BET Hip Hop Awards Green Carpet Fashion 2019!

Lil Kim and Junior Mafia at the BET Hip Hop Awards, the Cobb Energy Center, ATL
Photo by Jovanna Reyes

The BET Hip Hop Awards 2019 was held on October 5, 2019 at the Cobb Energy Center in Atlanta, Georgia. It was a stream of old and new, emerging and hitmakers on Sprite’s green carpet this past weekend. Lil Kim, Rick Ross, Teyana Taylor, T-Pain and more made appearances on the Sprite’s green carpet this past weekend. Junior Mafia and the Queen Bee performed a medley of her hits, after she received the ICON award. Rick Ross, a long time collaborator with Lil Kim, presented her with the award. She thanked her crew, family, including her daughter Reign, with the biggest props going to Biggie Smalls(discovered and produced her successful albums).

Rick Ross gave presence on the green carpet casually dressed but dripping in ice. He later performed with T-Pain and Lil Jon with a vision of Miami on the LED backdrop.

Rick Ross performing on the BET Hip Hop Awards, Atlanta, GA
Photo by Jerome Dorn/InDaHouse Media

Atlanta had every rapper from the last few decades grace the carpet and the stage. Lil Kim, Rick Ross, T-Pain, Lil Jon, Junior Mafia, Money Man, Gunna, and all the Babys, Lil Baby and DaBaby. The Babys also performed together and on DaBaby performed with Meg The Stallion, who opened the award show with a thong bodysuit, showing her best assets. Her set was a retro designed in red, white and blue, transported from the old World War II musicals.

The female rappers represented in rhinestones, sheer gowns and cutouts with designer labels galore. One of the outstanding memorable artists was Rapsody. The hood feminist wore a vintage style jogging outfit adorned with a swavorski headdress of rollers. It was original and perfect for the multifaceted fashion carpet.

Teyana Taylor and her husband, cypher, Iman Shumpert supported each other on the carpet. Teyana was a presenter while her husband showed his skills as a cypher on a pre recorded battle with other upcoming and talented rappers.

Lil Duval hosted this year’s BET Hip Hop Awards at the Cobb Energy Center in Atlanta. He performed his hit single “City Boys” and was joined by KaMillion and an entire slew of folks. He had an entire city on that stage.

Article by Jovanna Reyes @jovannareyesphotography @curvysta

Vydurya Lokesh, Celebrity MUA, Body Positive Influencer and Muse

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I met the amazing and wondrous Vydurya Lokesh at the Priscilla Ono Masterclass in NYC  this past summer.  I was the oldest woman there and realized quickly I was way out of my league in the course.  The silver lining, outside of learning that makeup application is an art, is meeting Vy.  Her aura is gentle, kind and she glows.  I mean her skin glows!  She reminded me of Lupita Nyongo, who also has luminescent skin and happens to be the direct descendant of Eve.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Vydurya has DNA from a Goddess of Light.  It’s who she is and I hope I captured it in this collection of photos.

One of the evenings after class, I invited her to have dinner and we ended up at Eataly near the World Trade Center, after visiting MAC, of course.  At dinner, she went on to tell me about her childhood and the tribulations she experienced at such an early age.  I realized that her past made her clueless on her beauty.  She was just happy to be alive and be a positive influence to everyone she meets.  The entire dinner, I kept thinking what a classic beauty she is and how I would love the opportunity to photograph her.  She was shocked and moved when I finally asked her.

Her last night in the states she spent with me in Maryland and we shot until late evening.  I am happy to share these with you and hope you can see the light that reflects from Vydurya that I noticed from the moment we met.

As she likes to say, “I am destiny’s child. “, not the singing group, but a child of faith that walks in light.

Please make sure to follow her on Instagram @VyduryaLokesh and Facebook @Artistry by Vydurya Lokesh.

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Photos and article by Jovanna Reyes:

Follow Instagram@jovannareyesphotography and @curvysta

“Surviving R. Kelly” premiere evacuated after violent threats in NYC

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On Tuesday, December 4th, Lifetime debuted their new documentary series “Surviving R. Kelly” at the NeueHouse Madison Square in NYC.  The documentary will air on January 4 at 9PM ET/PT.  The three night, six part documentary series documents the alleged victims of R. Kelly’s pedophilia and abuse.  Several celebrities like John Legend, Sparkle, Wendy Williams were interviewed, including those in his innermost circle.  Drea Kelly, his ex-wife and mother of his children, was R. Kelly’s former backup dancer and toured with him prior to having a romantic relationship.  She became more vocal in sharing her story after seeing one of the victims describe an abusive encounter that was similar to her experience with her ex-husband.  She’s described heinous acts by R. Kelly and decided to leave when she had a suicidal thought and thanks God and her children for keeping her from jumping off her bedroom balcony.  Ms.  Kelly was on site and was scheduled to speak on the panel after the screening.

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Tarana Burke, the founder of the Me Too Movement and Civil Rights Activist, is featured in the docuseries and was also in attendance at the NeueHouse event space when the evacuation occurred.  The seven featured survivors, Jerhonda Pace, Kitti Jones, Lisa VanAllen, Asante McGee, Lizzette Martinez and Faith Rodgers also graced the red carpet and were visibly shaken when they were quickly whisked from the location.

Gretchen Carlson, Author and Me Too advocate, attended to give support to the brave women.  Angela Yee, The Breakfast Club, was scheduled to moderate the panel.

A Lifetime representative stated they will do their best to reschedule and their main priority was the safety of the survivors and attendees.


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Synergy Global Forum with Sir Richard Branson, Robin Wright, Guy Kawasaki and influencers in tech, business and social media.

This past weekend was a tidal wave of information at the Synergy Global Forum in New York City.  All the speakers, from Guy Kawasaki to Richard Branson, had a golden nugget to share on entrepreneurship and life lessons.  The weekend started off with ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ author, Guy Kawasaki, an Apple enthusiast and Venture capitalist.  He was followed by panel discussions and talks with top influencers, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists like Gary Vaynerchuk, Jack Welch, Robin Wright, Steve Forbes, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Malcolm Gladwell, Ray Kurzweil, Jimmy Wales, and Kimberly Guilfoyle.  In other words, the functioning top ten percent that are running the world in science, tech and influence.

Richard Branson explained how he came to become such a successful and fearless CEO. He blames his mother for it. He said he had to do a lot to impress her. Most impressive fact is the future space giant, he revealed his moon jet is the only one designed with wheels for easier landing. It gives passengers the opportunity to land on earth without using a parachute and into the sea.

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Panel Discussion with Jesse Kirshbaum, Bonin Bough, Gerard Adams and Billie Whitehouse.

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NYFW:AMCONYC FALL/WINTER 2017

Article and Photos by Jovanna Reyes

AMCONYC  is produced by Adriana Marie  and was held at Gary’s Loft during NYFW F/W 2017.  This is their third year in production during New York Fashion Week.

One of the highlights of the runway event was designer EMULEOS.  The designer showcased varying prints and textures.  Her thoughts are to combine fashion, science and theory.  “It’s not just about the clothes, but how you wear it.”  Here are a few of my faves.

I always turn the camera on the audience and behind the scenes. I find they can be as interesting as the runway presentation.  Lots of fur, snakeskin footwear, outerwear and of course, NYC fashionista black, bantu knots and more than one purple head.

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NYFW:THE SHOWS-Francesca Liberatore

Article and Photos by Jovanna Reyes

NYFW: The Shows featuring Francesca Liberatore Fall/Winter 2017 at Skylight Clarkson Square. Here are a few of my favorites.  I shared the front and the back of the garments because they were so beautiful coming and going.  Her attention to details and choice of fabrics is undeniably luxe throughout the collection.

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New York Fashion Week: The Shows featuring Leanne Marshall’s F/W 2017

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Article and Photos by Jovanna Reyes

IMG based its NYFW: THE SHOWS in Skylight Clarkson Square and Industria Studios. One of my favorite shows to attend is Leanne Marshall’s.  She evokes elegance from a time past when women primped daily and wore gowns for dinner.  Leanne’s collection for Fall/Winter 2017 was based on Medieval Times with the theme being resurrection.  Aveda provided the hair and makeup and designed a messy, pinned ponytail to simulate a “Rapunzel” effect.  The “resurrection” was Leanne’s use of remnant fabrics from prior collections to bring attention to waste and how the industry affects the environment.

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Her accessories were hoops, fringe leather and wooden earrings.  She completed her looks with a variety of gold pumps, basic stilettos and short patent heeled boots.

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Words cannot describe the flow and movement of her silk and chiffon dresses and separates.  She delivered beautifully made garments in deep colors of red, prints of black and white and flowy ombre’d skirts.  Her presentation in Gallery 2 in Skylight was simple with everything all white which was a perfect backdrop to her breathtaking garments.

My Aveda Addiction and Gift Haul

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Aveda Thickening Tonic, Aveda Dry Shampoo, Aveda Control Hairspray, Aveda Damage Remedy Split end repair

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Aveda hand relief, Aveda Nourish-mint lip shine, Aveda Petal Essence Single eye colors

I’ve had an Aveda addiction since college.  I discovered Aveda through my husband’s very metrosexual suite mate, who had the entire collection of hair care products.  He was the first person I ever met who spent more money on beauty products than on clothing.  It’s why I chose Aveda when I opened my salon in 2006.  I love the scent of Aveda from head to toe, especially on my husband.  He uses the pomade and body oil and smells delicious!

Aveda sent products that I use most for myself and my girls.  The Shampure dry shampoo is great for my daughter, Lola, who is an athlete and wears box braids.  It keeps her scalp from smelling like an old sneaker, without drying her scalp. My oldest uses it to refresh her style before her next hair appointment.  She uses less than my daughter with the box braids, just enough to refresh her scalp without causing reversion.

The damage remedy and thickening tonic is perfect for me.  I have a thin hair spot on top of my head that seems to be hereditary.  My sister, mother and I all have it.  The tonic helps my hair look thicker when I wear it straight.  The damage remedy is a life saver to my ends since I’m the laziest woman on earth with natural hair.  It truly has helped my hair to grow fuller and longer.  I recommend the Damage Remedy series to anyone suffering with hair loss from health, stress or genetics.  I used it in the salon for women post medical treatments with hot olive oil applications to get the scalp stimulated and save the hair they still had.

The control hairspray is light enough to comb through and still hold your style.  I only use it when I blow my hair out for a special occasion.  My oldest loves it.  She gets the Dominican blow out on a regular and it helps to keep her style longer without drying her hair or scalp.

The hand relief is a lifesaver for the winter days.  I suffer from psoriasis and have extremely dry skin.  The hand relief truly saturates my skin without feeling greasy or leaving residue.  I suggest you use a sample before buying if you have sensitive skin.

I don’t wear makeup often due to my sensitive skin but if I do, it’s Aveda or Bobby Brown. I remember one day I had someone do my makeup(she used two other brands) and for two days my eyes teared non-stop.  I’ve never had that issue with Bobby Brown or Aveda.

I hope this helps when you are looking for new products for natural hair.  I would go into the local Aveda store and play with their varying options. Avoid products with alcohol as the first ingredient.

Happy New Year!

Goodbye 2016…hello 2017!

2016 was a year of highs and lows.  I made a decision in January of this year, that I would do me.  I no longer will say yes to appease or make someone else feel better.  If it didn’t work for me, I wouldn’t do it or attend it.  Of course, this new attitude didn’t apply to being a mother(four girls) or a wife(together since 17).  I am referring to my side hustles, associations and anything outside of my immediate circle.  If it was going to take away time from my family and not return a profit or tangible benefit, it wasn’t going to happen. I realized in 2015, so much time was being placed on something that returned nothing but emptiness and stress.

I decided to become a better mother, because regardless of how amazing we think we are, there is always room for improvement. I volunteered to coach my youngest daughter’s basketball team and recently started a regimen for better eating and exercising.  I can’t expect my girls to be at their best, while I languish in poor eating habits.

I’ve thrown myself into my craft by taking more photography classes, updating my tools, traveling for inspiration and networking with those outside of the Plus circle.  It’s been a breath of fresh air and I am almost back to the person I was b.k.(before kids).  I no longer feel guilty to take five days for myself and do me. (Miami was amazing!)

2017 is an important year for my family and I.  My oldest daughter is graduating from college and moving to California. My husband and I are turning fifty, as mom is turning 80. I will officially launch my photography studio.  There will be more selfish moments that include seeing friends and family, traveling, upgrading my camera and maybe a trip to Tuscany.  I will continue to add my “special” occasion only handbags, shoes and clothing into my everyday wear.  The same goes for the “good” china and crystal.

I share this because I don’t want anyone to let life pass them by.  If there is something you are passionate about…start working on it.  If there is someone you love…tell them.  If there is a place you want to see…go.  Don’t build a volume of regrets, build memories.

To my dear Tia Lidia and friend, Joy Ashley, you will always be in my heart.  I still tear up when I think of you but you’ve inspired me to move forward with gusto and elegance.  I need to be more like you.  You will never be forgotten.

Here’s to 2016…I’m ready 2017!

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