I have always hated shaving my legs. It always ended the same, a bath tub full of blood dripping from my ankles. One day I decided to let my leg hair grow a little..and then… More
In case you wanted to attend this weekend’s BeautyconNYC and didn’t get the chance to, here’s everything you need to know about the land of the pink and home of the highlighter.
I had the chance to attend Beautycon purely by accident. As you know, I work in public relations. One of my clients was interested in participating in the convention next year and I went to scope it out and take lots and lots of pictures. I met a Beautycon employee at 11AM for a walk through tour of the convention center. I thought I would only be allowed to quickly walk through the booths, get my pictures and go but it turns out we were given two general admission wrist bands for free! Also, if I knew I would get the chance to stay, I wouldn’t have worn dress pants. I was definitely looking like a mom in a sea of sequin dresses and crop tops.
I’ve actually been wanting to attend the convention for some time now. I believe this is the convention’s third year and since the first, has exploded on social media. Beauty lovers flock to it almost as much as to Coachella. So safe to say, I would have been experiencing some serious fomo if another year went by without attending.
While the convention is known for having panels of beauty experts, new and upcoming brands, free products and of course, insta-worthy moments, I was curious to see if it’s really worth the money.
Since we were given GA tickets, we were not eligible to receive the swag bag with $200 worth in products. In case you weren’t familiar with pricing, GA tickets for a single day cost $39, a two day GA pass was $59 and if you wanted the swag bag, you have to hand over 200 big ones.
A few takeaways from the booths: Naked men and swings were all the rage this year. Mac had a massive booth bursting at the seams with shirtless men manhandling drills. I will admit, I almost got a picture with one of the guys but another was winking at me and I felt v awkward and ran away. I saw another brand also had shirtless men but the booth was definitely not as popular as Mac’s. While I am not opposed to seeing some man candy, I will say the tactic was a bit corny. Other than shirtless men popping up around every corner, swings were everywhere. While stalking social from last year’s convention, I noticed one brand had a swing which was definitely a hit with beauty goers. I’m sure brands had done their research as well and thought they could incorporate a swing to attract people to their booths and so we were left with three booths with swings. It was definitely a great boomerang but how many swing boomerangs can you really post? The hair care brand, Amika had chosen to include a slide and ball pit into their booth. Obviously I had to slide down it and let me tell you, I nearly died. The slide shook with every step up the ladder and I ended up tripping on the last step but that’s probably my fault and not the slides. Here are two screenshots from boomerangs I posted.
Although there were roughly one hundred booths, I found the content to get old really fast. Being the adult I am, I quickly caught wind of pink lemonade margaritas being sold by the Ponds booth. Had to get one. It was $15. Normal price for a cocktail in NYC I guess…
One of my favorite booth activations was Target’s. I will admit, one of the reasons I loved it so much was because the line was short. Everywhere you looked, there were lines. You were able to choose between three hairstyles; space buns, a braid or beach waves. I don’t know if they were promoting color sprays but you were able to choose between a variety of pinks and golds. I opted for space buns with a zigzag part and pink spray. It actually turned out super cute and I received a bunch of compliments!
Like I mentioned before, because we had general admission tickets, we didn’t receive the swag bag so we had to scavenger for free products where ever we could. Surprisingly enough, there really weren’t that many booths giving out free products. Most booths were selling products which I was not interested in. Side note, I did buy an electric tooth brush for my boyfriend…and a $15 margarita so I can’t say I didn’t buy anything. In the end, I had a small bag with just a few products. Upon reviewing the products later on the train home, I wasn’t really interested in anything I had collected. In my bag were a few lipsticks in some questionable shades, a travel case of tampons, a nail polish, a face mask and a few random itty-bitty samples from brands I wasn’t familiar with. Below are a few of them.
Overall, my general impression of the convention was lacking. Maybe it’s because I work with beauty everyday or because i’m a little bit older than the average attendee but I don’t think I would purchase a ticket for next year. And for those two day pass holders, I’m a little bit confused as to why anyone would want to go twice. Unless you want to see a specific panelist for example, Paris Hilton and Gigi Gorgeous were speakers on Saturday then there isn’t enough reason to come back. The booths are the same from Saturday to Sunday so your Instagram opportunities would be the same. The Beautycon employee did mention some brands give out different products from one day to the next to attract you back to the booth but receiving a charcoal mask one day and a cucumber one the next isn’t enough motivation to spend the money, at least for me.
I think for younger girls who are super fans of beauty influencers and want to post to cute pictures to Instagram, Beautycon is great. I did have fun, but it’s definitely one of those things you only need to experience once.
Did you go to BeautyCon? Let me know what you think about it and if you would go back a second time.
Know What You Want
It’s important to have a general idea of what you’re looking for. What is the purpose of your stay? Are you looking for the cheapest option or are you interested in a unique getaway? I like to look for places that are very different than my own home with unique features. The great thing about staying at an Airbnb is immersing yourself in the culture of that area and staying in a place that reflects just that. Hotel rooms are pretty cookie cutter but with Airbnb, you can stay at some really cool places you may never have the opportunity to see. Make a check list and find a place that ticks off all your boxes; air conditioning, on-site parking, bath tub, skylight etc. You can get as creative as you want because the options are limitless.
Plan Ahead of Time
I recommend traveling with a plan. Do a few quick searches online and scope out the sites and restaurants you’re interested in. Make sure your Airbnb is in the general area of the places you want to visit or is at least a good midway point between them. This will really help narrow down your options. If you’re headed on a road trip and will be bringing a car, make sure to check the listing or ask your host if there is on-site parking. And if you don’t plan on having a car, look for other means of transportation in the area such as buses, trolleys or city bikes.
Pay Attention to Photos
The quality of photos can tell you a lot about the space. Blurry photos with poor lighting can often mean the host is trying hide something. If there are a lot of close-up photos of random plants, pillows etc. it’s a sure sign something is up. Of course, this can also mean the host is simply a bad photographer but take that with a grain of salt. IPhones can take great photos even in low light so there really shouldn’t be an excuse for bad pictures especially when you’re paying someone for their space. You want to know exactly what you’re getting yourself into and you expect to get what you see in those pictures. Try to find listings that show all the rooms. If the bathroom isn’t shown, odds are it’s small or in poor shape. Small details like this can really help guide you in your search.
Read the Reviews
If a listing has less than five reviews, it’s either new to the market or it’s not a wanted space. Find out. What are people writing about? You can easily find out about the cleanliness and condition of the space from reviews. Most people don’t hold back if they had a bad experience. Reviews are very helpful for small details you won’t get from the listing. For example, if you have a bad back you may want to see if anyone writes about the firmness of the mattress. Another comment I love seeing is about the shower water pressure. There’s nothing I can’t stand more than a half assed shower. Other things to look out for are any complaints of pet odor or any small children living above or below if the listing is in an apartment building. Traveling can be stressful enough, you don’t need a crying baby keeping you from a good nights rest.
Netflix and Chill
I always like to keep my eyes out for listings with added perks! Some hosts like to go above and beyond to make their guests feel more than welcome. A fully stocked kitchen with snacks and drinks or access to a guest Netflix account are just a few cool add-ons you can find. You can find out about these perks by reading reviews or even asking the host.
Get to Know Your Host
Some of the best experiences stem from an awesome host. I know many of us prefer not to interact with strangers but there are definite benefits to sending a simple message to say hello. If your host is cool, they can recommend restaurants and bars tourists may not know about. Airbnb also has an “experience” option. If your host offers an experience, it might be worth looking into. You can learn about the culture of the area your in or just make a friend in another city!
I have worked at a number of prestigious agencies in New York City and have learned a thing or two about what to do, what not to do and what you can expect. As a twenty-three year old professional, I definitely do not have all the answers but I have collected some key take-aways that will make you think twice about nose diving into this crazy industry. If you are seriously considering entering the world of Public Relations whether that be fashion, beauty, lifestyle, travel etc. here are a few things to keep in mind.
I think it’s a well known fact we all put “proficient in excel” on our resumes but when push comes to shove, how do excel formulas even work? I was in the same boat. Efficient, but didn’t know the first thing about creating spreadsheets. I am here to tell you that I use excel every single day. Let me emphasize; every. single. day. Do yourself a favor and watch a few youtube tutorials on the basics of excel. It will make you look like less of a liar on your resume and those skills will make your job significantly easier.
Writing needs to be your strong suit but if it’s not (yet) that’s okay. I think you have to enjoy crafting articulated sentences and know how to get your point across in as little words as possible to be a truly great writer. This takes time. I am not the world’s greatest writer but the more releases you write, the more emails you send, the better you become. My advice is to research releases online. Pick your favorite company and search for their most recent press releases. You can see the verbiage they choose and start recognizing differences in tone. Ultimately, writing is hard but with practice this can become your strongest skill set.
Asking questions is a very important skill. But asking questions you know the answer to, is the number one cause of passive aggressive emails and lack of trust. Take a step back and think about what it is you are trying to accomplish. Make a list of possible solutions. If none of those solutions work, you may then ask questions based on your attempts to solve it on your own. This shows everyone you are willing to take on a managerial role as well as can think critically.
Double Dog DARE yourself to DOUBLE CHECK EVERYTHING. Attention to detail is so so important. The subject line of an email to a client cannot show it has been forwarded. Your emails have to be spell checked. If someone asks you about inventory, you better check twice before saying you don’t have the item. Re-read your work and even go a step further and have someone else check it if it’s something super important. Small details are what make the biggest differences.
PR isn’t always ground breaking work, especially not at the beginning. It’s a lot of stuffing gift bags, sending mail, making lists, and researching people/events/locations. It’s easy to get discouraged by busy work but if you love this field, you need to understand the funnel. All work is important from the CEO down to the interns. Every job has a purpose and plays a role in the bigger picture. Keep your head high, appreciate and understand why it is these small tasks will become the building blocks and foundation of your career.
This industry allows us to work in a creative space among other outgoing and outspoken individuals. It’s easy to get caught up in the fun and lose your sense of professionalism. Make sure you maintain a level head even when speaking casually with a friendly co-worker. You never know who is watching and who hears you. Things can very easily be taken out of context and explaining yourself down the road never pans out in quite the right way. Events especially, are a space where you have to watch yourself. There is often alcohol flowing and mini apps circulating setting a casual mood. Even though you are around fun people having a great time, remember you are there for work not pleasure. Key take away here is to keep your surroundings in mind and act accordingly.
Not all clients are created equal. You will work with brands that have awesome products and are progressive and eager to work with you on a partnership level. But there will also be clients who are rude and difficult to work with. They will be tired and stuck in their old ways. This type of client is challenging but it is your job to show passion and enthusiasm for the brand while maintaining a positive and respectful relationship that leads to great success. As a great publicist, you need to be able to make the client trust in you and have faith your efforts will result in great press.
9-5 isn’t a thing. Sorry to burst your bubble. If you are looking for a job where you can clock in and clock out, you’re in the wrong field. This is a 24/7 job. Even when you’re not at your desk, you’re in bed checking social media, you’re thinking about the work that needs to be done when you get back to the office. It’s a fast-moving and stressful environment. It becomes your life and if you’re not ready to have your job be a part of your life, then you’re not meant to work in public relations. I love seeing something on social media and thinking about how I can apply that with my brands. I love learning new skills and applications that can help me better myself as a PR professional. My surroundings become my job because I allow it to. Give yourself up to your job because you want to, not because you have to. This is when you really need to take a step back and assess if this is what is right for you.
Handling stress 101. If you don’t handle stress well, you won’t survive in this industry. It is a fast moving, super chaotic and deadline ridden industry full of people looking to get ahead of one another. You better believe there will be grey hairs on that pretty little head of yours after a few years but it’s how you manage your time that separates you from those who can handle stress and those who cannot. Evaluate what is important and what can hang out on the back burner for the time being. Knowing how to prioritize and most importantly, how to not let stress affect your relationships within your work and personal life is extremely vital. I personally work better under pressure which is why I am good at my job. You can be successful too, if you find a way to manage stress that works for you.
A boss of mine once told me that us millennials are snow flakes. We are afraid to step out of our comfort zone and are perfectly fine staying in the sanctuary of our bubbles. This type of attitude, this “snowflake” mentality will get you nowhere. If you never take risks and can’t accept a challenge, you won’t grow as an individual and you will never climb the corporate ladder. Standing still is just about as bad as taking steps backwards. Hitting a plateau means two things; you are comfortable and you are unmotivated. Find something that scares you and challenge yourself to overcome that fear. Falling flat on your face trying something new shows initiative and teaches you perseverance. Take it upon yourself to push through difficult tasks and prove to yourself you can accomplish anything if you try. Remember, the world owes you nothing. You are the only one who can make things happen.
PR is ever evolving. It’s no longer getting clients into national magazines. Those days are gone. National pubs are folding every day and media has transitioned into digital content. Now it’s the Allure.com’s and the Byrdie’s and Popsugar’s that are driving sales. PR has transitioned into orchestrating organic relationships with influencers and editors who have large social followings of their own. Youtube has become a go-to platform for ambassadors and persuaders. And while some aspects of traditional pr remain, marketing and advertising are slowly creeping into a singular category morphing into a one stop-shop. We are becoming creative agencies rather than PR or advertising or marketing. We are now creating the tactical strategies, developing the business plans, laying out the social roadmaps and intertwining them with creativity.
Please let me know in the comments if you have any questions or want advice about a career in public relations. I am happy to chat and let you in on some other insider details I may not have mentioned here.
Last year I painted my room completely white. I’m talking white walls, white furniture, white curtains, the whole 9 yards. I needed a change from my gray walls and orange accented pillows I slept in for the last four years. I wanted something more “adult-like” and something I wouldn’t get bored of after a few months. The great thing about having a white room is being able to decorate it with whatever color palette you want and being able to change up the entire look and feel with only a few throw pillows. But the bad thing about having an all white room is having to actually decorate it. My mom had hesitations about my all white room because of its #hospitalvibes but I knew I would be able to make it my own. Unfortunately, up until now I haven’t been able to really make it that. Call it interior design block.
Last week I was strolling through Ikea, aka the land of the meatballs and home of the lingonberry juice. Ikea finally introduced some new artwork to their collection and it was very refreshing seeing something other than an oversized Audrey Hepburn, a foggy bridge, and a London landscape with a double decker. You know exactly which paintings i’m referring to and this is how we know Ikea was long over due for some newness. In the corner of the art section, I stumbled upon some decals from the new SPRIDD collection, a limited edition print-based collection of vibrant must-haves perfect for modern nomads. One decal pack in particular caught my eye which contained two abstract looking eyes, a nose and a mouth. Not exactly sure who would want or need a face like this on their wall but I immediately thought of an Urban Outfitters pillow I saw a some time ago.
Unfortunately the pillow is no longer available but here is similar option if you are in the market for an eye pillow. This decal pack is not available online and is only sold in certain Ikea stores so if you’d like to pick these up, definitely call your local Ikea ahead of time to see if they carry them before you make the trip. Each pack is $10, a steal in my opinion for such a large sized decal. I bought three packs. In total, I spent $30 on this wall.
In order to make sure I liked the final look of the wall, I played around with the placement of each decal before completely committing to sticking them on. I took a pair of scissors and cut each decal out to have separate pieces instead of one large sheet. Then, I put two piece of tape on the back and stuck them on the wall where I thought they would look great. Once happy with the placement, I took off the back piece of paper on the decal and stuck each onto the wall for good. Although they are sticky, they are not so permanent that you cannot remove them without ripping off chunks of paint. Just remember, each time you remove them, they will lose a little bit of their stickiness allowing them to eventually peel off the wall before you are ready to take them off. So my best advice, have someone stick the decals on and have a friend watch from a far to make sure the placement looks good before committing to a spot.
The overall labor of this project is so minimal, it’s hard to even call it a “project”. For $30, I was able to completely transform a bare space into a cool tumblr-esque accent wall giving my room the character it was missing. And although these eyes are “eye catching”, they are minimal enough to match any other patterns or textures I may add to my room in the future.
Let me know in the comments if you like how this mini project came out and if you would ever consider giving your room an accent wall like this.