Julissa B

Julissa B. Confesses Her Celeb Crush, Fitness Routine + Working With Steve Madden

Who said it would be easy? Following your dreams that is. Julissa Bermudez refuses to give up and why should she? She’s young, beautiful and has had her share of ups and downs in T.V. land. Born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Queens, NY, this bubbly personality admits that she was a typical tomboy as a child. All she ever wanted to do was entertain her family. After 10 years of learning experiences, traveling the world and gracing our T.V. screens on some of the biggest networks, Julissa is still on her grind. I sat down with my old friend for dinner this past September, and we reminisced about how the last time we interviewed, the tables were turned and she was the interviewer as I sat on her BET couch. She was a sweetheart then, and she still is.

How long has it been since your days at BET, and were you able to maintain a decent relationship when it ended?
I want to say that was about 5 years ago. We just celebrated the 10-year anniversary of 106 & Park. They brought us back for a reunion, and that was just last year. BET has always embraced me as a family, so I’ve always looked at them as that. When I see Stephen Hill out or other personalities, whether its Rocsi or Terrence we embrace each other.

How old were you when you were on Telemundo?
I was just about to turn 19. I hosted a show called The Roof. It was live [for] 2 hours, and one of the first shows to put Reggaeton music and videos out there before it became “mainstream.” That was sort of the 106 & Park of Mun2/Telemundo. It was one of the first shows that ever premiered on Mun2 once NBC and Telemundo merged. Before they had a budget, I was there [Laughs].

Where have you been and when did you leave NY?
I've been touring around the globe. I’ve been shooting Kohl’s commercials in South Africa with one of my idols, Daisy Fuentes. I've been fist pumping at MTV interviewing the Jersey Shore crew. I’ve been grinding, it's a never-ending hustle you know, and it’s always been love every time I see you.

So you’ve travelled to Africa, that’s a trip to take in your lifetime.
My goodness! I have never been to a more naturally beautiful place. I went to South Africa which is very different. Africa is such a huge continent with so many countries, and a lot of the images that are put out and portrayed of Africa are totally different than what you can actually go and experience. And this goes for all the countries that you just travel and visit. The perception is always different from your experience. It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience.

Within your experience in the industry, what can you say has been the craziest thing you had to deal with being a woman?
The craziest things really are the things that you read about yourself. If you’re photographed with somebody they automatically put you in a category or you’re dating or whatever. Those things always surprise me. I feel like if people only knew. It's always the people that know the least about you that want to say the most about you.

Speaking of photos, there was one of you celebrating your birthday here in NYC with Maxwell. Is he that special someone?
He’s a friend. It’s the perfect example of how media loves to pin people together to make a story. I take a picture with someone and of course I’m automatically “dating” them.

Ok. Are you single?
I am SO single. Absolutely. It feels good. I’m in a good place in my life. Honestly, when you’re not looking, certain people walk into your path and walk into your life. You’re asking a Libra girl that loves love [Laughs]. Sometimes in life you have to surrender, and that’s just the circumstances, whether it’s the cards you’ve been dealt or just surrender to the things that are out of control. I feel that that comes with experiences.

So do you have any celebrity crushes?
It doesn’t even make sense to mention him. I just admire the fact that he can have the little swag that he does.

I love David Beckham. I know he's taken, but he's so hot. I’m from Queens, and I will say growing up I always had a liking to Nas. I think Nas has been a lot of girls' crushes. Not so much crush at this point, but more or so David Beckham just surprises me. And as far as dating, I definitely want to diversify my portfolio. Just think outside the box a little.

When I met you seven years ago you were straight up and down, and now I see that you have these fabulous lady curves. What do you to keep this body?
Girl, I've been going to the gym. I’ve always prayed about having a body [Laughs] because I was always so skinny. I would always get made fun of me and people would call me Olive Oyl. Guys never looked my way that’s for sure; they were too busy looking at the girls that were so much more voluptuous like you [Laughs] with your beautiful boobies. So yes, I feel like after 25 I started to get serious about my fitness and working out. Don’t get me wrong, I eat everything. I feel that when you deprive yourself, you do more damage than good. It’s all about moderation. I'm Dominican, and I love Spanish food. It’s a hard balance, but as long as you work out... I squat every day and night. No lie, even before I go to bed. I have my beauty regimen, my routine, and I’m serious about it.

I am going to be a part of the Julissa squat regimen.
Listen! I’m so serious about it. I use my Nivea Anti-Cellulite serum, and I will squat even through heels because I feel that even walking in heels your legs get toned. You just have to find ways to fit it. <y metabolism has always been a certain way. I figured that the weight that I am putting on should turn into muscle. It’s so hard though because the foods that you gravitate towards aren’t always the healthy ones. I always joke that Spanish people are on the “all carb diet," not the “no carb diet." My mom would literally make spaghetti with rice, and I’m like mom rice does not have to go with everything.

Tell me about the Steve Madden venture.
Steve Madden and I go around the country to different department stores. It’s me on the site getting you excited about the brand. We have models showing off the collection, we have a DJ and we giveaway free T-shirts, we raffle shoes, we take pictures with fans, and it’s a great time at the mall in whatever part of this country I’m in at that particular moment. It’s a great way to connect with your fans that watch you on T.V. and that maybe don’t think that you’re actually attainable. When they see you in their town, it's exciting for them.

How do you feel about your fellow Dominicans like Zoe Zaldana, Laz Alonzo and how big they are doing it in Hollywood?
I feel that it’s great because people like that are making it more acceptable to do what I love everyday. Zoe Zaldana, Dania Ramirez, Jesse Terrero. These are boundaries and opportunities that who knows if we would have had whatever amount of years ago, and we have them now. Dominicans, we’re more than just amazing baseball players. That’s what a lot of people know us for, but there’s so much love and passion from that island, whether it’s from the arts.

Where do you want to see yourself in the next three years? What are your ultimate goals?
Tyra Banks, Kelly Ripa, obviously Oprah--the pinnacle.  These are women that are strong, opinionated and who have respect in this business and do directly what I wish to do as host and TV personality. Women like Jennifer Lopez, being a Latina that has been able to transcend so many of barriers and cultures.

What are your words to live by?
Walk by faith, not by sight.


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Andrea Kelly Says She's Been Attacked For Calling Out R. Kelly's Behavior

Andrea Kelly has found it hard to march for women as they continue to support her polarizing ex-husband, R. Kelly.

The former choreographer shared her sentiments on an upcoming episode of Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta shared on Entertainment Tonight. Speaking with close friend Debra Antney, Kelly tearfully expressed her frustrations with her ex-husband and praised Antey for sticking by her side.

The former couple was previously in a child support battle for their children Joann, 21, Jay, 19, and Robert, 17. During the time of filming, Kelly owed $161,000 in back child support to his ex. In May, it was reportedly paid off by a mysterious donor.

"When I think about the ways that I have been abused by Robert, from being hogtied, having both of my shoulders dislocated, to being slapped, pushed, having things thrown as me, the sexual abuse, the mental abuse, words can't even describe," she said.

In addition to the child support case, Kelly was charged with 11 felony counts of sexual assault. He's pleaded not guilty despite reported evidence of videotapes that reportedly show the entertainer engaging in sexual acts with minors. Andrea tells Antey how difficult the process has been for her since speaking out about Kelly's behavior in the Lifetime docu-series, Surviving R. Kelly. 

"Here I am, putting myself in a position because I want to help women, and they are attacking me," she said. "There's some things that I don't even speak anymore, that I feel like, once you give it to God, you better leave with God, because if I don't leave it with God, I'm definitely going to be somewhere with my hands on the glass, visiting my children every other Sunday."

Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on WEtv.

Watch the clip here.

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Courtesy of Baby Tress

Baby Tress' Edge Styler Ensures Women Of Color Will Always Shake The Beauty Table

"Do you have edge control in here?"

It's an inquiry my niece asked me over the weekend as we got ready for our cousin's graduation. Atlanta's heat is friendly but mixed with nimbus clouds, frizz (and thunderstorms) are on the horizon. Given the circumstances, a high bun seems to be the best choice for me and my niece, a slick-back style with extra attention to our baby hairs. It's typical for either one of us to grab a toothbrush to slick and swoop our edges with pomade or gel, but with The Baby Tress Edge Styler, the process is easier and equally as stylish.

Created by boutique communications agency Mama Tress, the styler is everything baby hair dreams are made of. It's also a testament to the rise of the "style" in popular hair culture. With a dual comb and brush top, its pointed tip elevates a consumer to baby hair connoisseur.

But the styler isn't something created to appropriate black culture or piggyback on what boosts the most likes on social media. The handy styler was created by Mama Tress CEO Hannah Choi and her team consisting of other women of color like public relations coordinator Mariamu "Mimi" Sillah. The New York native tells VIBE Vixen the styler was made as a gift for an event they hosted but its intentions to propel black hair were always present.

"We try to make it clear that this is for women of color. Because we all understand the history of baby hair, we all have connections, we all have stories, we all do it differently, some people swoop it; if you see some of my coworkers they do the swirls," she said. "This is a product that we want everyone to see and think, 'I don't need to be using a toothbrush. I deserve more than a toothbrush.' This is a tool made thoughtfully with women of color in mind and we are women of color who came up with the idea because we know what we need."

Coming in six different colors, the styler's bristles are stronger than a typical toothbrush and give anyone's edges a look all their own. Over the years, styled baby hairs have gotten the white-washed celeb treatment. From the runways of New York Fashion Week to fans of black culture like Kim Kardashian, its recent love affair among popular culture crosses out its rich roots.

Many have attributed the actual rise of baby hairs to the '70s with pioneers like LaToya Jackson and Sylvia Robinson of CEO Sugar Hill Records sporting their luxurious edges with Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas being the all-time queen. Recent entertainers like Ella Mai and FKA twigs have made them fun and creative. There are also the many Latinx and black around the way queens who have kept the culture alive.


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A post shared by Ebony Brown (@wildcatebonybrown) on Jun 3, 2019 at 1:31pm PDT

“Our tool is more than a beauty product, it’s a conversation starter," Choi, who is of Korean descent, previously told fashion site Beauty Independent. "There are nuances of someone’s world that you won’t see if you’re not part of that community. And we felt that the conversation around why this market is so underserved should be brought to light and talked about. We are seeing such a big change now in fashion and beauty in terms of representation, and we want to be able to have that conversation without it being heavy. We want it to be approachable. Our brand is very approachable.”

When it comes to moving in the black hair space, Sillah feels empowered at Mama Tress. It also makes it easy to develop black hair tools like the styler. "I feel like my voice is listened to because I am a consumer of all these things. It's empowering to be in a position to have more control," she said. "If we're being honest, a lot of the black hair spaces are not owned by people who look like us. To be in a position where I can say "No, don't create this product, we don't wear things like this,' or 'Actually you should name it this because this resonates with this community,' I'm an advocate for my community. That's part of the reason why Baby Tress was created because it's about a larger conversation, about things not being thoughtfully made for us."

Baby Tress' next steps are to make the styler accessible to consumers and create even more products dedicated to black women.

“We need to be in retail spaces because this is a product you need to see up close and touch it and play with it,” said Shannon Kennard, account executive at Mama Tress tells Glossy. “Everyone who tries it falls in love with it.”

Sillah is more than ready for women of color to elevate their beauty regimen, one creation at a time. The future of Baby Tress includes an array of more products designed with women of color in mind.

"Anything that has to do with baby hair, we can bring to Baby Tress and make it beautifully designed and effective," she said.  "That's what this is about. It's about that step up. Again, we should not be using a toothbrush anymore."

Learn more about Baby Tress here.


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Beyonce Readies New Line And Serves As Muse For 'Lion King' Makeup Collection

Beyonce is keeping her fans quite busy this week. Yesterday (June 4), the latest trailer for the forthcoming The Lion King live action film gave the masses a first listen of Beyonce as the voice of Nala. To add on to the Disney film's energy, Beyonce's longtime makeup artist Sir John has revealed a special Lion King makeup partnership.

According to The Cut, Disney's Sir John x Luminess Lion King Limited Edition Collection includes "a 6-shade sculpting palette, a 12-shade eyeshadow palette, two matte lipsticks, two liquid lipsticks, a tinted lip balm, and a highlighter." Neutrals, pinks and shimmer jewel tones are all named after characters and other movie references, with various women (including Beyonce) modeling the new work.


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From day to night, statement or muted.. I love that there’s so many different looks you can create with this 8 piece collection 🙌🏽 I’ll be posting a few tutorials this month to show you guys some really cool things you can do with these products. & be sure to check out #TheLionKing in theaters July 19!  #DisneyLionKing #SirJohn #LuminessCosmetics

A post shared by S I R J O H N (@sirjohnofficial) on Jun 2, 2019 at 3:05pm PDT


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No filters needed ⚠️ Can’t Wait To Be Queen Eyeshadow Palette working that good light 👑✨ #TheLionKingCollectionbySirJohnXLuminess #SirJohn #LuminessCosmetics

A post shared by S I R J O H N (@sirjohnofficial) on Jun 4, 2019 at 9:18am PDT

While that was happening, Bey also caused a stir amongst the BeyHive with the announcement of her own forthcoming merch line. The "BeyHive" range officially hits her website on June 11, right in time for all the summertime functions.

Beyoncé's new "beyhive" range has been sent to several members of the BeyHive is promotion of her new merch line, launching June 11. https://t.co/zIkzJ9B8Qq pic.twitter.com/Ql9yWXKNDR

— BEYONCÉ HUB (@theyoncehub) June 5, 2019

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