Home Hair style Taral Hicks, Charli Baltimore and Liza Rivera on Beauty Regimes and Careers

Taral Hicks, Charli Baltimore and Liza Rivera on Beauty Regimes and Careers


When did you start thinking about hair and makeup?
I think I started dyeing my hair in 1997. It wasn’t a bright red. It was kind of like a burgundy color. And no one really had that color. My hairstylist at the time kept saying, “We should try something different.” Back then, nobody really had colored hair unless they were into punk rock or something. When I went out, people thought I was a whore. Someone literally asked me if I was ever a prostitute. I was like, “Wow. That’s very ignorant.

What inspired this color?
Tracy Riggs was my hairstylist in Philadelphia. She suggested it and just wanted to make it lighter and lighter. And we kept doing it, and a lot of people loved it. And I started getting into rapping, and it kind of became a signature color.

Have you always been into fashion and beauty?
Yes. A lot of my fashion sense comes from seeing different magazines like the vogues and the They. And I was just looking at all this stuff and I guess I was combining it with hood stuff and what I could do or afford at the time. Because it’s not like I have a lot of money. So me and my girlfriend, we went out all the time and we were considered the craziest girls.

When you came to the music industry, did you feel any pressure to look a certain way? Did people have opinions about your red hair?
I mean, that was my look. I know they have artists, then they do what they want with them. But I came pretty much the way I came. I came with red hair. It was pretty much just my look. The only time I had a problem was when we shot the “Foolish” video for Ashanti and the hairdresser at the time gave my hair a very shiny pink color. And Irv [Gotti] was like, “Oh my god. It looks pink, and it washes you off. So we went red again. But I was playing with colors a lot. For example, I had blonde hair, which makes all your hair, but I loved it anyway. I’ve had purple in my hair, blue too, but red has always been my signature color. I’ve had it for probably, what, 12 years?

But you don’t seem very attached to your hair either. You agree to cut it and shave the sides.
It was something else. I shaved one side of my head and tattooed it. And at the time, nobody did that. And it was like a whole. It was all over the blogs. Like, I guess they thought I was having a mental health crisis. I’m German and black so it was just little words written in German. But then everyone started doing stuff like that. Right. I was just kind of like the first person who did it.

What is your philosophy with makeup? Are you a great makeup artist?
I used to be. I used to really have tons and tons and tons and tons of makeup, but the older I got, the less I started wanting to put on more and more of it. It took me about an hour and a half to do my makeup. Now I just put on foundation, lip gloss and eye stuff, and that’s fine. My youngest daughter is a makeup artist and she is really, really good. But as we get older, we get tired of wearing makeup all the time. It’s a lot of work. And then you have to remove everything. It’s even harder than putting it all together. So I try to keep it simple. But I mean, of course, everyone likes to be glamorous once in a while. I love it when Rebecca Martin does my makeup.

Who was your makeup artist in the past?
Her name was JJ and she was awesome. She did a lot of people’s makeup, but she was awesome. She also started doing Ashanti.

Your hair is long and black now. Have you ever thought about going back to red?
I wore a lot of weaves. When I was little, I could sit on my hair. My hair was so long. And I started thinking, “Wow, if I pull this weave out and leave it out for a while and take good care of my hair, I wonder how long it’s going to last.” And like last September, it was probably up to my shoulders, and now it’s almost up to my waist. So I’m waiting to see how long it will grow.

Photo by David Cabrera

What is your maintenance routine for your hair?
I only go to the hairdresser to have my tips cut. I don’t really have a crazy diet. I use Tracy Riggs products. They are called Bye Bye Parabens. She has some great products that work for her hair. I use Kérastase conditioner. I use Olaplex. But you can’t really use it much.

What’s your skincare routine?
I use Jurlique’s skin cleanser. I’ve been using it for years and it’s like my favorite product. I use an exfoliator from Kate Somerville. It’s called ExfoliKate. You use it like twice a week and it just makes your skin look great. But I don’t do anything, like, you know, crazier for my skin. I don’t have 50 products. I just use moisturizer and scrub. And as for my moisturizer, I use Embryolisse. And my makeup artist Rebecca put me on hyaluronic acid and it works really well. And it could all be a matter of genetics. I know that my mother and all my children have beautiful skin.

I want to talk about a few looks. There are pictures of you all over the internet and you look so awesome.
It came from the opening of a Chanel boutique. And he actually sent me the clothes, but it was a Roberto Cavalli coat that I had that I just thought was cute with it. So I just threw that over.

Did you have a stylist? I saw that Misa Hylton styled some of your previous videos, but did you always work with her?
When I first got into the game, I didn’t know anything about stylists or anything like that. So yes, in the beginning, she styled a lot of my videos. But day to day, I got dressed. A lot of people thought I had people like a team or something that dressed me up or brought me together or whatever. But I said to myself: “No, I came like that. It’s, it’s just me. I was still into clothes and dressing.

When I started working with Murder Inc., I had a stylist named Rachel Johnson, who was awesome. And we got along so well and collaborated on a lot of things. Like, she would have ideas and I would have ideas, and then we would come up with some really crazy looks together.

What about this look?
I think it was at the BET Awards. It was an Iceberg dress. The stylist wanted me to wear it like a dress. And I was like, I want to wear jeans underneath. And she was like, “Girl, what?” But when it all fell into place, I thought it was really cute. It was the early 2000s. It was all about low-rise jeans, and it was the BET Awards. I wanted it to be fly but also hip-hop. So I decided to wear jeans underneath. And it came out fine. I never thought I would be in one of the magazines for this look, but yeah, people seemed to like it.

This look was so cute.
I have always loved high fashion brands. It was my shirt that I just wore with jeans. I wore Christian Louboutins in 2001 or 2002 when nobody knew what they were. I don’t know if it’s a Philadelphia thing. I don’t know what it is, but I always knew what was wrong and what worked for me. A lot of girls in Philadelphia, you know, it’s just their style. I’ve been called a “damn label”, but I don’t feel like everything has to be a label. I just get attracted to things, and then I realize it’s like $1,500 for a shirt.

What about this look?
I don’t remember who did my hair. But the shooting was in a tattoo parlour. I forgot which magazine it was. And, uh, I don’t even know, I don’t even remember who did my hair. Yeah. But I just kinda let them do something different. Usually I had a lot more fun when I went abroad, like London, because of their fashion. They just like, like, different looks. I tried a lot of different, crazy things there that I probably couldn’t get away with here.

You had two serious car accidents. These are things that could really mess up your vanity. How did you fix that?
Well, the thing about the car accident I got BIG in was I went through the windshield, and the whole top of my head was split open. And if it was a few centimeters lower, it would have been my whole face. I was very lucky that didn’t happen. But I guess if I shaved my entire head bald, you’d see the scar from the stitches. The other car accident was not as serious. I mean as much as, you know, physically. Yeah. But this one was crazy.

Hair: Veronica Johnson; Makeup: Rebbeca Martin