IMAN ... In NYC!

I jumped out of a cab, and walked a few steps, to the entrance of the Shelburne - Murray Hill Hotel. I wore a mustard, high-waisted belted dress, a beige cardigan and flats (moccasins). Just in case, I had to walk. The doorman in a grey suit opened the door for me and directed me to the event. Twenty minutes early, IMAN's people were still setting up the final touches. So I decided to take a seat in the lobby. I was so out of my element. Tara, from Iman's PR firm was kind enough, to come over and ask whether she could take my cardigan. I declined. I was cold.

Within minutes, NY fashionistas dressed in black, heels, makeup done up were beginning to arrive. So I proceeded to the concierge and asked for the bathroom. He directed me to take the steps downstairs. In the bathroom stall, I was BBM'ing my husband pictures. "Flats or heels?" His response, "You're in NYC girl, put on your heels!" Just like Mary Poppins, I pulled out a pair of 4-inch heels. Remember I warned you about my bag in "The LOVE of OLD - VINTAGE!"

While standing lopsided between a flat on one foot and a 4 inch heel on the other, in a NYC bathroom stall, I was reminded of Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin in the 1988 comedy movie, "Big Business." Now I was the small town (small island) girl in the Big City. Despite my usual cosmopolitan swagger, I felt so country.

When I evened off into my pair of four inch heels, the bathroom door opened.  No longer the comfort of being in the bathroom all alone. It was an Essence.com style and beauty writer and Editor in Chief of ThisThatBeauty.com, Felicia Walker Benson.  We exchanged business cards in the bathroom and later she joined me on the sofa. Immediately, it felt like she took me under her wings. I was thankful and happy for the brief friendship. While Felicia chatted with others, I noticed ScandalousBeauty.com exit from the elevator. Familiar with ScandalousBeauty's Youtube videos, along with past contact via email with her, I was confident this was the chance to meet her in person.  

We did, after being invited to a private room for a bite to eat. I wanted to take pictures of the spread but thought how silly and "non-accustomed," I would look.  Truly, it was a moment of "I'm actually here!" The table had hor d'oeurves; skewered chicken with crushed peanuts, shrimp with cocktail sauce in a grapefruit bowl, a fruit platter of sliced strawberries, star fruit and pineapple.  I eyed the sweets, a platter of cookies and pastries 'though I had the chicken.  There were sodas and water, at the other end of the table.  In my world, not the kind of water, I've ever seen ... I still have the bottle.  VOSS Water from Norway.  

By 4 o'clock we were seated in a conference room, waiting for IMAN.  She was late, due to traffic. The brand manager of IMAN Cosmetics gave us permission to tweet, text, what ever it was that us, bloggers do. There was a constant buzz between the two tables with about eight people each of bloggers, writers and industry people. There was Byron Barnes standing over 3 various skin tone models, ranging from light, medium to dark, seated in director chairs. Byron Barnes is a Cosmetics Expert & Creative Director of IMAN Cosmetics. In other corners of the room, two other male makeup artists stood over IMAN Cosmetics sample tables.  

10 minutes later, IMAN enters!  

Excited, I wanted to rise to my feet and clap, like I had just witnessed the greatest performance of a lifetime! Just imagine my shock when she took the seat, 5 feet behind me. I started to take pictures and video.  My poor hands were shaking and I had to place them on the back of my chair for support to keep them steady.  

Of course, I showed her the autographed picture from 1994. She immediately called the IMAN Cosmetics Brand Manager to show her and admitted it was the first picture taken for the line. I received another, autographed picture in 2010!

IMAN was so humble.  Best described by Rudyard Kipling's poem, "IF ... If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with kings–nor lose the common touch." A poem I learnt when I was 7 years old and in infant school in St.Lucia. She made the room, laugh and relax when she asked, "Let's chat.  Heard any new gossip for the day?" Then the Essence.com writer, mentioned hearing that Kate Hudson got a boob job. Iman's response, filled with laughter, "I'll believe it when I see Kate on a red carpet!"

When the event quieted down, and it was time to leave, I went to say thank you and good bye. She got up and gave me a hug and a kiss cheek to cheek. Now that's already my style, so my heart warmed. Even the brand manager hugged and kissed me farewell too!

The last post about my IMAN in NYC experience will be video of IMAN. Learn about IMAN Cosmetics and Beauty Tips for every age group from IMAN herself. Along with general tips and advice from Byron Barnes. In the meantime ...


Layout of Conference Room



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