Being Caribbean, I wanted to somehow bring as much tropical vibes as possible to Notting Hill Carnival from head to toe, so aside from waving my Jamaican flag I felt it was only necessary to wear my natural hair in a free-flowing, bouncy, curly, beach-ified updo!
HAIR: To achieve this look I put my hair into a high ponytail and left out a fringe and a few strands at the back, before spritzing the ponytail with water. Next I sealed in the moisture with olive oil and encouraged my curls to form using my hands. Lastly, I added some extra curls to the fringe and strands at the back with a small curling wand to add some variation.
The atmosphere at carnival this year was exceptional! All in all, the vibes, music and weather set the tone for celebration. Here are 5 Carnival Hacks EVERYONE should know:
- First things first, create a group chat. Losing a friend in the hustle and bustle of Notting Hill Carnival is only fun for about 3 seconds. Contacting your friends can be quite difficult so before you head out, create a group chat so that everyone sees the same information at the same time.
- Fuel is important, bring snacks! When I was younger my aunt would bring a packed lunch with fried chicken, a selection of drinks, the works. For those who prefer to pack light, snacks like cereal bars paired with water and a small juice are essential for a quick energy boost and hydration.
- Pack a couple of travel size toiletries such as deodorant, hand sanitiser and wipes to keep fresh, especially incase you need to use portable loos. Some residents and restaurants do allow carnival goers to use their toilets for about £1-£2 but it is still a good idea to carry wipes or some tissues. (I used the toilet in a Caribbean food shop and someone had completely soaked the toilet roll, luckily the staff had another one close by) Mini toiletries are great for anything from makeup disasters to getting rid of germs fast!
- Evaluate the essentials. Leave your heels, sandals and brand new white trainers at home (please, it’s not worth it) comfort is key. Shoes that you can stand in all day, and shoes that can be wiped clean are ideal for carnival. If you have car keys that are attached to your set of house keys and you aren’t driving… Take them off and leave them at home! If you usually wear any sentimental pieces of jewellery, opting for costume jewellery is generally the safer option.
- Bring Cash! There will be tons of stands selling a variety of Afro-Caribbean dishes along the way, mainly specialising in Caribbean cuisine. If you know you love your Jerk chicken, make sure you have some cash for extra food, drinks and most importantly, getting home.
Lastly, make sure you enjoy!