On June 9th and 10th, POPSUGAR hosted their first festival, POPSUGAR Playground at Pier 94 in NYC. The event was chock full of fitness classes, celebrity panels, beauty tutorials and vendors that had everything to do with beauty, fitness and wellness.

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Besides the amazing panels from top celebrities and inspiring women in business and culture, companies like Nordstrom, Kohl’s, Lulu’s, Victoria’s Secret and more were on site to provide additional activities to complement the event. The space was anchored with a large shopping area and rainbow-colored slides leading into an adult size ball pit filled with over 200K plastic balls!



Since it was difficult to be everywhere at once, below are my top 10 experiences from the event:

10) Getting An Aura Reading by Family of Light in the VIP Lounge

Taking the place of getting a tarot card reading or your fortune told, aura reading is the newest way to learn about the energy you walk around with every day. The reading is conducted by taking a photo of your aura with a special camera that captures the color that is surrounding you at the moment. Mine for the event was a golden yellow, signifying inner power and optimism!

 9) Getting a Braid from PRIV in Bumble’s booth

In addition to swag and giving dating profile advice, PRIV was in Bumble’s booth offering complimentary braids, which were perfect to prepare all the girls taking the fitness classes throughout the day.

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8)  Hearing Tinashe sing Dollar Signs

Tinashe was the musical act for Saturday evening and performed for an intimate audience at the venue. The best part was when she sang Dollar Signs, which was her collaboration with Calvin Harris off his album, Motion.

7) Taking an empowering Barre3 class from Founder Sadie Lincoln

Sadie Lincoln came in from Portland to lead a Barre3 class, the method that has become one of most effective barre programs you can take. Sadie preached inspiring mantras as event goers gradually worked up a sweat through focused movements.

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6) Getting an LED and Rose Gold Facial from Skin Inc

Skin Inc treated attendees to mini facials with their Optimizer Voyage Tri-Light – Customizable Facial in a Flash Device, which provides LED Chromotherapy and low frequency stimulation that treats ailments that commonly affect skin. Attendees were also sent away with a customized serum that incorporates ingredients that cater to tindividuals skin needs, treating issues like uneven skin tone and puffiness.

 5)  Hearing that Charlotte Tilbury wears makeup to bed

Makeup maven Charlotte Tilbury graced the POPSUGAR stage and shared knowledge from her extensive career in the industry doing makeup for the likes of Kate Moss, Kim Kardashian and Amal Clooney to name a few. The “she’s just like us,” moment came when Charlotte shared that she wears makeup to bed because that’s what makes her feel good.

 4)  Dancing with Simone La Rue from Body by Simone

Simone La Rue turned the POPSUGAR Ground Stage into a dance frenzy with a session inspired by her Body by Simone classes. She started the gathering with stats on the benefits of dance cardio, how it helps not only the body, but also the mind by having to remember combinations. On top of all those advantages, it’s fun too!


3)   Getting insight from a pregnant Kate Hudson

Kate Hudson sat down with sister duo, Erin and Sara Foster to talk all things career and life and to speak about her fitness line, Fabletics. It wasn’t a surprise to hear that Kate felt Almost Famous was a life-changing role and a role that women wish would come their way.

2)   Hearing Mindy Kalings’s entertainment industry advice

Not only was Mindy hilarious, but she was able to speak about her experience in the entertainment industry and how she persevered when there weren’t many women of color doing what she wanted to do. She did also talk about her relationships with Reese Witherspoon and Oprah!

1) Getting to Meet Kayla Itsines and take her class

As one of the most innovative influencers in fitness today, it was an honor to get to not only meet Kayla Itsines, but to get to take her class in person. The difficulty of the class, which was a fraction of the time that the classes usually are, just showed why so many of her followers have such amazing results. 

Since this was the first endeavor for POPSUGAR into festivals, I look forward to see what they come up with next!

– Stephanie Carino

Photos by Getty Images