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XYNZ Workshop #1: Beauty Blogging and Makeup Essentials (December 6, 2014)

I wasn’t sure about attending this workshop when I first heard about it on the XYNZ website, considering I had no idea who the speakers were being new to Auckland and all that. But when Chanel held an extra ticket up for grabs on Instagram, I thought to myself, why not! And so I ended up spending a Saturday afternoon in Thievery Studios surrounded by bloggers, listening to speakers talk about their passion, and walking back and forth the tea table filled with gorgeous treats.

Garth Badger, one of the few guys who were at the studio, talked about fashion photography. Like I said, I had no idea of any of the speakers. But I’ve since visited Garth Badger’s portfolio website and am impressed with his work. Thinking and planning was my major takeaway from his talk as I tend to just come up with whatever’s available during shoots. Keep shooting, he says, as based on his experience it sometimes takes 2000 shots to get one amazing photo. “Shoot and try until you get them right.”

Next, Eleanor Dorn gave a quick intro to basic makeup and brushes. She then took a volunteer from the crowd to demo the basics of contouring. I can’t contour for the life of me and I probably won’t be doing it on myself, although I can see why it’s so popular (because Kim Kardashian). Her makeup philosophy: no rules, and go with whatever you feel is natural.

Lastly, the most casual and relaxed talk was by Nikki Lovrich. She had no makeup or makeup tools with her but in her hands were cue cards that organized advices and stories from her 30 years of experience as a makeup artist. Thirty years and it’s no surprise she’d seen it all! Her most difficult client? Barbie. Her favorite foundation? Clinique. Mineral makeup? Osmosis. It’s so inspiring to hear from someone who loves what they’re doing, especially when they’ve been doing it for 30 years and ongoing!

Overall, the workshop was fun and well-organized. I’ve enjoyed listening to the speakers–it’s hard to pick favorites since they were all equally engaging and inspiring. I can’t say I’m very delighted with the goodie bag though (there was 1L of coconut water, among with 3 sample sizes of beauty products) so I wouldn’t count it as an actual perk. But the food and drinks were great and my Uber ride went really smooth. I’m happy with those. Great job, XYNZ! I’m on the lookout for what you have next!