Nicole Ari Parker
Some people just do it all. Somewhere between performing eight shows a week of the Broadway revival of A Streetcar Named Desire—as part of the first ever reincarnation of the play with African Americans in the lead roles—Nicole Ari Parker found time to invent a girl’s best friend (besides diamonds, of course, but we swear this is second best). Nicole came up with the Save Your Do Gymwrap, a workout headband that literally wicks away sweat and lets cool air in, keeping hair dry and flat so that you don’t have to completely redo it after the gym. The only downside: it banishes all excuses about not working out because there won’t be time to do your hair afterwards (we’re all guilty of trying that one). Plus, Save Your Do sales partially benefit Nicole’s non-profit, Sophie’s Voice Foundation, which she began with her husband Boris after their daughter was diagnosed with Spina Bifida. This fall, Nicole and the cast of Streetcar are taking the show to London’s West End. Before she hops across the pond, though, Nicole chatted with us for this week’s Spotlight.
BEAUTY MUST-HAVES>> scent: JO MALONE PLUM BLOSSOM for summer + SERGE LUTENS NUIT DE CELLOPHANE for winter // GEORGIA BY G & COMPANY’S GOLD LUXURY SKIN CREAM // concealer: BOBBI BROWN HONEY // powder compact: IMAN IN CLAY // LIPS: KAT VON D IN OUTLAW // nails: ESSIE’S FRENCH AFFAIR and JULEP’S BORIS & NICOLE // brows: DAMONE ROBERTS in LA and SAAJIDAH in NYC //
Q: Of all the roles you’ve played—including some alongside Taye Diggs and Eddie Murphy—which do you consider your biggest achievement?
A: Hands down, Blanche Dubois [in A Streetcar Named Desire]. It’s a tremendous role.
Q: And Blair Underwood, who stars opposite you, is soo cute.
A: Working with Blair Underwood and Wood Harris was great, unforgettable. We were all making our Broadway debuts together, and making history.
Q: That’s so fantastic. Let’s talk Gymwrap. First—and be honest—do you wear makeup at the gym?
A: No, just light moisturizer. Sometimes in the winter I run the bronzer brush across my cheeks but that’s it. I feel ridiculous sweating with lip gloss on.
Q: And what’s your workout of choice?
A: Leg presses and leg curls. I have to really dig deep to push that weight, and the results always come. There’s also nothing like good cardio.
Q: Scenario: you got a blowout in the morning, but need to work out before an evening event. What’s your Save Your Do Gymwrap routine?
A: I brush my hair to the side off my forehead and tie my GymWrap firmly down. When I take it off 35 mins later I run a blowdryer on cool air to lift any lingering moisture without adding heat (usually don’t need to do this because it’s dry!), and lightly flatiron the front of my hair back into the style since the GymWrap would have kept it flat.
Q: So simple. What is your greatest beauty tip you can pass on to us?
A: Inside light always shines strongest. And wash your face at night no matter what: it’s not what you put on your face that keeps you beautiful, but how gently and well you take it off.