Wednesday, 10 December 2014

#sotonmeetup - My Second Blogger Meet-up

Almost a month ago I attended my second ever bloggers' meet-up, not long after going along to my first in October! I was lucky enough to nab a place after meeting the organiser, Alice from Annie Writes Beauty, at the #sotonoctmeetup, and I am so glad that I was able to attend.

In the run up to the event there was a lot of hype on twitter amongst attendees. Alice was updating us on the brands sending items for our gift bags, and what we would need to bring with us on the day. Bloggers were organising their journeys, who to travel with, and sharing links beforehand. My Tweetdeck was full of positivity and excitement - a testament to the enthusiasm and friendliness of the blogging community!

As before, I was pretty nervous as I walked along to the venue. I mentioned in my last post how I was concerned about 'standing out' (for all the wrong reasons!). Though She Wears Burgundy is now a year old, I still feel incredibly new and have an awful lot to learn - and many other bloggers, to me, seem miles ahead of where I am with this little corner of the internet! These worries reared their heads once again, but as soon as I bumped into a couple of friendly faces from last time, I felt relaxed and excited for the afternoon ahead!

The venue was perfect for the event, and was in fact the same place as the last one! Orange Rooms, in Bedford Place, Southampton, had offered their upstairs lounge area as the ideal space for the meet-up, and it worked so well. The room had a cosy, warm atmosphere with low lighting, comfy seats and the perfect little spaces for the visiting brands to set up their displays.

It wasn't long before I had ordered a delicious virgin mojito and started chatting to the lovely Holly from Impatience is a Virtue, who was incredibly friendly. We ended up chatting about our blogs, motivation, makeup and (mostly) our lives! It's always good to settle into an event with a good chat to get to know someone. After enough nattering, we decided to take a look at the brands which had come along.

The first brand we saw was Bee Good, a local natural company who harness the powers of bees to create skin products. The team, a husband and wife, have rapidly expanded, and now their products can be found in many Waitrose stores. It was lovely to meet them and chat about what they have to offer - they were so friendly and helpful, and I loved everything their brand stood for. The science behind it, and the production process, was fascinating - no product from the bees is wasted! The products I tested were impressive - and I was delighted to find one of their lip balms in my goody bag at the end of the day. I definitely have my eye on them and will hopefully be picking up one of their cleansers to see how it compares with my beloved Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish.

We then headed over to see Weleda - another natural company who have been around for 90 years. With a number of different products for a variety of skin types, ages and needs, their range was very impressive. I was sorely tempted by the amazing Skin Food  which has won numerous awards and has (allegedly) been used by many famous faces. I tested it on my skin and it was rich, thick, and left my dry winter-damaged hands soft and fresh-smelling. 

Lush Southampton were also there, and were offering hand and arm massages and product advice - I had to resist the temptation to go over this time, as I had visited them at my first blog meet-up, and received so many lush goodies for my birthday that I really didn't need to buy any more! 

After chatting to the lovely brands and a few of the friendly girls at the event, Alice announced that we had raised £50 from buying raffle tickets, and that she and fellow blogger Amy would be matching it - so we would be donating the grand total of £100 to the Royal British Legion. Being so close to Remembrance Sunday and, indeed, Armistice Day, this was a poignant gesture and everyone, including myself, thought it was a wonderful idea and an appropriate cause. 

The raffle then began. There were some amazing prizes from some brilliant companies, including Your Tea, The Library of Fragrance, Oloves and Bodhi and Birch. I admit, I had my eye on the Library of Fragrance, having been intrigued by their bottles in Boots. I was lucky enough to have one of my numbers pulled out...and was amazed that I had won the chance to choose £25-worth of Weleda products! I was ecstatic, as I had been longing after the products I had been shown earlier that afternoon, and couldn't wait to have the chance to try some out. 

After much deliberation and testing, I decided to pick Skin Food, and a Almond Soothing Face Oil. These are both perfect for winter weather, offering intense moisturisation. Although I don't class my skin as sensitive, as I have mentioned in previous posts I like to use products which aren't harsh, which is why I decided the almond range would be best for me. I hope to write a review of my goodies soon, but I will say now...I've been very impressed! I felt very lucky to have won.

After a little more chatting, cooing over our raffle prizes and receiving some wonderful goody bags, I said my goodbyes and left feeling inspired and accepted into the world of blogging. 

I am so grateful that I was able to attend and meet so many lovely people, and discover some fantastic new brands. I'm already looking forward to the next blog event - for now, though, I think I have plenty of blog posts to write up, products to review, and mince pies to munch on.

To those who organised it - thank you so much for inviting me along - it really was a fantastic event.

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