Updated: Jul 21
The 25th Anniversary of the Essence Music Festival was totally awesome & filled with Nola magic. Over 500,000 people came together in New Orleans to celebrate black culture, art, music, beauty, fashion, creativity and outstanding "Black Girl Magic". The energy in the beautiful city of New Orleans was phenomenal. It was quite powerful as it screamed "Girl Power". As a woman of color, it is the perfect way to let your hair down and have a good time during the summer. I'd also like to say "thank you" for following along via my Facebook & Instagram Stories. I've shared a few more photos below. Videos you'll find via our social media. Prior to arriving in New Orleans, I flew from my home in Los Angeles to Dallas and was completely exhausted after working non-stop for months prior with no days off. With great excitement, I finally scheduled some much needed family time prior to joining my Texas Team "Team Nakeah Cosmetics of Hollywood" for a fun-filled Girls Trip to New Orleans. Although we offered Professional Beauty Services during the Essence Festival which kicked off for us on Day 1 immediately upon arrival, we managed to somehow squeeze in time for dinner, dancing, great laughter, awesome networking, shopping and much needed fun. Of course we also squeezed in a few coffee breaks in between our work & play. We worked hard, but we played even harder. With very little time for sleep while in New Orleans, we each had to jump right back into our daily business routines following the trip and it has taken us some time to fully recuperate after a trip filled with such awesome memories. Memories that will last a lifetime.
My initial client for Professional Makeup Services in Nola was renowned Fashion Blogger, Harvard Graduate, Author "Claire Sulmers" - CEO of Fashion Bomb Daily. This particular appointment was quite unique. Why? Because Claire is someone whom I've had the pleasure of networking with during New York Fashion Week and at Hollywood Events; but this was our initial 1-on-1 time alone in a quiet setting and I must say, it was indeed a divine appointment. Claire is truly a beautiful, peaceful spirit that is filled with such class, style & knowledge. We decided to go with a soft, clean, fresh, dewy makeup look with a beautiful dramatic lash, while allowing her natural beauty to glow flawlessly using all Nakeah Cosmetics of Hollywood (See Instagram for a list of products used). Below you'll find a few snapshots. Our session was filled with empowerment, inspiration, encouragement, business ideas and great advice all while sharing experiences that have helped us both to grow over the years. We got a lot accomplished during our session that could've lasted way beyond our hour together; yet we were both on a tight schedule for back to back events and business meetings. Therefore, we squeezed in a lot of greatness within that time. Following Claire's 7am makeup appointment, I then raced to my next appointment and then to the next & the next. By the end of the day, I could no longer feel my feet and hadn't realized that I'd been working since 7am & it was now 7pm! For me, work never feels like work as I'm very passionate about what I do as a Beauty Professional. My numb feet didn't stop me even after providing services throughout the day as I traveled from hotel to hotel. The great energy in the city of Nola kept me moving beyond my day filled with back to back makeup appointments. I would have a particular team member set up for me, start hair for the clients while I wrap up with the previous client. Therefore, I could slide right into the flawless, professional makeup process making the transition and transformation a smooth one.
My team & I attended the Beauty Carnival hosted by Essence and enjoyed great networking and all the excitement presented by Coca-Cola, Walmart & AT&T. Following, we of course hit the French Quarter for some amazing creole food. The excitement on Bourbon Street was filled with great music, creativity, dancing, excellent food, specialty desert and amazing cocktails all while enjoying the dynamic energy that continued to flow throughout the streets of New Orleans. My favorite restaurant was "Mambo's". The food was outstanding, and the margaritas were the best EVER! I loved it so much, we visited twice during the weekend. After enjoying a delicious dinner, we relaxed with great conversation & cocktails on their rooftop which was secluded away from the crowd, but close enough to enjoy all the action & positive energy. It was perfect! It gave us a moment to put our feet up, embrace the culture and relax while celebrating the team's success and our fun girl's trip all at the same time.
Check out our videos - behind the scenes via our Instagram Highlights titled "Essencefest" found on our Instagram profile. Enjoy the pics below. Also, come back to check out my next blog post as I share how we closed-out Essencefest with a bang which made this overall experience even more memorable; thanks to the greatness of the "Black Excellence Brunch".
Thanks for joining me here on the blog as we continue to celebrate "All Things Beauty" around the world. A few tips for next year's Essence Festival:
- Be prepared for a good time
- Research the activities & concerts. There's lots!
- Have a clear agenda for your fun-filled weekend
- Take cool & comfortable summer wardrobe
- Prepare to do some walking. The exercise is great
- Be sure to pack a pair of cute & comfy sneakers
- Eat at Mambo's on Bourbon Street
- Stay well hydrated throughout your trip
- Wear comfortable closed-toe shoes while enjoying the French Quarter
- Surround yourself with good vibes for this trip. The better the crew, the more fun you'll have
- Embrace the beautiful culture of Nola
- Book Team Nakeah Cosmetics of Hollywood in advance for your hair & makeup needs
- Sing & dance a lot. It's so good for the soul...
- Live, Love & Laugh a lot. Be free, have fun!
Thank you Essence & New Orleans for an amazing time!