New Voices of Beauty: A Recap

You know how every now and then something happens that’s so awesome you feel like you need to pinch yourself to be sure you’re not dreaming?  That’s what the past six months have felt like for me as one of the New Voices of Beauty bloggers for P&G Beauty & Lucky Magazine.


If you asked me last summer if I thought by the following June I would have won a national contest, been filmed for a short video in NY, become a spokesperson for P&G’s beauty products, been flown to LA to participate in Lucy FABB West, met Eva Chen, and been featured in the print version of Lucky magazine, I would have laughed in your face.  I’d probably have said something like, “Me?  No way.”  After all, I’m just an ordinary 29-for-the-fifth-time mama living in suburban Maryland and blogging about my latest craft projects.  And yet, every single one of those things became a reality for me in six short months.

About a week prior to the event, I found out there was going to be a contest where bloggers could attempt to be chosen as one of four honorary bloggers for P&G Beauty.  At first, I didn’t sign up, because I figured there were tons of other girls way more qualified for the job.  But then, I reminded myself that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity.   I put on my big girl pants and told myself to just go for it…what did I have to lose?  Absolutely nothing.  We were going to have to answer several questions on camera, so I practiced my answers on the train into the city with my traveling buddy Jess.


As soon as it was time to film our responses, I realized I’d made the right decision.  We contestants were the only ones who got to see the Lucky offices and we actually saw Anna Wintour walk by in the hallway while we were waiting for our turns on camera.  It was surreal!  That was the first highlight of the experience for me, and it had barely started yet!  The next part felt like it took forever…the waiting.  Finally, the email came letting us know which of the 30 bloggers made it to the Top 8.  When I realized I was one of them, I literally couldn’t believe it.  I thought there must have been a mistake.  But, sure enough, it was true and that began my daily campaign for your votes!


I’m pretty sure I drove you all crazy, but it worked in the end!  You voted, and I won!  I became one of the four New Voices of Beauty and from there, it was a complete whirlwind.  I was sent to New York for a weekend of some amazing moments, like meeting with representatives from Lucky and P&G and being filmed along with the other three girls for a short promotional video.  We got to shop with Lucky staffer Dina in the Meatpacking district for some great outfits for the filming, and I had my first experience with a glam squad.  One person did our nails while another did our hair and a third did our makeup…it was so opposite how I usually have to rush to get ready in the morning while Little Crafter is tugging on my leg and I’m trying to pack lunch at the same time!


During the filming, we also got to meet and interview Senior Beauty Editor Maura Lynch.  I got to ask her about tips for a fool proof cat-eye as well as her must-have products for getting ready on the quick!


After I returned home, I got to work on several sponsored posts, like how to recreate a red carpet look.  And, I co-hosted a really fun Twitter party where we chatted about using various COVERGIRL, Pantene, Secret, and Olay products for Spring Break traveling!  Then came another surprise!  Lucky and P&G wanted the four of us to attend Lucky FABB West in LA and talk with other bloggers at a networking breakfast event!  Before I knew it, I was on a plane bound for California.


When my super-fun roommate {and fellow NVB} Katie and I opened our folders on the first day of the conference, we found this: our names!!


It was pretty incredible to see ourselves in print there in the conference program, and then on giant posters at the Networking Event.  Then, something happened that none of us will ever forget; Jamie from P&G introduced us to Lucky Editor-in-Chief Eva Chen.  Meeting her was an amazing experience, as was the whole trip.


But the surprises didn’t stop there…just this month, I opened my new issue of Lucky magazine to find…myself!  I never in a million years thought I’d actually see my face and name in the print version of the magazine, but there we all were!


The entire experience has been completely surreal; it’s an opportunity I would never have imagined for myself.  Which brings me to the greatest benefit of the whole thing.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved meeting the other girls, the Lucky and P&G staff, attending the conferences, being filmed…all of those things were off-the-charts-awesome.  And I loved all the products I got to try out and talk about {#Honestly, 90% of my beauty routine is composed of P&G products, not because I have to, but because I honestly love them.}  Oh, and of course there were plenty of hilarious blooper moments too, like when the guards at Penn Station thought I left a bomb in the NJ Transit terminal…you should totally read about that.  But the most important thing I’ve learned from this experience is to never underestimate yourself.

Growing up, I was always overweight.  When I was in high school, I was 5′ 3″ and wore a size 16/18.  I was self-conscious about my appearance.  I never felt pretty.  I was the kid who was voted “Most Academic” and “Most Likely to Succeed” but I never sat at the popular table.  No one ever came to me for fashion advice because I tried to hide my body in oversized sweatshirts and I was afraid to express my own personal style.  If there had been a category for “Least Likely to Ever be in a Fashion Magazine,” I probably would have won that too.  But here I am.  In the years between then and now, I’ve learned to figure out and to express my own style.  I wear what I like, I take fashion risks, and I dress to express who I am.  And yes, I lost weight too.  For me, it was about cutting back my portion size, avoiding fast food, and getting active so that I could be more healthy.  But I don’t think you have to be a certain size to feel comfortable in your own skin, express your own style, and look amazing.  I think it’s about being confident about who you are, inside and out.  It’s about believing that you can do something, and going for it.  It’s about realizing you’ve got nothing to lose.  If I had let my doubts get the better of me and convince me that there were tons of girls more qualified for this than I was, I never would have tried, and look at all I would have missed.  NY.  LA.  Eva.  Being filmed.  Being in a magazine.  It all started with me standing in line and saying, “I’ll give that a try.”   What about you?  Don’t underestimate yourself; what will you try today?


 This post contains sponsored content as part of my New Voices of Beauty campaign with Lucky Magazine and P&G Beauty.  All opinions are honestly my own.

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