Category Archives: Season 2 Judges

Voting – Challenge 1

I’d like to begin by saying all of the contestants are intelligent and beautiful and it was no easy task deciding who to choose in either category.  I could have pick them all of one reason or another.

That said, for use of the headband of ornament my number 1 pick is Safeeya.  The way Safeeya sported her headband gave the impression that it was made just for her.  It didn’t distract or take away, instead it enhanced her style and looked like the perfect choice for her current style.  She is definitely versatile.  I couldn’t believe she was the same model as the one who have the fish net across her face.

In terms of their stories my pick is Janeria.  I love her journey of self awareness, acceptance, discovery and love.  I also appreciate her idea of hair being political.  I believe that Janeria is very insightful and we will hear much more from her in the future.


Challenge 7

Hi ladies, it’s nice to “meet” you. I am so excited to be a judge for this contest. I really enjoyed reading your articles and looking at your galleries. Best of luck to all of you. 

 Karla:  The Ngozi Amber and Carnelian Necklace you picked is absolutely stunning and it’s obvious why you were attracted to it. I was impressed with the research you did about the stones and thought it was great that you were able to define the connection you had to the piece. I also think you picked the perfect location—your description of the Gardens and your beautiful photos make me want to plan a trip to see it in person. Your layered tank tops were a good idea and I particularly liked how the yellow one peeked out and picked up the warm tones of the Amber stones. As for your hair (the most important part!) I agree that a low maintenance hair style was the way to go. It definitely complemented the necklace instead of taking away from it like an intricate look would have. Overall, you did a wonderful job! You get my vote for the best essay. 

Toshia: The blue necklace you are wearing in the photos is really gorgeous, I just wish you had included a bit more information about why you chose that particular piece. I like that you kept your wardrobe and makeup in the same color family as the stones in the necklace—it definitely made it pop. Despite the fact that you’re wearing a statement piece of jewelry and colorful makeup, your hair still managed to grab most of the attention. I love the styles you’re working in the photos (which are great by the way). Way to go!

Teesha:  Wow! Your photos are so amazing, especially number three—gorgeous! Your essay on asymmetry was very interesting and I like that you chose a piece that wasn’t “perfect.” The location was the perfect complement to the natural elements in the necklace and by wearing a simple black top you created an ideal backdrop to show off both the piece and your hair style. I’m assuming that your style was a nod to the “asymmetry” theme which was a clever way to be consistent throughout. Phenomenal work! You get my vote for the best photos. 

Christina-Dzenyuy: A luxe fur, a gorgeous necklace, and amazing hair—what more could a woman ask for? I loved your glam, winter-themed photos, you look absolutely radiant in all of them. I thought you did a great job with your article. Thank you for providing us with some insight into why you picked the agate and jade necklace. The stones really popped in the outdoor setting. Your hair looks elegant and I love that you switched up the style a bit in each photo. Nice work! 

Safeeyah: Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find your article on the 7th Challenge, but I did look at all of your photos and they were really fun (I especially liked image #4). Purple is one of my favorite colors, so of course I loved the necklace you choose. The overall feeling I got from your whole look (necklace, makeup, outfit, poses, and hair) was flirty and playful. I’m sorry I couldn’t read your essay, but I will check back later to see if it’s available and update my post accordingly. 

Thank you again for this opportunity.

Andrea Lavinthal  









Challenge 2 – Sula, NYC

Challenge 2 – Sula, NYC

Congratulations, Divas!  You really stepped it up for this challenge.  The photos are well done.  And the participants took my advice about proofreading to heart because there were fewer grammatical errors – a serious pet peeve of mine.  Each of you had very similar essays, but a couple of you had very original approaches to the challenge.  Unfortunately, there can be only one winner.  But first I’d like to critique each queen individually.

TOSHIA  – Very well written.  Concise.  Photos were clear and detailed.  Since you made this challenge about your legs, I was happy that the focus remained on those lovely gams of yours.  Excellent execution of the challenge.  I think you should watch the lighting.  In some of your photos, you have hot spots.

JANERIA – Although brief, your appreciation for the product is clear.  But your testimonial felt rushed.  And your photos look like you didn’t put much thought into them, either.  They are poorly lit and you could have further enhanced your beauty with a little make up.  You do have pretty legs.  But all in all, it is a little disappointing.  Last week you seemed a lot more focused.

LENORE – I really liked your approach to the challenge with the step-by-step photo instructions.  I know when I get something new from the store, it is always helpful to have a photo guide show me the way through.   You are a very pretty girl and that’s obvious.  The only criticism I have for your testimonial is that you could have written a few more sentences to flesh it out.  Your photos were disappointing.  Poor angles for your face and not engaging.  You’re better than that, Lenore.

CHRISTINA – I love your use of the acronym H.E.L.P. for your testimonial.  Very inventive.  Well-written.  It’s obvious that you put a lot of thought into this challenge.  And I did enjoy the extreme photo close ups to illustrate your point.  Once again, be careful with your lighting.  There are hot spots.  It happens often to me with my digital camera.  Perhaps all you ladies can consult a photographer friend for tips.  And your photos for the challenge are mostly blurry.  Especially disappointing considering the thought you put into your essay.

VALAIRA – Your step-by-step instructions were very clear as were your photos in your testimonial.  You’re very pretty with a fabulous mane.  GORGEOUS!  And your photos are killah.  It is very obvious that you were born to be called Queen.  Work It!

TEESHA – Superb essay.  Well written with fantastic photos.  Your photo gallery is beyond perfection.  If you continue in this vein, you may very well be America’s Next Natural Model!

MONIQUE – I liked your essay and I loved your accompanying photos.  They are styled very well.  While the photos are a little dark, it does not distract us from the wonderful arrangement.  And your locks are gorgeous.  Good Job!  I like the tightness (close up) of your gallery shots.  And I love dogs, so seeing your furry companion in a shot humanizes you even more.  I still feel like you need to focus on make up application.  And better lighting would have been a plus.

SAFEEYA – You’re lovely.  That’s obvious.  But your essay left me wanting more.  The images were too small.  And it just didn’t read like you were invested in this challenge.  Your photo gallery images, on the other hand, were absolutely fantastic.  I LOVED them.  In your essay you wrote that the Sula, NYC experience was sensual, but in your photos you SHOWED how sensual it was.

KARLA – Wonderful essay!  Great photos to illustrate the use of the product.  And I loved, loved, loved the time and research you put into this challenge.  You definitely get an A+ for that.  And your gallery photos are just sublime.  Watch out ladies, Karla could potentially be America’s Next Natural Model.

 I love all the ladies.  They are beautiful black women who know how to work a natural ‘do.  But my top picks for this week are Teesha & Karla.



Challenge #7 – Jewels, nature & natural hair

Jewels, Nature, and Natural Hair -some of  my most favorite elements blended together…

Challenge #7


I truly enjoyed Karla’s story and the picture accompanying her story is gorgeous!  Karla’s hair in this pic looks full, defined, and made me want to reach out and touch her hair.  The story speaks to her connection with nature and with the beautiful gemstones used to create her necklace.  The information provided  on the attributes of the stones and their source was very engaging.  Great story and pic.

Loved the way Karla’s images made her appear as an integral and organic part of nature, naturally blending into the scenery.   Beautiful images.


Toshia wrote a short but lovely story sharing the ideas of culture, individuality and the beauty of finding one’s true aesthetic.  Great job.

Toisha  is a beautiful sister and seen here in a beautiful necklace.  But the poor quality of the photography deflected from the overall impact.


Safeeya’s story focused on the beauty of amethyst and she then compared the raw beauty of the stone with the raw beauty of natural hair.  Great ideas and insight.

Safeeya’s images evoked fun and playfulness and showed off the necklace very nicely.


Teesha remains consistent in her expression as an artist in the choices she makes, she unapologetically breaks the mold creating new visions.  Loved her comfort with the beauty and value of asymmetry in nature, life and jewelry.  Teesha wove a story line combining her necklace and nature in a way that was captivating.

Teesh’s pictures were bold, creative images that complimented her necklace.


Christina’s story had interesting facts.  Her reasons for choosing her necklace were a reflection of her natural aesthetic, close to nature and beauty.

Christina’s images definitely reflected the cold season and she came across as a Sexy Winter Goddess – beautiful!

For Challenge #7 my picks are:

Karla for her riveting story.

Teesha for her unique images.


NP challenge #2

Everyone did a great job on this challenge.  All the models looked beautiful.  I chose Valaira for challenge #2.  I like how she laid out all the items needed for her spa treatment and the step by step instructions including photos of each step. Next time show us that big pretty smile with gap and all in your After glow shot

Challenge 7 – Ngozi Jewelry Challenge

Challenge 7 – Ngozi Jewelry Challenge

KARLA – Very well written essay.  I love how you really researched the details of amber and carnelian stones and explain why you feel connected to them.  The nature feel of your photos is also very effective and you look lovely in all of them.  Well done!

TEESHA – I can appreciate what you wrote in your essay.  Perfection is not always symetry or what is conventional.  I actually agree with it.  But I felt like your message was not as clear as it should have been.  As fas as your photos are concerned, you are simply beautiful and you always photograph well.  But there was that something extra missing from this particular challenge.

TOSHIA – Your effort seemed very rushed for this challenge.  I wanted more from your essay and your photos are not crisp.  They seem repetitive and uninspired.  I am a little disappointed.

CHRISTINA – I love your essay.  You really tied Ngozi and in very nicely.  And your essay is very well written.  Your photos are lovely.  You are beautiful.  And like your competitors, you chose nature as your background.  However, the photos are repetitive.  It would have been more interesting to see more of a range in your photos.

SAFEEYAH – I think you showed the most versatility with your photos, choosing 2 different backgrounds, different outfits, and showcasing different moods.  Thank you.  But your photo quality is still lacking.  I love that your essay expressed how “queenly” Ngozi jewelry made you feel.

My choice for winner on this challenge is Karla.  Congratulations!

Challenge 2… decisions, decisions!

Congratulations to everyone on fantastic entries. Challenge 2 was definitely more impressive than Challenge 1 and  your entries were all so beautiful and well thought out.

For me, one entry stood out more than the others. That entry was Karla’s


What impressed me about her essay was her attention to detail, her going above and beyond the call by doing more than what was asked of her. She researched the products and ingredients and was able to give us an insight into why we should use the products. Not only do they have a beautifying effect on the body, they are healthy and natural.

Beauty is a wonderful thing. Beauty at any cost, including using dangerous products, is not.  All the pretty pictures in the world do not change the effect on our bodies using poisonous products to achieve beauty causes.

In the photographs, I could not fault Teesha’s photographs.  They were flawless and the best photos of the competition yet. She pays close attention to detail which is so very important with cosmetic and personal care products. Her photos, the lighting, quality and composition are what all contestants should aspire to.

I would like to applaud all the contestants for their entries. I saw a marked improvement in everyone and look forward to future challenges.

Challenge #6

I chose Teesha for he essay and photos.  Your updo was beautiful with the twist and braids on the side.  very unique.  you look so elegant and sophisticated.  You would definite ly stand out at the white house with this unique style of a queen.  This style would be great on Michelle Obama.  Great work!

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.