Denise is currently starring as businesswoman Raquel Lancaster on VH1’s Single Ladies. As the show gears up for it’s third season, we talked with Denise about what we can expect from her character, her personal style and the importance of healthy habits with food. Read on to learn more.
Your character on Single Ladies has great style. Do you enjoy playing around with style in real life as much as you do on the show?
Oh yes, absolutely! I’m the person who wakes up, determines how she feels that morning, and that determines the style of dress. It’s like putting on a wardrobe everyday--sometimes it’s a t-shirt and jeans because that’s how I’m feeling; or sometimes I’ll come out and my husband is like “Where are you going?” because I am in a full face of makeup--but I’m just running errands--but that’s how I’m feeling for that day. I started modeling at 12 so I grew up around fashion for most of my life. Clothing is an extension of who I am.
What role does hair play in your style--do you have a signature hairstyle that you prefer? Or do you like to change your hair to suit your clothing?
I love to have my hair pulled back in a bun--that’s my go-to. Once in a while I break out a braid. But I like to slick it back in the bun because it’s an automatic face-lift--it makes you look really good! When it comes to being in front of the camera, I like to make sure my look changes for each character--it’s important to me as an actress. With someone like (my character) Raquel who is the trendsetter/fashion-forward girl of the show, she needs to always have something new. We will see her curly (I’m naturally curly), or with a bob and a bang. We’ll gradually see her discovering who she is coming out of season 2, and trying to figure herself out. She starts to switch her focus early on to her career and so you see her coif become less trendy, and more sophisticated. When she meets a guy her hair becomes flirty and fun with the curls. So basically, we changed things up to show the different moods and different focuses throughout the season. It’s so much fun to play a character that you can mold and show how she changes things up and keeps it fun.
Do you have any input on how your hair is styled when you’re playing Raquel?
We do. I talk to my producers at the beginning of the season; that’s negotiating time. I said I wanted it much shorter than last season and I wanted to keep the blonde but get rid of the ombre (you have to be ahead of the trends all of the time), since we did that last season. And then every morning (it becomes about) your relationship with your stylist on set and (how well) we get to know them and they get to know us.
Tell us about how Raquel is evolving this season.
This season she’s finding her own and getting her power back. When we met her she was in a powerless situation, though she didn’t realize it: she was in a relationship she didn’t want to be in and had a job she didn’t want, so she’s been making the steps to do what she’s passionate about. As that is happening she’s becoming more empowered. What’s great about this entire season is that it not only focuses on her relationship with the ladies, her career and with her and men, but you will also see a feistier Raquel: more attitude, she will snap her fingers and sway her head sometimes. She will be more relatable. She will have an attitude, but she will be funnier. That’s the point of long term characters: to show where they’ve grown, where they’ve taken steps back and how that affects them as well. It will be fun.
Can you tell us about your skin regimen? What products do you use?
I’m loving Suki products, which you can find at Whole Foods. It’s a natural organic brand. They have a foaming cleaner that has an exfoliant in it. I use that once a day to gently exfoliate dead skin and to moisturize as well. Once, I got stuck in Atlanta and they lost my luggage. I had to buy stuff so it was nice to go into Whole Foods and buy this product. Some of the fancy stuff is great but if you are traveling somewhere and need product, these are affordable--not $125 for face cream.
Are there any other skin care tips that you can recommend?
I’m the kind of person who will walk into something—I’m clumsy. And I bruise easily, so I keep a tube of Arnica pellets (with me). Arnica is a homeopathic treatment that you can get from Whole Foods. It comes in a gel or a cream (I prefer cream) and the minute I bump into something I take 2 pellets orally and rub the cream into the area that I assume will get bruised.
Speaking of all natural/health, are you into juicing?
I get a cleanse #2 from Pressed Juicery. I don’t juice at home, it’s too much work. I don’t have the time. I’ve been juicing for years, but you have to educate yourself about it--I don’t think it’s for everyone. What I really love is the Clean Program. It’s a 21 day cleanse, but I know that for most people 21 days sounds like a lot.
Not every cleanse or raw food diet is for everybody. Each person’s body craves different things. Some people don’t eat red meat, but I’m O positive and anemic so I need red meat like 3 times a week; my body craves it, and I need it for my skin. I get very pale and I feel cold if I don’t have it. I would recommend people research, and try going to Eastern doctors, or specialists that run your blood and tell you what’s going on with your body. It’s all about education and ways to get in tune with your body.
Read the rest of the COCOBelle of the Month interviews featuring the cast of VH1's Single Ladies: