If there’s one thing you can learn from Bria Murphy, it’s live your dreams and look fabulous while doing it!

Bria is the new face of Dark & Lovely, and she spoke exclusively with ESSENCE.com to share her favorite products, secret beauty tips and advice on how she scored her dream job. She also gave us the scoop on her upcoming appearances at the Dark & Lovely Fashionista Model Search.

ESSENCE.com: What’s been your experience as a SoftSheen-Carson Dark & Lovely Brand Ambassador?

BRIA MURPHY: It’s really so much fun and I’m surrounded by wonderful people. I always wanted to model and I finally got the opportunity to do that with Dark & Lovely. I almost cried when I found out that I’d be representing such an amazing brand. It’s like a dream come true.

ESSENCE.com: What has it been like working with the model search?

MURPHY: I’m really excited about the model search! Not only is it a great way for a girl to get her foot in the door, the prizes are amazing: the winner gets a trip to New York for two, a $5,000 shopping spree with celebrity stylist Carlton Jones, and a hair makeover by SoftSheen-Carson’s artistic director Johnny Wright. To top it all off, she’ll be featured in a Dark & Lovely ad. Tiana, the 2010 winner, did an amazing job and I’m so excited to give another winner this opportunity.

ESSENCE.com: What’s your number one piece of advice for someone who wants to enter into the modeling industry?

MURPHY: Just be sure of yourself and never give up. Always go for what you believe in. Anything is possible if you put your energy, time and hard work into it.

ESSENCE.com: What are your top three tips for maintaining great hair?

MURPHY: Don’t shampoo too much because it dries out your hair. Sometimes I’ll just use conditioner instead of shampoo! Also, limit the amount of heat you use on your hair. Heated tools will really fry your hair. I use the Healthy Gloss 5 Relaxer so I don’t have to put a lot of heat in my hair to keep it straight. And finally, when you’re detangling your hair, starting combing at ends and work your way up to the roots. If you comb from the root, it can cause breakage.

ESSENCE.com: What are your favorite hair products?

MURPHY: My absolute favorite is the Dark & Lovely Healthy Gloss 5 Shea Moisture Relaxer. I love it because my hair is naturally really curly and with this relaxer, my hair stays straight and I don’t have to worry about it frizzing up on a humid day. I also love the Healthy Gloss 5 Moisture Hair Crème because it makes my hair so soft. I’m also a fan of the Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner.

ESSENCE.com: Do you have any fun plans for the summer?

MURPHY: Working with SoftSheen-Carson over the next few months is going to be a lot of fun. I’m really excited about the Dark & Lovely Fashionista Model Search. We will be in New York on June 15th and in Atlanta on July 16th. I can’t wait to meet all of the fabulous contestants and see them strut their stuff!

For your chance to meet Bria and become the next winner of the Dark & Lovely Fashionista Model Search, make sure to visit www.essence.com/iamdarkandlovely.