Getting me ready for the red carpet and my first official correspondent gig was a journey in itself. It was fun and glamorous every step of the way. For an opportunity like this, I didn’t want to leave anything to chance. I put myself in the capable hands of my glam squad, from Chicago to Los Angeles. Let me tell you about the incredible women who helped me put this look together!
For quite some time in Chicago, I had been seeking THE PERFECT eyebrow expert. I’d been to a few threading spots around town, they were inconsistent. I’d tried Luvvie’s go-to eyebrow expert, Mimi at Kiva Spa, in the Macy’s at Water Tower Place. Mimi is amazing, but somewhat inconveniently located for me. I needed someone nearer and just as good. And then there was Zizi, and all was right with the world.
I had first heard of Zizi via my friend, celebrity makeup artist Tia Dantzler. Tia was telling me that the best facials were available not far from me. I had no idea what awaited when I entered Universal Esthetics by Zizi. Zizi is one of the most knowledgeable, gentle women in the industry. When she plucks or waxes you, she can explain exactly why each hair does what it does and why she’d recommend taking care of your skin differently than you might do. She is well versed, so smart, and with her I know I am in amazing hands.
The last time I visited Zizi, I got my brows and face done to perfection, and then fellow aesthetician Sheridan gave me the most transcendental, full body facial experience I’ve ever had. Imagine a facial that includes a shoulder and foot massage. Imagine a facial that comes with customized aromatheraputic benefits, that is so gentle that you might fall asleep through it. A facial that you wake up from feeling refreshed and calm, with glowing and gorgeous skin. If you live in Chicago, make an appointment to see Zizi or Sheridan at Universal Esthetics by Zizi and thank me later.
When it came time to get my nails done, I wanted to go somewhere I knew and loved. I decided to head back to The Nail Social. I wrote about this neighborhood Chicago spot in 2011 and it remains a favorite. The day before I left for LA, I ducked into The Nail Social for an appointment with a young manicure artist named Maya. She was new to nail art but open to my suggestions and the manicure came out perfect!
Maya is a very sweet girl with sick nail skills, and I also love the energy of the owner, Harpreet. She is just a warm hearted sweetheart. I love the ambiance there. If you’re looking for a cozy nail salon with a family vibe, check them out.
The dress was its own amazing experience in itself! This citrus yellow dress was the vision of Olivia Diggs-Ogbara (aka Dressmaker by Olivia). I met Olivia through Luvvie (click to read Luvvie’s What I Wore post!). Creating this dress was a truly exciting, collaborative process.Olivia and I went together to buy fabric and visited 4 different fabric shops on Roosevelt Road. When we finally found this cloth, we both knew it could be something special. I said YES but inside, I hesitated. The color is so bright, the texture so unusual! Could I work this dress? Or should I go with a safer alternative? The citrus dress came down to a game time decision, and the Target team loved my dress. Olivia did make me a safer alternative that I will wear at another time. Because she is amazing like that. Expect to see me wearing clothing by Olivia more often! The whole dressmaking process was so exciting!
Accessories and shoes
I was sent to LA to represent Target, so of course I rocked Target accessories and shoes! There are chic, quality items to be found in store and online, and I really like the jewelry by Lonna and Lilly – I rocked their enamel circle frontal necklace in black, with bracelet to match. I rocked these dangly gray earrings. Shoes can be an issue for me because my feet are so extremely flat, but I managed to find a chic pair of pointed flats by classic brand Sam and Libby. While others around me were in pain from their stilettos, I was standing tall in my adorable, comfortable flats. Love them!
People ask me from time to time who my hairstylist is, and I realize that really, the only person who touches my hair besides myself is the brilliant Felicia Leatherwood. I maintain my own ‘do until I visit her in Los Angeles. Felicia is a self described hair nerd, but to me she’s a hair genius. Like Luvvie says, she’s the hair whisperer. Felicia is able to command my tresses to her will, whip Luvvie’s locs into shape and she really can work with any texture of hair but natural hair is her calling. If you’ve never attended a Loving Your Hair With Natural Care Workshop, you are missing out. Felicia visits cities around the world and empowers women with necessary information. She’s so awesome. I’m so blessed by her friendship.
Check out this photo from the Essence Black Women in Hollywood luncheon – we’re Felicia’s girls! She did my hair, Luvvie’s hair, and the gorgeous updo of Mad Men actress Teyonah Parris. We look GOOD!
You can follow Felicia on Facebook, Twitter (@LovingYourHair) and Instagram to keep up with her international adventures and new hair awesomeness!
Whenever I have a fancy event in Los Angeles, I call on Nicole Evans to get my look all the way together. Nicole is an incredibly talented makeup artist with such a sweet, peaceful, calming spirit. Nicole is knowledgeable, skilled, and she listens to your needs before creating a look. She got Luvvie and I together for the 2012 Academy Awards red carpet, she hooked me up for the BET Awards, and for this event we went with a retro pin up girl look with bold, winged liner and a hot fuchsia lip. The makeup lasted all day and well into the night, even under hot lights and me being sweaty and anxious. Nicole, you rock!! Look out for more of her wisdom right here on Afrobella.com, and check out her work on Instagram (@NEvansMUA). And if you need a makeup artist in LA, visit her website here.
Thank you to everyone who made me look and feel beautiful and prepared for such an amazing experience. I love and appreciate you all so much!!