Thursday, December 5, 2013

Raising Eyebrows

In PR you live for placements. And that's why the New York Time's Nov. 30th Beauty Spot makes me ecstatic. Not one, but TWO amazing products that I had the opportunity to work with are featured. The first is Urban Decay's "Tool Kit". Can I just I LOVE this product?? It includes two colors to fill in brows, and a clear wax to set everything when you're finished. On top of that, you will find in the second tier of this little jewel box, the most adorable mini-tweezers in the world. I love mini things. Will I replace my tweezerman with this pint-sized cutie? Well, no. But it's perfect for on the go touch-ups. 

The second, which I'm even more excited about (if that's possible) is Stila's Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Color. If you love their liquid eyeliner (which obviously everyone does, even the competition) then you'll be hooked on this brow color. A huge congratulations to my friend and invaluable mentor Ariana Voyer of Linda Gaunt Communications for this placement! To read a bio on Ariana and learn more about how she got to her current position in the PR world check out this interview with my fabulous friend Julia!

From NYT: 

Pencil Me In
Did you over-pluck? The YouTube beauty sensation Michelle Phan has created a $19 defining pencil, the Em arched brow liner, which comes with a spoolie applicator brush on the opposite end, in five shades: ash blond, medium brown, caramel, brunet and black ( And Stila offers a watercolorlike applicator brush in light, medium and dark colors ($21 at
Tool Kit
Urban Decay has recently redesigned its Brow Box, a three-layered metallic eggplant-colored compact that contains two powder shades, setting wax, mini tweezers and two angled brushes and mirrors. Available in Brown Sugar and Honey Pot, for $29 at Sephora, Ulta and some Macy’s stores.

And yes people, it's now normal to put makeup on your eyebrows. Humans are weird, just go with it.


From Turkey, With Love

Merhaba arkadaşlar!

This past weekend I had the opportunity of a lifetime and was able to travel to Istanbul, Turkey. Istanbul has always been a place I desperately wanted to experience. The crossroads of East and West and former capital city of Christianity, Istanbul is a city brewing with culture. Walking along the cobblestone at night streets past illuminated mosques was surreal, as if we had flipped the switch on a time machine. 

Everything was bordering on the lines of magical from the sizzling kebabs the first night at a restaurant (which turned out to be rated #2 in the entire city), to complimentary warm apple tea and story time with our cab driver. I planned this trip as a solo adventure of sorts, and ended up venturing on tours and nights out with a group for three guys and our tour guide for the weekend. During the days we strolled in awe down the Grand Bazaar market where I picked up spices, tea, and turkish delights. At nights, the city transformed into an urban metropolis dripping with sparkling lights. There were musicians on every corner, and it seemed for a moment that everyone treading along was in perfect harmony. 

My Turkish Visa

The Grand Bazaar Market

Turkish lantern shop

Boats on the Bosphorus 

In front of the Hagia Sophia 

Inside the Hagia Sophia

Cruising to Asia on the Bosphorus

Reflecting on my trip to Turkey makes me incredibly grateful for the experiences I've been able to have while abroad, and consequentially lights a spark of wanderlust for the future. I've loved Western Europe, but now I'm ready to be pushed more. More exploration, self-realization, language barriers, complete discomfort, and the chaos/elation that ensues. 


Everything's Coming up Rosey

Have you ever had a really juicy secret that you couldn't tell? I'm not talking gossip for gossips sake, or a mean spirited rumor, but something really, really good? 

The Naked 3 is my juicy secret. 

A few months ago while working at Alison Brod PR, I was able to sit in on a brainstorm for the new Urban Decay palette and marvel over the spectrum of shimmery, satin, and matte shades. Of course at the time, I was just getting into the beauty industry and had little idea on how tight confidentially is surrounding brand releases. While some might scoff at this, it was an incredibly valuable lesson that I'm glad I learned early on. The room was oozing with excitement over the new and much anticipated #3.

And now you are too.

If you have either the Naked 1 or Naked 2 palettes, trust me you won't be disappointed. The texture of these shadows ares satin to the touch and very easy to blend and work with. My only major complaint is the issue of pigment falling, but with UD shadows this is nothing new. While there aren't many matte colors, if you're a glitter girl like me you might have just picked up your new favorite product(s). 

If you love...
Sin (N1), Virgin (N1), Bootycall (N2), and Tease (N2) 

If you love...
Toasted (N1), Chopper (N2), Tease (N2), 

If you love...
Hustle (N1) Busted (N2)

My biggest issue with the previous two palettes were that neither had much of a selection of darker hues. However the Naked3 changes that. Mugshot and Blackheart are quintessential for a variety of combos on the smokey eye, while the gold in Mugshot blended with the Naked 1's Halfbaked and Smog is golden...literally.

The palette has it's official release tomorrow, but is already on back order at Urban Decay. Can't wait to get your hands on it?, Ulta, and Sephora should have it stocked tomorrow!
 Get it while it's hot y'all! 


Sunday, November 24, 2013

We'll Always Have Paris

Bonjour mes chers! Last weekend we flew to Paris and well, you see, I fell in love. It was bleak, grey, raw... and fabulous. I knew I'd get to Paris sooner or later, and now considering I have one trip (and three weeks left) I'm certainly glad I waited. Although it was only 2.5 days in the city of lights, I'm pretty impressed at the amount of things we saw/ did. We strolled down the Christmas Markets on Avenue des Champs-Elysées, marveled at everything in the Louvre, thigh-burned to the top of the Arc de Triomphe, and let fresh macaroons melt in our mouths. That would have been enough for me. 

Then we went to Versailles. I'm pretty sure my mouth remained ajar for the majority of our time at the 1,976 acre estate. Gold was dripping from the walls of the palace like a vision you'd only ever dreamt about. Saying it was over the top can't even seem to cut it. It was beyond. My kinda place.

Here are some glimpses into my first of many weekends in Paris: 

(Like I needed an excuse to go Pierre Herme after this episode?) 

"Paris is always a good idea." - Audrey Hepburn 


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Building The Best Brand of All

Some of the best advice I've ever received was by a family friend in the biz who told me to first and foremost be your own publicist. Whether or not you have an interest in marketing, advertising, or communications, being able to market yourself is a crucial skill for any major. It goes beyond the moment you step into the interview--fresh mani and your resume in toe--it's a lifestyle.

What do you mean, "be your own publicist?"
That means your online presence (twitter feed, Facebook page, tumblr account, and a myriad of other sites) are virtual representations of yourself. How you present yourself through these sites can work to your advantage or disadvantage. We've all heard the horror stories of companies snooping over interviewees Facebook's and finding pictures of keg stands and poor behavior. Anything you post, ever, is still out there. Trust me.

But what if you want to use these sites to your advantage? The same way you would build up a brand's media presence you have to build up your own if you're going into a media related field. That means re-tweeting important companies in your profession, responding to trending topics with appropriate feedback, and adding something extra with your own voice. This doesn't mean tweet for the sheer sake of seeing your name appear all over your newsfeed. While I'm one to unabashedly re-tweet TSM (Just because I'm polite doesn't mean I like you. I'm Southern. #TSM) it works with my job- I'm a beauty PR/anchorwoman hopeful- being a little vain and over the top comes with the territory. The trick is to evaluate yourself as early as possible. Do you want to be able to say whatever you want, whenever you want, with little or no repercussions? Make a different twitter name. A separate account. Whatever.

I learned this lesson the hard way during the election season of 2012 when I was working as a Sorority Rep for Lilly Pulitzer. There were so many statements I agreed with that I'd RT, or opinions on a debate/ ad, etc. that I'd want to comment on. And more often than not, I said what I thought. It was my Twitter right? But because I was a Rep for Lilly, I ended up realin' in a lot of followers during my first few months, coincidentally the same time as the election.

So I lost followers.

People didn't want to see Instagrams of new product intertwined with political activism. So, I created a separate account, and with that, 1,000+ followers. Ego aside it was the logical thing to do. There have been plenty of times since then when I've seen something wildly inappropriate/ absurdly hysterical that I'd love to RT so that the world can enjoy it. But that's when I remember, @LillyPulitzer follows me.

Would you want @LillyPulitzer seeing the last thing you tweeted?

Once you've managed to clean up your social media, you can move onto pulling your strengths together in order to best broadcast them out to the world. Whether you're a Senior in college or high school, the resume is a great place to start.

Here's a screen shot of a few pages from my resume from Senior year of High School:

The document, which I sent in for both my internships in NYC this summer, is 5 pages in length and highlights a variety of work. Events, features, relevant classwork, and writing samples each have a place with supporting documentation and info. My first resume was a great place to begin, but as I maneuver past my initial 10 internships, it was time for an upgrade. 

My current portfolio is 10 pages, and is still just a starting point. I have two separate portfolios, one that focuses on the beauty public relations aspect, and one that focuses on the event planning aspect. These represent my Major of Communications and Minor of Hospitality & Tourism Management, respectively. 

What's inside? Information to make my experiences come to life. Images of the company logo, screen shots of presentations I've created, writing samples of press I've assisted on.

Not all of your work will be industry focused. I've done two internships directly focused on beauty PR, but I found a way to illuminate everything else I've done in a way that supports my career interests. They don't call PR "spinning" for nothin'. 

What about if you haven't had an internship experience yet, or you're just getting started? Feel free to highlight your experience in other organizations and show skills that are essential to your career path. For PR, it's time management, event planning, computer fluency, effective writing, and a host of others. Show how you've learned and demonstrated these skills in other aspects of your life.

Round yourself out. Don't be afraid to put in relevant information about big-ticket items in your life. Just like with a resume, it's redundant and exhausting to put down every minute detail, so don't. Unless the company is very specific, feel free to include as much relevant information as you deem fit. For example, as a member of the Bonner Leader Program I participate in over 300 hours of community service each academic year. That takes up a huge chunk of my time and I'm lucky to be able to work on causes I genuinely care about, so I include it.

Round yourself out.

So where do you start? By now you've seen some ideas of what to include, but the initial process can get a little hazy. So go back to basics, pull out your resume and see what you broadcast to the world. What are your strengths? Highlight them. Have internship experience? Pull those documents/screenshots/ presentations out and use them! Don't be afraid to e-mail an old mentor and ask for documents you worked on. It's one thing to tell someone you "helped increase social media visibility for the client ultimately boosting sales," it's another to show it. 

 And please, if nothing else, set up Photo Review on Facebook. You'll thank me later.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Mastering the Art of Eating

While this post will definitely be seeing some revisions, especially since my Mama is coming next week (read: goodbye pasta everyday for lunch, hello Barcelona's best) I couldn't help myself and had to share some of my favorite meals thus far! People tend to be surprised when I talk about the types of food I've been sampling throughout my semester. Spain is known as a meat-loving country, so it's assumed that I must be into the "Mediterranean diet" of olives...and water. Luckily for me I've found tons of ways to maneuver around red meat in my conquest of hearty and healthy bites. 

When it comes to Catalan cuisine, there are tons and tons, and tons and tons and tons...of carbs. 

There, I said it.

Croissants with fruit, a plethora of pastas, bread with cheese, bread with tomato spread, and pretty much bread with anything lurk at every street corner. As someone who instinctively pushes the bread basket to my sister at restaurants, this has been a major adjustment for me. The little voice inside my head pleads with me not to, but my grumbling stomach nixes those requests. So yes, I've spiraled into Carbo-lona as part of my cultural immersion. 

In an attempts to bring myself back to the light, I've tried to fuse my interest in local restaurants with my desire to eat things I genuinely enjoy. While this usually means spending more euros, I've been able to experience a wide array of cuisines in the process. 

Tapas Cooking Workshop
Barcelona, Spain

Panned and deep fried roll filled with salmon, avocado, onion & cream cheese
Barcelona, Spain 

Salmon Eggs Benedict 
Barcelona, Spain

Salad Nicoise 
Nice, France

Coffee Gelato
Monte Carlo, Monaco

Chicken Burrito
Rosa Negra
Barcelona, Spain

Falafel, Pita, Hummus, Chicken dish 
Al Walah 
Barcelona, Spain

Veggie Omelet
Barcelona, Spain

Nutella & Strawberry Crepe
Barcelona, Spain