Vanessa Simmons Talks Bad Butterfly, Motherhood & More At Essence Best In Black In Beauty Awards

PC: Terrence Jennings

Colgate Optic White held an exclusive #BeRadiant reception on April 29th2017  to celebrate its Essence Best in Black Beauty Award. TV personality Vanessa Simmons, singer Zonnique Harris, Essence Magazine’s beauty editor Julee Wilson and blogger Claire Sulmers were on hand to help celebrate  Radiant by Colgate Optic White Beauty’s award for the best “game changing product” for black women.

I got to chance to attend the annual event which included an intimate pre-reception. Julee Wilson hosted a very informative #BeRadiant beauty conversation with Vanessa Simmons and Zonnique Harris, where they spoke about the newest must-have beauty product, Radiant by Colgate Optic White Beauty – a product that enhances your most valuable feature, your smile. The advanced formula goes beyond the surface to whiten teeth from the inside and out, allowing your natural radiance to shine through for a brighter, more radiant you.

Ok lets chat about the event,

For those who know me well, know that I am obsessed with black and white decorum, so I was overly geeked and felt right at home when I walked inside the venue. NYC’s Sugar Factory is a very stylish and popular ‘must go to’ spot in the Washington Square district so the packed crowd was of no surprise to me and let’s face it  – a good city view while dining and having a few cocktails with friends is the right venue to keep the good vibes flowing. Essence nailed it this year.

Women of all different backgrounds networking, talking, and sharing a common connection and having a good ole time is always a pleasure to be apart of and I enjoyed every moment of it.

Black and white picture frames of some of Essence favorite best in beauty moments  were displayed throughout the two-story venue along with ice cream booths and servers (all dressed in black and white t-shirts).

Similar to a magazine stand at your local subway station, Essence issued their very own news-stand that featured their latest issue along with ice cream vanilla cones topped with silver and pink disco balls. Along with your personal ‘goody bag’ of beauty products, each guests were also given a copy of Essence’s monthly read.

Sadly, I was still completing my thirty days of veganism quest so I didn’t taste any of the ice-creams offered but other guests were freely indulging themselves. The bartenders kept the drinks flowing and to my surprise again, watermelon cocktails (one of my fav’s) was the drink of choice throughout the evening.

Of course my night couldn’t end without a little girl chat with the hostess, Vanessa Simmons, but overall it was a great event, and worthy of attendance.

Get into it below:

PLUM: You have been chosen as this year’s Best In Black Beauty Awards hostess. As we know, the annual event is all about celebrating the cultural facets of the things we love and share in common as women and women of color. What inspired you to be apart of this event?

V. Simmons: Everything I’ve done with ESSENCE so far has been about celebrating black beauty which I feel like is a part of our community which is very important because we get left out of the community, so to be here and to be apart of this event means a lot to me and a celebration of our community.

” We shouldn’t be so anxious about the future or regretful about past mistakes, but making every moment the best moments of our lives “

PLUM: One thing we share as women is motherhood. Since becoming a mother what is three things that you learned about yourself that you affirm in your daily practice with your child?

V. Simmons: The first thing is to LOVE myself. My daughter feeds off my positive energy and I want her to have a very high SELF ESTEEM and to love her self wholeheartedly so loving myself is key. The second thing is being more confident and lastly is truly living in each moment (because it goes so fast) . She’s already three years old (and I don’t where the time went –bursts into laughter ) … but it teaches me how precious time is and how we shouldn’t be so anxious about the future or regretful about past mistakes, but making every moment the best moments of our lives.

PLUM: Now that your back into the spotlight, what  new projects are you working on that we should be on the look out for?

V. Simmons: The biggest thing I’ve been working on the past two years now is my website which is aimed at empowering women through beauty, fitness, fashion, inspiration. Through this website I’ve launched “Bad Butterfly” my new collection line which debut a few weeks ago at L.A fashion week with Candice Cuoco of Project Runway

I also have a teenage scholarship program that awards hundred of thousands of dollars to young women for their education and it also provides them with a cool experience.

I use to do pageants when I was younger and I got so many life skills that I am able to apply now as a woman and I want to be able to offer that back to young women. Right now we are based in California and we’re looking to expand the program nationally.

Our website also offers inspirational pieces and blog posts which means the most to me. We have ‘Mogul Mondays’ where we offer inspiration for our moguls and up and coming leaders of our next generation.

We also have ‘Your Story Matters’ sharing stories woman to woman and helping each other as much as we can because I feel as women we are more alike than we are different and a lot of people don’t realize that. We all may look different but when women are together, working together, then together we can become POWERFUL .

So, I am extremely proud of what we’re doing and we just launched in January so we’re building and growing.It’s given me the platform to go out more and do more inspiring things in the community for women.

PLUM: Can we expect a sister-to-sister collaboration from you and Angela?

V. Simmons: Yes, I would love to work with my sister again. We’re always talking about it, and we get so many questions from people asking about that so yeah I think we will.

PLUM: You’ve been a L.A. resident for some time but most of your family is still in the big apple. Different than growing up in New York, share with us some one of your ‘highlight’ moments whenever you come to the big apple?

V. Simmons: Now that I am mom, just being with my daughter, being around family, and her bonding with her cousins. My brother Jojo has a baby now, she’s one now [pauses – hi Mia and smiles ] … and like today my daughter is with her grandmother as we speak so its always the family moments for sure. I am very family driven so its always a good time when we get together.

……A tweet, A tweet PLUMS!

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