Working at a company with mostly women, when you hear screams down the hallway, there is a good chance they are rejoicing the recent engagement or pregnancy of a co-worker. Recently Danae Danta got engaged during a weekend away in her hometown Miami, and Ashley Crooks is less than a month away from her wedding.
I am also engaged and have been trying with every inch in my body to let the PR girl inside of me stay there, but it is not as easy as it may seem. With less than five months till the big day I couldn’t control myself any longer, so recently I created the sacred “production schedule.” While I was trying to go with the flow of planning, it wasn’t until I created this master to-do list that I was able to feel at ease. And now after attending my best friend’s wedding this past weekend, I couldn’t help myself making a mental note of a few key learning’s. So this is what I learned:
- It really does go by as fast as they say it does, so make sure to take some time to soak it all in
- The music is the key to a good party and this weekend was a great example because the dance floor was packed all night long
- While everyone appreciates the beautiful flowers and good food, the real smiles come from the joy in sharing in someone’s special day
And to quote the mother of the bride from this weekend , “If only 75% of what the party planner says will happen does, it will still be absolutely amazing”
One of the greatest parts of my job is being able to not only work with such creative and inspirational people within the agency, but the brilliant influencers and tastemakers in the beauty industry. I had the opportunity this week to spend some time with legendary Makeup Artist and Global Creative Design Director for P&G Beauty, Pat McGrath. Pat sat down with top print and online influencers to talk about the latest beauty trends from the Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter 2010 runways. Pat is a mastermind and creates the most fantastic beauty inspiration seen at all the top shows in New York, London, Paris and Milan. Here are 4 beauty trends and tips she has for Spring:
- Pastel eyes: as seen on the runways of Versace and Christian Dior, create a colorful pastel eye to brighten up your Spring look. Try COVERGIRL Smoky ShadowBlast in Purple Plume to get this fun look.
- Shiny lip: create an impactful, yet playful lip with a lot of shine as seen on the runways of Prada and Rochas. Try COVERGIRL ShineBlast Lip Gloss for the perfect glossy, sculpted pout.
- Lashes and Lines: Spring/Summer is all about thick, dramatic lashes and intense black liner. As seen on the runways of Anna Sui and Lanvin, try COVERIGL Smoky ShadowBlast in Onyx Smoke and new COVERGIRL LashBlast Fusion Mascara in Black** for the dramatic look.
- Rosy Fresh Skin: keep it light and fresh for Spring with a natural rosy glow. At Stella McCartney it was all about being a positive and real woman. Try COVERGIRL Simply Ageless Blush in Lush Berry for the perfect flush of color.
Now I can’t wait for the weather to catch up with my new fresh beauty looks!
**Beauty Insider exclusive news: be the first to check out the new COVERGIRL LashBlast Fusion Mascara at the online presale going on right now, click here to order yours!
Well….it only took three times to apply. But finally,…I was granted a seat on one of the infamous Taglit tour buses for February 2010.
Notorious for (a) no sleep and (b) a guaranteed good time, Taglit is a 12 day program that gives young adults the opportunity to visit Israel in a peer-group educational setting to learn about the land and the culture.
As expected, my visit to Israel was nothing less than exceptional. When my taxi pulled up to the departures terminal at JFK, I did not know anyone who I would be traveling with, or what to expect from our planned out itinerary.
Now that I have been back in NYC for three weeks, I look back at the friendships that I have made, and the experience that had, and it is impossible to answer the number one question that I get asked: What was the best part about the trip?
The Dead Sea was surreal. The hikes through the desserts were tiring. The nightlife was exciting. Swimming in the Red Sea was refreshing. Visiting Masada was enlightening. Sleeping in a Bedouin Tent was, well let’s say, an experience. Walking the streets of the old city of Jerusalem was something out of a storybook. Touching the Wailing Wall was powerful. Learning how to belly dance at a pool party was hilarious. The food was amazing. The weather was sunny. Meeting the people of Israel was extraordinary. The friends that I made will last a lifetime.
But for me…. sometimes the best parts of a trip are the parts that go completely wrong and are unexpected. And that is a whole other story…..
I love visiting factories! While not the typical pastime of NYC women in PR, a trip to a plant where products are actually made has always excited me. As a young girl I watched with fascination as many family members went to work turning trees into paper at the Cantonment, Florida paper mill. Working in marketing communications today, I am still enthusiastic about the process of creating consumer goods.
This week I had the opportunity to visit the Post Cereal plant in Modesto, California. The producers of a new television series asked to film the process of creating Post Grape Nuts for an upcoming segment. I jumped at the chance to help bring the 100-year-old all natural cereal to life for consumers.
The pride at the Post plant was apparent starting with the employee of the month parking space located at the front door to the safety award clothing worn by many workers on the line. Ty, the plant manager, expertly walked us through every step of the simple, yet ingenious, cereal-making process from unloading the grain truck to wrapping pallets of finished product. Every box of Post Grape Nuts eaten in the world is made in this Modesto facility!
As a PR pro, I spend a great deal of time informing and influencing consumers and meeting business objectives. But, this week I was inspired by the opportunity to turn my attention to the joy of actually creating consumer goods. My goal is to retain the thrill of creating great products as I look for new and exciting ways to market them to consumers.
I have a confession – my years in beauty PR have turned me into a product junkie. Just look at the picture above of my personal beauty product closet, jam packed with anything and everything a girl would need in a beauty emergency. From youth promising serums, to lush lipcolors, hair beautifiers and self-tanners – I am one girl who can say that I have tried it all!
You may be thinking – where did all these products come from? Good question. Most of the products I receive I giveaway, but once a year I am replenished by the annual CEW Product Demonstration Night, an evening where hundreds of beauty and fragrance companies show off their newest products here in New York. Thousands of industry professionals attend and leave lugging a huge bag full of products containing more goodies than can be used in a calendar year.
Ironically, my husband also works in the beauty industry, which compounds the problem and immensely adds to our collection. Since he does not use the products himself he brings everything home to me – sometimes in triplicate! Although he would never admit it I do catch him using a few of my products especially the new Dial NutriSkin Body Wash; one of my favorites and a client of MMC.
Some may think that three shelves devoted to my beauty arsenal is a waste – especially in New York where space is a premium. But I don’t see it that way. For me, beauty is a passion, a hobby and I am lucky to be working in a career that I consider both.
Sometimes I forget just why I fell in love with New York City in the first place. The edginess morphs into a general meanness, and the urban sprawl transforms to plain dirty. So on 3/17, “when the world got [me] feeling low,” I was looking forward to the little pick-me-up I had planned. Like any other single girl in her 20s, I donned my best green, drank a big bottle of water and marched straight to Madison Square Garden for an Alicia Keys concert. (The water was to help my vocal chords with all the singing, obviously).
Immediately after stepping out, I planted the heel of my black pump directly into a fresh pile of vomit. Happy St. Patty’s Day to me! “Concrete jungle” is right. After looking around quickly to see what cute boys had noticed (none, thankfully), I shook it off (literally) and strutted bravely on. Then, in a classic case of New Yorkers in a hurry, I dropped my bills into a mailbox on the way, realizing afterwards it was already so stuffed that my envelopes only made it a third of the way in. I reached my arm down to retrieve them and my fingers just clasped the edges, when I noticed a crowd of people had actually stopped to see what I was doing. What does it look like? “Just ‘wait to you see my smile,’” I thought. “Clearly, I’m harmless!”
Arriving at the venue, I knew Alicia and her positive messaging was just what I needed to bring me up. But I was disappointed by the heavy-hitting political settings of her first few songs. Before she appeared on-stage, sounds of war played and violent, though artistic, images were shown. She entered amidst swirling smoke and in a cage encased in chains, singing a medley of “Caged Bird” and “Love is Blind.” One of her openers, “Fallin’” was accompanied by communist paraphernalia on screens and the words “Rise Up.” Where’s the love?
This lasted only a short time before Alicia stepped away from the political theme and focused on messages of “freedom,” (the name of her tour), which she said comes from believing in self. She rocked it out in the way she does best, singing her soul out while playing along on her piano. And what a beautiful, distinctive voice she has. When she sang out, “Superwoman,” I felt like myself again. Amazing how music can move you. And that’s when I remembered one of the first times New York City set my heart on fire – listening to a lone saxophonist jam away in Washington Square Park . It’s one of the best places in the world for live music. Period.
Just when I thought it couldn’t get better, Alicia launched into “Put It In a Love Song,” and Beyonce descended down the staircase! Of course, Jay-Z performed “Empire State of Mind” for the finale (though only after they tricked us with an imposter starting off the song first). Two surprise guest appearances in one night? Only in New York.
As Alicia said, have confidence in yourself and what you love, and the rest will fall into place. And New York, I love ya, baby! “These streets will make you feel brand new, there’s nothing you can’t do…”