I’ve just gotten back from a quick trip to NYC to check out this crazy-fun one-day event called Beautycon Festival New York. It’s a place where industry pros, bloggers, influencers and their fans come together. This year it was held in a gigantic cruise ship terminal in Brooklyn and aside from the social media stars, there were more than 70 brands on hand. I can tell you, there was an energy from the crowd that was infectious; it reminded me of hanging out at my fave nightclub (without the drinks)!

The minute you walked in the door you were transported into what felt like a YouTube video with a giant unicorn art installation and a video wall. All 10,000 tickets were sold out (meaning there were long lines everywhere) and since everyone had the same passion, we were all quick to chat about it. And we got access to so many new products before they’ve even launched!


(With @tessholiday)

One of the most fascinating things that was in high relief for me at this festival is that these vloggers and bloggers are now our mainstream celebrities; some of them have larger social followings than A-list stars! I was excited to meet Tess Holliday, who is pure inspiration for me, and I love Thomas Halbert, whose collaboration with Milk Makeup on a blue lip shade named "Frosty" debuted. (A portion of its sales will go to The Trevor Project, a suicide prevention organization for the LGBTQ community.) Tana Mongeau made my day! Not only is she one of the fastest growing YouTube stars, she has over 1.2 million Instagram followers. But she is down to earth, fun, a little crazy in a good way and the kind of girl you want to hang out with on a Friday night. I also caught great “fireside” chats with Lauren Jauregi, Linda Wells, the founder of Allure, and Julia Kelly about motivation, positive self image, life and of course, beauty!

(With @tanamongeau)

(With @gigigorgeous)

And since we’re here to talk beauty—you all know that I’m a beauty junkie at heart. So what really made my heart pound was getting the opportunity to buy all the latest releases before they go on sale at Sephora and Ulta. Then there was the gift tote you were handed as you walked in—amazing! I also learned about a lot of brands I wasn’t familiar with, like Flower Beauty by Drew Barrymore, a beautiful color line, and my fave product—a mask from South Korea called O.M.G. They have cutest headbands so your hair doesn't get in the way when masking.

For me, Beautycon was a great way to keep up on what beauty trends are coming and gave me some great new ideas for future products. If you’re thinking there’s a Beautycon in your future, a few words of advice: Check out the website to see where the next festival is being held. Different ticket “packages” are offered so you can customize your experience. But if you like to shop, you must buy a "Hauler" ticket, which means you get in two hours earlier than everyone else, and you know what that means. Also, I know you want to be on top of your style game as part of your selfies-prep but comfy shoes are a must; there’s a lot of standing! Bring a portable phone battery backup; you’ll want to take so many pics, you don't want a dead battery. Make a list of influencers you want to see and plan out your strategy the day before you go (Beautycon has a great downloadable app for this).

Now, go have your-gorgeous-self some fun on this kickoff-to-summer holiday weekend!