Tuesday, May 28, 2013

My Thoughts on the Confessions of a Beauty Editor Event

Stuff! Lots of stuff!
I have a ton of product reviews to write up and post so of course I'm going to spend today’s post on an event that I recently attended. In doing so I'm hoping to bring some attention to an event that was genuinely well-run, informative and the giver of a model gift bag.

Called Confessions of a Beauty Editor, this event was hosted by The Hudson Bay over at their Queen St. location here in Toronto. Held in a roped off corner of the third floor, it was hardly a private event but it was one that was very well run. Upon crossing into the event space, I was greeted by someone who actually took the time to explain what was going on and where.

And here’s what was going on:

  • Hair and eyebrow consultants (I skipped these because I am lazy and didn't want to wait in a line)
  • A candy bar (I took full advantage of this)
  • Product demos and mini-makeovers by several high-end brands including NARS and Chanel (while I didn't do a makeover, I did try out a number of different products)
Each $15 ticket also included an amazing gift that included all of these samples:

  • See by Chloe
  • Thierry Mugler Radiant Shower Gel
  • Valentino Valentina Roll On
  • Victor&Rolf Flowerbomb Perfumed Shower Gel
  • Clinique Colour Surge Eye Shadow Duo + Soft-pressed Powder Blusher 
  • Calvin Klein Encounter Hair and Body Wash
  • Elizabeth Arden Prevage Ani-aging Daily Serum
  • StriVectin-SD Eye Concentrate for Wrinkles
  • Givenchy Dahlia Noir 
  • Guerlain Maxi Lash Volume 
  • bliss Lemon+Sage Body Butter
  • NARS Orgasm
  • Decléor Neck and Décolieté Concentrate
  • Lancome Visionnaire Advanced Skin Corrector
  • bliss Fabulous Foaming Face Wash
  • Clarins Sunscreen Care Oil-free Lotion Spray 

And while there’s no denying that this event had one amazing gift bag, the true star of the show was fashion-editor-turned blogger Michelle Villette, who spent close to 45 minutes being interviewed by beauty/fashion writer David Lackie. While Michelle did do most of the talking, David, who’s also the editor of BEAUTY the guide, did share more than a few anecdotes and words of wisdom.

While everything from summer trends to what kind of questions Michelle gets asked the most (hair-related ones) was discussed, the bulk of their talk focused on life as magazine beauty editor and what it takes to succeed in that industry. I really liked how candid Michelle was about what it takes to get into her former line of work (look into Ryerson’s magazine publishing program; work a free internship; start your own blog).

Michelle and David
Michelle and David did talk at length about the glamorous side of their industry, which can involve tons of “bribes” in the form of free products and elaborate gifts, as well as fancy press trips (Michelle’s best two were a Nina Ricci sponsored one to Paris and a Biothem sponsored one to Morocco that involved a yacht.) But they also didn't shy away from describing the less fun and particle side of the business (for example, trying to figure out a unique spin on a product that other publications will also be writing about).

Also discussed in detail was what it’s like to interview celebrities. Again, both Michelle and David didn't hesitant to share the good and the bad. They explained how these interviews were often short, highly controlled and if a celebrity wasn't able to deliver a good interview, they would be left scrambling to find a suitable angle, or worse, having to kill the story.

The candy bar
The promo material for this event promised gossip and gossip we got once the topic of celebrities was
reached. Michelle talked for several minutes about her experience with the Beckhams, who she describes as her best ever celebrity interview (David even came over to her and another writer and started chatting with them during a post-interview party). David then spilled the beans on which two celebrities (that he’s met) wear the most makeup: Kim Kardashian and Tim McGraw (!). Other tidbits that were shared included one about how Enrique Iglesias is great interviewee while Kate Hudson and Christina Aguilera are not.

As the talk drew to a close, the focus was shifting to beauty blogging. This section actually turned out to be the least interesting part of the night for me as most of what Michelle had to say was either obvious (blog at least daily, engage with readers over Twitter, be active on the various social networks) or not really applicable to regular bloggers. For example, Michelle started her blog while still at Elle as a place to write stories that she couldn't find homes for in the magazine; hardly a relatable situation. Michelle also started and grew her blog with support from a number of brands who she first connected with through her magazine work. Again, most bloggers don’t get to start with those kinds of connections.

However, Michelle did share one notable piece of blog-related information: Her blog, for all of its size and success, is still at a “part-time” level, which I interpret as meaning that the blog along doesn't pay all of her bills. Maybe that means Michelle will want to do more of these events, to help promote her blog. I would certainly go to another one.

1 comment:

  1. I really wanted to attend this event and unfortunately was unable to. It sounded like it would be fun and from your recap it really did seem wonderful. I imagine it was full of inspiring bloggers and other industry related people, as well as makeup junkies like myself.

    As an aspiring blogger I know these events are crucial to learn from and I definitely plan to attend the next one. Even though I couldn’t go your recap really made me feel like I learned something, so thank you for sharing this experience!