As you may recall, Essence Magazine held its first Best in Black Beauty Awards in the May issue (and online). I was elated to receive an invitation to the event, so in true Erin form, I jetted up to NYC that afternoon, and came back the same night.
Have you ever seen someone that you think you know, but aren’t sure, and semi-stare and look creepy trying to figure out if it’s them? Yep, I totally did that in a random coffee shop near the event. Who was the person? Chescaleigh! I’ve followed her on Youtube for years, and was definitely excited to meet her! Janelle Monae presented an award to Ted Gibson, Rosci Diaz was there, June Ambrose was a co-host. Every one of these ladies is pint-sized.
1. As a social media specialist, I love to see how brands integrate social into their strategy. Essence had a live gift wall, where the winning product was accompanied by the brand twitter handle. They also had a live twitter wall, showing everyone who used the #Essencebeauty hashtag. Did you catch my tweet above?
1.5. Here’s a quick video interview with Janelle Monae from the evening. She usually does her own hair and makeup, and she does a great job! She never leaves the house without her peace, positive energy and inner confidence (I’m writing this down on my vision board)! By the way, BaBopByeYa is my favorite JM track ever. If you haven’t heard it, check it out. The arrangement and her voice is colossal.
2. We got to see a side of beauty that we don’t usually see. We got to hear about careers that we often overlook, and were humbled by what these achievers had to say.
The honorees were: Balanda Atis, Group Leader, and Janine Cherette, Color Cosmetic Scientist, of the L’Oréal USA Research and Innovation team; Ted Gibson, celeb hairstylist to the stars and head stylist on What Not To Wear; Janis Smith-Gomez, Vice-President of Marketing for Johnson & Johnson; Lisa Logan, go-to manicurist for Beyoncé and Pat McGrath (who was not present but sent regards on video), the makeup artist who masterminds the runway’s most sought-after looks from New York to Milan. There are hundreds of jobs like these in the industry.
3. The assortment of beauty elite was dense and overwhelming. I studied the work of Baze Mpinja for years (hoping to follow in her footsteps), and there she was in front of me. Zandile Blay, who I also follow, was in the mix too. Mikki Taylor, who taught me quite a bit just a few short months ago, was seated at stage right.
4. Lisa Logan’s mantra. Always be over prepared, give the client every option, if you don’t know it, figure it out. She made is clear that nails are what makes her happy, and that she would succeed no matter what. Good thing she hasn’t seen my nails.
5. Speaking of the live twitter wall, we got to chose 12 products that we wanted to try. I picked L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow, Maybelline New York EyeStudio Master Precise Liquid Inkpen Liner, Hard Candy Lashoholic Mascara, HIPP X RGB Nail Tints, and a couple other things. I’m looking forward to seeing if these products are really the best of the best!