“The only natural beauty festival in the world that was created by five Black women for Black women.” ~Simone Mair, co-founder of the Curly Girl Collective and CurlFest
Glistening, pride, power, natural, love. The only words needed to describe the scene at Randall’s Island in NY this past weekend. The throngs of natural hair beauties, at least 100,000, covered the green grass of Icahn Stadium for the sixth annual CurlFest 2019. The music throbbed non stop, as you heard inspirational words at the Empowerment Stage.
Hair, skincare and drink sponsors offered free braiding, entertainment and products to all the attendees. The early birds left with Creme of Nature gift bags filled to the brim and didn’t mind waiting on the long lines for product.
Mack Wilds, Yandy Smith-Harris, Tiffany M. Battle, Jacque Reid were just a few of the celebrities and influencers to grace the CurlFest Empowerment Stage.
The encore to Saturday’s festivities was the RollerFest, sponsored by Target at the LeFrak Skating Rink at Prospect Park. The venue decorated with every primary color in existence and a ball pit, showcased a throw back skate party with Top DJs on stage and in the rink.
There were smiles and laughter at every turn. A successful event indeed! Visit http://www.curlfest.com for information on their next event in Atlanta this fall.
I met the amazing and wondrous Vydurya Lokesh at the Priscilla Ono Masterclass in NYC this past summer. I was the oldest woman there and realized quickly I was way out of my league in the course. The silver lining, outside of learning that makeup application is an art, is meeting Vy. Her aura is gentle, kind and she glows. I mean her skin glows! She reminded me of Lupita Nyongo, who also has luminescent skin and happens to be the direct descendant of Eve. I wouldn’t be surprised if Vydurya has DNA from a Goddess of Light. It’s who she is and I hope I captured it in this collection of photos.
One of the evenings after class, I invited her to have dinner and we ended up at Eataly near the World Trade Center, after visiting MAC, of course. At dinner, she went on to tell me about her childhood and the tribulations she experienced at such an early age. I realized that her past made her clueless on her beauty. She was just happy to be alive and be a positive influence to everyone she meets. The entire dinner, I kept thinking what a classic beauty she is and how I would love the opportunity to photograph her. She was shocked and moved when I finally asked her.
Her last night in the states she spent with me in Maryland and we shot until late evening. I am happy to share these with you and hope you can see the light that reflects from Vydurya that I noticed from the moment we met.
As she likes to say, “I am destiny’s child. “, not the singing group, but a child of faith that walks in light.
Please make sure to follow her on Instagram @VyduryaLokesh and Facebook @Artistry by Vydurya Lokesh.
Gospel artist and Philly native, Tamika Patton performed at the Stellar Independent Artist and Quartet Showcase and mesmerized the audience. Her rich, full bodied voice moved everyone as she sang her new single “Lord Fill Me Up”. The winner of Radio One’s ‘Best Inspirational Singer in America 2011’ contest, Ms. Patton has traveled the world sharing her God given talent and spreading the word through her ministry. Her talents can be seen on stages as an actress as well, performing as Mahalia Jackson with Loretta Devine and Don B. Welch productions. She’s also shared the stage with gospel greats CeCe Winans, Yolanda Adams, Kirk Franklin and many more.
Here is a snippet of video of her performance at the Stellar Awards event.