Naturi Naughton has a lot of reasons to be excited about the premiere of Power Book II: Ghost. For one, she’s continuing the role she created on the Starz original crime drama, Power, from producers Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and Courtney A. Kemp. In the series—and its new spin-off—she plays Tasha St. Patrick, James “Ghost” St. Patrick’s (Omari Hardwick) ex-wife and accomplice, a no-nonsense woman with a killer fashion game. (Of course, she’s in an orange prison jumpsuit now…but more on that in a minute.)
The new season also costars none other than the legendary Mary J. Blige. (Naughton was all of us when she posted on Instagram with the hashtag #OMGImOnAPosterWithMJB.) During one their first meetings, Naughton says, Blige knew the whole story of her journey from R&B/pop group 3LW to starring on Power. “She just kept saying, ‘I’m proud of you, sis,’” Naughton remembers. “I mean, if MJB is giving me the stamp of approval, then I must be doing something right.”
Naughton is doing more than something right. The 36-year-old mom of 3-year-old daughter Zuri has successfully transitioned from performing in 3LW to an acting career with roles in Fame, Notorious (where she played Lil’ Kim), The Playboy Club, The Client List, Power, and now Power Book II: Ghost.
“Tasha'’s behind bars facing charges for the murder her son committed, so we’ll see how she goes about trying to survive and save her son, Tariq,” Naughton says. “You’ll see her struggling with her new identity, which means no wig, no makeup, no lashes, no Tom Ford, and no Chloe bag on the streets of New York City. Her identity has really shifted into a much more raw version of herself.”
It’s a shift that Naughton welcomed. “Being able to see myself with very little makeup and cornrows has been liberating,” she says. “To have that kind of trajectory from being this fabulous, sexy, boss lady who’s a wife of a kingpin, to now my husband is dead, my son is a drug dealer, I’m in prison, and I’ve lost my daughter to gun violence is a dream to play as an actor. So much has happened that I’m actually amazed that Tasha is still standing. Props to that girl.”
Naughton says it is also a chance to show just how sacrificial motherhood is. “Tasha has given her entire life to protecting her kids and her family, but even in our darkest moments, we somehow pull up enough strength to make it through another day.”
And now Naughton is sharing with Glamour just how she juggles a challenging role like Tasha while being a single mom and not losing it from lack of sleep. (Hint: A meditation app and an air fryer help—a lot.) Time for another edition of Your Fave’s Faves.
My go-to meditation app
When I have too much on my mind, I’ll go to the Headspace app and put on the one that says “Go back to sleep.” This soothing European voice says, “Breathe, feel the feeling of what you’re feeling,” and by the time she gets to some sentence, I’m knocked out. It helps you meditate but also free your mind so you can sleep. I sometimes struggle with letting go of all the thoughts of the day, and this works. It’s pretty amazing.
The book I always recommend
Banking on Freedom. It’s a Hidden Figures–like story about a mixed Black woman, Maggie Lena Walker, who started her own bank right after the Civil War. It was the only Black-owned bank that survived the Great Depression in the ’20s. It’s really relevant because of different things that are happening in our country, and it’s showing how powerful Black people can be. Here was a Black woman leading the charge on helping Black people own homes and get loans.
The movie I’m obsessed with
I will never turn the channel if Love Jones comes on. I watch that movie over and over. I am a hopeless romantic. I have worked with Larenz Tate, who is on Power, but watching Love Jones as a teenager was a game changer because I wanted to be an actress and be in a love scene with Larenz Tate. He was so handsome and just so deliciously chocolate and all the goodness. I still have a crush on him, and he knows this because I told him.
The other movie I love is Beaches. It’s one of my favorite movies. I cry every single time, even though I know what’s going to happen at the end to Barbara Hershey’s character. If I feel like crying or having a sister-moment movie, I watch Beaches.
My secret weapon in the kitchen
I’m a huge barbecue person. I love barbecue wings, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, and cornbread. I’ve been cooking up a storm at home. One of my favorite things is my GoWise USA air fryer, which is much healthier and creates less oil and grease. It looks like a time capsule. I’ve been making these lollipop lamb chops, in addition to barbecue wings, which I lacquer with Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce. I just love it. Sweet Baby Ray’s on everything makes your life barbecue sweet. I also use my air fryer to bake a chicken, and then I just walk away and come back in 14 minutes or so and it’s ready. It will change your life because it’s so easy and efficient, and a little bit healthier.
The music that energizes me
I’m really into the new John Legend album, Bigger Love. It’s one of the albums that I really love, especially on the R&B side. And I’m rocking out to Pop Smoke’s Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon. It really is a good album! My favorite song on it is “The Woo” featuring 50 Cent and Roddy Ricch. I was in the car with my boyfriend when it recently came on, and I was acting like a fool singing along. I don’t even know all the words, but I get very excited!
My favorite running shoe
I’m a big Nike fan. My running shoe is the Nike Flyknit. They are so comfortable and literally hug my foot. I work out with my trainer through FaceTime, and it’s been a great way to stay active during this time. I use water bottles as my weights and get out my yoga mat and do my session with my trainer. And I drink Essentia water, which is ionized alkaline water.
The shampoo and conditioner I love
When I’m wearing my hair out and natural, I have been using my hairstylist’s line, TSD Hair, specifically her revitalizing shampoo and conditioner. It smells amazing. I took a picture on my 36th birthday out on the balcony with my natural hair out, and I just had washed it with the TSD hair products. It gives you so much volume and fullness and movement. I don’t like my hair to look flat; I like body. I’m a pin-curl-type person. I do that every night, because I don’t like to recurl it every day or put extra heat on it. That, combined with the TSD hair products, has revitalized my hair.
$25.00, TSD Hair
My favorite earrings are from Mary J. Blige
I wear the Nefertiti earrings all the time. There’s a picture of me and Lauryn Hill where I’m wearing the Sister Love Hoops, and they’re from Mary J. Blige and Simone Smith’s jewelry line, Sister Love, and so cute. I get so many compliments on both designs. They are my go-to earrings when I’m out and about or want to feel extra cute and fabulous.
The lashes that make my eyes pop
I love Royal Ego’s lashes. My makeup artist, Ashley Stewart, turned me on to them. I also love a pop of color, like a blue or a green, at the bottom of my eye to enhance the look, paired with the Royal Ego eyelashes. I’m also a huge MAC girl. I love their eyeshadows, especially their golds, because they have great pigments. Amber Lights is one of the colors I love; it’s a gold-ish, orange-y color with shimmer.
$28.79.00, Royal Ego
My favorite foundation for darker skin
The go-to for my skin as a Brown-skin girl is AJ Crimson foundation and cream palettes, for girls of color in particular. It just matches better. I did a lipstick collaboration with him and a whole lip gloss line, so I love the AJ Crimson line for skin and for makeup.
$45.00, AJ Crimson
Power Book II: Ghost premieres Sunday, September 6, at 9 p.m. ET on STARZ.
Jessica Radloff is the Glamour West Coast editor. You can follow her on Instagram at @jessicaradloff14.
Originally Appeared on Glamour