Challenge 8 – Politics As Usual?
I chose Christina for a well written essay with her description and what her piece represented and how she related the miss NP contest and Nzogzi Jewelry. You chose a beautiful piece with great color.
I chose Teesha for the photo shoot. Again great photos. loves your location and background. Your choice of wearing that beautiful black outfit was excellent. The black made your chosen piece pop and standout. My eyes were immediately drawn to the piece. Great choices.
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!
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 goingnatural.com 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!
Jewels, Nature, and Natural Hair -some of my most favorite elements blended together…
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.
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.
Wow! We are now down to the top 5 and you ladies must be in it to win it because I am just blinded by your beauty. No matter who is named Miss Nappturality, you are all goddesses.
TEESHA – Wonderfully written essay, but there were some spelling errors. Just call me Mr. English Professor. LOL! But I love the sentiment. Your hairstyle is regal and fabulous and chic. LaJoyce really worked it! Beautiful photos in your gallery as well. Are you based here in NY? I’d like to work with you for NY Fashion Week.
KARLA – I love your essay. I think accessorizing is very important because it really allows you to make your look your own. It is very well-written. You take great photos, but I think there is a little too much light infused in 3 of them. Fuchsia is a great color on you.
SAFEEYAH – The essay that you’ve written for this challenge is excellent. It’s passionate and empowering. Very well done. There is a misspelled word – “dwelve” should actually be “delve”. But it does not take away from the content. You’re a very pretty young woman, but I am always disappointed by the hot spots that show up on your face each week. You’ve chosen a lovely colored background, your hair is awesome, and your face is done, but you do yourself a disservice with the amateur photography. But if you are New York based, I’d love to work with you also on fashion week.
TOSHIA – Another very well written essay. I really like how you tied in the first lady. It’s topical and relevant. And your photo is really nice. What a lovely smile you have. You showed a lot of versatility in your hairstyles in the photo gallery. I am impressed.
CHRISTINA – Your essay is well-written, but it lacked the personal touch that was so prevalent in the other competitors. Yours left me a little cold. And while I think you are beautiful and posses a wonderful smile, I’ve seen you do much better with your photos. A little disappointing this week.
I could not choose one winner this week. My vote for best essay is Safeeyah and for best photos is Teesha. Congratulations, ladies!
We’re past the half way mark now and I am glad to see the tenacity of the five remaining contestants. Hang in there beautiful ladies.
Here is what I saw:
Teesha’s story had an outlook on chic that is bold and assured. I loved her ideas around individuality and the possibilities of natural hair options growing. Her entry is creatively written and very engaging.
Teesha’s photos – Teesha has so much hair that the options for creativity are endless. However, this style did not reflect that range of possibility. Many of Teesha’s photos from past challenges have been so dazzling, that these were a disappointment.
Safeeya’s insight into our history of emulating the beauty standards of others is, spot on. Her light and breezy way of explaining how simple an up-sweep hairstyle can be achieved made her story a delight to read.
Safeeya’s photos with her up-swept, bejeweled Locs, shimmering shawl, and the dramatic look of the dark nail polish, made her look like she was ready to step out for that special occasion.
I enjoyed reading about the different options Christina offered for chic hairstyles and it was my hope that when I viewed her photos that they would follow through with her writing and they did. My only critique on the writing is that the challenge is around being chic and meeting the First Lady at the White House. Therefore, the references to such outings as the neighborhood juice bar and a Neo Soul Lounge, did not really tie in with the subject matter.
Christina had the most variety of looks with her hairstyling options and the styles followed through with her story of style choices. That last image with Christina’s hair styled up in a fanned bun was absolutely exquisite and one I think would definitely impress the First Lady and her esteemed guests.
Karla decision to wear a twist out and accessorize it with hair jewelry spoke to her level of comfort with her naturally kinky texture, which is both a powerful and beautiful statement. Her chance find of bedazzling hair accessories seem to spark her creativity and she described the many choices available for accessorizing.
Karla looked stunning in her primary photo. I love that her hair looks more defined in this challenge. The brilliant fuchsia color of her dress and hair accessory looked stunning on her and enhanced her natural beauty. I am just missing the variety in styling. The Twist out is a wonderful style and can be dressed up and dressed down, but I am hoping to see more styling options in the remaining challenges from Karla.
Toshia’s graceful explanation of the reasons and ways to wear and up do was telling as she described showing off her neckline and allowing her hair to be the accent instead of the focus of a her look. Toshia’s visualization of conversing with the First Lady and giving her options for her hair, was priceless!
Toshia’s photos were beautiful, elegant and she put herself in settings that looked the part of the challenge. Great work Toshia.
My winners are:
Teesha for her great story and wonderful writing on the topic
Christina for her versatility in styling her hair for a festive occasion
LENORE – Best of luck to you in all your endeavors, Lenore. You are gorgeous and I am sure you will do fine. Just remember your angles when you are in front of the camera. Happy Holidays!
VALARIA – Valaria, you were by far the most regal of all the contestants in the America’s Next Natural Model Contest. Beautiful features and a camera presence will get you very far. Best of luck in your endeavors.
CHRISTINA – Wonderful step-by-step instructional this week. Clear & concise with fantastic photos. Very well done! Your hairstyles and pictures in the photo gallery are off the chain. FABULOUS!
TOSHIA – I think your intentions for this challenge were honorable. Your hair looks beautiful. But is very unclear to me, even after reading it, how to use the pipe cleaners to achieve the look you end with. Also, you should have applied make up for the instructional. You look washed out. Check out Christina’s entry to see a great example. I love the use of feathers and other accessories in your gallery photos because it looks very festive, however, you’ve had clearer and more engaging photos in the past. And I know you can do better.
SAFEEYAH – Safeeyah, I am so pleased with your tutorial this week. The photos are clear and detailed and I love that you decided to Go Green for this challenge. It’s a very smart & enlightened approach. I love your delicate features and broad smile, but your photos in your gallery never do you justice. And I think this is such a disservice to a young woman as lovely as you.
KARLA – Your tutorial was clear, well-written, and concise, but I am going to have to agree with the other judges that it did not give you the desired results. And ultimately, no one is going to want to follow your instructions because they are afraid thie hair will not end up with the curls/crinkles they wanted. But a very good effort. Although your pictures in the gallery do not show much range, I think you look very pretty.
TEESHA – Very well done instructional. I like that you point out that there are other options to achieve curls/crinkles other than heat. And I always love your gallery photos because they are so diverse and wonderfully thought out. Always a pleasure.
As we come down to the wire, each week gets more and more challenging. My choice for winner of this challenge is Christina. Job well-done!
Tosha love the holiday curls and the red dress, very cute and festive. would like to have seen more detail pics of how to use the pipe cleaners. great idea, love the results and all the curls
Christina Nice crinkles and and nice photos and easy to follow instructions
Safeeya You look so cute and happy in your curls. love the results, but process a little confusing would like to see more photos of the twisting clockwise step and how to wrap around cloth strips
Karla You give off a very happy vibe in photos. Would love to have seen you in more festive colors and see your curls fluffed out more
Teesha love the twist out up do with the yellow flower and nice photos and results. Your instructions layout was nice.
I chose Tosha for her great festive photos
I chose Christina for her great How two instructions layout
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.
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
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!
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
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.
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:
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.
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!