All you need for a perfect New Year’s Eve
Photos by cheryl gerber
Whether you view New Year’s Eve as a celebration of 2015’s successes and memorable moments or a welcome ushering-in of 2016, the night provides an opportunity to indulge in celebration with friends and family. There are a number of ways to celebrate the once-a-year occasion, all with their own unique preparations and wardrobes. From formal occasions to casual house parties or nights on the town, find out how to prep, what to wear, how to accessorize, where to eat and what to do with the following ideas from local experts.
Prepping for the Night: Spas & Skincare
New Year’s Eve is the night of the year for glitz and glamour, and if you’re looking for an opportunity to turn back the hands of time and show off younger-looking, more vibrant skin, the holidays are a perfect time. With photo opportunities galore, ’tis the season for smooth skin and confident, wrinkle-free smiles.
About Face of New Orleans offers professional makeup services, skincare services and different cosmetic and skincare lines for all types of skin and faces. They boast a “down to earth” atmosphere that’s comfortable and unintimidating, with makeup artists available to help customers create the look that’s right for them.
“In preparation for New Year’s Eve, it’s important to keep your skin exfoliated because you wouldn’t want your skin to appear dry and chapped beneath any makeup you may be using,” says Lindsey Benoit, Franchise owner and lead makeup artist. “Glo Minerals Pumpkin Scrub is a fabulous product to use. We also offer an Ultimate Exfoliation Treatment to redefine your skin. This service will remove dead skin cells and stimulate new growth in just one sitting,” she says.
If you’re looking for your holiday preparations to be just as indulgent as your night, the Waldorf Astoria Spa at The Roosevelt New Orleans is an exclusive spa with eight private treatment rooms, two couples therapy suites and a VIP treatment room. According to Spa Director Jill Haidler, the spa is “a haven of absolute relaxation and uninterrupted tranquility.” Haidler recommends the 50-minute makeup application service and the special occasion hairstyle. Appropriately for the occasion, the Waldorf Astoria Spa offers complimentary champagne to start your evening.
Other recommended services for those looking to be pampered before a long night out include a detoxifying wrap, hydra facial or a rejuvenating aromatherapy massage. Product lines include Osea skincare, Kevyn Aucoin and Carita beauty products.
For treatments overseen by a skin specialist, the services at Audubon Dermatology offers simple skin care product regimens or complex treatment plans, depending on patients’ preferred paths to rejuvenation. Drs. Hooper and Jackson provide innovative and comprehensive treatments for all anti-aging concerns.
LEFT: About Face of New Orleans; RIGHT: Aesthetic Surgical Associates
“We love our Audubon Dermatology Medical Facial done three to four days before your event. This innovative treatment will smooth, brighten, and stimulate collagen for a fabulous celebrity-like glow,” says Dr. Hooper. The medical facial combines the benefits of dermaplaning, laser genesis and a light chemical peel. It can be done once a month and requires no downtime.
“If you’re a last minute preparer, adding a Vitamin C and a Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizer to your pre-party skin care regimen will help to brighten and smooth your skin,” says Dr. Jackson.
One of the most popular services at Aesthetic Surgical Associates is Ultheraphy, which uses ultrasound technology to tighten and tone skin. The process takes about six months to show the full effects, and according to Medical Aesthetician Chantel Bales it “works wonders” and serves as a non-invasive alternative to the facelift. Since the process takes time, it could be a great head start for next year’s celebrations.
“If you’re looking to improve skin in a short amount of time,” says Bales, “microneedling reduces fine lines, wrinkles, scarring and pigmentation and produces results after just one treatment.” Recommended products carried by Aesthetic Surgical include Obaji and Neocutis, which stimulates collagen and elastin production in the body. The practice also carries vitamins and EltaMD dermatologist sunscreens and skincare products.
The Sculpting Center of New Orleans is making waves with an innovative new treatment already sought by 400 patients in less than two years. A non-surgical, non-invasive treatment, Coolsculpting® can reduce fat by about 25 percent in targeted areas of the body after only one treatment, and the center offers free consultations. Results are typically seen within two to three months, so while it may be too late to seek the treatment for a New Year’s Eve night out, now’s the perfect time to consult with the center’s Dr. Robin Bone in advance of Mardi Gras balls, springtime weddings and festival season.
“A Coolsculpting treatment takes about an hour, and there are no needles, no surgery, no downtime. The FDA-approved applicator is applied to a pocket of fat. During the course of treatment, the fat cells are frozen and then naturally eliminated by the body over time,” says Dr. Bone.
While Khoobehi & Associates is most known for its plastic surgery procedures for the face, breast, and body, many non-surgical options are also available for rejuvenation, lifting the face and neck, and contouring the body with little or no downtime. According to Dr. Kamran Khoobehi, patients will come in ahead of a night out to freshen up their complexion with a chemical peel, SkinPen or microdermabrasion.
“One popular treatment before New Year’s Eve is Juvederm to plump up the lips for that kiss at midnight,” says Dr. Khoobehi. Juvederm is a filler that’s injected into the lips to provide fullness or add to a thin lip. Other popular non-surgical procedures and treatments include Ultherapy, CoolSculpting, Botox and Voluma. The practice also supplies SkinMedica products, which contain growth factors.
About Face of New Orleans
701 Metairie Road
Waldorf Astoria Spa
130 Roosevelt Way
3525 Prytania St., Suite 501
Aesthetic Surgical Associates
3223 Eighth St., Suite 200
Sculpting Center of New Orleans
4500 Clearview Parkway, Suite 202
Khoobehi & Associates
3901 Veterans Memorial Blvd.
4500 Magazine Street, Suite 1
Sparkle & Glitz: The Perfect Wardrobe
Special occasions call for special new duds, and plenty of area boutiques know just the styles that will have you turning heads.
“My feeling is that a girl must be prepared,” says Yvonne LaFleur, Proprietress of the 10,000-square-foot, longstanding fashion haven by the same name. “New Year’s Eve falls on a Thursday, which means we’ll have a long weekend with multiple clothing needs,” says LaFleur. She recommends a short, sexy cocktail dress for Thursday night, a casual cashmere sweater, fashionable pants and sparkling jewelry for New Year’s Day, a casual dress or pants with a cashmere poncho for Saturday brunch and another casual game day outfit for the Saints on Sunday.
“It all depends on how people entertain and what their activities are. In New Orleans, we dress up – we dress for the occasion. We might even dress a couple times a day,” she says.
Located in Old Metairie, FeBe is popular for its designer clothes and denim, with over 4,000 square feet of the season’s latest fashions. Current lines for fall include items from Elizabeth and James, Vince, Theory and Halston.
“This season, we have sold so many things with fringe details,” says Ron Jones, Store Manager. “We have beautiful taupe over-the-knee boots, handbags in all colors and tops perfect for a night out,” he says. Jones’ suggestions for New Year’s Eve include an option popular with many of the fashion experts we spoke to: Fur.
“We love fur vests this season. They come in so many shapes and colors. This versatile option can be worn either over a dress or to dress up a silk top, jeans and boots for a fun night out,” says Jones.
Catering to women of all ages, Fini is a beauty boutique that, according to owner Danni Perez, leans towards a bohemian aesthetic with a polished, chic edge. A few favorite lines kept in stock are Show Me Your Mumu, Free People, Veronica M and Greylin.
“I think [New Year’s] is your night to shine – literally,” says Perez. “We love a sequined dress with a cage heel, or for a more unexpected look, a chic jumpsuit. You can wear sequins much more casually than ever before, so if your plans are more low-key, pair a sequined pencil skirt with a chunky sweater and a great pair of booties,” she says. As to seasonal wear everyone should have: the flared jean and a great pair of booties.
LEFT: Yvonne LaFleur; RIGHT: FeBe
At Clover, owner Melissa Coleman focuses on the elegant essentials. She hones in on finding the perfect tees, jeans, cashmere sweaters and dresses for nights out. Some of Coleman’s favorite designers include IRO Paris, L’Agence, skin and Frame Denim. This season’s sweater collection is hot and selling like crazy at Clover.
Coleman’s wardrobe suggestions for New Year’s Eve depend on plans.
“For a dressy night on the town, I love a great dress or pair of tux pants and a silk blouse. Always have a great jacket or wrap handy, as NYE can often be chilly!” says Coleman. “For a night in, I love an oversized cashmere sweater and jeans. That never goes out of style,” she says.
Sweaters are also popular at Haute in the CBD, and according to owner Sanja Alickovic cashmere is a “must.” Haute clientele are also enjoying the season’s winter white dresses and bronze jumpsuit. Haute specializes in brands no else carries and exclusively offers lines such as Mason, ICB, Kempner, Lemlem and Clare Vivier as well as haute hippie, Velvet, Ty-lr.
Alickovic’s New Year’s Eve advice is simple: “Sparkle, sparkle, and more sparkle! This is the time to put your shiniest, sparkliest outfit, and celebrate the New Year.” Haute’s Facebook page (Haute New Orleans) is a great place to check out the latest offerings.
For many people, New Year’s is much more than a one-night holiday. The party extends into New Year’s Day, and this year an entire weekend follows.
Located on Veterans Boulevard in Metairie, Chatta Box Boutique has been at the center of women’s fashion for over 50 years. The boutique’s team styles ladies and teens from head to toe in ready to wear, bridal and formals for any occasion. Ready to wear designers include Alexis, Yohana Barashi, Trina Turk, Pink Tartan and Alice & Trixie, while formals include Jovani, Sherri Hill, Monique Lulliere, Montage by Mon Cherie, Teri John and Eleni Elias.
“New Year’s Eve ensembles can be selected from every designer we carry depending on the New Year’s Eve event, whether formal or informal,” says April Stolf, Fashion Stylist. In terms of what to look for in evening and cocktail attire for the holidays, Stolf recommends tuxedo-inspired rompers, capes and capelets, shrugs, refined silhouettes, glitzy backings, plunging necklines and metallic fringe.
8131 Hampson St.
474 Metairie Road, Suite 102
6250 General Diaz St.
2240 Magazine Street, Suite 101
725 Magazine St.
Chatta Box Boutique
4114 Veterans Memorial Blvd.
The Final Touch: How to Finish Your Outfit
Accessorizing is just as important as the base of your wardrobe, and New Year’s is the night to do it up.
An upscale store catering to the fashion-minded customer, Elizabeth’s in Old Metairie carries women’s clothes from casual to cocktail. Owner and buyer Sal Trentacoste says to accessorize for the holiday with sparkle and glitz to finish your wardrobe with a festive look. Chunky necklaces, both long and short, glitzy earrings, rhinestones and other jewels are a few options that can help play up simple outfits.
“You can also always do metallics, which are important this year – gold, silver and pewter make for festive high heels,” says Trentacoste. If it’s cool enough, Trentacoste likes a fun fur vest or ruana to top off the outfit.
In just three months, Peony is experiencing a tremendous response from customers after its recent arrival as a small department store on Magazine Street. Carrying women’s, girl’s and infant clothing, loungewear and accessories, Peony is art- and travel-inspired with a whimsical feel accentuated by its antique piano salvaged from a local dumpster. Owner Jennifer Atkins describes the store as a travel experience in itself, as you see the influences of Louisiana, Europe and Morocco as you walk through the store.
“I see New Year’s Eve as an opportunity to overdo,” says Atkins. “You can’t have enough sparkle, faux fir, sequins and silk,” she says. Atkins suggests the modern appeal Indian designer Deepa Gurnani’s jewelry line, which complements jeans, boots and cashmeres, as well as more formal wear.
Accessorizing is the name of the game at Angelique Shoe, also on Magazine Street, and co-owner and buyer Heather Catalanotto agrees that jewelry is a must-wear on a night like New Year’s Eve.
“I always love a good cocktail ring – or two for that matter,” says Catalanotto. “On New Year’s Eve, toasting with champagne always looks good with a beautiful ring, right?” At Angelique Shoe, shoppers will find an eclectic selection of shoes, accessories and jewelry, most of which are European-made. “Both classic and on trend is my motto,” says Catalanotto.
LEFT: Peony; RIGHT: Angelique Shoe
A must-have for the season, she says, is an over-the-knee boot, which add sass to an outfit and can be either dressy or casual.
New Orleans’ largest independent shoe and accessories retailer, the family owned and operated Feet First is spread across three metro area locations and is home to over 50 lines of women’s shoes, handbags, accessories and more. According to sales manager and lead stylist Anastasia Apostolos, trends are moving away from minimalism and towards the dramatic.
“For example, the it high heel of last year has now been updated with cascading fringe around the ankle strap of Pelle Moda’s Taft. Excess with a dash of bohemia is the vibe communicated by rich colors and textures such as plum, emerald and rust velvets and brocades,” says Apostolos. Other recommendations include a clutch with long fringe, a bold lip color from Kismet Cosmetics, oversized rings and earrings with great movement and wardrobe accouterments such as fashion tape, foot cushions, weather protector, etc.
At Trashy Diva, owner and designer Candice Gwinn reproduces vintage patterns and prints to create collections that reflect the 1940s through ’60s with an emphasis on flattering styles. To finish the look, she hand selects shoes, accessories and lingerie to complement the vintage aesthetic of her clothing designs.
When asked for shoe suggestions, the Magazine Street boutique Manager Kaci Thommassie says, “For the special occasion, it’s all about metallic! The Remix Balboa in gold or the Chelsea Crew Latino heel are perfect for a vintage-inspired evening out. Both have a T-strap and modest heel, making them ideal for a night of dancing!” Besame lipsticks are another favorite of Thommassie’s, which she says won’t come off when you go in for a New Year’s kiss.
A. Renée Boutique is a funky French Quarter boutique that, according to owner April Renee, is “for women ‘who dress to kill.’” Whether dressy or casual, Renee emphasizes soft fabrics and lots of color in her lines.
“We carry contemporary lines for the career girl who hits the scene after work and on weekends. Our women’s line is edgy and elegant with sizes from XS to XL,” says Renee. A lot of people go with classy black on a night like New Year’s, so for those traditionalists Renee recommends finishing with striking earrings and an eye-catching bag. Renee is proud to introduce cocktail purses featuring designs accented with Swarovski crystals, which are sure to add some sparkle to the night.
204 Metairie Road
2240 Magazine St., Suite 102
5421 Magazine St.
4122 Magazine St.
2048 Magazine St.
A. Renée Boutique
824 Chartres St.
Dining & Imbibing: Food-filled Celebrations
Dining out is a part of the New Year’s Eve tradition for a lot of people, and in a city like New Orleans good food abounds and it’s easy to make the last meal of the year a memorable one.
Almost a century old, Arnaud’s is a dining institution in the French Quarter, and it continues to specialize in the authentic Creole cuisine that has made it famous for generations.
“For New Year’s Eve, we offer guests selections from our extensive a la carte menu. There really is something for everyone, says co-owner Katy Casbarian. “For those who stay through midnight, we pass out festive accessories for guests to ring in the New Year.” Some of Arnaud’s most famous and most popular dishes are soufflé potatoes, shrimp Arnaud and fresh Gulf fish topped with savory French sauces and butters. Do not pass up Arnaud’s French 75 bar, where Chris Hannah serves up seasonal cocktails such as Dickens’ Toddy, the Tom & Jerry and hot buttered rums.
Susan Spicer’s flagship restaurant Bayona will host a special four-course prix fixe menu for $100 on New Year’s Eve. According to proprietor Regina Keever, the restaurant tries to highlight more exotic selections on the holiday, including uni and pheasant. Past menu selections have included veal osso bucco with buckwheat polenta, cipollini agrodolce, rapini and pompano with artichokes, olives, fennel purée and blood oranges as entrées, along with a variety of appetizers, soups, salads and dessert options.
The popular Bayona cocktail of the season is the Royal Dauphine, developed by bar manager Robby Farmer. “It’s a deliciously warming concoction of Bulleit Bourbon, King’s Ginger Liqueur, lemon, orange bitters and vanilla,” says Keever.
For more French Quarter dining, Tableau is a relatively new offering from Dickie Brennan & Co. On New Year’s Eve, the restaurant will offer its signature dishes as well as some festive specials, all dependent on what’s in season.
LEFT: Arnaud's; RIGHT: Mr. B's Bistro
“We offer contemporary versions of Creole and French classics in an elegant, bustling atmosphere, located on historic Jackson Square. The wrap-around balcony and courtyard paired with the cuisine make it your quintessential New Orleans experience,” says John Martin, Chef de Cuisine. The menu includes both classics and contemporary items: steak frites, BBQ shrimp and grits, chicken Tableau and seared Gulf fish with satsuma beurre blanc.
You should “Just as Well” try the drink by the same name, a bourbon-based cocktail with lemon juice, Bittermen’s cranberry bitters and rosemary simple syrup, garnished with a flaming piece of rosemary.
For a more relaxed French Quarter atmosphere, experience the “clubby” atmosphere of Mr. B’s Bistro, owned by Cindy Brennan of the famous Brennan restaurant family. Also focused on Creole cuisine, Mr. B’s menu on New Year’s Eve will offer its regular fare but will add pizzazz with “extra special” nightly specials.
“When thinking of our dinner menu for New Year’s Eve, we like to offer decadent dishes – really delicious, rich dishes. Scallops with truffle oil, risotto, foie gras, beef dishes and maybe lobster – all of those come to mind. It’s a great time to not watch your waistline and just indulge,” says Julie Brignac, Marketing Director.
Champagne will certainly be on hand for the occasion, and Mr. B’s famous Brandy Milk Punch is delicious any time of day.
Every Tuesday through Thursday, 2-7 p.m., Brennan’s offers its Bubbles at Brennan’s happy hour, featuring deeply discounted bottles from top Champagne vintners and premier sparkling wine houses. New Year’s Eve (on Thursday) is the perfect occasion for a happy hour, and The Roost Bar and courtyard at Brennan’s will no doubt be fizzing with excitement. Additionally, bubbly cocktails add a fun spin to the afternoon, including a take on the original Brennan’s Red Rooster named the Rooster Royale: house made citrus liquor, cranberry juice and sparkling wine, served on the rocks.
“Continue your celebration with a coveted New Year’s Eve reservation for dinner,” recommends Christina Persand, Marketing and Promotions Manager.
813 Bienville St.
430 Dauphine St.
616 St. Peter St.
Mr. B’s Bistro
201 Royal St.
417 Royal St.
Confetti, Fireworks, Music & More: What to Do
Whether you’re looking to celebrate with the kids or for an adults-only affair, a variety of entertainment options abound for locals this year.
For parents looking to celebrate New Year’s Eve both with and without the kids, the Louisiana Children’s Museum offers a creative solution: the “New Year’s Eve Kids’ Countdown to Noon.” The festivities run December 31, 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., with the annual countdown culminating in a colorful confetti toss and balloon release. With live music and the crafting of noisemakers and festive bags, the Louisiana Children’s Museum event allows families to ring in 2016 together and much earlier than the actual countdown to midnight.
“The museum’s three-story atrium is filled with a burst of color. Kids love catching and tossing the confetti,” says Julia Bland, CEO. Bland strongly recommends pre-registration. Entrance is $5 for LCM members and $10 for non-members.
For private parties, music performances and more the Civic Theatre has become a favorite of the New Orleans entertainment scene, hosting performances by legends such as BB King and Aaron Neville as well as rock progressives such as Modest Mouse, Neutral Milk Hotel and alt-J. Whether you’re looking for an event space to host your own New Year’s bash or for an exciting performance, keep an eye on The Civic’s offerings.
“The beautifully restored white patina modern bar with specialty cocktails created by Neil Bodenheimer of Cure and Bellocq, state-of-the-art sound and lighting capabilities and modular flooring make the Civic a wonderful, unique option for events in New Orleans,” says Cali Gabrielle, Sales Director. Upcoming this month: Kim Russo “The Happy Medium” (December 5), “A John Waters Christmas” (December 17), and Zebra (December 18).
LEFT: Civic Theatre; RIGHT: Louisiana Children's Museum
Fireworks are a signature part of the New Year’s Eve holiday, and for those wanting a spectacular view the downtown festivities, the Paddlewheeler Creole Queen offers a front-row seat from the mighty Mississippi. The New Year’s Eve Fireworks Cruise lasts 11 p.m.-1 a.m. and offers patrons an opportunity to eat, drink, dance and toast aboard an authentic Paddlewheeler powered by a 24-foot diameter paddlewheel.
“Luxurious private rooms, stereo music and sound systems, modern restrooms and handicapped accessible facilities all combine to make the Paddlewheeler Creole Queen a true ‘floating palace,’” says Norm Glindmeyer, owner of Breen & Glindmeyer Advertising.
The cruise offers a late-night buffet of New Orleans favorites and call-brand drinks at the open bar. Guests also enjoy dancing to hits offered by a live DJ and toasting the New Year with Champagne and festive party favors.
If dancing the night away in a Vegas-style club is more your style, The Metropolitan Night Club (which takes over Generations Hall on Saturdays) is New Orleans’ New Year’s Eve dance party central and will host famed German-American DJ Markus Shulz. All three rooms, two floors each, will feature various talent and DJs spinning EDM (electronic dance music), Top 40 and more.
Hosting numerous Top 100 DJs throughout the year, The Metropolitan has brought New Orleans performances by Steve Aoki, Nervo, Eric Prydz and others. Tickets for New Year’s Eve will range $20-35 for General Admission or a $75-$100 option for VIP with open bar access (prices dependent on day of purchase).
Louisiana Children’s Museum
420 Julia St.
510 O’Keefe Ave.
Paddlewheeler Creole Queen
Boat & Ticket Booth Location No. 1 Poydras Street
The Metropolitan Night Club
310 Andrew Higgins Drive