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PHOTO COURTESY OF EXCLUSIVE ACCESS

This year, Essence Fest turned 20! Over 500,000 people touched down in New Orleans for four days of empowerment, musical performances, and parties! The folks at Design Essentials invited me to take part in their Big Easy festivities, and I wanted to share the experience with you, #NaturallyCurly World!

Watch the Video

Below, watch my quick travel vlog from the weekend and click through to read more about my Big Easy weekend with Design Essentials.

Big Easy Celebrity Style Lounge with Ledisi

On Friday, I joined the Design Essentials crew at The W French Quarter for the Big Easy Celebrity Style Lounge. Not going to lie -- I made a beeline for the food first! Guests enjoyed a spread of red beans & rice, seafood, and other Louisiana fare.

The lounge was great for pampering and relaxation. Joi Mebane, creator of The Look By Joi was there to minister to your eyebrows. You could sit down for a massage and use luxurious body products from Jones & Rose, enjoy Morning Glamour satin pillowcases for your natural tresses and a free Design Essentials gifting station! The Natural line holds a special place in my heart -- the Moisturizing Conditioner was the first product that helped me realize I could finger detangle! No small accomplishment for a #4Chairchick! Guests could stock up on faves or form a custom regimen with the help of the Design Essentials team!

Grammy nominated (and New Orleans born & raised!) singer Ledisi was the special guest for the afternoon and she is just as magical in person as she is on stage! I saw her here in Austin a few weeks ago, and I left our short interview with the same bubbly feeling that I had at the end of her show.

We all love Ledisi’s locs, and this time they were in chunky bantu knots. Sounds like a simple look to recreate at home for all you loc’d readers! I’d do it too, if my loose natural hair was that thick and full...

Ledisi added a cute scarf and it gave her whole look a fun 50s vibe. Now onto products: Ledisi’s fav Design Essentials products for locs are the Twist & Set Settling Lotion and Sleek Edge Control, which won our NaturallyCurly Editors’ Choice award this year!

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