Disclosure: I am a spokesperson for OLAY participating in the ESSENCE Festival Style & Beauty chat, while the talent appearance has been compensated all views expressed below are my own.
During Essence Festival in New Orleans, My Black is Beautiful celebrated 10 years of inspiring women of all ages to cultivate and celebrate our Black Girl Magic from the inside out. Utilizing beauty consultations, intimate conversations breaking beauty myths, I teamed up with Essence beauty editor Nykia Spradley and Dr. Thompson from OLAY to share tips, tricks and the science behind achieving naturally glowing skin for the summer.
For more than 60 years OLAY has delivered phenomenal products to celebrate and enhance generational beauty passed down from our grandmothers, mothers and now for us. Cultivating quality ingredients and formulas that enhance our skin and empower the idea that ‘Black Don’t Crack”. In addition to vitamins like B3, retinol and SPF, there’s a complex blueprint behind the science of creating beautiful skin and OLAY has cracked the code.
Everyone wants beautiful, healthy, radiant skin and it all starts from the inside out. Clean eating with emphasis on fresh fruits, vegetables and plenty of water is the key to unlocking younger looking skin. If you’re not a huge fan of drinking water, grab a water bottle infuser and add fresh strawberries, cucumbers or lemons for a refreshing splash of taste.
If you’re ready to upgrade your skin from the inside out, try pairing OLAY Regenerist Luminous Collection because its properties and ingredients really do enhance my skin by fading dark spots and giving me a beautiful, healthy looking glow. The Luminous Collection uses a Skin Brightening Complex which penetrates 10 layers deep into the skin’s surface to fade the appearance of dark spots. That’s some deep tissue moisturizing right there!
Olay’s #1 selling face cream – Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream – is enhanced with vitamins and skin firming properties to keep you looking ageless with the added bonus of SPF 30. Since Olay is committed to helping women make smart beauty decisions, it includes SPF in its facial moisturizers and body lotions for convenience.
I know we’re busy women with careers and children, but you must also wash your face daily (especially before bed), and moisturize. Don’t go to sleep with make up on! If you’re really on the run, Olay has made it easy to remove make up and wash your face with convenient micro-exfoliating wet cleansing cloths.
We all know the mantra “Black Don’t Crack” but now we can make sure we have flawless and ageless looking skin with a few changes in our diet and adding OLAY to your daily beauty routine for an easy skin fix. How do you keep your skin glowing all summer long? Share your thoughts below!
Your next business trip or vacation will only be as great as your next hotel stay. A hotel room with alleyway scents and views, bad plumbing or noisy neighbors can potentially ruin an entire travel experience. One of the most asked questions I’ve received is “How to score upgraded hotel stays?” I’ve discovered what travel insiders have known for years, upgrading your next hotel stay is a lot simpler than most people think. From rooms with spectacular views to complementary meals, beverages and more – uncover four insider secrets to upgrade your next hotel stay recently shared on Essence.com today.
Upgrade Your Hotel Room
There are many ways to request complimentary room upgrade, but you’ve got to be smart, stealth and polite about it. Typically, guests checking in later in the day have a better chance at scoring an available room upgrade. One of the best ways to score a complementary upgrade is to greet the front desk agent with a smile and tip up front. By simply walking up with a smile, id, credit card in hand and greeting the front desk agent with a $20 tip you open up a world of upgrade possibilities. Make sure you’re assertive and let the agent know “This is for you. Whatever you can do for me, I’d appreciate a room upgrade, late checkout, wine, whatever…” and watch the hotel experience upgrades come rolling in.
Upgrade Your In-Room Ambiance
Celebrities like Beyoncé, Mariah and Madonna upgrade their hotel room ambiance with signature essences like flowers or candles all the time. Nothing makes a hotel stay feel more like home than adding unique touches that appeal to the senses to ensure a more relaxing stay. That’s where a pre-planed hotel travel kit with lavender bath salts & pillow mists become essential when packing for your next trip. Packing satin pillowcases, scented candles & a Bluetooth speaker for your favorite music are also great additions to include in your hotel travel kit. For less than $20, you can create and pack your essential hotel room kit filled with your favorite scents, sounds and even sweet treats that will make your next hotel stay a great visit.
Looking for more insider secrets? Check out my full article on Essence.com HERE.
The ESSENCE Black Women in Music event took place last night in Los Angeles, California honoring the U.K. native and featured an exclusive performance from Sandé with special guests. The ultra-glam, star-studded event, presented by the Lincoln Motor Company, kicks off the week leading up to the 56th Annual Grammy Awards and is designed to shine a light on African American women in the music industry.
“Emeli Sandé brings fresh, groundbreaking style as a performer and songwriter, which makes her a perfect match with the new perspective the Lincoln Motor Company is bringing to the luxury segment,” said Shawn Thompson, Lincoln manager, multicultural marketing. “Lincoln is pleased to be the presenting sponsor of the 2014 ESSENCE Black Women in Music event because it celebrates strong and creative women.”
Emeli Sande’s debut album, Our Version of Events, became the top-selling album in the U.K. for the second year in a row and to date has sold 238,000 units in the USA, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
In a statement released about the honor, Essence editor-in-chief Vanessa K. Bush shared, “Emeli Sandé’s soaring confidence as a songwriter and fearless self-expression as a singer is in the tradition of many iconic female trailblazers such as Nina Simone.”
Celebrities in attendance included: Chrisette Michelle, Sevyn Streeter, Michelle Williams, SWV, Kelly Price, Malinda Williams, Kelis, Vivica Fox, Tank, Goapele, Ledisi, Mara Brock Akil, Erica Campbell, Leonna Lewis and more… [Discover which celebrities loved posing with the Lincoln MKC here.]
Sandé joins previous Black Women in Music honorees Mary J. Blige, Kelly Rowland, Janelle Monaé, Solange Knowles, Lianne La Havas and industry veteran Sylvia Rhone.
Looking for ways to enjoy your Summer In The City? No matter where you live in the world, there’s always unique experiences you can find almost anywhere. There’s no better place in the world like New York City in the summertime, and I want to explore everything the city has to offer. So I thought, why not bring along my girls to do things that we’ve never done before for Essence Magazine’s “Girlfriend Adventures” series. We’ve tackled the rock wall in Brooklyn, and learned some salsa moves, so our next stop? Spicing it up in the kitchen at Cook&Go.
What is Cook&Go? Cook&Go Culinary Studio allows participants, who are not professional chefs, to learn culinary skills in a fun, relaxed environment. Original menus test the limits of culinary aesthetics, while at the same time respecting traditions. There is a spirit of fun making dishes that are accessible to all skill levels. You don’t have to be a professional chef, you just need to have a passion for learning, sharing (and eating!). Cook & Go uses high quality, fresh products and a passion for teaching to help you to create healthy, well balanced meals.
I had such an amazing time and each dish we prepared exceeded my expectation of deliciousness! This foodie’s dream came true inside of that kitchen, so much so a food blog could be in the works soon… maybe DivasandForks.com? (HA!)
Check out the entire experience via Essence Girlfriends series below…
What happens when celebrities, international entertainers and tourists from all over invade the city of New Orleans… it becomes the most epic Essence Music Festival experience ever! Over 540,000 attendees from around the globe descended upon New Orleans this Fourth of July weekend for the 19th annual ESSENCE Festival, making 2013 the largest in the event’s 19 year history. (It’s no wonder why Priceline.com has listed New Orleans, LA the most searched destination for 4th of July Weekend!)
The epic weekend included:
The All-New ESSENCE Family Reunion Day hosting more than 55,000 people in Woldenberg Park featuring empowerment panels, family-friendly games and activities, exciting musical guests, delicious food from New Orleans’ best barbecue vendors, cooking competitions, fireworks and exciting musical guests.
First-ever partnership with MSNBC to broadcast live throughout the weekend from the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, featuring shows PoliticsNation and Melissa Harris Perry, among others.
First official ESSENCE Festival App garnered 14,500 downloads and tripled ESSENCE mobile consumption throughout the weekend. Plus, ESSENCE Festival was trending across social media, e.g. close to 50,000 Instagram posts and more than 24,000 uses of #essencefest on Twitter
An incredible performance by Beyonce to a packed Superdome stadium to close out the Festival, plus headliners Maxwell, New Edition, Charlie Wilson, Brandy, Jill Scott, Janelle Monae, Trey Songz, Keyshia Cole and many others – comprising more than 50 R&B, pop, and soul artists across 5 stages each night at the Superdome.
One of music’s biggest weekends has come to a close, but the excitement is still going strong! Check out some of our favorite celebrity moments, performances and candids of Essence Music Festival Weekend below…
Photos via Essence.com
Sponsors of the 2013 ESSENCE Festival™ include presenting sponsor Coca-Cola and major sponsors Ford, McDonald’s, My Black Is Beautiful, StateFarm, Verizon and Walmart as well as official sponsors MSNBC, Coors Light, TV One and Visa Prepaid.
Did you check out the Essence Music Festival weekend fun in New Orleans or online? Share some of your favorite moments below!
Essence.com listed a few of their favorite fashion instagrammers & we can’t help but agree that the list is FIERCE! Check out a few of our favorite fashionistas on Instagram below…
Check out more top Instagram picks on Essence.com
Missing all the fun, excitement, music & entertainment of Essence Music Festival? Don’t worry. Escape To New Orleans episode 2 is here! Recently, I got the chance to explore the city, alongside Nate from WorldWideNate.com to get a bona fide experience of what New Orleans, Louisiana truly has to offer. Thanks to the Ford Escape – I got the chance to escape to New Orleans and experience the rich history, delicious food & a certain je ne sais quoi – that’s authentic, only in New Orleans. From the Pralene Connection to the French Market and the haute nightlift of Frenchmen street – Check out the second of four webisodes airing on Essence.com this week – below.
Over the weekend two special Essence Music Festival fans were treated to an intimate style refresh compliments of Coca Cola and haute style guru – June Ambrose. Coca-Cola launched their “Style Refresh”contest, where two festival attendees text-to-win and were announced via the Essence Music Festival mainstage. We caught up to June backstage at EMF right after the Style Refresh winners were announced to talk EMF Fashion Do’s, Don’ts and the one must-pack item for next year’s festival.
On EMF Fashion Don’ts & Dos…
“I have turned a blind eye to the fashion don’ts seen during Essence Music Festival, however you can never go wrong with a flowy maxi dress during Essence Music Festival. That’s the one item that every girl needs to have in their suitcase for next year…” – June Ambrose
On Over-doing the maxi-dress trend…
“Try optional maxi looks, for example the mullet look (a maxi dress that is short in the front and long in the back) – it gives you a great alternative look while embracing the comfort and feel of a maxi.” – June Ambrose
The very next day, each winner received a shopping and styling experience with June Ambrose at Saks Fifth Avenue in New Orleans. We got the chance to meet with both winners as they shared their personal style, fashion consultation with June and what they had learned though this amazing experience. Check out the Coca Cola Style Refresh Press event where June talks style, motherhood & stilettos below…
During the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans, LA over the holiday weekend – Verizon Wireless kept busy hosting several events celebrating life’s journeys starting with a celebration of women making it to the next level in life with the Verizon SuperLife Graduation.
One year ago, Chaka Khan’s The Chaka Khan Foundation in conjunction with the Institute of Women & Ethnic Studies and ESSENCE partnered on the SuperLife Transformation Program™, an in-depth life and community-altering transformation process for deserving women who wished to accomplish their lifelong goals. To launch the program, these women first gathered at the 17th annual Essence Music Festival and met with Chaka Khan and author/inspirational speaker Iyanla Vanzant before embarking on an extraordinary journey of personal and community improvement. Now one year later, each of these women returned to where their journey began—on the Essence Empowerment Experience stage at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.
“The SuperLife Transformation program has been an oasis of optimism as these women whom we celebrate are likely to become the entrepreneurs and leaders that this country needs,” says Chaka Khan, 10-time GRAMMY winner and Founder of The Chaka Khan Foundation. “After witnessing their transformations in the past year then to come full circle and commemorate their triumphs in this wonderful and memorable occasion will be one of my fondest days to remember.”
Photo Credit: Chris Mitchell
If you’re looking for the genuine New Orleans experience, look no further. Recently, I got the chance to explore the city, alongside Nate from WorldWideNate.com to get a bona fide experience of what New Orleans, Louisiana truly has to offer. As a native (of sorts), my lineage has roots in the Crescent city, however my experience is limited as I’ve only been to New Orleans once before at the age of 9. Thanks to the Ford Escape – I got the chance to escape to New Orleans and experience the rich history, delicious food & a certain je ne sais quoi – that’s authentic, only in New Orleans. Check out the first of four webisodes airing on Essence.com this week – below.