My New Voices of Beauty Experience

pg-nvob What an incredible ride it has been since my New Voices of Beauty journey began back in October at LuckyFABB East!

This is my last official post as one of Lucky magazine and P&G Beauty’s New Voices of Beauty, but I will forever be a cheerleader for COVERGIRL, Olay, Pantene, and Secret. In fact, I always have been, even before I received a fancy title.

Literally the first cosmetic product I ever purchased was by COVERGIRL, so the fact that I was named an honorary blogger and an official ambassador for the brand still blows my mind. I’ve been practicing “Easy, breezy, beautiful,” in the mirror since I was like 12. So, it just made sense to me to apply to audition for the New Voices of Beauty when the opportunity popped up nearly nine months ago.

I’ll never forget sitting in my Manhattan hotel room when I received the official “You’ve been selected to audition for the New Voices of Beauty tomorrow!” email. SO much has happened since then… and I will be forever grateful for this experience. Prepare to take a walk down memory lane and see some of my favorite moments below…

The audition

NVB1 What a day that was! I don’t think I’ve ever been so nervous in my life. Thirty of us were selected to audition… and it was pretty intense. If you’d like to see how I did, you can check out my video below:

Fun fact: Anna Wintour walked by our group when we were sitting outside of the casting room. Of course I was too busy Instagramming about my interview to realize it was her. Classic.

The voting process

NVB2 When I found out that I was selected as one of eight finalists in November I was so stoked! I was also overwhelmed with the response from my amazing readers and friends who voted their hearts out for me until December. Thank you all again so much from the bottom of my heart. I couldn’t have done this without you!

Winner announcement

nvb4 #BestDayEver. Seriously. Even then I don’t think I realized how many amazing things were in store for me at that point though!

The challenges

nvb3 One of my favorite aspects of this campaign was being prompted to write about these products that I already know and love! I had a blast dishing out tips and sharing my favorite P&G products.

The New York trip and video shoot

photo This trip was absolutely amazing. (Click here for the full recap.) My favorite part? Filming this video! (Oh, and seeing snow for the first time, too. That was pretty cool.)

LuckyFABB West

IMG_8629 Just when I thought my jet-setting days were calming down a bit, we were invited to LuckyFABB West in Los Angeles to represent the New Voices of Beauty. We had way too much fun.

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The June/July issue of Lucky

A couple weeks ago, I flipped open my new issue of Lucky to find this:

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It was a total surprise. Never in a million years did I think that I would ever share magazine page space with Nicole Richie and Coco Rocha, but I’ll take it!

Not to turn all sappy here, but this wasn’t just about glossy pages, luxurious trips, and free swag. I truly loved working with the Lucky team, the gals at P&G Beauty, and of course, my fellow New Voices of Beauty. Amy, Naty, and Nikki are an absolute blast and I’m thrilled that I got to share this experience with them. I’m going to stop now before I cry.

Thank you all for tagging along with me on this journey. It’s one that I’ll never forget! #NVBforever.

[Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Procter & Gamble and Lucky magazine, but all opinions and ideas are my own.]

My LuckyFABB West Recap

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Things have been crazy since I returned from my whirlwind trip to California! Shame on me for taking 8 million years (or two weeks, give or take) to get this post up, but better late than never, right?  If you follow me on Instagram, I’m sure you noticed that I had a pretty epic time at Lucky Magazine’s Fashion and Beauty Blogger Conference.

In case you missed it, here’s the Cliff’s Notes version of what lead me to LuckyFABB West:

  1. I attended LuckyFABB East in October in NYC.
  2. While I was there, I was selected to audition for Lucky Magazine’s New Voices of Beauty.
  3. They picked me as a finalist in December.
  4. You guys voted your faces off and helped me win one of the four top spots!
  5. Lucky flew me to NYC to shoot a New Voices of Beauty video in January.
  6. Lucky sent me to LuckyFABB West earlier this month to share my experience with the other LuckyFABBers!
  7. Full circle FABB happiness.

So, that’s how I got there. And now, here’s what I did…

After checking into the fabulous SLS Beverly Hills Hotel, the first pre-FABB soiree I attended was the “Good Taste Inspires” event hosted by Wendy’s at Blow Me Away Blow Dry Bar.

As usual, I went rogue and used the Wendy’s logo as style inspiration instead of selecting one from the menu. My stylist Heidi was AWESOME and all for it! She gave me faux bangs to match the cartoon and we coined the term #GlamourPigtails. I had way too much fun channeling my inner Wendy’s girl.

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I also learned about the style contest Wendy’s is currently running in partnership with awesome fashion inspiration site Polyvore. (More on that later!)

After finishing my Wendy’s Asian Cashew Chicken Salad (which was super tasty, by the way), I headed to an evening of Hollywood glamour with SexyHair at Duplex on Third. It was chic to death in there. Fell in LOVE with the venue and had an absolute blast. Oldies played in the background and quotes by Marilyn Monroe, the face of SexyHair, were displayed everywhere. Oh, and the signature cocktail was a raspberry infused vodka lemonade concoction called “The Bombshell.” Love.

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SexyHair Master Artist Nadirah Volpe styled me up with some serious old Hollywood waves using the new SexyHair Get Layered Flash Dry Thickening Spray.

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I am obsessed with how it came out! There was a serious Veronica Lake situation going on. Apparently SexyHair liked how it came out too because I won their #SexyIsForever photo contest from that night! I’m currently sitting on about a year’s worth of their products that I will blog more about soon. 😉

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I was also reunited with my fellow New Voices of Beauty! We had a moment.

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The next day I was up early for the main event! I ate the cutest breakfast ever.

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Then had a spaz when I opened the official Lucky FABB Agenda and saw my name!

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Spazzed again when I saw Nicole Richie’s hair in person. Lavender envy ensued.

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She gabbed about her House of Harlow 1960 line, that Givenchy blazer, what she grows in her garden, and her love of fanny packs. So adorable.

My fav takeaway from Nicole Richie though was what she had to say about having it all. “You can’t expect to do 100%, 100% of the time,” she said. “It’s not about living up to everyone else’s expectations, it’s about doing what you can do.”

Preach, sister.

Some of my other fav quotes from the speakers at FABB:

  • “Don’t act like you’ve arrived when you’re only just getting the invitation.” – Sophia Amoruso, CEO of Nasty Gal
  • “You have to hard wire yourself to be positive. Choose happiness.” – Eva Chen, Lucky Magazine Editor in Chief
  • “‘What’s the trend you’re most looking forward to?’ Just wear clothes!” – Model Coco Rocha

I also LOVED the breakout sessions I attended, but I was especially impressed with the #InstaBeautyIRL Beauty Session sponsored by my friends at P&G Beauty! Badass makeup artist Kirin Bhatty demonstrated how to recreate certain Instagram filters in real life by using products from CoverGirl, Olay, Pantene, and Secret. She used me as a model and demonstrated how to Mayfair me up using the awesome CoverGirl truMagic bronzer. It was awesome.

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After day one of the conference, I met up with the Lucky mag and P&G Beauty girls for a #MMM. (Madatory Margarita Meeting.) We all drank delicious jasmine margaritas and toasted to another exciting New Voices of Beauty Adventure.

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We also chatted about the next day’s main event… Networking Brunch!

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Brunch attendees were greeted with giant posters of our faces and the official NVB video on repeat on a big screen tv. It was hilarious, but pretty awesome too.

During brunch, the New Voices of Beauty were interviewed…

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Good times ensued.

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And then we all laughed, ate, connected with brands, made new blogger friends, and fangirled over Eva Chen.

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After brunch we collected some serious swag (more on that later!) and then headed to another fab event at the spa at the SLS. I learned a ton of fun tips on how to incorporate honey into your beauty routine!

After that, I caused trouble in the bathroom with some beauties, hit one more event with my app designing friends at DWNLD Media, and drank way too much wine before flying home and losing my luggage upon my return to Florida.

Even with that, the trip was amaaaazing. I might still be catching up on sleep.

Thank you again to all of you, my readers, because I would not have been able to have this awesome experience without your support. I learned a ton and had a blast. Feeling very thankful. I can’t wait to share more of the products, tips, and tricks I discovered on my trip soon! xoxo

My LuckyFABB Beauty Essentials

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Have I mentioned recently how excited I am to attend LuckyFABB this week?! If you somehow missed the memo on what FABB is, it’s an incredible conference for fashion and beauty bloggers featuring amazing panelists and speakers in the industry including major style icons like Nicole Richie, January Jones, Coco Rocha, and more. Lucky Magazine is sending me along with my fellow New Voices of Beauty out to Los Angeles to attend and also represent our favorite COVERGIRL, Olay Fresh Effects, Pantene and Secret products!

I am planning to attend all of the FABB events, so I have a ton of outfits and beauty essentials to pack. Of course, I keep changing my mind about my FABB wardrobe so I’ve been switching out pieces from my suitcase all day. I’ll be honest, fashion wise, my suitcase is leaning floral. Which always reminds me of this:

florals for spring

But if it’s not broke, don’t fix it right? While the jury is still out as far as my exact FABB outfits, one thing is for sure – I have all of the beauty essentials I need!

When I’m traveling with such a jam packed schedule I really need all the time-saving help I can get. The Pantene Pro-V Root Reboot Dry Shampoo is going to be a serious lifesaver on this trip! It will cut down my regular shampoo and conditioner routine immensely. Pantene found a solution to the common concern of dull and dirty hair through a new oil absorber technology featuring tapioca. Pantene’s formula eliminates the need for emollient ingredients, which can interfere with a dry shampoo’s ability to clean, resulting in clean looking and feeling hair… in just a few seconds!

I’m also packing my favorites from COVERGIRL. The COVERGIRL Bombshell Volume by LashBlast Mascara I’m always gushing about is a given, but I’m also really excited about two new COVERGIRL finds that are perfect for this season and for traveling! The COVERGIRL LipPerfection Jumbo Gloss Balm in Frosted Cherry Twist is pretty much the perfect lippie for an effortless one-step spring lip. No need for a liner, stick, and gloss when this one does the trick of all three! I’m also obsessing over the COVERGIRL truMAGIC Collection. I’m definitely packing the truMAGIC Luminizer because it works as a highlighter as well as an eye shadow. Love love love.

I’m bringing along my Olay Fresh Effects faves too. I have to put my best face forward even with the jet lag, so I’m depending on Olay Fresh Effects {Bright on Schedule} Eye Awakening Cream to help create the illusion of well rested eyes. The tri-rollerball applicator cools and massages skin to quickly reduce the look of puffiness and dark circles while the formula, with cucumber, hydrates under-eye skin for an instant pick-me-up. I’m also taking the Olay Fresh Effects {Dew Over!} Hydrating Gel Moisturizer to ensure my skin has that dewy springtime glow. And I can’t forget the amazing Olay Fresh Effects {Everything Off!} Deluxe Make-Up Removal Wet Cloths. These babies will be a lifesaver when I’m switching my makeup from event to event throughout the trip! They’ll also come in handy if I have any late nights… which, let’s great real, is probably going to happen.

Last, but certainly not least, I’m packing deodorant from the Secret Destinations Collection. I’m bringing the Hawaii Citrus Breeze scent with me. It’s a blend of mango, grapefruit and red berries and it smells amazing. Perfect to keep me feeling fresh on my California adventure!

Stay tuned for more about my FABB adventures and don’t forget to follow Lucky’s Nine LuckyFABB Bloggers You Should Start Reading Now. I have a feeling all of our posts are going to get pretty FABBulous in the next few days in preparation for the big event!

[Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Procter & Gamble and Lucky Magazine, but all opinions and ideas are my own.]

I’m a “New Voices of Beauty” Finalist!

newvoicescap3crop You guys, I’m so excited I can barely breathe.

I mentioned in my LuckyFABB post that I was one of 30 bloggers selected to audition for the New Voices of  Beauty Contest while I was in New York for the conference. Well, I just heard from team Lucky that I have been selected as a finalist!  Whaaaat!

The 8 finalists were chosen by Lucky Magazine and P&G Beauty based on our on-camera interviews we filmed in the Lucky casting office. (If you would like to see me stumble through my answers, the vid is up on the Lucky site!)

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After my whirlwind experience with Allure this year, I thought it wasn’t possible for something like this to come along again. Guess I was wrong! It is seriously blowing my mind that I’m in another contest with another fabulous publication that I adore… and also the largest consumer beauty company, like, ever. (In case you aren’t familiar, P&G practically owns the world… including some of the best beauty brands like COVERGIRL, Olay, Pantene, and Secret.)

The 8 of us will be whittled down to 4 winners that will be selected on January 6th based on a combination of public votes and a Lucky and P&G Beauty Judging Panel.

The 4 winning bloggers will receive:

  • Title of “New Voices of Beauty Honorary Blogger”
  • Year’s supply of COVERGIRL, Olay, Pantene, and Secret product (If I win, you better believe I will be hosting giveaways for you guys with some of those goodies!)
  • Feature in a Lucky-produced “A Day in the Life of the New Voices of Beauty” Video filmed in New York City
  • Recognition on P&G Beauty Media Platforms like StyleUnited by PGEveryDay.com

Of course, this honor will also be paired with serious beauty cred and opportunities out the wazoo.

I seriously could not do any of this without my awesome readers, so thank you guys SO MUCH for all of your support. And thank you in advance for the continued support because I’m going to need your help again! Only 4 bloggers will earn the New Voices of Beauty title, so I need your votes to stay in the game! Voting continues through December 6th and I would love you forever if you would visit this link and vote. Sharing is also much appreciated!

Keeping with tradition, I just have to pair a cocktail with this news. I hope you will all join me in a drink today to celebrate! I present to you, The Lucky Rita. Cheers! 😉

Lucky RitaLucky Rita

(recipe courtesy of Sauza)

2 parts Sauza Blue 100% Agave Silver Tequila

1 part Dekuyper Melon Liqueur

4 parts limeade

In a shaker filled with ice, combine all ingredients and shake to chill. Strain into a cocktail glass filled with ice and rimmed with sugar. Garnish with a lime. Enjoy!

Highlights from LuckyFABB (and my New York City Adventure Recap!)

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At long last, here is my LuckyFABB recap! It may have been two weeks ago, but I’m still reeling from all of the excitement from the two-day event put on by Lucky Magazine and Procter & Gamble in New York City.

Day one (which took place at the TimesCenter) was filled with panel discussions and one-on-one Q&A sessions lead by the amazingly awesome Eva Chen, the newly crowned Editor-in-Chief of Lucky. (By the way if you do not already follow her on all of her fashion-tastic social media channels, you need to go do so, like, right now.) Here are Eva and I, in all our grainy quick-cell-phone-pic glory. I was trying not to geek out too much, but it was tough. KatieEvaChen

My favorite interview she did on the LuckyFABB stage was with Eva Mendes… who I just fell in love with while listening to her speak. Eva shared her favorite beauty sites (like Violet Grey and Honey Rider) and gushed about her fashion crush (Vanessa Paradis). She also talked about her recently launched fashion line, a collaboration with New York and Company inspired by classic shapes and vintage beauty.

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The best part of the Q&A might have been when she grabbed a scarf off an audience member and taught us how she loves to tie scarves in her hair. At that very moment, the crowd (myself included) freaked over her insane down to earthiness.

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Eva later interviewed the adorable Kate Bosworth, who also recently launched a fashion collaboration. Kate’s is a collection with TOPSHOP. It’s lots of metallic and red leather and awesomeness. Check it out!

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The second day was devoted to breakout sessions and offered awesome inspiration in a truly intimate setting. It took place at the Conde Nast Building (where I had one of the best days of my life just a few months ago). My day kicked off with an amazing demonstration by one of my favorite makeup artists, Jake Bailey. He is Katy Perry’s personal makeup artist and is responsible for some of her most iconic looks. In this “beauty scoop” session he dished tips and tricks for using various Procter & Gamble brands including CoverGirl and Olay. One of my favorite takeaways was that he swears by the CoverGirl Intense ShadowBlast and also uses it as a highlighter. Definitely on my list of products to check out!

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I had to leave Jake’s makeup session early for my casting interview for the New Voices of Beauty contest! I was one of 30 girls selected to audition… and they are going to pick 8 finalists and 4 winners of the coveted New Voice of Beauty title. I haven’t heard either way yet, but whatever happens I’ll be happy because I feel good about my interview. It was really fun even though I was terrified. (Of course, if anything happens with that, you guys will be first to know!) Oh, and Anna Wintour walked by when I was sitting outside of the casting room. Whhhhaaaat! Definitely a day for the memory books.

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After that, I attended several different discussions with powerhouse brand leaders like Katia Beauchamp of Birchbox and Neil Blumenthal of Warby Parker. Both insanely intelligent and inspiring. It was a great day that ended with an epic LuckyFABB swag bag. You’ll see my favs in future obsession of the day posts!

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While in New York for my three day trip, I also squeezed in a Broadway show, got hit on by Spider Man, had the best sushi ever with one of my best friends, got drunk in Little Italy at a really cute wine bar, met a lot of awesome people and made some great memories. All in all, I’d say it was a successful trip. Can’t wait to get back there and take another bite out of the big apple! :)