Sometimes I find it difficult to make a decision: stripes or florals? Turkish bread or multi-grain? Blush or bronzer? Both? Ooh, well I don’t mind if I do! An invitation to attend Maxted Thomas PR’s Blogger Event? Psh, nuts to decisiveness. Yes, yes, YES!
My friend Carmen (who was an absolute trooper for coming along even though she had broken her arm only a couple of days before hand!) and I excitedly piled into The Benefit Boutique in Paddington on Sunday morning, where we were kindly offered a free brow wax, tint and shape service and false eyelashes on behalf of Maxted Thomas and Benefit, before being handed over to their beauty team by Benefit’s lovely Marketing Manager, Katrina. Honestly, if I had been feeling nervous or even slightly anxious about the event (and pssst! I WAS), those fears completely dissolved once the delightful make-up wizard Tiffany bounded over to me. Seriously, she was adorable. She squealed excitedly as we discussed everything blogging and beauty (the latter of which was not so much discussing as me poking brushes and sniffing potions and going “ooh, what’s THAT?”) and showed me a slew of excellent products and EXACTLY how to use them. M-a-r-v-e-l-l-o-u-s.
Katrina, Benefit’s lovely Marketing Manager, and Kellie of Mummy Of Style And Substance fame!
And me, of “why, why, WHY did I decide to experiment with that phenomenally greasy coconut-scented hair serum minutes before I left the house?!” (answer: because it was coconut-scented!)
fame shame. Oh, my. Over the next few days I’m going to compile a ‘How To Survive That Fancy Pants Event’ guide (hint: don’t accidentally hand your mobile phone over to someone when they ask for your business card!), and one of my suggestions will definitely be NOT to start toying around with those foreign, unopened products in your bathroom cabinet on the morning of said fancy pants event! Lesson. learned.
Eyebrows galore! I’m possibly giggling in this photo while receiving the brow wax, shape and tint service because I’d just spotted how incredibly sexy brow dye can be in the reflection of Carmen’s camera. (Yes, that’s brow dye smothered all other my eyebrows, I HAVEN’T recently taken hair growth inspiration from an ewok!) It was also at this point that I met Cheri from Ms. Critique, Anita from Love Vulcanella and Jade from Jade Musing. Phwoar! What a bunch of incredibly warm, effervescent, gorgeous girls. I knew Cheri fromTwitter but had never actually met her in person before, and I had never met (online or otherwise!) Anita or Jade either, so to be able to do so was amazing! Similarly amazing was when I outstretched my hand to Anita and said “hi! I’m Corrine, it’s so nice to-,” and she smiled sweetly and replied “I know – I read your blog!” Poise? Grace? What? I lost any shred I may have had of either as I alternated between laughing and saying “what? Really?!” and sitting there with my mouth hanging open. (No, really. Even Anita will tell you!) Sheesh. If I hadn’t already told you that it was Jade before, you’d think that my middle name was ‘cool’, right?!
That or ‘I am very pleased with my new eyebrows’! Finding somebody to sculpt your eyebrows to their best is a surprisingly difficult task: will they destroy their shape entirely? Apply a too-dark dye? Shape them beautifully but treat you awfully? Not there. Hannah, their resident brow expert, did a superb job!
The Benefit Beauty Salon in Paddington: taking girls from “now” to ‘“wow” since 2008!
After some mingling and make-up (and cupcakes!), we were picked up and driven to the setting for the event, Brad Ngata’s Hair Direction in Surry Hills. Once ushered in by the MT team, glasses of champagne were extended to everyone, empty bags to fill with products were dispensed and we were on our way to explore what was on offer!
The concept? A genius one: around every corner of the studio was a makeshift beauty booth featuring brands such as Benefit, Trilogy, Jane Iredale, Nivea, Elastoplast and Orly, sharing techniques, offering services (for example, at the Orly counter you could receive a free manicure, at Brad Ngata’s you could have Brad HIMSELF style your hair, and at Benefit and Jane Iredale they would freshen you up with a miniature makeover!) and handing out gift bags!
The profesionalism of the staff, both the endlessly bubbly and informative ladies representing their brands and the attentive Maxted Thomas team, was incredible. I mean, unpacking boxes! Setting up! Organising! Maintaining a relentlessly upbeat and helpful attitude even though you’ve exchanged words and grins with numerous other people! If you’ve ever worked in a people-based role you can appreciate that after a while, endless interactions can become mildly tiring, right?! Well, if anybody was exhausted there, you never would have known. Their enthusiasm never wavered, and something else that I couldn’t help but observe was that at any stage, if one of the bloggers or their guests was standing on their own and not engaged in conversation, somebody was always there to swoop in and keep them company and make them feel comfortable – it was an awkward free zone! It was also exceptionally interesting to be invited to an event where companies had significantly recognised the increasingly prominent role that bloggers are playing in social media.
The verdict? It was extremely well thought-out affair and the perfect opportunity to learn about a host of great brands and how their products operate, as well as a fabulous way to connect with other bloggers! Thank-you very much for having us, Maxted Thomas, Benefit,Trilogy, Jane Iredale, Nivea, Brad Ngata, Elastoplast and Orly!