Yesterday I attended my first blogging event in London, alone. Now living 180 miles away from London, a few people questioned my sanity but I went anyway as you have to start somewhere right? Luckily a group of us met at Green Park tube and after a drunk girl needing to borrow Jessica's phone and being stared at by a bunch of Italian students who thought we were dressed for a wedding, we headed down to the venue together.
The Only Way is Blogging or TOWIB for short was organised by Hayley aka London Beauty Queen, you can find her blog here: www.londonbeautyqueen.com and was held at the very stylish Babble Bar. Upon arrival the place was brimming with bloggers and after signing the guest book, we headed to the bar for a drink and to get to know everyone. The good thing was, everyone was in the same boat - they didn't know anyone and were just as nervous coming as everyone else. For most, it was their first bloggers event too.
The first event of the programme was a make-up demonstration by new high street brand FashionistA. Their website is: http://fashionistacosmetics.com/ or you can follow them on Twitter by clicking http://twitter.com/#!/FashionistA_SIL. As you can see from the photos below, Katie demonstrated three different looks which focused mainly on the eyes. I found this very helpful as I never wear eyeshadow as I think it can easily fall into one of three categories: Cheap, childish and/or you end up looking like a panda. However, FashionistA's make-up range convinced me otherwise. The looks Katie created on the three models were bold enough to stand out from the crowd, whilst subtle enough to avoid looking like you've fallen into your make-up bag. Take a look for yourselves at the photos below (I apologise for the quality of the images, I only had my standard digital camera and the lighting wasn't playing ball with me on the day!):
The great thing about the FashionistA line is that the eye make-up palette is totally customisable. You choose the four shades that go in to it and there are dozens to choose from and for the bargain price of £12, you can't exactly say no!
The second event that ran was a HTML workshop ran by Faye from All These Pretty Things (http://fuyume.net/). Sorry for the bad photo, I didn't want to flash the camera right in her face whilst she was in the middle of talking! Faye gave us tips on HTML, CSS and all the complicated stuff that goes into running a blog. Having run websites before in the past, I was familiar with a lot of the stuff she went over but I learnt a lot about the 'what to do's' and the 'what not to do's' when running a blog, SEO, Google ranking and so forth. I think this was the most valuable part of the day as it's inside information like what Faye gave which can really improve the standard, quality and visibility of your blog.
Next was another make-up demonstration, this time by VIVO (http://twitter.com/#!/vivocosmetics) which is exclusive to Tesco's so not only can you get some fab make-up, you can get points on your clubcard - winning everywhere I think! Make-up artist Karla created three different looks: A Halloween Twilight inspired look (just in time for the new release), an eyes of gold christmassy theme and a winter bold face which focused on a striking red lip.
Below is the first look Karla demonstrated - the Twilight look. There was a heavy focus on dark eyes which were created through shades of black and purple eyeshadow and topped off with some wild but funky eyelashes. Admittedly, this look was very bold for me to try at home as I struggle wearing standard eyelashes, but as a one off for Halloween, I think it's a fantastic and easy look to achieve.
This is the second look, the eyes of gold which as the name suggests, focused on glam gold tones which is an ideal look for the party season. I don't have the model's name to link her blog to (if anyone who reads this knows it, let me know!), but I think her make-up looked fantastic. I couldn't really see it from where I was stood but these images show the richness of the gold tones. Part of me wishes I'd chosen this look to take home with me!
The third and final look was winter bold. As you can tell from the below images, this look was all about the statement lip which Stephanie from Stephanie Dreams rocked. Personally, I love red lips. I think they instantly glam up any oufit and providing you choose the correct shade of red for your particular skin type, it can make your complexion glow.
After the demonstrations, we were lucky enough to be given a goody bag of our choice from the three looks we had seen. I was torn between the eyes of gold and the winter bold, but in the end I went with the winter bold as as I wear red lipstick on what seems to be a day-to-day basis, I felt I would definitely get more wear out of this collection. I'll be blogging tomorrow about what exactly I got in my goody bag, plus I'll be reviewing the products over the coming weeks. And if I like the make-up that much, I may be heading to my local Tesco to buy that winter bold collection after all!
A photography workshop was next from Zoe at London Lipgloss who gave us fab tips on how to work your camera to your best advantage, what editing and image programmes to use etc. I found this useful as quite a bit of advice was steered towards DSLR cameras and although I don't own one while I'm up here at university, my mum owns one back home so when I travel back there next week, I'm going to play around it (and possibly convince her to let me borrow it for my blog!).
The final part of the day was a bloggers Q&A with Zoe (London Lipgloss), Lily (llymlrs) and Kate (gh0stparties). The floor was open to any questions we had about running a blog which at parts turned into lively debates which were quite interesting to listen to. They gave us tips of what to do and what not to do and their experiences and stories. I think this was a great inclusion to the day as you got an insight into successful blog's blog etiquette and what blogging is all about.
I did take some audio clips of the event, which when I get round to it should go up on my YouTube account and I'll post the link on here and my Twitter - @SJMFord.
Overall, I think it was a fantastically organised event so a massive thank-you to Hayley for putting in what must have been a tonne of hard work and motivation to get such brilliant activities and brands involved. As well as the workshops being useful, I think what was invaluable was meeting fellow bloggers. It's nice to meet people who are doing the same thing as you and have the same interests. I met some really nice people, among them were Elodie from ELLEyeah, Jessica from Sparks and Fireworks and Cigdem @CigdemTanrioglu who I hope to keep in contact with!
TOWIB has today announced that the next event will run on the 4th February 2012, click here to see the Facebook page and here for the Twitter account.