Thursday, July 12, 2012

My Black is Beautiful: The MBIB Booth Experience at Essence Music Festival 2012

(Photo Credit: P&G/MBIB)

My Black, Your Black, Her Black, His Black....Our Black was indeed Beautiful last weekend in New Orleans during the 2012 Essence Music Festival.

Procter & Gamble's My Black is Beautiful was one of the top highlights, at this year's Essence Music Festival. Outside of Queen Aretha Franklin's and other amazing performances, throughout the weekend, I dare anyone tell me that the MBIB Booth Experience was not THE highlight of the official EMF daytime activities. ::waiting...waiting:: I thought not.

Imagine a Future...

MBIB kicked the festivities off on Thursday evening by announcing an amazing and exciting initiative, Imagine a Future, that is a collaboration with UNCF (United Negro College Fund) and Black Girls Rock! (BGR!). Imagine a Future is designed to positively impact the lives of one million black girls over the next three years by documenting the current state of black beauty and providing tools and resources to foster a greater sense of self-esteem and confidence within the next generation of young black girls. Over the EMF Weekend, MBIB distributed $3,000 in book awards to six black female students and one $5,000 academic scholorship to a New Orleans-based black female student through the UNCF Empower Me Tour book award sweepstakes. The announcement of this iniative was a beautiful thing to be a part of, as the cause is one that I am passionate about, especially since becoming an aunt to my now 7-year old niece. If you'd like to learn more about Imagine a Future and the MBIB movement, please visit: www.myblackisbeautiful.com or www.facebook.com/mbib. You can also follow and join the movement on Twitter @MBIBmovement.

Mayor of New Orleans Mitch Landrieu, UNCF's Monica McCluney, Beverly Bond, First Lady of New Orleans Cheryl Landrieu, My Black is Beautiful representative Verna Coleman-Hagler and local UNCF representative during "Imagine A Future" scholarship presentation. (Photo Credit: AP Images)


My Black is Beautiful: The EMF2012 MBIB Booth Experience

MBIB Booth before the Doors opened to the EMF 2012 Crowd (Photo Credit: AP Images)

Beginning at 9:30am on Friday morning, and steam-rolling like a riverboat non-stop through Sunday evening at closing, festival attendees in town (from all parts the world) made their way to the hottest spot in the Ernest Morial Convention Center...the My Black is Beautiful booth! It truly was the place to be, all weekend long. Not only was it your one-stop shop for all things beauty & personal care. It was also the place to spot your favorite celebrities hanging out, one behind the other. Celebrity Makeup Artist, Ashunta Sheriff (who I found out is a fellow Mississippi Girl...whoop whoop!), held live makeup demonstrations each day and filled us in on all of the fabulous and affordable products in the CoverGirl Queen Collection. You had the opportunity to sign-up for consultations and touch-ups provided by the talented team of MUAs, as well. Face Beat? Check. Next, you moved over to Pantene Relaxed & Natural's Touch-up Beauty Bar. I loved that they had a variety of well-versed hair stylists there, which only helped to acommodate us curly girls! (And there were PLENTY of us, let me tell you! That in itself was such a beautiful sight to see. I almost felt like I was the natural hair show and I didn't receive the memo. It was that many curls, kinks & waves everywhere you turned, this year.) Pantene had us all covered this year. So if you weren't feeling your hair, as Nikki says, then all you had to do was sit down for a nice, healthy hair dry style and learn about the Relaxed & Natural line of products. Hair? Check. Then, you stepped over to Olay's studio inside the booth to indulge in mini-massages and skin consultations. Pampered Bella? Check. Celebrity Dentist, Dr. Catrise, was on hand at the Crest Smile Wall to offer screenings and give you tips on putting your best smile forward. Picture-Perfect Smile? Check. Finally, it was time to step in front of the camera and strike a pose and give face for the MBIB photo cameras. "Smile....You're a Star!"

My Black is Beautiful w/ MBIB EMF 2012 Blogger Correspondents
(Veronica W. for MadameNoire & Myself on behalf of CurlyNikki.com)


You also had a chance to test new products at the Gain "My Scent" Booth, and if lucky, got to play the Matchmaker game w/ host Demetria Lucas to find your perfect scent match. Everyone, throughout the convention center all weekend, was able to experience how Bounty brought it with cleaning up spills and how Charmin enhanced the bathroom experience with their attendants, products and more. On top of all those fabulous services, you received lots of swag at the many stations that you visited inside the MBIB Booth.


And, then, if ALL of THAT wasn't enough? MBIB was definitely where to find your favorite celebrity dropping in to help celebrate the inspirational movement that our BLACK is indeed BEAUTIFUL. When Ms. Bevy Smith (MBIB Ambassador) speaks, everyone listens honey. From Beverly Bond to celebrity hair stylist, Chuck Amos, everyone dropped by to chat with the social diva throughout the weekend. A snippet of that list reads like this: June Ambrose, Goapele, Toya Wright, Faith Evans & the Real R&B Divas (Monifah, Nicci Gilbert, KeKe Wyatt and Syleena Johnson), LeToya Luckett, the OMG Girlz, CoCo Jones, Q Parker of 112, Raheem DeVaughn, The Braxtons, Eric Roberson, Free, Eva Pigford, Cynthia Bailey and many more.


See the slideshow below for more official & candid photos from My MBIB Experience:




In wrapping, I'll just say this: If you plan on attending the 2013 Essence Music Festival, numero uno on your EMF To-Do List should be the My Black is Beautiful booth experience! I'm not just being biased because I worked with them this year, either. I have pictures to prove that the lines did not quit all weekend, until forced to on Sunday evening. MBIB is an exciting movement that is on its way to spreading their inspirational message to even more girls and women in African-American communities throughout the world. With MBIB's help, we will indeed redefine and/or create our own individual beauty standards.

So, save the date, chicas! Next year's Essence Music Festival is taking place July 4-7, 2013 and it is definitely a "Bucket List" kind of experience. I think that every African-American should experience the EMF festivities at least once in their lifetime. Now, who's down for a curlfriends vacay to NOLA for the 19th Annual Essence Music Festival? I hope to see all of my fellow curlies in Nola to help celebrate with me and all of my Gulf Coast natuarlistas!

A very special thanks to my new curlfriend forever, Nik, for allowing me the extraordinary opportunity. You Rock, chicadee! :)


Until next time....

extraordinarily,

Stephers


Be sure you keep up with all things MBIB (My Black is Beautiful) and their new Imagine a Future iniative by visiting www.myblackisbeautiful.com. Also, Join the movement on Facebook (www.facebook.com/mbib) and Twitter ( @MBIBmovement).

Monday, July 2, 2012

My Black Is Beautiful...at Essence Music Fest in NOLA

*waves* Hi my fellow curlies!

My name is Stephanie and I am super excited to inform you all that I will serve as your My Black is Beautiful EMF correspondent on behalf of CurlyNikki.com, during Essence Music Festival, this coming weekend. I will make sure that all of CurlyNikki’s readers at home receive a taste of the exciting MBIB experiences happening here in New Orleans. Before giving you all of the details on how to stay updated on all the MBIB excitement over the weekend, let me give you a little background information about My Black Is Beautiful.

My Black is Beautiful (MBIB) is a movement that celebrates the diverse beauty of Black women everywhere, igniting pride and helping redefine beauty standards. The MBIB campaign was created six years ago to spark a broader dialogue about African-American beauty and excite black women everywhere to act as catalysts in their communities.

Why is the My Black is Beautiful movement goes hand in hand with a CurlyNikki reader and/or someone going natural, you ask?

In my opinion, it truly takes accepting and embracing your own unique and individual beauty when going natural. This is especially true when a female decides to do the big chop. We all know that hair has always played a major role in defining whether society considered an African-American female beautiful, mostly from others within our very own community. That’s why the term “Good Hair”, and the way it’s used in the form of a compliment, doesn’t sit well with quite a number of people. So, because hair is such an important part of an African-American female’s make-up, it is only fitting that when one decides to embrace her natural tresses that she also accepts and celebrates the unique beauty that is hers alone. And, this is what the MBIB movement is all about...celebrating the diverse beauty of Black women everywhere and defining our own standards of beauty.


The MBIB campaign is a part of Proctor & Gamble’s long-standing commitment to touch and improve the lives of African-American women everywhere. MBIB offers African-American females a wide range of superior products and services that meet her unique needs. It is supported by P&G’s beauty and personal care brands including: CoverGirl Queen Collection, Pantene Relaxed & Natural and Clairol, Crest and Oral-B, Olay and Always.


There is going to be a lot of MBIB activities going on throughout the weekend and I am excited to bring you some of the highlights over the weekend! From CoverGirl Queen Collection Touch-Up Beauty Bar with celebrity makeup artist Ashunta Sherriff and the Pantene Relaxed & Natural Touch-Up Beauty Bar’s healthy hair dry style to Olay Discover the “Olay for You” Studio’s mini-massages and skin consultations, I will be sharing all of the excitement with those of you at home. And, if you’re headed to New Orleans for EMF like myself, make sure you pop into the MBIB booth! This year MBIB will be providing a truly unique experience for attendees including exciting activities, photo opportunities, surprise guests, giveaways and much more.

To keep up with all of MBIB’s EMF action, visit My Black is Beautiful or join the movement on Facebook and on Twitter. Be sure to follow CurlyNikki.com, as well as my Extraordinary Chic blog and Twitter at @xtraordnarychic (look out for my tweets with the special hashtag #CurlyNikkiMBIB) to find out about my MBIB experience throughout the weekend.

Okay, there is still so much to do and we’re already down one day this week. Gotta run! Seriously, so much to do....so little time! But, before I forget! If you're headed to down to Nola for EMF, comment and let me know! I might do a #NOLAFIERCE giveaway if I get enough responses! ;-)


extraordinarily...

Stephers

p.s. - A very special thanks to you, Nik, for the wonderful opportunity. You rock, chicadee! :)

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Naturalista Takeover Pt. Deux: Nola Edition

::cues my Jigga-ness:: It's.About.To.Go.Down.

Heeey chicas!

Ok. So, we all know what time of the year it is, right? Well, besides Hurricane Season....it's Summer Festvial Season, y'all! Annnd, less than one week from today, we're kickin' it up a notch like Emeril for Essence Music Festival weekend in Naw'lins!

Essence Weekend is known for having a million daytime and nightime events jumping off all throughout Nola non-stop, from Thursday to Sunday....even while the actual nightime EMF concerts are happening. It's truly one of the biggest party weekends of the year...every year. Nola takes EMF's "Party with a Purpose" slogan to heart, I tell ya. lol

Well, Gulf Coast Naturals wanted to bring an annual event catering to natural hair, beauty & lifestyle community during the festive weekend. So, after much debate with my pessimistic bff (good ol' fashioned self-doubt), I decided to tune her out and just go for it. So, Fierce.Fly.Fabulous 2011 was born! It was a successful first year event, thanks in part to the fabulous Felicia M. Leatherwood (Celebrity Natural Stylist to the likes of Jill Scott, Will Smith, Tomiko Fraser, etc.) and her highly-popular Loving Your Hair with Natural Care workshop. A great time was had and we knew that GCN would definitely plan for a naturalista takeover of Essence Weekend 2012.

And now, with the natural movement gaining more and more mainstream attention, this year's Essence Weekend has several beauty events that will cater to the naturalistas for what is sure to be a Naturalista Takeover, indeed!


The Naturalista's Guide to Essence Fest Weekend 2012


It all kicks off with our favorite CFF (curlfriend for life...in our head, at least), CurlyNikki! The diva is known to throw her infamous CurlyNikki Does..." Meetups and it's finally New Orleans and the Gulf Coast's turn! I am too friggin' excited! I've been getting my Jessie Spano "I'm sooo excited..." on since Nikki's teaser post two weeks ago. Peep the clip below!



Unfortunately, that will probably be me after next weekend, y'all....for real....no, seriously. And, here's a taste as to why:


The Naturalista Takeover of NOLA/Essence Weekend

Natural Beauty, Hair & Style Events geared towards Naturalistas



Thursday - July 5, 2012


What: CurlyNikki Does New Orleans
When: July 5th 7:00-10:00pm
Where: The Sugar Mill
1021 Convention Center Blvd
New Orleans, LA 70130
Why: Because who better to throw a fierce party to kick off what will be a fly weekend in the fabulous city of Nola than Nikki?!? I'm just sayin...




Friday - July 6, 2012
African Pride is returning & Motions is joining in on the fun w/ hair & beauty events that begin on Friday and run for multiple days over the weekend. Click on the respective flyer for all the deets and to RSVP for either Pop-Up Beauty event!


 


Carol's Daughter is also returning with her Annual Pop-Up Boutique w/ Celebrity Appearances and Meet & Greet opportunities for those who make a purchase of $35 or more.
See Flyer Below for Details:




Saturday - July 7, 2012 & Sunday - July 8, 2012

Now, you all know that Gulf Coast Naturals was not about to miss returning to Essence Weekend with our Fierce.Fly.Fabulous naturalista event! Especially with others flocking to Nola for some Naturalista Fun in the Sun! This year, GCN teamed up with Jasmine over at NaturalHairParade to co-produce this year's festivities. We've got something for the naturalistas, men and kids! Fierce Special Guests & Keynotes? Check! Fly Vendors? Check, Check. Fabulous Atomosphere? Yes Indeed. There's so much goodness scheduled that I must do a separate post for FFF, which will soon follow this one. :)

For now, take a glance at all of the Fierce, Fly & Fabulous action that Gulf Coast Naturals and NaturalHairParade.com are bringing to Nola Natives & Tourists this EMF Weekend:


RSVP for any and/or all of the Official FFF festivities here: Fierce.Fly.Fabulous 2012