The #ProjectVanity7th Gratitude List

Last Saturday was one of the biggest, happiest days of my life. More than 80 people came by to celebrate Project Vanity's 7th Anniversary with me and I am simply overwhelmed by all the love and support! In fact I was so overwhelmed that my usual eloquence (humor me) failed when it was time for me to say a few words. Hence, this post. This is not going to be the event coverage - that'll be another day once I've got the photos and video - but a long, long thank you note.

There are times when I feel like dropping everything and just retreating to a quiet life selling vegetables in the palengke or perhaps become a tortured lounge singer or even maybe an artist selling caricatures in the mall. Running Project Vanity and handling clients at the same time is gruelling even though I like to pretend it isn't. In fact, it would not be possible to still blog and paint with my usual client load; it's only possible because of Den, who works with me to ensure that everything goes smoothly. Thank you, Den. You're the best friend and second-in-command that anyone could ever have.

When I was in college, Beauty Bar was an aspirational store for me. I loved how it has all the brands US makeup artists and bloggers rave about. I'd just go in and swatch everything, fingering the luxe packaging, and swearing to myself that I'd be able to afford their stuff once I get a job. In fact, one of my first legit palettes came from Beauty Bar! It's that Prestige eyeshadow set in the cardboard box. I bought that when I was still in college after saving my allowance. 

Fast forward to today. I can't say how grateful I am to Nikki Martel of Beauty Bar who was so game to sponsor the anniversary event - and for a second time, too! She has been very generous with her time and BB's resources in making sure that everyone had a great time at the event. Beauty Bar has always supported Project Vanity through the years, I think because they are confident that their products deserve the attention of this blog's discerning readers. So thank you so much, Nikki and Beauty Bar!

I've met a lot of people in my journey as a beauty blogger, and none is funnier or more unforgettable as Karrots. She is my peg in taste - be it clothes, shoes, house things - and the ultimate donya. She has always hosted for my events and I'm glad she agreed to host this one! Thank you for the many years of friendship and laughs Tita K!

I would also like to thank my friends and mentors who came over to speak at the event: Rissa Mananquil-Trillo, the half of the power duo who runs Happy Skin Cosmetics. She is not just a beautiful face, I've found out; she has a brilliant mind, she is hardworking, and a true perfectionist. I've learned so much from her!

Then there is Cheryl Tan-Chua, who has brought in some of the best Japanese brands to the PH namely K-Palette, Cure, and Kracie. I am honoured to call her my friend - we'd always trade stories and ideas whenever we have the time to grab coffee. She almost backed out of this event because she hates public speaking, but she found the courage to share her wisdom with us.

Of course, I also had to have May Samson, the Brand Manager of Burt's Bees over at the event. Hers was the first event I ever attended as a blogger when she was still handling Clinique. Through the years we have developed a friendship that's deeper than work. She has taught me how to succeed in life, and have always encouraged me to do even better.

Ms Nelly See was not there to celebrate with us, but she sent a lovely cake and a note. She was also one of the first people to believe in me. She has sent so many opportunities my way, but beyond that, she was also my role model in being a more refined person. She is the epitome of grace and graciousness for me!

I am grateful also to my beauty blogger friends who dropped by and even performed at the event - that's Shen, Shari, Martha, Tellie, and Nikki. I harassed them to do the lip sync battle haha! Kidding aside, I have known some of these women for years now. It took me a while to open up to them but when I really needed them, they were there for me. I never knew what it was like to have sisters, but having these beauty bloggers in my life must be close to that feeling.

Thank you to my model and friend Cris, who said yes immediately when I asked. <3 

Last, but certainly not least - thank you. 

I think you drifted towards this blog because we understand each other. We're smart, talented, and dare I say ambitious. We understand the value of our hard-earned money. We're maybe a little bit insecure about our perceived flaws and how we look, but instead of resenting ourselves for it, we decided to do something about it. We know we're not perfect but that does not stop us from working to be.

We are the women of Project Vanity, and I am so, so proud of all of us. #ProjectVanity7th is more than just the celebration of a beauty blog. It's the celebration of a community who understands that beauty is much more than a pretty face.