Alverde Products Sneak Peek + DM Beauty Camp + Couchsurfing Experience


   I had a crazily interesting weekend in Düsseldorf: I attended a blogging camp, saw a preview of Alverde products (and even suggested a couple of products ideas), met lovely bloggers and had another amazing Couchsurfing experience.

   The Drogerie-store DM organised blogging camp in Düsseldorf and to my surprise I got selected (if you are wondering how one gets invited to such things: I simply signed up to their newsletter for bloggers, and then applied to get in the Beauty Camp). I was delighted and nervous -- I would be meeting other bloggers, and not sure what to expect.
    The hotel where the Camp was being held was bursting with well-dressed women, electronic gadgets and good food. The girls were all really friendly, I think I have not had so much eye contact since I came to Germany. You could spot the nail bloggers by their amazing nails. Everyone was carring phones, cameras and ipads, and eating. There was really good food, everyone snapping photos of everything, and conversations about blogs, blogging, and did I mention blogging? I spotted the writer of Alabastermaedchen, but I lost here again before I could talk to her which I regret -- I really like her blog. I also have to mention the gorgeous InFatStyle -- I couldn´t take my eyes off her. I talked to a bunch of lovely ladies, exchanged business cards and picked up quite a lot of interesting blogging tips.
    The main content of the day were workshop, some by professionals and some by the bloggers. The first one was from two lawyers who explained the legal dos and don´ts of blogging. I loved loved loved this session, it was amazing to have professionals explaining the stuff. To sum it up they told us that to avoid getting into trouble we should research to make sure our blog names aren´t similar to any brand or company name, have a proper impressum (legal discolsure) page on the blog (legally required on all blogs that aren´t strictly personal/family), and to not use photos of other photographers as copyright on images is very strong. You can use photos of any product you like as long as you are using it in the context of a review; and you can criticise a product as long as you don´t slander the brand or make an unprovable statement (X dried out my face is fine, brand Y is shit is not). Funnily, the lawyers said something about us having to pay attention to the legal stuff instead of just "making-up our fingers". Everyone laughed and finger-makeup became the running gag of the day on the Social Wall. Ah, the wall: it was a screen that showed the current tweets, instagram facebook posts, and it was surreal to see this whole digital conversation going on parallel to the sessions. It was fun to play with, till I realised I was missing bit of the session around me.
    I held a session too, about increasing traffic to your blog. I think it went pretty well, I was quite nervous but apparently it didn´t show. I am thinking to write a post based on that session, would you be interested? The photo on the top is me giving a mini-interview after my session.
    The biggest disappointment was that a lot of other sessions planned by other bloggers didn´t happen, for a bunch of different reasons. I had really been looking forward to them.

    So what else happens at a beauty camp? There were stands from the main brands of DM: Balea, Alverde and P2, where you could get your nails, hair and makeup done as well as ask questions about the products. I totally regret at not being able to get my hair done -- the Balea hairdressers were conjouring all kinds of amazing hairdos, but the queue was always very long. Waaah!

More photos of the event here.
   I spent a lot of time talking to the lovely guy in the Alverde room. I like Alverde because they were (probably) the first brand in Europe that made certified natural cosmetics affordable.
And here is the scoop:

   The 2-phasen Sprühkur (two-phase spray conditioner) is coming out in a new formula, this time with less oil. It is a light leave-in conditioner, and can be used on towel-dried hair as well as for refreshing your hair after a disco or travelling. I use it to reactivate my waves and curls. Oh, and I learned that I was supposed to shake the bottle before using to mix the water and oil phase!

I´m pretty excited about the new products for coloured hair:

Also, new hair styling products from Alverde! I can't wait to try the Alverde mousse (Schaumfestiger), I've never tried a natural one yet:

    I suggested a couple of products to the DM guy: a micellar cleanser and a protein masque, as well as a mini-deodorant. If I ever actually see these on the DM shelves, I will squeal with joy and do a raw dance right there!

   I did get my makeup done at Alverde, a lovely smokey eye. These are the lovely ladies that did the makeup:

   And here is my makeup. In reality it was much darker than on the photo, definitely a night look. (I totally need to learn how to photograph makeup, anyone know of a good tutorial?). She used baked eyeshadows from Alverde, 01 all over and 02 above the crease and below the lower lashes. What I liked is that she also used the 01 eyeshadow as a highlighter on my cheeks -- I have never used a really shimmery highlighter before and it really goes well with the shimmery eyes.

   I also got a ton of stuff from the DM brands.: there were samples lying around, I got a gift box as a thanks for holding the session, and a very full goodie-bag at the end with products. You'll be seeing most of them in future reviews.

   After the Beauty Camp I wanted to take my smokey eyes out to party. I was couch-surfing with a delightful British girl (in case you haven´t heard of it, Couch Surfing is a web site where you can offer to host someone in your home or find a host on your travels -- for free). My host was working that night so she sent me off to her friends who were having a house party. I ended up having a great time with a very international bunch of friendly people, we begged for dough at a local pizzeria and made pizza, played music and I made the classical mistake of spilling red wine on a white couch (and a bunch of guests).

  The next day I ended up walking around Düsseldorf old town (not very impressive but has a friendly atmosphere), and getting drunk on two Killepitsch and taking very wonky shots of aforementioned old town, then drinking amazing hot chocolate and almost missing my train home. A funny thing happened: we were trying to find a place to eat dinner, I wanted to go to Zicke which was recommended by the Lonely Planet guidebooks and my host knew a nice place called Flakes in the area. We ended up here, and argued about whether the sign says Flakes or Zicke. What do you think?

    It was a really great experience and I can't wait to a) attend some kind of blogger meet-up, b)  another collaboration or camp with DM and c) Couch-surf!

  Have you ever been to a blogger meetup? Or to Duesseldorf? Anyone know of a good tutorial on photographing makeup?

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