My Lifestyle Bloggers National Conference Experience

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At the end of March I had the opportunity to attend my first ever blogger conference: Lifestyle Bloggers National Conference. It was held in Los Angeles and this was the fourth annual conference. To be completely transparent I am one of the conference organizers so this is not a “review” of the conference because if you ask me I will always say: the Lifestyle Bloggers National Conference is the BEST blogger conference around!

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We had iced coffee provided by the FABULOUS Stumptown Coffee.

A ton of hard work went into planning the conference and it would not be possible without the help of these three amazing women: Ana Lydia Monaco, Carolyn West and Melissa Dell, each an amazing blogger in their own right. The four of us combined are the planning committee behind this year’s conference.

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A room full of bloggers and other social media influencers.

My experience with other blogger events has always been rather negative. Bloggers can sometimes be a catty, competitive bunch but I am very happy to report that this conference was unlike anything blogger related I have ever attended before. I don’t think I have ever been surrounded by a group of 99% women and ever felt so supported and loved!

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Our private VIP event at the FABULOUS Besame Cosmetics.

The conference itself starts with a VIP Kickoff Event (held at Besame Cosmetics) followed up with two full days of speakers, panels, tours, food and blogger junkets at the historic LA Mart. There was laughter, tears, debates and collaborations at this year’s conference. I came away with a newfound sense of direction where my blog was concerned. We all know the drama I went though this year and  just helped me realize that is was ok to fail because it was how I reacted to that failure that really mattered.

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Our day 1 lunch was provided by Stonefire Grill. It was delicious!

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Just a sneak peak at ONE of our THREE total swag bags. This year we had swag from justFab, Ziba Beauty, Pretzel Crisps, Ilaments Jewlery and more!

From great keynotes to awesome swag if you are a blogger or someone interested in starting a blog you must attend next year’s conference. For more information please follow the hashtag #LBNC15 on your favorite social media outlets and be sure to like our Facebook Page. We also have #lbnc15 Twitter parties every second Wednesday of the month. If you’re interested in sponsorships or have questions please contact me via e-mail. I hope to see you there next year!

Ashley

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Lancôme Eau Fraiche Douceur Micellar Cleansing Water

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Lancôme Eau Fraiche Douceur Micellar Cleansing Water retails for $38.00/$50.00 for 200mL / 400mL. Cleansing waters have been slowly gaining in popularity here stateside but they have been a staple in other parts of the world for years. Lancôme Eau Fraiche Douceur Micellar Cleansing Water is a part of their permanent skin care line and the 200mL size can be found at all Lancôme retailers/counters.

Every now and then I get an urge to try a product JUST to see if it is worth the hype. I have read a few reviews on other popular cleansing waters that are sold over seas and can be a bit hard to purchase stateside. By chance I ran into Lancôme Eau Fraiche Douceur Micellar Cleansing Water at Sephora when I was on the search for a different toner because I wasn’t a fan of my old one. I ended up opting for a cleansing water as an option to cleanse my face prior to makeup application/when I am in a hurry/or for whenever my skin feels funky because I was admittedly misusing my toner as a spot cleanser/refresher. Cleansing waters are like an all in one product that removes makeup, gently cleanses and tones (somewhat)

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My preferred way to use this is with these lovely cotton rounds from Target.

Now that we are done with my mini cleansing water lecture, what do I think of Lancôme Eau Fraiche Douceur Micellar Cleansing Water? I have to say that I really, really like it. I don’t think I have ever used a product like Lancôme Eau Fraiche Douceur Micellar Cleansing Water. It fits my need nicely: cleansing my skin without burning, stinging or leaving a weird residue, provides spot cleansing especially between testing out products and it removes makeup like a champ.

Lancôme Eau Fraiche Douceur Micellar Cleansing Water has no detectable scent and is formulated with Rose de France which soothes and Micellar Technology. BTW Micelles are made of fatty acid esters which tend to glob to makeup, dirt, pollution, etc. to help whisk away those impurities, leaving you with fresh, gently cleansed skin.

My first foray into cleansing waters has been a success! I cannot rave enough about Lancôme’s Eau Fraiche Douceur Micellar Cleansing Water. Have you tried a cleansing water yet? If so, which is your fave?

Ashley

Redken’s Pillow Proof Blow Dry Two Day Extender & Oil Absorbing Dry Shampoo

redken pillow proof dry shampoo

Redken’s Pillow Proof Blow Dry Two Day Extender & Oil Absorbing Dry Shampoo contains 100 ML of product and retails for $19.00. It is available at Redken Salons nationwide. Just as a note: I personally only recommend purchasing salon products from an actual salon or a beauty retailer like Ulta/Beauty Brands that have a salon on site. That is the only way to really guarantee you are getting the best possible salon products that are not knock off/fakes.

I am a dry shampoo junkie and 9 times out of 10 most dry shampoos are a bust for me. It’s a rarity for me to find one that I really love outside of my favorite Bed Head Rock-A-Holic Dry Shampoo. Well, I have found a new one that could possibly reach “holy grail” status for me. Yes, I said holy grail!

Redken’s Pillow Proof Blow Dry Two Day Extender & Oil Absorbing Dry Shampoo is their newest formula of dry shampoo. It has a sister product in the Pillow Proof line the Pillow Proof Blow Dry Express Primer. The Pillow Proof line is aimed at making your blow outs last longer through the use of a heat protectant/primer and this dry shampoo. The Redken Pillow Proof dry shampoo can also be used to add texture to your hair which allows for easier teasing, up does that last longer, etc. Despite the ridiculously long name I really L-O-V-E this dry shampoo. Here’s why:

  • It smells great! A fresh, almost minty scent. It doesn’t linger but it does freshen hair.
  • You can see the powdery spray when it lands on your hair BUT it brushes out super easy leaving no ashy residue.
  • It works miracles at absorbing oil without getting clumpy or having that gross dry shampoo texture.
  • The super cute pink can!

Redken’s Pillow Proof Blow Dry Two Day Extender & Oil Absorbing Dry Shampoo is the real deal ya’ll. It might be on the pricier side at $19 a can but it works and when a product works than price isn’t really a huge issue.  Have you tried this product from Redken? What about it’s sister product the Pillow Proof Blow Dry Express Primer with Heat Protectant? What is your favorite dry shampoo?

Ashley

April 2014 Ipsy Glam Bag: Beauty Rocks Review

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Wow, my April Ipsy Glam Bag came super early for me. I got it on 4/11/14 and that is usually right around the time of the month that I get my shipping notification. Color me pleased that I got it before the middle to end of the month. I hope this keeps up… ::prays to the goddesses at Ipsy: Aside from my raving about the quick shipping this month y’all are really here to see what I got right?

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Demeter Jasmine Roll On Perfume Oil: I will say right off the bat that I adore Demeter fragrances I did not adore Jasmine. It was overly sweet and way too floral for me.  Florals tend to be my LEAST fave note in fragrances especially when they are used solo. Which is the case for the Demeter Roll On in Jasmine.

Urban Decay 24/7 Velvet Glide On Liner in Black Velvet: YES!!! WooHoo! I L-O-V-E Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide On Eyeliners and I am so BEYOND excited that we got their newest shade/formula in Black Velvet ALONG with a “Get the Look” card. This is just yes all around. Black Velvet is described as softer and more powdery version of their standard 24/7 liners. I want to call this Urban Decay’s version of MAC’s Smolder. However it performed for me more like Urban Decay’s traditional 24/7 liners, which while not being easy to blend, it still wore forever. What girl doesn’t need a high quality, black eyeliner?

Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion: No too excited about this BUT I love getting scrubs, lotions, etc in deluxe sample sizes because they are great for travel  OR gift baskets. (Easter anyone!). It is sealed and I do plan on travelling over the summer so I will be keeping it sealed. I really don’t have any thought on it now.

Mary Kay At Play Jelly Lip Gloss in Berry Me: On first glance I thought: I REALLY wish Ipsy would stop sending me red and hot pink lip products. In their defense the Mary Kay at Play Lip Jelly is very sheer. I am just not a bold lip color girl at all. But because f the sheerness of the product, it totally worked on my lips. It is tacky when swatched but on the lips it is smooth and no tacky, providing a nice moisture boost without slipping all over the lips. Color me pleased with the Mary Kay at Play Jelly Lip Gloss in Berry Me.

Elizabeth Mott Pop! Goes the Shadow in Champagne: I never heard of this brand before but the concept is intriguing. I love the shade I was sent: Champagne. This is a full sized product with a retail value of $12.99. Packaging is small and compact and it looks like it would be easy to depot and add to a larger customizable palette. On it’s own it was a pretty, sheer pop of neutral goodness. Over an eye shadow primer Champagne really shines.

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Top to Bottom: Black Velvet, Black Velvet blended out, Champagne and Berry Me

All in all my April 2014 Ipsy Glam really did “ROCK” in terms of the content. I was very pleased with the overall value of the bags, contents, I loved the design of the bag and that it arrived fairly early. I always say that Ipsy (along with other surprise subscription boxes) are a makeup version of a casino. You never know what you’re going to “win” but for a relatively small start up ($10) you can walk away feeling like a million bucks or the biggest loser. This month I feel like a million bucks! Do you get Ipsy’s Glam Bag? If so what was in your bag!

Don’t get Ipsy? Sign up today using my referral link: http://www.ipsy.com/r/1n20

(Note: I do not receive any monetary compensation for referrals. Just points to use towards more samples).

Ashley

Plus Size Spring 2014 Fashion

I am plus size AND proud! Even at my smallest by traditional sizing standards I would be considered “plus size”. Whatever, it’s a title I used to hate but now I embrace! I stand at just under 5’10 so I can wear a heavier weight fairly well. Could I stand to lose weight? Yes, I would love to drop 50 pounds and I have already begun the process of eating better and becoming a bit more active. In the mean time I still want to look stylish and put together! Here are a few outfits I put together for Spring even though it still feels like winter sometimes in Chicago… Weather forecasters are saying snow next week… BOO! Oh well if I were going back to LA I’d be wearing these outfits!

Boho For The Day

Boho is big this season and this is how I would wear it so that it is age appropriate but still young and fun.

Spring 2014 Outfit 1 Shopping/Girlfriends/Casual

Normally I am not a fan of shorts and boots but I saw an outfit similar in LA and I loved it! So much so that I thought it would make a great transition outfit from Spring to Summer. Or for cool Summer days.

Casual Outfit 2

Out of all the outfits I created, this one closely resembles my daily “uniform”. I really love the addition of the mint bag. Accessories are a great way to add in trendy colors that can become dated once a season is over.

Daytime Professional Look

This outfit is inspired by friend, mentor and sister from another mister: Ana Lydia Monaco! I don’t normally wear heals so I thought some stylish flats would be nice for us tall girls who are height conscious. The outfit is classic and professional. Great for a meeting, business lunch or business dinner. The statement necklace really stands out as the star of the outfit and takes what could be a boring outfit and making it chic.

B;ack & Rose Gold

The classic black wrap dress is a go to dress for every woman. They range in price from cheap and cheerful (ala Wendy Willaims… How you doin!) to high end DVF wraps. I like to invest in great, statement pieces like a wrap dress so I own a higher end version. BUT if you are a frugalista you can take a low end wrap dress and make it look like a million dollars with great accessories in hot, trendy colors. I chose rose gold/blush which is my color of the moment.

What are your Spring 2014 essentials? Share them below!