Wednesday, 12 October 2011

What went down at ABBW 2011: a pictorial overview

A couple of weekends ago I attended the epic Australian Beauty Bloggers Weekend, a beauty blogging event organised by Jacie Galpin from You've Got Nail and Kimmi Nissen from The  Plastic Diaries. These two women did a phenomenal amount of work to make the weekend a reality and they really deserve a massive thank you. We all had such high expectations for the weekend, yet they were all surpassed by what unfolded. I hope to give you some insight into what went down over the weekend.

The amazing Jacie and Kimmi

I am a terrible photographer - mostly because I either don't remember to pack a camera, or when I do it never occurs to me to actually pull it out and take photos. Thankfully, there was an official photographer at ABBW - Liz Giacco. All images in this article have been taken by Liz Giacco for The Australian Beauty Bloggers Weekend, and are not to be reproduced, republished or reused without inclusion of this credit. Images remain the property of The Australian Beauty Bloggers Weekend. See the ABBW website for the full list of photos.

Day 1


After registration, the weekend kicked off with a visit to IMATS. I have to admit that I was a tad disappointed with IMATS as, after the overwhelming size of the International Spa and Beauty Expo, I was expecting IMATS to be of similar size but it was actually much smaller. Plus, there were two brands that I really wanted to buy makeup from - Inglot and Makeup Forever (MUFE) but these were both ridiculously packed the entire day. I was just going along to impulse buy, though was after eyeshadows in particular from Inglot, but I just didn't have the patience to queue up forever. Next year I will do my homework ahead of time and hit the stands with a shopping list.

In addition to shopping, there were presentations on the centre stage. I managed to catch Elyssa Jade's presentation which was really entertaining. There were also student competitions going on throughout the day with the 'finished products' of their work walking around.
First stop: IMATS

IMATS in all its epicness

Thanks to the student competition, I saw

...lots of boobies!

Julie from Me, My Best and I and I waiting for Elyssa Jade's

We got fed and water at the Royal &
Langnickel hospitality tent

They also had makeup artists on hand to fix up
our makeup. This was fantastic for me as I was
too adventurous for my skills when applying my
makeup at 6.30am and effed it up pretty badly!

Beauty Directory Seminar

Next up was the Beauty Directory (BD) seminar. Beauty Directory is the industry leader in the beauty industry. This was my favourite segment of the weekend. It started off with a presentation by BD's managing director, Jackie Maxted who gave a really informative presentation on, as a blogger, how to develop relationships with PRs. This was particularly insightful as I have found that a lot of blogging is self taught so there is no one there to teach you the etiquette of approaching and working with PRs. This presentation as followed up with a round table discussion on our dealings, both good and bad, with working with PRs. BD were then going to take this info and use it to advise PRs on how to approach bloggers. 

After the seminar we then had the opportunity to mingle with a few brands - TriShave, Lapurete and Pure Therapy. I have to say that my product discovery of the weekend was the TriShave 3 in 1 shave cream for women. This is fragranced with tea tree and rose and is one of the most amazing smelling products - I can't believe how well those two scents work together - it actually makes me excited about shaving my legs as it means I get to use my shave cream again!

Jackie Maxted, imparting valuable wisdom 
Following the BD seminar we had a couple of hours free time. As it wasn't enough time to go home and come back in for the Gala Dinner, I decided to head back to IMATS and try and catch Napoleon Perdis' keynote address. I only manage to get the last half but found it to be really entertaining. Napoleon was talking about knowing your client and presenting yourself appropriately for that client. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised that he still had an Aussie accent. For some reason I was expecting him to be 'Americanised'! Afterwards we were meant to have a meet and great with him which I was quite excited about - I had a couple of questions up my sleeves. But unfortunately I couldn't work out where we were meant to go and before I knew it Napoleon and his entourage was leaving in a shower of air kisses and waves, all complete with indoor sunglasses, just like a true superstar!

Maxted Thomas PR Gala Dinner

The final event of Day 1 was the Gala Dinner host by Maxted Thomas PR at the Establishment Ballroom. This was one of the most amazing events I have attended. When you first entered, before being seated for dinner, there were a variety of stands set up where you could mingle up close with brands.

There was an Orly nail bar where you could get the new gel polish applied. I decided against getting it done as I had just applied my new Chanel Peridot nail polish. I regretted my decision the next day, when my polish had already started to chip yet my fellow bloggers had gorgeous shiny nails. Oh learn!

There was also a Sebastian mini hair salon where you could get your hair straightened or restyled. I was really tempted by this but as I have rather curly hair I was worried I'd be stuck in the salon for half the night. Would have been interesting seeing my hair straightened - it would probably go down to my bum once the curl is gone! 

In addition to these two bars there were stands set up for Burts Bees, Nivea, Remington and Coty perfumes. I was particularly impressed with Nivea - they discussed your skin concerns then gave you a complete skincare range ideally suited for these concerns - this meant you walked away with the perfect products for your skin (I also got a men's set for hubby - he was quite excited to find out that he got presents from the weekend as well!).

We were then seated at our tables for the dinner. We had set seats which was an excellent opportunity to meet new people. The food was amazing: entree was a goats cheese, candied walnut and pink leafy vegetable that I can't remember the name of salad; main was slow cooked beef cheek on sauteed potatoes (this was incredibly rich and i only managed to stomach half of it) the dessert was the most amazing passion fruit mousse - have a drool over the photo's below.
Throughout dinner we heard presentations from Ian Thomas, managing director of Maxted Thomas and Debbie Selikman, editor of The night was meant to finish at 10.30 but by 10.15 I was absolutely shattered (as, like a little kid before Christmas, I was too excited the night before ABBW), so I head home a little early. I may as well have stayed as I was so wired from the day I still couldn't sleep that night! 

The Orly nail bar

The Sebastian mini salon

The Nivea spread

Me getting advice on Nivea products

Fancy a perfume refresher, Oh Lola?

Debbie Selikman and Ian Thomas

THE dessert

Day 2

Alpha-H breakfast event

Day 2 kicked off with a breakfast event. Unfortunately, it didn't click with me that we would be fed at the breakfast event. I got into the city a bit early so grabbed three hash browns from Maccas. Three hash browns was one too many and they didn't sit well at all, but when I ordered I thought I was too hungry for two.  Everyone else enjoyed a breakfast of yogurt and honey, fruit and mini quiches whilst I nursed an angry stomach.

We were then treated to a presentation from Michelle Doherty, the director of Alpha-H, who went through the brand; long time Alpha-H user and TV presenter Karen Ledbury gave a personal testimony on her experiences with the brand; then the national salon trainer Bianca Georgiou explained the Liquid Gold system in greater detail. I don't think that I have ever come across people who are more passionate about their brand than these three ladies - it really was quite inspiring.

 We then had a Face of Australia masterclass. The room was set up with mirrors and a full makeup kit and we were then given instructions on how to create four different looks. I started applying my own makeup but had actually worn my specs that day rather than contacts. It took me about 30 seconds to realise that it was impossible to apply makeup with my specs on and without them I couldn't see a thing. So, I recruited Carina Lofaro from Gilded Nails to do it for me, with Paula Sunsanguan from The Concealer overseeing the proceedings!

The final event of ABBW was a presentation from Bahar Etminan, founder and editor of Rescu. She went through how she got to where she is, including the collapse of her retail business then rebuilding and redirecting her business into the online lifestyle site She then went on to talk about professionalism in blogging. this segment actually created a huge amount of controversy within the room, with people going crazy on Twitter. The controversy came about with people interpreting Bahar as saying a hobby blogger won't be as respected as a professional blogger. However, the message I took away from this presentation was to be professional in all that you do when you blog, from how you present yourself, to never selling products, to always being respectful.

Bianca Georgiou for Alpha-H

The setup for the Face of Australia

Carina Lofaro from Gilded Nails giving me a makeover

Bahar Etminan

So, that's what went down at ABBW. Apologies that it has taken me so long to get this post up - it took me a while to recover from the epic weekend!