From her outlandish hairstyles to her “New York meets Atlanta” demeanor, Cynthia Bailey gave us a little snippet of her true personality and a dash of sass on this past season’s The Real Housewives of Atlanta . From her new business ventures to her growing relationship with hubby Peter, Bailey is seemingly coming into her own. And we love it! 

EBONY: On RHOA, we grew to wonder what hairstyle you would wear each week. Are there any staple hair products that you use for your hair on a daily basis?

Cynthia Bailey: It’s funny how I kind of became the girl on RHOA with all the different hairstyles. I use a number of different leave-in conditioners, and MegaGrowth is one of them. It is very important for me to keep my own hair strong and healthy. I definitely rotate with different wigs and weaves.

From the MegaGrowth line, my favorite product is the Breakfree Daily Leave-in Strengthener (growth cream) conditioner. I love the product! I have also tried the relaxer and an oil that I like from MegaGrowth. As for myself, I have a hair line called Hair Couture that is doing incredibly well. People almost watch the show at this point to see how I am going to wear my hair. Now I’m kind of stuck and I gotta keep it going. It’s really funny, because by the reunion I had literally run out of hairstyles.

EBONY: Your skin is also so flawless. What is your skin care regimen, and do you have any skincare secrets?

CB: Between working all the time and doing appearances, I end up wearing a lot of makeup. One of the things I recommend is a makeup break. If you don’t have to put it on, don’t. Give your skin a rest. I recommend the same with hair. When I’m not on camera, I look a hot mess around my house! I do as little as possible to my hair; I just won’t touch it for a couple of days.

I have always been a fan of exfoliating. Skincare is very individual. I can tell you that a daily exfoliate is very important to keep your skin glowing, and I think it is very good in terms of not getting wrinkles. It really just gives your face a beautiful glow. I also love a good day and nighttime moisturizer. You want to go a little heavier at night with your moisturizer. Make sure you clean your skin really well. I am a big fan of wipes, and I also go over my skin with some regular ol’ alcohol. If I feel like a pimples coming up, all I do is dip a little Q-tip in the alcohol and I promise you it’s gone the next day.

EBONY: What is the one beauty product you can’t live without?

CB: My lip gloss. The only thing that would make me crazy is if I get on a plane and realize I don’t have my lip gloss. I kind of like the Victoria’s Secret ones; I pick them up wherever I can get them.

EBONY: Can you share any industry beauty secrets that you’ve learned from the modeling and pageant world?

CB: In terms of fashion, less is more. A lot of times people just don’t have great personal style, because they just don’t know how to put things together for their bodies. And when they do put it together, they do too much, they over-accessorize. And if you just can’t figure it out, black is a good, clean classic color that you can work with. It’s like you almost can’t mess it up. Stick to what works for you. In terms of beauty, I would say the same: don’t do too much. I am definitely a makeup girl, but for the most part I keep it pretty simple.

EBONY: So you have announced the 2013 Renaissance Pageant. Are there any specific qualities you look for when choosing finalists?

CB: It was very important to me to pick very well-rounded girls. I didn’t include a swimsuit competition because I think the age group that we had for the pageant is very confused about their body image. One thing that we stress at the Bailey Agency is a healthy body. Also, you have to have a B average in school to be a part of Mrs. Renaissance. Community work also affects into the factoring of the young girls that we choose. You must have a good personality. I am a nice person and I like nice girls. I am not for the pretty mean girl, ever.

EBONY: Do you think The Real Housewives of Atlanta really shows who you are, or are there some important things we don’t know about you?

CB:  I think this season is the first that you guys really get to see the true Cynthia. I really jumped out of my shell this season and they really show that. It was an adjustment for me to be in Atlanta with my lil’ southern belle girlfriends. I was definitely a fish out of water. Now, I am very comfortable in my own skin on the show.

EBONY: What do you do to stay in shape?

CB: That is the tricky part about being in your 40s. I’ve been very blessed, thank you Jesus, that I don’t have to do a whole lot in terms of working out. But my body has recently betrayed me. If I even pass a McDonald’s, I gain five pounds. I am definitely going to try, and Peter as well, to get it together. We are starting to work out at least three days a week. We have made an agreement to put that into the schedule.

Also, I’d rather eat better than have to go to the gym. I’m trying to make sure I have better eating habits. I am definitely going to incorporate a “Cynthia, what do you want to eat?” day at least once or twice a week. I had dinner with Dr. Ian one night, and he is having me work out, he is on top of me. I am going to try his diet so he can help me get it together.

EBONY: What’s next for you 2013?

CB: More Real Housewives of Atlanta, more with the Bailey Agency School of Fashion. We just celebrated our one-year anniversary. We are also relocating to a larger space. Peter and I have a relationship book coming out called Baggage Claim that should be out in a couple months. It’s about getting married later in life in your 40s. It was definitely a struggle for us to compromise on certain things, because we both came to the table with our “stuff” already. Now in my 40s, I’m like, “What you see is what you get.”