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  • Whitney Sylvain

OH I NEEDED THIS: ESSENCE BEAUTY CARNIVAL 2019.


Essence Beauty Carnival was the intro to festival season that New York needed! Attendees left with amazing products, gems (which were dropped by some of our favorite celebs), and feeling oh so refreshed due to that familiar black feminine energy which filled Pier 39!

I'm always super excited to attend Essence Music Festival, (the largest US music festival, attended, created, & powered by black women. Shout out to us!), it’s beautiful to see melanin, sundresses, & aunties flourish every summer in New Orleans. So the bar was set pretty high for the Essence Beauty Carnival.

Essence's first ever Beauty Carnival (April 27 & April 28) was similar to Essence Fest in energy & purpose, but a bit more intimate. The space was smaller than NOLA's convention center so that created an environment for congregating and interaction amoungst guests. Which I actually enjoyed! The event was decked with photo booth oppurtunities for carnival goers to snap it up with their girl group. There were "glow up stations" for attendees to relax and unwind. And various food vendors.

When I went on Saturday, in the center of the space was a main stage where Essence's Fashion and Beauty Director Julee Wilson sat down with guests including Dapper Dan and Misa Hylton who dropped gems about their experiences as stylists & designers in NY. Ciara graced the stage also; witnessing her legs in person was all the inspiration I needed to go harder in the gym. The legendary Iman, (Essence Beauty Carnical's Icon Award Honeree) blessed us with her presence and dropped gems about skin care (trust, we're taking all the gems she can drop on this topic because her skin is immaculate) and her early start being a woman of color in the modeling industry. Sevyn Streeter preformed her hits, with a damn good outfit and the most laid edges you could spot from the back of the room!

Essence's Beauty Carnival served as a way to further bridge black owned brands with black women. I learned about so many companies I had no clue existed. Thanks Essence for creating such an rejuvenating event. Maybe I’ll see you this summer in Nola!!

The look I choose to wear to the beauty carnival was a golden slip dress with an over-sized camo jacket. I opted for sneakers for comfort and a cross body bag for ease. Festival wear at its simplest. The team at Essence seemed to enjoy the slayage also, because they named me as one of the fiercest looks & best hair having attendees at the Carnival! Check out the 2019 Beauty Carnival's fiercest looks here and the Essence best hair featured here.


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