Hello From NYX Professional Makeup! – The email subject line that made me squeal. I was sitting at a red light on my way home from work when I absentmindedly opened my email because my Instagram notifications weren’t loading properly to pass the time.
It just so happened that I was sitting at a red light with the NYX Professional Makeup headquarters directly to my left. I look over at the building for answers. Fate? Perhaps! But was a sign going to show up in one of the windows saying “Hi Stevie.Cakes!” Nope. Not even a little bit. I’m not nearly that cool.
But today, I can finally say I’ve been in that building, and it all started with NYX reaching out to smaller makeup accounts on Instagram and sending cute little PR packages with their Luv Out Loud lippies in them. I won’t bore you with tons of the back and forth, but the absolute sweetheart that reached out to me ultimately took my heavy hints and exclamations of “WE’RE NEIGHBORSSSSSS!!!!” and offered to let me and a friend come visit the place where the magic happens.
Excited? Me? Nahhhh. I’m cool.
If you’ve read my previous post about the super cute Kaplan MD event – you know I have a little trouble with anxiety in situations like these, so while I was extra super-duper excited, I was also utterly terrified and fearful of how awkward I would be.
My originally planned partner for the trip unfortunately had a pressing work lunch/meeting the day we finally landed on for a visit – so I begged another of my coworkers to go with me. You better believe I chose someone with bigger balls than me – to be my strength and to slap any nervousness out of me. Miss Taylor was the one, and I was over the moon when she agreed to be my partner in crime/security blanket.
My partner in crime and all around badass – Taylor
We both squealed in the car with excitement on the 5 minute drive out of our corporate building parking lot and around the corner to where the NYX building is located. Seriously, neighbors. We got buzzed into the building, signed in with reception and got far too excited about our sticker visitor badges.
Yes. I laminated this.
Then we waited. For a while. Then a bit longer, and I started wondering if not coming up with an exact time for the visit was a terrible idea, was the girl I made the arrangements not even there? Did she forget about me? I can’t blame her – showing a weirdo from Instagram around your workplace probably isn’t the most exciting thing ever. Are they going to ask us to leave, come back, shove middle fingers in our faces and laugh at our excitement?
Collect your shit, Stevie. Collect it. Taylor grounded me and started taking photos, boomerangs, videos and snaps while we hung out in the awesomely painted reception area filled with fun chairs, magazines and fake plants.
The awesome lobby at NYX Headquarters
“I’m so sorry to have kept you waiting so long!” A sweet voice says, as I spring up and nearly fall over to shake a hand to awkwardly introduce the two of us, and thank our host enthusiastically for allowing us the extremely exciting honor of visiting this magical place. She walks us upstairs and swipes a badge to get us into a hallway lined with giant photos of famous influencers.
Me – Casually strolling by Desi.
We learned that this building is not, in fact, what I had fearfully assumed it was – a boring office building filled with paper pushers who just happen to work for a makeup company. There was a color lab (which we weren’t invited into) proprietary information, one can assume. Then we walked by a colorful office full of people who were identified as the “Creative Team”, and finally – a room we can walk into. A giant studio filled with couches, backdrops, camera equipment, lighting and a gigantic vanity lined with signed polaroids of favorite stars and influencers who have visited. Taylor joked that we needed to get my photo up there – our host kindly explained they were all out of film. Dead. Hahahahahaha.
NYX Corporate Studio
She did, however, tell me that they’d be happy to host me if I wanted to come back to visit and use their studio to film for Instagram or youtube. I warned her to be careful making insincere offers – because I may just abuse the crap out of those privileges! “No, seriously – come back anytime!” I die. Taylor asks if it’s okay to take a photo of me in one of the director’s chairs, so I hop on in and get to cheesin!
I’ll be honest, I feel right at home in this chair.
The next stop is another studio style room, smaller this time, filled with mirrors, lights, chairs, cardboard boxes I assume are full of colorful makeup goodies and bright pink couches. “Please excuse this mess, we’ve just finished a bunch of photoshoots/product shots”.
I need a setup like this at home. Or should I just move in?
On to the conference room! If you’ve ever worked a corporate job – you’ve been in a standard issue conference room. Usually a long table with tons of chairs on either side, a phone, projector, and some generic artwork on the walls…or even better, corporate slogans and taglines with cheesy stock photos of people making “teamwork” happen.
This conference room had the two long walls covered in fully stocked retail displays of their products. Think of the NYX displays from your local drugstores all multiplied by a bajillion and just sitting pretty with products you’ve never even heard of. How does anyone pay attention in meetings? All I want to do is touch and play. This is my candy store.
You didn’t want to see the actual conference room table, did you?
As we’re walking into the office area, looking at the pretty white cubicles of the NYX employees, adorned with adorable decorations, lined with makeup and magazines – our host apologizes. “I’ve been super busy, and headed out on vacation tomorrow, so I forgot to put together gift bags for you two today.”
Sure, we had talked about how exciting it would be to get a goodie bag or a gift from NYX on our visit. But seriously, we weren’t expecting anything. Just being allowed to roam the building and sneak a peek into how a makeup company is run day to day was thrilling. But yes, we were a little bummed to hear that usually visitors are given goodies, but we missed out.
Until we turn into the next room, and our host finishes her sentence. “I hope you don’t mind making your own.” We’re in a stock room, with floor to ceiling boxes, cabinets, bins, and drawers filllllllllllled with tens of thousands of dollars worth of makeup. She points out a table with glossy postcards for PR boxes, endcap artwork, and a space where employees play with makeup and do swatches for Instagram and snapchat. (I now geek out everytime I see a swatch party on Instagram. “I’ve been there!!!!”)
She points to a pile of bags, and tells us to grab whatever we want. Fill up a bag, fill up two, fill up as many as you want! There was just one shelf that was off limits, and it was full of all of the new holiday releases, like the lip lingerie vault. I expressed my insincere frustration with them coming out with this set this year – after I bought every single full-sized lip lingerie shade. Apparently I’m not alone. She said a LOT of people are angry about it. Whoops!
We spent nearly half an hour in that room. It took me a good 5 minutes to actually put anything into the bag she handed me. I was nervous. I felt like I was doing something wrong. It took me back to my middle school sticky fingered days, when lipglosses made their way up my sweatshirt sleeve or “fell” into my backpack. It took some coaxing on her part for me to start actually taking anything. She just started grabbing items and asking if I wanted them, “Here, take this one. Do you want me to open that box? Do you have any of these? Isn’t this brush set cute? What color foundation are you? Light? Here’s some highlighter.” I was frozen
The Loot. Dead. Just Dead.
The child inside of me wanted to pour every drawer, bin and box into the back of the truck, so I could go swimming Scrooge McDuck style in a pool filled with lippies, glitter and shadows. The anxious overly polite person inside of me didn’t want to wear out my welcome or take advantage of such an exciting situation.
We filled up three good sized totes with all kinds of goodies…one for each of us, Me, Taylor and Tyler (my friend who couldn’t make it) and left with promises of visiting again, happy hours, and suggestions for our host to visit while on her upcoming vacation in Mexico.
I cannot wait to find an excuse to go back. I have already promised one friend that I will inconspicuously strap my phone to my head to go live on Instagram and/or to record the entire thing. For now, my grainy iphone videos and photos will have to suffice.
Thanks for reading, loves! Shoot any comments or questions down below! XOXO