I went to TOWIB yesterday after spending weeks wondering whether or not I should. I went through all those various stages of paranoia such as "am I too old?", "is my blog good enough?", "will all the other bloggers be slim and gorgeous and make me feel like I should be grazing on a farm somewhere...?" you get the picture.
But, I'm pleased to say I'm totally glad I went for lots of reasons. It wasn't scary at all, everyone was lovely and it was such a great opportunity for me to find out more about the blogging world, meet others and see exciting new products too. Hayley (London Beauty Queen) was lovely and a very interesting and inspiring person to meet. She's the one who hosted, organized and masterminded the whole event - hats off to her people, I couldn't have done it. I thought I'd get all that in there quick as I feel a mega ramble coming on and you might not make it to the end!
So, onto my tale of the day.....
As you may have noticed yesterday it was chucking it down. I got soaked so many times it was not funny. I'd planned to meet Siobhan from starsglittermagic at Holborn so that I wouldn't have to go in alone not knowing anyone! While I was waiting for her I hid from the rain in Starbucks and through twitter I realised that Lauren from budgetbeautyqueen was nearby. In true stalker fashion I braved the rain with my little froggy brolly and went out to look for her. I thought I spotted her over the road so I tweeted to ask her what she was wearing (serious stalker behaviour, now bordering on kidnapper territory) and popped over to say hello. Lauren was meeting Grace from oooooh pretty so we all went in together. I phoned Siobhan to tell her where we were standing and then came out with the first ridiculous quote of the day "oh, she sounds just like she does on youtube". Well duh - did I think she used a fake youtube voice? When I told Siobhan about this she told me she'd been thinking "oh, she's not a man / axe murderer". Charming! =)
We went inside and met Hayley londonbeautyqueen then had a drink and got chatting to other bloggers. It was much less awkward / scary than my mind had allowed me to worry it would be. Everyone I spoke to was truly lovely and I felt completely included.
Then it was time for the first talk / demo - MUA cosmetics. The lovely ladies from MUA / their PR had brought lots of products for us to play with and they had a make-up artist called Katie with them to create some looks on three lucky bloggers.
Check out that stash!
Red carpet lips for Sabrina
Smoky eyes for Sophie
Festival brights for Natalie
We were each given a goodie bag to take home so I'll be able to have a go myself and try out some of the tips I picked up. I've already been using the MUA primer, so I'll review that first. As I had the primer already the lovely MUA peeps let me swap it for another palette, result!
Next we had a chance to meet Dove-Man! As the only man at the event he must have been feeling a little overwhelmed and also, nobody could remember his name and just called him Dove-Man. Aww bless him he was a sweetie.
The new Dove product range
Dove-Man gave a really insightful talk on the science behind Dove products and how they work. One of the things I found most interesting was that he said brands aren't allowed to use the word "superior" about a product in their advertising unless they've actually proved that it is superior to other products. I didn't know this so will definitely look out for that in future as previously I'd just thought it was a bit of marketing spin - I didn't know that you had to be able to back up your claim to use that word.
We also heard about how Dove products are made to be super moisturising using big glob and little glob technology =) Dove-Man also answered some hair questions for me and it sounds like the Dove shampoos and conditioners might be really good for my hairmares!
We all got to talk away some products to try from the nourishing oil care hair range and the indulgent nourishment body range - the shea butter cream smelt delish!
The Dove PR ladies were so nice and seemed to know so much about blogging that I kept forgetting that they weren't actually beauty bloggers. They joined in our chats and it was really good to get an understanding of what PRs are all about - I think they picked up a bit of interesting information from us bloggers too.
Next was the Q&A session with the ladies behind some amazing blogs - british beauty blogger, london beauty queen and really ree I was at the back for this one, so couldn't hear everything so well but I did pick up some tips on blogging regularly, good content and dealing with trolls. Hopefully someone who was near the front will blog about this in a bit more detail so that I can check out what I missed.
Finally we had a demonstration of the Lauren's Way (yes that's Lauren Goodger from the only way is Essex) tanning products from Ree. She applied the lotion to her arms in front of a room full of people and could hardly even see what she was doing, so the fact that it turned out well shows it must be pretty easy to use! I got to take a bottle of the tanning mousse home to play with and I'll be interested to see how it compares to my usual favourite San Tropez. I didn't get any pics of Ree as I was at the back so I hope she won't mind me showing you this picture of her from her blog instead. The pic is from her review of the Lauren's Way products - click on the picture to go to her blog and read all about it.
I also need to mention a few more hilarious quotes of the day and some other lovely bloggers I met.
Charlie and Alex from secretsbehindtheclosetdoor are a pair of serious nutcases and had me cracking up the whole day. Charlie told me she deals with trolls by giving them abuse and then telling them to have a nice day and later explained an experience she had with a horrible fake tan product which turned her a toxic orange darker than her chest of drawers! Alex did a little re-enactment of her shower habits during the Dove demo and tweets about fish fingers. I loved these girls!
I also need to thank Siobhan for taking me under her wing and being brave to meet me at the station even though I might have been a 50 year old hairy man!
Finally, my goodie bag haul =)
It was a fab event, first one I'd ever been to and I really hope there's another TOWIB in the future!
ETA: totally forgot to mention one of my other fave moments of the day. I had a bit of a cold and my nose was stuffy so at one point I got out my Olbas stick and shoved it up my nose for a good sniff - some people thought I was taking drugs!