Every year in August, the largest blogger conference takes place in the US. BlogHer, the largest network of bloggers have their two and half day conference where bloggers from all over come to learn, be inspired, share and teach. I have had the pleasure of attending twice and each time I come back home with more information than I know what to do with! This year wasn’t any different.
But there was one event, where I was not only a blogger on site, I was part of a team that came in to help prepare 12 bloggers for the fashion show, hopefully a new tradition for the conference. I was fortunate to be in the make-up room where Elizabeth Arden, lead by famed global Make-up artist Rebecca Restrepo and her team of creative artists transformed our bloggers and made them red carpet ready.
These were not professional models, they were bloggers. Women who have passion and share their stories, ideas and opinions with thousands of other women just like them. But by the end of the night at that magical “showtime” moment, they all had the confidence, spirit and “savoir faire” of any professional model. Some of the bloggers teach you to love what you got , how to make the most of it and how you can make a difference by knowing more than you thought you knew . All inspiring in their own unedited way. That’s the beauty of blogs. They are unfiltered by the traditional editorial process that we find in magazines and newspapers. Some of these women become their own brands, write books and become spokespeople for their point of view.
Back to the makeup room, or shall I say the room that serves “medicine for the soul”. For many of us, the rituals of applying the “oh so perfect” make-up and having that fit your personality “stop them dead in their tracks” hair updo, it makes us feel good. And when we feel good, we look great! I spoke to many of the models and each has her own story, each has her level of excitement for the show that was about to happen.
There was Erin, a popular BlogHer staffer who has been recovering from an illness this past year and half and this was her “coming out party” as she described. Life has been difficult for the last little while but nothing was going to stop the positive energy that radiated from her gorgeous smile…nothing was going to get in her way!
Laura, a wonderfully smart, kind and funny young women with Spina Bifida, was no stranger to cosmetics. Growing up, her mother (who I fell in love with, what strength and wisdom) made sure that no outing was without proper skin care and make-up applications. A ritual passed on by generations of women before her. The Elizabeth Arden make up room was like a candy store for grown girls! The other women were just as engaged, excited and left the room looking fabulous! Their own perfect blend of color and beauty.
I was a hospital nurse at one point in my career and knew female patients were recovering when they asked for their lipstick or blush. This was a clear indicator that they felt better and wanted to be themselves . We all know what one product we would take with us on a deserted island (if you’ve ever been asked that silly question). Ffor me, it would be a lip product…color and care of course!
When Laura came to the stage, wheelchair in tow with the music clamoring of excitement, she got up to walk the runway in her chic printed dress and the crowd went wild. She was in her element and her poise and radiance lit the room. I looked for her parents in the audience, knowing that they too were as happy as I was cheering her on.
Erin. our grand finale girl, took the stage by storm. Elegantly dressed in a long dress, carrying her sassy generous self up the runway and signaling to all that she was back with vigor. Her mile long smile along with her glistening eyes suggested that she was on the mend and happy to be back amongst her community. She never missed a beat and showcased her model like turns and head swings to an adoring audience.
I am teary eyed as I write this because the whole experience for me was so memorable and such a happy one.
The power that we have as individuals when we feel our best is unstoppable. If we believe we can…we do.