As a mom, actor, and beauty founder, La La Anthony knows the importance of health and wellness while always living on the go. Much like her various tv roles, from her days hosting MTV's TRL to her recent portrayal as Markisha on the highly-rated drama series BMF, Anthony's career epitomizes a spirit of tenacity in its purest form.
In honor of International Self-Care Day (July 24) and National Black Business Month in August, the self-proclaimed candy enthusiast teamed up with Now and Later Candy to launch the 'Pause Now, Hustle Later' campaign, which aims to spotlight emerging Black businesses that are re-defining the self-care landscape. Adding her sweet touch to this initiative, Anthony hand-picked a variety of her favorite Black-owned brands to participate in, including Buttah Skincare, Fancy Homebody, I See You Wellness, Natural Radiant Life, and Kimberly New York. Of this selection which caters to organic lifestyles, she believes it will resonate with all. "I know a lot of us out there really are about [being] vegan and [enjoy] plant-based products. So I feel like with this list, everyone can find something that's for them.", she shares.
Now and Later will award $50,000 in grants to all five companies during this campaign. Each company will receive $10,000.
As a shrewd businesswoman, La La believes this campaign will have a positive impact on the brands, as well as the communities they serve. "I know how hard it is [to] launch brands [and] get brands off the ground. It's all about getting the word out there [by] supporting each other [and] showing up for each other.", Anthony said. This is a way we can do that and get these conversations started.
BET.com caught up with the media personality, who opened up on partnering with Now and Later and her self-care routine.
BET.com: What does self-care look like to you?
La La Anthony: My form of self-care [is] turning my phone off. That's something I just implemented not too long ago at night once I'm ready for bed. And that's something I never did. Self Care is a night of uninterrupted sleep because my phone will go off all night, and I work crazy hours. To be able to sleep and not have the phone constantly waking me up is a form of self-care.
BET.com: As someone constantly in demand, how do you manage burnout?
La La Anthony: Sometimes I'm like, "Okay, I'm there for everybody. I have to be there for myself as well." And I just stop and say, "What did I do these last couple of days that [made] me feel like that? What can I do differently?" A lot of times for me, it really is a lack of sleep [and] staying up really late, waking up super early, or working really late. I have to remind myself why something as simple as sleep is so important. Turning my phone off has helped me sleep a little bit better, which is what I need in my life because I don't get a lot of sleep. So that's important to me.
BET.com: Have you ever felt you had stretched yourself too thin and had to take a moment to step back and create boundaries?
La La Anthony: Definitely! I was a person that did not know how to say no. [I] never want to disappoint people. I think that's the cancer in me, like never wanting to disappoint people, always wanting to be there. But if I'm not at my best, I can't be great for anyone. So utilizing and being okay with saying "No" sometimes is something that I'm still learning but getting better at.
BET.com: Along your self-care journey, how have you incorporated affirmations into your daily life?
La La Anthony: That's something that I've been utilizing and telling other people how [it] seems simple and corny, but you realize what a difference it makes because we're always looking for it from the outside. I do a lot of prison reform work and talk to them about positive affirmations. [Before I speak to them], I give myself gratitude [because] I've been blessed to be in this position to help. I've been blessed to have resources to help. I tell myself this is not something to be taken lightly. "You belong here." "You're the right person for this kind of job." "You can make a difference." "You can help people." [I'm] constantly reminding myself that, especially when [in] doubt or feeling like "What am I doing?" or "Am I taking on too much?" Positive affirmations really do help.
BET.com: We're in the height of summer. What self-care product is on your personal must-have list this season?
La La Anthony: I must remind myself of the importance of sunscreen when going outside, and I also tell my son the same thing. So I reach for Black Girl Sunscreen when I don't have makeup on. I remind myself, at least put your sunscreen on. That's important.
BET.com: Your hair-care brand, Inala, makes a difference for users who desire healthier hair. How does it feel to effect change in this way?
La La Anthony: I'm super happy about seeing so many people utilizing the brand and seeing the results [from] women who thought they could never grow their hair [and] their edges back. So seeing people gain their confidence with this product is amazing. I just want to continue to grow and continue to educate people on the power of rice water and all the amazing benefits for your hair [and] for your skin. I'm excited for what the next year will have in store for Anala [and] being able to bring more products into the marketplace.
BET.com: You strike me as someone who smells as beautiful as you look. So tell me, what fragrances do you indulge in?
La La Anthony: I have a lot of different fragrances. I am a fragrance girl, but I'm also into natural oils. So it's fun to just [put on] what I'm feeling that day. It's never one thing, and I've been a big person that also mixes fragrances. I'll take a spray of this and spray that. For summer, nothing too intense, just something light and fresh.
BET.com: Hollywood is currently on strike. As an actor, how are you handling these uncertain times, and what are your hopes for the future?
I'm in full support of being fairly compensated for the work that we do. I stand in solidarity with what's happening right now. It's important to lend my voice and support what we're fighting for. I'm focused on that because work is one thing, but making sure people are properly compensated and supported for their work is most important.
Editor’s note: This article has been edited for length and clarity.