This is definitely the biggest blog news I’ve ever posted on here, hands down (paws down, claws down, feathers down, flippers down, man down, and Richard-Adams-Watership-Down…You get the idea)!
I’ll always remember Sunday October 14th, 2012 as the day when I met Suzi Weiss-Fischmann (the Executive Vice President and Artistic Director) of OPI and Nicole by OPI and had dinner with her at the Ciao Wine Bar in Yorkville! (Harris Shepard of the PR firm by the same name also accompanied her.)
If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you already heard me gushing about it (perhaps to the point of making your eyes roll), but things like this don’t happen everyday, so I’ll keep squealing and squealing until I’m turned into delicious bacon. (Poor piggy…)
It literally was one of my dreams come true, and it was a dream that I never thought would ever happen.
I have to thank Langton Communications for inviting me to the exclusive event. Suzi flew in especially for this occasion, which was a huge honour in and of itself.
I have great memories that I’ll hold onto until the day I die. (Although I almost died when she walked into the room. Before she even introduced herself, I had a total fan-girl moment and said, “Hiiiiii, Suzzzzziiiii!” louder than I expected because I was so excited.)
My account in this blog post is based purely on my memory. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to bring a notebook and pen like many of the smart bloggers who attended.
P.S. Keep reading and find out how you can win an autographed bottle of OPI Movin’ Out by Suzi!
Edit (November 1, 2012): I’ve contacted the lucky winner – Congratulations, Melissa V! She replied to my e-mail to claim her prize, so this giveaway is officially closed. Thank you all for participating! Also, please note that I’ll be replying to all the comments left, but it’ll take me some time.
Edit (March 24, 2013): I recently got the opportunity to attend another exclusive event and meet Suzi Weiss-Fischmann a 2nd time! Click here to read my detailed blog post on it!
You know how some people look different in person than they do in photos, well that’s not the case with her. She looks exactly the way she does in photographs, so that’s why I recognized her immediately.
The Situation (& No, There Aren’t Any References to Abs)
The event was put together by PR, and they chose to invite a small number of Canadian beauty/nail/fashion bloggers. There were around a dozen or so bloggers in total who attended, and the majority of them were new-to-me bloggers. This was pretty cool because not only did we get to meet Suzi, but we also got to talk to other bloggers.
The other bloggers were so accomplished and very professional in their creative pursuits with impressive partnerships and opportunities they worked hard for. From very early on in the evening, it became clear to me that the room was full of pure talent. It inspired me in so many ways!
It wasn’t just their fabulous nails or stylish attire that got my attention – it was their unbridled passion and motivation for self-improvement that stood out the most. And it helped that they were a highly articulate group with a funny bone!
And, although probably no one noticed, I kept pinching my fingers on my lap under the large square dining table to make sure that this wasn’t a dream and that everything was really happening. It was!
I got there early. There was no way that I’d be late. Haha, can you imagine if the room was full, Suzi (aka The First Lady of Nails) was there, and then you just roll in? I mean…she’s the Executive Vice President and Artistic Director of OPI and Nicole by OPI. Who are you?
Red Wine or White Wine?
Maxine and Samantha from Langton Communications did an incredible job. The venue was classy, inviting, and so swanky! Plus there was lots of food to go around, and we also got to enjoy red or white wine.
As I mentioned early on in the evening to a few people, the reason why I opt for white wine is mainly to account for any potential klutzy moments! Haha, if you spill red wine, it’s a disaster, but white wine is forgiving.
Since I was one of the early birds, the bottle of wine was opened for me, and I got to taste it to make sure it was okay. (It was! 😛 I’m not a wine connoisseur, so unless the wine has turned to vinegar, I can’t really tell if it’s bad.) That being said, I did play along and swish the wine in my glass and then sip it thoughtfully… 😉
There was also a custom menu with the Nicole by OPI logo on top. (Darn, I didn’t think to save it as a keepsake, so one of the servers took it away when clearing the table.)
The meal was served ‘family style’, which means the servers would bring the dishes onto the table and then we’d pass the dishes around to each other.
During the meal, we could ask Suzi anything, and there was a casual conversation flow that felt more like we were just friends hanging out rather than with someone really high up on the corporate ladder.
What’s Suzi Weiss-Fischmann Really Like?
The impression I got of her was that she’s very down-to-earth despite her huge reputation, position of power, and artistic genius for nailing and forecasting colour trends seasons in advance.
She asked us about ourselves (how we started blogging, how often we blogged, etc.) and listened attentively to everyone’s answers. And she cracked jokes and had a warm, friendly smile.
I didn’t know it before, but she was born in Hungary, and she does have a slight accent. Also, for some reason, I thought that she was very tall before I met her, but she is of average height. (I wore knee-high boots with heels to the event, so that’s why the height difference doesn’t look like much. For reference, I’m about 5’3″, and my heels were around just 2″. Hmm…I didn’t think to look at the footwear Suzi was wearing…)
Suzi also complimented people on their nails and their passion, which I thought was nice. Not all corporate big wigs take the time to encourage ‘the little guy’.
And, in case you were wondering what she was wearing on her nails (I was, so I asked), it was a brand-spankin’ new shade from a 2013 collection that she was going to showcase shortly after the dinner. It looked vampy.
She told us that blue and yellow would be the big upcoming colour trend next year and that glitter is huge for the holiday season. But there might not be tons of yellows because they’re hard to wear on the nails.
It was interesting to find out that Nicole by OPI was named after her niece (not daughter) because her daughter was verrrry young at the time and Suzi wanted to name the polish line after the older niece.
And OPI stands for Odontorium Products Inc. because the company originally focused on dental products before they transitioned into a nail-polish company.
I also found out that she has a daughter and a son who are teenagers.
Suzi said that her muse is the average woman. I really loved that because a lot of designers tend to fashion things based on the elite minority. Instead, Suzi wants her polish to appeal to the masses. That’s very smart from a marketing point of view because mainstream is where the money lies. However, OPI still churns out twists and turns to appeal to the minority for a peppering of colour.
We also learned that the reason why OPI Spotted isn’t sold here is because there’s a patent that prevents it!
Oh, and if you want any colours from the OPI Skyfall Collection, you’d better purchase them ASAP because, according to Suzi, even back at OPI, they’ve completely sold out of their stock! What does that mean? Once it’s gone from store shelves, that’s it! *Gasp* Apparently it was a huge success, and Suzi knew ahead of time that it would be. (Hehe, she said so during the dinner!)
Also, I had always thought that Nicole by OPI and OPI reached out to do movie collaborations, but she said that a lot of times they come to OPI! That’s pretty cool, and it just goes to show you what a force they are to be reckoned with – everyone wants a piece of them.
That brings me to her thoughts on Kim Kardashian. Apparently she’s the nicest and not really a princess/diva like how she’s portrayed on TV.
Suzi collaborates with a handful of other people to come up with the witty names we’ve all come to know and love about OPI nail polishes!
Suzi said that she used to wear lots of red nail polish because she felt that it was very glamorous like Old Hollywood. (That explains why OPI has put out so many reds!)
What Did I Wear to the Event?
It’s pretty funny because I had my outfit planned for 2 weeks. (I was going to wear the black and grey striped sweater dress you see in my profile picture.) Then, on the day of the event, I completely changed my mind and ended up wearing a deep purple sleeveless knit dress with chiffon-like flowers lining the rounded neckline and a multiple-tiered chiffon-like bottom.
To cover up my shoulders, I wore a black 3/4-sleeve slightly cropped cardigan with tons of black ruffles on the chest. (It’s the cardigan I like to call my ‘Gorilla Chest Hair Cardigan’ for kicks. Haha, it doesn’t actually look like hair, but the ruffles are plentiful and dramatic.) I ended up taking off the cardigan because I was feeling hot (haha, temperature-wise, just to be clear!).
I wore black tights and black suede knee-high zip-up boots with a large-button accent on the tab at the calf. And the only jewellery I wore was a purple, heart-shaped Swarovski crystal necklace on a silver chain that was given to me a few years ago for Christmas by my then-boyfriend.
And, I didn’t bother matching my nails to my outfit. A couple of days prior to the dinner, I had painted freehand pirate nail art, so I kept that on. It gave me great joy knowing that when I would shake Suzi’s hand, 5 little pirates would would doing the shaking. (I’m a big kid like that.)
Maybe you’re thinking that I should’ve worn something classier given the occasion, but playful nail art represents my style, and I don’t like to take myself too seriously. (I believe that the little things that make you laugh or smile make the biggest difference.) Also, although some bloggers brought company, I went solo (since I’m the sole blogger of Swatch And Learn)…so I felt, in a weird way, like my pirate nails allowed me to bring 10 extra guests. 😉
The bloggers liked my little pirate design, and because they wanted to see it close-up, I literally went around the entire table, showing them my nails…and yes, even Suzi, Harris, and the lovely PR gals. Some of the bloggers asked to take photos of my nails! (That was really flattering!)
You Recognized My Face? *Gasp*
I was shocked that 3 bloggers actually recognized my face when they first came into the room. Considering that my profile photo is so small, I was impressed!
Gucci Mane, It’s a Photo Shoot
When the evening was winding down, and we were finishing up our desserts and coffee or tea, we got the opportunity to take a photo with Suzi!
While people were lining up, I went around to take a few photos of the nail-polish displays in our private room. (The colours were from the Kardashian Kolor Collection as well as the upcoming Selena Gomez Collection for 2013.)
I didn’t take any photos during the actual dinner when we were eating because I find that when I take photos, I sometimes miss out on the full experience. And to me, the experience is more important than just photos. I’d rather have the photo in my mind and have enjoyed myself instead of having a physical photo, but experienced something behind the camera lens.
(For this reason, unlike when I previously attended IMATS 2011, when I go to IMATS Toronto in November this year, I don’t think I’ll be taking as many photos as I did before. I’ll probably just bring along my iPhone for quick snaps here and there.)
Here are the photos I took of the Nicole by OPI Selena Gomez Collection polishes on display in our room:
Then there was the Kardashian Kolors Collection:
Swagga Like Us
Langton Communications blew me away to kingdom come. Seriously! I couldn’t imagine the evening getting any better, but it did!
At the end of the evening, each of us got a silver Nicole by OPI gift bag with pretty pink tissue paper and a hot-pink folder!
Do you know what was inside each gift bag? The entire Nicole by OPI Selena Gomez Collection, which will only be available in January 2013, according to the press release in the pink folder! (Say whaaaaat? Dude, I can’t keep pinching myself or I’m going to make holes and look like Swiss cheese!)
I’ve taken photos of all the colours, and they’re pretty! (I’ll be posting the press release and photos of my actual bottle shots hopefully soon.)
Edit: I posted the press release, photos of the actual bottles, and some quick swatches. Click here to see the blog post.
Win an Autographed Bottle of OPI Movin’ Out Signed by Suzi Weiss-Fischmann!
Congratulations if you’ve managed to read this far! You’re about to be rewarded.
Before the dinner, I knew that I had to share this incredible experience somehow with my readers. Of course I couldn’t take you all there (although that would’ve been awesome!), so I thought long and hard about what I could do instead to make you feel like you had a piece of this exclusive event.
It hit me. I’d ask Suzi to sign a bottle of nail polish for you! Then I thought about which one to bring along with me. I wanted it to be a shade that the majority of my readers would want and something that even hardcore nailphiles might have trouble getting hold of.
It only took me a few seconds to decide that a brand-new bottle of OPI Movin’ Out would be perfect. It’s a multichrome nail polish that has a lot of intense fine shimmer and sparkle like Clarins 230 (aka Unicorn Pee). No, it’s not a dupe, but it’s still extremely breathtaking and unique, and you use it just like Unicorn Pee – for layering over other colours to completely transform them into a magical hue that looks like a dozen different polishes depending on the angle of your nails and the light.
OPI Movin’ Out has long been discontinued, and it’s quite expensive if you try to get it on eBay. And it’s my most-coveted OPI nail polish, even though I have yet to wear it! (Haha, can you believe it?)
I happily packed a bottle of it in my camera bag (yes, I dragged along my bulky DSLR camera to the event because it’s the only camera I own other than on my iPhone!).
After Maxine took my photo with Suzi, I asked Suzi if she could do me a favour and sign some nail-polish bottles. To my delight, she obliged!
One bottle was signed for me. Another was for one of my readers. And the last was a very-special surprise gift for a friend who has been going through a tough time. (I won’t say who it is because it’s currently en route to her, and I want it to be a complete surprise what exactly it is and what colour it is.) I know that this will put a smile on her face for even a minute, and I’m getting giddy just thinking about her reaction. (I wish I could be there to witness it! The best part is that she won’t even be expecting it!)
Okay, are ya still with me? 😉
Here are the details for how you can enter to win the signed bottle of OPI Movin’ Out:
- Starts: Now
- Ends: Wednesday October 31 at 11:59 pm Eastern (I’m keeping this giveaway open for longer so that even more people will have a chance to enter.)
- Who Can Enter: Everyone! (Yes, you can be from Canada, the U.S., or anywhere in the world!)
- How Many Times You Can Enter: Even if you comment more than once, I will only count it as a single entry.
- How to Enter: Leave a comment on this blog post, and somewhere in your comment, type the following: “#SwatchAndLearn“. (By adding this text, it’ll indicate to me that you want to be entered into the draw. If you don’t want to be entered, you can still leave a comment without typing that in.)
- Please Help Me Spread the Word: I’d appreciate it if you could help me get the word out about this blog post and the giveaway. Feel free to tweet, blog, etc. about it.
- Edit: I forgot to tell you that I’ll be using Random.org to randomly select the winner. I’ll announce the winner sometime on November 1st, and the winner will have 48 hours to reply to my e-mail to claim the prize. Failure to do so will force me to randomly draw another winner. (Please add firstname.lastname@example.org to your Safe list so my e-mail doesn’t accidentally go to the Junk folder.)
Please Support Me Along These Social-Media Platforms
(No, it’s not mandatory to be entered in this giveaway, but I would appreciate your support):
- “Like” me on Facebook (Swatch And Learn)
- Twitter (@SwatchAndLearn)
- Google+ (Mary)
- beautylish (Mary)
- Pinterest (Mary)
- Instagram (@swatchandlearn)
- Feedburner – RSS Feed & E-mail Subscription (Swatch And Learn)
- BlogLovin’ (Swatch And Learn)
Good luck in the draw!