My #EssenceFest 2018 Experience With Unilever

Earlier this month, I had the time of my life living it up in the Big Easy. I went to New Orleans for my fourth ever Essence Festival. This year, I attended as a Unilever Partner and had the opportunity to hang out at their “Relax, Refresh, Take Care” booth at the convention center. I went to brunch with them to hear all about the new #BeautyLooksLike campaign, and I had an all-around blast experiencing some of their products for the first time. Even though this was not my first time attending the festival, it was my first time attending as a guest of Unilever and they had so many dope things going on. Considering this was their first year as an official Essence Fest sponsor, it was amazing to see how much they catered to pampering attendees. Not only did they give away loads of free product at their booth, they also gave really relaxing primping services for all of the women (and men!) who came to experience Essence Fest. Here’s what I got into:

Unilever’s booth featured a two-level experience that included everything from free foot massages courtesy of Dove’s Pedi Parlour to hand massages and nail art courtesy Vaseline’s Healing Hands counter, hair touch-ups and even free flower crowns courtesy of TRESemme. I personally got a chance to experience the Pedi Parlour and I feel like I died and went to heaven. Do you know how badly I needed a foot massage after spending the days before Essence Fest chasing after my two kids and packing simultaneously?? Oh and don’t forget the walking tour of the French Quarter I decided to do upon arrival (why did I think that was a good idea?). Mama needed that foot rub – badly.

Courtney (@CurlsAndCouture) was my running buddy during Essence Fest. We had a blast. The massage therapist used Dove’s new Exfoliating Body Polish and my feet felt amazing – super soft and good smelling. Yassss. 

After this, we hopped into the Degree photobooth – because we’ve never met a photobooth we didn’t like. I also got my curls touched up at the TRESemme braid bar. Thankfully they did more than just braids at the bar. One of the hairstylists touched up my curls and smoothed out my frizz (NOLA heat, chile bye!) using TRESemme products. It was so hard to keep my hair curled while outside in the NOLA humidity, but the hairspray she used helped with holding the curl.

Ursula Stephen, one of my fave celebrity hairstylists, was the creative director of the Braid Bar so she stopped in here and there for appearances as well.

The following day, I hopped over to the TRESemme Flower Crown station and had another queen adjust my beautiful flower crown that I literally wore the entire day. It was so pretty! I posted an IG video about the process here:

In addition to hanging out with Unilever at the Convention Center, I also had the opportunity to attend brunch with the Unilever team to kickoff their newest campaign – #BeautyLooksLike. Esi Eggleston Bracey, who is the EVP and COO of North America’s Beauty and Personal Care at Unilever, was our gracious host and she announced and explained that Unilever is launching a new campaign called #BeautyLooksLike, whose purpose is to shine a light on the unique experiences of black women, as it pertains to how we view beauty.

That’s Esi pictured above, writing on the Self-Esteem affirmation wall at the convention center. She’s focused on really encouraging conversations around confidence and beauty for women of color, which I am ALL about.

Take a look at the video below:

Overall, I’m so proud and honored to have had the opportunity to experience yet another Essence Festival. This festival, for us and by us, is so necessary every year. It’s like a big black girl magic reunion. And as women and particularly as women of color, it’s so important for us to take time to ourselves to restore and recharge.

We take on the weight of SO MUCH. Our crazy jobs, our families, our businesses – we take care of everything and everyone and often forget to take care of ourselves. I really appreciate Unilever for supporting the mission of self-care, and emphasizing the importance of pampering with their free services and products. I can’t wait to go back again next year for the 25th anniversary!

This post was created in partnership with Unilever brands. All opinions above are my own and not those of the company.

Christina Brown

Lifestyle influencer and digital mompreneur Christina S. Brown is a New York native, LA resident, and the founder of and BrownGirlsLove. She's an award-winning storyteller, a motivational speaker and an advocate for confident millennial black women.

Get in Touch


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Related Articles


Latest Posts