Interview with Model Olga K
Currently busy with NYFW, our favorite Model Olga Kuz is taking a short break to reveal her best beauty secrets and favorite hangouts in New York. The MSA Model is truly a breath of fresh air in the industry.
Leny Navarro-Francis: Bonjour Olga, How's NY fashion week?
Olga K: New York Fashion week is always a very exciting yet stressful time! About two weeks before the shows, we have our castings, callbacks and fittings; but everything remains in the air up to the very last minute. It is an incredible feeling to be part of such an iconic event. So many people are involved in it and work so hard to make it happen. This year, I loved the return of the pant suits. My favorite show of the season was Carmen Marc Valvo! I have been lucky to walk Carmen’s show for the fifth time and it gets better every year. When you wear one of his dresses you can only feel special and beautiful.
LNF: How did you start your career?
OK: I’ve always been interested in fashion and wanted to work in the industry. Three years ago, I came to New York and people encouraged me to audition. At first, I was hesitant because modeling was only a distant dream. So I took a chance and went to some open calls. Funny enough, I had no portfolio at the time, just a couple of photos taken by a friend, so imagine my surprise when I was offered a contract! I am blessed to be able to do what I love and live in this stunning city.
LNF: Olga, what are your beauty routines?
OK: From a young age, my mom taught me that less is more and to only use what we really need. I still live by it as I barely wear make-up when I am not working. I always pay attention to the ingredients contained in the products I use. I certainly select natural and organic ingredients first. Moisturizing is vital, as my skin tends to get very dry, especially during fashion week season. Right now, I cannot live without Lait-Crème by Embryolisse and Skin Food by Weleda! Both work on all skin types, it’s incredible!
I also love to use avocado and coconut oils because they make my skin appear more hydrated and they contain Vitamin E, a must during winter season! Furthermore, I love to apply shea butter around the delicate eye area, thanks to the antioxidant propriety; it truly prevents the appearance of wrinkles. Finally, I like to use scrubs as part of my morning routine. Leny, let me tell you how much I enjoy exfoliating dead skin cells with my Frank Coffee Scrub! It leaves my skin looking radiant and soft.
LNF: Has your beauty routine changed since you became a model?
OK: When I have to wear makeup, I prefer to use an aqua base foundation, with a lightweight texture. The cakey look is to avoid at all cost!
My favorite mascara is Chanel Inimitable, as it gives both definition and volume to my lashes.
When I’m travelling, I always have my Maybelline facial cleansing wipes in my bag. To be honest, it is far from being glamorous to have to refresh in the bathroom of an airport, let’s say a pack of facial cleansing wipes is truly a model’s best friend!
I am taking extra care of my hair, as it often gets damaged with work, I’m trying not to wash it every day, but I restore the natural balance of my hair with All soft Argan 6 oil by Redken. My locks are glossier, healthier and silkier.
LNF: How do you get ready before a show/shoot?
OK: The night before any job, you will find me with a facial moisturizing mask on! I love concocting my own mask, for example, I just mix half of an avocado, egg yolk, one tea spoon of honey and a little bit of lemon juice. It works well on reducing my pores and removing redness while hydrating my skin.
LNF: How do you choose your fragrance?
OK: I’m a big fan of Parfums as you say in French! It becomes a part of you and completes your look. As Gabrielle Chanel said emended us "A woman who doesn’t wear perfume has no future." I love for a fragrance to be unique, rare with a story behind it. My absolute favorites are Les Exclusifs De Chanel Collection and Bond New York Number 9.
LNF: When you’re not strutting on the catwalk, where do you like to hang out in NYC?
OK: I love NYC and it quickly became home. The Big Apple has so much to offer, you can easily explore a new area every single day. Every neighborhood has it’s own special vibe, architecture and style. I love to hang out in Tribeca, Soho and West Village, as I love the parks and fine restaurants.
Food wise, I love to explore local places, I’m a big coffee drinker, and so I feel like I’ve tried every single coffee shop in town. My forever favorite is Balthazar, probably the best-iced cappuccino you’ll ever have. I have a sweet tooth and can’t live without pastries and chocolate, Ceci-Cela has the most delicious almond and chocolate croissants. I am also a big fan of cold pressed juices and smoothies from Juice Press. For brunch, Two Hands has been on top of my list for the past year, they have a standout avocado toast and fantastic acai bowls. If I want to treat myself with a good pizza or pasta, I love going to Gemma at The Bowery Hotel, in my opinion, the best Italian food in NY!
LN: As a fashion expert, what have you been drawn to this season?
Copyright Photo Credit: Channel 4
Kai: I have been drawn to African prints. They are still a big trend on and off the runway. I find it inspiring when designers incorporate bright African prints into items that reflect the diversity of influences in Paris or London. Diversity is key.
LN: What is the best fashion/beauty advice you can give?
Kai: If you’re not comfortable wearing something, don’t do it because it’s fashionable or trendy. Confidence will make you look great. I truly believe it is meant to be a reflection who you are.
Kai: I have tons of beauty icons, but Naomi remains my inspiration, she established herself among the top three most recognizable and in-demand supermodels. She also continues to be a formidable force in the world of fashion, and has used her success to establish herself as an entrepreneur.
LN: After appearing on the hit series first dates, do you have any TV work in the pipeline?
Kai: Working as a model remains my first love but I truly enjoy television, I am open to it. From reality to documentaries, I actually
want to keep on raising awareness for mental health especially in the gay community. I think First Dates was a great platform.
Interview with Eve
The former Ruff Ryders Grammy-winning rapper is on the road for the This Is What the Truth Feels Like Tour, which will stop by New York on July 21 and wraps up with a show in Los Angeles on October 15. Gwen and Eve have previously collaborated on the hits “Let Me Blow Ya Mind” and “Rich Girl.” The star took a quick break to chat to Leny Navarro.
Leny Navarro: Congratulations on hosting the VH1 Hip Hop Honors, how did the honorees influence your career?
Eve: It was an amazing night, I was truly honored to be able to host it. All of those women are amazing women, Salt N Pepa, Queen Latifah, Missy and Kim have paved the way. Being a female rapper in such a male dominated industry, you have to have a hard shell. It’s about earning your respects. Fortunately, I was blessed to come up with Ruff Ryders, I was a bit like the baby sister,but I definitely had to fight a bit harder.
LN: You’re currently touring with Gwen Stefani for her newest album, This Is What The Truth Feels Like. Can you tell me more about the show?
Eve: At first my plan for the summer was to record new music, I always a great working relationship with Gwen. The show is truly incredible. Overall it is fun to perform fan favorites, stuff from Lip Lock, and new music that will be out after the tour.
LN: What can we expect from your new album?
Eve: Living abroad has certainly influenced me. My life is different as I am married. I’m a lyricist first, lyrics come before the beat. I want to make sure the music has a meaning, it’s not about making a song just to make a song. Honestly, I’m not trying to relive any moments. I think the new album will represent my growth.I always try to give my fans all the same support and love that they’ve given me.
LN: Fashion has always been a passion of yours. What tip do you have for the readers when it comes to fashion?
Eve: The great thing about fashion is that you can do what you want, but it should always remain authentic, you want to feel good. When it comes to my style, I tend to go for effortlessly chic like mixing high-end with high-street. You confidence will come through as long as you don’t look like you are trying too hard.
LN:Finally, what would be the biggest misconception about you?
Eve: Often people tell me that I am much nicer than they thought I’d be!
Interview with Mya
From her self-titled platinum debut album to the breakthrough single Case of the Ex (Watcha Gonna do), Mýa has always been artistically involved in her successful career. The gorgeous Mýa Harrison also made history with Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, P!nk and Missy Elliot for having the most successful airplay-only single Lady Marmalade. Together, they won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration and sold over 5.5 million copies. Fast-forward 2016, the ever so charming singer, producer, actress and philanthropist has joined Leny Navarro for a brand new interview while promoting her excellent 12th studio album Smoove Jones.
Leny Navarro: Mýa, Smoove Jones is doing well, do you feel a certain pressure when it comes to being independent?
Mýa Harrison: Not at all! Being independent gives me freedom to creatively be great. Standing on your own doesn’t always get major exposure or support, but because I make music from a pure place, I am more so excited and relieved that it actually gets out into the universe.
LN: Team You is simply cathartic but If you had to pick your favorite track off the new album which one would it be?
MH: My favorite track from the album right now is Hold On. Everyone at some point fights battles or has struggles, and in moments of doubt or defeat, this is the song coming from a place of never giving up. It makes me think of the angel on the shoulder voicing understanding but guiding you in the right direction to take you out of that dark place.
LN: What’s the last thing somebody taught you?
MH: My mother (Mama Theresa) who does all of my mass mailings & shippings recently taught me how to use Paypal so I could send out all of the personalized orders of the latest CD & calendar (laughs). My dog and ‘right hand man,’ who recently passed, taught me that guardian angels and cycles tend to come in every form in the universe. He was 8 years old and saw me through 8 independent projects, from an unsure place to a confident one. And now I'm ready to fly.
LN: What do you want people to remember most about you?
MH: Leny, I’d like to be remembered as a good person, that gave as much as she could with what she had to give.
LN: Can you tell me why TMATF (The Mya Arts & Tech Foundation) is close to your heart?
MH: The arts are statistically proven to increase independent thinking, creativity, discipline, balance, and academic improvement in children. In many inner cities, there are issues of less economic stability, poorer education, community centers being stripped away, arts being removed from the school system leaving many children imbalanced, isolated from their most powerful self… the independent thinker, the creator, the dreamer often leaving children more susceptible to other harmful things out of boredom or feelings of rejection. At an early age through the arts, I was fortunate to find an outlet to learn & apply, express myself, create, develop a positive image of myself, and a feel of importance, and significance to the world. Sometimes that’s half the battle living in areas that do not get the same care, attention, support, opportunity, and I’ve always wanted to share that magic. Art is the more spiritual side of education that really does saves lives and makes amazing individuals.
LN: As an artist, you have mastered a style element and great fashion choices, where do you like to source your inspiration?
MH: Clothing, hair and make-up are just reflective of how I am feeling at any given moment and that varies from day to day (laughs).
For performances I have my favorite go to’s like Prince, Donna Summer, Vanity 6, Sheila E, but it also depends on the type of show I am giving. I could pull references from Broadway musicals, Rock Steady Crew, a Jamaican dancehall or gentlemen’s club, etc. all within one show. It truly is a playground with no restrictions for me.
LN: Finally, what is your best beauty tip? Your favorite makeup?
MH: Best beauty tip… Work yourself from the inside out. Eat right, drink right, look right!
Positive energy brings a certain glow, so think positive, choose positive, be positive & attract positiveness. It always shows up on the outside. My favorite look would be a fresh, dewy face with a bronze, sun-kissed glow. It looks so tropical and reminds me of a place that feels like true home.