Category Archives: Feedback 2012

Kcurly on Week 2

Kcurly on Week 2

Kala G
I loved your head wrap and accessories. In your essay, I like how you focused on hair health beneath the wrap and how you fit it into your daily fashion. I also liked your transition into how you feel wearing the wrap versus how our people suffered in the past and Dr. King’s hand in that. Simple and short, but to the point. 

Carlie M
Once again, I am loving your pictures though some did have a grainy quality.  Your wraps were elegant and I particularly liked your balancing the basket of flowers on your head, which I’m assuming is in reference to your family’s past practice of doing so. Good job but I would work on the photo quality.

Beautiful! Your shots were gorgeous but I would’ve loved to have seen you do more with the wrap. I enjoyed reading what you loved about wearing head wraps. Concerning the Harriet Tubman portion, I understand what you were trying to say as head wraps were a much different thing during slavery. If anything, it is a testament to our fortitude that we were able to make what used to be a sign of servitude into a sign of elegance and style. 

I was impressed with how you gave the hat two different flavors by playing around with the way your hair was arranged beneath it. Nice job! I also loved the make up, outfit and scarf. You are so right about hats setting a tone. 

ReShonda Parker
Awesome job! I am loving the head wraps, accessories, hair, and poses. They all scream casually elegant. Your message was also wonderful.  

I like how you touched on a lot of issues that surround head wraps such as wearing them to work. I can tell that you really do wear them as a regular part of your routine. Your shots were engaging and regal. I do kind of wish you had shaken things up a bit with more accessories or played around with more colors. The shots were beautiful though.

Chassity Bynum
Your skin and head wrap were fabulous, but I wanted a little more variety in both the poses and also the style of the wrap.  If you were going to wear just one style with the wrap, I would’ve at least like to have seen different angles of it.  Other than that, your effort was excellent.

Justyce Chavez
I want to say that I loved how you showed both a casual and more professional combination of wearing a wrap. My favorites were the pictures with the blazer. I did like the way you had your wrap in the casual pictures but I have to wonder if you’re transitioning or have some damage? I apologize if you don’t, but for future challenges, I would spend some time working on some ways to style your hair (perhaps some perm rods on the ends might help?) so that the ends curl more. 

Natasha S. Houston
I don’t think these pictures did you justice at all. I’m not usually that picky on the photography, but even I could tell that these shots were very unflattering. Not only that, but I couldn’t properly see where/how the wrap was tied. I did enjoy your essay however. 

What happened, girl? I have to believe that there was some kind of mistake when you were putting in your entry. There are only two photos and they’re exactly the same. I also can’t see what’s going on with the head wrap. There is also no mention of MLK in your essay. 

My top picks would be Chassity, Jalita, ReShonda, and Nefertiti. 


Simeko – Feedback on The Valentine’s Challenge

Simeko – Feedback on The Valentine’s Challenge

Simeko Watkins-HartleyEach week is getting more and more intense.  As I look at the photos and the stories that they are telling, I am drawn in more and more. We’re getting closer to the end of this competition and it is clear that everyone of you are really working hard to win.

This week’s choice winner, for me, is Chassity – You, absolutely, drew me in and I loved it! Everything about your delivery this week exuded inspiration and love….your photos, your story, and the way you adorned your hair.  This is what this competition is all about.  If you keep this up, you will be America’s Next Natural Model!


Latrenia Bryant on Challenge 2

Latrenia Bryant on Challenge 2

Latrenia BryantFirst let me say, I’m always speaking from a photographic point of view. Is it believable? Does it look good? Does it make me want it? Can I see it in your eyes? Are you selling it? Are you modeling or just standing by looking cute? are just a few things I’m asking myself when I look at photographs.

 Secondly, I love head wraps! but they can quickly be a turn off IF worn in an unflattering way.  

  • Kala G- Love the profile photos. Photos 1,2 and 5 are the ones I like the most. Would I want to try a head wrap after looking at your photos? YES. Good job!!
  • CarlieM- You sold me on every photo!! Gorgeous smile. Photo 3 made me smile because It shows creativity and I love that. The last picture you rocked the art of SMIZING (smiling with your eyes)  Beautiful JOB!
  • Juleedu- The first photo was a total miss. The second was nice but I was underwhelmed with the remaining photos. I wasn’t moved to run out and try this style. The facial expressions didn’t change much and I didn’t feel like YOU were owning the look.
  • Desyray- At first glance, looking at photos 3-5 I would immediately think “This girl has style”. It was believable, you look beautiful. In the 4th picture your hair looks neat, very beautiful. Looking at your photos, I would be intrigued to try your looks.
  • Reshonda Parker- I like the STYLE of the wrap in the first 4 photos but that’s where it ends. You have big beautiful eyes and with the first style; rocking that big hair you could have really blew it out of the box but there was no life in your eyes. I don’t think you sold the look this week. These looks would not make me want to run out and buy a head wrap.
  • Nefertiti- Again, beautiful girl, same as Reshonda, but you didn’t sell me on the idea of wearing a head wrap because you looked lost in the eyes.  You almost got there with the 3rd and 5th look  but  I’m underwhelmed this week.    
  • Chassity- YES!! You sold it. I would definitely want to try your head wrap style. Love the 1st and 2nd pictures. You look very regal, yes ma’am ..suitable for a king! Beautiful smile. Photographs well.   
  • Justyce Chavez- Photos 1,2 and 4 I like the way you wore the wrap. YOU looked comfortable in the first 2 pictures but the others you showed lack luster. You had some hits and misses. I do looove your smile in the first photo, it makes me smile. Decent job overall but you could have done better. I would not run out to get a head wrap just by looking at your pictures.
  • Natasha S. Houston-  Oh Natasha, Natasha, Natasha.. I’m underwhelmed. That one style was a pretty basic style. I wish I could have seen more variety in regards to styling the head wrap. That color didn’t pop well on camera so trying different styles may have helped that situation. You were almost there in regards to modeling in the 1st photo but the others were a total miss.
  • Jael- You said head wraps can be worn in a variety of ways  but you didn’t show that. I like the scarf tied in a bow around the neck but even with that you didn’t SELL me on doing that. A full frontal view can be boring photographically. You could have sold that one look but you missed the boat on that. Remember, You are MODELING!

This challenge my top 3 were: Kala G, CarlieM and Chassity (in no particular order)   

Latrenia on Challenge 6

Latrenia on Challenge 6

Latrenia BryantJust a reminder,  this week the challenge was to create a breath taking never-to-forget wedding style.

ReShonda– Your two- in-one braided spiral rod set style is beautiful!  The Cowrie shells added to your naturally wonderful Afro centric look. You showed the hair and the headpiece very well..however there wasn’t a whole lot of range when it came to your poses and facial expressions. It would have been nice to have seen at least one photo displaying your entire look from head to toe. It’s only because of bridal bouquet I gathered you were representing a bride. Shots 1,6 and 10 are nice because the look “believable” meaning relaxed and not forced. All-in-all you look beautiful and did a nice job. Beautiful photos.

 Chassity-  You looked like a bride..very believable!  Your photos make me WANT this look/headpiece. The hair style was gorgeous. The photos are good although the white veil in the first photo is a little blown out (meaning it lacks details) but one still knows it was a bridal veil. In the 4th photo you appear angelic..nice!  It’s obvious, the camera loves you. You photograph beautifully but I would like to see you push it a little bit more and not rest on being “beautiful” If that makes sense but for this challenge brides are beautiful and I feel like you met the challenge.

Kala- Kala!! Is that you!!? Wow! Last week I wanted you out but not this week. That gorgeous smile, the beautiful crown of gems, the wonderful playful photos, the windblown  hair and seductive look you gave in photo #7 made you one of my favorites this week. It would have been nice to have seen the crown gems with actually wedding attire and your teeth are a little blown out (lack detail) in some photos but all-in-all you stepped it up this week. GOOD JOB!

Nefertiti-  Unfortunately this would not be a look I would want. The hair and photos were blah/bland/dull.  Nothing really stood out. Your attempt at elegant and romantic just looks like bad late 80’s/early 90’s wedding or prom hair…you know ..big hair that’s gathered back away from the face with a few strands spiraling down in the front. Unfortunately, you haven’t loosened up much in your photos. You should be more relaxed and comfortable because you look stiff and posed in your photos. As a photographer myself, I say this not to be funny but to be honest…you might want to seek out another photographer..someone who can help you relax and produce better images.  

Jalitia– I like that you chose a non typical color veil but when you choose something out of the ordinary you have to be prepared to bring it .. sell it!! and I think you missed the mark on doing that. The headpiece is beautiful and I get that you wanted to portray sweetness and yes, you do look “sweet” I just think you could have pushed it more. We’re near the end..don’t rest on sweetness.  On a better note, photo #3 is the best and your hairstyle in the last photo is fabulous. I’m a fan of SOME shadows in photos but not too much that it distracts and hide key elements in the photos like in photo #1 plus over exposure/too much blown out details is a sure killer in regards to a lot of images such as your pic #6.

Carlie–  Looove your essay/story. Your tresses look beautiful but the style was a bit blah/dull. You say you were going for a soft romantic tone in your photos this week.. I could see that but the eye makeup was a bit heavy if that was the case. Unfortunately, the headpiece looked better as a necklace than it did as a actually hair piece. Photo #1 is decent but the others fell flat because of the overall look of the photo itself, your poses and facial expressions. Again, like I expressed in another’s critique ..don’t rest on being “beautiful” now is the time to step it up. Your looks did not sell me on the headpiece nor did it make me want the look.

Desyray- I love your ringlets/flat twist style. I wish I could have seen this look with actual wedding attire or a simple dress on because this is a bridal challenge. I like models to make me BELIEVE what they are selling. The shoot looks like it could be for a hair magazine not anything bridal related and with that being said, yes I would want your hair and style but not in regards to a wedding.  The makeup isn’t something I could see a bride wearing especially since you said you chose a style that was simple and classy. All-in-all, the shells are nice but I wish you had gotten a different headpiece. I predicted you would have the shells  just because you see that a lot with loc wearers. Your photos were decent. Just remember to relax looked posed. I want you to be more natural in front of the camera.

My top 3 in no particular order:   ReShonda, Kala and Chassity  

My pick to exit the competition:  Nefertiti

My challenge winner:  Chassity (with ReShonda being very very close)

Just want to say ladies, it’ll soon be over and this is the time to step up your game and think outside the box. Bring it. Stop resting on “pretty” and just MODEL. We know you’re all gorgeous! Loosen up and don’t think about your poses b/c that’s what make you look stiff and unbelievable in some of your photos. Good Luck ladies!

Yardley’s Vote for Challenge #2

Yardley’s Vote for Challenge #2

Yardley MesserouxThis week’s decision was as hard to make as last week’s, if not more. The vote was between CarlieM and Nefertiti. I decided on Nefertiti! She had a very interesting story, showed versatility in the way she styled her wraps, and made some great points about what is “appropriate” when wearing a head wrap. I loved it! Good luck Nefertiti!

I choose Natural Jael for the elimination. No comments on MLK, not much on the history or symbolism of the wrap, and there was room for more creativity on the styling of the wrap in the photo.


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Karen Chambers on the Iman Cosmetics Challenge

Karen Chambers on the Iman Cosmetics Challenge

Karen Chambers of Iman Cosmetics

Natasha is beautiful and I have compassion for the personal issues that she spoke about in her notes for this challenge. But, this look was unfortunately my least favorite look in this challenge. Since this is a competition, it’s important to understand that, no matter what, you have to put your best face forward. As a model, if you are not “feeling it”… stop, take a breath, pull it together and concentrate on something positive to get your best shot. Unfortunately, her attention was not there in her expressions or the makeup application. What can be learned from role models like Iman is this: Find the inspiration within to exude confidence, poise and sophistication at all times and remember…Keep your head up, even when the going gets rough.

Jalita did a literal interpretation of the challenge and definitely had the help of a very “eager” makeup artist to achieve her look. The one thing I would suggest is not to take a theme over the top. A heavy makeup application and intense accessories can overwhelm the softer side of a model’s face and features. No matter how dramatic the theme is, don’t let the clothes, makeup or accessories wear YOU.  I had to go back to previous challenges to remember what Jalita’s soft, pretty featured actually looked like.   For the future, don’t forget that your real beauty always needs to shine through.

I liked Carli’s explanation about how she approached this challenge – wanting to create “approachable yet fierce beauty”. That really was the essence of Iman’s inspiration look. What I would suggest is that whenever you get an opportunity to select pictures that will represent you, ONLY choose the very best ones. More is not always better. Each image is so dramatically different, that it looks like they are completely different shoots, different lighting, different makeup application and different accessories. It almost looks like 3-4 different models. But fortunately, there were 2 or 3 very good images which show off Carli’s beautiful skin and hair, styling, creativity, good application of makeup, great eye contact and a connection with the camera. The photos that were shot outdoors were especially beautiful.

ReShonda, for me, did the very best job on this challenge. I was very inspired by the thoughts she expressed in her challenge notes. I think that’s what this competition is all about…overcoming false stereotypes about what is beautiful and being proud and confident enough to own your beauty and let yourself shine. RaShonda has beautiful full features and she knew exactly how to play them up. Her use of the makeup was naturally elegant. She did a gorgeous smoky eye and soft lip, and her skin looks radiant. I like that she used a little bit of the animal print accent in her wardrobe, but she made it her own with whimsical earrings that seem to match her vibrant personality. I also like that she did her own interpretation of Iman’s smooth bang, but worked it with the texture of her own natural hair. The most important thing that stands out to me is her expressive smile and eye contact. She really connected with the camera and looks like she had a lot of fun on this shoot.

Nerfertiti admitted in her challenge notes that she was a novice with makeup, but she did a respectable job in her application. The look was pretty and I like that she let some of her natural hair peek out from the head wrap. Here are some suggestions: Even if you are not good at makeup, learn to master your eyebrows. Nicely shaped and groomed brows always look more pulled together, even with a clean face. I would also suggest working on being more confident in front of the camera, work on body language, eye contact and mastering subtle facial expressions. The last suggestion is, if you can help it, try not to shoot in front of a backdrop that matches your skin tone. You want to stand out and make a statement in your images, not blend into the background.

Kala has a very pretty, great face, great hair and a soft, natural look. She spoke very well about the IMAN product line in her notes. But the smoky eye that she described did not appear in her photographs. For this challenge I would have liked to see her take it a step further and give a little more drama, sophistication and intensity. The look was nice, the hair was gorgeous…but the makeup and styling felt a little casual for this challenge.

Chassity’s image is a classic beauty shot. She has a great even skin tone, beautiful almond eyes, high cheekbones, full lips and symmetrical features. So this is a great look. But my biggest critique is that I didn’t see much connection to the challenge, in terms of interpreting the Iman inspiration look. It doesn’t look like this image was created for this challenge. But Chassity is a very photogenic model with a commercial look that should take her far.

I give Desyray tremendous credit for creating this look herself. It was well executed, good use of color, great application, beautiful smoky eye. The shoot images looked very professional, well styled, good attention to details. For competitions, I would be mindful of over-retouching. It’s important for your natural features to be seen. But with or without that, these were nice images. The only thing I didn’t like in this shoot was the hat. It didn’t go with the theme and it covered up the thing that is an important feature of this competition…beautiful natural hair. With such a pretty face, I wanted to also see beautiful hair, even if it was just a little peek of it. But, apart from that it was nicely done.


Karen Chambers is the Creative Director of IMAN Cosmetics, where she oversees communications, product development and creative services for the internationally recognized cosmetics and skincare line. More about Miss Chambers click here: Karen Chambers

Toshia on the Valentine Challenge

Toshia on the Valentine Challenge

 Toshia Shaw natural hair locsLove is indeed in the air! First of all let me say that I commend you ladies, for the effort, and the work you are putting into this competition. I was in your shoes, and as the runner of last year, it was not easy! So I do feel your pain. However, you all pull this off effortlessly and flawlessly; looking beautiful along the way. Good luck, and just know it was extremely hard to judge because you all look so beautiful!