How to Prep
Party prep is essential for a night that brings some of the biggest bashes of the year, and it’s the perfect occasion to splurge on spa time and skincare.
A full-service day spa on Magazine Street, Belladonna recently added medical aesthetics to its menu of offerings. A few weeks out from New Year’s Eve, MedSpa Director Donna Tesi recommends exploring anti-aging treatments such as injectables and fillers. As the date nears, Tesi recommends the Soothing, Sensitive Facial, which is tailored for sensitive or dehydrated skin and revitalizes, increases strength and enhances radiance of the skin.
“Many of our clinical treatments can be done the day of or day before any event, including our anti-oxidant treatment, which smooths and brightens to nourish, fortify, revive and deeply hydrate your skin,” says Tesi.
At his Facial Plastic Surgery practice, Dr. Sean Weiss – a facial rejuvenation expert – recommends the DermaGlo facial two or three weeks in advance of the New Year. The DermaGlo facial combines Obagi Blue Radiance Peeling with dermaplaning for radiant skin that shines.
“In addition, our patients are loving the all new Obagi Professional-C Microdermabrasion Polish & Mask, which removes dull, dead skin and reveals brighter, healthier looking skin,” says Dr. Weiss.
In the 24 hours leading up to the big celebration, Dr. Weiss recommends drinking plenty of water and using a gentle exfoliating scrub, such as Skin Medica’s AHA/BHA facial cleanser. Following exfoliation, he says to hydrate the skin with Skin Medica’s HA5 and treat the under-eye skin with Obagi’s elastiderm serum to decrease puffiness and smooth away fine lines.
For day-of, immediate results that second as relaxing holiday pampering, Woodhouse Day Spa offers a number of facials designed to enhance glow.
“We just launched our new Collagen-boosting Facial by Babor Skincare, which plumps and tones the skin to give a radiant glow,” says Giselle McBee, Co-Owner of Woodhouse New Orleans and Woodhouse Metairie. “We also provide our Illuminating Facial by Skin Ceuticals that will brighten the skin, and the Woodhouse Hydrafacial, which infuses antioxidants into the skin for that glow we’re all looking for,” she says.
For a full-body treat, McBee recommends the Lazy Day Renewal Ritual, which incorporates Ireland’s VOYA skincare line, a full-body seaweed scrub and bath and a 45-minute Swedish Massage using serum from the leaves.
With a focus on anti-aging, Dr. Kelly Burkenstock of Dr. Burkenstock’s Skin-Body-Health recommends preparing for New Year’s Eve a few weeks in advance with a Vampiress PRP Treatment, which she says can enhance the complexion immediately and leave it glowing and fresh.
“The bonus is as platelet rich plasma soaks deep into your epidermis and dermis, the collagen and elastin and capillary networks are renewed and repaired – so a short term win and a long-term gain,” says Dr. Burkenstock.
Note: St. Charles Avenue magazine doesn’t advocate plastic surgery except under certain conditions. Please consult your doctor before undertaking any medical procedure or large change to your diet.
Belladonna Day Spa, 2900 Magazine St., 891-4393, BelladonnaDaySpa.com
Dr. Sean Weiss – Facial Plastic Surgery, 2201 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Suite 408, Metairie, 814-FACE (3223), SeanWeissMD.com/SaintCharlesAvenue
Woodhouse Day Spa, 4030 Canal St., 482-6652, NewOrleans.WoodhouseSpas.com; 5004 W. Esplanade Ave., 584-4004, Metairie.WoodhouseSpas.com
Dr. Kelly Burkenstock’s Skin-Body-Health, 6600 Fleur De Lis, 888-2829, SkinBodyHealth.com
What to Wear
A night like New Year’s Eve calls for standing out from the crowd.
Sal Trentacoste, Owner and Buyer at Elizabeth’s, recommends taking advantage of the plethora of fashionable, luxurious fabrics currently on the market. From metallic sheens to embellishments, adding shine will certainly give your outfit some pizzazz.
“There’s so much shine, even in denim now,” says Trentacoste. “So whether a turtleneck with shiny jeans and great boots or an embellished gown – with sequins or metallic embroidery – there are a lot of ways to shine,” he says.
At FeBe, Owners Bessie Papazis and Effie Boihem are excited about this year’s holiday styles, including monochromatic neutrals, animal prints, luxurious faux fur and sequins.
“When getting ready for a night out on New Year’s Eve, an incredible statement dress or sharp pant is a must,” says Effie Boihem. “The perfect New Year’s Eve look might feature the Tanya Taylor Tabitha dress or the Trina Turk Chimayo pant,” she says. On a mild, cool New Year’s Eve night, Boihem recommends ditching a coat for a standout top from Ulla Johnson.
According to Michele LaCour Percy, COO and Senior Buyer at Lukka Boutique, animal prints are having a big moment – leopard, snake, tiger, zebra, you name it. Percy also notes that sequins are on trend this season.
“Everyone is looking to stand out, and sequins will definitely have heads turning,” says Percy. “We are obsessing over our new line, Retrofête, that does sequins like no other. All hand done and ready to party,” she says.
Certainly, we shouldn’t forget the gentlemen looking to stand out on New Year’s Eve, and whether the night calls for formalwear or a stylish sweater, Perlis has options for the men looking to impress.
“We have made-to-measure custom suits and plaid and wool sport coats by brands like Coppley and David Donahue,” says Bebe Rafferty, Marketing Coordinator for Perlis Clothing. “Also, American alligator belts and watermeter and crawfish cufflinks add a fun flair for standing out,” she says. Perlis also conveniently offers tuxedo rentals and tuxedos to purchase for more formal occasions.
Elizabeth’s, 204 Metairie Road, Metairie, 833-3717
FeBe, 474 Metairie Road, Suite 102, Metairie, 835-5250, FeBeClothing.com
Lukka Boutique, 711 O’Keefe Ave., 218-7113, ShopLukka.com
Perlis, 6070 Magazine St., 895-8661, Perlis.com
How To Finish
Making a statement doesn’t end with the outfit – accessories also contribute to a stand-out appearance, and extravagance abounds in this season’s shoes, bags and more.
At Wildflower, Owner Danielle Conrad focuses on beaded bags, shoes with fun accents and statement earrings.
“We are known for our amazing jewelry selection, so of course we feel like earrings are key to standing out in a crowd,” says Conrad. “We’re loving long, simple crystal earrings with hair pulled back, or a big, chunky statement earring if you’re wearing your hair down,” she says.
If the outfit’s simple, Conrad suggests going all out with earrings. She cautions against pairing necklaces with statement earrings, saying that less can be more. If going the sequined route, she suggests a simple hoop or crystal ear crawler.
According to Kathryn Bullock Joyner, Co-owner of Pilot + Powell, “The key to standing out in a crowd is not about the ‘it’ thing, it’s about the hidden luxury – feeling good, being comfortable and suiting your mood,” she says. “The key is to make any outfit uniquely your own.”
Joyner recommends mixing Lizzie Fortunato’s Mood Hoop earrings or emphasizing the waist of a slip dress or paperbag pant with Isabel Marat’s crystal belt. She loves knee-high boots, which can be paired with a midi-dress or skirt or worn over straight-leg denim. Naked, “barely there” sandals, hair accessories and conversational clutches also top her list.
Well known for their exclusive, patterned dresses, local label Trashy Diva is also home to a huge selection of statement jewelry – beads, sequins, feathers and tassels.
“We love a bold statement sequin and beaded earring paired with a metallic leather heel, says Candice Gwinn, Designer & Owner of Trashy Diva. “We’ll be launching a selection of custom-made, colored metallic leather heels from Re-Mix footwear just in time for New Year’s,” she says.
For an edgier look, Gwinn recommends pairing Trashy Diva’s 1950s leopard collection with a brightly colored maribou feather jacket and going all-out colorful with a contrasting colored heel and earring.
New Year’s Eve calls for pulling out all the stops, and beyond shoes and jewelry, scarves and gloves can be a fun way to add glamour or sophistication to your look. At Relish, Owner Beth Harris has recently brought in unique gloves and scarves sourced in Europe.
“Gloves are perfect for keeping your hands warm, and we like to go with ones that have more personality and stand out,” says Harris. From faux, shiny snake-skin to suede with fur pompoms, gloves offer more ways to have fun with your outfit, and variety of flashy or subtle scarves can do the same.
Wildflower, 2700 Metairie Road, Suite C, Metairie, 218-8996, WildflowerNola.com
Pilot + Powell, 3901 Magazine St., 827-1727, PilotAndPowell.com
Trashy Diva, 2048 Magazine St., 299-8777, TrashyDiva.com
RELISH, 600 Metairie Road, Metairie, 309-3336, RelishNewOrleans.com
Where to Eat
From quiet and quaint to boisterous and celebratory, different restaurant atmospheres can contribute to the fun and allure of New Year’s. While some seek a lively gathering with friends, others choose to begin the night with a romantic dinner for two before ratcheting up the excitement at a party or big event.
With its active open kitchen on full display, the environment at Briquette caters to those who seek the festive and fun. Close to the river and fireworks, the restaurant offers a contemporary vibe complemented by the historic charm of an old molasses factory. Coastal cuisine is the focus at Briquette, which is named for its featured method of seafood preparation, grilling whole fish over red-hot briquettes.
In addition to whole fish, Briquette offers filets of redfish, snapper, halibut, and salmon. The restaurant menu also includes USDA prime beef, pork porterhouse and pasta, as well as extensive wine and cocktails lists. Proprietor Anna Tusa recommends concluding your meal with the bread pudding beignets served with Irish cream for dipping.
Another festive restaurant close to the action is Tableau, a contemporary French Creole restaurant on the edge of Jackson Square.
“Tableau is its own respite in the middle of the action of the French Quarter,” says Wesley Janssen, Marketing Specialist at Dickie Brennan & Co. “Weather permitting, you can have a bird’s eye view of the New Year’s Eve action from the wrap-around balcony overlooking the Square and St. Louis Cathedral,” she says.
Janssen recommends starting the night with one of the many bottle of bubbles curated by sommelier Tyler Cox and the Grand Royale appetizer with crabmeat ravigote, shrimp remoulade, truffled crab claws and fried oysters with roasted garlic butter.
For a quiet yet celebratory escape with a special prix fixe menu, Gabrielle is a small, neighborhood, fine-dining restaurant that offers big South Louisiana flavor. Family owned and operated, Gabrielle offers an intimate atmosphere just five minutes from downtown.
On New Year’s Eve, Gabrielle will feature a four-course prix fixe menu highlighting some of the best of chef Greg Sonnier’s creations, including the popular slow roasted duck with crimini mushrooms, roasted peppers and Louisiana orange-sherry sauce over shoestring potatoes. A selection of sparkling wines and champagnes, in addition to hats, crowns, fireworks and sparklers, will add to the night’s fun.
If you want to add some party flavor to your New Year’s Eve dining experience, The Country Club is offering an all-inclusive dinner celebration. A three-course meal will be preceded by a cocktail, champagne and hors d’oeuvre reception.
General Manager Bert McComas recommends the crab beignets, prime filet mignon, and the Madera cake as excellent course selections. In addition to the reception and meal (as well as tax and tip), the experience also includes bottomless champagne, live music, party favors and access to the pool and entire facility for the party. The Bywater restaurant provides easy access to Crescent Park and the “Rusty Rainbow” for viewing fireworks.
Briquette, 701 S. Peters St., 302-7496, Briquette-Nola.com
Tableau, 616 St. Peter St., 934-3463, TableauFrenchQuarter.com
Gabrielle, 2441 Orleans Ave., 603-2344, GabrielleResaurant.com
Country Club, 634 Louisa St., 945-0742, TheCountryClubNewOrleans.com
What to Do
New Year’s Eve is all about celebrating, and fortunately there’s no lack of ways to celebrate in a city like New Orleans. There is something to suit everyone, from the low-key to the extravagant.
A favorite St. Charles Avenue locale, The Columns Hotel offers a comfortable and grand destination for those not looking to wander downtown into the thick of the city’s celebrations. A lively, energetic atmosphere takes over the Victorian Lounge with complimentary party favors, a champagne toast at midnight and live music from Kathleen Wilson from 9 p.m. to midnight.
“One doesn’t have to get dressed in tails to the nines to dance with a first or lifelong love,” says Adam Miller, Director of Catering and Events. Rather, the upscale casual nature of The Columns makes for the perfect combination of comfort and style.
For those who do want to dress to the nines, opulent event space Marché is hosting a one-of-a-kind New Year’s Eve experience overlooking the riverfront fireworks and with a bird’s eye view of the ball drop. The elegant bash starts at 9 p.m. and ends at 1 a.m., with live music from The Benchwarmers, a premium open bar, gourmet stations featuring New Orleans cuisine, party favors for each guest and a champagne toast at midnight. Tickets/reservations should be purchased in advance.
Meanwhile, “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” with Ryan Seacrest will return to the French Quarter this year in conjunction with the Allstate® Fan Fest, preceding the Allstate® Sugar Bowl®. The fourth annual event will feature a celebrity host who rings in the New Year with performances from some of the top talent in the nation. New Orleans locals and visitors can watch live at the Allstate® Fan Fest at 500 Decatur St., or turn on the excitement at your home or party – the special will broadcast live on ABC starting at 7 p.m. CST.
For family-friendly New Year’s Eve fun, the annual Noon Year’s Eve countdown will take place at the Louisiana Children’s Museum, now located in New Orleans City Park at 15 Henry Thomas Drive. The all-ages event caters to the little ones and runs from 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, still allowing parents time to get home and don their party clothes before heading out on the town.
The Columns Hotel, 3811 St. Charles Ave., 899-9308, TheColumns.com
Marché, 914 N. Peters St., 586-1155, MarcheNewOrleans.com
“Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” with Ryan Seacrest 2020 & Allstate® Fan Fest , 500 Decatur St., DickClark.com/shows
Louisiana Children’s Museum, 15 Henry Thomas Drive, 523-1357, LCM.org