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Curvy Model of The Month: Jaana Santiago


I was discovered: I had a friend that modeled and she brought me into her agency in Miami where I was living at the time. Unfortunately the agency did not represent plus-size models but suggested I take a test shoot and bring them back the images. So I went for it! I did the test with a fantastic photographer and provided the images to my friend's agency and they loved them. I then decided to take things a step further and take the initiative and go around to different agencies that did represent plus-size models. All of the agencies that I provided these pictures to offered me a contract. I chose the one that brought me the best energy, Wilhelmina! 

I'm currently working on: Building my portfolio by working with different photographers in New York City. Since I am new to New York as a model, I am getting to know new clients and networking myself. I am exploring one of my greatest passions as well, which is cooking.

My best feature is: My confidence which empowers me to be results driven. Confidence in this field is everything, if I don’t believe in myself, who will?

I'm beautiful because: I have a great family foundation that instilled qualities in me that are a reflection of my inner beauty. I am beautiful from the inside out and I take a lot of pride in that.

My favorite thing to wear to feel special is: A combination of a sexy dress, the highest possible heel (even though I’m 5’10 1/2"), and my MAC Ruby Woo red lipstick. 

My beauty routine is:  My makeup of choice is Mac. The key items I like are Matchmaster foundation, blot powder, Ruby Woo lipstick. As far as proper make-up removal: never fall asleep with my makeup still on). Neutrogena oil-free cleansing wipes and Pink Grapefruit keeps my face clean. I also believe moisturizing is essential and I like to use vitamin E oil and Palmer's Cocoa Butter. I like to use brown sugar, tea tree and lavender scrubs to exfoliate my body. 

My curvy style icons are:  Diana Ross and Chaka Khan. I don’t know if Diana Ross would be considered “curvy,” but she screams femininity. They embraced the women they are. From the big hair to the form-fitting sequined dresses, I still can't get enough of it!

My favorite places to shop: I enjoy shopping in boutiques. I also like BCBG, JC Penney, Kohl's, Christian Louboutin, and I love a good vintage store. I'm pretty simple when it comes to shopping. I really dislike the mall shopping experience. 

My favorite style blogs are: I’ve had a chance to work on a job with an amazing stylist, June Ambrose. I fell in love with her energy and passion for fashion, so ever since then I’ve been following all her blogs. I have such a love for the ESSENCE family since I've had a great working relationship with them over the years. I follow ESSENCE on my Instagram and Twitter, to keep up on the latest fashion trends, beauty regimens and lifestyle tips. I also have been featured on Madison Plus blog. I enjoy their hands-on involvement with the plus-sized community. 

Where can we look forward to seeing you next?: My love for cooking has lead me to open a catering company recently. So that is a very exciting and ongoing project. With that, I am working on a project that will allow me to combine my two favorite things, cooking and modeling. I'm extremely excited for what's to come. Hard work will pay off.

PHOTO GALLERIES: Curvy Model of The Month: Victoria Lee