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My New Voices of Beauty Experience

pg-nvobWhat 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

NVB1What 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

NVB2When 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

nvb3One 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

photoThis 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_8629Just 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.]

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Allure Magazine’s Best of Beauty Issue is Officially on Sale! (And I’m in it too!)

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Remember that little contest I was in? And the photo shoot that went along with it? Of course you do! You all are the reason I placed in the top three and received the Most Buzzworthy title in the 2013 Beauty Blogger Awards! So, thank you again so much… because I truly could not have done this without you.

The October issue of Allure hit the shelves this week and I finally got my hands on a copy tonight. I literally danced around Publix with the cashier as I was checking out. It is so surreal to pick up a magazine in the store and see your face in it when you flip through the pages. I feel incredibly honored to be included in Allure’s famed Best of Beauty issue… and their biggest issue ever!

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In addition to me gushing about my love of cosmetics and cocktails, the mag is packed with useful beauty goodness… like the details on the 246 amazing winners from Allure’s Best of Beauty Awards! Find out the hardest-working anti-agers, most effective frizz fighters, and the mascara that will make eyes bigger, brighter, and sexier (“Best of Beauty,” page 282). Plus: the most innovative new beauty products on the market (“The Big Breakthroughs,” page 203), worth-it splurges, and an award-worthy makeup palette for under $8!

It is definitely a must-read for all beauty fans… and I’m not just saying that because I’m in it. Speaking of which… here’s a sneak peek at part of my story (“The New Beauty Stars,” page 148):

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So exciting! To read the rest you’ll have to pick up a copy of Allure… on sale now at a newsstand near you! :)

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Martinis and Mascara Named One of Beauty High’s 50 Best Beauty Blogs

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This calls for a cocktail! I heard the news earlier today that StyleCaster‘s Beauty High editorial team selected my blog as one of the top 50 beauty blogs alongside amazing sites like Lauren Conrad’s The Beauty Department. I was also thrilled to see some of my other favorites like my friends Arielle and Cara in addition to a slew of other amazingly awesome bloggers. I read many of these on the regular, so I’m honored to be included in the same group!

Check out the list and support your local beauty blogger. There’s no such thing as bookmarking too many! ;)

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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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I made it to the final round of Allure Magazine’s Beauty Blogger Awards!

allureweek22I am so beyond thrilled to announce that I avoided elimination again… and I’m one of the four remaining bloggers competing in the fifth and final round of the Beauty Blogger Awards! Not only that… but I was voted “Most Buzzworthy” for the fourth consecutive week! Wow!

The new challenge posted this morning was our $50 makeup challenge. Allure sent us each a $50 AmEx Gift Card and told us to hit up a drugstore and get creative! I took mine to Target and created a look inspired by Adele’s Grammy look. I had an absolute blast with this and I hope you all enjoy it too!

This time next week, Allure will reveal the Beauty Blogger of the Year, as well as two runner ups and the overall “Most Buzzworthy” winner. Until then, I need you guys to do what you do best… vote, like, and tweet! You can vote every day this week until voting closes at noon on Friday. Thank you so very much for your continuous love and support! I’m so excited!

[P.S. Don't forget to vote for me, Katie McBroom, to help me become Allure Magazine's Beauty Blogger of the Year! You can vote every day this week (until Friday before noon). We are in the fifth and final round of the contest, so I can use your help now more than ever! It would mean the world to me if you could take a minute to do this! Remember, by voting for me you become eligible to win awesome prizes like a trip for two to Hawaii!]

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Allure selected me as a finalist in the hunt for Beauty Blogger of the Year!

bbaGrab your martini glasses, girls – this is a reason to celebrate! Allure Magazine selected 10 bloggers nationwide in their hunt for the Beauty Blogger of the Year… and I’m included! I am so excited I can hardly type. Visit http://blogger-awards.allure.com/contestant/katie-mcbroom/ to see my profile page!

The winner of the Beauty Blogger Awards (presented by Revlon) gets a ton of killer prizes like a trip to NY Fashion Week, a ticket to Allure’s Best of Beauty party, a feature in Allure’s October issue, and my favorite prize – the opportunity to write for Allure for a year!

To win the grand prize I will be competing alongside other awesome beauty bloggers in a series of challenges over the next five weeks.  I will face elimination each week, so I need your votes to keep me in the contest!

Beginning April 15 (this coming Monday) at 9 a.m. you will be able to vote for me every day through May 17th at noon to help me avoid elimination. But wait, there’s more! Every time you vote for me you will be entered to win awesome prizes like a trip for two to Hawaii! Voters can also score fun goodies like Coach makeup bags, Clarisonic Aria skin brushes, and more! Watch my video below for more details.

Honestly, I’m already so honored to have been chosen… but winning the grand prize wouldn’t hurt! There are also prizes for the most “Buzzworthy” – meaning the blogger with the most Twitter and Facebook shares (via the Facebook and Twitter buttons on each weekly challenge). So, if anyone feels compelled to share my challenges via social media, I’m not going to stop you!

Thank you all for reading… and big thanks to Allure and Revlon for having me in this contest! Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go squeal with excitement again.

Remember, voting begins 9 a.m. Monday and I will be posting the links to the first challenge first thing that day (if you haven’t already done so, add me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter where I will be posting them often!). In the meantime, enjoy my celebratory cocktail that I will be consuming later today. The concoction features some of my favorite flavors and is super easy to whip up – just remember the 3 Cs for celebration – Champagne, Chambord, and Citron! Cheers!

03_Chambord_ChampagneKatie’s “OMIGOD ALLURE CHOSE ME AS A FINALIST” Celebration Cocktail

4 oz Champagne

1 oz Chambord

1 oz Absolut Citron

Pour ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake over ice. Pour into a Champagne flute and garnish with a raspberry. Or whatever. Seriously, pour it into whatever you want… it’s a party! Woo-hoo!

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