guy ran a stop sign and crossed in front of me and I couldn’t stop in time, which totaled my first car 🙁 and turned me in to the “cautious” driver I am now…) I loved to do my own hair prior to that and being that my hands were injured and it hurt to do simple things like write and type, you can imagine how much pain I was in trying to do my hair. So my solution to that? I went to the african shop and got Kinky Twists in my hair, something simple and easy for me to maintain. I got them touched up every so many months until my hands got better to the point where I could handle things without pain, then I went back to doing my own hair. That’s when I believe that the laziness set in lol. I figured that I don’t really feel like doing my hair EVERYDAY but I want it to look good EVERYDAY, and I didn’t want braids or twists anymore so what can I get? I didn’t want to get a relaxer anymore because I was scared that my scalp would be too sensitive and it wouldn’t take being that I hadn’t had a perm in about 6 months at that time. Thus began the journey of the WEAVE QUEEN!

I had worn weaves before in the past, but this started an era with me where I REFUSED to be seen without one! My real hair was in that natural at the root and permed at the ends state and I didn’t feel like dealing with the jungle at the root on a regular lol and it seemed that the weaves had saved my life! All I had to do was wake up every morning and make sure the little section that showed to cover up my tracks was straight, who could ask for anything easier?! Not to mention, when I was in college, I didn’t really have a lot of time to dedicate to my hair with studying, internships, running a club on campus and working and I just wanted it to look good. PERIOD

It wasn’t until after I graduated from college that I realized the damage that was being done to my hair from the constant wearing of the weaves. Sure my hair was growing underneath, but that section that I kept out in the front to cover my weaves was breaking horribly! I don’t know if it was because it was permanately straight due to excessive heat straightening or what, but all I know is when I attempted to try wearing my hair different ways without weave, my hair felt like doing a hard core “break” dance and those permed ends quickly fell off. What ever was left of that, that continued to remain straight after I washed my hair and didn’t revert to a thick cotton ball state, I cut it off and thus began to wear MY hair.

I did it for the first time, like really out and about and proud back in 2009 and I did a photoshoot to commemorate it and to join Tyra Banks in her “Real Hair” Day and this is what it looked like in 2009:

After that photoshoot, from time to time, I would still wear my weaves but then something MAJOR happened…

Can you guess what it is?

BILLS!!! That trick Sallie Mae started beatin down my door for me to start paying back my student loans! I had to take a chill pill on my spending and cut back on a few things. Weaves were the first thing on the list!

I started recycling my weaves, washing and wearing again of course (good for the environment right?! lol), figuring out ways to stretch out my weaves and make them last longer, until I just couldn’t anymore and I stopped wearing them completely and challenged myself to wearing my hair for 3 months straight, in which case I would reward myself with a weave! Crazy, I know. But that was my thinking at the time. When it came time for me to reward myself, I didn’t really feel like wearing a weave, but, because I was going to visit my bestie in Cali, I thought I don’t wanna worry about my hair while im out there so I wore a nice, cool, bob weave, pictured here:

I still have this romper somewhere...the question is where...(raised eyebrow)

When I got back, from that trip, I kept the weave for a a few weeks and when I took it out, I haven’t put a weave back in my hair since.

 

I say all of this because recently I had to think back to the last time I had a weave, and May of 2010 was that time. Now its June of 2011 and I still love wearing my hair.

 

Now I’m not saying that I will never wear a weave again, or that wearing weaves is the wrong thing to do, in fact the next weave I intend on getting will be a big curly fro, or a long Naomi Campbell style weave with a center part. I love the versatility that my hair is able to give me in my look, I’ll even go as far to say, that because I’ve been wearing my hair it has been a sole reason of why I am booking more modeling jobs. But none the less, I love the fact that I have options with my hair, its deciding what to do with it next that’s driving me crazy! lol

 

Hope you enjoyed my hair story! 🙂

Hair Trend Alert: Feather Hair Extensions

I came across these today and I thought I would share. These are feather extensions that clip into your hair and you can style them with a flat iron and curl them with a curling iron and everything! Just as if it was your hair! I like the concept of these feathers, but being that I have natural afro-textured hair, I don’t see how I can wear this without having a straight sew in weave. Either way, I decided to share because I thought this was pretty cool, and with the right styling it can be really unique and cute. Check out the feathers in action in the video below.

If  you have his product or you have tried it let me know what you think of it. Maybe I’ll get these for my next photo shoot???!?!?!?! (Any Photogs in jersey, philly, maybe nyc wanna try for it? Im thinking beach scene but rugged…)