Half A Million People Went To Essence Festival — & These 25 Looks Stood Out


Half A Million People Went To Essence Festival — & These 25 Looks Stood Out

Here, I'll say it: Music festivals are overrated. The crowds, the weather, the lines, the exorbitant ticket costs. There is an exception, though, and that's Essence Festival. Now in its 24th year, the event draws annual crowds larger than Coachella from all corners of the world for the ultimate "party with a purpose" in New Orleans, Louisiana. And with last year's release of Girls Trip, Essence Fest 2018 was the biggest one yet — more than half a million attendees showed up.

Back in 1995, the event was originally conceptualized as a one-time weekend fête to honor Essence Magazine's 25th anniversary. When 142,000 people RSVPd, the organizers knew they were on to something greater than they anticipated. Since then, Essence Fest has evolved from big-name concert headliners to include workshops, panel discussions, and keynote speeches about politics, technology, health, style, beauty, and cooking.

"It’s a family reunion," Gabrielle Union told us at AT&T's Dream in Black Luncheon. "You see people you haven’t seen in years, and it just feels like a safe space to exist. And also a great place to build, to rally support, and to connect. It feels like a celebration of us."

It's a celebration of Black beauty, too. This year, there was no shortage of popping twist-outs, fluffy 'fros, bright wigs, perfectly blended sew-ins, gorgeous locs, and intricate braids. But unlike other festivals, these attendees didn't have to go overboard with their glam to get noticed. Women of all shapes, ages, styles, and skin tones rocked what was comfortable to them. Check them out in all their glory, ahead.

Half A Million People Went To Essence Festival — & These 25 Looks Stood Out

This just in: Rainbow hair is still alive, well, and wondrous.

Photographed by Claire Bangser Half A Million People Went To Essence Festival — & These 25 Looks Stood Out

Buzzed and beautiful.

Photographed by Claire Bangser Half A Million People Went To Essence Festival — & These 25 Looks Stood Out

It's obvious that this mother/daughter duo have good genes — and good taste in lipstick — in common.

Photographed by Claire Bangser Half A Million People Went To Essence Festival — & These 25 Looks Stood Out

Who needs edge control when you can accessorize with a printed headscarf that pulls your whole outfit together?

Photographed by Claire Bangser Half A Million People Went To Essence Festival — & These 25 Looks Stood Out

Or, give your curls a break and tie them up in a turban, like Ericka K.'s handmade ch0ked creation.

Photographed by Claire Bangser Half A Million People Went To Essence Festival — & These 25 Looks Stood Out

This attendee assembled her twists into a topknot so that everyone could see her awesome undercut...

Photographed by Claire Bangser Half A Million People Went To Essence Festival — & These 25 Looks Stood Out

... While another beauty wore hers loose and swept to the side.

Photographed by Claire Bangser Half A Million People Went To Essence Festival — & These 25 Looks Stood Out

These three friends came on their very own girls' trip, wearing different shades of blue to compliment their gorgeous 'fros and flat twists.

Photographed by Claire Bangser Half A Million People Went To Essence Festival — & These 25 Looks Stood Out

Sisterlocks (micro-locs formed by tightening the roots of your hair with a latch-hook tool) may take a lot of effort and upkeep ... but man, are they worth it.

Photographed by Claire Bangser Half A Million People Went To Essence Festival — & These 25 Looks Stood Out

A pixie cut can be tricky to pull off, but the hints of baby pink make it way more playful.

Half A Million People Went To Essence Festival — & These 25 Looks Stood Out

These Brooklyn-based sisters wore their angled 'fros with so much grace — and proved that a few well-placed snips can make a world of difference.

Photographed by Claire Bangser Half A Million People Went To Essence Festival — & These 25 Looks Stood Out

Aside from the New Orleans sunshine, this beauty's glow is also courtesy of Sephora Collection Colorful Face Powders, she tells us.

Photographed by Claire Bangser Half A Million People Went To Essence Festival — & These 25 Looks Stood Out

Just another instance where tapered curls rocked our world.

Photographed by Claire Bangser Half A Million People Went To Essence Festival — & These 25 Looks Stood Out

This beauty added variation to her fresh set of cornrows with the help of a little gold thread...

Photographed by Claire Bangser Half A Million People Went To Essence Festival — & These 25 Looks Stood Out

... while this reveler accented a single loc with the shiny string.

Photographed by Claire Bangser Half A Million People Went To Essence Festival — & These 25 Looks Stood Out

For , use setting lotion and sponge rollers to hold the shape — or braid them to the back for the waves to form overnight.

Photographed by Claire Bangser Half A Million People Went To Essence Festival — & These 25 Looks Stood Out

Twist-outs are great, but sometimes it's nice to see glorious texture in its natural state.

Photographed by Claire Bangser Half A Million People Went To Essence Festival — & These 25 Looks Stood Out

BRB, grabbing the nearest pair of scissors to copy this impeccable tapered cut.

Photographed by Claire Bangser Half A Million People Went To Essence Festival — & These 25 Looks Stood Out

Never underestimate the power of a bold berry lip.

Photographed by Claire Bangser Half A Million People Went To Essence Festival — & These 25 Looks Stood Out

If Essence Festival took place in Wakanda, then this beautiful spirit would easily be one of the Dora Milaje.

Photographed by Claire Bangser Half A Million People Went To Essence Festival — & These 25 Looks Stood Out

To find the perfect red, like this attendee's, makeup artist Keita Moore suggests choosing a deeper hue with a blue undertone, and amplifying it with a dot of bright red in the center.

Photographed by Claire Bangser Half A Million People Went To Essence Festival — & These 25 Looks Stood Out

Watch out, Flossy Posse: There's a new power group in town.

Photographed by Claire Bangser Half A Million People Went To Essence Festival — & These 25 Looks Stood Out

Nikki, a South Carolina-based stylist, did her own side-shaved cornrows...

Photographed by Claire Bangser Half A Million People Went To Essence Festival — & These 25 Looks Stood Out

... as well as her friend's twists, assembled in a lovely lob.

Photographed by Claire Bangser Half A Million People Went To Essence Festival — & These 25 Looks Stood Out

Confirmation that piecey bangs and a brimmed hat work well during any season.

Thanks to Ford, McDonalds, My Black Is Beautiful, and the New Orleans Multicultural Tourism Network for providing travel and accommodations for the purpose of writing this story.

Photographed by Claire Bangser

Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?

The Problem With Telling Women To "Age Gracefully" Is That We Don't Mean It

These Body Washes Will Get Rid Of Back & Butt Acne All Summer Long

29 Celebrities Who Ditch The Makeup On Their Day Off


Tags: Fashion, Music, Gabrielle Union, Brooklyn, Ford, New Orleans, South Carolina, Wakanda, New Orleans Louisiana, Essence Fest, Dora Milaje, AT T s Dream, Claire Bangser, Ericka K, Sephora Collection Colorful Face Powders, Claire Bangser BRB, Keita Moore, Claire Bangser Nikki, New Orleans Multicultural Tourism Network, Claire Bangser Like

Source:  https://www.refinery29.com/2018/07/203956/essence-festival-2018-beauty-style?utm_source=feed&utm_medium=rss