What is something about you that most people wouldn’t expect?
My background surprises a lot of people. I come from a single-parent, low-income home. I attended Magnet Arts middle and high schools and then worked my way to Dartmouth College, where I graduated with a B.A. in Neuroscience. I’ve worked in PR, design, luxury event planning and entertainment journalism. So I truly believe that education and career paths don’t always have to be linear and that willpower and self-belief are hugely important. Don’t be afraid to take the unconventional path if it’s best for you!
Do you have any beauty routines?
I begin my nighttime beauty routine in the shower. I like to exfoliate my body using shower gloves because they are less abrasive than scrubs. Then I’ll wash my face using Dermalogica’s double-cleansing method and if I have time, I’ll apply a cream exfoliating mask or hydrating mask while I’m still in the shower to get the added heat and steam benefit! Once I’m out of the shower, I literally slather my body in 100% organic virgin coconut oil, which I swear by for smooth, baby soft skin. For my face, I like to finish with makeup remover, toner and a rich nighttime moisturizer. I never ever sleep with makeup on (that is like death to your skin!) and I am a huge fan of using silk pillowcases and eye masks, which help retain moisture in your hair and skin—and make you feel like a goddess!
Who is your dream coffee date and why?
So many to choose from! Power lady and fellow Dartmouth alum Shonda Rhimes easily comes to mind. Shonda is fiercely advancing the role of women in TV and film and as a young black woman working in media, I believe that we still have a long way to go towards equality within the industry. I try to follow Shonda’s inspiring lead by advocating for arts programming and accessible college education and by mentoring young women in media.
What advice would you give your younger self?
One day, all of the things that you think are wrong about yourself are going to be the things that help make you successful. Stop wasting time being so hard on yourself and start loving the skin that you’re in.
How do you define beauty?
To be beautiful is to be self-confident. Competing for Miss New York USA and being a part of the Miss Universe organization taught me the importance of being confidently beautiful, as their motto states. Outward beauty starts from within. Believe in your worth. Believe in the uniqueness that you bring to the world. There is only one of you, ever. Cherish and celebrate that. Believe in your ability to inspire and change lives for the better. When you come from a place of genuine self-love and positivity, you immediately become a more attractive person to the world.
Learn more about Anna-Kay at annakaythomas.com.