Wednesday, June 5, 2013

June's Mina Maven Ana Villafane

Ana, where did you grow up and where do you live now?

I grew up in Miami and moved to LA when I was 19.

Being a Latina in Hollywood, what are some thing's you do when you get home sick?

My best friend has a huge, loud, tight-knit Mexican family, so when I need a dose of Latin culture I go stay with her for a few days. There’s also my favorite Cuban restaurant in Hollywood, Floridita, that becomes a salsa club on certain nights. They have Christmas lights up year-round, amazing live music, perfect mojitos, and everyone knows each other- going there feels like going home.


You sing and act, which do you prefer?

They’re so different! Singing came first, and acting came along later. My dream was to do musical theatre on Broadway, until my first time on set. Then film and TV became the focus. Being a working actress is very fulfilling because it’s such a challenge for me. My voice was actually kind of a secret until I did RENT in Hollywood, so singing as part of my career only crept up on me recently.


What are some of your beauty secrets?

When not on set, I’m painfully unglamorous. I have an obsession with chap stick and use a $3 moisturizer with SPF 15 every day. Hair is key in my opinion, because with make-up I’m the “less-is-more” type. Benefit’s Bene-tint is my go to product for a natural flush, and I use a water-based Chanel foundation because it’s so light. When I do go for a more dramatic look, it’s a big contrast and takes people by surprise. Lately I love playing up my eyes. Most importantly- I’m constantly drinking water.

Who would you say inspires your style?

That’s always evolving. I do love Miranda Kerr’s polished street style. On the rare occasion that she’s actually dressed.


What beauty secrets have you learned from the women in your family?

Among many things, I associate my mother with exquisite perfume. My dad travels and brings her fragrances from all over the world, so my mom has an amazing collection. She’s mastered the art of having different scents for different occasions- which I do now. She also taught me to never fall asleep with make-up on.


You are about to be the artist behind the Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba (FHRC). How did you get involved, and how can other people help?

The FHRC is an amazing group of people striving to promote the long-awaited transition toward a free and democratic Cuba. Being half Cuban, I was approached with the offer to sing for their upcoming campaign, which is all about getting information to those who need it most on the island and connecting Cuba to the rest of the world. The writing is in development now, and will be released with a viral video exposing the reality of life in Cuba. I’m passionate about the cause and honored to be a part of it!


You act as the “face” of The Arthritis Foundation in Los Angeles. How did you get involved with them and how has arthritis impacted your life?

I’ve been living with arthritis since I was 7 years old, so the Arthritis Foundation has been in my life for a while. Raising arthritis awareness is my main concern since it’s the leading cause of disability and an invisible disease. I try to emphasize that it affects over 300,000 kids just in the United States. There are a lot of negative connotations when it comes to living with a disability, so I’ve made it my personal mission to contest that and hopefully inspire others to do so as well.


What do you feel is your role in young Hollywood?

There’s definitely a responsibility I feel towards making an impact. I’m really grateful to have a career that I love, and I think my role right now is to keep my integrity and not become just another face in the crowd. There is so much talent and so much potential in young Hollywood these days- it’s all a matter of how you use it.


You come from a large family. What is one of your favorite memories growing up in Miami?

I’m the second of four kids, so there was never a dull moment in our house. My favorite memories are when we rented condos or giant suites every summer. Cousins would fly in from out of town, and we’d stock up at Publix to live at the beach for a week. I loved going to dinner or the movies on Lincoln Road while tired and burned after a long day in the sun. Those mini-vacations were amazing, and we didn’t even really leave home. Plus “Grease” was always on VH1 those summers.


We want to keep our eyes out for you, what are you currently working on?

I just guest-starred on season 4 of “Rizzoli & Isles” which premieres June 25 on TNT. This month I’ll be in the Dominican Republic for the FHRC campaign shoot. I’m also working on a lot of music attached to an upcoming series about Miami, which is crazy exciting but still completely under-wraps. The most thrilling part of this industry is having tons going on at once while not knowing what comes next.


What is your go-to item in your closet?

I have a pair of low chunky-heeled black boots that go with anything, and I can always rock a denim button-down shirt. Those are my “saca-apuro” clothes.


What is one of your favorite things about shopping at Mina Miami Beach?

Anyone who’s ever met the Minagorri  girls knows they has fun, flawless taste. That standard is what you can expect from shopping at Mina, which means you’re guaranteed high quality. Sometimes I get impatient fishing through clothing racks for must-have pieces. Mina is great because it’s intimate and you can walk in confident that you’ll find what you’re looking for.


What advice would you give to young girls that want to follow in your footsteps?

There is no formula for success. The main thing is to believe in what you’re doing and enjoy it.


Leave us with your favorite quote.

“Do what you feel, feel what you do.”
 To follow/contact Ana
Instagram: @aanavee

Photos by: Tony Gajate and Troy Roberston


  1. She is beautiful. Congrats to her.

  2. nice to see all the work she has done with the two different foundations. Seems like she has a good head on her shoulders.

  3. Very beautiful young girl. Best of luck in all her future work.

  4. THIS girl.... she makes us all want to be a latina....

  5. So gorgeous and grounded!!!

  6. I am in love with this one

  7. Ouch.. that is a dangerous girl indeed!!