Adrienne Bailon Wants Women Of Color To Take Self-Inventory In Order To Redefine Success
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.
Chief Mom Officer: 23 Quotes From Working Moms Finding Their Balance
The truth is, Black moms create magic every single day. Whether we're juggling motherhood with a busy 9-5, a thriving business, or staying at home to run a household, no day is short of amazing when you're managing life as a mommy. This Mother's Day, xoNecole is giving flowers to CMOs (Chief Mom Officers) in business who exemplify the strength it takes to balance work with motherhood.
We've commissioned these ladies, who are pillars in their respective industries, for tidbits of advice to get you through the best and worst days of mothering. Here, they share their "secret sauce" and advice for other moms trying to find their rhythm.
Emmelie De La Cruz, Chief Strategist at One Day CMO
"My mom friends and I all laugh and agree: Motherhood is the ghettoest thing you will ever do. It's beautiful and hard all at the same time, but one day you will wake up and feel like 'I got this' and you will get the hang of it. After 4 months, I finally felt like I found my footing to keep my kid and myself alive, but it took vulnerability to take off the cape and be honest about the areas that I didn't have it all together. The healing (physically and emotionally) truly does happen in community - whatever and whoever that looks like for you."
Alizè V. Garcia, Director Of Social & Community Impact at Nike
"I would tell a new mom or a prospective mother that they must give themselves grace, understand and remember there is no right way to do this thing and have fun! When I had my daughter three and a half years ago, I was petrified! I truly had no clue about what to do and how I was going to do it. But with time, my confidence grew and I realized quickly that I have all the tools I need to be the mother I want to be."
Nikki Osei-Barrett, Publicist + Co-Founder of The Momference
"There's no balance. I'm dropping sh*t everywhere! However, my secret sauce is pursuing interests and hobbies outside of what's required of me and finding time to workout. Stronger body equals = stronger mind."
Lauren Grove, Chief Experience Architect, The Grant Access, LLC
"I try to give myself grace. That’s my mantra for this phase of motherhood…grace. I won’t be able to get everything done. To have a spotless house. To not lose my cool after an exhausting day. Those things can’t happen all of the time. But I can take a deep breath and know tomorrow is another day and my blessings are more plentiful than my pitfalls."
Rachel Nicks, Founder & CEO of Birth Queen
"You have the answers within you. Don’t compare yourself to others. Curate your life to work for you. Ask for help."
Tanisha Colon-Bibb, Founder + CEO Rebelle Agency + Rebelle Management
"I know love doesn't pay bills but when I am overwhelmed with work or client demands I take a moment to play with my baby and be reminded of the love, energy, science, and Godliness that went into his birth. I am brightened by his smile and laugh. I remember I am someone's parent and not just a work horse. That at the end of the day everything will work out for the good of my sanity and the love within my life."
Christina Brown, Founder of LoveBrownSugar & BabyBrownSugar
"Learning your rhythm as a mom takes time and can be uncomfortable when you’re in a season of overwhelm. Constantly check in with yourself and assess what’s working and what’s not. Get the help you need without feeling guilty or ashamed of needing it."
Mecca Tartt, Executive Director of Startup Runway Foundation
"I want to be the best for myself, my husband, children and company. However, the reality is you can have it all but not at the same time. My secret sauce is outsourcing and realizing that it’s okay to have help in order for me to perform at the highest level."
Jen Hayes Lee, Head Of Marketing at The Bump (The Knot Worldwide)
"My secret sauce is being direct and honest with everyone around me about what I need to be successful in all of my various "jobs". Setting boundaries is one thing, but if you're the only one who knows they exist, your partners at home and on the job can't help you maintain them. I also talk to my kids like adults and let them know why mommy needs to go to this conference or get this massage...they need to build an appreciation for my needs too!"
Whitney Gayle-Benta, Chief Music Officer JKBX
"What helps me push through each day is the motivation to continue by thinking about my son. All my efforts, though exhausting, are to create a wonderful life for him."
Ezinne Okoro, Global Chief Inclusion, Equity, & Diversity Officer at Wunderman Thompson,
"The advice I received that I’ll pass on is, you will continue to figure it out and find your rhythm as your child grows into new stages. Trust your nurturing intuition, parent on your terms, and listen to your child."
Jovian Zayne, CEO of The OnPurpose Movement
"I live by the personal mantra: 'You can’t be your best self by yourself.' My life feels more balanced when I offer the help I can give and ask for the help I need. This might mean outsourcing housecleaning for my home, or hiring additional project management support for my business."
Simona Noce Wright, Co-Founder of District Motherhued and The Momference
"Each season of motherhood (depending on age, grade, workload) requires a different rhythm. With that said, be open to learning, to change, and understand that what worked for one season may not work the other...and that's okay."
Janaye Ingram, Director of Community Partner Programs and Engagement at Airbnb
"My daughter's smile and sweet spirit help me to feel gratitude when I'm overwhelmed. I want her to see a woman who doesn't quit when things get hard."
Codie Elaine Oliver, CEO & Founder of Black Love
"I try to listen to my body and simply take a break. With 3 kids and a business with 10+ team members, I often feel overwhelmed. I remind myself that I deserve grace for everything I'm juggling, I take a walk or have a snack or even head home to see my kids, and then I get back to whatever I need to get done."
Jewel Burks Solomon, Managing Partner at Collab Capital
"Get comfortable with the word ‘no’. Be very clear about your non-negotiables and communicate them to those around you."
Bridget Bogee, Marketing Lead At Meta
"Ask for help and always prioritize making time for you."
Julee Wilson, Executive Director at BeautyUnited and Beauty Editor-at-Large at Cosmopolitan
"Understand you can’t do it alone — and that’s ok. Relinquish the need to control everything. Create a village and lean on them."
Salwa Benyaich, Director Of Pricing and Planning at Premion
"Most days I really try to shut my computer off by 6 pm; there are always exceptions of course when it comes to big deals or larger projects but having this as a baseline allows me to be much more present with my kids. I love the fact that I can either help with homework or be the designated driver to at least one afterschool activity. Work can be draining but there is nothing more emotionally draining than when you feel as though you are missing out on moments with your kids."
Brooke Ellis, Head of Global Marketing & Product Launches at Amazon Music
My calendar, prayer, pilates class at Forma, a good playlist, and oatmilk lattes all help get me through any day.
Courtney Beauzile, Global Director of Client and Business Development at Shearman & Sterling
My husband is a partner who steps in when I just can’t. My mom and my MIL come through whenever and however I need. My kids have many uncles and aunts and they will lend an ear, go over homework, teach life lessons, be a presence or a prayer warrior depending on the day.
Robin Snipes, Chief of Staff at Meta
"Enjoy the time you have to yourself because once kids come those times will be few and far between."
Monique Bivens, CEO & Founder at Brazilian Babes LLC.
"For new moms, it is very important that you get back into a habit or routine of something you use to do before you were pregnant. Consider the actives and things that give you the most joy and make the time to do them."
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Featured image by Westend61/Getty Images
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Tracee Ellis Ross On Why She Declined The Idea Of Someone Else Running Her Hair Company
Actress and entrepreneur Tracee Ellis Ross recently revealed the driving force behind her desire to become the owner of her haircare brand, Pattern.
According to its site, Pattern is a haircare company that provides a wide range of products, from shampoos, conditioners, oils, creams, and many more to individuals with curls, coils, and tight hair textures. Although Pattern would launch in 2019, the idea for the company first came to Ross a decade before --in 2008, when her hit show Girlfriends wrapped-- following a brief encounter at a beauty supply store and many wanting to recreate her past looks.
At the time, those individuals couldn't achieve the exact results because limited natural hair products were offered to the public. That instance became a pivotal moment in the star's life because she spent eleven years experimenting with professionals to create products that best suit those within the natural hair community.
In a May conference with Fortune's MPW Next Gen, Ross opened up about the struggles she faced early on as an entrepreneur trying to get Pattern off the ground and why she declined the offer to have the company be run by someone else.
Tracee On Past Struggles And Why She Chose To Run Her Company
During the discussion, the 50-year-old revealed that she is Pattern's "majority owner" because the company's overall mission to cater to those in the natural hair community was built from her "experiential knowledge."
"I'm a majority owner of my company. [Other celebrities with brands] aren't the founders of the company. Often, they join a company that exists," she said. "The mission [at Pattern] is born out of my experience. It's born out of my own experiential knowledge."
Further in the interview, Ross would add that she avoided partnering with an expert for Pattern because she felt she had gained enough knowledge experimenting with products in her bathroom.
"I didn't want to partner with an expert or a 'professional' because I felt—like so many—I had become my own best expert in my bathroom because the beauty industry was not catering to us," she stated.
Despite refusing to have a partner within her company, Ross found creative ways to build it. It includes paying a chemist with her own money to bring her visions of various products to life, and sending those samples to retail stores, ultimately leading to partnerships.
The final piece that helped Ross during her journey was receiving advice from business partners on ways to improve the brand, one of which came from Ulta Beauty CEO and Footlocker CEO Mary Dillon.
The black-ish star claimed that Dillon helped her realize how she could use her celebrity status and journey to promote Pattern, which she did. Because of that, Patten has now become a favorable haircare brand among many.
Tracee On How She Plans To Use Her Company To Create Opportunities For Others
Toward the end of the discussion, Ross disclosed how she plans to use the power of being Pattern's CEO to help others.
The High Note star explained that being an owner of a company has given her access to be around other CEOs interested in what appears to be becoming more profitable, and with that, she wants to expand that access to other people.
"I know that I have access to sit at a table with a CEO in a way that perhaps another founder doesn't. And when I do that, I make sure that those conversations are not only centered around Pattern," she said. "They're centered around creating and expanding the access for all of us."
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Feature image by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Webby Awards