Vibrant color schemes, thousands rhythmically gyrating to Caribbean beats….the scene of Carnival 2016 in Notting Hill, London was an experience one should have at least once in their life. Being my first year attending Carnival, I knew it would be a booze and music induced fest. The crowds gathered were massive, with many people following the parade floats along the entire route, clambering to hear many of the 60+ Dj’s with a singular goal of dropping it low alongside costume-clad Carnival Performers. Pretty much anything goes here…the good, the bad, and the ugly. I saw men scattered along sidewalks with cups full of marijuana, craftily dishing out baggies to men and women exchanging £10’s as they passed by. People sent around helium balloons full of gas, meanwhile riled up party-goers celebrated with lots of alcohol as they danced in the streets. This event is definitely not for the crowd timid. At so many points during the day I was packed like a sardine, having to slither my way through the crowd to get to different music spots. Though a bit overwhelming with massive crowds and overly forward men grabbing for a dance, the weather was great and the atmosphere inviting. Overall I had a serious blast!
Besides the music and floats, one of the major to-do’s on any Carnival attendee’s list should be to indulge in the traditional Caribbean food sold at stalls all along the parade route. It was my turn to try my first Caribbean food sampling, testing out the Jerk Chicken and rice, with a dumpling and loads of spicy sauce poured all over. Can I just say, WOW! The spicy palette was one after my own heart–delicious, hearty and one I’m wishing I was savoring at this very moment. I love embracing different cultures, and what a fun way to see how many different kinds of people make up the wonderful city of London.
No matter if you attend to simply people-watch and check out the street-style and costumes. Or want to fully indulge the Caribbean culture spirit by dancing and enjoying delicious signature eats, Notting Hill Carnival is definitely a bucket list must!
Carnival isn’t limited to London in August. If your city is preparing to celebrate this fun event, then looking the part is something you’ll want to pay attention to. For every good Carnival goer, a festive outfit is a must. Check out a few of my personal tips and tricks to help you stand-out of the crowd and stun with killer makeup and an ensemble.
Tip #1: BRIGHT, BOLD, FUN!
Carnival is all about bright colors, clashing of bold prints, and whole lot of fun accessorizing. Don’t skimp out on the layered jewelry or brightly colored sunnies. Distressed ripped jean shorts, brightly colored sports bras peeking out from under a mesh black top—let your personality shine and your outfit do all the talking. Less is not more when it comes to Carnival, so don’t be afraid to throw on your brightest, wackiest prints and be ready to party.
Tip #2: SNEAKERS OR NAH?
During the summer months, Carnival is sure to be a hot one. Even though you may have those perfect summery sandals to match your outfit, beware of how dirty and trampled your feet are likely to get. I guarantee you will be wading through massive crowds and with that comes lots of trash, broken bottles, and drunk feet sloppily stepping all over the place. Not to mention how much walking you will do. Do yourself a favor and plan to either bring a spare set of slip-on trainers in your backpack, or skip the hassle all together and wear a pair of trainers. Nothing worse then aching, blistery feet after a long day trapezing through the Carnival Scape.
Tip #3: GADGETS AND GIZMOS GALORE
Tip #4: MELT YOUR FACE OFF
If you’re lucky, Carnival will fall on a warm summer day. For all those women who spend many precious minutes perfecting our Makeup looks, the last thing we want is for all our hard work to literally melt off as the day goes on. Lets be real, drunk face is never a good look. However, if you’re smart you will have pre-powered that face with clear setting powder so everything stays in place no matter how sweaty and intoxicated you get. Trust me on this.
For my Carnival look this year, I was going to wear cobalt blue shorts and a neon crop top matched with my Blue print kimono from China but my shorts ripped after the initial plan phase. So instead I opted for a more relaxed Tropical Floral Cami Maxi Dress I recently got on a mega-sale at Forever 21. Though black, the vibrant turquoise, yellows and pinks in the floral print were the perfect bright color choice for the occasion. I got real 90’s with a black velvet choker and some big silver hoop earrings to accessorize the look.
My Makeup look really played up and enhanced the colors found throughout my dress. Carnival makeup is very colorful and bright, so I wanted to make my eyes just that. Later this week I will post a tutorial video on how I achieved this Caribbean Mermaid Eye Look, and what products I used as well. Hope you enjoyed this post and stay tuned for more!