Carnaval Kanaval Carnival!! A Diasporic Celebration & Party @ Cumbe, Sat. March 2nd

Carnival Celebration Flyer side 1 (1)

I started off 2019 expressing my thoughts as an artist, and now, I am putting it all into action. In the month of January I was contacted by the wonderful team at Cumbe: Center for African And Diaspora Dance to take a class and learn more about their organization. As of now, I have been taking Samba class on Tuesday evenings with Danielle Lima, and am very excited to announce that I will be performing!

On March 2nd, Cumbe will be holding Carnaval Kanaval Carnival!! A Diasporic Celebration & Party. The format is an informal dance party with pop-up performances by Careitha Davis, Danielle Lima, Azriel Wallace, Cumbe students (me!), and DJ THECAINMARKO. Food and drinks will be available.

Tickets are $10 in advance, and $15 at the door. You may purchase here: http://bit.ly/CarnivalMar2. Come out and get your carnival fix in Brooklyn!

Music: Featured Spotify Playlist, “Funkysexydownnow.” By @andreakcastillo

Funkysexydownnow

Hello friends!

Yes, it has been a minute and a half since I have updated the blog. In my pursuit for racking dough and musical playlist perfection, I have not updated in a few weeks. Now that I am back, I have a little treat for you. I am delving more deeply into playlist making as for me, it is one of life’s great joys after eating a delicious meal, and jumping into the sea on a scorching day.

I originally created the Funkysexydownnow. playlist a few months back, inspired by the heavy Disco and Funk stylings of LA-based Gavin Turek’s track, “The Distance.” It was literally a one-song “playlist” for weeks. After playing on repeat, I figured out where I wanted to go, and what I wanted to include. My whole vibe is sexy music, so I knew that had to be there. Funk pushes me forward, so I had to include that. Cooler autumn weather translates to downtempo beats (for me), and I wanted all of the tracks to sound fresh and current.

After  many weeks of adding, deleting, and rearranging tracks, I present to you, Funkysexydownnow. Eighteen sexy, funky tunes that you will have in constant rotation all season.

Press play above to wind it down with a funky groove! Be sure to follow as I more than likely will add a few more tracks to extend the chill vibes.

 

*Photo & Graphic by Andrea K. Castillo

For Proper Tequila Cocktails & Healthy Mexican Bites, Visit Cítrico In Brooklyn

Citrico Bday

L-R: Luis & Noor (Owners of Cítrico), Me, Kortnee, Erica, Jason

This Monday, July 24th, was and always is, a special day. For one, it is my birthday, and secondly, it is #NationalTequilaDay. Last year I brought in year 30 with a huge brunch courtesy of Patron, and for this year, I brought in 31 with some close friends, and the team at Cítrico.

Cítrico is a fresh Mexican restaurant & bar in the Prospect Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, opened in 2014. Owners (and married couple) Luis & Noor modeled the menu off of some of Luis’s family recipes, as well as the cuisine of the southern states of Mexico. As the topic of conversation was tequila, I spoke to Noor about margarita alternatives that Cítrico offers, as well as testing a few out with the help of my girls Kortnee and Erica.

citricosalsas

Salsa Platter. Photo courtesy of Cítrico

To help soak up the drinks, we started with the salsa platter, which included house-made tortilla chips, pico de gallo, guajillo salsa, salsa de arbol, and tomatillo salsa. In addition, we snacked on chicharrines, not to be confused with pork chicharrones, which is made from a flour base and has a similar consistency to Funions.

Our feature cocktails were the following:

  • Citrico Tropical: Tequila (or mezcal); pineapple and mango
  • Tlaxcalita Bella: Tequila, cranberry juice, lime and fresh mint

  • Guerrero: Espadin mezcal, tequila, hibiscus, lime, orange and agave

 

Dive into our live session, and see how we rated the cocktails and snacks in the video below!

 

Be sure to LIKE our Facebook page here-> A Life In The Day of Andrea.

The Many Faces of Andrea

Good News

We’re getting ice cream after this?

When the week ends, and the night falls, what is on your mind? Do you want to log off and unwind? Do you want to hang out with your homies that you didn’t have a chance to see during the week? Or do you break free and run the streets? Summer nights are always my favorite as they tend to have the most expansive range of being super chill, or filled with adventure. A few weeks back, I had one of those nights.

Hair Flip 1

Unleashing the curls

On an unseasonably cool evening in June, I met up with some homies on the fly to hang out. We started the evening having burgers at a spot in Park Slope, and then deliberations began of where we would go to next. Off to the movies? To a rooftop party in Williamsburg? To a house party in Bed Stuy? Despite the weather, I suggested going to Coney Island. It always evokes a feeling of nostalgia, and if we were to get hungry again, there are a plethora of options on and near the boardwalk.

Hair Flip 2

In mid-air

As the majority of us happen to be photographers (I unfortunately left my camera at home this evening, but had back up) we decided to go on a photo walk of sorts. We began at Nathan’s Famous on Surf Ave, snapping the Brooklyn landmark and its iconic lights. While gazing down the block a bit more, I noticed the Coney Art Walls, an outdoor exhibit of street art from various well-known visual artists, were a few feet over, so we scoped it out.

Hair Flip 3

In action

We took a load of photos, though a bit limited as the viewing hours of the walls end at 10 PM and we were in the area at approximately 11 PM. I personally wanted a few new photos for the blog, so I asked my buddy Antoine to snap me. My creative direction? Capturing me letting my hair down. I feel a lot of my photos on the blog or my social media show a more stoic gaze, with my hair pulled back in a bun. With these photos, I really wanted to capture me letting loose, and my many faces.

Pensive

In a pensive mood

Here we have my general thinking face. This is the face I make when I am trying to solve a problem, thinking of how I should go about writing a new post or piece, or the look of daydreaming. This is also one of the first photos where I have been able to show off my new matte black-framed specs from Mó Eyewear.

Something In My Eye?

HOLD UP! There’s something in my eye!

This is one of my more extreme expressions when something is in my eye, or on my face. Although it may not be the most flattering look, it is me in my natural state. As my curls were down, I am pretty sure a strand of hair grazed my eyeball, and I was eagerly trying to get it out of the way.

I'm Trying To Be Serious!

Stop making me laugh!

This is the, “I’m trying to take a serious photo, but you keep making me laugh!” face. My friends are hilarious, and oftentimes when I try to create a serious or sexy pose, that all goes out the window because of laughter. My laughter is quite physical, and usually involves moving my hair and shaking my entire torso.

I love to laugh, and love to show my true faces in the company of friends. I hope now you can see a little bit more into my life.

 

*Photos by Antoine Bennett

Event: Dirt Don’t Die: A Celebration of the Life of Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Fri. 11/18 in Brooklyn

Hip Hop heads in NYC, this one is for you. November 13, 2016 marked the 12th anniversary of the untimely death of Wu-Tang Clan founding member, Ol’ Dirty Bastard. He passed two days before what would have been his 36th birthday. To celebrate his life and legacy, the family of ODB along with the folks at Chemistry Creative bring us Dirt Don’t Die: A Celebration of the Life of Ol’ Dirty Bastard

Hosted by Ivy Rivera, the event will feature a live DJ set by legendary Hip-Hop producer Ski Beatz, who will be spinning proper 90’s Hip Hop in addition to ODB’s entire catalogue. There will be a live performance by ODB’s son, ODB Jr, and many more special guests!

Tickets are $20 online and at the door, and can be purchased in advance via Eventbrite. For more info, head over to the event Facebook page, and prepare yourself to enter the Brooklyn Zoo!

 

Dirt Don’t Die: A Celebration of the Life of Ol’ Dirty Bastard

Fri, Nov 18, 2016, 6:30 PM – Sat, Nov 19, 2016, 12:30 AM

CHEM LAB WAREHOUSE

315 Ten Eyck Street

Brooklyn, NY 11206

What I’m Reading: “The Bridge To Brilliance: How One Principal In A Tough Community Is Inspiring The World” by Nadia Lopez

A few weeks back, I recapped the book release and conversation event for Dr. Nadia Lopez’s newly published work, The Bridge to Brilliance, at BRIC Media House in Downtown Brooklyn. As I have completed the book, I wanted to share my experience in reading it, and the lessons that have rang true to me. The Bridge To Brilliance is a non-fiction work by Dr. Nadia Lopez, principal of Mott Hall Bridges Academy middle school in Brownsville, Brooklyn. She quickly rose to fame on the internet in the past year when a student of hers named Vidal mentioned to Brandon Stanton of the popular Humans of New York blog, that she was the person that most influenced his life. The viral reaction of this post led to a full profile on the school, its staff and students, and a massive crowdfunding campaign to send the students on annual trips to Harvard, which was fully funded over 10 times over.

The book recounts Lopez’s own childhood, growing up in Crown Heights, Brooklyn to immigrant parents (from Guatemala and Honduras, respectively), and how good teachers affected her life and livelihood in her younger years. It focuses on  Lopez’s transition from the corporate world working at Verizon to the NYC Board of Education as a Teaching Fellow, to her current position as founder and principal at Mott Hall Bridges Academy. The tone of the book is very no-nonsense and easy to read as it is the words of an educator. Lopez clearly gives breakdowns on the NYC Board of Education and its processes in funding, mass gentrification and its effects on students, and the importance of taking students outside of their school and comfort zones to experience the vast world outside of Brooklyn, New York.

As the daughter of immigrant parents from Belize who have worked for (and continue to work for) the NYC Board of Education in special education the majority of my life, I immediately connected with the majority of the stories in Lopez’s book. A lot of jargon, specifically in the special education sector, which Lopez worked in in her earlier years, was easy for me to understand as I have learned it from my parents. It felt like with each page I turned, I was reading the experience of someone just like me, which I do not often experience when reading books. The words are very familiar.

What I did not entirely expect, was the amount of trials and tribulations that Lopez went through, both in her personal and professional life, to get to where she is today. She mentions that she was on the point of giving up when Brandon Stanton visited her school. It made me realize that everything is not as it seems, and that sometimes in life we have to reach rock bottom in order to go up. Her steadfastness and relentlessness did not allow her to give up on herself or her students when the future was not promised. I really enjoy this story because it really did inspire me to keep going, but to be kind to myself. Women, particularly Black women and other WOC are often expected to be strong, but it is necessary to have a tribe of women and men to lean on in the tough times to get through it all.

If you are interested in learning more about the NYC public school system, or are a lover of inspirational stories (or both), I would definitely suggest picking up The Bridge To Brilliance. The book is available for purchase at booksellers nationwide, with all online retailers listed on Dr. Lopez’s official website. Happy reading!

 

*Photo via Amazon.com

Take A Bite & Sip: Henri’s Backyard in Park Slope

Henri’s Backyard

The dog days of summer in Brooklyn, New York call for many things; proper air conditioning, delicious eats, cold drinks + adult beverages, sun, and great company. What if you could get all of these things in one place, and if you live near the South Central region of BK, just with a quick trip on the train or by car? Yes, it is possible.

Say hello to Henri’s Backyard, the laid-back sister restaurant of Henri on Fifth. It is the second Brooklyn-based dining spot from Binh Douglas of the HENRI Hospitality Group.

Indoor seating & bar

Located on 4th Avenue between President & Carroll Streets in Park Slope (or Gowanus, if you prefer), the bar-centric eatery is easily accessible from the Prospect Expressway and Union St. R-Train station. I attended the media preview earlier this month, and arrived cool and in style via Uber. I was working in Bushwick that day, so it was perfect that we had Uber codes for the event, or else it would have taken near an hour of commute time. To my surprise, I was the first guest to arrive (which never happens, in life) and because of this, I was treated to a nice little tour from Kayla, who handled all press for the event. I also bumped into one of my college friends, Erin, who works at the restaurant and created the indoor & outdoor stencil artwork for the establishment.

The backyard

As it was a muggy day, and I tend to get flustered really quickly, I was immediately treated to a cocktail from mixologist Leon. More on cocktails later. I sipped on my cold beverage as I learned more about the owners, food & drink menu, former business in the space (vegetarian eatery Pickle Shack), and was able to meet the chef.

Walking through and arriving at the backyard, in which the restaurant is named, was a delight! Its simple design featuring wooden plank flooring, no nonsense tables, aluminum chairs, and rattan benches evoke summer vibes all year round. What about the colder months, you ask? They’ve got that covered, with a retractable roof/awning that will keep patrons warm and dry when the weather cools up again.

Cocktail menu

A key feature of the backyard, aside from its cool city oasis feel, is a full bar, with 18 lines of beer on tap. Sure to satisfy even the most discerned drinker!

Now, let’s get back to cocktails, as that is how I began my evening. Seen above is the full signature cocktail list for Henri’s Backyard. As I love glamour and excess (or whatever) I began my evening with the S.O.B. which along with bourbon and a mixed berry purée with citrus, was topped off with champagne. Throughout the evening, I ended up sampling all cocktails, but of course, there was one that stood out.

Backyard Boogie cocktail 

Continue reading

AFROPUNK BROOKLYN Announces Their 2016 Line-Up, & It’s Great!

Living in a time where there is conflict in the idea of being young, gifted, and Black, the AFROPUNK festival celebrates all of these things, and the people who are often labeled as other. I have been a longtime supporter of the movement, having attended my first fest back in 2007 when they had set up shop in the little skate park in the triangle outside of BAM (RIP as a new high-rise is currently being built in that space).

Last summer, I had the opportunity to go back after a few years, and it was nothing short of magical. Never have I been in a space filled with so much love, acceptance, and happiness, a safe space for the young, gifted, Black other. Today, the summer 2016 lineup was announced for Brooklyn, and boy does it deliver. Peep the video re-capping bits of last year’s jaunt, and check the full lineup below. I have put stars next to my favorites. Will I be seeing you there?

AFROPUNK BROOKLYN 2016 LINEUP
Ice Cube
TV On The Radio
Tyler The Creator*
CeeLo Green
Flying Lotus*
Janelle Monae*
The Internet*

SUPERJAM
Featuring Members from
Bad Brains
Fishbone
Living Colour

George Clinton*
Earl Sweatshirt*
Skunk Anansie
Skye & Ross from Morcheeba
Young Fathers
Benjamin Booker
Saul Williams*
Angel Haze*
Kelela*
Trash Talk
Shabazz Palaces*
Thundercat*
Sango*
Esta*
Gallant*
Prayers
Radkey
Seinabo Sey
The Suffers*
Sir The Baptist
Sate
Downtown Boys
Roman GianArthur
Joe Kay*
The Whooligan
SPZRKT*
Eden Hagos

AFROPUNK BROOKLYN will be held at Commodore Barry Park on August 27-28. Tickets may be purchased here. Act soon before prices rise!

Painting With A Twist Pairs Art With A Glass of Wine In Its New Brooklyn Outpost

As a creative, I am naturally drawn to experiences where I can make something with my hands, or learn a new skill. But how about if you are not so creative, and still want to be able to creative something beautiful, say, with a group of buddies? You should get into Painting With A Twist.

Founded in 2007 by Cathy Deano and Renee Maloney in New Orleans in the wake of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Painting With A Twist had the mission of lifting the spirits of their neighbors after disaster. In the eight years that the company has been in business, they have grown their paint-and-sip franchise to over 240 locations in 33 states, with 100 additional openings by the end of 2015.

I was invited out for a special blogger’s night at one of their new locations in my neck of the woods in Brooklyn.

The ambience

Opened in September by sisters-in-law Suzette and Felicia Riley, Painting With A Twist of Brooklyn is located in the heart of Cobble Hill on bustling Smith St. Upon entering the bright space, albeit a few minutes later than I expected, I was greeted by warm faces, a spread of dinner options, and of course, the choice of white or red wine. I had arrived just in time to take my seat in front of a blank 16 x 20″ canvas, with a small array of paints and brushes to use within the lesson.

The beginnings of my masterpiece

Our instructor was super lively and approachable, ensuring that painters of all levels would be able to complete the evening’s assignment which coincidentally, was of a large glass of red wine. The first step was to cover the canvas in a golden tone and add a few red strokes. As I am a type-A personality (which our instructor caught on to rather quickly) I reeaaaallyyy took painting seriously. My father is a painter and I would help paint certain pieces of his work when I was a child, so this was important!

The final product

Although I may have taken painting a bit more seriously than some of my counterparts in class, I truly realized how relaxing and therapeutic it can be. To constantly be on the move, writing, and updating on social media, it was really nice to focus on one thing for a little over an hour.

My painting and I

You must excuse my sleepy/greasy face in the photo as I was running on E, but I must say, I am really proud of this piece. I hadn’t painted on canvas in maybe 15 years, so this moment was really satisfying to me. I took a little longer than the class, but I completed my work; which is most important.

The entire group and their masterpieces

It was really fun to be in a group, majority women, to unwind, paint, and really take a break from the outside world. The experience is excellent for a date night, a girl’s night, birthday party, or even for a group of children as they offer a range of classes. You may view them all here.

The evening ended with a few special raffles, and guess who won a gift certificate for a free class? This girl right here! Can’t wait to go back. Maybe I will see you there.

Painting With A Twist – Brooklyn
228 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
347-227-2136
studio176@paintingwithatwist.com

 

*All photos by Andrea K. Castillo

I received a complimentary class from Painting With A Twist.

Call Your CurlFriends! #CURLFEST In Brooklyn Shows Us The Beauty In Sisterhood

Ladies dancing to the music

Living in a world where Black bodies are constantly under attack, respite is always welcomed. Whether it be social groups in schools or within your community, it is important to have those moments where you feel safe, and where your individuality is celebrated. In my life, I seek out these types of experiences, and one that I can now add to my list is Curl Fest.

Curls and Italian ices

Now in its second year, Curl Fest is the brain child of the Curly Girl Collective, an experiential marketing group that specializes in multicultural beauty. I first became familiar with the collective a few years back through mutual friends, and received notice of the inaugural Curl Fest last spring. I was bummed that I did not make it out that time, so when I received the invite for this year, my eyes lit up.

Held this year on August 29th at the Neathermead in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, the event was the ultimate celebration of natural beauty.

Two of a kind

On the sun-filled afternoon, natural-haired beauties beamed in the park and had the opportunity to mingle with their curl friends, and enjoy unique hair-themed activations. Sounds were provided by my girl, and one of my favorite DJs, Tiff McFierce. Styling stations were set up to primp all textures of locs, haircare lines were in tow for demos, and natural hair influencers were available to chat with attendees about their experience.

A hint of violet

Adding to the excitement was a full marketplace with fashion, accessory, and literary vendors. Beverages were also on hand to cool everyone off in the 90 degree weather. I was in the house serving double duty; covering for my blog as well as interviewing various attendees for a larger team project (that I will reveal at a later date). One thing that I noticed from the jump that did not change; everyone was in good spirits, and everyone felt like family.

Typical me

In my chats with my fellow attendees, never did I feel like someone was judging me. I did not feel any negative energy in regards to my appearance or the way I spoke, everyone seemed very warm and open to chat with me. I hugged and joked around with women whom I had met for the first time that day. I danced in a circle with the women behind Curly Girl Collective, and everyone present. I connected with people, majority Black women, in a completely organic way.

Do you understand how important that is?

Mother & daughter

To be in a public park in the inner-city on one of the hottest days in the summer without being harassed because of the length of my shorts? To be surrounded by fellow Black women and receive hugs instead of side eyes (*Note: this doesn’t happen to me much, but that’s what mass media & reality TV try to shove down our throats)? To feel completely free for that moment of my life? That’s a huge deal.

Carefree

To say Curl Fest was a gathering of “carefree Black girls” is an understatement. I would say this is true, but I would add that it truly felt like the grounds for building a sisterhood. Men were present in smaller numbers, but women were at the forefront here, and that is what made it so beautiful.

Squad photo to end off a lovely day

My afternoon ended with the above squad photo, of friends new and old. Can you tell which ones I’ve known for years and which I met that day? Maybe that was a rhetorical question, but I hope it is not so easy to tell as we truly welcomed everyone with open arms, and that alone is where the beauty beyond the physical lies.

*All photos by Jason Chandler

FILM SERIES: “Set It Off: LA Hip-Hop on Film”, @ BAMcinématek Sep 4—8

F. Gary Gray’s Friday

With director F. Gary Gray’s N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton in movie theaters nationwide tomorrow, the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) is paying homage to the left coast in film. Debuting September 4th, BAMcinématek’s “Set It Off: LA Hip-Hop on Film” will feature seven films in tribute to LA’s hip-hop glory days of the early 1990’s.

Full schedule below. For ticket information, call BAM Ticket Services at 718.636.4100, or visit BAM.org.

Fri, Sep 4

2, 4:30, 7, 9:30pm: Friday

Ice Cube in Boyz N The Hood

Sat, Sep 5

2, 4:30, 7, 9:30pm: Boyz n the Hood

Still from Set It Off

Sun, Sep 6

2, 6:50pm: Set It Off

4:40, 9:40pm: Menace II Society

Janet Jackson & Tupac Shakur in Poetic Justice

Mon, Sep 7

2, 6:45pm: Poetic Justice

4:30, 9:15pm: South Central

Still from Glass Shield

Tue, Sep 8

4:30, 7, 9:30pm: The Glass Shield

Will you be in attendance? We definitely will be sliding through. And if you can’t make the screenings, get into the groove by checking out my West Coast Hip Hop Of My Younger Years playlist on Spotify. 😀

A Lovely Summer Evening At Brooklyn Museum Of Games, Sneaks & Eats. Photos by Gyasi Kirtley

Happy to be outside

On a beautiful Thursday evening in Mid-July, I attended Brooklyn Museum’s “Art Off The Wall” series for their much anticipated, The Rise of Sneaker Culture exhibition. I had previously seen the exhibition on the day of the press preview (more to come on that), but was present for a discussion including an esteemed panel of female sneaker heads.

Once inside the museum’s lobby bursting at the seams with attendees for the Thursday evening adult programming, I bumped into my girl Gyasi. With camera in hand, she told me she was waiting for a friend, to which I replied, “Chill. I’m on the press list. You can be my photographer.”

And so, the evening began.

In the shadows

We walked around the ground floor and took some shots outside of the dining area as the sun was still beaming. I was feeling cool in my new super-fitted American Apparel skirt, and the natural light really caught the color combo well up top. We head back inside to view the panel, then went off to play in the FAILE: Savage/Sacred Young Minds exhibit. FAILE, the brainchild of Brooklyn-based artist duo Patrick McNeil and Patrick McNeil, showcased various elements in their exhibit, including mixed media canvases, sculpture, neon wall art, and custom arcade games.

Readjusting my specs

Walking into the arcade portion of the exhibit was sensory overload. The walls and floors were covered in various new-school interpretations of old school movie posters, lit completely in black light, with sprinkles of neon light sculptures sprinkled throughout the space. I really enjoy the elements of lights captured in these photos.

Look at these arms!

After taking tons of photos in the black light, we shimmied over to The Rise of Sneaker Culture exhibit, which includes some of the most iconic pairs of kicks over the years, and their origin.

This picture was me being silly prior to making a proper pose, but I enjoyed this better. Note how long my arms are.

Grade A tings!

The exhibit does take some time to walk through as there are so many pairs of sneakers on view with intricate backstories, and so many opportunities for photo ops. Gyasi got some great photos there, but once we were done, I had to eat.

We walked over to Dutch Boy Burger on Franklin Ave so I could get something to eat. In dire times, I feel burgers are the only thing that could save me, because red meat = protein + iron. I ordered their signature burger and fries (which was probably a terrible idea at 10 PM) and sipped on a glass of water.

Gyasi couldn’t stay, but snapped this photo of me looking like a creep in the window. The evening was truly lovely and unexpected, as I had no idea it would end with such beautiful photos. Keep capturing your summer folks!

*Photos by Gyasi Kirtley

#CURLFEST NEW DATE ANNOUNCEMENT: Sat. August 29. 1-6 PM @ Prospect Park in Brooklyn!

After being postponed back in June due to inclement weather, #CURLFEST is back with a new date! On Saturday, August 29th, bring out all of your girls with curls to Prospect Park to bask in an afternoon of fun with the curly hair community. Expect tunes, dancing, curl demonstrations, and eats from some of your favorite food trucks.

Previous RSVP holders will be able to register on August 10th, and new attendees will be able to register on August 11th. The event is totally FREE! For more details and FAQs, head over to the Curly Girl Collective blog.

My Super Awesome Hair Makeover at ARROJO Williamsburg w/ My Contest Winner, Jordanna!

BEFORE THE CUT & COLOR

On a rather normal day in mid-May, I was checking my e-mail and came across a rather exciting message in my iCloud account. I was perplexed as to how I was even receiving mail there, as I rarely use the account. I opened the message and see it is from Andrew Arrojo from ARROJO salon. I read the words “free cut & color, for you and a friend, in Williamsburg” and I almost dropped my phone. I had worked with the salon a few times in the past, and I was ecstatic for this opportunity as I was able to reenergize the relationship, transform my hair as it was in pretty bad shape, bring a friend, and not have to leave Brooklyn.

I was invited for the service in the afternoon of their new Williamsburg salon’s grand opening festivities, and given the chance to stay and network at the party in the evening. I brought Jordanna of The Fashionette with me, as she won my contest for a hair makeover.

JORDANNA PRE-CUT

We both came in with dark brown, rather limp tresses. Jordanna had been transitioning to natural hair for a few months, but wanted to go for a short pixie cut for summer, in a blue-black tone. I hadn’t cut my hair in about six months and wanted to do something fresh and new. I decided on warm caramel highlights and fresh layers that added movement, but kept the majority of my length.

FUNNY FACE WHILE LETTING MY CARAMEL HIGHLIGHTS SET IN

This selfie was obligatory as it really looked like my hair was plastic at this point. My colorist Lucy informed me that the plastic wrap helps process the color. My strands were bleached first then toned down to a warm caramel color.

JORDANNA GETTING HER BLUE/BLACK COLOR

Jordanna wanted to give her tresses more edge with this blue-black dye. As some of her strands were a little lighter from previous color, her process was a bit longer, but created an awesome result.

SIDE VIEW OF MY FINAL LOOK

I showed my stylist John an image that I found in a Google search of the type of cut I wanted. The layers were a bit whimsical with great length, just a little past my shoulder. I think he really nailed it as he great technique cutting my curly hair. I’ve had unfortunate cuts in the past where the curls don’t blend and are very boxy. I’m super happy with the cut, and the blowout he gave me.

EXCITEMENT WITH JORDANNA! LOVE HER EDGY PIXIE CUT

Look at how different we look! Isn’t Jordanna’s pixie awesome? Her stylist and colorist did an awesome job, and were really thoughtful and patient with her kinkier curls. I really want to stress the fact that ARROJO stylists are trained incredibly well. They can handle all hair types, from my thicker, wavy strands, to Jordanna’s finer, kinkier strands. I think we both got the look we wanted, and more.

FRONT VIEW OF MY FINAL LOOK

Here is my “sexy/quirky” selfie of my final look. Yes, I felt like a Victoria’s Secret model. That’s how I always want to feel after having my hair styled.

POSTED WITH MY COLORIST, LUCY

After the cut & style, there was the party! Here I am with my super awesome colorist Lucy. We hung out at the grand opening party with prosecco in hand. I was able to meet a bunch of great ARROJO stylists and team members, whilst jamming to the tunes of DJ Spinva (who also happens to be a colorist at the SoHo salon).

ARROJO Williamsburg offered me such a lovely experience, from the service and stylists to the overall vibe of the space. I will definitely be back. In the meantime, you should check them out for your next cut or color. Tell them Andrea sent you! 🙂

ARROJO Williamsburg

11 Broadway

Brooklyn, NY 11249

718.215.6625

 

*Photos by Andrea K. Castillo for A Life In The Day of Andrea

I received a complimentary hair cut, color & style from ARROJO Williamsburg.

POSTPONED: Curly Girl Collective Presents Curl Fest 2015, “The Ultimate Natural Beauty Festival” 6/28/15 @ Prospect Park

Girls with the curls, listen up! The beautifully coiled women behind Curly Girl Collective are back with the second annual Curl Fest, dubbed “the ultimate natural beauty festival”. It is an opportunity for the curly girls (and those that love them) to flourish Brooklyn-style in an awesome picnic setting in Prospect Park. In addition to the picnic there will be a live DJ & dance party, food trucks, curly hair styling stations, beauty chats, and marketplace.

Sponsors this year include Carol’s Daughter, Kinky Curly, Hype Hair, and more. Be sure to follow @curlygirlcollective on social media and tag #Curlfest before and during the fest to win very special prizes! Entry is FREE and you can RSVP here. See you in the park!

 CURL FEST 2015

Sunday, June 28th

1-6 PM

Prospect Park Nethermead, Prospect Park

Brooklyn, NY 11225

*UPDATE 6/25/15*

CurlFest has been postponed due to weather concerns. Will keep you updated regarding the new date!

*Photo courtesy of Curly Girl Collective