Category Archives: Phenomenal Women

Vyne Reader Spotlight: Tina-Gaye “Bernie” Bernard

Name: Tina-Gaye “Bernie” Bernard

Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, Florida via Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies

Roles you play in life: Cosmetic Executive, Avid Community Contributor, Public Speaker, Mentor, Mentee, Big Sister, Daughter, Girlfriend, Soror, Ethnic Beauty Expert, Aspiring Author, Socialista, ‘Cocoa Chic’, Epicurean, Brooklynite

Hobbies: Community Service, Public Speaking, Writing, Foodie, Traveling, Retail Therapy, Entertaining

Education: Master of Professional Studies in Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management, Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, NY), Bachelor of Science in Public Relations, University of Florida (Gainesville, FL)

What is the last movie you saw?: Sex And The City 2

What is your favorite TV show?: Currently – Bravo Real Housewives (all series), Bravo Top Chef, HBO Entourage, HBO Big Love. Classic – A Different World, The Cosby Show, Girlfriends, Sex And The City.

Shuffle your iPod – what’s the first song that comes up?: Someone To Love Me For Me by Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam feat Full Force

What is your favorite travel destination?: ‘J’adore Paris’ and absolutely ‘amore’ all of and everything ‘per l’Italia’ – culture, architecture, fashion, furniture, leather goods, cuisine, language, breathtaking cities – Roma, Firenze, Pisa, Venezia, Milano. However, my island roots compel me to favor Caribbean destinations most; I treasure the tranquility and openness of the ocean, sun exposure, and ease of living.

What beauty product can’t you live without?: Professionally, I work in the beauty industry and personally, I am a cosmetics enthusiast.  My access and desire makes my list quite exhaustive, but this (supposed) short list is only the start and forms the core of my arsenal.


Black Opal Flawless Perfecting Concealer (Beautiful Bronze), Black Opal True Color Crème Stick (Carob), Black Opal Deluxe Finishing Powder (Deep), Jay Manuel Manual Override Prepare Silicone Primer


Moroccan Oil Intensive Hydrating Hair Mask, Elasta QP Hair Glaze, Hamadi Beauty organic hair care, Pantene Relaxed & Natural hair care


Jo Malone Amber Lavender Body Crème, Ambi Soft & Even Creamy Oil Lotion, Aveeno Stress Relief Moisturizing Lotion, Michael Kors Barefoot Beauty Crème, Qiora Slow Down Massage

Finish this sentence, “To feel more centered I…”: Workout or Walk, Attend Episcopal or Catholic mass church service, Sunbathe near body of water, Respite at my mother’s home

Who is your celebrity fashion inspiration?:

  • Eva Marcille Pigford is tastefully provocative, wears modern pieces with a twist that standout without overkill, accompanied by fierce, fresh natural or gently processed short hairstyles.
  • “Mahogany” film character Tracy Chambers played by Diana Ross wore unapologetically unique, bold, cross-culturally influenced designs.
  • Sarah Jessica Parker is able to interchange vintage and contemporary styles and always look undeniably fabulous as well as statement-making, without coming across as contrived style.
  • Nia Long channels ‘effortless chic’, worldly yet down to earth; her beautiful face and signature neutral makeup look of subtle glamour, fashion a perennial statement.

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Desiree Rogers and Buddy Linda Johnson Rice in NYT

Bosom buds Desiree Rogers and Linda Johnson Rice pose together recently for a spread in the New York Times. In the article entitled “Desiree Rogers, Post Crash,” Desiree talks about the famous “party crashers” incident and some of the soul searching she has done since leaving her White House Social Secretary post. The article also provides some insight into the significance of her new position as CEO of Johnson Publishing, and how she is charged with (virtually) single-handedly changing the culture and saving a publication that is in rapid decline (circulation is down over 6 million over the past 10 years for Ebony and Jet combined, revenues for Johnson Publishing is only 40% of what it was five years ago). Linda Johnson Rice mentioned how she plans to direct Ms. Rogers, “I will let Desirée be Desirée, and all that goes with that.”

If nothing else, Desiree has elevated the relevance and perception of the magazine at least a bit. The article even mentions Anna Wintour calling Desirée “a rock star” and Robin Givhan mentioning on Twitter, “when was the last time Ebony had a front row seat at NY fash week? When did hell last freeze over? Oh I exaggerate!” If anyone can turn this magazine around, it would be Desiree Rogers and we can’t wait to watch every step of the way.

Check out the article on Desiree Rogers here.

Desirée Rogers, Post Crash

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Winterize Your Skin Care Regimen

Okay so technically it’s not winter yet, but just because your skin will be all covered up in this season’s luxurious draping sweaters doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep up your skin care regimen. We’ve compiled a few “must do” tips to ensure your skin stays supple and glowing for the season:

  1. Use Oil Based facial moisturizer – Cold weather dries the skin so replenish the moisture with an oil based facial moisturizer. The oil creates a protective layer on the skin to retain moisture. Generally the products labeled as “night creams” are usually oil based (Web MD).
  2. Get a Portable Humidifier – The dry heat blasting through the heater in your home or at work can do a number on your skin. Combat the effects by using a portable humidifier in your home. I have mine in my bedroom so that my skin doesn’t dry out over night. You can get a quality yet inexpensive humidifier at Target.
  3. Spend a Moment on the Lips – To prevent wintery chapped lips, use a little lip balm under your lipstick or lip gloss for extra protection. I like Blistex Lip Medex  (a little goes a long way with this product).
  4. Drink Eight Glasses of Water Each Day – This can’t be said enough, staying hydrated does wonders for the skin and your energy level.
  5. Use a Gentle Cleanser Every Night – Try washing your face with a gentle cleanser at night and instead of washing it again in the morning, simply splash a good amount of warm water on your face. Experts say that’s plenty to wake up the skin and remove any impurities, dust, etc. Pat your face dry, apply your moisturizer and make-up for the day and you’re good to go. Need a good cleaner? If so, we like Evie Evan’s Panthenol Cleanser.
  6. Exfoliate Once a Week – Since exfoliating can dry the skin experts say its best to reduce the frequency in the colder months, so once a week is sufficient. There are plenty of quality exfoliants in your local drug store but if you prefer a natural option, Dr. Susan Taylor recommends this home exfoliant recipe: organic fine grain or coarse sugar (depending on your preference), honey and warm water.
  7. Banish the Bacne – If you’ve had to contend with the dreaded bacne all summer, the colder months are a good time to get it under control in preparation for the next bathing suit season. A couple products to consider are Cetaphil Antibacterial Gentle Cleansing Bar or Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash.
  8. Shorten and Cool Down Your Showers – Experts are saying that during the cooler months, as much as a hot shower can be soothing, it actually causes your skin to dry out quicker. So the recommendation is to take shorter, warm showers (5-10mins) instead of long hot ones then apply your moisturizer within three minutes of getting out of the shower to seal in the moisture.
  9. Repair the Sun Damage – Using a product like Pro X by Olay can help repair and reverse skin damage due to sun, wind and pollution. The secret ingredients are the peptides, which boost surface-cell turnover to reveal younger, healthier looking skin.
  10. To Tone or Not to Tone – In a segment on NBC 10 Show with Lori Wilson, Dr. Suzanne Taylor said we should all tone. Her home recipe for a toner is to combine witch hazel with tea tree oil. A good toner helps to refresh and hydrate the skin while removing any residual debris.

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Vyne Reader Spotlight: Keesha Kai Hampton

Name: Keesha Kai Hampton

Hometown: Chicago (South Side baby!)

Current City (if different): Atlanta

Roles you play in life: Daughter of Eric and Deborah, Sister of Khari, Doctor of Optometry and Independent Practice Owner, Soror to the Phenomenal Women of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Hobbies: I LOVE movies, listening to music, and spending time with family and friends

Education: Doctorate of Optometry, New England College of Optometry (Boston, MA), B.A. in Chemistry from Emory University (Atlanta, GA)

What is the last movie you saw?: Wall Street

What is your favorite TV show?: I’m a reality TV junkie! (Guilty pleasure for sure)

Shuffle your iPod – what’s the first song that comes up?: Probably something by Jay-Z or MJB (I own every song they have)

What is your favorite travel destination?: Anywhere warm and with a beach!

What beauty product can’t you live without?: I never really wore much makeup in the past, but ever since I’ve gone natural I’ve dabbled more into make-up. My favs are Clinique High Impact Mascara and NARS lip-gloss in Sandpiper. They compliment my afro puff beautifully!

Finish this sentence, “To feel more centered I…”: sit in my “quiet place” and meditate on how truly blessed I am.

Who is your celebrity fashion inspiration?:  There really isn’t one celebrity or person I’m inspired by. If it looks good, I like it!

What is your favorite restaurant?: Way too many to name!

What words do you live by?: There are no mistakes in life, just lessons and blessings

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Woman to Watch: Dr. Christine Martey-Ochola

Birthplace: Kenya, East Africa

Occupations: Business Consultant on doing business in Africa (various sectors), Chemist, Educator

Education: Doctorate in Pharmaceutical Chemistry (Lehigh University), Degrees in Biochemistry (East Stroudsburg University) and Food Science and Technology (Kenya Polytechnic University).

Previous Jobs/Roles:

– President of The USA-Kenya Chamber of Commerce

– Asst. Professor of Biochemistry at Villanova University, Lehigh University and Shippensburg University

– VP of Research and development & Co-owner of Advent Business Group (Naturaz Hair Care products)

– COO of Avoglobal Ltd (Consulting company)

– Advisor, various groups addressing HIV/AIDS stigma, education, intervention in both Kenya and Philadelphia

Proudest Moment: Nine years ago she finally allowed herself to “let go and let God.” Since then she has been blessed with a wonderful husband, children, career, friends and family.

Family Life: Christine has two sons: Christian (6 years old) and Camayo (3 years old).  She’s married to Charles Ochola, an environmental engineer working with Tube City IMS. They met while in elementary school in Kenya.

A Balanced Life: Despite Christine’s busy schedule, some of her hobbies and interests include walking, dancing (especially African traditional dance), organic farming, hanging out with her children, talking to friends and family, and meeting new people.

Fun Fact: She has an innate desire to go skydiving (though she says her husband thinks she’s crazy!)

Boards/Committees: Advisory board of the Philadelphia-based World Health Care Infrastructures, board of the Logiri Women’s group (of Wimagak village in Kenya), member of the business committee of the Philadelphia Mayor’s commission on African and Caribbean Affairs, advisory board of the Center for International Business Education and Research at Temple University’s Fox School of Business, and is the senior outreach liaison and advisor for the Great lakes Region (East Africa) Health and Environmental Affairs division of FirstSource Worldwide.

Quotable: “REMEMBER To Give Yourself The Chance To Attain Your Maximal Potential”

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Woman to Watch: Tatyana Ali

We had the pleasure of meeting Tatyana during Fashion Week in NYC when she spoke on a panel for NAMIC and when we attended the Jones Magazine Awards. She’s such a multitalented and intelligent young woman that we knew we had to feature her.

Born:  January 24. Tatyana was raised in Long Island, New York and attended high school in West Los Angeles, California

Occupation: In addition to being an actress, singer and an activist, she is also Chairman & CEO of HazraH Entertainment.

Education: Received her Bachelor’s degree from Harvard University

Big Break: We all know her as “Ashley” from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air but prior to that big break she was performing on Sesame Street, Star Search and even appeared in an episode of The Cosby Show. Since Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Tatyana has appeared in films including The Brothers and Glory Road. Currently she is a regular on “The Young and the Restless”.

Entrepreneur Extraordinaire: In 2007, Tatyana and her younger sister Anastasia (a graduate of Brown University) founded HazraH Entertainment, a media company focused on fulfilling the promise of urban cinema by producing works rich in originality and soul. Their first production was a web series titled “Buppies” featuring a group of friends navigating their way through life. The series did so well, to the tune of over 5 million viewers, that they were recognized as a Webby Honoree. The next project from Hazrah Entertainment is a sitcom for TVOne titled “Love That Girl” staring Tatyana. The sitcom will air this fall and is executive produced by Martin Lawrence, Bentley Kyle Evans, Jeff Franklin and Raphael Saadiq.

What’s Next: Currently Tatyana is preparing to release her sophomore album entitled “The Light” and will be hitting the big screen again in the near future.

Fun Facts: Tatyana’s rich ethnicity and culture is an amalgamation of Afro-Panamanian and East Indian by way of Trinidad & Tobago. She speaks Spanish and some Hindi.  She’s had four top 10 singles between the US and UK album charts. In 2008, she sang on’s “Yes We Can” song for President Obama’s campaign and toured colleges speaking about the importance of getting out and voting. In her spare time Tatyana has been spotted supporting such causes as Cancer, Pediatric AIDS and the No Hate campaign to name a few.

Quotable: I believe in fate, I believe in hard work, and I feel like if I just keep marching, the path will kind of appear before me. (Tatyana Ali on her future)

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Woman to Watch: Gugu Mbatha-Raw

Birthplace: Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, UK

Occupation: Actress

Education: Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London

Family Affair: Her father, Patrick, is a South African doctor and her mother, Anne, is a English nurse. Her parents separated when she was a year old. She remains close to her father, and she was raised by her mother in the town of Witney, Oxfordshire.

Paying Her Dues: Gugu’s mastery of Shakespeare led to her first professional role in an Open Air production of “As you Like It,” playing the role of Celia. Soon after she landed roles at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre in “Antony and Cleopatra,” and the title role of Juliet in “Romeo and Juliet.” It wasn’t long before she caught the attention of the critics and the public eye after her performance as Ophelia opposite Jude Law’s ‘Hamlet’ in the Donmar Warehouse production of ‘Hamlet’ which ran in the West End, followed by a successful run on Broadway. Her British television credits include “M15,” “Dr. Who,” “Marple: Ordeal By Innocence,” “Bonekickers,” and “Fallout.” .

Accolades: In 2005, she won the Manchester Evening News Award for Best Actress and in 2008 she was selected as a Star of Tomorrow by industry magazine Screen International.

Triple Threat: Gugu is not only a talented actress but she is also a singer, dancer and plays the saxophone. She joined the Oxford Youth Music Theatre when she was in her teens.

Big Break: Beginning September 22, 2010, Gugu will star opposite Boris Kodjoe in the new NBC drama “Undercovers”. This will mark Gugu’s first major American television debut.

Fun Fact: Her full name is Gugulethu and it means “our pride” in Zulu.

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