Y'all know we love a multi-hyphenate. Adrienne Bailon is that and then some. Over the years, our favorite Cheetah Girl has remained relevant with evolving identities from singer to actress to entrepreneur. Despite her first dream job of being an obstetrician, Adrienne's emergence as a superstar back in 1999 has proven that she is unafraid to experiment. Most importantly, The Real co-host's mission is centered around authenticity and transparency.
xoNecole caught up with Adrienne Bailon to talk about her beauty routine, the importance of self-care, being a serial entrepreneur, and why her new collaboration with Olay empowers women of color in more ways than one.
xoNecole: Can you spill the tea on your beauty routine and your top three must-haves?
Adrienne Bailon: This is pretty easy. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Hydration is key. I know this sounds super cheesy, but drinking water. I am a crazy water drinker. I actually just recently got one of those reusable big jugs that give you the encouragement. I swear by that. I think that staying super hydrated from the inside out is key to staying cute. Number two, when we talk about moisture, I think so many of us think beauty secrets, we always think about our faces and a lot of us neglect our bodies. I was raised with a mom that straight out of the shower was like, "You need lotion! Don't come out here with ashy knees and elbows." I am so grateful for that.
I am obsessed with Olay Body. They just came out with this new body lotion collection, and it is everything because we've used collagen on our faces; I've literally even done the collagen in the smoothies and put it in our teas and all that kind of stuff. But I'm like, "Why not just put it on our actual skin?" And I'm super excited about their new Olay Firming Body Lotion. I have to say, you actually see a visible difference. I started using it maybe two, three weeks ago, and I already see a huge change.
I love the idea of literally lathering it on and then I'll notice the difference the most in my thighs because they look way more hydrated, way firmer. I suffer from cellulite, so this has been like a godsend for me literally to see a visible difference in the firmness of my skin. For me, self-care is skincare. I take my moment to kind of just do what I gotta do. That is super-important to me. The last thing would be rest as a beauty secret. I think so many of us don't think of that—creating space for yourself to just relax. If you're stressed out, it will show up on your skin.
"For me, self-care is skincare. I take my moment to kind of just do what I gotta do. That is super-important to me."
You talked a little bit about self-care. As a multihyphenate, what does self-care look like for you?
Alone time. I think that in a business where I'm constantly surrounded by people and there's constantly a lot of chaos and talking, I think I really value my alone time. The moments when I get to hear the sound of my own voice. What is it that I want? What is it that I like? I think we don't realize that when we're around people, you watch the shows they want to watch. You listen to the music that they might want to listen to. It's very rare that you'll put on that random quirky song that maybe you just want to hear in the car.
I think that it's so important for me to have alone time. And that's really where I get a lot of my self-care time done, too. Obviously, I have a husband, so I live with someone else. For me, my alone time is in the bathroom. I literally take time to be like, "I'm checking out to go do my nighttime routine. I'm going to need like the next 30 minutes to just not hear anyone else's voice, but my own."
That's so good! Along those lines of self-care, what was kind of the breakthrough moment where you realized you needed to prioritize self-care in a real way?
Oh! Crazy enough, it was 2021, not 2020. In 2020, we were in isolation and it was crazy but when things started opening again, it hit us like a ton of bricks. For me, at least, it was overwhelming. It felt like a lot. I think a lot of us were concerned about finances and feeling like you got to get back into it and strike while the iron's hot.
That whole mentality for me was really overwhelming and that's when I started recognizing like, 'OK, I have to find balance. Yes, the world is open, but there was something really special about the family time that I got.' That's what made me buy a home in New York. It's marvelous having a job in L.A. but this is a place to work. Home for me is going to be where my family is so it was just making those changes during that time that were really important for me.
Absolutely. Tell us why you believe self-care is important for women of color specifically.
Let's get into it, here. It is so important because I think that culturally, I don't think it's something that we focus on. I don't think people discuss the awareness of checking in on ourselves. How do we feel? That's self-care. Self-care for me is literally taking a piece of paper and checking off all the things, "Am I happy? Am I rested? What's stressing me out? What's going on?" Taking inventory of myself. And I don't think that culturally, we take that. I don't think that that's considered. It's like, go, go, go.
If you're not stressed out and hustling and killing yourself, then you're not doing well. I think that sadly, it's a mentality that we have when it comes to work and success. What does success look like? I think for us, it looks like working really, really hard when success can also be just being at peace with yourself and at peace with your life. I don't think we prioritize that nearly enough as much as we prioritize the success of working hard or climbing the corporate ladder and all those other kinds of things. I think self-care for women of color is extremely important because no one else is going to give it to us, but us.
"Self-care for me is literally taking a piece of paper and checking off all the things, 'Am I happy? Am I rested? What's stressing me out? What's going on?' Taking inventory of myself... I think self-care for women of color is extremely important because no one else is going to give it to us, but us."
Yes, you can't pour from an empty cup.
You can not, and you can't expect anyone else to care about yourself like you do. So take those moments that you need. It's OK to express, "Hey, I'm taking a moment for self-care." I think exploring what self-care looks like to you is important too. It's not going to be the same as someone else's. If you are an extrovert, maybe self-care is doing something with a group of girlfriends and that's what you needed. Maybe you need a break from your kids. Maybe you need to have some adult time. Self-care for everyone is going to look different, but prioritizing it should be high on everyone's list.
I love that so much. We talked a little bit about working hard, what does it mean to be a fearless female entrepreneur?
A fearless female entrepreneur, if you think about it, if you're fearless, you're going to go for it. You're not going to second guess yourself. You are going to try it all, do it all, and be it all. There's something really dope about that. I think when we're fearless, we get out of our own way. And when we talk about self-care, I love that Olay is doing this campaign, and it's why I wanted to partner with them because how we start and end our day definitely contributes to how fearless we feel, you know. How fearless we feel in our skin, how we feel about our skin, and what do we do this morning that's going to benefit us two weeks from now. That mindset is so important.
I really do love that saying, "Do something today that your future self is going to say thank you for." I feel like my future skin is going to say thank you, my future mind is going to say thank you. The extra 20 minutes I put into not scrolling on Instagram and focusing on the things I have to actually do—being present— I'm going to be grateful for those things later on. And I think being present can make you fearless because you're living in the moment and not worrying about tomorrow.
I think those kinds of things are really important. And when you're fearless, especially as a female entrepreneur, you tend to not doubt yourself and you tend to actually believe in the ideas that you have, and that's where the success comes.
"How we start and end our day definitely contributes to how fearless we feel, you know. How fearless we feel in our skin, how we feel about our skin, and what do we do this morning that's going to benefit us two weeks from now. That mindset is so important."
Courtesy of Olay
That's beautiful. I love that you're doing this collaboration with Olay. I think it's a great collaboration with two beautiful brands. How has Olay empowered you to show up as your full self?
Oh my gosh. It's empowered me in more ways than one. I think that growing up, it was a staple brand in my home that I saw and now to see it being so innovative in 2021, I think that that in itself is inspirational. It's been around for so long and it's still doing groundbreaking things like putting collagen in a body lotion, putting hyaluronic acid in a body wash. These are things that were new that I wasn't seeing done in any other products.
For myself, especially as a female entrepreneur, to see that is inspiring, I'm like, 'Wow, so you mean to tell me that 30 years from now, I could still be doing something groundbreaking in jewelry and fashion.' Just to see that is super inspiring.
I love what they're doing for women of color entrepreneurs. They've partnered with LISC NYC to really empower women of color, especially in Washington Heights to do amazing things. I love that I am a female entrepreneur. I know what it's like to grow up in the hood and not have the information and the tools to become an entrepreneur. I had to learn so much along the way because I didn't have that knowledge.
I didn't have a mom that I can call and be like, "How did you do it?" I didn't have those connections. Sharing the information is super important and being able to work with brands that recognize the importance of supporting women of color is extremely important.
Wow, that's so good! So, what's next for you? What can we expect from you?
I am so excited we're back for season eight, with The Real. We are back in the studio with the girls and it's just been really special. Spending an entire year of being in Zoom boxes with random delays, we are so grateful that our audience stuck with us through all of that. And then to be back together, although we don't have a studio audience, I actually prefer it, as we're having really deep conversations. There's something really special about it just being the four of us and people that we're used to working with.
There are two cameramen and our stage manager, Sonia, who's been with us since day one. You can have those intimate, difficult conversations in a different way. I think that we'd have the tears on the seasons before but there was still an audience of over 200 people looking at it. It changes the dynamic. And I think it's been really, really special so far. I'm excited! I'm calling this our 'intimate season.' It's just the four of us. The table is gone. It's more casual. It feels special, and I think we're not taking this one for granted at all.
Yasss! My last question is actually about your audience. And how fitting since we're talking about self-care and beauty. So what's the secret lip gloss you use on the show?
OK, she might not like this, but I love a good tingle lip gloss. I love lip plumpers. I feel like if it's not burning, it's not working, so I am a huge fan. There's this brand called BUXOM Beauty. I swear that all their lip colors are life-changing. There's going to be a little tingle factor, but I swear the shine stays. That's the one.
To keep up with All Things Adrienne, check out her YouTube channel. And for Olay's new collection, head over to Olay.com to add some items to the cart.
Featured image courtesy of Olay
Joce Blake is a womanist who loves fashion, Beyonce and Hot Cheetos. The sophistiratchet enthusiast is based in Brooklyn, NY but has southern belle roots as she was born and raised in Memphis, TN. Keep up with her on Instagram @joce_blake and on Twitter @SaraJessicaBee.
Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
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If you haven’t scrolled upon Olivia McDowell's TikTok famous dinner parties, you may need to reconfigure your "For You Page."
What began as a passion for hosting aesthetically themed meals for her closest friends has quickly become a viral sensation. With an astonishing 12 million viewers, women describe Olivia’s picturesque dinner parties as the “dream girls' night,” complete with classy cocktails, beautiful table settings, elegant outfits, and, most importantly, food plated to perfection.
Seemingly reigniting the feminine urge to host fancy dinner parties, Olivia has perfected the finer details. Overlooking the skyline in her beautiful NYC apartment, she never fails to make her signature handmade pasta dishes while simultaneously looking effortlessly chic in the wardrobe of dreams while doing so.
Replying to @nara0630 what should the theme of my next dinner party be? #minivlog #nycliving #dinnerpartyideas #caviarinnewyork
What I love most about hosting intimate dinners for close friends are the connections and relationships that form over food. They don't require a caviar budget with a high-rise apartment, it just takes determination and a little creativity. Watching Olivia’s journey inspires viewers to be a part of a community of positive and uplifting women who share common interests and tastes in food, fashion, and decor. Simply stated, she’s raising the bar of friendship goals.
If you’re aspiring to host a holiday-themed dinner party this season, check out the four tips that will guide you along the way.
Choose Your Theme
Replying to @emz.life.tsv what was your fav part? 🤍 hope this gives you some inspiration to host a fancy friendsgiving too! #hostingtip #dinnerparty #pastamaking
Set the ambiance with a thoughtful theme, which will indeed be your guiding light for less stress during the planning process. Establishing a theme sets the tone for everything else to fall in place, such as menus, table design, and presentation. For example, a holiday-inspired dinner party is a perfect occasion for elegant all-white decor paired with draped table cloths, pillar candles lit atop luxe holders, floating floral arrangements, and, for a personal touch, handwritten place settings.
Utilizing free resources such as Canva for menu templates and creating a “Dinner Party” moodboard via Pinterest is perfect for gathering dinner inspiration for themes, decor, and recipes for the special occasion.
Simplify the Menu
How to host your own pasta making dinner party — part 1: pasta making from scratch 🤍 Hosting dinner parties has become my favorite thing to do this year. More goes into it than you expect, the prep, planning, guestlist, tablescape, etc. but it’s always worth it in the end. What do you guys want to see next? #hostingtips #dinnerparty #pastamaking
Don’t overcomplicate the menu. A simple dinner party formula to use as your guide to making sure your guests leave full of food and joy is appetizers, salads, entrees, sides, desserts, and beverages. As a starter, assemble an aesthetic spread that your guest can nibble on while awaiting the main course with starters such as bread, cheese, jam, nuts, and fruit. A simple salad will do, complete with a light dressing right before your entree. For a main dish, pasta recipes always go a long way and also allows your guests to interact with one another, which leads to McDowell's third dinner party hosting tip.
Include an Interactive Element
Replying to @itstai.tv 🖤 #girlhood
To break the ice and encourage guests to get to know one another, introduce interactive elements to the evening. Moments of interaction allow everyone to connect, like capturing content for social media or memorializing the essence of the night through fun Polaroids. Olivia also encourages her guests to participate in the pasta-making dinner process as a group, or if hosting a brunch, her friends indulge in building their own coffee bar as an opportunity for forming connections and conversation starters. Group board or card games are also great for laughs and healthy competition to help get the vibes flowing.
Don’t Forget the Dress code
Replying to @samantha_mendiz when all of your friends are the main character 🖤🥂 #dinnerparty #nycfashion
Tis’ the season for glamour and sparkles, so why not go all out with a super chic dress code? You can’t have a picture-perfect holiday dinner party without the coordinating attire to match. When planning, make sure to make the required attire specific yet broad enough for a range of personalities and preferences to comfortably partake while looking stunning doing so.
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Featured image by Justin Lambert/Getty Images