I recently attended the Beauty Brunch with The Make Up Fairy, Joanne Larby, (Link here) hosted by the lovely Saibh and Sinead of Into The West Blogger Network, in the surrounds of The Ardilaun. This was my first ever bloggers event and to say that I was nervous is a complete understatement. I had never met any of the attendees before and I found the nerves had hit an all time high, the closer that I got to the hotel. I find social occasions like this extremely difficult and so I like to have someone there with me for support but on this occasion I was flying solo and was petrified! I needn’t have been so worked up and nervous because, from the minute I walked in the door, I received a massive welcome. Sinead greeted me at the door with such a warm hug. This helped me relax but didn’t kill off my nerves completely. It’s very intimidating to walk into a room, not knowing anyone, and seeing all of these beautiful ladies with fantastic personalities.
The day started off allowing us to “Network”, while enjoying some beautifully refreshing homemade lemonade. My nervousness slowly died as I realised that for some of these girls it was also their first event and for some it was only their second event. I was surprised that so many of the girls had only began blogging recently as they all seemed so confident.
During the initial meet and greet we also met The Make Up Fairy, Joanne Larby, herself. She mingled and introduced herself to everyone. What I liked about this was that Joanne made an effort to introduce herself and shake hands with every blogger in the room before the Brunch itself commenced. It was nice and made the whole day a little bit more relaxed.
My assigned table, for the brunch, was the “Urban Decay” table! I was surrounded by a lovely bunch of ladies, each with a completely different background. It was a lovely mix and I really enjoyed their company. It was great to bounce ideas and to ask questions and also answer questions. There was advice floating around in all directions. As a group, who had never met before, I felt that we all got on extremely well. I think that this all helped with my awkwardness! The lovely ladies at my table were from, Magsyle, Foundations of Style, Beauty, Fashion, Fitness BFF, The Powder Rooms and Love Joules.
Once we had nibbled our way through a delicious brunch, by The Ardilaun Hotel and sipped on some of the nicest herbal tea, Joanne took to the stage. She told us all about her journey from when she started her blog to how she the heights that she is at now. Hard work was the main factor in her rise to blogging fame. Joanne was focused and knew what she wanted to achieve in life. She has a huge social media following and has been featured in Vogue as a blogger to follow. As well as being a beauty blogger, Joanne has a list of other titles to her name. She is a makeup artist, model, signed with Assets Model Agency and an author, with her book being launched in November. She is also a brand ambassador for ONLY Clothing and Dr Martins, among others, and has worked with well known brands, such as Inglot and Easy Locks Hair Extensions. At the end of it all Joanne is a business woman and entrepreneur. At 28 she has managed to build an enviable career that most people could only dream of.
Having never met Joanne before, although I follow her through social media, I did not know what opinion to have of her. I was so impressed by her work ethic and career that I almost expected her to be in some way overly confident. I could not have be more wrong. Joanne was a lovely, chatty and friendly person. She answered any questions, that we had, with as honest an approach as possible. She impressed me with her demeanour. There were no questions off limits, even answering questions about tax and finances. Being such a well known blogger and having recently transformed her body shape (She has an amazing figure), Joanne has received quite a lot of negativity. The one piece of advice that stuck with me was “Kill them with kindness” and not to let negativity consume you. She also spoke about not letting your blog statistics bring you down. This was something that had been affecting me and I was delighted that she was able to tell us that she too, at times, lets this affect her. It made me feel a bit more normal!
Following the brunch and some photographs, we were able to network again and to also browse the companies that had also made the trip to Galway. The stands included:
Solaris Tea is made locally in Galway and they provided the tea for the day. I tried the Chai Tea and it was so good. I often find that herbal teas can be quite harsh but this was not the case. Cat explained to us that this is all due to the time that the leaves are harvested.
My Lady Bug - I had never seen My Lady Bug before but I learned that they are a new Irish start-up company who deliver a monthly subscription box filled with all of the essential items required once a month!
Kinvara Skincare – This is a skincare range that I have seen and heard of but have never tried so I was delighted to see them at the event. I was lucky enough to receive some samples and once my current products are completely used up, I will be trying the Kinvara Skincare products.
Athlone Town Centre – Living in West Limerick Athlone Town Centre isn’t the closest to me but having seen what they offer I’ll definitely be taking a trip up to the midlands!
Considering that is was my first time to attend a bloggers event I did not know what to expect in the “Goodie Bag”. I have to say I was completely blown away by the amount of products in the bag! There was a mix of full size and sample size products. Products included in the bag werefrom The Body Shop, Blank Canvas Cosmetics, Ogra Skincare, Brodericks Brothers, Solaris Tea, Nia Natural Skincare, Flormar Cosmetics, Wet N Wild, kinvara Skincare, Impress Nails, MyLadyBug and ProperCorn. We were spoiled rotten!
Congratulations to Saibh and Sinead on a fantastic event. With it being my first blogger event I was so unsure of what to expect and was so nervous of how it would all go. I am so glad that I made the 4 hour round trip to Galway, to attend. I will definitely be going to as many blogger events as possible from now on.