12 July 2013

Natural Beauty Night!



This party - oh, you guys.  It was amazing.  Everyone there told me they loved it so much.  But I think I loved it even more.  This was the first time I had a BUDGET, friends.  Yes, $$$ for a party.  I couldn't believe it.  I had this idea to have a Natural Beauty Night...because I'm seriously obsessed with natural beauty products and I wanted to share all the stuff I've been learning.  And Vine.com - one of the BEST online sources for natural beauty products agreed to sponsor the event!!  I'll admit, I was over the moon.  I got to choose a venue, plan the evening, and hire a few amazing people to help bring it all together.  It was so much fun I could hardly stand it.  And, the timing was really special to me.  Planning this party is what I was up to while we were going through the IVF and it took place a week after we got the results.  Somehow, there was something empowering about just being there, doing something worthwhile, feeling happy, seeing everything come together, and being surrounded by some of my favorite people on a summery night.

And now, a rundown of the Best.Girls'.Night ever...

All photos are by photographer Kylie Whiting here in New York....LOOVED working with her!!! She is SO, SO talented!!  FYI, she is just starting out her freelance career doing events, portraits, and food photography.  Hire her!  I can't recommend her enough.


LOCATION:

I picked this sweet little place in Red Hook for the party.  I had heard that they were still trying to recover due to Hurricane Sandy...and so, I thought I could help by having the party there. It's called Home/Made at 293 Van Brunt St (@homemadebklyn).  And...it's just kind of cool when this works out...but this place exceeded my expectations!!  The food was SOOO good, the owners were amazing, and the place was so darn cozy...somehow the place really does make you feel at home.  I have been wanting to go back there ever since.  I can't recommend it enough.  (And I hear their brunch is amazing.) 




THE FOOD:

In the back, the two women partners were just cooking their hearts out.  We could hear their banter as they were cooking, "A little more lemon...just a touch...not too much." :)  And oh my, that food has my mouth watering right now as I think of it.  It was so, so flavorful and good.  I actually didn't know in advance what the menu would be as they said "it depended on what was freshest that day at the market."  Heaven!  That is my perfect kind of meal.  









My friend, Kelsey Nixon, came.  She is THE Kelsey Nixon from The Cooking Channel!  She has her own show and recently finished filming her 5th Season, which is such a huge accomplishment.  She even got nominated for an Emmy. So cool.  Anyway, she "plated" the food for these next photos.  This kind of made me giddy as she is such an expert.  :)  :) :)  Food styling is such an art.  And now I can't decide which photos to show you so you get them all.  :) She also just launched her very own cookbook, which I can't wait to get my hands on - Kitchen Confidence, Essential Recipes & Tips That Will Help You Cook Anything.






THE GUESTS:

All of the guests were so, so wonderful.  Some long-time friends came (heaven) and I also got to meet some bloggers and some blog readers (when these women walked in, it just made me melt to pieces. Seriously.  I just couldn't believe how great they were..it was like I just wanted to be instant friends with them.  I wish I could have lunch dates with all of them so we could chat more.)  And, not that this is an all important detail...but goodness, everyone there looked so pretty!  It was one warm summer evening, too, but they all made it to Red Hook just looking so glammed up.  They all just took my breath away that night with their kindness and beauty. And I'm determined to wear my hair in braids very, very soon.













THE WORKSHOP:

Jessa Blades, a natural beauty expert and make-up artist from Blades Natural Beauty, did a workshop for us.  It was SO great and I just loved her so much.  We all had the best discussion about natural beauty.  I'll be sharing some of her great info. in a separate post as I just think this is such an important topic for women.  In the meantime, you can browse Jessa's website for some great posts on natural beauty and also see a segment she did on The Today Show.  (And yes, we were all dying over her hair and had to know what she uses on it... stay tuned!  :)




THE PRODUCTS:

Do you see all that loot?  Each guest got about $500 worth of natural products from all my favorite brands!!  I have been testing beauty products for many months and it has been so fun that I was giddy about sharing some of my finds with everyone.  I must say, I've received many gift bags at conferences and galas over the years and usually the stuff is such a waste.  So it was fun to give something that people could really use (and I've heard from many that they are LOVING trying everything.  One friend even installed a new shelf so she could have a place for her new products.  :) :)  I'll have a post soon with links to everything.






THE DESIGN:

I feel so lucky that for this event I got to work with graphic designer, Linsey Laidlaw.  She was amazing.  To me, it's just a dream come true to work with a designer.  I always wish that I had the skills to create graphics and all that...but sigh!  Not so!  I am the least tech saavy blogger on the internet, I can tell you that. 




Linsey designed these cards and tags for the guests with some of the helpful info. from the night.


And she thought of so many details to help make the party great.  Love her.  I'm so spoiled to have such talented friends.  (btw, she does freelance design!  She's so good at what she does...and has years of experience working as an Art Director at Martha Stewart Living.)




OUR SPONSORS:

A HUGE thanks to Vine.com as well as the other brands that I hand picked for the gift bags (these brands are AWESOME):  Deodomom, Badger, Juice Beauty, Acure Organics, Egyptian Magic Cream, Mychelle, Hello Mellow, COOLA Sunscreen, The Period Store, 100% Pure, Anthology Organic (more info. on the individual products coming next week!)

26 comments:

  1. So awesome! Can't wait to hear more about the products. The food, pictures and design of everything looks amazing, and I'm such a fan of Jessa!

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  2. This looks amazing! - Amy

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  3. What a spectacular night!! I wished I lived closer so I could have attended. Nice work with the venue and all the little details.

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  4. Please come and do one of these in LA!

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    Replies
    1. I would LOOVE to do some more of these! I'll see what I can do.

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  5. Baltimore needs a natural beauty night too! Come give us one?
    Will you tell us the exact products you recommended? I bought the Deodomom on your recommendation and so far I love it! Thanks!

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    1. I'd LOVE to do more of these events! It would be so great. We'll see what might unfold. And yes, I'll have a post soon with the products. And SO glad you're liking the Deodomom. That stuff is amazing.

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  6. needs a little more diversity

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  7. Why did your husband go to a girls night??

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    Replies
    1. I was the hired muscle :) Those gift bags were a minimum of 20 lbs each, and there were 30 of them.

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  8. Love Kylie Whiting's photography! Looks like a fun night :)

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  9. Ohhh, this just makes me even more disappointed that the spots filled up by the time I tried to RSVP. Congrats on pulling off such a successful event! I knew it would turn out to be a lovely evening! Looking forward to the product reviews! Have you wonderful weekend :)

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    Replies
    1. Erin - so, so sad we booked up. :( I want to do one again. We'll see if I can pull it off. Stay tuned.

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  10. Beautiful, Mara! Can't believe you had the time to hang out with us when you were busy working on this. Let's do one in Chicago! Or better yet, out at the farm. I've gotta say, helping my young teen navigate her way through the toxic aisles of "health" and beauty products, I feel I've got to clean up my own arsenal.

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  11. Oh my gosh Mara that is awesome! So inspired by all your success. You are really onto something; you should be doing these for women everywhere!

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  12. Mara, a huge well done and a big hug : ) how wonderful you had such a meaningful project to pour your energy and love in to at this testing time. ah i love everything: the freshness of the food, the lovely photos, all the little details that make such a difference and wow, everyone looked absolutely radiant. I believe natural beauty products are the way forward. I'm coming to NY very soon so am excited to find stores where i can buy this stuff! Lou xx

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  13. oooh i love Kylie too, looks like it was an amazing night! What a wonderful way to get the word out about all the toxins we're slathering on our bodies daily. If you ever host another one, i'm so so in.

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  14. Mara, I know you've mentioned not eating gluten. My skin reacted horribly to anything with gluten in it (redness, irritation, itchiness, and breakouts.) Do you look out for gluten in products you put on your skin?

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    1. Yes! This is a new thing I'm doing. It seems to be more recent that my skin has been reacting to some skin products with gluten, so I've been trying my best clear it out completely. It's so tricky, isn't it? Some of the products that I'll share here soon are for sure gluten free (and labeled). Though I need to do a double check on some of them to make sure....

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  15. This is amazing! Put San Antonio at the top of your list! We would love to host you here. Thanks for being so amazing and uplifting. I want to be your friend! (Hopefully that doesn't sound creepy!)

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  16. Okay, you absolutely must come do one of these with your adoring fans in Salt Lake--you know we love you out here! I would be there in a heart beat.

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  17. amazing! and ditto to doing one in Salt Lake! You do have lots of fans here!

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  18. How fun! I wish I lived closer so I could attend this. California is just sooo far away!

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