June 2018 digital issue(2)

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june 2018

magazine

BRONZE bronzemagonline.com

Make Up or Break Up’s

Shan Boodram

talks sex, dating & relationships Dr Sheron Brown on how to be true to yourself

Spring & Summer style tips by

Celebrity Stylist

Zerina Akers

Fitness Expert Robbie Ann Darby sheds light on fitness & mental health

First Match & Orange is the New Black Actor Jimmy Gary Jr.

Netflix’s “Free Rein” Star

Jaylen Barron opens up about her leading role in the critically acclaimed series JUNE 2018

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AMINA TOURAY PHOTOGRAPHY www.aminatouray.com

FASHION • PORTRAITS • HEADSHOTS • LIFESTYLE


BRONZE MAGAZINE 4

JUNE 2018 Editor’s Note

Cover Credits: Photographer/creative director: Amina Touray, @aminatphoto Makeup artist: Niehla O, @niehlao Stylist: Janel Styles, @janelstyles77 Two tone jeans jacket with splash of pink: @infatue Provided by: @PR_SOLO Gold/cream bodysuit with beads: @madamemethven Provided by: @nowprla

CO-OWNER/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Shawn Stuldivant CO-OWNER Barry Stuldivant GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Alexandra Zabludoff Nyree Wright WRITERS Jennifer Akotoh Dr. Sheron Brown Joyce D. Epps Latasha M. Ford Farheen Nahvi Aisha Powell Unique Ratcliff Farren Washington

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Hello Bronze lovelies! In my last note spring hadn’t quite sprung yet, but now we are well on our way to summer and I’m so excited! There’s just something about the warm air, blue skies and bright rays of sunlight. Everything seems to come to life, sort of like a rebirth. Since the beginning of time, nature has been producing rebirths – the act of reappearing or starting to flourish. This can apply to us too, and we don’t have to wait until the changing of a season to do it. Everyday is a chance to be reborn and start anew. As long as you are blessed with life, you have the opportunity to change, grow and flourish. This month’s issue is packed with greatness starting with our beautiful cover star, Jaylen Barron, star of the Netflix series, Free Reign. Be sure to read our exclusive interview with the young breakthrough actor as she reveals how she got her start in acting and talks about her role on the show. We have so many other great individuals featured in this issue as well, way too many for me to name here, but if you find a quiet spot, relax and sip on your favorite beverage, I guarantee you will enjoy every article and every interview. Until next time, happy reading!

xoxo, Shawn vant i d l u t S


CONTENT

6. Interview with Ebony S Garris of The Hair Extension Gallery 10. A RAD Experience with Fitness Expert Robbie Ann Darby 14. Towards a Better You Interview with Life Coach Diane Lang 22. When the Cookie Jar is Closed 24. Learn to Mix, Match & Style Spring & Summer Looks wth Celeb Stylist Zerina Ackers 28. “Make Up or Break Up” Dating expert Shan Boodram 32. Skin Deep Beauty with Beauty Expert Tiffany Torrence 38. Letter to My Younger Self

Jaylen Barron

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40. How to be True to Yourself 44. Bronze Magazine Spring Pop Up Shop Recap Photographer/creative director: Amina Touray, @aminatphoto Makeup artist: Niehla O, @niehlao Stylist: Janel Styles, @janelstyles77 Luxury gold dress w/ gold buttons, half shoulder design: @houseofhend Provided by: @pr_solo Jewelry bracelet with 3 nobe designs: @n.m.designs Provided by: @nowprla Gold ring with studs: @jewerlrybar.usa Silver ring with gold studs fitted two finger: @jewelrybar.usa Provided by: @nowprla

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The Extension Gallery Transforms Women’s Hair Through Luxury Hair Brand

By Jennifer Akotoh

B

ronze Magazine recently had the pleasure of interviewing Ebony S. Garris, Creative Director of The Extension Gallery! Hailing from a long line of women who have had successful ventures in beauty and fashion, Ebony has always appreciated and been amazed by the impact that a woman’s appearance can have on her self-esteem. Inspired by her love of beauty and a desire to transform the lives of others, Ebony, a former entertainment journalist turned businesswoman created a luxury hair company that has transformed the way women buy and interact with extensions. Her brand upholds a strong commitment towards curating a buying experience unlike any other. In addition to conducting thorough research prior to hand selecting her products, Ebony provides her customers with personalized beauty consultations, treatment services to maintain their purchases, as well as the opportunity to learn more about how to care for their own natural tresses. Ebony created The Extension Gallery to help the everyday woman embrace her natural hair and experiment with her looks without reservation. Her products are so noteworthy that they have earned the attention of celebrities who have donned her beautiful pieces on the red carpet! Read on to learn more about Ebony’s successful journey into entrepreneurship and how her brand is transforming the landscape of luxury hair. 6

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with style, culture, music and Hollywood’s hottest celebrities. It was creatively satisfying but I didn’t feel fulfilled with just writing on entertainment trends and celebrity sightings. That unfulfilled purpose took me from narrating about the world of entertainment and led me back to be the trendsetter and authoritative voice in the beauty and style industry. I found pleasure in being able to transform things from start to finish. Being a beauty consultant is just that. This made the transition an easy path because instead of articulating new trends birthing the industry through words, I was able to transition through action. How influential was your family in your venture into entrepreneurship? Coming from a family of creatives it was always a passion to cultivate new trends and innovate within my community. I was taught at a young age the impact that one person could have on helping another Where were you raised? / Where do you reside? I was raised in Montclair New Jersey a very eclectic town and I currently reside there. How did you become interested in the beauty industry? Coming from a long lineage of women who owned clothing boutiques and beauty-based businesses, it was in my heart. The Extension Gallery allows me the platform to not only transform womens outward appearance but also the confidence that is inside. As an extension connoisseur I grew tired of searching for quality hair extensions at an affordable price. I set out to find direct vendors that would offer the best product. By sourcing from direct vendors, we can get very competitive pricing along with unbeatable quality assurance. Why did you decide to leave your job as an entertainment journalist to become a trendsetter and authoritative voice in the beauty and style industry and how were you able to make the transition? As an entertainment journalist, I turned words into beauty by keeping readers up to date

“Coming from a long lineage of women who owned clothing boutiques and beauty-based businesses it was in my heart.” feel confident and beautiful with small improvements to their outward appearance. My love for business comes from my grandparents, who always broke barriers and never feared the unknown to advance their communities through entrepreneurship. So, it was a no brainer that I would somehow merge my love of communication with my love of beauty to impact people’s lives daily. Why did you choose to start a hair extension and hair care line business? I always knew I wanted to be a business owner. I wanted to create a platform that was both impacting, and passion driven. My infatuation with beauty along with my love for consulting led me to becoming an extension brand. JUNE 2018

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As an extension connoisseur I grew tired of searching for quality hair extensions at an affordable price. I set out to find direct vendors that would offer the best product for women from all walks of life. What sets your business and the quality of its products apart from the rest? The consultation aspect of our brand is what makes The Extension Gallery extremely unique. We don’t just sell hair we help curate women’s hair journey by offering innovative products, industry trend knowledge and in-depth suggestions of new styles that fit each client’s needs. Many times, women may have a vision of a new look that they want to achieve but are too scared to step out their comfort zone. Many fear that their investment in beauty products won’t yield the results promised. I wanted to create a brand that gave women assurance and a quality shopping experience from start to finish. Our job is to consult with each client to find the perfect balance of what they want vs what they need and offer the best style option for them to achieve their desired look. Our vast

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knowledge of our products allows us to identify what extension choice will work best for a client based off the results of our consultation. We offer a vast amount of services to protect your investment including a luxe treatment for older extensions to help extend their install capabilities. A full-service color bar to safely color your extensions and extension maintenance courses to help educate women on how to care for their natural hair along with their extensions. In addition, our company creates a luxury buying experience through amenities like curbside service, a customization bar for frontals and closures along with keeping style profiles for every client that purchases. Tell us about your Vixen and Regal Collections. Which trends from these collections are right for spring/summer? Our Regal Collection is single donor hair which is of the highest quality and with proper care can last anywhere from 2-5 years. Many of our clients compare our Regal Collection to that of a Birkin bag. Our process starts with sourcing hair from our direct vendor in India. I personally visit


our vendor monthly and hand pick bundles of hair based on texture variation, color variation and vitality of hair. Once I have selected each piece for our monthly inventory we prep each bundle for sale by hand washing and deep conditioning to ensure quality. Due to donor standards and quality sourcing we only have a limited number of pieces available for sale in our Regal Collection. But trust me ladies it is well worth the wait! Our Vixen Collection is boldly beautiful and daring. The Vixen collection offers multiple donor hair with triple reinforced wefts for minimal shedding and smooth hair cuticles infused with natural extracts for exceptional styling capabilities. Each strand from our Vixen Collection is infused with our revolutionary blend of natural extracts to minimize split ends and breakage. This key component extends the life of your hair extensions by 6-8 months! Because our affordable hair is infused with a signature blend of natural extracts directly accessible to your scalp it promotes healthy hair and growth during your install! Hair this Spring/Summer is all about evolution and innovation. Some of the top trending styles are evolutions from previous trends. Look out for: • Mod Up-do’s: (Think Cardi B) which can be created using a variety of textures and closures/ frontals for full coverage capabilities. • Textured “Go Big or Go Home” (Think Sza) hair which can be achieved using Plush Curl from our Regal Collection or Luxurious Loose Curl from our Vixen Collection. • Sexy Bed Head (Think Gabrielle Union) which can be achieved using Luxe Wave from our Regal Collection or Bodacious Body Wave from our Vixen Collection. You have had celebs such as the beautiful and talented Serayah (from FOX Network’s Empire) wearing your luxurious hair on the red carpet. What type of growth would you like to see for The Extension Gallery for the future? In the future we will launch new products to promote natural hair growth during installs including vitamin infused hair drops, a scalp detox and a hair growth tea which comes from a family recipe passed down. Our goal is to create a brand that makes women feel great from the inside out. If we can help assist a client in regaining health

“Our goal is to create a brand that makes women feel great from the inside out.” of their hair to transition out of extensions or introduce a woman to a new inner vixen by creating a temporary change with extensions, then we are living in purpose. Moving forward, we would like to give every woman The Extension Gallery experience through franchising opportunities in major retail outlets. www.theextensiongallery.com IG @extensiongallery/Facebook @extensiongallerynj

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“...I’ve discovered that perfectionism is the illness...” 10

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A RAD Experience with Fitness Expert

Robbie Ann Darby By Aisha Powell

Robbie Ann Darby, creator of RAD Experience, has had over 10 years’ experience in the fitness and wellness field. Her brand is a radical fitness and wellness movement devoted to transforming not only bodies - but lives, one RAD Experience at a time. Read more about her journey, life and goals below.

How did you enter the fitness world?

blessing to discover that a career in fitness could be a fun and lucrative way I grew up an athlete - soccer, dance, to keep active while pursuing my cacheer-leading, etc. – so I officially en- reer in acting. tered the fitness world as a child. In high school, my favorite teacher was What unforeseen barriers did you my P.E. teacher Mrs. Slutzi. She be- come across as a black woman lieved in me as a person first and plant- entering the fitness arena? ed a seed that has blossomed not only into a career in fitness but my overall One barrier was that I was often the passion for health and wellness. The only one in the room. Whether it was in class was called “fitness” and while it a class, on the gym floor, out for a run was an “easy A” for many of my class- or even in the fitness editorial space mates, it ultimately gave me the con- that I eventually entered in, I rarely fidence to officially enter the fitness saw other black women. So in hopes world as a professional in graduate of changing this, I discovered earlier school. I got certified as a group fitness on in my career that the main reason instructor and then a personal trainer, black women weren’t working out was both while getting my MFA in Acting at because of their hair. Therefore, elimiThe University of Texas, Austin. It was a nating this excuse became a big part of my brand - in fact, it was the topic of natural fit, yet an unexpected

my very first story as a fitness editor. There has definitely been a shift in the amount of black women I see in fitness over the last decade and I am grateful to be an inspiration for women who look like me. You have been open and candid about your 14-year battle with an eating disorder. Can you briefly described how it began? My 14-year battle with an eating disorder began the summer between junior high school and my 9th grade year. Like most young girls my age, I had a strong desire for the “high school me” to be different than the “junior high me.” I was always overweight as a kid, so when I lost a lot of weight that summer, what turned into a healthy JUNE 2018

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“...it is perfectly fine to... diet spiraled into a destructive and unhealthy relationship with food, exercise and my body. However, it was and will always be about more than just the food and how I look. After years of challenges and therapy, I’ve discovered that perfectionism is the illness and my eating disorder is just the side effect. Therefore, committing to the truth that it is perfectly fine to not be perfect has been the foundation of my healing. In the black community, there is a lot of stigma around mental illness, eating disorders and other health related issues. How did you come to terms with your problems and get help? The stigma and taboos around mental health in the black community is complicated and the roots run deep. After years of realizing that the only person that could help me was me, I hit rock bottom in graduate school and started therapy. This was the beginning of a 7- year, day-by-day process of uprooting my issues and learning how to work through them. Unfortunately, no one in my family or peer circle that looked like me understood my illness and were consequently unable to truly support me. Therefore, forgiveness for their ignorance has been a large party of my recovery journey and ultimately, being a living example that mental illness is real, manageable and one can be hopeful in the midst of it is the inspiration behind my work today. What can you say to help young black girls today that are dealing with eating issues? When  engaging with young black girls today in regards to their eating habits, their relationship with their bodies and the importance of physical activity, I try to keep the focus 12

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on food as a necessary part of how they function and not who they are, reminding them that their worth and bodies are bigger than the numbers that have been ascribed to them and that physical activity should be a form of celebration, not punishment. What steps did you take to turn your life around and become the fitness mogul/influencer that you are today? In all honesty, I never set out to be a fitness mogul/influencer. When I first started working in fitness, my goal was simply to make enough money to live in between acting gigs, which was quite challenging in the beginning of my acting career because

this was also the time I was in therapy and eventually recovery. Initially, I was only dedicated to getting well for me; surrounding myself around exercise and diet was “anti” eating disorder recovery. However, in doing so, I realized that by sharing my truth I was not only motivating myself but I was also inspiring others to radically transform their health. To be considered a fitness mogul/influencer today is the unforeseen by-product of the fact that I received a second chance in the same spaces where I was bound. The opportunity has truly been both miraculous and fulfilling.


...not be perfect...”

in your diet day by day, over time you can adopt a healthy relationship with food. It all literally takes time. So we must first believe in the journey and then commit to it. What are some of the easiest things people can do this spring/summer to get healthier regarding food and/or exercise?

How has your BA in Drama and Dance Speaking of lifestyle changes, the first and MFA in Acting helped you in your step is to eliminate the idea that it will be easy. Next, take the parameters field today? of “spring/summer” off of your goal Fitness, above all, is a customer service and figure out your “why.” It has to be based industry. So, being an artist that bigger than being a size smaller. Dig has spent years creatively exploring deeper and your commitment will be the human experience, coupled with stronger. Will eating a healthier diet being naturally extroverted, has direct- or committing to moving more make ly impacted how I engage with people you look better? Yes. But above all, the within my roles in fitness. Teaching most sustainable options are to focus classes to large groups of people is like on how it will make you feel better and performing on stage to large audienc- show up better in your life. Ultimatees. The music, what I’m wearing, the ly, the mind has to transform; then the lighting, the energy - it’s all connect- body. Not the other way around. ed. My fitness parties, RAD Live! are the perfect fusion of fun, sweat and hospitality. Training clients one-onone requires the same essence, dedication and attention that working on a scene or performance with another artist does. Ultimately, my journey in fitness has been incredibly improvisational and unique, simply because I’m a creative.

What kind of advice do you wish you had starting out that you want to share with others? The best advice that I got when I first started out in fitness, when I was both a young recreational athlete as well as when I entered the industry professionally; take it one day at a time. No one can do what you do, and that is your power. Staying in my own lane, being patient with the process and believing that my journey is unique yet powerful has inspired me to stay the path. Consistency and dedication is key on any journey, however, another piece of advice is to trust the timing of how it all unfolds. Many of the accomplishments and opportunities that I’ve had in fitness have been unexpected, however, the longevity I’ve been able to have in those spaces have been the by-product of staying both open and ready. The key is to face every day and every step with excitement and expectancy, for this is the foundation of any RAD Experience. To learn more follow @radexperience http://radexperience.com/

What do you think is the biggest misconception about fitness and health in the black community? How can we address and fix it? I think the biggest misconception about fitness and health in the black community is that you can get more out of the process than what you’re willing to put in. There is a huge focus in our culture on quick fixes - waist trainers, magic pills, 30-day challenges etc. all promoting the idea that you can get significant benefits in a small amount of time. This is not true. However, the solution is to focus on health as a lifestyle. If you have a body and space, then you have the opportunity to work out. If you can put aside just 30-minutes a day to get your heart rate up, then you have created a workout regimen. If you make small changes

“The music, what I’m wearing, the lighting, the energy  it’s all connected.” JUNE 2018

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Towards A Better You Counseling and Coaching for a Positive Change By Farheen Nahvi

We have all had that moment in our lives, where we did not think we could possibly move forward; when we’d given up all hope. Psychology tells us that the way we think plays a major role in our overall well-being, and Diane Lang uses such techniques of counselling and coaching with her clients to lead them to positive living, and bringing about a change in their lives; essentially helping them to regain control of their lives. Twenty years ago, one individual embarked on a journey of providing help and guidance to people who felt they needed direction, and getting a Master’s in Counselling became the first step for Diane Lang. “…it led me into my own healing process. This led me to become a therapist, life coach and educator.” In a society where there is still a stigma attached with mental health, how did you manage to create a space within which you could help those in need?

Lang has written three books: Baby StepsThe Path from Motherhood to Career; Creating Balance & Finding Happiness; Mindfully Happy-Waking up to Life; and a mini book, Do More of What Makes You Hap“By being my authentic self. I’m always py, all dealing with different issues, but all open and honest about my past strug- giving the same message-life is a process, gles, whether it’s in private practice, in a with its own ups and downs. workshop setting, or teaching a college Lang also conducts workshops in colleges class. It’s important everyone knows we and adult/continuing centres, on a wide all have our rock bottom times, but that range of topics, from happiness and anwe can climb out of it and live a great life.” ger, to anxiety and positive parenthood. Even with the awareness about mental health today, there are still people who feel ashamed while discussing this issue. It can be difficult to provide help if people hesitate or are scared to ask. Lang believes it’s a process.

You have written several books. How do you feel the reception of the written word has been different from the spoken word?

“I think the book offers more. In a workshop, there is a time limit and only so much we can cover, but the book gives all “I understand the fear and anxiety. When the information, and you have it with you we go into therapy, we must feel, and forever to go back to when needed or just that’s scary. I think of therapy as “U,” we as a reminder.” will go down when we first start off with therapy; it’s painful but as we heal, we go Where are you planning to hold your next up. We must feel to heal.” seminar and workshop, outside of NJ? JUNE 2018

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“I just had workshops in Florida, PA and CT. I have more coming up in NYC, NY, and NJ. I love traveling.” Over the past twenty years, Lang has evolved from just a Counsellor, to an Educator/Coach of Positive Psychology, as well as a speaker for the same. She is also an adjunct in Psychology at Montclair St University. Her changing titles have kept her motivated, and her work in self-help and education fresh and effective. “I love the mix of teaching and coaching,” she says. Lang covers a wide array of issues in her profession; depression, parenting, abuse, anger, anxiety. She has especially contributed a lot to the spread of positive parenting, being a mother herself, making this beautiful yet important responsibility easier and more meaningful. She has conducted seminars on postpartum depression and written extensively about using the benefits of positive parenting.

“To live in the moment. If we are in the past, we feel stuck. If we are in the future, we are anticipating; neither is a healthy place to be. When we are in the moment, we are at peace.”

The sign of a healthy person is the ability to live Tell us something about the method of your the here and now. To be mentally, spiritually, and work. physically healthy, one must not live in the past through distorted defences; neither should one “I use a mix of counselling and coaching tech- dwell on the future in anxious anticipations. niques with my clients. I find it an effective mix. In this fast paced world, we all need to take a moIt’s important to ask the right questions, be an ac- ment to breathe and appreciate our blessings, tive and empathetic listener, and to be there as a while at the same time make peace with things partner in their process of change and creating that do not go our way. Too much of our precious the life they want.” time is spent dwelling on the negative things, and too much of our energy spent on things we canHer work is not only of benefit to her; Lang ac- not change. Diane Lang has helped many people tively uses her techniques of Positive Psychology in her field, and the testament of her many clients in her own life. prove that with a little expert guidance, we all can make a positive change in our lives. “They have made a positive impact on my life.” “Everyone’s story is different. It’s the individual’s Do you think that therapists/psychologists them- story and commitment to change. If they don’t selves are benefitted from their profession as want to change or can’t believe they can, that much as they help another person? makes it tougher. But everyone has the ability to change and heal.” “Absolutely. I’m always learning and growing from both my clients and students.” What is your mantra, if any, for a peaceful life?

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SUBSCRIBE! Look for the bronze Mag a p p

@bronzemagazine www.bronzemagazineonline.com JUNE 2018

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Interview with Actor

Jimmy Gary Jr. By Farheen Nahvi

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“In my family, everyone was expected to thrive in everything we touched.” JUNE 2018

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One of a person’s best characteristic is versatility; when you can bend and adapt, and do simultaneously well in different fields. For Jimmy Gary Jr., these fields are sports and acting. From an athlete of immense talent and strength, to an actor of great calibre and technique, this Parade All-American, OITNB star is slowly carving his place in the industry. In this interview, Jimmy talks about his career in sports, the experience of television, and his upcoming projects, including his new movie, ‘First Match’.

W

hen and why did you decide you would pursue acting, in addition to your decorated sports career? What was that transition like for you? When I was around 6 or seven I played the role of ‘Jesus’ in a community play. My mother’s best friendwho was also my school teacher-directed the show and we got a standing ovation. I was bitten by the bug. Then football started and kind of took over my life but the bug was already planted. The next time I would be on the stage as an actor is when I did ‘Summer Stock’ musical theatre in Morgantown WV. What has been the most memorable event in your sports career? The most memorable event in my sports career is when I was playing football at WVU and we played against the Miami Hurricanes in the Orange Bowl. That was one of the few games my family got to see us play live. Ice Cube was staying in our hotel and we invited him to the game. He and his whole crew were sitting in our section with family and friends. We lost the game but the refs beat us with bad calls. But to leave it on a good note-I had a hundred yard game.

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How do you feel the two areas (sports and acting) are different/similar in gratification? First of all, both can be very challenging to do. It takes a lot to time to master both but it’s very powerful when you hone your craft. Your cast is your teammates. The Super Bowl is the Oscar’s. Both are the biggest stages on earth. What is your method of acting? There are many techniques used to reach whatever place you need to be for a character. Personally, I just lock myself in my basement where I have no distractions. And however long it takes me to get to a place where I feel really good being able to, as Susan Bastan would say, ‘drop in.’ I may try different techniques like breathing, relaxation exercises, and private moments in character.

“Just do good work and you will continue to find work.”

What would you say has been your most challenging role to play? My most challenging role was on the stage playing Private CJ Mephis in ‘A Soldier’s Play’ by Charles Fuller. I hadn’t played the guitar until I got the audition. I never sang in front of anyone before. We did it in October 2017, at Theatre 80 and February 2018 at the Gene Frankel Theater. I had a lot of fun with that character. I had to build him from scratch. You should definitely read the reviews. Tell us about your character ‘Hassan’ in “First Match.” Hassan is that dude living in the


projects. He is a hustler. He is all about making money. He and his wife are the foster parents to Mo, the main character. He is verbally abusive to his wife, an overall low and down individual, and controlling-but that is all he knows. What can you tell us about any future projects of yours? I really want to do ‘A Soldier’s Play’ in Florida. I am working on two dramas and a comedy. We are currently looking for co-producers based in Florida. Once we get the right people involved, these are one film a year, totalling three.

Who are your dream actor(s) and/ or director to work with?

If you were to star in a biopic, whose would you choose, and why?

I would like to work with Jordan Peele.

I would like play the country singer Charlie Pride. I love Country music and how Charlie Pride’s journey started. I love history, so I also want to play Jack Johnson, the first African American heavyweight boxing champion.

How did your childhood and family influence the decisions you made in your professional life? In my family everyone was expected to thrive in everything we touched. I was surrounded by very confident people growing up. And my dad was a very successful minister (Rev. J L Gary Sr.). My grandparents were successful. They worked hard and they worked smart. My foundation is in God.

What advice would you give to struggling actors, about the job market in Hollywood? There are jobs out there, but lots of competition. Just do good work and you will continue to find work.

How does being on a TV show influence the way you view it, for instance, in OITNB? Are you more critical of yourself, or is it more of an enjoyable activity? For me it’s more of an enjoyable activity. You get to see the other storylines and your colleagues at work.

“My foundation is in God.”

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“What I really wanted was to be loved, handled properly with care, adored, appreciated, valued and protected.”

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

When The Cookie Jar Is Closed By Joye D. Epps Women are taught at a very young age the importance of chastity and the need to be virtuous. My mother would often say things like, “Why buy the cow when the milk is for free?” There has always been a negative connotation associated with the topic of women and premarital sex. On the contrary, men are encouraged to sow their wild oats and purge their systems of all their erotic fantasies by acting them out through risqué sexual escapades so that they are able to be the perfect husband to their wives whenever that day arrived. Both men and women are socialized early on to have certain behavioral responses and expectations towards sex. Women are often scrutinized, stigmatized, and demoralized if they engage in any type of sexual activity, while men are often praised and admired. Even though we have all grown accustomed to this huge disparity 22

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in today’s society, I have often pondered over why this double standard even exists. Why is a woman who is sexually liberated labeled as a Jezebel, Lolita, or loose woman? Even worse, slut, whore, or ho? To add further insult to injury, the majority of these offenses that have very damaging and lasting effects usually come from other women. Even though it is my personal belief that a woman, or people in general should have a certain level of discretion when it comes to engaging in sexual activity- I do not agree with the judgement of others as it relates to another individual’s sexual behavior.


“When a woman opens herself up to a man, she is literally trusting him with her mind, body, heart and soul.”

She couldn’t possibly fathom the fact that her baby girl would be reduced to or even associated with a particular type of woman who exercised no discretion about her sexuality. To my mom, it was a dead issue - I was to keep the “Cookie Jar” Closed! This was drilled into my head so much growing up, that when I finally did lose my virginity, it wasn’t even an enjoyable experience. Aside from the general discomfort that every woman typically experiences when it’s her “first time,” the mental anguish that followed made me physically ill. I was certain that I had committed a cardinal sin and I was going to burst Hell wide open with gasoline drawers on.

It is a well-known fact that a woman’s “cookie” really is the sweetest thing on earth. It is one the most valuable and precious gifts that a woman gives away. When a woman opens herself up to a man, she is literally trusting him with her mind, body, heart and soul. I think it is safe to conclude that most of us fail to acknowledge that sex is more than just biological. While it promises to deliver some pretty pleasurable moments, sex is also the act of sharing one’s soul.

Those guilty feelings and my pseudo-illness did not last long and soon I was back to my new old habit; having sex. I enjoyed the connection and intimacy far too much to quit. Plus, I figured I had some serious catching up to do because after all, everyone else started in their teens. I continued with what I considered to be normal relationship behavior until one day, I asked myself a pivotal question. “What is it that you really want?” It was a question that I had to ask, but one I was afraid to answer.

There is a spiritual connection that occurs each time we are intimate with someone. Whether it’s a casual or monogamous relationship, we create these soul ties that can prove impossible to break (specifically for women) when the relationship sours.

What I really wanted was to be loved, handled properly with care, adored, appreciated, valued and protected. Sadly, these were things that my previous suitors were unable to fulfill and I fell into the routine of constantly sharing my soul with a person whom I would never reach an end goal with.

Sadly I, like many, have fallen victim to this. I had a man put a hurtin’ on me that took years to shake and get him out of my system. Thankfully, I am not a glutton for punishment, so I did not think it wise for me to repeat the same cycle. At first, my decision to become celibate originated from me growing tired of all of the potential pregnancy scares, risk of STD’s, and just sharing my body with someone who was really undeserving. I was what some might call a late bloomer. I didn’t become sexually active until I was well into my twenties. I remember it like it was yesterday - I was in a relationship with a guy who I told pretty much out the gate that I was a virgin and had no intentions on becoming sexually active. His response, while ignorant and rude, was also brutally honest. He thanked me for making it easier for him to walk away. It was clear that he was there for the “cookie,” and it was a topic to him that was non-negotiable. In retrospect, his response was quite hysterical! I wished that the men in subsequent relationships had the guts to be so open and honest. I soon realized that my previous decision of being abstinent did not stem from an inward desire. I was basically doing it to avoid some of the labels that accompany an unmarried woman who is sexual active; but mostly, I did not want to disappoint my mother. My mother was an “old school mama” who was very adamant about keeping my “cookie” fresh, safe and untouched by hounds who were not meant to be my husband.

Practicing celibacy has allowed me to learn myself in ways that I never imagined were possible. The clarity that one gains while being celibate has proven to be unmatched. No longer am I confused or occupied with the wants, needs and desires of others. Most people would be surprised at the huge emotional responsibility that we take on when we are engaging in a sexual relationship with another person. My spirituality has deepened and my relationship with God has been enriched because now I am fully accessible to him first. I truly understand the importance, value, and power of the “cookie.” And this revelation is not exclusive to just women. There is so much power when men practice celibacy as well. Practicing celibacy until marriage creates a grand opportunity for an individual to be emotionally centered and focused. It takes an incredible amount of discipline to be celibate and has proven to be quite difficult at times, but, it is equally rewarding. Celibacy is certainly not for everyone, but on this journey of self-discovery and self-love, it is definitely a practice that should be considered. When all is said and done, you want to be absolutely sure that the right hands are in the cookie jar.

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“Invest in some brightly colored accessories, like fun earrings or silk scarves, to refresh your favorite winter looks.”

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Celebrity Stylist

Zerina Akers

on how to mix,match & style your Spring & Summer looks By Unique Ratcliff

Z

erina Akers, celebrity stylist and imaging expert is known for her daring fashion choices. This style veteran pushes the envelope by incorporating bold colors and prints into her client’s wardrobe. Akers’ extensive background in fashion allowed her to work alongside curators such as Shiona Turini and Alex White. Currently the personal stylist and wardrobe curator for Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, this innovative stylist has maneuvered through the industry by weaving her passionate risk-taking personality with her love for fashion. As a style virtuoso, Akers is a perfect go-to to answer questions about dressing for spring and summer. With her recent partnership with Dove Invisible Dry Spray, she gives practical advice on how to incorporate this season’s “it” colors into our closet.

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As a personal stylist and wardrobe curator for Beyoncé and many others, when it comes to your clients, what factors help you to determine what is the right direction for their style? With many of my clients, I love to play with bright bold colors, whether color blocking or mixing prints! I really try to collaborate with my clients, learning who they are and what they like so I can help enhance their personal style and make them feel confident while stepping out of their comfort zone. I always push for color to make the look lively! What style trend are you most excited to see this Spring? Pastels are making a comeback and I’m excited to see them more with the arrival of spring. Lilac is one of my favorite colors to see making a comeback in men’s and womenswear! Last spring, pink found its way back into everyone’s closet. This spring it seems like yellow is going to have that same effect. What are some ways we can incorporate the color into our everyday look? Yellow is a great color to use to brighten any look. For the more reserved styles, you can pair it with grey or navy. It can also pull out last year’s pink blazer and pair it with your new yellow top! What do you like most about Dove Invisible Dry Spray? What is your favorite scent? Whether I’m styling for a red carpet, a photoshoot or every day wear, time is always of the essence, so it’s really frustrating when you have the perfect, color-coordinated outfit and those notorious white marks appear – adding time and stress to getting ready. So, what I really love about Dove Invisible Dry Spray is that it leaves no white marks on 100 colors – so no matter what style I land on, I know it will stay looking its very best! And it actually lasts - you get that 48-hour odor 26

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wetness protection, which is a major plus. My favorite scent is Sheer Cool because it’s very light and smells fresh. What kind of advice would you give with mixing bright colors? The best way to stand out in a room is by incorporating some key basics pieces in bright, bold colors like royal blue or marigold. I love mixing colors that you may not feel complement each other, as it makes for a unique statement look. If you have bright yellow pants, don’t be afraid to pair them with a bright hot pink top. When in doubt, do not be afraid to refer to the color wheel!

“I always try to understand my client as much as possible, and really create a space where they feel comfortable and confident throughout.”

What is one statement piece you would encourage women to wear this Spring? I am really into colorful blazers at the moment. Adding a lively blazer over a basic top or light hue can completely transform a whole outfit. When it’s warmer out, drape the blazer over your shoulders to stay cool, and look edgy at the same time! If any, what winter pieces would you suggest women incorporate into their spring looks? Refresh your favorite cold-weather styles by mixing and matching with some new spring silhouettes and colors. Add a new flirty pink work pant or skirt to your repertoire and pair with a lightweight sweater in last season’s popular navy blue or olive green. Are there any colors that we should avoid this Spring? I think we should definitely embrace bold colors over darker colors during the spring. Make your wardrobe feel new again by mixing some of 2018’s vibrant colors with pieces you already own in some of last season’s more neutral tones. Invest in some brightly colored accessories, like fun earrings or silk scarves, to refresh your favorite winter looks.

According to you,“Fashion is not only about luxury; it’s about inspiring clients to express their authentic selves.” How are you able to encapsulate your client’s individual personalities through fashion? I always try to understand my client as much as possible, and really create a space where they feel comfortable and confident throughout. It’s a collaboration, having the ability to listen to what my clients are saying (and not saying) allows me to truly understand how to work beyond their comfort zones and style them in an unexpected outfit, which is extremely rewarding when they get excited over a piece or look that they never imagined going for. If you could give women one tip while shopping this Spring, what would it be? I would say to transition your wardrobe this spring by introducing pieces like maxi dresses or skirts in pastel hues like lilac, periwinkle and rose. This keeps your legs covered on cooler days but brings femininity and playfulness to any look. You can always pair these items with a cute jacket or blazer.

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“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Dating expert Shan Boodram Sets the record straight on dating, sex and relationships By Farren Washington 28

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Canadian born certified sex educator, dating expert and relationship guru Shan Boodram is the Internet’s most sought-after new IT girl. Her YouTube channel has received over 25 million views alongside her mainstream coverage across ABC’s “The View,” MTV, Fox News, CNN, The Steve Harvey Show, The New York Times, Forbes and Time Magazine. Known affectionately by her fans as “Shan Boody,” Boodram is currently the host and consulting producer of Facebook’s new expansion into original content with her show, “Make Up or Break Up,” which recently aired its season 2 finale. Boodram first made her way onto the scene and caught the attention of international media with her work on MTV’s “Guide to Series,” which aired during the summer of 2016. Boodram is a best-selling author with her daring and quirky book, LAID, and is a contributing writer for Freeform (formerly ABC Family) Network’s “The Bold Type” series. Boodram’s work for the show also currently appears on Cosmopolitan Magazine’s website. In addition, she serves as host and executive producer of the Full screen series “Your Perfect Date,” where she actively coaches individuals in need of polished dating protocol (also streaming its second season). Boodram is an ambassador for AIDS Healthcare Foundation, American Sexual Health Association and WomensHealth.gov. She currently resides in Los Angeles, where she is a full-time advocate for sex-positive conversations and empowering the general public with clinical information through a youthful lens. “Make Up or Break Up” focuses on couples looking to make a crucial decision: should they resolve their issues and move forward as a couple or terminate their relationship? The couples share their stories with Boodram, a live studio audience, and the community tuning in on Facebook Watch. The fans ultimately vote live on the pair’s future with the hashtags #MakeUp or #BreakUp In part 2 of our interview with Shan (part 1 was published on our website here, she spills the tea on dating, sex and relationships. Here’s what we asked and what she had to say…

“Make Up or Break Up” streams live every Thursday at 8:00 p.m. EST. For more information about Shan and her work, visit: https://www.shanboodram.com To see full episodes of her show, go to: https://www.facebook.com/makeupbreakupshow JUNE 2018

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What is the number one mistake most women make with men? Pretty much the the #1 mistake we we all make in every interaction withwith the the opposite sex:sex: assuming. Assuming Pretty much #1 mistake all make in every interaction opposite assuming. Assum-that someone knows exactly whatexactly you’re thinking, agrees with what you’re thinks how you think, loves ing that someone knows what you’re thinking, agrees with thinking, what you’re thinking, thinks how youhow you love, means things the way you interpret them. The biggest mistake of all is not utilizing these four words to think, loves how you love, means things the way you interpret them. The biggest mistake of all is not theirwords fullestto potential (no not those four words) “what you “what think?”do you think?” utilizing these four their fullest potential (no, not those four do words)

What initially made you decide to pursue a career in this field? What initially made you decide to pursue a career in this I saw a niche and ran with it. When I first started out, I field? didn’t know of any women of color who spoke so openly about intimacy educationally and above all else, I saw a niche and ran with it. When I first started out, I personally. I wanted to be the face voice I didn’t know of any women of color whoand spoke so that openly wasintimacy searching for but couldn’t find. all else, about educationally and above personally. I wanted to be the face and voice that I and projectsfind. in the works? was Current searching forfuture but couldn’t I am working on a new book! I actually began my work in Current and future projects in the works? this space as an author back in 2009, so it’s beyond due me to on doaanew follow up. IThis book will reflect on in what I amfor working book! actually began my work I’ve learned and more importantly, what I want to teach this space as an author back in 2009, so it’s beyond due others. for me to do a follow up. This book will reflect on what I’ve learned and more importantly, what I want to teach others. Where do you see yourself 10-20 years from now? Where do you see yourself 10-20 years from now? I want to become the person who people think of first when they consider dating, love or sex—anything I want to become the person who people think of first to do with relationships. So, in essence, I want to be to doing when they consider dating, love or sex—anything do exactly what I’m doing today, but with more experience with relationships. So, in essence, I want to be doing andwhat on a I’m global scale. exactly doing today, but with more experience and on a global scale. What advice would you give to young women who want toadvice have awould successful career your women field? who want What you give to in young to have a successful career in your field? Be the change you wish to see in the world. If you want people to be more love and Be the change you wishcandid to see in in discussing the world. sex, If you want relationships, make sure you embody that mantra people to be more candid in discussing sex, love and r too. This is a make very sensitive deeplytoo. personal elationships, sure you subject embodythat thatismantra This and massively underrepresented, so if you’re going is a very sensitive subject that is deeply personal and to enter this space make sure do itgoing right. to No one has massively underrepresented, so you if you’re mind-blowing sex all the time or a picture-perfect enter this space make sure you do it right. No one has marriage, so being to admit you’re learningmarriage, and figurmind-blowing sexallable the time or a picture-perfect ing it out as you go (alongside your audience) so being able to admit you’re learning and figuring itgoes out a long way. as you go (alongside your audience) goes a long way.

“Love “Loveisisaa ‘natural’ ‘natural’ addiction...” addiction...” 30

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“I wanted to “I face wanted be the andto be that the face and voice I was voice that I was searching for but searching for but couldn’t find.” couldn’t find.” How important is sex in a relationship? That question is kind of like asking how important religion, race or finance is in a relationship. It can be incredHow important is sex in a relationship? ibly important or essentially null and void depending on theThat two question people involved. youasking are a sexually driven peris kind ofIf like how important religion, son, try to prioritize finding a compatible partner who race or finance is in a relationship. It can be incredibly knows how toorpush your sexual buttons. If sex isn’t on thatthe important essentially null and void depending important to you, look for someone who like you, pritwo people involved. If you are a sexually driven person, oritizes other things and sees sex as a sporadic bonus try to prioritize finding a compatible partner who knows rather a staple. howthan to push your sexual buttons. If sex isn’t that important to you, look for someone who like you, prioritizes other In your opinion, possiblebonus to berather in lovethan witha thingsexpert and sees sex asisaitsporadic twostaple. people at the same time? Oh, wow. This feels like a trick question to me. I feel like In your expert opinion, is it possible to be in love with two the Internet has unofficially dubbed me the queen of people at the same time? open relationships, so if anyone is going to believe in theOh validity polyamory me.question I don’t think has wow. of This feels like it’s a trick to me.love I feel like a limit - you can give or keep dubbed as muchme of the it asqueen you like the Internet has unofficially of open without diluting the orismagic relationships, so ifquality anyone goingoftoit.believe in the validity of polyamory it’s me. I don’t think love has a limit - you can What is or your advice to single women who are frustrated give keep as much of it as you like without diluting the with the dating scene? quality or magic of it. Get better at dating. Most things in life are neutral: family, What is your advice to single women who are frustrated friends, jobs, etc. It’s your interaction with it that assigns with the dating scene? an energy to it. The dating scene can be discouraging for a lot of better peopleatbecause they treat it in likelife a chore. Dating Get dating. Most things are neutral: family, is supposed to be fun, frustrating! Adopt moreassigns friends, jobs, etc. It’snot your interaction with ita that positive attitude. a step scene back and change tactics. for an energy to it.Take The dating can be discouraging Look in of different getthey better seduca lot peopleplaces, because treatatitattracting, like a chore. Dating is ing,supposed conversating, marking, managing expecto beboundary fun, not frustrating! Adopt a more tations. If you were Take frustrated tennis, you positive attitude. a stepwhile backplaying and change tactics. would probably get places, lessons get or watch to learn seducing, how Look in different bettervideos at attracting, to be improve your game. Hint, hint.managing expectations. conversating, boundary marking, If you were frustrated while playing tennis, you would probably get lessons or watch videos to learn how to be improve your game. Hint, hint.


“Dating is supposed to be fun, not frustrating!”

Does love find you, or do you find it? Either one! Some people are living in a small town and working in their local Chipotle when a famed Hollywood director walks in and says, “You! Take off that apron and stop slicing that avocado, you’re going to be the star of my new film!” And some people move to Los Angeles, live in their car, take tons of acting classes, arrive early for every audition, network, build relationships with casting agents then years later land their dream job. There is no wrong way to tell a love story, but I would rather spend my energy betting on scenario B vs. scenario A. Why do men stop calling? It happens mainly because they’ve lost interest. Or, in rare cases can’t commit because they have developed an insecure avoidant attached style. People who have this tend to flee or feel uncomfortable when anyone gets

too close to them. Either way it’s not worth the chase! Can women make the first move? Yes or no? Yes, women can choose to be more proactive in their personal lives. But personally, I prefer to influence the first move vs. making the first move. I might make eye contact, be in close proximity or smile, but if I do all that and they still don’t approach me – it’s not the end of the world. Same thing with online dating. Like a pic or two, leave a witty comment. If I get crickets, I move on. Is it better to go on dating apps or meet people in real life? Statistically, the best way to meet someone is through a mutual friend but sometimes that well dries up. I am absolutely team #onlinedating,  but more than that I’m team niche!

Whether you are looking IRL or via URL, make sure you know exactly what you’re looking for and that you’re specific about where you’re looking. What’s the best way to end a relationship? The best way to end a relationship is to be honest and firm. Be clear about why it’s ending and if you are the one to break things off, take the lead in minimizing further engagement (especially in the beginning of the break-up). How would you define the meaning of love? Love is a “natural” addiction which has evolved over time as a survival mechanism to encourage human pair-bonding and reproduction. In short, love is the very reason we are alive today.

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Skin Deep Beauty

is skin-deep, then you’ll want to if beauty fulfill your esthetic needs at the Skin &

Body Klinic located in Willingboro, N.J. Owned by Licensed Esthetician, Permanent Makeup Artist, Makeup Artist, and Hair Removal Educator, Tiffany Torrence, the Skin and Body Klinic provides a clinical approach to treating the face and the body. From advanced facial treatments to clinical massage, Torrence and her experienced team improve the skin for women, men and teens. We caught up with her to find out how she developed a love for skin and body care and what sets her business apart from the rest. When did you know you had an interest in skin and beauty? I was always interested in beauty! As a little girl I would visit my grandmother who was in my mind a Diva. She was a devoted wearer of Fashion Fair makeup. She had her pancake foundation, blush, lipstick and matching nail polish. She had a variety of matching nail polish and lipstick combos! She wore wigs and had a closet full of shoes that were taller than I was at the time! I was told that when I was in high school, my makeup was always done. As I went through college I found myself watching TV, especially music videos and staring at the makeup. I would wonder what/how it was done and I would attempt to replicate it. When did you start the Skin & Body Klinic and what inspired you to start a company that provides a clinical approach to treating the face and the body? I created the Skin and Body Klinic in 2014 because I was working for a plastic surgeon that, while he was an amazing surgeon, his spa was not a priority, and that was affecting my pockets. At that time in my life, I was walking away from 32

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with Tiffany Torrence

disappointment and constant let downs. I was tired of being told no I can’t or no I shouldn’t, so I just did! How did you transition from being a makeup artist to becoming a licensed Esthetician? I’m still a Makeup Artist that happens to be an Esthetician (lol). I do both! I’m not as busy with photoshoots, TV/video and runway but I do makeup for special events. It’s great because I can provide tangible advice and really speak to men and women’s issues or concerns outside of lipstick and mascara per se. I was expecting my son and at the advice of my doctor I had to limit my travel. I did not want to go back to corporate America so I figured that Esthetics was a good way for me to work locally and still beautify! What services do you offer at the Skin & Body Klinic? The Skin and Body Klinic offers clinical skin treatments, oncology skin treatments, massage for relaxation and pain management, whole body waxing for women and men, teeth whitening, manicures and pedicures, lash extensions, permanent makeup for brows, eye and lipliner, in addition to areola tattoo for breast cancer survivors. What type of clients does your business target to? Attract? The typical client of the Skin and Body Klinic is the person that wants to look and feel good. The Skin and Body Klinic attracts the woman or man concerned with something they do not like when they look in the mirror. It could be acne, excess hair, discoloration, aged appearance, or even their smile. What are some of the most


“As a makeup artist and a woman of color I got tired of dealing with products that did not offer enough variety.” popular skin issues your clients of color tend to face and how do you help them to overcome such issues? The most popular skin issue would be congested pores/acne. We first assess the skin to see what could be causing the issue. We educate the client about skin, and about how our diet and our lifestyle is just as much apart of healthy skin as how they maintains their skin.

“As a makeup artist and a woman of color I got tired of dealing with products that did not offer enough variety.”

What are some of your other most popular services offered? Some of my most popular services offered are our Signature Facial, Massage and Brazilian Wax Tell us about your beauty bar, SBK cosmetics. (7 mins) SBK Cosmetics is makeup created for beautiful women! This makeup line is a highly pigmented What important skincare tip can you offer and diverse in color with a global color palette in women for the spring/summer season? mind. As a makeup artist and a woman of color I Get a facial and exfoliate the dead skin winter left got tired of dealing with products that did not offer behind! enough variety. I also created SBK COSMETICS with the everyday woman in mind that does not What are your future hopes for your business? have time or is not interested in spending 30- I hope that my business continues to grow and 45 minutes trying to replicate what they saw on that I am able to continue to contribute to the a YouTube or Instagram! The beauty bar also community. I also want see my business model includes the SBK SKIN which is a comprehensive as a low cost franchise that allows estheticians/ skincare line that is totally customizable. It utilizes small business owners with a solid way of offering ingredients that are not what you normally see in quality spa services to communities. over the counter or even doctor’s offices. JUNE 2018

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Taking the Lead BRONZE CHATS WITH RISING STAR

Jaylen Barron ctress Jaylen Barron’s star is shining bright. The talented L.A. native plays the lead role on the critically acclaimed Netflix’s Free Rein, a story of a 15-yearold from Los Angeles that spends the summer at her mom’s childhood home on an island off the coast of England. After befriending a mysterious horse during a summer, she finds the strength to deal with issues she faces. The series recently won two Daytime Emmy’s for Outstanding Children’s Series as well as Outstanding Directing in Children’s Programing. The show was also nominated for a NAACP Award for Outstanding Children’s Program.

A

Jaylen, no stranger to the small screen, has also had notable recurring roles on hit shows such as the fan-favorite series, Shameless as Carl’s girlfriend in Season 6 as well as Good Luck Charlie and See Dad Run. With previous guest roles include Bones, Shake It Up, and Those Who Can’t, the talented star has also been nominated for four Young Artist Awards. As our June cover star, Jaylen happily shared with us about her start in acting, her role on Free Rein and what she likes to do when she’s not filming. Photographer/creative director: Amina Touray, @aminatphoto Makeup artist: Niehla O, @niehlao Stylist: Janel Styles, @janelstyles77 Two tone jeans jacket with splash of pink: @infatue Provided by: @PR_SOLO Gold/cream bodysuit with beads: @madamemethven Provided by: @nowprla Provided by: @pr_solo 34

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Where did you grow up? Where do you reside now?

I grew up in and around LA county where I still reside.

What was your childhood like?

It was great. I played all the time and its ok to be silly in my house, so we did that a lot.

How did you get into acting?

I asked my mom if she could put me on TV when I was little. So, when she thought I was ready, she had pictures taken of me and we submitted them and it kind of went from there.

What role did your family play in your decision to pursue an acting career? Well I asked, and they put it off until they couldn’t anymore so, my parents allowed me to pursue it. With some stipulations, of course. I don’t think this was their preferred career choice for me, but they are extremely supportive and help me with anything I may need.

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Tell us about your very first audition. What was it like for you?

My first audition was a Bratz doll commercial, I had no idea what to expect so I just jumped right in and did it. It was fun. I really didn’t realize it was a competition for a job, hahaha! I just had fun.

What was it like being on the hit Showtime show Shameless? It was so great! There really is no other way to explain it. Working alongside such talented people in a high paced environment, learning new aspects of set life it was just incredible.

How did you land the role of Zoe on Netflix’s Free Rein?

Gosh, I don’t know how I landed this role honestly, but I am so very grateful Lime productions and Netflix gave me the opportunity to lead a show!! They took a chance, thought outside the box and here I am now. It’s amazing.

In Free Rein, your character is 15 years old. How did you prepare yourself to play this character? How similar or different are you and Zoe?

Preparing for Zoe was not too difficult since I had been 15 and wasn’t too far away from it at the time. I remember all the drama and angst, the things that I thought would make or break my life. I was similar at the time in that Zoe is in her head a lot and I was too but I think now I’ve learned how to manage at least in part, what is vital and what is just situations we live through.

What do you like to do for fun when you are not filming?

I’m usually at home with my dogs watching documentaries or Dr. Phil (my guilty pleasure)

What is your dream role and who would you love to work with in a film/show? I’d love to work with Halle Berry and Viola Davis.

What future projects can you share with us? I can’t share any right now, but I do have some fun things coming in so follow me on IG @jaylenbarron and Twitter @jaylenjbarron for updates.

Photographer/creative director: Amina Touray, @aminatphoto Makeup artist: Niehla O, @niehlao Stylist: Janel Styles, @janelstyles77 Velvet black dress with gold designs: @onetrieuyeu Provided by: @maisonpriveepr_la Big gold ring: @katongers Small rings with gold and diamonds: @jewelrybar.usa Provided by: @nowprla Shoes: @jflondon_walkoffame Provided by: @pr_solo JUNE 2018

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Letter To My Younger Self By Latasha M. Ford

Beautiful, young lady you are….

Dream and dream big.

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T

here will be many who will tell you that it’s impossible and it will never happen.  But never listen!  Never listen to those who utter the word “impossible” to you. Because, trust me… you have the world in your hands. You are the determining factor as to how far you will go in life or the lack thereof. Listen to me… you are to never stop dreaming! Because when you no longer dream-you no longer believe. And, believing my dear will ultimately lead to your self motivation, inner desires, success and your setting short and longterm goals for yourself. There will be many who will tell you that you can... but many more that will whisper in your ear that you cannot. Hold on to your self-confidence even when life attempts to strip it away. Know that you are worthy despite how many heartaches you will have to suffer through. Because, you will be hurt at one point or another. And, not only will you have to experience hurt but you will have to push through disappointments. It’s unfortunate dear, but it’s true. It isn’t about how broken down you may get at times... it’s more or less about how you bounce back from it. Never rest in the space of unhappiness, weakness, or doubt. Believe in yourself when others will not. Hold onto your beauty and warm spirit because there will be some troubling days. Never settle for less than because people and circumstances will opt you into that space of feeling unworthy at times, especially when it comes to love. You are a strong, beautiful, educated, intelligent, a hard-working person and never allow for others to feed into your mind that you are not.

“The journey will not always be easy but trust me my love,..It will be well worth it in the end.”

The journey will not always be easy but trust me my love.. it will be well worth it in the end. Remain focused at all times because unforseen circumstances will try to invite its way into your space, whether you want them to or not. You will have to deal with loss of loved ones, loss of jobs, and many people telling you “No” but know that such seasons never last always. So, know that there will be losses at times.. but there will be equal gains in due season. Stay the course regardless of how difficult the fight may be. Stand firm in your competence and never lose faith. Things may not play out as you plan or expect for them to... but nevertheless it will all be for your better good. Never attempt to force open a door that will not open. Use your learned wisdom and discernment in knowing how to close the wrong doors. Your friends may not always be your friends as they try to portray so keep your eyes open. Move in silence and never tell those that you cannot trust your darkest secrets. Dear, my dear, know that everything isn’t for everyone’s ears to hear as they will try to strip away your dreams right from under you, if they can. Despite what your eyes may see - know that what is for you is for you - never focus on the lives of others more than yourself. Know that you are a queen and your mind, body and soul is of great value. Never waste it. Stay in tune with your self-worth. Do not allow for every man to enter into your sacred space nor trust the words they may whisper in your ear. When it’s true love you will know it. Be sure to always work on your insecurities so that you can be what you want to attract. Be kind to others and treat them as you would like for them to treat you. Be mindful of the environments that you place yourself in. And, always-always hold your headup and be able to communicate with others in any type of setting.

“Know that you are a queen and your mind, body and soul is of great value.” Beautiful soul, when you find a true best friend, keep him or her near and when that special love happens to cross your path, never allow for your ego to persevere and run them away. Trust your intuition because it will never steer you wrong. Refrain from comparing your dear life against others because you are uniquely made. Never stop working towards living your best life because your’e frustrated- cry, pray, regroup yourself and jump right back in to win. Most importantly keep your credit up to par. Know that whatever you put your mind to, work towards and desire is right in your hands. It is obtainable. Life will beat you down at times but you have all that it takes to get to where it is you desire to be. Time may not always seem to be on your side but be patient so that you are sure to make the best decisions for your life. Because, trust me my dear, those decisions will determine your future. Dream Big. Envision what you want to be. Believe that it could be. And trust that it will happen. Your life will always be what you make it.

Instagram: @Latasha M. Ford Twitter: @latashamford LinkedIn: Latasha Ford

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Spirituality at Work: How to Be True to Yourself Without Offending Anyone Dr. Sheron Brown 40

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“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” ~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin That familiar quote makes an important point for those who believe there is a higher power: your entire being is having an experience called life. If your whole being is having the experience, is it a good idea to stifle parts of yourself? And if you stifle parts of yourself, are you being the best version of the you that you can be? The likely answer is no.

“...it’s important to always let your whole being flourish...” Let’s Get Clear About Spirituality The word spiritual can be overused by some and despised by others, but it has its place in our language. The word helps us to communicate a concept that is challenging to fully express. According to the dictionary, spiritual means relating to or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things. Said plainly, it means the part of you that can’t be touched. There are two main components that make up you—the non-physical or untouchable and the physical, tangible you. The untouchable part of you existed first and then the physical part—being human—came second. This is why Chardin said the non-physical part of you is experiencing life as a physical being.

We’ve established that it’s important to always let your whole being flourish, but there may be one place where spirituality is squashed: at work. There are many laws, rules and regulations that prohibit workplace displays of spiritual or religious beliefs. They were created to reduce the chances of people becoming offended when subjected to a belief system other than their own.

Essentially then, your whole being is spiritual and earthly, so I ask again, is it healthy to stifle either part? The answer is no.

The reality though is that work can be stressful and continued stress can negatively impact your well-being.

Over time, stress left unaddressed can contribute to the development of diseases, but the practice of grounding and centering can help reduce stress. And, the practice of grounding and centering are spiritual at their core because they require you to tap into the non-physical part of yourself. You have a dilemma then: you want to take care of yourself, but you don’t want to violate anyone on your job, and risk being penalized in the process.

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What can you do? You can respectfully defy the rules while following them at the same time and allow your spiritual side to flourish during the workday. Do You... There are tons of personality theories and assessments that help us better understand how we operate. Knowing those theories are helpful in every aspect of life. Your personality type strongly influences how you respond to everything including the rules of work. But because being spiritual is not just about reading your bible, chanting Om or breaking out into a full-on vinyansa yoga flow, you can still give yourself the spiritual care you need in a way that satisfies you without offending anyone or breaking any rules. Spirituality on Your Terms: Based on your personality, there are different ways that you can practice spirituality for the sake of your well-being with minimal offense to others. Here are a few methods that you can try. If you’ve never taken a personality assessment, I’ll give you a hint to your type by using the language of three popular theories you may have heard of, or can Google! The types I’ll refer to are the four types of yoga, the four Myers-Briggs classifications, and the four colors of True Colors.

Bhakti Yoga Feeler / Blue

Raja Yoga Judger / Gold

If you are the kind of person who is often concerned about the feelings or welfare of others, you may consider...

If you are the kind of person who values the importance of adhering to rules and standards, you may consider...

• Writing a loving note • Scheduling time to resolve a conflict with to someone you care someone so you are about in alignment with your • Performing a kind principles, then follow gesture for a coworker up and meet with them • Spending some time • Using a few moments to care for an office of your break to pet if you have one journal about your • Using the time your job allows, if it does, to do your volunteer work

reliance on Divine Guidance to help you meet your goals for the day

• Using a few moments of your break to journal about how you’re feeling

• Using your break time to read portions of your favorite spiritual text on your personally owned mobile device

• Establishing a lunch-time prayer group with your friends outside of work and call in to pray during your break

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• Establishing a lunch-time prayer group with your friends outside of work and call in during your break

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Jnana Yoga Thinker / Green

Karma Yoga Perceiver / Orange

If you are the kind of person who values your personal space and enjoys being alone to think, you may consider...

If you are the kind of person who values feeling like you are in control and ready to take action, you may consider...

• Going for a silent walk during your lunch break

• Going for a walk at lunch

• Reading a snippet of • Going to your car to an inspirational story of read or reflect for a few someone else’s life minutes • Practicing chair yoga at • Using a few moments your desk for a few of your break to journal moments (to others, about shifting your you’ll just be stretching) situation • Listening to • Finding a quiet place inspirational music using to meditate on your your headphones (and favorite inspirational even hum if it doesn’t quote for a few bother anyone) moments • Establishing a lunch-time prayer group • Leaving your desk with your friends outside during your break to privately color an of work and call in during inspiring message in your break an adult coloring book


“The reality...is that work can be stressful and continued stress can negatively impact your well-being.”

Regardless of your personality, everyone can enjoy a few moments of deep breathing. It’s a great way to connect back to your Higher Self because, after all, breath is the reason you are alive and your life originated from a higher source. In nature, when one aspect of a living creature is stifled, then another aspect of it suffers. That doesn’t have to be your case. Your spiritual side does not have to be stifled because you are in a professional setting. Use one or all of these tactics to live harmoniously all day, and bring your entire being to work.

Sheron Brown, Ph.D. is the owner of Sweet Eden by Sheron, a wellness education company. She is also the author of The Wellness-Purpose Connection™: The Ultimate Guide to Maximizing Your Life Experience. As a certified integrative nutrition health coach and yoga instructor, Sheron teaches mindful practices that helps you heal your physical, mental, and emotional well-being so you can fully live your purpose with joy and vitality. Connect with her online on Facebook and Twitter @sheronbrownphd or Instagram @iamagirlfrombrooklyn. You can also email Sheron for help with your organization’s or individual wellness goals at info@sweetedenbysheron.com.

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Bronze Magazine Spring Pop-Up Shop Recap Photography/Editing by Mandira Bahl

Our May spring pop up shop at Brooklyn Commons was amazing! 25 indie brands

showcased their amazing products to attendees. Our media partner/pop up host Ashanti Middleton, the Creator/host of Taste & Toast with AM debuted her awesome new brand Esrever Wines and it was an absolute hit! Everyone enjoyed the deliciously sweet taste of their complimentary wine & cocktail samples. We’d like to thank our generous giveaway sponsors for their generosity (Happy Girl Glow, Black Girl Sunscreen, Urban Holistic and Tyed by Dede), thank you to Events Director and Owner of Xclusive Services Trish Sanyal and team, for coordinating an awesome event, and thank you to our fearless Founder/ Editor in Chief Shawn Stuldivant and her husband/co-owner Barry for providing a platform where people of color can connect and flourish!

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