“I was born in Brooklyn, New York—Flatbush. My parents are Puerto Rican and grew up in New York, but my mom wanted to move to Atlanta because she had family there who said it was a better life. So we moved when I was in the 10th or 11th grade, and I started interning for the radio station where Ludacris worked. I was 16 at the time—I had to lie and say I was 18 to get the job. I think I had a fake ID as well. [Laughs] I always had such a love for music so just being around artists was very exciting to me. At the time, Ludacris was known as Chris Lova Lova…he started in radio, too, but wanted to be a rapper. For a while there I thought I wanted to be a rapper, too—when I was really young. I became an on-air personality with Ludacris until I got offered a job to be on the radio in Los Angeles. I left Atlanta, went to LA, and was really successful in that market. That’s when MTV called and offered me TRL. I moved back to New York for that opportunity and it felt like a perfect 360 to be back where I was born. We were at TRL in its prime—we had some really big shoes to fill. And going from being in pajamas while talking on at the radio station to having hair and makeup and everyone looking at you was definitely an adjustment. But I knew that career-wise it made sense.
My personality is what drew me to this. And when you move to LA, you can’t not get bit by the acting bug. I love the idea of being able to use your life and experiences and those emotions to create different characters and become different people—it was like playing pretend. I went to acting school and started transitioning from radio host to TV host to actress and producer. And now what I work on intertwines all of it. My shows Star and Power deal with music. We just did an episode of Star and I’m sitting in the studio with somebody and it’s kind of a weird thing because this is how it all started for me. But it’s funny now because if people look at Instagram or watch my shows, they think I’m super glam, but that’s not my personality. But obviously I’ve learned a lot from getting my hair and makeup done.
I get up at 7AM because my son is 10 and doesn’t sleep in yet. I wish he would. [Laughs] So we wake up at 7 and I get him off to school, and then I go to the gym. I work out at The Dogpound—it’s pretty popular with the Victoria Secret models. I like the intensity and the music. Some gyms don’t have good music…how can you motivate and workout with have classical music playing? Here, it’s all hip hop and trap music—it gets me going. I definitely try and take the time out to get a facial or a massage. Sometimes at The Dogpound they work you so hard, they give you a little massage. But I’m not a person who just wants to go to the spa. I want to be with my son and watch movies on the couch. Skin By Mamie is the place I go for facials.
I go to Mamie probably around once a month, but I’ve definitely become diligent in taking my makeup off because that’s the most important thing—I use Neutrogena Makeup Removing Wipes. I also use a cleanser, and my makeup artist is always on me about doing the proper moisturizing. For cleanser, I love Pond's Cold Cream Cleanser because it’s the bare minimum and basic. It’s a cream cleanser and it just removes everything. It doesn't have to be expensive to take care of your skin. Before I had money I would buy it, so I still kind of revert to that. Don’t always just go to the most expensive stuff. But of course I do love Tracie Martyn and Dr. Lancer products as well. Recently, I got a lot of stuff from Fresh and I really like their products—they have a Rose Mask and Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask that really, really work.
For moisture, I use Chanel Solution 10 because my dermatologist here in New York, Dr. Amy Wechsler, worked on it. I’m Chanel-ed out. [Laughs] I love their eye cream, too. My skin can get dry, so it just makes your skin feel comfortable. I have oils and serums and all that but I just can’t keep up with it. I’ll go through my phases where I’ll use some, but day-to-day being a mom and working, I can’t do it. I like bare minimum. I like to take the makeup off, cleanser, moisturizer, eye cream and call it a fucking day.
I’m trying to pay more attention to my hair. Hot oil treatments and conditioning are all really important. On Star, I was wearing a wig with some bangs—that makes it easy to ignore your own hair. I love Kim Kimble products—she does my hair in LA. And I love the Oribe Moisture Surge Mask you can leave on for a couple hours… I try to wash my hair only once a week, but with the working out, sometimes it’s more. If you go to Dogpound, you know how much you sweat. So when I have to, I use the Kim Kimble Silk Treatment Shampoo and Conditioner and anything that cleans the scalp. I like the Mizani products, too.
If I have time, I’ll go to Harlem for a blow-out really quick. But if I’m really busy, I’ll just have it done at home. Ponytails are my go-to style—I always get made fun of for that. But I like playing around with my real hair. The Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray is my favorite for that.
Always super simple—even when I get it done. I start with Nars Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation, and the KKW Beauty contour kits have been really great. I learned how to use those and the sticks because it makes it easier. It also has a highlighter—it’s been a life saver. I also use her Ultralight Beam Duo and some L’Oréal Voluminous Mascara. Unless I have eyelash extensions, then you don’t need it. I go to Bling Lash.
For me, brown shades are the easiest to work with. That’s why I collaborated with Motives on a great nudes palette that I always use. Kylie also has a great eye palette that's bronze-y and tonal. All I need is a brush and some variations of the same color to do a simple eye. I don’t really wear blush, but I do like this Anastasia Sun Dip Glow Kit and I just use a little bit. And at night, I’ll do a red lip. Motives has a great red, Rihanna has a good one, Kylie does too. But MAC Ruby Woo is the classic. Can’t go wrong there. If I’ve had my makeup done, I always have makeup wipes, Carmex, and Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder on me to touch up.
I’m a big nail person. I have really long nails and I went through a phase where I was always getting designs on my nails. Now I just want clear and super simple, but there are times I’ll have dollars bills on my nails, jewels and gems and the rest. I think it’s cool to have amazing art like that. Naomi Yasuda is the best.
Scrubs are my favorite. Something like the Fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish is always in my shower. The other day, I was watching TV and saw and infomercial. Now, I never buy things from infomercials, but it had this thing that you use in the shower and it’s kind of like a Clarisonic for you body. So I got it! Everyone made fun of me for it but I swear it’s the best thing I’ve ever bought. It was $12.99 and I was joked that I was going to get one for everyone this Christmas because it’s my new favorite thing in the world.”
—as told to ITG
Lala Anthony photographed in her home in New York by Tom Newton on December 6, 2017.