Beauty Box 5 Believer

A few weeks ago, Doreen of Love Anela, blogged about receiving a complimentary beauty box from Beauty Box 5. I have written about my disappointment with beauty boxes in the past, and though I recently tried GlossyBox again, we soon parted ways. (I still subscribe to ipsy and FabFitFun.) I understand that I won’t like everything that comes in a beauty box delivery BUT I also  hope that if I fill out a profile, someone would  care to refer to it.  I received my first Beauty Box 5 on Monday. After the day my husband and I had, it was a sweet surprise. I was even happier when I opened it.

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The box was a nice bright sea-foam green. The items were tucked safely right in the box with shredded paper. Nothing came messy or broken. There were a few inserts included. The July box is themed “Defining Moments,” encouraging subscribers to “treasure accomplishments.” In all honesty, I’m not big on themes but I think it is nice that the company wants you to carry out a purpose.

Let’s get to the good stuff!

Revlon Bold Lacquer Mascara ($7.99 USD): This mascara is a newbie on the market. It should add volume and definition, with lift- no eyelash curler?  I can almost feel a panic attack. I have a bunch of mascaras to try but since Revlon wants us to #flashyourlash this will be the next on my list.

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HASK Argan Oil Intense Deep Conditioning Hair Treatment ($2.49 USD): I can find HASK products in the local beauty supply. I even have used their hair placenta spray (sounds gross and works wonders). This packet has a generous amount of product. It is a nourishing cream that should make my hair soft and shiny for up to two weeks. BB5 also mentions that the packet has two uses. I love argan oil and have high hopes for this one!

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Body Drench Candy Licious Lips ($3.99 USD): Skinny little tube promises to pack a candy flavored punch. They aren’t lying. I got Red Licorice and I swear I’m wearing a Twizzler. It also helps that the beeswax, coconut oil, and vitamin make for a smooth and soothing application.

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Anna Naturals Glowing Mama Walnut Face & Body Scrub ($10.99 USD 4 fl oz): A vegan scrub that is not formulated with parabens, chemicals, or harsh fragrances will be welcome in my cleansing routine. This sample should be good for about three uses.  We do end up putting about 500 chemicals on our bodies daily, something to lower that number is a help.

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Starlooks Lip Liner in Tickle Me Pink ($12.00 USD): Starlooks is another brand that offers a beauty box but seem to also be making their way into other beauty subscriptions. I have a few items from them and do enjoy using their products. Tickle Me Pink is a nice neutral pink that seems versatile.

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My first Beauty Box 5 was a success and gave me a chance to try their subscription without costing me a dime. At $12 USD a month, I think I may have to try them out for a bit!

Is that a Twizzler on your lips, or are you just happy to see me?

Is that a Twizzler on your lips, or are you just happy to see me?

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

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Keepin’ It Curly

I didn’t always have curly hair. As a kid, it was very straight and thick. When I was in 8th grade, I got a perm. As my hair grew out, it never lost the curl. I guess it liked being curly.

Via Indulgy.com

Via Indulgy.com

I fought the curl in my 20s. There was something about straight hair. It looked so neat and smooth but was a pain to maintain. I went to Ouidad and got a curly haircut. My life was forever changed. My holy grail gel is Ouidad’s Climate Control. Though I have long abandoned the “rake and shake” styling method, I have not abandoned the gel and my frizz free curls. Until recently.

My friend, E., started posting about her love of DevaCurl products. I was never curious about DevaCurl- the no poo shampoo gives me the creeps- but E.’s curls look amazing and I just happened to have a sample pack of DevaCurl products lying around. The pack contained three very generous samples of the No-Poo Cleanse,  One Condition, and Light Defining Gel. (And when I say generous samples, I have already gotten two uses out of the packets and think may have 2-3 more uses.)

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I wash my hair pretty much every other day but sometimes up to two days. I actually hadn’t washed in three days and decided to give the No-Poo a whirl. By the way, the products smell delightful, like jasmine tea. I squeezed some of the No-Poo into my hands and rubbed together. I really went at my scalp and worked some through the ends. I was a little afraid my head wouldn’t feel fresh but there must be some kind of tingly ingredient in that stuff because my head and scalp felt totally clean. I then worked some conditioner through the mid- section to the ends of my hair. I left it for a few minutes, combed through, and rinsed.

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I have admitted my devotion to Ouidad’s Climate Control Gel but I confess I use some kind of oil in my hair for my routine curly hair ritual. I put that in while it is soaking wet. Then I put my gel and some Miss Jessie’s Pillow Soft Curls and scrunch. It isn’t time consuming and my curls stay frizz-free and are well defined. I decided to forgo the oil when trying the Deva Curl, as well as the curl cream. I followed the directions, tilted my wet head forward, and worked the gel through my hair, scrunching along the way. Then I waited for it to dry because as much as I love products, I do not love hair dryers.

What I noticed: my curls were definitely more spirally than normal. My husband did notice my hair did look different- he said it seemed curlier. I found some of my tighter curls were really tight. The next day, I still needed some product to smooth out some of the frizz. I found that it didn’t keep my frizz at bay as much as the thicker Ouidad gel.

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What will I do? The jury is still out on that one. I have a TON of Ouidad gel to use up and I know it works for me. On the other hand, I will use up my samples and see what happens. Consistency is key with products. I’m curious to see if with time DevaCurl will hydrate my hair and it will naturally become less frizzy. I also put some of my oil in today to see if there is any difference.

Quick Update: Washed my hair Tuesday night with DevaCurl, put some oil in, and this is my hair today after some time in a ponytail.

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Are you  happy with your hair?

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

 

Ringing in the Season with Studio Gear Holiday Smokey Eye Palette

studio1That’s a mouthful, no? Studio Gear’s Holiday Smokey Eye Palette is a “sultry, shimmery palette of dramatic shades perfect for creating a classic smokey eye look.” The palette contains four eye shadows and a blush to create a multitude of looks. photo 2 (18)

The palette is made of sturdy cardboard. When you open it up, there is a printed tutorial, along with the color layout of the palette. Personally, I think the names of the eye shadows and blush should have been printed below each pigment rich color but I don’t rule the world.

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Top colors are Frost & Coal, Middle is Snowy Glow Blush, and the bottom colors are Platinum and Glimmer

photo 3 (18)I tried using the tutorial but  having little patience and plans for the evening, I did what I wanted. I started by using an eye primer (NYX HD Eye Shadow Base) and brushed Platinum all over the lid. I then took my brush and added Coal into the crease. I brought the color around onto the outer part of my lid. I highlighted the brow bone with Frost. The colors were a little icy so I dipped my blender brush in Glimmer and dusted it lightly over everything, while softening the look. Using a fluffy blush brush, I applied a very small amount of Snowy Glow to my cheeks.

I didn't do this.

I didn’t do this.

I did do this.

I did do this.

I think that Studio Gear’s Holiday Smokey Eye Palette is a quality product. The eye shadows and blush are very pigmented. Using minimal amounts had big color pay-off. I had to be careful with the blush, since I am rosy. I really used very little of each color and I think they worked well. I am not sure if the palette is worth $25 on their website but if you want a no-brain smokey eye look, this palette could be for you. Studio Gear is also offering 10% for Product Hoochie readers at StudioGearCosmetics.com. Just enter SGHOLIDAY at checkout. FYI: the code doesn’t expire and is good for your entire order.

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Excellent holiday look!

Oh! And if you were wondering why I made myself up on a Wednesday night…

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Yes, that is Joe Manganiello in the flesh! He was signing his new book Evolution at my local bookstore. He was very gracious, especially when I mentioned I saw him perform in A Streetcar Named Desire. Clearly, my new eye look had something to do with this stare…

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This is a sponsored post, powered by BrandBacker. The complimentary sample had no influence on my review.

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

Lashing Out with Benefit

I know, I know. I’m late to posting party pictures but better late than never! These are some snaps from my LashBash party back in September. Take a gander!

It started with a batch of goodies.

It started with a batch of goodies.

Tube upon tube of lash boosting goodness.

Tube upon tube of lash boosting goodness.

I emptied out my entire train case...

I emptied out my entire train case…

Have a close up.

Have a close up.

I let everyone try the products but I sanitized the eye kit and I love it!

I let everyone try the products but I sanitized the eye kit and I love it!

Goodie Bags- my sister, Shazzer, helped!

Goodie Bags- my sister, Shazzer, helped!

One of these things is not like the other...

One of these things is not like the other…

I finally evened them out.

I finally evened them out.

Trying out the goods.

Trying out the goods.

Blushing you off.

Blushing you off.

Where'd you get those peepers?

Where’d you get those peepers?

Gorgeous!

Gorgeous!

And the night would not be complete without some of us being naughty…

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There is always some kind of retaliation…

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And there are always a few giggles…

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And then there is me…

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Throwing parties always make me nervous but my girls had a fabulous time!

Thanks to Benefit and Ipsy for selecting me to throw a LashBash!

Keep It Realsies & Primp ON! XOXO

BA Star Gives Some Lip

I have tried a few products from BA Star in the recent months so when I noticed another BA Star goodie available on BrandBacker for review, I signed up. This time it was for their Holiday Red Lip Pencil. First of all, I love a red lip. Secondly, since I have been impressed by BA Star’s quality, I couldn’t wait to try a more pigmented lippy from their line, especially one that I will use pretty frequently.

The pencil. My lips.

The pencil. My lips.

The BA Star Holiday Red Lip Pencil is a chubby stick but not super thick. Since it is a bit thinner, this makes using such a pigmented color much easier. The slightly smaller size gives more control, important when applying such a bright color. I used a light hand in the picture above. The texture is not super soft but not drying. If you notice, the color has a semi-matte finish, which is great! Some super shiny reds end up all over the face and matte reds can look dry. The semi-matte finish gives a satiny look without being glaring and in your face. It also gives the color good staying power.

The left is without flash.

The left is without flash.

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I wanted to add a little glitz to the Holiday Red Lip Pencil so I grabbed my BA Start Zebra Glitter Gloss and added a layer of sparkle.

balip2Another great product, this glittery gloss isn’t too gritty, making it easy to wear.

Quick Tip: Wipe the applicator after using it over any lip color to avoid the gloss from getting cloudy. You may have to remember to wipe several times.

Quick Tip: Wipe the applicator after using it over any lip color to avoid the gloss from getting cloudy. You may have to remember to wipe several times.

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The glitter shows up quite nicely over the Holiday Red Lip Pencil.

BA Star’s Holiday Red Lip Pencil will make an excellent addition to my fall and winter lip colors.  I love the versatility of the product, too, as I can create a light stain or really layer the color to make my lips pop!

Interested in trying BA Star’s Holiday Red Lip Pencil? Visit www.bastar.com and enter BBLIPS at checkout to receive 50% off!  Keep in mind that the discount is off the full retail price ONLY and cannot be combined with any other offers.

This is a sponsored post, powered by BrandBacker. The complimentary sample had no influence on my review.

Keep Calm  & Primp On! XOXO

Falling into Fragrance- Bergamot’s October Collection

I received my second Bergamot box last Friday and gave myself some time to try each scent in the delivery. I think this month’s selection was better than last’s. Take a sniff.

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“Oh! the Indian Summer! it stirs up the flying embers-all the dead days of the year-into momentary new life!” ~Walt Whitman (This quote was in the pamphlet. Love me some Walt.)

October’s Collection is titled Indian Summer.  Since NYC has been trying to kick out those last dregs of humid days (I got a stupid mosquito bite yesterday), I am more than happy to use anything Fall-like.  The fragrances revolve around scents from “Autumn’s kitchen”- ginger, pear, and oolong tea, two are from brands I never heard from and one is available at some mass beauty retailers.

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The scent strips that are filed neatly beneath the mini-sprays are a most excellent addition to the box.

I’ll start with the first scent I tried, DSH Perfumes D’Anjou. At first spray I thought, “Ooooh! Freshly washed hair!” Pear, blended with notes of rose, lily, and cyclamen made for a really easy to wear fragrance that smelled so clean and delicious. I sniffed my wrists all day and found that though it did fade, I could smell it faintly. D’Anjou is my favorite out of the three selections for two reason. One- it really is a beautiful scent that is a bit unique and two- it is not overwhelming. The September collection I found to be a bit cloying so this was a refreshing change.

DSH Perfumes D'Anjou

DSH Perfumes D’Anjou

Tuesday morning, I spritzed myself with Ginger Ciao by Yosh. I was uber-excited for this fragrance. Tiger Lily! Ylang Ylang! Ginger! Coconut! A spicy, sweet, floral? It sounds fantastic… BUT it wasn’t for me. I’m not sure if it is my skin chemistry but it really smelled ummm… like Design. I wore Design in the 90s but it was created in 1985 by Paul Sebastian. I found Ginger Ciao to be an opulent scent and a bit strong for my liking.  Maybe the Ylang Ylang really came through on me. I don’t know. I think this may smell gorgeous on someone else and I will be sure to pass it along.

Ginger Ciao by Yosh

Ginger Ciao by Yosh

Last but not least is Oolang Infini by Atelier Cologne. If I had to choose, I would choose D’Anjou but I have already used up half of this sample. Why, you ask? Since it is a cologne, it does not last very long. On the other hand, the dry down is spectacular so I didn’t mind. On first spray, you get hit with citrusy bergamot. Then Atelier Cologne used their noses. The dry down floats into Tunisian orange blossom, and gets edgy with smoke and leather. It is everything I want to smell like.

Atelier Cologne Oolang Infini

Atelier Cologne Oolang Infini

I will wear D’Anjou one more time but thinking about it, Oolang might just be for me! Agh! Decisions, decisions.

What scent do you prefer in the cooler months?

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

Keeping It #Realsies! Prepping for the Benefit #LashBash!

Hey all! This past Saturday, I was one of 1,000 throwing a Benefit #LashBash, sponsered by Benefit and ipsy. I just want to share a few photos of my prep for a girls’ night in! Bat those lashes and take a peek!

Our “real” reason for the #LashBash!

I received small tubes for each of my guests!

I received small tubes for each of my guests!

I started by setting up my apartment. Though it is pretty spacious by NYC standards, I was having seven guests plus the hubs- he hid in his office but treated for pizza. He is the best!  Anyhoo- my coffee table was a beauty extravaganza. I set up sample and perfume tester stations for my guests to play with and take home to try before they buy!

Here is a shot of the whole table.

Here is a shot of the whole table.

My "Try at Your Own Risk" sample bar!

My “Try at Your Own Risk” sample bar!

My #realsies frame- you'll see more of this in the next post- and my Fine. Brush Me off Station

My #realsies frame- you’ll see more of this in the next post- and my Fine. Brush Me Off. Station

There were sweet treats, too, along with a little bling!

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I’m a teacher- we need books, even at a party.

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I think the perfume sample bar was my favorite. I even had paper strips for testing scents!

Getting Testy Perfume Sample Station

You’re Getting Testy Perfume Sample Station

Carmella joined us, too!

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In case someone forgot their mirror, I had that covered!

I see you.

I see you.

I even made special gifts for each guest from my Product Hoochie stash plus a raffle for a skin brush or skincare set.

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I set up the gift bags from Benefit and ipsy…

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But this even isn’t half of it! My friends and I had a blast! Stay tuned this week for a post about the party and more goodies from Benefit & ipsy!

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

I was selected by Benefit and ipsy to host a Benefit LashBash. I received the Benefit products complimentary and this will have no influence on my review. All other items were purchased by me.

Back with Bergamot

Bergamot

Bergamot (Image from leydenhouse,com

Bergamot is a fragrant citrus fruit that is about the size of an orange but the color of a lemon. They can be found in Calabria, a province of Reggio in southern Italy. You may find the scent of bergamot familiar, especially if you enjoy a cup of Earl Grey tea. The bergamot I am telling you all about isn’t just a confused lemon or orange. Bergamotis one of the latest beauty boxes and delivers three sample sized fragrances to your door every month. I found it on a whim and signed up. I love perfume and enjoy trying different ones. I rarely wear the same scent everyday, though I am loving my current fall fragrance (more on that in another post).

Love at first sight? Ya think?

Love at first sight? Ya think?

Here is Bergamot’s philosophy on fragrance shopping: At the perfume counter, we’re bombarded with too many smells and pushy salespeople. Bergamot’s discovery set lets you sample at your own pace, in your home, and as part of your daily routine, so you can truly experience the subtle notes a scent can evoke. 

Sounds pretty good, right? I was so excited when I received my first box last week. It was packed up really well in all white with black writing. I loved the minimalist packaging, giving you the idea that the delivery is all about the fragrance, not what it came in. The theme of Collection No. 1 is Love at First Sight. Inside are three sample sprays and scent strips.

I can't even with the test strips.

I can’t even with the test strips.

The three samples are JASMIN ET CIGARETTE by ETAT LIBRE D’ORANGE, LOVE by MCMC FRAGRANCES, and EVENING EDGED IN GOLD by INEKE. I was happy to see that the brands are a bit obscure (and that MCMC is in Brooklyn, NY! I’m a very proud Brooklynite!). Since I don’t like smelling like everyone else, this gives me more variety!  There is also a pamphlet with information about each perfume. I didn’t really even bother reading it until after I tried each sample. With that said, let’s start with Love by MCMC Fragrances.

I wore Love to work one day. On first spritz, it smelled very green and herbal to me. I wasn’t that thrilled about it but as the day went on, it did grow on me. It softened up and smelled a little more woody and smoky. It seems my schnoz was spot on. Check out the description from Bergamot: The first impression is an explosion of … complex Japanese yuzu citrus, crisp French basil and bright magnolia. As time wears on… more subtle notes emerge… a smoky gunpowder tinged with ancient resinous woods…

Though I did enjoy MCMC’s Love, I will not be purchasing it. I don’t have enough of a crush on it but I will finish up the sample.

I then tried  JASMIN ET CIGARETTE by ETAT LIBRE D’ORANGE. I sprayed it on and did not like it. At all. I actually regretted spraying it on my wrist without using a scent strip. Bergamot describes this as “sexy and delicious.” I felt like I dipped my skin into an ashtray, Blech. I was upset that I didn’t like it on me either, since the notes are spot on to what I normally love in a perfume: a candy-ish sweet note to complement the jasmine, composed of apricot and tonka bean. The tobacco opens into a blend of woods and musk, giving the scent a hint of toughness. I sniffed myself throughout the day, hoping I would like the dry down but had no luck. I also found it faded pretty fast.

Lastly, I sprayed on EVENING EDGED IN GOLD by INEKE. On first spray, I smell Calvin Klein’s Eternity. I kid you not. There is something very strong and cloying about it.  The scent is powdery and floral and very feminine. I personally don’t really care for it. It actually reminds me too much of something my grandmother would wear. I love my grandmother but she loves a strong perfume and it really reminds me of something she has worn. Check out what Bergamot says:  the highlight of this fragrance is powdery osmanthus, a rare yellow-blossomed flower from China. Flecked with sweet fruit and cinnamon, the drydown has a soft, leathery quality, making it easy and pleasing to wear. I can’t agree with pleasing to wear. I’m choking.

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No winners here this month but if I did want to purchase one the fragrances I sampled, I would do so through Bergamot’s site and get the next month’s sample set for free. I could even gift it if I liked. I checked out the shop anyway and found that there were four more fragrances available that I did not get to sample.  The funny thing is that after reading the other fragrance descriptions, they seem to be more my scent style. I do like that I tried a few things that are a bit more out of the box for me.

A six month Bergamot plan is $14 US a month. I purchased the three month plan for $16 US a month. If you want to try one box, it is $18 US.  There is no referral code yet but if I do get one, I will let you know!

I do hope I get to try more perfumes from MCMC, Ineke, and ETAT LIBRE D’ORANGE. Though I wasn’t necessarily a fan of what I got this month, that does not mean they don’t have other scents I would adore.

I am trying to get back into some blogging schedule. I am hoping within a few weeks, I am back to posting at least three times a week. Until then…

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

Stuff I Tried This Week: BA Star Zebra Lip Gloss

As a member of BrandBacker.com, I sometimes receive free products to try. A few months back, I reviewed an eye shadow palette from BA Star Make-Up (check it out here). BA Star caters mostly to dance teams and cheerleaders. I take this as a good sign since that usually means kids and teenagers use the products, so their quality is great and not harmful. The products are also inexpensive so you can try a lot of things without breaking the bank.

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I was supposed to receive BA Star’s Stardust, a loose pigment that can be used on the eyes and I am sure more creatively. Instead, I got a Zebra Gloss from the Zebra Lip Gloss Duo. The gloss I received is clear with iridescent glitter suspended throughout. Needless to say, I was a bit disappointed but as you know I will try anything in the cosmetics department.

They have tutorials on their website.

They have tutorials on their website.

The glitter is very small and there is not a lot of it when you take out the doe foot applicator. I was a bit concerned it might be too “young” for me but I was pleasantly surprised.

Left is with flash.

Left is with flash.

When applied it is light and not terribly goopy. It actually feels quite soft on the lips but is a little gritty from the sparkles. Since it is clear, the glitter doesn’t make your lips look like a disco ball. Instead, the glitter catches the light here and there without making it obvious there is glitter on your lips.  It’s actually not really noticeable.

Glitter Lips

Glitter Lips

I decided to put on a lip stain and then put the Zebra Lip Gloss on top. It is more noticeable over color and would be great  for a night on the town.

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Though not incredibly long lasting, the Zebra Lip Gloss is a fun addition to your cosmetics bag. I also have a coupon code for 50% off all Stardusts. Just enter BBDUST at checkout. The discount is available until September 30th so get to it!  I also  hope that BA Star gets back to me so I can actually review a Stardust!

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

This is a sponsored post, powered by BrandBacker. The complimentary sample had no influence on my review.

I’m Not Going to San Francisco

But I really, REALLY want to! Why? iFabbo is having their 2013 Media Conference on October 12th! I have three challenges- one is my day job. It is hard to fly out from NYC to California for the weekend. The second- my friend’s wedding. I would not miss it for the world! The third is the expense. I love to travel (A LOT) but not with house/apartment hunting on the radar. And I love San Francisco. I haven’t been back since 2011. I just can’t make the journey. Le sigh.

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iFabbo is a is an organization that supports bloggers by providing free beauty products for online content. It is a great site, easy to use, and if you write a beauty product blog, a good way to try new products that you might not try on your own. (Click on my IFabbo badge for more information.)

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The thing is this expo would be great for a blogger like me. I run a very small blog. I like to think that I am fun and informative to read. The iFabbo Social Media Conference would help me to build up my network and gain some new popularity. It would also be an excellent way to meet other bloggers in my boat and successful bloggers with many readers. I have plenty to say about the world of beauty- learning the ropes of a successful blog would help!

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After all of my whining, that does not mean that you can’t go! If you are a West Coast blogger or can make the trip, check out iFabbo’s event page here.

471See you soon!

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO