Category Archives: Season 2 Judges

NP Challengr #3

Hello, ladies.  All of you look so beautiful in challenge number 3.  I’m loving the locs and twist.  You guys are so creative with your photos and locations.  It was a hard decision and I eventually chose Teesha on her write up and photos.  Her photos were beautiful and stood out in the bunch.    Her presentation looked just like a professional ad in a magazine.  She listed her experience and listed alll the key point benefits of product and listed the website and contact info of company so the customer knows how  and where to get product.  Looked like she knew or had a professional photographer and makeup artist for this assignment or had a friend with skills.  I know everyone doesn’t have access to a professional for each assignment, which is okay, because your potential and creativity still comes through in each assignment as a possible spokes model. Thanks ladies.  Great job Teesha.

Mango & Lime – Challenge 3

I just completed the reading of the entries for each contestant and viewing their pictures.  Each contestant is such a lovely sister with a story to tell.  Here is what stood out for me.


Christina – I like her tale of her connectedness to things Jamaican and southern.  I think that was a  natural link between her and the product.  Her us of the term”Wha Gwa” made me wonder. I don’t know what that means and the link wasn’t live.  Pics were cute and saucy loved the Jamaican colored shades.

Janeria – I believe this story would have read better if it started out talking about the product and then followed up with her challenges.  I loved the creative positioning of how she placed the products so that they popped and she was there in the background but still quite visible.  Great picture Janeria.

Toshia – Toshia had a great story about the  her use of the products.  I enjoyed her colorful use of language and the visual picture she drew with her vision of being on the beach etc.  Her reference to 4B hair left me baffled.  I think it’s best to assume your reader knows nothing, rather than to refer to terms that are not universally known.   I’m still wondering what 4B hair means?  Toshia’s   photos were lovely, believable and left her looking like a tropical delight.  Loved the waterfall in the background.

Miss NP 1 – The story that Miss NP 1 wrote was short and to the point.  I think she could have said a little more.  Her explanation of this product vs any other that she used was insightful.   I did like the succinct way she used the bullet points.  In term of her picture, I wish that the hair could have been done so that the fullness of her hair could have been seen, more twist done uniformly, but still I liked it.  The picture of NP 1 wasy  both simple and powerful.  I was drawn in by the lime earrings and the peacock – make-up painting  of her eyes.  Very creative and quite lovely!

Miss NP 10 – I was really impressed by the details and insights into usage of products followed up by the step by step detailed descriptions and accompanying photos of styling step.  The white background though, did not allow the pics to pop.  It made the pic look generic.  Quality of photos were disappointing and affected the overall look of this model’s presentation.  I’m looking forward to Ms. NP stepping up her game.   Also as with the others, I prefer the name of the contestant rather than refer to them by number.  Use your names ladies.

 Lenora Johnson – It is obvious that this ebony hued sister has beautiful skin but you can’t tell this with these photos.  The quality of the photos are really poor and in no way represents her beauty.  Her story started out engaging and then just kind of feel off.  Lenora it’s time to enroll help of friends and family to assist you in presenting yourself in the dynamic way we first saw you in this contest.

Miss NP 4 – I really enjoy the story of NP 4.  The details of dealing with her texture hair and wanting to Loc is a real issue for many sisters and brothers.  Her use of language to describe the texture of the products and their aromatic affects on her is a delightful treat.  From her first submission I was hoping for something a little more creative in term of NP 4’s  picture submission.  Follow through with creativity has to remain consistent.

 Karla – It seems that Karla has entered this competition with the intention of winning.  Her pictures always feature a genuine smile and an environment that is compelling and features the product in an integrative way.  I guess it doesn’t hurt to live somewhere warm and use the environment.  A great plus for Karla.  She looks as though she has submerged herself into creating images that reflect her inner beauty and the greatness of the products.  Her story seems well thought out, definitive and researched.  Karla continues to be offer quality submissions.   

 I was a difficult choice.  But in the end I have chosen:

My number one choice for story is Karla

My number one choice for photos is Lenora

~Anu Prestonia

Khamit Kinks, Inc.

America’s Next Natural Model: Challenge 3 Critique

 It is an honor to be serving as a guest judge for challenge 3 of the America’s Next Natural Model Challenge. It has been great to see how these beautiful contestants have progressed thus far and boy is the competition fierce! I particularly enjoyed judging this portion of the competition as my family is from Jamaica and I have also lived there.  So you know I was really looking for some Jamaican flavor to shine through with the product write-ups and photos exuding the power of natural hair beauty. So without further ado, on to the critiques:

Photo Challenge

Teesha’s photos were AMAZING! From the makeup, the color of her clothing and even her lime earrings, everything in the shoot made the connection to the products being advertised. Her hair looks great and is styled well to help promote the product at hand.

I loved the concept and scenery for Toshia’s photos. However, the resolution of some of the pictures weren’t of the highest quality, and it was also hard to distinguish the labels of the products.

I liked the depth of the field in Janeria’s shots; however, I hoped to see more close-up pictures showcasing her beauty. I also would have chosen a more lively and engaging backdrop.


Write-up Challenge

I loved Toshia’s intro. It was very engaging and made you want to read more about these products. Her description of how the products worked for her hair as well was also written in a way to encourage others to try the products for themselves!

Although Teesha’s photos were amazing, I would have loved to see more information in her write-up. She also had a great introduction, but did not follow that with an in-depth description of how the products worked for her.

MissNP10 took it a step further by including a detailed tutorial of two-strand twists with the products in her write-up, which I thought was creative and will be helpful to those who may want to try that style with the products.


These two ladies really stood out to me and I will have to choose Teesha as my photo challenge winner and Toshia for the write-up challenge winner.


Some advice for all the contestants:

Many of you had great concepts for your photo challenge, but the quality and resolution of your pictures is hurting you in this category. If you are serious about this competition, you might want to try hard to step it up in this arena.

With your write-up entries, please keep in mind that you are writing not to just document but to engage the reader. Although you are sharing personal feelings, they should be shared in a way that invites the reader to become a part of your personal experience. Thinking about this while you are writing should help you improve for the next rounds!


Keep up the good work ladies!


Challenge 3 – images of Jamaica

Firstly, thank you to all the sisters who entered Challenge 3. You are all so beautiful and epitomize the fashionable, beautiful, desirable natural woman.

I was so impressed with all the entries in this challenge. It was not an easy one to enter and dare i say an even more difficult one to judge! Everyone put in a big effort both in their hair styles, their choice of clothing, photo compositions and essays. The improvement from Challenge 1 is fantastic and it’s great to see all the ladies learning, growing and applying the suggestions made in the previous 2 Challenges.

Janeria, your clean, fresh face is wonderful and refreshing 🙂 I liked the simplicity of your photos, however you need to try to create more atmosphere in your shots. I think that would bring out your personality and warmth more than the current shots do. The improvement you have made since the first challenge is really noticable. Your photos were composed well and your essay was very well written. It was great to see you write about how you applied the product and how it made your hair feel.

Christina, I love your energy. This Challenge for you is a huge improvement on Challenge 2. From the colors you chose to wear to the style of clothing and those magnificent locs, made this Challenge a winner for you. I like the way you discussed wrapping your hair at night with the product, that was a very helpful tip. The sponsors will love your entry.

Lenore, it was a nice idea to incorporate your twist how to in with the product, but the quality of the photos let you down. They were to dark and blurry. I couldn’t see your  twists clearly and the dark shots did not flatter your skin tone. You will need to step up the photo quality, but keep building on your creative ideas for your essays. You are on the right track.

Safeeyah, as I said in the comments, your essay reads like a blog, which is not a bad thing at all. It gives us a more personal perspective into your experience with the product. I also liked your photo shoot. As always, your choice of color and composition was spot on. You are absolutely beautiful. The product shots were not very good, blurry, off center. Next shoot, make sure the products are in shot and in focus.

Toshia, what can I say? Your entry was a home run. I loved the photos, your choice of clothing and the way you presented the product.  Your hair was beautifully styled and suited to the atmosphere of your photos. Your essay was terrific. It actually made me smile and hear steel drums. Your best work yet. Keep it up!

 Teesha, you nailed it. Just when I think you have done your best work, you get better. Your entry is professional, your makeup flawless, your hair full of sheen and glowing with health, your photos perfectly composed and framed. Your essay was not so much as a review as an advertisement. Next time, tell us how you used the product and what it did for your hair, instead of just telling us how great it is. All in all, a wonderful submission!

Karla, it looks like you had a lot of fun with these products and with your photo shoot, and it shows! Your choice of colors, makeup and clothes were matched perfectly with the product. It looked like you were in Jamaica and the effort you made paid off. The only thing I would do next time is ensure the photos are all in focus, so we can see your beautiful face more clearly.

Valaira, your photos were lively, colorful, fantastic. Your hair looks so healthy and moisturized that I am jealous!! Your hair took center stage. It almost jumps out of the screen at me. Loved it! You need to ensure all your entries show off the versatility in your hair like this. Your how-to review was excellent, just make sure the photos are better quality next time for you how-to. they should be as well done as  your other photos.

 My top pics for this challenge are Teesha and Toshia.

But in saying that, I would like to compliment all the sisters on wonderful entries.

My thoughts and observations of Challenge #4

As usual, it was a delight to see the contestants express themselves mentally and visually for their challenge.  This time around I took a different approached and looked at the photos first and read the submissions after wards.  Here is what I observed.



Valaira’s images were most dynamic.  It seemed that her approach to here photo were well thought out.  It look like a considerable amount of time and effort was put into what she presented.   It was very compelling that each of her images looked totally different, shot in a different locale with a different look and energy.  The images were striking and memorable.

Valaira’s story of seeking her inner truth from with-in was an open and genuine  sharing and I found her perspective unique to the group.


Chistina’s photos expressed color, joy and exuberance.  The smile was ever present even when it wasn’t on her lips but came from her spirit and her eyes.   Her play with color was delightful.

When first looking at Christina’s images the thing that stood out for me was the shine in the fabrics used for her head-ties.  She then tied in this same concept when she explained her choice of cloth, her eyes telling her story, her goals and the tools she uses to express herself.  Her story and her photo were complimentary.



My favorite photo of Safeeya was the one with the leopard head tie.  It image set a mood and reminded me of Josephine Baker.

Safeeya’s story hit on a universal truth about the power of a smile, the gift of a smile and how it can relax one and others and how it can open doors.  I love how she uses her inner and outer smile to carry her through her day and how in anchors her when she’s facing challenging or  unfamiliar circumstances.


Janeria’s images did not offer enough diversity, they were the same looks but with different poses.

Janeria’s story of how she unfolds during the shooting process was insightful. It’s wonderful to hear a story of a young model so self possessed and grounded in her own truth.



Toshia has an undeniable beaut.  She would look good in anything.  However, this challenge was to use hats and scarves and I did not see the creativity here in these images.  They seem to all have the same head wrap used in the same way in each image.  There were no images with hats on and so for me the photos didn’t make the mark.

Toshia’s painted us a lovely picture with her descriptive narrative on the environment where she was shooting.   This I enjoyed as well as her story about being a natural woman.



Lenore’s images were very dark, the pictures were sharp and there wasn’t enough diversity.  It seemed as though very little time, energy and thought went into the photos submitted.

Lenora has a lot of spunk, confidence and energy in her written piece.  It’s written from a place of self assurance and willingness to play and be creative.  I just wish her pics had reflected her story.



Karla’s images didn’t show enough changes.  I know that Karla can bring it, so I was expecting much more in terms of creativity.

In today’s fast past world, one needs to be succinct when they can be and I feel Karla’s story was just too long.  Links to common words was puzzling, and the overall tone of the story had pedantic feeling to it.



Teesha’s last photo of the scarves hanging from above caught my attention and held it.  I looked at that photo long than I did the others.  I loved how she seemed to be just be a part of the scene almost like a manniquin, very nice.

Teesha’s insight into how creative endeavors are interchangeable and reflective of the universal source was unique.  I enjoyed her humor and her seemingly joyous expression writing this piece to win.


Disclaimer:  And I mean this, what I say is not the  “Truth”.  It is just my opinion.  As a judge, it is not my intention to do anything other than inspire each contestant to present what reflects her very best.  That said my choices are as follows:

For Challenge #4 I choose:

For best photos – Valaira Sa-Ra Smith

For best story  – Teesha Borum


Do You! – Challenge 4

Do You! – Challenge 4

Safeeyah – You do possess a great smile which is disarming.  And that is definitely a plus.  But I felt your essay was repetitive and could have been edited.  Your photo is lovely, but it looks like a snapshot.  Your photos are full of hot spots and under your eyes could have been cleaned up.  I found your execution of this challenge disappointing.  That said, you do know how to work some scarves and hats.

Toshia – It was great that you wrote of the “true” you.  We all should celebrate our true selves.  But you should have profread your essay a little more carefully and I thought your photos should have shown a bit more range.  No hats or scarves?

Christina – I loved your essay.  It was a very different perspective from all the other ladies.  And you really take lovely photos.  You’re very regal.  A great effort for challenge 4.

Karla – I like the nature background for your gallery photos.  In one of the pictures, it looks like you are squinting because of the sunlight.  Overall, I think it’s a good spread.  I loved your essay for this challenge.  You definitely knocked it out the park!

Teesha – Each challenge I really look forward to viewing your gallery photos because you know how to put it down.  Photography is on point, make up is masterful and your pictures really tell a story.  Bravo!  This week you stepped it back up with your essay as well.  Inspiring and winning.

Lenore – Disappointing effort, again.  Check your angles and face positioning for your photo.  I am not sure where your gallery photos are.  Perhaps I have overlooked them.

Valaira – I loved your essay for this challenge.  The only problem I had was how the 2 font sizes were distracting.  Your essay photo is fabulous.  Classic & classy.  But where are your gallery photos?  Perhaps I overlooked them.

Janeria – Your essay is wonderful.  Your photo is great.  The lighting could have been somewhat better, but I thought you looked HOT.  But I could not find gallery photos for you either.  Perhaps I overlooked them as well.

 My choice for the challenge 4 winner is Teesha.  Best in Show!



NP Challenge #4

Toshia I always love your shoot locations.  Love your earrings in this one.  I would have love to see you in a few more colorful scarves or hat in this natural location.

christina you look nice in your head wraps. you look like you were having fun as you let your natural beauty show.

Safeeya I love your photos.  They were colorful and very stylish.  I like your creativity in this challenge.  It was guaranteed to catch a customers eye.

Karla your photo were very nice. also

Teesha, I always love your photos.  The color  and creativity in your shoots are great.  You always look like a pro.

Valaira your photo was nice as well


Lenore, I wish I could have seen you in more color.  you look great in color.  I like the big hat, but it was a little large, I think it would have look great in a brighter color


I’m going to go with Safeeya for the photo shoot in challenge 4 and

I’m going to go with Karla describing her take on the challeng, very confident and inspiring





Challenge #5 Curls

It’s very telling to see that only the strong or determined survive!  We started out with 10 contestants and in a few short weeks we’re down to 5.



Toisha’s story was a little scary considering how dangerous the pipe cleaners can be.   Despite those facts, she’s found a way to make it work for her and achieve the style she desired. 

Toisha’s pics were full of curl and a bit quirky.  I especially got a kick out of the photo with all the skin showing and a snow man in the background.   Toisha’s smile is infectious and it seems she had a lot a fun taking her pictures.



Teesha’s story was written in a light, breezy but informative manner.  The images used to show the steps were clear and crisp and made the technique easy to understand.

 Teesha’s hair has a naturally large and loose curl pattern.  As such her styling options should be more varied.  Instead, Teesha seemed to just use the natural texture of her hair to represent this challenge.  The pics didn’t really show defined curls.  Still her pictures were evoked fun, beauty, and creativity.



Christina’s story was succinct, short and to the point with great accompanying pics.  The draw back for me is that her choice of crimping the hair is a very well known and common technique.  Still she executed her assignment in a very clear manner.

Christina showed us a number of different ways to style long, crimped locs.  I was especially taken by the first pic with the fan and the up-swept  Locs.  Very pretty.



Before I could read Karla’s story I was stuck on the picture that accompanied the story.  There was nothing about the style that made me want to read the story.  I would not be interested in knowing how to achieve a style that I was not find interesting or attractive.

Karla is beautiful, no doubt and her sweet and charming spirit shines through in all of her photos.  But this is a challenge about hair and curls.  I found this style to have no shape or definition and no curls.   It seems the technique she used is not a very effective one for her hair.  I was really disappointed because there are a number of really effective styling techniques to curl the kind of kinky hair that Karla has.  I would hate for viewers to think that kinky hair can’t be curled in a stunning and attractive way.  Karla missed the mark on this one.


Safeeya’s story was complicated but well written.  I liked that Safeeya used a technique that was both innovative and retro.  I love how she wove environmental concerns into her story.  She also offered insights into why this wash and wear material trumps other tools that become lodged with product and debris.  Great job Safeeya!

Safeeya’s pics featured creativity, moods and many style changes with this simple but versatile style.


For challenge #5 my pics are:

Teesha for her easy to follow story with great accompanying pics.

Safeeya for creatively showing versatile pics of her style.