LuckyFABB* Recap

Lucky Magazine editor in chief Brandon Holley (left) and Rachel Zoe

*Or what I did while NOT at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte

While seemingly the entire city of Charlotte stood at attention with wide smiles, miles of fencing and tons of law enforcement at the ready, I left town, destined for New York City. That’s not to say I didn’t partake in early DNC fun: I helped organize the 1,000-attendee Unity Through Community LGBT welcome party, which took place Sunday night. My flight left Monday morning.

But I digress. I headed to NYC with my blogger pals Kisten PolishPauper and Michelle PinQueenCity to take part in Lucky Magazine’s LuckyFABB (Fashion and Beauty Blogger) conference.

It was the largest FABB I’ve attended (Kisten and I are old school — we go way back to the first one in February 2011. Aw … if you look at the pics, you can tell I still had a Blackberry!)

More than 300 super chic bloggers attended. The day was packed with a spectacular line up of guest speakers that included Rachel Zoe, Steven Kolb, Lauren Bush and my most favorite speakers of the day, Simon Doonan and Anna Sui.

Aliza Licht (left) and Erica Domesek

I had my fashiongirl superfan going all day. Look! It’s Aliza Licht, also known as @dkny pr girl! Or the fabulous Erica Domesek of @PSIMadeThis. The panel discussions were on point, incredibly informative and inspirational.

I will say, I was completely caught off guard by Rachel Zoe’s (relative) normalcy — she spoke honestly about balancing motherhood with work. She encouraged women to make opportunities for themselves — hard work pays off. And it’ll likely take you longer than you expect: she’s been styling for almost 18 years.

I plan to do a few more posts about my LuckyFABB experience (there’s more to share from the conference, and a full, shopping-filled recap of our guided shopping tour of SoHo on Day 2).

But one big take away: Mobile technology, especially when it comes to shopping and commerce, isn’t going anywhere. @manrepeller Leandra Medine says “Social shopping on the phone hasnt had its moment yet.”

So there you go.

Join the cult, Cult Nails that is

Nails are having a white-hot moment right now.

Need Proof?

The Los Angeles Times recently reported that sales of hand- and nail-care products in the U.S. totaled $707 million in 2010, an increase of 11.9% over 2009, according to Mintel, a consumer product market and research group that tracks the beauty industry.

So let me tell you about my latest nail obsession: Cult Nails, the indie-est of polish lines, which is less than a year old and making big waves in the industry.

I was inducted into The Cult by my in-the-know blogger pal Kisten, who writes about all things nails over at Polish Pauper. So by the time I met Cult creator Maria in person at Cosmoprof this summer, I was already a fan by association.

Then I tried the polish. Maria graciously gave me two colors to try out. In A Trance quickly became a favorite and an attention-grabber. People were constantly grabbing my hands, asking where I had gotten the deliciously golden-olive-tan color. I happily obliged and did my best to get them to join the Cult.

My favorite thing about Cult Nails (besides the crazy cool names like “My Kind of Cool Aid” “Devious Nature” and another shade affectionately called “Unicorn Puke” by polish devotees) is the magical combo of durability and absence of toxic baddies like touelene, formaldehyde, dibutyl, camphor and phthalate.

As someone who is chronically hard on manicures, I’m floored by how well this polish wears. Even after days of dishwashing, typing and tying shoes, there is little tip wear and chipping.

The Cult is picking up members quickly — the line was recently included in the gift bag for the most recent Lucky Fashion and Beauty Blogger Conference and featured in Teen Vogue.

Finally! Topknot resolution

I’ve been on a mission to find the secret to the perfect messy topknot. Little did I know, the answer could be found at Target.

So just what is the secret? The Goody Spin Pin, which is said to do the work of 20 bobby pins. The corkscrew pins look odd and are a little scary, but they do exactly what they’re supposed to do, all for just $6.50 (for a pair).

Using a spin pin is kind of intimidating at first — how do I do it? What if it gets tangled? How do I get it out? But it couldn’t be easier to use or remove. As for the hold? It’s amazing.

For those of us with less than thick hair, one pin will keep a messy topknot secure for an entire day. If your hair is thicker, you can use both pins.

Do you topknot?

Erika Bearman (left) and Susie Bubble

I wasn’t kidding when I wrote that tons of blog topics were floating around inside my head after the Lucky Fashion and Beauty blogger conference. One that I couldn’t shake (and tried to duplicate on Saturday, without much success) is the topknot.

Two panelists — @oscarPRgirl and @stylebubble — rocked such fierce but distinct versions, I stopped listening to the conversations about seed audiences and growing a brand. Instead, I focused on trying to figure out what exactly went into the creation of their topknots.

How long is their hair? Did they tease before piling and twisting? Did they use bobby pins? How about elastic?

During the panel on which Erika Bearman from Oscar de la Renta spoke, Twitter lit up with love, admiration and even a little envy of her effortlessly-retro super knot.

I take solace in knowing I’m not alone in my knotty obsession, especially after reading The Man Repeller’s humorous but chic take on the trend.

Joan Rivers made me verklempt

There were many things I expected from the Lucky Fashion and Beauty Blogger conference in New York, but getting teary and choked up listening to Joan Rivers was not one of them.

From the moment the 77-year-old shuffled into the room decked out in clothing and accessories from her own lines clutching an oversized glass of white wine, she was funny, crass and most of all, inspiring.

She spoke honestly about her life, about being a mother, a business woman and taking risks. It was like Joan had crawled in my head and was allaying my stressors (as a female small business owner) one by one.

Among the gems she dropped between well-placed profanity:

  • Take a chance. You’ll never regret what you did, but you will regret the things you didn’t do.
  • Just push ahead. “Every f*%^&$# day, something goes wrong.” Just pick yourself up and keep moving.
  • It’s always better to be overdressed than under dressed.
  • Be your own boss. “Who ever signs the check is the boss,” she says. “Sign your own check.”
  • Don’t say anything about anyone that doesn’t have the platform to say something back.

Joan Rivers, sick shoes & social media

The view from the Lucky Fashion & Beauty Blogger event Feb. 8 in New York City

My head is seriously spinning after attending the first Lucky Magazine Fashion and Beauty Blogger conference in New York City on Tuesday.

It was an entire day packed with blogging and social media discussions, networking and fashion insiders such as Tory Burch, Jenna Lyons (I have a severe girl crush. Really.), Sophie Buhai and Lisa Mayock of Vena Cava, among others. Foursquare, Svpply, tumblr and Mashable were on hand, as well as blogging rockstars Susie Bubble of Style Bubble and Mary Tomer, founder of Mrs-O.org.

As if that wasn’t enough, there was also Joan Rivers, giving a profanity-laced talk that was surprisingly uplifting and supportive of women in business, while explaining why she pokes fun at Victoria Beckham (video to come soon!).

I am still trying to digest all that was discussed and learned — there are a million blog posts swirling in my mind. In the meantime, check the sick, sick shoes I spotted from Converse (with Marimekko prints) and Lands End Canvas 1963. Pardon the poor quality pics — I had to snap with my Crackberry!

Converse and Marimekko collection

Lands End Canvas 1963 leather goods are covet-worthy. Especially the clogs. And the green strappy shoes. And the wedges.