Last Updated (Thursday, 19 November 2009 22:37)
Born in New York and raised in Atlanta, Alani "Lala" Vazquez embodied the definition of determination at an early age. She landed herself a radio internship as a young teenager and quickly moved up the ladder to radio host in both Atlanta and Los Angeles. From radio she ventured over to television and became a well known and respected MTV Host. Now she and her business partners have created a production company and Lala continues to work on screen hosting TV shows as well as dabbling in the film world. Taking on the roles of producer, star and mother, Lala has proven to be the ultimate multi-tasker. She continues to create more opportunities for herself by getting involved in different aspects of the entertainment industry, all while exhibiting a sense of beauty, class and style.
Looking back at the Lala that we were first introduced to on MTV, there has been an apparent evolution in her style, which she calls only natural. “I’ve become more girly and into more fashion…where in the past that was never me.” Lala now finds herself being more interested in the latest fashion trends but doesn’t classify her style as one in particular. Like most women, her style depends on her mood. “It’s a mix, one day I could be chic, another day I could be ‘glammed’ up. I mean it kind of just depends on what I’m feeling.” Lala’s personal pictures on her new website www.iamlala.com show her diverse taste in style and fashion, where you can see her on the red carpet or on a day out with her son.
Lala also says she is diverse in hair and makeup and feels comfortable working with different hair and makeup teams. “I’m definitely fine with letting other people do it for me because I do a lot of different things; a lot of times there are different people who will be brought in for hair and makeup for a certain show or a certain magazine wants to use their own people which is fine with me, I’m versatile and I can adjust to whoever does it, I’m not one way all the time.”
With a very busy schedule, one thing Lala makes sure she takes the time to do in her beauty regimen is to get all of the makeup off her face at night.
“What I try to do is wash my face in the morning and at night, no matter how tired I am I at least try to get the makeup off of my face if I had makeup on that day, because that’s what I hear can be really bad for your skin.” To take her makeup off, Lala uses Neutrogena Makeup Wipes. “…I usually wipe everything off with that and then follow it up with a cleanser, but I find that if you just use a cleanser first, it’s not strong enough to take off the eye liner and the mascara and everything....so that, I would say is my go-to product 24/7, if I don’t have it I’m rushing to the store to get it. Pretty much anything else I can figure out how to live without but that right there would be very difficult."
Another product Lala loves is the lash placement tool created by Ja'Maal Buster. She says that she recently learned how to apply false lashes because of this tool. "I get my lashes from him and he also does my lashes sometimes. He created this kit where he actually gives you something that you hold the eyelash in and then press it on top of your lid; and then unhook [it] so basically it keeps everything steady and right on your eye line. Without that small [tool] I don't think I would be able to do it." Lala says the false lashes really pull her look together. "You don't really have to put any makeup on. Maybe just add a little blush and it all kind of fits together."
Lala recently did a creative photo shoot with Atlanta based superstar photographer Derek Blanks. The shoot gave Lala a chance to take on a few different personas as she played the part of both a male sailor and Burlesque dancer. “It was fun because you got to be someone else, it felt a little bit like acting because you dress up. I was a sailor so I had to give out this energy of being a male sailor that was getting a dance from a female [burlesque] dancer… to see yourself transformed that way and you look in the mirror and you actually do look like a guy, it was just so much fun. I had a blast." Lala was excited to have the opportunity to work with a talent like Derek Blanks and plans on working with him on more projects in the future.
Although the creative hair and makeup is fun, Lala also recently learned that being a professional business woman requires her to pay attention to how she presents herself. After wanting to shave the side of her head a few years back and being talked out of it by her hair stylist, Lala decided a few months ago to take the plunge and just go for it. “Finally one day I’m like ‘I’m ready, I want to do it’…she didn’t even give me a chance to think about it because if you think about it, you’re probably going to reconsider or change your mind so she just did it quickly.” While Lala liked it and it definitely brought some extra attention her way, she decided to only keep the look for a short time. “I enjoyed it but in the long term of things it didn’t work for me because when I’m going out on auditions and certain meetings it just didn’t fit into what I was trying to do at times. A shaved head will only go so far with certain things... I'm the one trying to do films and host certain TV shows and that look doesn’t always work for that kind of stuff.” Lala says her hair is still growing back but she’s happy to have accessories like clip-in hair pieces to conceal it while it grows out. “It was fun, I had it for like a month, a month and a half, and then it was time to get back to the basics and be able to be presentable with some of these meetings. If I was working on an album or I was a singer or rapper then it would be perfect, but I’m not.”
The meetings Lala refers to are part of her job as part owner of a production company called Krossover Productions. (Krossover was responsible for the critically acclaimed Mike Tyson documentary.) Lala balances the production side with her on screen hosting projects as well as continuing to audition for movie roles. Lala says she learned a lot about production after hosting several VH1 Reality Show Reunion Specials. “It gave me an inside look on what goes on and gave me a better understanding of what it would take to produce something like that, so I was able to get into business with the same guy that produced those shows (51 Minds Entertainment) and I’m also working with another company to produce some shows. So from doing that for so many years, it’s only natural that you’re going to learn and observe and figure out how to make that work.” As far as what Lala’s preference is (on screen or behind the scenes) she says she likes both equally for different reasons. “…the producer side you feel like you’re more in control of what’s going on, have more of a say, people respect what you’re saying more.” She says that on the other hand she also doesn’t mind taking direction and likes having people be able to see what she can bring to the table in her acting and hosting abilities.
Lala may wear many hats on the business side but her family and son are her number one priority. She spends her time traveling back and forth between her home in Los Angeles and Denver, where her fiancé Carmelo Anthony plays basketball for the Nuggets. Somehow, like everything else that she does, she has found a way to make it all work and she feels like it’s turned out to be a positive experience for her son.
“… it is difficult because it’s a constant plane ride back and forth and having to put my son on a plane but I feel like kids adapt and this is the only life that he’s known so he’s used to it. As long as I keep him balanced and well rounded, which is what’s important to me, and let him see different parts of the country, different parts of the world; let him know what life is like in LA and then what life is like in Denver, I think that just broadens his personality and who he is, so I welcome it.”
Lala’s new website (www.iamlala.com) gives her fans access to both her personal and professional life. Pictures of her on the red carpet, supporting her fiancé at a basketball game or carving pumpkins with her son- all show the many sides of this one woman. As we all struggle to balance everything in this ever hectic journey we call life, Lala has found a way to do it with beauty, class and style.
**Read an article on Eyelash Guru to the Stars Ja'Maal Buster and find out where you can get the lash tool that Lala recommended. Click here!
Written by Sandie Torres
PHOTOS COURTESY OF http://www.iamlala.com/