While New Year’s Day is often spent with family, cooking cabbage and black-eyed peas, New Year’s Eve usually involves far more liveliness and excitement. Saying “bon voyage” to 2014 will likely involve decadent holiday food, booming blasts of fireworks, toasts with sparkling Champagne and parties full of glitz and glamour. New Year’s Eve offers one last day to do it up big. For many women, it’s the perfect excuse to buy a new outfit, hit the spa or salon and take advantage of local gift cards newly received during the holidays. Whether you choose to host or attend a party, head downtown or stuff yourself before committing to resolutions, New Year’s Eve presents the perfect day and night for going all out.
Get your checklist together now for your must-haves and must-dos on New Year’s Eve. If properly planned, the last day and night of the year may very well be the best.
how to prep
Whether you visit a spa, a salon or both, there’s no better way to say goodbye to the old and hello to the new than with a good cleanse and a refreshed look. Get ready for a crazy night with a relaxing day of pampering.
Mint opened in December 2013 and is a “concept” shop offering both spa services and a well-curated selection of apparel, workout wear, accessories and home decorative items. They offer clients facials, microdermabrasion, Xtreme eyelash extensions, waxing, nail services and makeup application. Mint stocks skincare lines Natura Bisse and REN UK, local cosmetics line Lipscape and other “small-batch” makers. They feature hard-to-find apparel lines such as Maison Scotch out of Amsterdam, Wilt and Odd Molly out of Copenhagen. Home decorative lines include Coral & Tusk and K Studio.
For a special night like New Year’s Eve, Nail Technician Michelia Tran suggests adding a little glitter to your manicure, “such as Trust Fund Beauty’s ‘Killer Heels’ to provide an eye-catching and fun touch for the night.”
Those interested in making a full day out of their New Year’s Eve celebrations can spend hours being rejuvenated at the new Waldorf Astoria Spa New Orleans located in the historic Roosevelt New Orleans. With a 20 percent discount for locals Sunday to Thursday, Wednesday, December 31 is a perfect time to experience their comprehensive menu of services.
“When I think about our spa, I know it’s the perfect place to prepare for a night out – we have everything,” says Spa Director Jill Haidler. “You can relax, have some champagne, get a massage, hair, nails and makeup done and you’re ready to go,” she says.
According to Haidler, manicures and pedicures are popular holiday services. The vegan SpaRitual line of polishes stays on well and comes in a large variety of unique and sparkling shades.
For partygoers looking for salon-style hair without the cut or price, BLEU, A Blowdry Bar offers a number of styling options.
“It still blows me away that ladies love to start their special night out with a service at BLEU,” says Owner and Makeup Artist Emily LaBorde Cheramie. “It really is a one-stop-shop where you can have both your hair and makeup done in a fun social scene, all with a mimosa in hand,” she says.
According to Cheramie, their biggest request on New Year’s Eve is the “UpTowner,” an elegant up-do. The UpTowner runs a modest $55 with a makeup application running the same. Lashes can be added for an additional $10. BLEU 2 U on-location services are now available for groups meeting certain requirements.
At Ashley Sievert Beauty, Ashley Sievert and her team of makeup artists enjoy adding some color to clients’ somewhat lighter winter skin.
“A spray tan, especially in January, gives a nice glow and makes the makeup pop with more coloring,” says Sievert. As for makeup, “A lot of times we’ll do one of two things, either a glitter or metallic eye or a normal neutral eye with a pop of color on the lips, a deep berry or red popular for fall and winter,” she says.
Ashley Sievert Beauty is known for its makeup and waxing services as well as Sievert’s own makeup line. Anything used by Sievert and her team can also be purchased for easy touch ups throughout the night. On Instagram, find Sievert’s work at @ashleysievert and @ashleysievertbeauty.
On Metairie Road, H2O Salon & Spa offers a full menu of salon and spa services in addition to blow dry, lashes, makeup and more. Special occasions like New Year’s Eve are a great time for premium services like their HydraFacial, a non-invasive procedure that leaves skin refreshed and glowing.
The holiday also calls for festive makeup, and H2O makeup artists can create dramatic, smoky and glamorous eyes, delivering results with luxury mineral cosmetics that can be hard to accomplish at home. H2O also offers Cluster Eyelash Applications, which, when properly cared for, can last longer than typical strip lashes.
On the Northshore, the Stone Creek Club & Spa also offers a comprehensive spa menu. During the holiday season, spa goers and gift givers often opt for the opulent experience that is the DermAware Holiday Service.
“Champagne wine acids, powerful anti-oxidants, rejuvenating vitamins A and C and hydrating caviar and argon oil make this a luxurious treatment for a special time of year,” says Member Service and Spa Director Katie Conner Santangelo. According to Santangelo, each service will begin with a gentle enzyme exfoliation, leaving the skin super soft and ready to receive its holiday treatment. The Champagne Acid Holiday Peel and Mask revives and polishes the skin, leaving it glowing and beautiful.
Mint, 4601 Dryades St., 304-6225
Waldorf Astoria Spa New Orleans, 130 Roosevelt Way, 335-3190, TheRooseveltNewOrleans.com
BLEU, A Blowdry Bar, 701 Metairie Road, Metairie, 309-5999, BleuABlowdryBar.com
Ashley Sievert Beauty, 3331 Severn Ave., Suite 204, Metairie, 462-1731, AshleySievert.com
H2O Salon & Spa, 441 Metairie Road, Metairie, 835-4377, H2OSalon-Spa.com
Stone Creek Club & Spa, 1201 Ochsner Blvd., Covington, (985) 801-7100, StoneCreekClubAndSpa.com
what to wear
After so much champagne, the night may be a little fuzzy for some, but with the right outfit you’ll be memorable all year long. Turn heads this year with an unforgettable new look.
For a glitzy, glamorous look that won’t break the bank, Gia’s Boutique offers fashion forward items both online and at its Magazine Street location. Originally a web-based store, Gia’s has grown into an actual brick-and-mortar boutique stocked with a mixture of both classic and trendy pieces and where mixing and matching is encouraged. For celebrating New Year’s Eve, Owner Dana Baumer recommends something sparkly.
“Right now we have some sequin dresses and sequin rompers that are definitely perfect for New Year’s. Even if it’s a little chilly, they can both be worn with tights and booties for a fab look,” says Baumer. One of New Orleans’ favorite color combinations, the sequin dress is gold in color and the romper comes in black and gold.
Another local company with French Quarter and Uptown locations, Trashy Diva features a number of dresses with classic style and an elegant twist.
Erica at Trashy Diva’s Royal Street store recommends rocking a fabulous, flattering silhouette in the Lena Dress.
“The Dragonfly hue will be sure to turn heads! Like most of our styles, the Lena Dress is available in multiple colors, allowing you to choose the hue that suits you best,” says Erica. Shoppers looking for little black dress will also have plenty of options at Trashy Diva.
“From fancy to casual, our dresses are made with fabrics that range from satin to stretch cotton to rayon. Our selection of fantastic accessories is sure to add a little sparkle to your ensemble,” says Rachel from the Magazine Street store.
A popular fashion-forward women’s clothing store, Cella’s Boutique started in the French Quarter at Jackson Square two years ago and has already opened a second location this summer on Magazine Street. According to Owner Marcella Peraza, they carry a mix of premium and accessible clothing, including brands such as Amanda Uprichard, 7 For All Mankind, MLV, Tibi and Chelsea Flower. Fall and winter shoppers can expect fur vests, flared jeans, silk tops and fringe booties, as well as beaded holiday dresses and skirts.
“I would say that the biggest trend for New Year’s Eve is the classic beaded dress with an unexpected, modern detail, such as the open back on one of our MLV dresses, or likewise the slit back on a navy sequin dress we carry,” says Peraza.
A new addition to the New Orleans fashion scene, Clover Boutique has experienced a successful three months on Magazine Street. Owner Melissa Coleman envisioned a store offering exceptional “basics” driven by style rather than trend.
“I wanted to open a store where you could find a black dress, a silk shirt or a cashmere sweater, and you could find them in colors that work,” says Coleman. Clover presents a neutral color palette of mostly black, white, gray, nude and blush. Coleman notes a shift from dresses to jumpsuits this year.
“If I were going out for a New Year’s Eve dinner and show, I’d wear a black silk jumpsuit, dangly earrings and a leather jacket. For something more formal, a black strapless dress by L’Agence,” says Coleman.
The fashion emporium of Yvonne LaFleur has been a New Orleans staple for 45 years. What began as a small boutique is now a 10,000-square-foot Riverbend oasis of women’s clothing in every category. A major plus to shopping at Yvonne LaFleur is access to complimentary alterations on everything sold in-store.
“This does not exist in other stores,” says LaFleur. The proprietress notes that outsourcing alterations usually results in low quality work. For New Year’s Eve-wear, LaFleur offers something for everyone.
“We dress everyone from the stay-at-home lady in luxurious pajamas and a cashmere robe to women looking for a fabulous black dress with a fur wrap, black stockings and great jewelry.” From rhinestones to Swarovski crystal, Yvonne LaFleur can make any outfit shine.
“New Year’s Eve is the perfect night to have fun with your look – this is the night to sparkle,” says Owner Sanja Alickovic of Haute, a fashion hotspot located in the Warehouse District on Magazine Street. Alickovic recommends going all out with sequins, feathers, leather, fur – all of it. “Our favorite look this fall is a fun skirt with embellishment, perhaps feathers and sequins paired with a sleek top,” she says.
According to Alickovic, a chic jumpsuit is a must-have for the holidays. Haute Hippie and Mason have mastered the look and shoppers at Haute can’t get enough. Throughout December, Haute will celebrate its third anniversary with special sales and events. Find announcements via Instagram (@hautenola) or on Facebook (Haute Women’s Boutique).
Gia’s Boutique, 4513 Magazine St., 302-9655, ShopGias.com
Trashy Diva, 2048 Magazine St., 299-8777, 539 Royal St., 522-4233, TrashyDiva.com
Cella’s Boutique, 514 St. Peter St., 529-5110
Clover Boutique, 2240 Magazine St., #101, 272-0792, BoutiqueClover.com
Yvonne LaFleur, 8131 Hampson St., 866-9666, YvonneLaFleur.com
Haute, 725 Magazine St., 522-8687, HauteNola.com
how to finish
While your wardrobe is sure to make a statement, accessories and footwear will give an outfit the finishing touch that says you’re ready for anything.
Already established on the Northshore, Emma’s Shoes & Accessories opened a new location in August, bringing designer footwear, handbags and other accessories to Old Metairie.
“We think a fabulous clutch can make any outfit,” says Store Manager Mallory Goorley. “We have a phenomenal line by L.A.-based Ashlyn’D that are works of art. They even have a built-in mirror for lipstick application,” she says.
According to Goorley, booties are big this winter, and at Emma’s they’re loving the calf-hair details of a 10 Crosby Derek Lam wedge, calf-hair bootie. Another favorite is a studded bootie from See by Chloe.
Great for layering or making a statement, Bittersweet Designs’ jewelry line at Emma’s uses semiprecious stones, vintage Czech glass, freshwater pearls and Ethiopian crosses that result in an elegant and free-spirited line with bohemian flair.
Back Uptown at Feet First’s new Magazine Street location (directly across the street from their old), Visual Merchandise Manager Anastasia Apostolos is busy incorporating the newest trends.
“There’s been a slow turn towards winter white, so people who want to be ahead of this megatrend can use the monochromatic canvas to stand out, especially with a shoe,” says Apostolos. In addition to white, Apostolos is seeing the return of true red in fashion and recommends a simple red suede ankle strap sandal such as the Pelle Moda “Kacey” with an all-white, all-black or all-metallic outfit to lend it an elegant and modern yet timelessly luxurious feeling.
“The shootie is another great option for New Year’s Eve because of the mileage it provides to the wardrobe going in to the New Year,” she says.
At MIMI and CeCe Shoe, “Our philosophy for the holiday party season is ‘when in doubt, overdress!’ Accessories like luxe flats, stunning stilettos, a statement necklace or a hint of sparkle on your ears will guarantee a head-turning entrance,” says Creative Director Kathryn Bullock Joyner. Suggestions for New Year’s Eve footwear include the Aquazzura Matilde metallic pumps and Paul Andrew Fume bow-embellished velvet slippers.
For accessories, Joyner recommends the Lizzie Fortunato Port of Call clutch with hand-embroidered floral print and bead and crystal embellishment – perfect for day to night. Jewelry suggestions include the Lizzie Fortunato Object d’Art necklace.
“With the prevailing 1970s trend still going strong,” says Joyner, “this pendant necklace is the statement piece needed to update all of your basics.”
Around for a stunning 54 years, Chatta Box in Metairie is another boutique known for their professional styling for any occasion.
“We pride ourselves on the service we provide by dressing someone from head to toe,” says Co-Owner and Manager Rebecca Nordgren. “It isn’t unusual that we’ll have three generations of women in the store together and all three will end up finding something.”
From casualwear to formalwear, Chatta Box has it all, but they also focus on jewelry and accessories with lines from Lionette, Virgins Saints & Angels, Trina Turk and Blessings In Disguise.
“Every time we get someone’s clothing together, I’ll say ‘Hold on!’ and run off to get accessories. A cuff bracelet? The right necklace? What handbag does she need, what shoes, pantyhose? We provide all of that,” says Nordgren.
Also located in Old Metairie, FeBe offers best-selling lines such as Vince, Joie and Stuart Weitzman. New to FeBe is a line known for its fun, vivid prints and streamlined silhouettes. This line, Clover Canyon, is designed and produced in Los Angeles.
Store Manager Ron Jones offers advice on staying warm on New Year’s Eve whether you’re in cocktail attire or more casually dressed. The Elizabeth and James Bianca fur jacket is a short fur jacket with a glamorous high collar and it comes in Blush or Charcoal Grey.
“It is beautiful over a cocktail dress but is also fun over jeans and pumps for a more casual party,” says Jones.
When it comes to jewelry and shoes, few people have as much passion as Faye Cannon, owner of Saint Germain in The Shops at Canal Place. For over 30 years, Cannon and Saint Germain have brought unique designer items to New Orleans, including exclusive lines of shoes by Donald J Pliner as well as Arche. French hair accessories, jewelry and designer handbags are also available in the well-established store.
Saint Germain will present a jewelry show December 12 and 13, the perfect time to choose your sparkling fine and fashion pieces for New Year’s Eve. “A great time to accessorize your holiday outfit, the show is also perfect for picking up a few Christmas gifts as well,” says Cannon. As to New Year’s Eve shoes, Cannon recommends a flashy leopard print to accompany a subtle wardrobe.
Emma’s Shoes & Accessories, 110 Rosa Ave., Metairie, 407-0668, EmmasShoes.com
Feet First, 4112 Magazine St., 899-6800, FeetFirstStores.com
MIMI and CeCe Shoe, 5550 Magazine St., 269-6464, MimiNola.com
Chatta Box, 4114 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 454-1527; FeBe, 474 Metairie Road, Suite 102, Metairie, 835-5250
Saint Germain, The Shops at Canal Place, 333 Canal St., Suite 208, 522-1720, SaintGermainNewOrleans.com
where to eat
Resolutions don’t begin until January 1, which means that the final meal of 2014 can be more decadent than ever. Go all out with a savory meal and sweet dessert, and keep that bubbly from going to your head.
This fall, Arnaud’s introduced a few new items to their à la carte menu, which will be offered as usual on New Year’s Eve. Some new dishes include the Gulf fish Mitchell with bouillabaisse reduction, pickled okra and mirliton slaw, and the quail Elzey with seasonal gastrique and seafood boudin. For dessert, Arnaud’s has introduced the new chocolate toffee bombe and a frozen praline soufflé.
“For guests that choose to stay and ring in the new year with us, we pass out hats and tiaras, noisemakers, horns and all that good stuff. It’s a fun, festive occasion and we think there is no better way to celebrate the year past and the new year ahead than at Arnaud’s,” says Proprieter Katy Casbarian.
Broussard’s will kick off the celebration of its 95th birthday on New Year’s Eve. The “95 Years Young” celebration will feature a traditional Reveillon menu at $50 and a special one-time-only, five-course 2014 New Year’s Eve Degustation menu at $95, with an optional $55 five-course premium wine pairing.
“We will also be offering Champagne Luis Roederer Tete de Cuvee, “Cristal” at $75 per glass and $375 per bottle throughout the month of December, and Roederer Estate’s Tete de Cuvee “L’Ermitage” at $15 per glass and $75 per bottle throughout the month,” says General Manager Chric Ycaza. Broussard’s will host a live Jazz trio on New Year’s Eve and feature traditional seasonal cocktails from the Empire Bar – the Bishop, Tom and Jerry and à la minute Egg Noggs, hearkening back to a century ago – provided by head bartender Paul Gustings.
Despite the liveliness of the holiday, a quaint and intimate dining experience can also be had in the French Quarter on New Year’s Eve.
“To arrive at Bayona for a festive New Year’s Eve dinner is a journey back to another era. Our romantic 200-year-old Creole cottage provides the perfect setting for dining on the nationally renowned cuisine of chef Susan Spicer,” says Event Coordinator Regina Keever. The James Beard Foundation, Zagat and multiple publications have praised Bayona’s beautifully executed dishes over the past 24 years. For details on Bayona’s New Year’s Eve dinner and events, call the restaurant or visit its website.
Another historic French Quarter restaurant wooing foodies on New Year’s Eve is Galatoire’s. The Galatoire’s Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne dinner ($175 per person) will begin with a reception at 8 p.m., followed by a five-course dinner at 8:30 p.m. The Anais St. John Gumbo Trio will provide entertainment throughout the evening, and after dinner guests are welcome to enjoy an open bar as they await the countdown.
The Champagne dinner courses include signature canapés, carmelized onion and goat cheese baked tart; seared sea scallop with cauliflower, golden raisins and roasted almonds; duck leg confit l’orange with roasted turnips, prime filet with potato purée, sliced truffles and foie gras demi-glace; and cheesecake with luxardo cherries.
While the French Quarter and downtown offer obvious dinner destinations for a New Year’s Eve, there are plenty of restaurants elsewhere offering early and late seatings for the holiday. Apolline, Uptown on Magazine Street, has been steadily building a reputation for creative, locally sourced dishes from Executive Chef Matt Farmer.
This New Year’s Eve, Apolline will offer a prix fixe four-course early dinner with a 6 p.m. seating ($65) and a six-course late seating at 9 p.m. ($85). Sample menu items include a corn and duck gumbo with pickled okra and potato salad. Heartier dishes include the braised beef short rib with polenta, shitaki mushrooms au jus, and the whole roasted Gulf fish with herb salad, fennel, red chile and verjus vinaigrette. Wine pairings will be available.
Arnaud’s, 813 Bienville Ave., 523-5433, ArnaudsRestaurant.com
Broussard’s, 819 Conti St., 581-3866, Broussards.com
Bayona, 430 Dauphine St., 525-4455, Bayona.com
Galatoire’s, 209 Bourbon St., 525-2021, Galatoires.com
Apolline, 4729 Magazine St., 894-8881, ApolineRestaurant.com
what to do
From hosting your own soirée to spending an exciting night on the town, you can count down the last seconds of 2014 in a number of memorable ways.
A unique venue offering a variety of memorable experiences, the newly renovated Civic Theatre is the oldest theater in New Orleans. An historic setting for dinners, receptions, parties and more, the Civic Theatre is conveniently located downtown in a sports and entertainment district. The winter lineup features several concerts and comedians. Pencil your New Year’s Eve or holiday party between these stellar shows and take advantage of a beautiful theatre equipped with the latest technologies, cutting-edge adaptable flooring and a variety of party packages to fit your budget.
“Crafting an excellent event begins before the doors of the venue ever open,” says Sales Director Kristen Barnes. “We have methodically designed every facet of the Civic Theatre experience, from the event staff to the curation of the spirits served,” says Barnes.
For a full-fledged family affair, one friendly to young children, the Louisiana Children’s Museum presents New Years at noon! The festive event allows families to celebrate together despite party-driven parents’ plans to be out at midnight. “Sesame Street’s” The Count will lead the noon countdown to 2015 complete with a colorful confetti toss and balloon release. Attendees will design a one-of-a-kind paper bag party hat and festive noisemaker while enjoying live music. Tickets are $10 per person.
“The holidays are the perfect time for generations of families to come and play at the Louisiana Children’s Museum,” says CEO Julia Bland. “It is special to watch children, their parents and grandparents delight in the museum’s exhibits, programs and holiday festivities while creating fond family memories.”
Those looking to celebrate beneath the French Quarter fireworks many want to consider boarding the Paddlewheeler Creole Queen for its annual New Year’s Eve Fireworks Cruise.
“Out on the river is always the best view – it’s the best seat in the house,” says Director of Marketing Norm Glindmeyer. “You can avoid the crowds of the French Quarter and any number of things that can hinder your view.”
The cruise includes a late-night buffet of New Orleans cuisine, an open bar, music and dancing, a champagne toast and festive party favors. According to Glindmeyer, the cruise sells out every year, so purchase tickets early and ensure your front-row seat to fireworks on the river.
With lights flashing, beats pumping and drinks being shaken and stirred, The Metropolitan offers a very danceable New Year’s Eve and ranks among the more popular destinations for showing your moves and relaxing with friends. One of New Orleans’ premier nightclubs, The Metropolitan’s lineup will feature some of the city’s top DJs spinning favorite tracks throughout three rooms. A special guest DJ will headline the night – someone with talents rivaling that of the club’s more recent DJs such as The Chainsmokers, Audien and Borgeous. The enormous New Year’s Eve party includes a complimentary champagne toast at the stroke of midnight and the $1,000 balloon drop.
Some people prefer to avoid the boisterous crowds and tipsy renditions of “Auld Lang Syne” by hosting a New Year’s Eve party. Robynn Beck and her husband Michael Beck have made a name for themselves with Party Rentals Delivered, a business dedicated to supplying your party needs.
“Whatever we can do to make things easier for the host or hostess, we’re more than happy to do,” says Robynn Beck. In addition to supplying chairs, tables, linens, glassware and dishes, Beck and her husband can help with design ideas and layouts.
From padded folding chairs to elegant Chiavari chairs in gold, silver, black, white or clear, design options exist for the most casual of parties at home on up to a regal black tie affair at an upscale venue.
Civic Theatre, 510 O’Keefe Ave., 272-0865, CivicNola.com
Louisiana Children’s Museum, 420 Julia St., 523-1357, LCM.org
Creole Queen, 500 Port St., 529-4567, CreoleQueen.com
The Metropolitan, 310 Andrew Higgins Drive, 568-1702, TheMetropolitanNightClub.com
Party Rentals Delivered, 2323 Bainbridge St., #108, Kenner, 441-8705, PartyRentalsDelivered.com