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Behind the Scenes: My Allure Magazine Beauty Blogger Awards Photo Shoot

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True confession: I have daydreamed about walking into the Conde Nast building since I was the editor-in-chief of my high school yearbook. So, to say that visiting the Allure offices was exciting for me would be a massive understatement.

Since those days I’ve often second guessed my career path… I began on the journalism route then took a severe left turn when I embarked on my journey into the beauty industry… before ultimately ending up trying to make a name for myself in a field that’s a strange hybrid of both.

It was when I was inside the elevator at 4 Times Square, on my way up to the photo studio for my shoot, that it clicked. That every decision I have made, traditional or not, has lead me to this moment. And this moment is awesome.

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The studio was incredible – almost as incredible as the rows of designer shoes awaiting my freshly pedicured feet. Cara, Tati (who are both just as sweet and beautiful as they are on their blogs, btw!) and I were whisked into a rotation of fashion fittings, manicures, makeup sessions, and hair styling.

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It’s no secret that I am not a sample size… so I was a little nervous about how they were planning to style my wardrobe. Then I laid eyes on my rack of killer dresses from Diane von Furstenberg, Zac Posen, Jason Wu, and Michael Kors and those fears quickly faded! I ended up wearing a beautiful black, curve-friendly Diane von Furstenberg dress (top left in the style board photo) and…wait for it… a pair of electric blue Manolo Blahniks. Hello, lover!

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I am determined to own these heels one day. And by one day, I mean when the Manolo Blahnik Fall 2013 Collection hits stores in September. Can you start a Kickstarter campaign for shoes? Is that a thing?

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Nail expert (and longtime Marc Jacobs manicurist) Elisa Ferri toned down my bright summer nails to create a more season appropriate look for the fall issue. She used Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in Beige. It’s a gorgeous neutral tone with a subtle iridescent shine. I never want to take it off.

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I was a bit nervous about having my makeup done because I’m so particular about how I do it. Well, that worrying was completely unnecessary because brilliant artist Junko Kioka was the mastermind behind my makeup that day. I was furiously taking notes on the products she was using… and will most definitely add some of them to my own kit soon (Kett Fix Crème makeup, Estee Lauder DoubleWear, and Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage to name a few). I don’t think I’ve ever felt more beautiful!

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The amazing DJ Quintero upped the glam factor even more and gave me some major Veronica Lake meets Jessica Rabbit hair. He set it with Serge Normant Meta Luxe Hair Spray. My hair was touchable and soft, but the style stayed perfectly intact. That stuff is miraculous!

Each of us had our own set in the studio, brilliantly crafted by Allure Fashion Editor J rod Lacks and photographer Jason McDonald. I won’t spoil too much detail on that – you’ll have to buy the October issue of Allure to see the finished product!

Here are some more backstage highlights from the shoot:

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After our whirlwind photo shoot, we embarked on a tour of the Allure offices, complete with a stop at the beauty mecca that is the Allure beauty closet (more on that later). Here’s a peek at my stash:

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As if the day couldn’t get any better, we were invited to meet and chat with editor-in-chief (and author of Allure: Confessions of a Beauty Editor) Linda Wells.

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It. Was. Amazing.

Thank you again to everyone reading this for all of your support during the contest and beyond. I would not have been able to experience this memorable day if it weren’t for you!

I’m back in Florida for now… but I’m definitely stuck in a New York state of mind. Stay tuned for more (yes, more!) on my Allure experience… including my top ten picks from the Allure beauty closet!

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