Essence Festival 2015 Recap #BringTheLove

Ernest N. Morial Convention Center

Ernest N. Morial Convention Center

Essence Fest is like going to your family reunion and rather than hiring your cousin Boobie to DJ there’s Grammy award winners, legends and rising stars. Touted as one of the largest marketing events with a highly desirable demographic of black women, Essence Fest is something everyone should experience at least once. Inevitably you will let out squeals of excitement as you run into people from your past on Bourbon Street and the performances at the Superdome are equal parts electrifying or intimate depending on if the artist is on the main stage or performing in one of the lounges.

Goapele Verizon Lounge

Goapele Verizon Lounge

Jonathan McReynolds, Verizon Lounge

Jonathan McReynolds, Verizon Lounge

This is my second year attending the festival and I was committed to experiencing the empowerment sessions and other awesome opportunities beyond the music.

The session that touched me the most was an overview of the keys to finding your soulmate with Sarah Jakes Roberts and her husband Toure Roberts. They were funny, insightful and engaging but most importantly they delivered a powerful message about healing as an individual before seeking out your soulmate. At one point I was looking for an usher to pass me a tissue as their transparency raised questions from the attendees and it became clear that though we were not in church, yokes were being broken and people were being saved from repeating relationship mistakes.

Sarah Jakes Roberts and Toure Roberts

Sarah Jakes Roberts and Toure Roberts



Make plans to attend next years festival now as hotels sell out quickly. Check out the Essence Festival site for updates on next years’ line up.



Kelly Rowland

Kelly Rowland

All photos courtesy of Brian Hall, Luxe Glam Media

Big Easy Style Lounge 2.0

Design Essentials Coconut and Monoi

Design Essentials Coconut and Monoi




Design Essentials hosted the Big Easy Style Lounge 2.0 during this past weekend’s Essence Festival and Ledisi announced the introduction of a Look Book created in conjunction with the brand. The style lounge continues to be one of the premier day party events for beauty bloggers, naturalistas and celebs alike.

Attendees were treated to massages, mini-makeovers and given an opportunity to try products from the coconut and monoi line (which I love!); an added bonus for me was I won a gorgeous Gregory Sylvia leather bag as part of the door prizes. Trust me, the bag is all kinds of gorgeous and this pic doesn’t really do it any justice.


Winner! Gregory Sylvia Bag w/ Host Jade of Lipstick and Curls

Normally when I travel to New Orleans, I always opt for some protective styling because the heat does my natural hair no favors. However I decided to rock my Fro this trip and the coconut and manoi product line from Design Essentials was the perfect remedy for my thirsty curls. The curling gel tamed my frizz and gave me great definition.
Check out design essentials to learn more about their full range of products.



photo credit: Brian Hall,

Style Item Of The Week- Kim Kimble Beauty

Acai Berry Brazilian Nut Serum

Acai Berry Brazilian Nut Serum

Silk elastic bands

Silk elastic bands

Kim Kimble has been on my radar for quite sometime; as the hair guru behind some of my favorite celebs looks I’m a huge fan of her work and the especially love the inside look of her life via WeTv’s L.A. Hair. Kimble is not only a highly sought out stylist she is always adding to her arsenal- striking the perfect balance between stylist and entrepreneur. Kim Kimble beauty offers a range of products with a focus on style and healthy hair. I recently had the opportunity to try Kimble’s silk hair ties and acai and berry serum; with the heat and humidity of summer in full swing Kimble’s hair ties are just what the doctor ordered for pulling back my tresses in the healthiest way possible. Because the ties are made with silk and are metal free- they are gentle on the hair and minimize the tangle and pulling that can often result from other bands. I am a naturalista currently wearing a weave with just a small leave out in the front; my natural hair is also color-treated so it’s incredibly important for me to keep my hair moisturized. The Acai Berry and Brazilian Nut serum provides equal parts shine along with moisture without heavy build up.

Interested in trying out the silk bands or serum? Ghetto Fashionista readers are eligible for a 10% discount their purchases. Visit and use code hair10 at checkout.

Want to know more about Kim Kimble? Visit her website 

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Mourning Maya


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There have been many personalities to “pass on” but never have I felt a loss as deep as when I opened my email to discover that Maya Angelou was no longer of this earth. No more newly knitted words crafted from the woman who exclaimed
” Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. / I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size… ” *
giving pride to this and all black girls with too many too’s to ever be considered beautiful- too fat, too loud, too black, too ugly… But yet in spite of all my “too’s” my milkshake can still bring the boys to my yard, because Dr. Angelou told me so.

She also gave us haughty permission to swivel our hips to the beat of an unheard of ancestral drum all the while celebrating the very essence of womanhood.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Baby!! Still I Rise gives new meaning to diamond life.

Maya Angelou’s greatness will forever live through her poetry, her boldness and her life that was clearly lived out loud. She has many legacies which is ultimately the greatest testimony to a life well lived but for me, her break down of what it means to be truly phenomenal, beyond societies expectations, outside the realm of normal standards of beauty has always put a little more starch in my backbone… A bit more arch in my step and given me the ability to revel in the fact that I am indeed phenomenal…

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman

Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.


*Excerpted poetry from Maya Angelou “Still I Rise” and Phenomenal Woman

Get The Look- Rihanna’s MUA Dishes on Her Met Gala Makeup


Rihanna was resplendent in a midriff bearing Stella McCartney gown at last nights Met Ball and her luminous skin and flawless makeup was hands down her best accessory.

MUA Mylah Morales created Ri Ri’s look and she prepped her skin with vbeaute buying time as a moisturizer topped with their undercover agent.

As a makeup artist myself I cannot emphasize how important it is to properly prepare skin before application! Take a few minutes to understand your clients skin care needs in order to ensure the longevity of your work.

Morales used MAC products last night: ” I used a dark brow pencil to fill it in and finished it off with a brow crème to look it in place. Concealer foundation then powder to make her skin more flawless than it already is. To contour her face, I used a dark bronzer to contour and highlighter in her cheek area both by M.A.C. Cosmetics. I lined her eyes with the M.A.C. Pro Longwear Eye Liner in Definedly Black. For her eye lids, I used a taupe colored shadow all across pulling it out with the shape of her brow. Her look is finished with a splash of color by using a lilac colored lip lined with a pencil.”

For more information on vbeaute visit

56th Annual Grammy’s Recap

The 56th Annual Grammy Awards took place last night and if you watched while engaged in social media the general consensus across Facebook and Twitter was the show was rather boring; the highlights for me included Mr. And Mrs. Carter AKA Beyonce and Jay-Z opening the show with a performance of Drunk In Love the hit from Beyonce’s self-titled album. Kendrick Lamar’s performance with Imagine Dragons resulted in me joining Lamar’s fan club- seriously, color me a HUGE Kendrick fan. Other highlights included Daft Punks performance with Pharell Williams, Stevie Wonder and Nile Rogers and a rather confusing wedding officiated by the gorgeous Queen Latifah.

As usual, the real focus of any award show is always the red carpet and here are my favorite looks from the evening:

Rita Ora was in an iridescent cocktail length dress by Lanvin. I loved the bombshell-esque waves of her hair, the bodycon fit of her dress and her makeup,were all just pitch perfect.

Rita Ora

Rita Ora

photo source

Tamar Braxton
I’m a huge fan of Tamar’s music, however her fashion choices always ring inauthentic to me. Last night she found her voice wearing crimson Michael Costello.

Tamar Braxton

Tamar Braxton

photo source

Taylor Swift wore a chain link Gucci gown and was simply stunning in a gown that quite possibly could be my favorite look of the evening.


Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift

photo source

Beyonce also opted for a Michael Costello gown which definitely demonstrated her alter-ego “Yonce” is here to stay.




photo source 

Please visit Grammy for a complete list of winners.

Introducing Clementine Croissant- French Stylist to the Stars

Clementine Croissant is a French Master hairstylist from Belfort, in the north-east of France. Her interest in hair was fostered very early on and subsequently led to her studies at the challenging French hairdressing school at the center of formation municipal of Belfort in France.

After she graduated she worked in several small salons but was quickly noticed for her talent and was eventually hired by Salon Olivier Rosse, a famous French Salon, with four franchises and hundreds of international clients.

Miss Croissant quickly distinguished herself from the rest of the hairstylists and her reputation went well beyond the limits of Belfort. She quickly assembled a roster of demanding, international clients and also included a clientele of young artists who wanted to change their image or were in need of an expert hand in terms of helping them define their public persona.

Miss Croissant’s portfolio includes a range of several celebrities that she worked with at the genesis of their careers, when they needed an expert hand to help them define their image and make them more attractive to the public, brands, movie directors and modeling agencies .She can name Tahar Rahim the French movie star who won the European Film Award for Best Actor and the Grand Prix Du Jury for his interpretation of Malik El – in Prophet, the Jacques Annaud film as one example of her prominent clientele.

Miss Croissant always wanted to keep her low profile. She refused all offers she got from the most prestigious Parisian salons because she wanted to remain close to the mountains where she grew up which allowed her to ski and spend quality time with friends and family.She took advantage of the wonderful French system of transportation and was able to be in Paris in a few hours when she was needed for a photo shoot, for preparing her clients for an interview on TV, or for the screening of a movie scene.

Becsuse of her diligence and commitment to her craft, Miss Croissant became one of the most sought-after, young French hairstylist and at age 14 was named Master Hairstylist at Olivier Rosse. She was praised by her clients for her expertise in hair cutting techniques, but also at defining the style that would fit best their needs or the needs of a particular brand.

These days Miss Croissant has her sites on the OKYO Salon in DC-famous for styling the most influential celebrities on the DC political scene. She will soon begin a new exciting career in the US and considering her amazing portfolio and experience I am sure her talent is sure to place her at the top of the DC social and beauty scene.

You can visit for more details on the salon.


Beyonce Offers Intimate Glimpse With New Tumblr

I have no problem admitting that I am a Beyonce Stan. From her iconic beauty, to her amazing talent Bee is a business woman who is strategic with everything she does. Well, Mrs. Shawn Carter just released a delicious new tumblr account which offers images of Beyonce unedited,  in intimate moments with her family. Feast on the eye candy simply titled “I am” here.

Beyonce and Solange


Beyonce’s Countdown Video

Beyonce is back with a new video Countdown which proves once again why we continue to love her.  Her new video features a raven-haired Bee and she’s rocking so many of the trends that I adore for fall- the 60’s –influenced top knot and the cat eye liner paired with a bubble gum pink are just a few stylish elements in the video.

What do you think?


ABFF Beauty Lounge

Miami played host to the 15th annual American Black Film Festival and the Black Glitterati were out in full force. In addition to multiple film screenings, there were master classes in everything from the business of movie making to learning how to hone your acting chops.

During the festival, Tracy Wilson Mourning hosted a Beauty Lounge in conjunction with Janice and Denise Tunnell, the gorgeous twins behind the Illusions Cosmetics line.  The event attendees included  some of the most beautiful and well-dressed women I encountered during my Miami visit. The energy was great, the mojitos were flowing and everyone was relaxed thanks to the pampering that included massages, make-overs and hair styling.

The Honey Child collection by Mourning offers up some of the most fragrant and emollient scrubs, body oils and lotions I have ever experienced.  I loved the fragrances so much, I chose both Lover and Kiss, both fragrances embody the promise to “envelope the body calms the mind and kisses the soul”.

Visit  to learn more about this exciting collection.

Honey Child potions and lotions

Tracy Mourning describing the line to Sheree Whitfield


The GF w/ Tracy Wilson Mourning

There were a long line of fashionistas waiting to get their faces beat by the Illusions Cosmetics line.  The company was founded by celebrity make-up artists (and Baltimore natives) Janice and Denise Tunnell. The range was created with women of color in mind and the lip gloss has received accolades from the likes of Taraji P. Henson and carries the names of some of our favorite movies including: Carmen Jones, Brown Sugar and Mahogany just to name a few.  Visit  to get yours today!

Illusions Cosmetics Make-Over

There was a long line for massages

Fashionistas with their goodies from Honey Child and Illusions Cosmetics

Hair styling courtesy of Chez Badeux Salon


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