During my recent 10-day stay in New Orleans for the 21st Annual Essence Festival – I got the chance to explore the city, culture, celebrities, home-grown entertainment and so much more! From new restaurants to hidden gem boutiques, New Orleans offered so much more than I’ve ever expected it to, even after visiting NOLA for the last five years, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the street style, gourmet delicacies and amazing architecture found around every corner.
If I had to narrow my summer style obsession down to one piece, it would definitely have to be the jumpsuit. It’s super-easy to wear, stylish and can practically be worn everywhere. Since I’m a tall girl, it’s sometimes challenging to find stylish jumpsuits that look good, feel good and fit good too! After searching all over, you can’t imagine where I’ve found my favorite jumpsuits, including this blue cutout number below…
After searching online and in stores, I finally found this beautifully fitting jumper from H&M. Offering just the right amount of style and sass, this jumpsuit is lined with small waist length cutouts and a sleek back zipper that can be office appropriate with a cardigan or street-chic appropriate worn as shown.
Blue Jumpsuit | HM.com | $59.99
Ford hosted a wonderful media dinner during ESSENCE Fest at Little Gem Saloon. The Little Gem Saloon is a historic restaurant and live music venue that dates back to 1904. The Little Gem Saloon offers a new century twist on a historic space that first introduced New Orleans’ jazz to the world. Located in the historic 400 block of South Rampart Street, the Little Gem Saloon is just steps the French Quarter and all the authentic and historic sights that New Orleans has to offer.
Perfect for foodies of all ages, The Little Gem Saloon offers a dining experience unlike any other in New Orleans. The Little Gem Saloon offers lunch, dinner and a true-to-its-roots Sunday jazz brunch, upstairs and downstairs bars with outside balcony seating, and live entertainment five days a week. During the Ford media dinner, guests indulged in southern soul food while mingling and enjoying the cool sounds of songstress Audra Day.
Smoked St. Louis cut ribs with a creole twist was #DivasAndForksAPPROVED
No NOLA meal is complete without Louisiana Gulf shrimp & southern style biscuits
New Orleans Moments
The media dinner, hosted by Ford’s Manager of Multicultural Marketing, Shawn Thompson introduced guests to singing sensation Audra Day – pairing awesome music food and entertainment all in one exciting night.
Photo credit: Chris Mitchell/Ty Alexander
I truly enjoyed celebrating Ford’s commitment to educating and empowering NOLA communities via breast cancer awareness and more at ESSENCE Festival. Check out how Ford continues to celebrate Essence Festival fans this year as the official automotive sponsor of the 21st Annual ESSENCE Festival in New Orleans here.
The My Black Is Beautiful Movement Continues With Laurieann Gibson, Sevyn Streeter & More #MBIB #AllTogetherBeautifulJuly 9th, 2015 by Christen
As part of its long-standing commitment to touch and improve the lives of African-American women, Procter & Gamble (P&G) was proud to be a major sponsor of the 2015 ESSENCE Festival for the eighth straight year. This year, P&G’s My Black is Beautiful inspires women to celebrate and share their All Together Beautiful message during the 2015 ESSENCE Festival and beyond by providing signature experiences with its partner brands, CoverGirl Queen Collection, Pantene and more!
What does confidence mean to you? To me, it means the ability to walk into a room full of people with my head held high and begin dancing, like no one’s watching. Confidence is what the My Black Is Beautiful movement is all about. (And that dancing like no one’s watching part, it actually happened… but I’ll get to that later.)
Kicking off their weekend of fun, MBIB hosted an exclusive influencer dinner with guests including Laurieann Gibson, Raheem Devaughn and performances by Sevyn Streeter and Amber Riley.
Getting in the groove with celebrity choreographer Laurieann Gibson.
Kindred the Family Soul
Sevyn Streeter and Digital Sorority
In addition to celebrating the goal of reaching and empowering over 3 Million young women and girls to embrace their beauty from within, the My Black Is Beautiful campaign also lead Essence Fest as the epicenter of self-love, beauty and entertainment.
BlogXilla and Vanessa James hanging with the Digital Sorority crew
Amber Riley and Raheem DeVaughn
Photo credit: Chris Mitchell
Friday launched the MBIB Digital Sorority Social Newsroom Takeover with Kela, Ty and I hosting celebrity interviews and revealing #AllTogetherBeautiful moments from Essence Festival in New Orleans. We got the chance to chat all things beautiful with Essence Fest celebs, plus get a few beauty makeovers and touch ups of our own from the fabulous beauty baronesses from the My Black Is Beautiful team.
Digital Sorority talks being #AllTogetherBeautiful in the MBIB Social Newsroom.
Kela Walker of KelasKloset.com cracking up inside the MBIB Social Newsroom
It’s only befitting that I got the chance to sit down with celebrity choreographer – Lauriann Gibson and discuss her favorite My Black Is Beautiful moments, why she partnered with MBIB and who she finds inspiration from. (Check out the video HERE.) We also chatted about my impromptu dance session where your’s truly had a dance party solo! *LOL*
Essence Fest may be over, but you can still enjoy the celebration by reliving all the fun at the My Black is Beautiful booth and check out the amazing makeovers, live music, celebrity meet-and-greets, and more on social media using #MBIB and #AllTogetherBeautiful. For more information about My Black is Beautiful, visit www.myblackisbeautiful.com and follow on facebook.com/MBIB, Instagram (@MBIB) and Twitter (@MBIB), using hashtags #MBIB and #AllTogetherBeautiful.
In today’s society, there’s no shortage of women who seek validation though beauty trends and societal standards. Tara Paige, the “Inner Glamorcist,” and author of “The Book Of G.L.A.M” wants to fix that. Kicking off Essence Fest weekend, Tara teamed up with Digital Sorority to host a FREE GLAM lounge in New Orleans. As an author, Tara is committed to empowering her readers to focus on the inner as well as outer glam. With the help of Kela, Ty and I – The G.L.A.M. Lounge is kicked off the 21st Annual Essence Festival experience, Thursday July 2nd at Magnolia Makeup Studios.
Author Tara Page and Digital Sorority at The G.L.A.M Lounge experience in New Orleans.
Tara’s new book has her traveling the world empowering women and teaching 4 Requirements of Your G.L.A.M. SQUAD!
G-Give constructive criticism. You cannot have a team of people who only tell you what you want to hear. They have to tell you the hard stuff. Those weaknesses and blindspots that we don’t like to see in ourselves.
L-Like you. Yes. There is a difference. Your family pretty much loves you. But your glam squad has to be made up of people who not only love you…they LIKE you. They want to be around you. Your bad off day does not stop them from being in your life. They are rooting for you to be the best you can be.
Guests enjoyed makeovers, custom color applications, freebies and more!
A-Articulate your strengths, not just your weaknesses. You need people who can spot your strengths, your stellar traits that you don’t see in yourself and root for you as you play to your strengths.
M-Move you into action. They will not allow you to play small. They will not allow you to dim your light They will be there to pick you up when you are knocked down. They will move you into being your best and greatest self.
Check out Tara L. Page via her latest tv news segment here.
Tara Paige isn’t just an author of this insightful knowledge, she’s also a student as well. Once a single & depressed mom of five, she’s now happily married with 8 children and travels the world empowering and enriching the lives of women by asking one simple question. WHO’S ON YOUR G.L.A.M. Squad?
I can definitely shout to the world that the ladies of Digital Sorority (Kela and Ty) are apart of my G.L.A.M squad. They keep me sane, encourage me and support me unlike any other team a girl could ever imagine. So who’s in your G.L.A.M squad?
For more information about the author Tara L. Page and the new G.L.A.M movement, visit FixYourGlam.com today.
Kevin Hart kicked off an epic Essence Fest weekend here in New Orleans, celebrating a sold out super dome What Now tour concert, a 3-year partnership with Verizon Wireless and today he celebrates his 36th birthday!
I caught up with Terrence J and Kevin Hart at the grand opening of the Verizon Live Experience booth at Essence Festival, where Kevin shares his thoughts on the moment he realized he’s achieving his life long dreams. Hart sat down with E News! correspondent and actor Terrence J to discuss some upcoming projects and how his fans have played a role in his success.
“I now understand that the one thing that people need and that we love is laughter. That’s the one thing that puts everybody together. That’s the one thing that takes any worry away. I provide that…I’m thankful, I’m blessed, but more importantly, I’m apart of a group — the fans that are doing this with me. We’re making history together.”
“It’s not just a Kevin Hart thing.” Looking onto the audience Hart continued. “You guys have been riding with me for so long so as I grow I share the success with my fans.”
Check out the exclusive chat with Kevin Hart below:
Kevin Hart officially opened the Verizon booth during a ribbon-cutting ceremony and welcomed fans with an exclusive meet and greet plus activations, games, prizes and more kicking off the 3-day Essence Festival weekend.
Verizon Wireless is all about keeping you connected to capture, share and relive your favorite moments from Essence Fest weekend forever. I’ve been keeping up with all of Kevin Hart’s behind the scenes fun on Periscope (If you haven’t watched yet, you’re missing out!) To keep up with all the Essence Fest fun and Verizon Live moments, stay connected by checking out #VerizonLive online!
Disclosure: The following content has been sponsored by Colgate; however, all opinions shared and stated below are my own.
Did you know your smile is truly your best accessory? This weekend in New Orleans for the Essence Festival fans hundreds of thousands of fans of all ages flashed brilliant smiles at the Colgate Optic White experience inside the Ernst N. Morial Convention Center.
As one of the biggest weekends in New Orleans, Essence Fest was sure to #BringTheLove as well as bring the smiles all weekend long! As one of the key partners for the music, empowerment and entertainment festival Colgate shared a variety of engaging activations, panel discussions and more encouraging fans on their journey to better oral and overall health.
“This year, Colgate has the unique opportunity to engage consumers with two Colgate brands that resonate well with the African American consumer — Colgate Total and Colgate Optic White,” said Carla Kelly, General Manager, U.S. Multicultural Marketing, Colgate-Palmolive. “We are so excited,” she continued,“to be at the ESSENCE Festival — it’s an amazing opportunity to have personal interaction with our valued consumers around such important topics as health and wellness.”
From working out to stepping out, your Colgate Smile is the beginning of a better you. During the 2015 Essence Festival, fans were encouraged to experience Colgate Optic White and Colgate Total brands all weekend long for tips on health & wellness and discover from insight from Colgate Total Conversation ambassadors on how taking small steps can make a big difference!
The “Colgate Total Conversation” was the highlight of the experience as a daily interactive, thirty-minute discussion featuring fitness guru Shaun T, celebrity fitness trainer Mark Jenkins, oral care expert Dr. Catrise Austin and reality TV star Tanya Winfield, from NBC’s Biggest Loser. Covering health and wellness themes from oral care to fitness that affect the African American community.
Essence Fest Colgate fans then got the chance to attend an exclusive meet and greet event with fitness guru Shaun T in the Colgate Total Empower U suite. Fans got up close and personal with Shaun T and asked lifestyle and fitness advice, snapped selfies and more.
Throughout the 3-day festival, consumers were encouraged to visit the Colgate experience booth, where they had the chance to engage one-on-one with Colgate Ambassadors and experts and upload photos from the Optic White red carpet social media booth.
Festival fans received plenty of Colgate Total Daily Repair goodies to help them along their journey towards total oral health. Did you know that something as simple as using the right toothpaste can make a big difference to your overall health? Brushing with Colgate Total is one simple step you can incorporate into your daily routine to help keep your mouth healthy, but it also has a positive affect on your overall health too! Colgate Total Daily Repair helps repair early teeth and gum damage before you my know it even exists. It contains a multi-active formula that kills bacteria, freshness breath and whitens teeth all in one!
By brushing with Colgate Total toothpaste twice daily, you can improve your gum health in as little as four weeks. Colgate Total toothpaste is approved by the FDA to help prevent gingivitis, the most common form of gum disease. Brand ambassadors shared the love and smiles with festival fans while empowering consumers with helpful tips and Colgate Total travel kits filled with goodies to keep up healthy habits while on the road and beyond.
The Essence Fest Colgate experience wouldn’t be complete without a quick photo opp of bright Optic White smiles with tv personality Tai Beauchamp. The Colgate Total experience went out with a bang, featuring “Style Sunday with Tai Beauchamp”. The exclusive meet and greet with inspirational style expert Tai Beauchamp, of TLC’s Dare to Wear kept the convention center fun buzzing! Tai Beauchamp met with fans of all ages on the #BrilliantSmile red carpet offering beauty and style tips, including her stylish secrets to ensure that “your smile is your best accessory.”
Thanks to Colgate Optic White and Colgate Total, more than 500,000 Essence Festival fans received a total health experience that will affect their overall health and encourage healthy smiles from the inside out!
Brace yourself. ESSENCE FEST is coming! ESSENCE Festival is going digital…and I’m excited for the fourth year in a row to be apart of it all! Watch ‘Live from the ESSENCE Festival’ digital shows come to life as an all-access digital and social media experience for fans featuring 24 hours daily of streaming video, as well as real-time newsroom and social media reporting across ESSENCE platforms Essence.com, EssenceFestival.com and YouTube.
In addition, ‘ESSENCE Live’ powered by Samsung will stream a one-hour special each day from Center Stage on the floor of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center; featuring celebrity guest segments, musical performances, live audience games and interaction, and much more. Each night, select musical performances will be live streamed from Superdome stages.
It’s only right that you get as close to the action as anyone else, right? That’s why I’ve called in reinforcements and have teamed up with my girls to bring you the exclusive Digital Sorority ESSENCE Fest experience!
We’ll be capturing all of the entertainment, style and substance of the Festival with wall-to-wall coverage all weekend long. Join myself (@DivasandDorks), and co-founders Kela Walker (@KelaWalker) and Ty Alexander (@GorgeousInGrey) as we get into all the ESSENCE Fest fun, host a bevy of event experiences and share amazing giveaways! Follow #DSEssenceFest for up-to-the-minute highlights and behind-the-scenes access to the artists, performers, speakers and influencers in attendance through videos, photo galleries and exclusive celebrity interviews all week long!
Digital Sorority will be on the ground and on the air via Instagram, Twitter, Periscope and Snapchat bringing you all the fun from the festival to the concerts and beyond!
Are you heading to New Orleans? Join in the fun by following @DigitalSorority and get social using #DSEssenceFest today!
We’re on the road to the biggest musical event of the year and I’m honored to partner with Verizon to share all the electrifying music moments, celebrity fan-fare, technology and more leading up to the 2015 ESSENCE Festival in New Orleans?
As a major partner of the ESSENCE Festival, Verizon is proud to be a part of the largest celebration of African American music and culture. Even if you’re not heading to New Orleans, Verizon’s got you covered with the best celebrity guests and latest technology with the Now Playing Tour. Discover why staying connected is so important when every moment matters when the Now Playing Tour delivers a taste of the ESSENCE Festival to cities around the country leading up to the big weekend July 3rd – 5th in New Orleans.
Did you miss the fun last week in the DMV? If so, you miss this!!!!
— DivasandDorks (@DIVASANDDORKS) June 20, 2015
— DivasandDorks (@DIVASANDDORKS) June 20, 2015
But don’t worry! You have one last chance to join in all the fun before ESSENCE Fest 2015!
Meet me in in LA as Verizon’s Now Playing Tour shuts down the city of Angels with FREE performances by Wale and more and it’s all hosted by Terrance J!
Verizon Now Playing Tour
Saturday, June 27th
Verizon Wireless Inglewood
3419 W. Century Blvd
Come out for a chance to be a part of fun, cool music trivia games and chance to win cool tech powered by Verizon. You’re also encouraged to take action against domestic violence by donating old phones and accessories on-site to HopeLine from Verizon. HopeLine is a program that supports domestic violence organizations across the country and has set a goal to reach 1 million phone donations by the end of the year. Get ready for ESSENCE Festival music and fun with the Verizon Now Playing Tour finale – Saturday, June 27th!
See you there!
Verizon is showing appreciation for customers and those who have attended their recent City Session panels with the “Big Pay Off” event where they can experience a special performance by Melanie Fiona and hear from entertainment experts in a dynamic panel discussion. The concert is part of Verizon’s “Potential of Us” campaign which empowers the African American community to leverage technology in pursuit of their passion and take hold of their futures.
Verizon has brought together some of the most influential personalities in the entertainment industry to share insights on building a lucrative career by tapping into one’s genuine interests. Hear from NBC Apprentice star Kwame Jackson, Director of Publicity for Entertainment at CBS, Noelle Llewellyn and other influencers as they unveil their strategies in building a personal brand and accomplishing success in an ever-changing industry. Following the panel, attendees will enjoy Verizon giveaways and performances by Melanie Fiona, Syesha Mercado, Vin Keatin and DJ KayB.
Want to go? RSVP to this exclusive invitation today: http://bitly.com/1IbtvH1
Join Strength of Nature and hundreds of tri state area women as we power walk for Dress for Success this weekend! Dress for Success empowers thousands of women around the world with suiting, employment retention, training programs and more – and this weekend you can join Beautiful Textures, African Pride and more amazing beauty brands in one of the biggest fundraising efforts of the year!
Strength of Nature Global, LLC one of the fastest-growing manufacturers of premium quality, affordable hair care products for women with textured hair, has announced a year-long partnership with Dress for Success. Founded in 1997, Dress for Success is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the economic independence of needy women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.
Getting involved is not only easy but also is an opportunity for you to make a lasting difference directly in the lives of women in your community. Please join Beautiful Textures, African Pride and more as we support and encourage women who are developing their careers and striving to achieve economic independence, with the ultimate goal of ensuring that every woman who walks through our doors comes to thrive both in work and in life. Discover how you can get involved and sign up by clicking the flyer below!
About Dress for Success
Dress for Success is an international not-for-profit organization that promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. Since starting operations in 1997, Dress for Success has expanded to almost 140 cities in 18 countries. To date, Dress for Success has helped more than 850,000 women work towards self-sufficiency. Visit www.dressforsuccess.org to learn more.
About Strength of Nature Global, LLC
Strength of Nature is one of the fastest growing companies in the multi-cultural hair care category, driven by its strong commitment to consumer understanding and innovation. Strength of Nature is committed to providing consumers with innovative treatments and styling aids that recognize and honor their right of styling choice. The company’s portfolio of brands includes a range of products that celebrate the diversity of its consumers and their hair choices. These include: Profectiv MegaGrowth®, African Pride®, Dream Kids®, Beautiful Textures™, Elasta QP®, Soft & Beautiful®, Soft & Beautiful Botanicals®, TCB® and Pro-Line®. Strength of Nature products are sold primarily at beauty supply stores and leading food, drug, and discount retailers, including Walmart, Sally Beauty, Walgreen’s, Family Dollar and Dollar General. Strength of Nature is based in Savannah, Georgia.