Riley Rose Empowers Millennials With New Instagram-Worthy Makeup Concept Store

A new makeup concept store, Riley Rose, empowers Millennials to try on Korean beauty products as if they were getting ready in their own bedroom.

Riley Rose is not like Sephora or Mac. No one’s going to give you a makeover. Instead, Riley Rose tapped into Millennials’ obsession with makeup and learning from social media. The popular makeup Instagram account, Wake Up and Makeup has nearly 12 million Instagram followers. The New York Times depicts Meghan Roark who spends $300 a month on makeup and skincare and watches about 3 hours of YouTube tutorials weekly. And these aren’t stand alone examples, they represent the new way Millennials and Generation Z want to shop and learn about makeup.

Using the Millennial’s dream of an Instagram-worthy location, the daughters of the founders of Forever 21, Esther and Linda Chang recently launched their new makeup concept store in several cities including Chicago’s Water Tower Place on Michigan Avenue.

Some Riley Rose store highlights include:

  • Selfie lighting vanities for you to sit and swatch and apply lipsticks and highlighters
  • iPads next to the vanities with step by step makeup tutorials
  • Online-only Korean makeup brands like  RMS Beauty, Tonymoly, Too Cool for School, Winky Lux, R & Co, Stila, and CosRx
  • A fridge filled with face masks and much more face and skin care products
  • Beautiful packaging that makes everything look cute and original and sayings on them like Huxley’s “Great things never came from comfort zones”
  • Lots of pink – “Millennial Pink”
  • A pink brick wall “Wish You Were Here” photo booth with a selfie-camera and seats for all of your friends
  • Notebooks and supplies cuter that Urban Outfitters
  • Glitter injections and cute party favors
  • A candy section with sweet and sour treats from Dylan’s Candy Bar
  • Hair product section that brings you a new tool that makes amazing beachy waves

Online Only and Korean Beauty Brands at Riley Rose:

Watching YouTube makeup tutorials and seeing beauty bloggers explain how to apply makeup is fun, but not having that makeup at home can be a problem. Sure there are apps where we can virtually apply makeup and hair dye, but nothing where we have a lighted vanity and endless Korean beauty products. And let me emphasize – Korean beauty products.

When I walked into Riley Rose, I didn’t recognize a lot of the brands. But for internet beauty buyers, there are popular beauty brands like Lime Crime, RMS Beauty,  and Winky Lux. This, of course, made me excited to try on the Koren makeup brands.

There were so many different beauty products in cute packaging to try on and take with me to a selfie lighting vanity next to an iPad with makeup tutorials.  The marble countertops, good lighting, and neon signs made for an Instagram-worthy backdrop. I don’t think I’ve ever had that much fun trying on makeup and taking selfies. I was literally in the store for hours.

The Quality of Riley Rose Makeup: Lipstick

There’s been some debate about the quality of the products as Bustle mentioned because Riley Rose does have low price points and high price points and most of their products are not usually found in-store.

I quickly found that the pigments and packaging were all very alluring, but there were two things I noticed. The lipstick and gloss applicators weren’t the best – that’s something even Kylie Jenner’s Lip Kits its improved on as YouTuber, Andrea Renee showed. Although the packaging is cute at Riley Rose, it isn’t cute to have pink and red product smeared on your face. Applicators are like paint brushes and just like you wouldn’t put a paint roller on a small cabinet, you don’t want big wands to apply vibrant colors on your face.

The second issue, and I think it’s because of the applicators, is that too much of the product would go on my face. So, it just felt like a wet kiss on my lips at times – something that a) never feels good and b) I haven’t experienced from other beauty brands like Elf, L’Oreal, or Mac.

What I love about sharing this with you is that I tried on several different makeups and compared them to learn what beauty products worked and what didn’t. I found Riley Rose to be so empowering – to not just see makeup in packaging, but try it on and discover how to apply makeup and what looks best. Best of all, the store has great lighting.

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The Perfect Everyday Lip Color:

Hands down, try on everything. I found two of my favorite everyday lipsticks and glosses at Riley Rose. I spent hours at the pre-store opening trying on several Korean lipsticks and found my new 2018 lip color – which is the Winky Lux double matte whip liquid lipstick in shortcake. It comes on wet but dries quickly and doesn’t smudge. Plus, it’s a darker red like a burgundy that makes me look like the girl boss I want to be. When I went to The Chicago Woman’s Magazine food industry cocktail party in January, I got a lot of compliments on my new lip color.

I also found the perfect lip color to brighten my face. It’s the Peri’s Ink Velvet. I got the wow pink color. It comes on like whipped cream.

Ohhh let’s debate. How many days can you hibernate before you get cabin fever/go insane? I’m on day three and going strong. I see all you boo’s ordering pizza cc: @agirlandafoodstagram. I just feel bad for those delivery people going out in Siberia like temps. Tonight I’m having a dinner party with one of the first journalists and friends I met in Chicago (you can still hear her on WGN). We met on a street corner and she turned to me and said “you look like you’re going to the same event as me. Do you know where it is?” We’ve been friends now for over 7 years 😮 And tonight I get to make dinner for her and do my face with @rileyrose cosmetics without leaving my house. If the salmon doesn’t taste good, there’s pizza around the corner 💁🏻‍♀️ PS this texture spray is goals

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Skin Care Section:

Let’s be real, LUSH bath bombs are a thing and so is taking care of your skin with facials and bedtime routines, not just covering up bad skin with makeup.

Riley Rose has a whole tub full of bath bombs and a whole fridge filled with face masks, not to mention other cute Korean face masks and feet masks. Yes, feet masks! I bought one to try after my 30 days of hot yoga.

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Lazy Girl Skin Care Routine:

While I was at Riley Rose for their grand opening at Water Tower Place, I learned a lazy girl skin care routine that took 5 minutes and you could do in the car or plane when you’re on your next Intagrammable vacation. 

Step 1: Apply Banila Co Clean It Zero balm with your fingers. It feels so refreshing on your skin because it’s kind of oily and brightens and refreshes your skin while also removing makeup. No more harsh toners to take off all the makeup.

Step 2: Apply Huxley Secret of Sahara Essence to hydrate the skin.

Step 3: Apply Dr. G Red-Blemish Clear Cream. This is especially good for people who have redness or who have dry skin.

Three steps and you’re done. No water necessary and very simple!

 

Conclusion:

Riley Rose is a dream. Honestly, you can spend hours at Riley Rose and still want to try on more makeup and take more Instagram-worthy photos and selfies. It’s Millennial pink. Most of all it empowers you to try on different lip colors and experiment with highlighters and creams.

If playing with makeup and finding new skincare and lifestyle items are something you love to do, then this bright, pink store is your dream.

Riley Rose is located on the 4th floor of Water Tower Place next to Victoria Secret’s Pink in Chicago.

 

 

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5 Chicago Lifestyle Bloggers: The Story Behind Their Following

Chicago Lifestyle. How do you become the Chicago cosmopolitan city girl you’ve always aspired to become? At Windy City Cosmo, we focus on building genuine relationships and the beauty, events, skills, and cocktails behind them.

There are a lot of Chicago lifestyle bloggers with a lot of followers. As we’ve dined with and liked their Instagram posts, a few of them stood out. I’ve spoken with some of the most active Chicago lifestyle bloggers to learn why they blog and how they build a following. These bloggers post about food events, botox and beauty trends, the next best cocktail, how to get over your exboyfriend, and how to throw your next holiday party.

If you’re looking for what to do on a Friday night, an event to take your girlfriends to if you’re a Dior girl, or if you are more Chanel, and some fashion tips, then let me introduce you to some of my trusted Chicago lifestyle bloggers on Instagram.

This article includes the following bloggers:

Hungerlust Travel, I admire her photography and how she makes me want to wanderlust.

Now You Know Events/Appetite 4 Adventure, I love how she is always on the scene at the latest food events. She always makes me hungry with her cheesy pizzas and boozy cocktails.

Once Upon a Dollhouse, I love their personalities and their twin vibes when it comes to photo shoots. If you are looking for outfit inspiration, they are always adding a little sparkle and maybe a bow.

The Haute Seeker, I love her weekend events roundup. She always has something creative.

Jodidangerous, I love that this Instagram has spunk and variety, but also serenity.

Hungerlust Travel:

Meet Lily from Hungerlust Travel.

She’s a food and travel blogger based in West Loop Chicago. When she’s home, she introduces you to new and classic restaurants around the city, and when she travels, she post photos of my activities and meals to inspire you to visit those cities as well!

How did you get started?

Hungerlust used to be solely a food Instagram, then I started to feel too restricted that I couldn’t post what I was seeing on vacation, only what I was eating. I’ve had my Instagram since December 2015, and just started blogging this summer.

Lakeview, Chicago: Earlier this month I attended a @dablonvineyards wine tasting at the beautiful music box theatre. Dablon is a winery in southwestern Michigan that is aiming to chance the face of Michigan wine! The reputation is that all wine in the area is sweet, given the cold climate. However, they're growing a lot of traditional dry grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Pinot Noir! I went on a Michigan tasting a few years ago that involved mostly ice wine and s'mores wine so this year I'm going to plan my own and start it off at Dablon! Their tasting room has been recently renovated and they have a brand new private room that I can't wait to visit! #hungerlustlakeview #dablonandcg #dablonwine #chicagogrammers

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What’s your favorite platform to share content? Do you use social tools to help you? If so, which ones?

I am solely Instagram at this time, but I know I need to start working on Pinterest more to grow my blog viewers.

How much time do you devote to blogging each week?

I spend about 10-15 hours on Instagram per week, but blogging is more sporadic. When I sit down to write a new city guide, I will spend 5-10 hours on it over a few days, but then I go weeks without adding new content… oops! (which is actually one of the current trends according to Orbit Media’s research with over 1,000 bloggers). I post on Instagram once a day.

How do you choose what to share with your readers or followers?

I share a photo if it’s visually pleasing, and I enjoyed the story behind it. I could have a beautiful picture, but if I didn’t enjoy the activity or meal, I won’t share it (which is similar to what Erin from 312 Food does, as well).

You can follow Hungerlust Travel on Instagram or her blog below:

www.instagram.com/hungerlusttravel
www.hungerlusttravel.com

Now You Know Events:

Meet Katie Cahnmann from Now You Know Events.

Katie created Now You Know Events (NYK) to offer a comprehensive site to share cool events and openings happening in and around Chicago. It’s an easy way for anyone to find something interesting and fun to do. She tries to share a little bit of everything to cover everyone’s interest from fashion to charity, food, sports, art, free, etc.

Kate
How did you get started?

I was working full-time as the Director of Social Support at a charter high school on the south side of dealing with really heavy issues with my students – anger, depression, suicide, gang violence, etc. I needed an outlet I sought out fun things to do in Chicago and would invite friends out. Everyone encouraged me to start my own website as I knew about an eclectic mix of events going on in and near the city. That’s how NYK was born!

What’s your favorite platform to share content? Do you use social tools to help you? If so, which ones?

I have a website (www.nowyouknowevents.com) where I share all upcoming events as well as recaps/reviews of events and places, occasional interviews with cool people doing cool things in Chicago, photos, and more. I also use MailChimp to send out newsletters and social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I used to use Pinterest but not so much anymore.

Who inspires you in the blogging community?

The entire group of incredible bloggers. There are so many. I’ve belonged to different groups of bloggers and stayed up-to-date with some including Chicago Bloggers Network, Windy City Bloggers, and Chicagogrammers to name a few. There are so many amazing bloggers in Chicago and it’s been a super supportive community.

How much time do you devote to blogging each week?

I used to devote a lot more but given everything that has happened in my personal and professional life over the last couple of years that time has decreased. I used to update the blog daily but now I do it weekly.

How do you choose what to share with your readers or followers?

I really try to be conscious of my readers, subscribers, and followers and only share what I truly believe they will appreciate and enjoy. Occasionally, I will share things I personally love and just hope my followers do, too. My hope is that anything I post resonates with my readers.

You can follow Appetite for Adventure on Instagram or Now You Know Events blog below:

Website: http://www.nowyouknowevents.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NowYouKnowEvents/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NYK_Events
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/appetite_4_adventure/

Once Upon a Dollhouse:

Meet Caitlin Campbell and  Danielle Sommerfeld, the dolls behind Once Upon a Dollhouse.

Once Upon a Dollhouse chronicles the dolls’ friendship and their adventures as they celebrate the beauty of life. Their ultimate goal is to inspire readers to become their healthiest and happiest selves – whether it’s through your own best friend, yoga, music, crystal healing or even fashion.

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How did you get started?

This has to be one of our favorite questions! Of course we have a story behind it. Shall we start with Once upon a time… ? We met by a combination of serendipity and magic and became the fastest of friends. Soon enough, we became roommates and moved into the glam pad that will forever be remembered as our life-size Dollhouse. The Dollhouse became the meeting place for all of our best friends where we shared laughs, meals, girl talk and plenty of champagne. Before we knew it, people started to ask us what events we were going to, our favorite music to listen to, our workout routines, our favorite boutiques and more. Then, we decided to write it all down and to share our sparkle with the world! Once Upon a Dollhouse was officially launched in January 2016 to chronicle our best friend adventures and celebrate the beauty of life. In this world, our ultimate goal is to share positivity and inspire our fans and followers to become their healthiest, happiest self.

What’s your favorite platform to share content? Do you use social tools to help you? If so, which ones?

Instagram is our absolute favorite! Our main resource is each other. It’s important for us to always be in constant communication so that we can maintain an authentic brand message that we are both proud of. We encourage each other and celebrate our ideas and every milestone we hit along the way.

Who inspires you in the blogging community?

We have met so many inspirational women in the blogging community right here in Chicago! We are proud to be a part of such a strong network of women that supports one another. A few of our go-to gals are Windy City Cosmo (duh!), Julz Chez and Caroline Taft.Everyone has their own unique story…. WCC is always there for us . and right now is training for a marathon, Julz Chez is the sweetest small town gal turned fashion maven and Caroline Taft is a former U.S. Army Reserves Intelligence Officer turned culinary creative and photographer. The best part about these inspiring ladies is that we’ve become great friends along the way!

How much time do you devote to blogging each week?

It really varies week to week. For us, it’s all about balance. We balance our friendship with our business to keep our motivation, consistency and vibrant energy in tact.

How do you choose what to share with your readers or followers?

We like to share content with our readers that sparks a sparkle! We’re an open book and looking to share our light and positivity with others – especially at a time when we need it most! Stay tuned for a more “risque” topic coming up on the blog soon about aging gracefully.

We like to share content with our readers that sparks a sparkle! We’re an open book and looking to share our light and positivity with others – especially at a time when we need it most! Stay tuned for a more “risque” topic coming up on the blog soon about aging gracefully.

You can follow Once Upon a Dollhouse on Instagram or on their blog below:
www.instagram.com/onceuponadollhouse
www.facebook.com/onceuponadollhouse
www.pinterest.com/OUADollhouse
www.onceuponadollhouse.com

The Haute Seeker:

Meet Taylor Justin from The Haute Seeker.

The Haute Seeker is a curated lifestyle blog that seeks out and shares the unseen fashion, food, arts, and community good in the city of Chicago.

How did you get started?

I am not new to this. I’m inquisitive by nature. I moved to Chicago out of college and had no family or friends in the city. I wasn’t going to sit at home so I would go out everyday and visit neighborhoods that interested me. I became very acclimated to Chicago and always knew where to go and became a resource to close friends. I decided to challenge myself and become a resource for others who are culture vultures and that’s when I started The Haute Seeker.

What’s your favorite platform to share content? Do you use social tools to help you? If so, which ones?

Instagram by far! I treat it like a mood/ inspiration board.  I use Buffer to keep my social media in check. Thank God I discovered that tool. It helps me so much!

Who inspires you in the blogging community?

I am inspired by the stories that people share. It’s awesome to seek fellow bloggers shine and grow.

How much time do you devote to blogging each week?

Every single day. If I am not writing I’m planning my content and generating leads. My post goals are two a week, 3 if I’m being very ambitious.

How do you choose what to share with your readers or followers?

I share what I would want to read. I’ve realized my content is not for everyone and it never will be because not everyone likes the same things. And that’s okay! If you are inspired by everyday people, you like interesting things, or are moved by cultural innovations than you will love my content.

You can follow The Haute Seeker on Instagram or on their blog below:
@thehauteseek
www.thehauteseeker.com

Jodidangerous

Meet Jodi Dudek. Her blog will be launching in the next couple of months. For now, you can find her on Instagram: @jodidangerous

Jodi wanted to use my actual name, but make it a little fun. The “dangerous” is because she does what I want. 😉 People should follow her because I’ve experienced a lot in life and continue to enjoy a good adventure and try to share that in a thoughtful way. She’ll be working on some fun things shortly, she’d love to grow interest.

How did you get started?

I was interested in blogs and eBay stars years ago, have been in the design community for over 15 years, joined Instagram when it very first started, and am even now head of social media creative for a large company. Travelling and being naturally curious have been huge catalysts, and I have grown to really love meeting new people and sharing great stories!

What’s your favorite platform to share content? Do you use social tools to help you? If so, which ones?

Instagram, hands down. Specifically, I post an Instagram Story nearly every day.

Who inspires you in the blogging community?

So many people. On a large level, Brit+Co and Bri from DesignLoveFest really kill it. Beyond that, I appreciate anyone who is well-curated, and even informative… thoughtfulness, organization, and beautiful content!

How much time do you devote to blogging/content creation each week?

It used to be a decent amount, but due to having a full-time gig in social media, my presence has been minimal.

How do you choose what to share with your readers or followers?

First, I don’t over-share. Relevancy is fairly important, but also things that I am passionate about.

You can follow JodiDangerous on Instagram here:

Jodidangerous is the only one that I’m comfortable with at this time… stay tuned!

Conclusion:

There’s a lot of Chicago bloggers. Some are sassy, some take a killer #ootd (outfit of the day) photo and others build a community around cultural events or the love of shoes.

I hope you connect with some of these Instagrammers and bloggers.

Who do you love to follow and why do you like or comment on their content?

 

 

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Meet the Chicago Entrepreneur Behind The Beauty App, LISA

There’s a lot that goes into getting ready for an event. And by event, I mean there’s a lot that goes into getting ready for a week. Is your hair done? Did your gel manicure start to peel?

The more that I attend parties and grow in my marketing and blogging career, the more I realize that it takes makeup and maybe a straightener to get good photos – not just Snapchat filters. And most of all, putting on your best face and looking good not only presents a better image for you and your brand, it also makes you feel more confident.

One platform that is here to help is the LISA App, the first open marketplace mobile application that connects clients to artists in the beauty industry by allowing them to schedule high-quality personal services whenever and wherever they want them, at a price that suits their budget. I had heard of the LISA App from The Tape Play’s launch party and from Chicagogrammers first birthday party and then at the Chicago Yelp Drink and Learn event at Workspring. 

After meeting some of their stylists and having my own hair and makeup done by some of the beauticians through the LISA App, I reached out to the founder, Lisa Nation to learn what inspired her to start this beauty on demand business, the apps that help her streamline her business and some of her secrets to B2B (business to business) success.

How did you get the idea for your business?

It was my husband’s idea, he had that ah ha moment driving to work one day. I’ve been a licensed hairstylist for over 23 years but for the past 17 years I have worked independently due to the commission split salons take from each service provided. When he explained his early concept, I jumped in head first and started to build out the infrastructure from the Artist’s perspective.

How long did you sit on the idea before taking steps to make it a reality?

September 24th, 2014 was when we hashed out the primitive idea, three days later he quit his job and we were off to the races.  We raised our first $100,000 in 2 days with just the concept of LISA, although the app was nameless at the time.

What were some of the steps that you took to create your business? Did you survey people? Did you seek out investors? Did you start solo?

Neither us knew one bit how to build an app, but, we are both resourceful. We strategically put the right people together and started whiteboarding. Once we felt we were in a good spot we held an investor presentation for 60 potential investors. We raised 1mm within 24 hours.

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Lisa Nation, Founder of The Lisa App.

How did you attracts stylists and beauticians?

At LISA we believe that anyone who can use scissors, a brush, chemicals or nimble fingers and make someone look and feel good deserves to be coined an Artist.

How do you build a platform for a community that doesn’t even realize a disruption is needed?

You have to listen to the people who live it everyday, what are their struggles, what would they like to see changed. That’s why LISA is a company that was built by the Artists for the Artists.

Before we began development, we invited 30 Artists to a summer camp in Florida. For 5 days 30 strangers came together to tell us what they would need if an app were built for them. We listened! You cannot build something if the people who are going to use it do not believe in it.

Can you tell me more about your business and the services you offer?

LISA is the first ever, true, open marketplace in the beauty industry that connects consumers and Artists in real time. LISA’s #1 focus is the B2B marketplace. LISA helps over 100 corporations supply beauty and wellness perks to their hardworking employees. LISA has designed software to assist these corporations to make it user-friendly for not only the back office (HR, Benefit Directors) but also for the employees to easily book in office services via the app. As we continue to grow our B2B efforts we will slowly start to promote the B2C marketplace in order for the employees to bring these services home with them.

Where’s your favorite part of getting ready for an event – makeup/hair/nails?

That’s a tough question to answer, I spend so much time making other people look and feel good, I rarely take the time or enjoy getting myself ready. If I had to choose, it would be hair.

What’s the hardest part of owning your own business?

Accountability. No one cares more about your business than you.

How do you distinguish yourself from competitors?

The goal is not to be first and best, the goal is to be early and better. We studied all of our competition and simply did it better. We learned from their mistakes and created features that they did not have, ie; open-marketplace, B2B strategy and all around Artist functionality.

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Do you use any apps to manage your business? If so, what are your favorites?

MailChimp, I use it to view report. Grammarly. Email tracker pro (I’m always watching to see who has opened my emails), Trello; this is how our team shares updates and stay organized and Zapier, I get a notification every time a consumer requests an Artist for a service.

What, do you find, is the hardest part of starting a business?

Prioritizing. Staying with your mission. There is such a temptation to sway from your original concept. DON’T. It will cause you to lose focus.

How do you network as an entrepreneur? Do you use LinkedIn? Do you send emails? Do you go to events?

It’s all about networking. I have joined many groups that inspire me and help me grow as an entrepreneur. I go to and participate in as many events as I possibly can. (get some networking tips here)

Sometimes I’m so tired, I don’t want to go, but I know I have to because it takes only one person and a 3-minute conversation to open a new door for you and you never know who that may be.

Since we are heavily focused on B2B, I’m on LinkedIn more than I am on FB or Instagram. LinkedIn is a terrific resource to learn about companies and the people who work there. Most of my business is email. One thing I have learned through this process is though is to avoid emailing Monday’s and Friday’s.

Windy City Cosmo experienced this first hand and was part of the LISA app’s promo video with Tape Play. (see video below).

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Dior Makeovers and Blowouts at Chicago History Museum and Waldorf Astoria

What’s a girl’s night look like? Well, it has martinis, makeup,  lots and lots of braiding, and then an opportunity to look at pretty dresses and take selfies. Dior and Medici Museums delivered for us Chicago city girls this past Tuesday, August 15, 2017.

There wasn’t wardrobe changes, but there were location changes. This two-part event began  at the Chicago History Museum (5:30-7pm), where the city’s top fashion bloggers – Hasty Book ListThe Petite DiariesStile.Foto.Cibo., and The Color Palette included lead scavenger hunts of Mainbocher, “America’s First Couturier,” a twentieth-century tastemaker who dressed royalty and celebrities, inspired Dior’s “new look”—and put the chic in Chicago.

“Showcasing a Chicago designer who was so influential to fashion as a whole was a great way to get to know other Chicago fashion bloggers and enjoy a Ketel One cocktail,” said Chicago blogger, Danni Levine-Moore of Stile.Foto.Cibo.

If you don’t know, now you know that he made the strapless dress you’re favorite staple. You can learn all about his fascinating life, view his designs and even design your own dress (on a mannequin) in under 5 minutes at the  Making Mainbocher: The First American Couturier exhibit, which will be on display at the Chicago History Museum until August 20, 2017.

After filling out a scavenger hunt card, designing our own dress, and making new friends, we were ready for a location change. A mile away, this Chicago girl’s night took us to the Waldorf Astoria where delicious Ketel One martinis and vodka lemonades were waiting for us along with, because the event was so well spaced out, felt like our own Dior make-up artist and hair stylist.

We mingled at Waldorf Astoria’s new concept Petit Margeaux, the brainchild of celebrity chef Michael Mina. This fashion-forward hotel, with its Dior-inspired tiled lobby floor and Chanel-influenced chandeliers, was the perfect backdrop for our selfie’s.

After the all-inclusive evening, we made a few friends and stopped over for (thin crust) pizza across the street. Not bad for a Tuesday night.

 

 

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Simply Stylist Annual Fashion and Beauty Blogger Conference

For every Girl Boss in Chicago and actually the midwest for that matter, there is one conference that you want to attend – the Simply Stylist annual conference.

We checked into the Dana Hotel and Spa in Chicago on Saturday, July 16, 2016 for the day long conference.Beauty bloggers and stylists were treated to a day of doing what we love – hearing from the successful business woman and bloggers, drinking cucumber water, getting our hair and makeup (my favorite makeup) done, and oh, of course jumping into a ball pit for charity.

The Chicago event was hosted by my second favorite voice from E!, Catt Sadler.

And the line-up of speakers included everyone from YouTube blogger, Belinda Selene, (one of my favorite videos) to stylist, Lindsay Albanese, to the founder of one of the most iconic blogs, The Everygirl, and even the costume designer and stylist from the hit show, Empire, Paolo Nieddu.

While there were main speakers in the morning and breakout sessions in the afternoon, the real beauty of the day was that it was a gorgeous day in Chicago and we were on a rooftop.

When I got off the elevator, I wanted to look down. The shoe game was strong. Everyone was dressed in summer prints and  florals that even Kentucky Derby style only won because we weren’t wearing hats.

In between sessions about being self-confident, how to balance your life, and tips on public relations, the bloggers and business woman enjoyed champagne gummy bears and sips of cucumber water in between pampering sessions from the latest beauty app.

The Glam App

The Glam App, described by People magazine as being Oscar’s glam on demand, is available in 27 international cities including Chicago. It’s known for bringing a glam squad right to your business or home at an affordable price. The founder, Cara Santana, was there to talk about her success. The Glam App is about a year and a half old, and Santana told Windy City Cosmo that apps are a lot like businesses, it usually takes 2-3 years to break even. The app is currently funded by venture capitalists.

Midwest bloggers had their hair styled, got a touch up on their lids or lips, and had a quick nail touch-up from the Glam App. Honestly, I was most impressed with the stylists and nail technicians. The glam squad had over 5 years of experience and everyone was really excited to be doing what they love (P.S. that is Simply Stylist’s motto).

Across the room, there were balloons spelled out “Girl Boss” for you to pose with your new look. Which, by the way, was sketched by a talented artist. In one hour she would have a sketch of you based on a single photo.

H2O Beauty:

And despite the stilettos or your attire, we all had to jump into the ball pit from H2O + beauty to benefit  charities to help women. One of Chicago’s fashionista’s from the Frock Shop was there volunteering, Jennifer Burrell.

Midwest Bloggers:

Overall, when I met some inspiring Chicago bloggers like Anneke Knot of Knot Couture Blog and Lan Ho of the blog, Scholar in Stilettos. Even midwest bloggers like Katrina of Inspoandco traveled from Wisconsin and stayed in Rosemont for the weekend.

 

 

Amanda Elliott is a writer and speaker and a relationship builder. She believes that meeting people in person is important. After attending numerous fashion, startup, and creative events, she founded Windy City Cosmo is 2015 to help people make connections in the city as they build their businesses, start and end relationships and see and be seen. Over the past three years, the entrepreneurs she’s interviewed have become the most successful in Chicago and Windy City Cosmo won an award in 2017 for her work for female entrepreneurs.

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