Chatting with Challen Cates

Challen CatesBig Time Rush, the hit series about four young hockey players who are also members of a hot boy band, is returning for another season. We were able to chat with Challen Cates who plays “Mrs. Knight,” mother to the hockey-playing, reluctant boy band member, “Kendall,” and his younger sister Katie.
DolceDolce readers will recognize Challen from her from daytime drama Passions as well as appearances on popular shows such as Desperate Housewives, Criminal Minds, CSI, and In The Heat of the Night. In the Heat of the Night was Challen’s first big part in a TV series.
Challen lives in Los Angeles with her husband and her two children. She actively supports the ‘Darkness to Light’ foundation as well as the ‘Say It 2 My Face’ Anti-Bullying campaign.
Here is what Challen had to tell us about her life, fashion, and beauty routines:
DD: How did you like living in Atlanta and working on in The Heat of the Night?
CC: Atlanta is an amazing Southern city with so much to offer! I had never lived in a city before — let alone one that big — so it was a great transition for me before embarking on Los Angeles. I was fortunate to work on some wonderful projects in Atlanta. My first booking was a guest star role for In The Heat of The Night and it was a huge part! I had no idea what I was doing on a TV set, but I navigated my way through and learned a lot. It went so well they brought me back as a different character!
DD: What was your favorite thing to do in Atlanta in your down time?
CC: I really enjoyed exploring different neighborhoods like Virginia Highlands and Little Five Points. Piedmont Park is Atlanta's Central Park and it is amazing! On a beautiful spring day, it is the most wonderful place to be
(DD Note: Challen is on to something here. Frederick Law Olmsted (April 26, 1822 – August 28, 1903) designed Piedmont Park Central Park in New York, Mount Royal Park in Montreal, and many other famous urban parks and landmarks in the U.S. and Canada!)
DD: How did you become active in the anti-bullying movement?
We live in a world that has become highly technological and dependent on social media. Though social media can be great in moderation, it has also become a breeding ground for Cyber bullying—and to devastating effects. A friend of mine introduced me to Taylor Audette who created Say It 2 My Face ( ). The philosophy is simple: think before you type. Would you say it in person? The decision is in your hands! I am doing my part to ensure my own children never have to deal with Cyber bullying.
DD: How would you describe your own style?
CC: Bohemian and eclectic with a little tart. I like to mix it up. I love getting dressed up to go anywhere. I really love dresses as well because they are feminine and sexy. They also involve fewer decisions — one dress plus some great shoes beats putting together a whole ensemble any day in my world!
DD: What are your three fashion must-haves?
 CC: Jeans that are perfectly fitted to my body. For me, that means J Brand. A go-to sexy black dress that can be worn with strappy sandals or boots (depending on the weather) is a must. Speaking of footwear, nothing elongates the leg and polishes an outfit like the perfect shoe. Platforms are definitely at the top of my list.
DD: What is the secret to your fitness routine?
CC: I am devoted to Pilates. I work out with my friend Elizabeth Ordway at her studio, Movement Studio LA ( ). I work out on the reformer and the Cadillac. I also take Elizabeth's bar and mat classes, which target those little muscles that make a big difference. I did Pilates during both pregnancies and started back four weeks post-baby to get back in shape. For me, Pilates is the thing that just works.
DD: What are your best fashion or beauty tips?
CC: Wear sexy shoes, but always have a pair of flip-flops stashed in your car in case you encounter a playground or go on an impromptu walk. Have a great denim jacket to dress up your workout clothes and/or dress down a dressy dress. Splurge on classic items that will be in your closet forever like the perfect leather jacket or cashmere sweater. And bargain hunt for trendy items that you know will be collecting dust next year.
This is going to make you laugh, but the best lip conditioner is nipple cream! I couldn't bring myself to throw away perfectly good nipple cream after I weaned my babies. I looked at the ingredients and thought “Hmmm, this is good stuff! I think I will try it elsewhere…” And voila my lips have never been chapped since. Because I am very fair I avoid the sun, but I do love a sun kissed look. I use St. Tropez tanning cream to get a 1, 2, 3… faux tan. I love Max Factor Mascara, but it isn't sold in the U.S. any longer, so it's tough to find.
DD: What is always in your hand-bag?
 CC: Well, the nipple cream for my lips. ;-). My iPhone, which works as my mini-computer as well as entertainment for my kids when I run out of jokes. Max Factor mascara to cover my blonde lashes, which look invisible without a good coating. Lastly, my prescription sunglasses because I can't see you without them.