Maybe you’re in Trinidad, and woke up at the crack of dawn to slather yourself with oil or mud to play j’ouvert in the darkness before sunrise.

Maybe right now you’re sprinkling your skin with glitter before getting into that intricately adorned costume to palance and pose off in your all-inclusive section.

Maybe you’re in New Orleans getting ready to throw beads, drink hurricanes and ride on a float.

Maybe you’re in Brazil and are preparing to samba like Ash Wednesday doesn’t exist!

Photo via

No matter where you’re celebrating, I hope you have the BEST TIME, and while you’re having fun, be smart and be safe! If you need makeup tips, read this vintage interview with Trinidadian makeup artist Sandra Hordatt – makeup tips for Carnival WOW!

– Be sure to stay hydrated — it’s so easy to get caught up in the air of inebriation and excess and drink too much, but in the blazing sun that’s a recipe for disaster! Try to drink a glass of water for every alcoholic drink you have. That way you won’t get dehydrated or nauseous as the day carries on.

– Don’t forget to wear your sunscreen — skin cancer and sunburn don’t discriminate based on your color! I know many women with deep complexions who swear they “don’t need sunscreen.” I beg to differ. We all do, especially if you’re going to be jumping and waving in the hot sun for two days straight.

– Roll with a group — even if you’re a strong, independent woman who can take care of herself…be smart. If you have to run to the bathroom, grab a friend to go with you. If you need to take a break for a bit, take a friend or two. Don’t roll solo, don’t just disappear and not let your friends know where you went off to. Be smart about your surroundings.

And most of all HAVE FUN for those of us who can’t be at home to enjoy it!

Happy Carnival Monday and Tuesday to my Trinis and Brazilians, Happy Mardi Gras to my friends in New Orleans!



Elle @ Chellbellz says:
February 20, 2012, 8:40 am
I wish i was in trinidad right now! So jelly of my family who are there.
Jenissa says:
February 20, 2012, 2:42 pm
Amen to all you said :) Happy Carnival everyone!
NubianSoul says:
February 20, 2012, 5:24 pm
Oh how I wish I was there! All these bbm status updates about Carnival Monday...getting ready for the big day tomorrow....Road March, Groovy Soca....yes, very jealous!
bella says:
February 20, 2012, 6:14 pm
bella says:
February 20, 2012, 6:21 pm
I know everyone at home is having fun!!
bella says:
February 20, 2012, 8:47 pm
Next year is our year!
Anna Renee says:
February 21, 2012, 11:00 am
grownandcurvywoman says:
February 21, 2012, 12:46 pm
Its been my dream to go to Carnival in Trinidad and Brazil. One day Im gonna make it happen!
hirt says:
February 21, 2012, 2:13 pm
Hey, I found out how to win a Free Rimmel Lip Gloss You can get yours here:
Camille says:
February 21, 2012, 10:14 pm
I love carnival time!
Babe Hope says:
February 22, 2012, 8:45 am
I'm going to try to capture the colors of Carnival this spring - in what I wear!
Raijean says:
February 22, 2012, 9:09 am
I've always wanted to go to this, it looks like it's every bit of fun I think it is!!
pets says:
February 22, 2012, 12:44 pm
Thanks for this! Now it's Ash Wednesday and start of Lent - perhaps we'll jump up togther next year Ms. Afrobella.
winnie says:
February 23, 2012, 1:45 pm
I just got back from my first carnival in Trinidad! It was the most amazing experience ever! Trinidad is a beautiful island and the food is amazing! Bella, you should do another post on Trinidadian cuisine..with recipes
Nickie Leaks says:
February 26, 2012, 5:42 pm
After you've been to Trini carnival, you will not want to know another.
Stephania says:
March 1, 2012, 5:52 pm
I was so happy to see Haiti's Mardi Gras happen so beautifully this year! That celebration was so needed!
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