Vixens: Get Creative with Yolanda Renee!

"The hair is the richest ornament of women." -Martin Luther

1. What's your name and where are you from?
Hello Vixens! I'm Yolanda Renee and I was born in El Paso TX but I currently live in Maryland. I soooooooo want to move to New York or DC though. That would sound more interesting, right!?! Lol.

2. How has being natural affected your life? How do you feel about this natural hair "movement"?
OMG! Going natural has affected my life in a huge way. Words cannot even describe it. It honestly made my life make sense. I don't mean to brag but I'm a very creative person...I thank God for blessing me with so many artistic talents every single morning! I love doing hair, I love graphic design, web design, I love teaching, and I especially love taking pictures and being the center of attention, etc. All these different things were on opposite sides of the table. They didn't mesh...but once I went natural I was able to combine all the things I love and use them as one huge force in the natural hair community.
And this movement...some think its a trend, a fad and it will fade away. But this movement is monumental! It's never going away. I wouldn't even call it a movement...its more like a LIFESTYLE. And its never going away because society will continue to push straight hair- its more professional, its more beautiful and acceptable, blah blah blah. So we are up against a powerful opponent. Lol. So yea, this lifestyle is here to stay and there is always something new to learn. Just like fashion, natural hair and its various branches will continue to reinvent itself and there has to be gurus out there to bring it to you first!

3. Do you have staple hair products? If so what are they?
Lol. Wow, that is a hard question. I have labeled myself as a natural hair STYLE guru...the term Natural Hair Guru is kinda scary because it makes it seem like I am an expert. I am soooooooo NOT an expert. I'm still learning about products, etc. But when it comes to styling...hunty, I got that! I don't really have staple products anymore since filming my YouTube videos because I'm always trying different product lines to help my curls out there. If I had to narrow it down I would say coconut oil, raw shea butter, Tresemme Naturals conditioner, Cantu Shea Butter Leave In, Giovanni's Leave In, Eco Styler Gel, Shea Moisture Co-Wash, and their hair milk. So random, I know. Lol.

4. Hard as it may seem how would you describe your hair and the regime you use to maintain it?
My hair is a mixture of 3C and 4s. I have so many different textures, its crazy! My regimen is very simple. I wash with shampoo and do a deep condition once a month. I cowash at least every two weeks. Before washing and/or co-washing I use a pre-poo/detangling cocktail to detangle and make washing easier. I allow my hair to air dry before styling. I use the LOC method to style and retain moisture. Liquid, oil and then cream if you don't know what that method is. I use an oil after the LOC method sometimes as well as Eco Styler gel to hold my twists, bantu knots, hanging bantu knots or braids. I rock my hair in a 'fro most of the time...I don't like defined looks. Depending on how much I 'fro it out I may have to retwist, knot, or braid each night or every other night. For sleeping I use the pinapple method or a scarf if I had to retwist, etc. To me that is a simple regimen. What's more simple that that is protective styles. I've joined Jenell of Kinky Curly Coily Me! and decided to rock protective styles for a whole year. So I've been rocking Havana twists, now a kinky curly weave from Private Stock Hair (which I'm in love with), next is poetic justice braids. So rocking protective styles are so much easier! I still have a regimen...its pretty much the same but more simplified! You can check out more about that on my YouTube channel.

5. Designers are already preparing for Fall, what are some trends you are looking forward to?
I love Fall because you can pretty much mix the season...rock a mini skirt with some killer riding boots! You know what I mean...or you can rock a long sleeve blazer with booty short. Lol. Its definitely a mixture of all the season. I don't really rock trends though- I just do whatever. But I am looking forward to that perfect balance of covering up and showing off at the same damn time! Ha!

6. Sexuality is celebrated here on The Vixen Box through "The Clitoris Taboo" series on the blog, how do you describe sexuality for you?
Whoa! I'm glad this isn't a TV interview! Lol. Sexuality is natural, it's apart of everyone but I do think it shows itself depending on who is standing in front of you, where you are, and how you are feeling. It is also what you possess to attract the opposite sex whether its your looks, style, intellect, whatever. And shoot sometimes it can just be for yourself, not the opposite sex. If I'm feeling good, looking good with my big 'fro, dope 'fit, and 5 inch pumps- I am feeling myself and that sexiness just shows up!

7. As a mother, how do you find time to take care of you? Has being natural effected your parenting?
There is never enough time! I always feel like I'm rushing to get three little women ready. Lol. I have two daughters and myself to take care of. Something as simple as going to Walmart is a big production. But honestly I take care of us all at the same time. The only alone time I really get is when I shower (TMI?) or when I set time aside to go get my nails done, to go for a run, to go shopping, to get coffee, etc. And in those rare instances my boyfriend, Devon Beck has my back! So if I do need time to myself he is there. Hey babe! Going natural has effected my parenting but only when it comes to caring for their hair. I've learned a lot since going natural and I can better care for them and their hair!

I’m a single mother, and although all children are blessings, motherhood is a tough role to navigate. What are some of the challenges and blessings of being a mother?
That is so true! Me and my girls' father, Beck parent together and it is still a tough role. Society has basically made it so apparent that mothers are the primary caregiver and the father is secondary. I've even noticed that working in the judicial system; I was a supervisor of the civil department that deals with many custody cases- and probably 95% of the time mothers are awarded custody "just because" even if the father was fit to care for the child(ren). So because of this our role as a mother is sooooooo tough. Especially because nowadays we aren't just mothers...we are business owners and more! So being a mother would be a piece of cake if that was the only thing we had to do in life. Lol. So the challenge is definitely trying to find a balance to take care of our children and the business. My brand and my kids both complicate each other. And that is the truth. The blessings are endless. I have two little clones to mold. Lol. My girls also inspire me without even trying. I do what I do for them!

8. Music is such a great medium. What and who are you listening to now?
Yes, music is...and especially for me. My boyfriend, Beck is a hip hop artist. You have to check him out. So right now I'm listening to him (his EP will be releases soon, The Resistance), Nas (I love his song Daughters), Kenderick Lamar (Poetic Justice is my jam), Wale (Bad..whoa, that's a banger), and I'm trying to allow Jay-Z's new album grow on hasn't happened yet though. Lol. Oh and this "old but new song to me" that I've been playing in my YouTube videos is "Feel My Love" by Havana. I don't know who she is but that song does something to my soul. Lol. You should listen to it!

9. Here at the Vixen Box, health and fitness is major. I know for me I am working on getting myself right physically and emotionally by eating clean and incorporating exercise into my life. What do you do as far as health and fitness to stay or reach a level of good health?
I am like the average woman when it comes to health and fitness. I go through phases of being on top of it and then I just fall off. I'm too impatient for it. I think about it every single day, probably every 30 minutes. I always think, I need to work out at least for 30 minutes, it won't hurt nothing! Lol. Or I will say, I'm not eating any sugary foods or fast food anymore! EVER! But then I just let that mind set go. I don't know what it is. I honestly think its just me being impatient. But I know it will stick one day soon. So I can't give any advice in this area but I can say that my plan is to run 1 miles every other day, stay away from sugar, and incorporate more fruits and veggies in my diet. That is the plan but it has not been put into action just yet!

10. Do you meditate? If so, do you mind sharing how often and what the benefits have been for you?
Unfortunately I do not. Should I? Lol. Maybe I should look into that. I need to relax...I'm always doing mind is constantly working even when I'm trying to go to sleep.

11. Describe your blog and how readers can stay in contact with you.
My blog is all about fashion, style, beauty, and big hair! Well natural hair! Big or small! Lol. Natural hair has actually taken over my blog by default. My blog is very visual and I try not to bore my readers with just words...I'm very big in graphic design and filming videos. I consider my blog your personal stylist, for FREE! I publish outfit layouts with links for you to buy the entire look, I do natural hair tutorials, make-up tutorials, celebrity looks for less, trend reports, and more! I have an entire NATURAL HAIR tab as well. You should definitely go check out my blog!
And I'm on all social networks always, /etcblogmag at the end. My instagram stays poppin', @etcblogmag. My YouTube channel is becoming very popular with over 670,000 views! Definitely follow me on all social networks I post lots of inspirational things and I try to communicate with all my curlfriends. I'm definitely not too important to write back, retweet, etc.

12. What makes you a Vixen?
I'm a Vixen because I'm a genuine person who loves to inspire others with their own passions, fashion, beauty, style, natural hair, motherhood, business, and more! And of course I do it with style and class! Concieted much? Lol.

13. Favorite Quote?

"The hair is the richest ornament of women." -Martin Luther
14. What words of encouragement would you give to a Plus Size Diva who is frustrated with her body or insecure in her body?
I would say if you are that frustrated or insecure use those emotions to work hard to mold yourself into the woman you want to be. As I stated before, it is hard to commit to a workout regimen and/or to eat healthier. But we, you should just go for it and put your mind at ease. Just imagine how hot you will look toned up and with that new confidence.
I would also say that being plus size is also can still feel confident and sexy. You have to learn how to dress your body type. Wear an exposed neckline top to elongate your body. Wear a blazer with your outfit to create an illusion of a slimmer waste. Rock nude pumps and show some leg to look longer and leaner. There are so many things you can do to make yourself feel better about yourself!

15. Memorial Day is coming up! As readers are making plans, what is your perfect holiday outfit?
I'm not sure what I'm wearing at the moment but I always use my simple equation to style. BLAZER + TOP + BOTTOM + PUMPS + CLUTCH + SIMPLE JEWELRY = PERFECTION! Every single can go wrong with it! I'm really into distressed denim these days though so I will most likely style around some fierce distressed denim shorts! Whatever you rock, please have fun! And maybe check out my blog for more ideas!

Wow, this was an entertaining interview! I want to thank each and every one of you for reading. Thank you, the Vixen Box for having me. This is a great outlet to network and get myself out there. I hope I didn't bore you. Lol. And remember follow me on all my social networks to stay connected with me! Peace x Love. XO Yolanda Renee

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