Want to learn how to protect your natural curls and boost your mental health, all while mingling with beauty professionals? Mark your calendars for September 23–24, when local natural beauty collective Bloom will host its first “beauty summit.” Founded by celebrity makeup artist Abibat Durosimi, the two-day event promises to fill Portland’s Aloft Hotel with stylists, life coaches, and other wellness professionals.
Hosted by Emmy award-winning television host Tra'Renee Chambers, Bloom will feature beauty workshops, panel discussions, networking opportunities, and even kickboxing and dance classes. Big names such as Yancey Edwards, a hairstylist from The View, will fly in to join beauty panels and present hands-on styling classes.
Although the vast majority of organizers and panelists are black, Durosimi makes clear all are welcome. "When people hear about protective hairstyles and natural hair, they only gear it to black people,” she says. “Deep down, that's not true—natural hair means the natural state of your hair. No chemicals, no color. That’s what Bloom's about: building this bridge."
The founder of Portland styling agency Tabiba Styles, Durosimi got her start in the beauty industry about 20 years ago. She was still launching her career when she met celebrated Portland-based R&B singer Liv Warfield. “I had decided to leave corporate [salons], ” recalls Durosimi. “Liv said, ‘Why don’t you freelance?’” Durosimi began working as Warfield’s hairstylist and makeup artist; when Warfield became a background singer for Prince in 2011, Durosimi followed.
“Prince was looking for makeup artists and hairstylists,” she says. “I only had a Facebook, but he chose me and flew me to New York.” In addition to Prince, Durosimi has worked for Portland favorite Esperanza Spalding as well as major brands like Nike, Macy's, and Microsoft (and even for Portland Monthly).
Tickets to Bloom are available for $30 per day or $50 for a weekend pass. Beauty classes only seat 20 people and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, but vendors are available throughout the day to give tips on natural hair, makeup trends, and wellness. Who knows—maybe you’ll even get the inside scoop on Prince’s makeup regimen.
Sat–Sun, Sept 23–24, Aloft Portland Airport at Cascade Station, $30–50