Me being classy in a face mask the night before and my nails:
And the whole airport thing didn’t quite go to plan. In fact for a lot of the weekend it felt a bit like we were in one of those old 3 door British comedies and John Cleese was about to burst in from somewhere!
We arrived nice and early to the airport because of my travel paranoia and it was a good thing too because Jetstar didn’t bother to tell us during online check in that our flight was actually a connecting leg of an international flight so international rules applied. Ok for James, he has a drivers license, not so much for me as I only had my 18+ card which isn’t good enough to get on an international flight. The only other thing I had on me was my ambulance card so I spent a while arguing with the official until he let us through. In the end he said immigration on the other end of the flight would deal with it and I was left with the distinct feeling he was just screwing with me because I was so upset ugh. On international flights you are also only allowed 10 liquids and gels per person in the cabin and of course to save space we were only taking cabin luggage so I had to go through my whole make up kit and decide what was needed. I was so lucky not to have to dump anything as I could give it to James but I saw others behind us who had to chuck things!
Cute plane lunch box they were selling at the airport:
Stressful yes but at least we were at the airport and about to leave yes? Well our lovely travel buddy Celina had been told a completely different time to be at the gate and then got stuck in the immigration line with a billion other people. After frantic texts we finally got to meet each other on board the actual plane but with no sign of Shizuka who was also on the same plane but still in customs *_* we didn’t discover she had managed to get on in time until we were landing!
So we waited for take off… And waited… And waited… And as it turns out waited for around 2 hours because someone had loaded 2 bags on to the plane that didn’t have an owner so it was a security risk and they had to go through everything one by one. Did I mention we were traveling with a very loud obnoxious group of footballers/some sports team and cheerleaders? After they finally found the bags two virgin blue planes decided to park behind us so we couldn’t get out. The captain was piiiiissed! So we got in thoroughly shaken up by the turbulence and a couple of hours late but at least we actually made it in one piece!! Everyone I spoke to on the weekend had their own travel horror stories including completely missed flights and some that were a lot worse so I think we got off lightly!
When we got there:
The rest of the weekend. *cough* SOMEONE *cough* told us it was 29 degrees and to dress appropriately so none of us bought jackets!
From there we caught a very expensive taxi to the hotel and were very underwhelmed by it too XD seriously for the amount of money we ended up paying for the Novotel I was not happy with the level of service at all. It’s by no means a cheap hotel but there was no breakfast, no complimentary wifi and some very surly staff. The room itself was very nice and definitely enough for the three of us but it was little things like the concierge not arranging taxis when we asked but instead telling us to wait outside in the cold/rain in case one showed up.
Shizuka, Celina, James and I wandered across the river looking for some lunch but we took so long getting there that we settled for ice cream, I’m pretty sure ice cream is one of the most important food groups!
Some gigantic whale things:
Staying classy at the fountain:
After suitably stuffing ourselves with ice cream and wandering back to the hotel we plugged in to get some work done before dinner. The internet at the hotel was ridiculously expensive and only allowed one connection at a time so no on-the-road-updates from me and very little work was done XD
We did early registration for the weekend so got to say a quick hello to everyone and take some of the gift bags back in the room so we didn’t have to carry them. Dinner was another comedy of errors, our taxi driver spent the entire trip telling us stories and jokes of different ways to murder his insane mother in law *_* Yes seriously. He was joking of course but some of them were very descriptive!!
Colour changing fountain found while looking for dinner.
We had been planning to go for dumplings and bubble tea at some place which as it turned out closed super early on Friday night. In Melbourne the CBD has late night shopping on Friday but apparently Sydney isn’t the same >_<
So we wandered for a good chunk of time (a lot of which involved stopping at Zara) but everywhere we found either couldn’t take all of us or had a line out the door. So after some debating the decision of KFC was reached 😀 That’s the thing about beauty bloggers, we do love our junk food. In fact, other than the Maxted Thomas Gala dinner I don’t think I ate one nutritional thing the entire weekend hahaha!
So dinner was had and we headed back home to the hotel to help Tina prepare the Face of Australia gift bags.
You’d be amazed how quickly 10+ girls can unbox and pack 90 or so gift bags!
After finishing Celina, James and I were so tired so we went back up to our room for some much needed sleep.
DAY 1 OVER!
We woke up bright and early Saturday morning and James headed out to pick up Mcdonalds breakfast while Celina and I got ready. Seriously between the who of us I think we brought almost enough stuff to stock a whole make up store 😉
First event on Saturday was IMATS itself so we walked across the road to the convention hall and met up with everyone else.
I was so glad that we didn’t have to get up early for registration on Saturday, I always have so much trouble sleeping when I’m not at home. By the time I got home I was pretty much a zombie.
IMATS was really interesting, probably not exactly what I was expecting in size but still really interesting.
With Pretty Random and her friend who’s name I didn’t get, her blue hair streak was EPIC! Of course the only photo I got with them was completely blown out because we hadn’t set up the gear yet >_< I look like some kind of adorably vengeful ghost haunting them!
I wanted to talk to more of the stall holders but it was so busy. Inglot has 30% off (so prices were almost what they are in the US) but getting service there was pretty much impossible with the number of people lined up! There were some aweome special effects booths as well, they were my favorite part:
The prices on everything were really good though, Illamasqua especially had huge discounts. There was a lot of really cheap brushes too which I was very tempted to get.
We did a lucky dip at the *** place and then went to visit the Royal Langnickel suite. Hoooomygod it was awesome! They had set up a chill out area for the ABBW attendees upstairs where we could kick back, have some food and relax. There were manicures and all kinds of other fun services too, hell by this point they probably could have cut my fingers off and I would have still been happy to just have somewhere to sit 😉
With Gilded Nails, she was so sweet and she’s about to go on her honey moon!
I really want to go back to IMATS next year with a big budget to stock up on things and more time to actually look at the events going on.
We went back a bit early so we could pick up some things from our room and then it was down to the Beauty Directory event. I took copious amounts of notes in all of the events so if anyone actually wants them just let me know and I’ll type them into something more coherent 😉
The Beauty Directory panel started off with mini talks from a couple of the brand representatives and evolved into a panel discussion on various topics like what PR expect from beauty bloggers and what bloggers can expect from PR. I couldn’t actually see what was going on because we were right at the back but I still took a lot of notes. The last part of the this was a table discussion where each group was given a question to answer. We were lucky enough to have one of the co-founders of Beauty Directory at our table: Janet Hayward. She was really lovely and it was great to get to know her a bit as we discussed our best and worst experiences when dealing with PRs.
Celina and I with Janet.
We then had a two hour break to get ready for the Maxted Thomas gala event so more primping and getting changed back at the hotel. This was favorite event of the weekend because it allowed us time to socialise with not only the PRs but also the other bloggers. I made it my mission to not be so timid and actually interview some of the bloggers and also PR reps. You can see some of the interviews in my video. Let me know if you enjoy it because I have heaps more that I didn’t have room to put in so maybe I’ll make a sequel!
Pretending to interview Beauty Swatch!
There were several brands at this event including Nivea, Coty (who deal in a lot of high end perfume brands), Burt’s Bees, Remmington, Orly and Sebastian. The idea was that we could actually talk to the representatives for each brand and they could recommend products we might be interested in etc.
I thought this was such a good format because I took away so much more information that I think I normally would. It was pretty squishy with that many people trying to talk to the brands but totally worth it. My favorite part was the Nivea photo booth, seriously whoever came up with that idea needs a promotion because it was SO much fun and I got to take away photos with my friends so very happy!
Didn’t know we were getting a photobooth that night so James and I stopped at a completely different one during the day XD
We were treated to a fantastic dinner with some *very* attentive wait staff (seriously with the amount of wine offered I swear they were trying to get me drunk 😉 ) and got to learn a bit more about Maxted Thomas itself. The whole weekend I felt like royalty *_*
I was lucky enough to interview one of the owners Ian Thomas so check that out in the video too! I was so nervous interviewing people as I’ve never done it before but I muddled through and I know next time I’ve got so many points I can improve on. In fact I was so nervous when the actual film crew who was there asked to interview me, I froze up a bit and probably made a bit of a fool of myself >_< Oh well!
Maxted Thomas also announced a competition wherein whoever writes the best post on the weekend will win $2000 travel vouchers. When they said that I was so excited because as I mentioned before, James and I have never really been on a *holiday* together, we always just go places for work. So if this posts wins I think I would want to go to Japan with him via Singapore and Malaysia to visit friends or maybe visit all of you guys in the USA, I don’t even know, there are so many cool places we could go! What do you guys think? If I came to your town would you come meet up with me?
One of the best moments of the night was being asked if I would come and meet the head chef because she loved my hair 😀 So cool!
We headed back to the hotel and luckily got a taxi right away because the downstairs of the Establishment turns into a club at night and it was pretty full of partying people. It was raining really hard when we got out too so we were all FREEZING in our lack of winter clothes, then we realised that the taxi had taken us to the wrong hotel! >_< seriously, why would they build two Novotels by the harbour!?!?!
DAY 2 OVER!!
So on our final day we packed up our bags and checked out very early that morning. We left our bags at the desk and headed upstairs for light breakfast and the first seminars.
The first event was for Alpha H skincare and it was hosted by Karen from The Morning Show’s advertorials. Again I took a lot of notes so if anyone wants them just let me know and I’ll publish them here.
After that the MBBE girls helped out with setting up for the Face of Australia event again. This one wasn’t so much a talk like the others but a make up class.
This is my favorite of the new looks:
We got to see the new look books coming out and we got to see a couple of colours in the new range (OMG I want Malibu Barbie) and try the look that make up artist *** was doing on Briony ourselves.
Testing stuff out:
We had mirrors, tissues and little brushes and the range in the goodie bags so it was really awesome that you could follow what was happening on the big screen and do it too.
With Celeste and Celina:
The last event of the day was the key note speaker, Bahar Etminan from Rescu.com.au (not linked because it keeps throwing me a malware warning when I try to visit). Phew was this an interesting note to end on. Controversial is probably an understatement! Twitter was going absolutely nuts during her speech *_*
While I personally disagreed with a lot of points she made and I think perhaps her talk wasn’t really well targeted to her audience, it has been discussed to death so I’m not going to go over it again here. The only thing I want to say is that making judgments about what other people do on their blogs is completely pointless because in the end the reader decides, if people don’t like it they won’t read it. Making a distinction between certain types of bloggers and others makes me feel like high school again. Why waste time and energy getting mad about something that doesn’t effect you when you could do something constructive with yourself? Honestly sometimes events make me think we should all spend less time talking about blogging and just get on with the actual doing of it ^_^ That’s what my goal going forward is anyway!
With The Swatch Girl
There are a bunch more photos but this post is getting pretty epic already. I’m still waiting to get most of them from James so I’ll probably do a second gallery style post.
So that one went a little bit over time and we headed off to the airport! We decided to go very early because we weren’t sure whether all of the giftbags would put us over the baggage weight limit *_* Very luckily we managed to juggle everything around to avoid some fines and thank you Celina for letting me borrow a suitcase!
The flight back was just as eventful, even being so early we almost missed it because they changed the gate at the last minute but didn’t have it over the speakers >_< We were sitting at the gate at take off time thinking “Hmmm are we boarding soon??”, finally Celina asked someone and we found the correct gate right up the other end of the airport. Celina can fun FAAAAST when she needs too haha! So borded safely and on a flight that actually included dinner we were happy to relax for an hour or so. I have to say, after the debacle with Jetstar I will never fly them again, I’ll pay the extra and go with someone else that includes food!
Hilarious plane safety thing, honestly does anyone even own a Furbie anymore? And who carries a walkie talkie?
By the time we got home I was about ready to fall asleep in the car. It was an amazing weekend. A huge thank you to Kimmi and Jacie for putting it together, thank you to the sponsors for being so generous, thank you to James for being awesome and Celina for being a great room mate.
Also thank you to everyone who came and said hello! I was pretty tired the whole weekend as I was just getting sick so I didn’t get to say hello to everyone I wanted to but I’m sure there will be more chances soon. Thank you everyone who we met for making us feel so welcome. Even though Sydney seems to hate me, I totally want to come back anyway 😀
It was an amazing weekend and I hope you all enjoyed the photos and videos. Now I want to hear from you guys! Where would you go if you won the $2000 travel vouchers from Maxted Thomas? I know it’s a long shot considering some of the other amazing posts but if I did win where should I go? Would you like me to come visit your town? If I did, where would you take me? We could have tea parties all over the world, that would be SO much fun!!