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Essence Festival is approaching, and this weekend African-American women and their friends will descend upon New Orleans, Louisiana, for a fun-filled weekend of music, beauty, upliftment, education, and more! Whether this is your first time at Essence or you go every year with girlfriends, here are seven “must-haves” you shouldn’t forget to pack!

STATEMENT SUNGLASSES

JSN Studio Look book1

You will be spending a lot of time outside during Essence Fest, so you’ll want something to protect you from the blazing sun! Don’t forget your sunglasses, not only to protect your eyes, but to also help you keep looking cool! We love these JSN Studio Sunglasses by celebrity stylist Jason Bolden.

SUNSCREEN

Don’t play with your melanin! You will be going between being indoors and outdoors, so make sure you lather up and protect your skin. Try this Neutrogena CoolDry Sport Sunscreen Stick Broad Spectrum SPF 50+. This has micro-mesh technology, allowing sweat to pass through and evaporate, without removing the sunscreen. It’s the same size as deodorant, so you can simply throw it in your bag and apply when necessary.

SNACKS AND WATER

There's nothing quite like a good, solid workout

You will be out and away from your abode for at least a few hours at a time. Combat dehydration and low blood sugar by ensuring you have your own water and snacks with you. Pack something like nuts, trail mix, or even popcorn to give you a little pick-me-up. Stay hydrated to avoid passing out. Remember: By the time you “feel thirsty,” you are already dehydrated!

LIGHTWEIGHT CLOTHING

Akris : Runway - Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2016

It’s HOT. It will be about 90 degrees in New Orleans. You’re going to want clothing that is flowy, lightweight, and easy to take on and off. Pack your favorite maxi dresses, skirts, and pum-pum shorts.

BUSINESS CARDS

Yes, this is a festival, but it’s also an opportunity for you to meet like-minded individuals! Make sure you have your business cards, smile, and don’t forget to follow-up!

PORTABLE PHONE CHARGER

Girl texting in the streets

From taking pictures for Instagram, to recording your favorite moments, your phone will undoubtedly get that warning of a low battery. Bring a portable charger and don’t worry about losing power (or missing an opportunity for a selfie with your favorite celebrity!).

PORTABLE FAN OR HAND FAN

Again … it’s HOT. You will appreciate having a small portable fan to beat the heat.

Now you are ready for Essence Festival! Enjoy, beauties.

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty

FAB FINDS: Everything You Need For Essence Festival was originally published on hellobeautiful.com

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