A month ago I entered a contest on Instagram where Benefit Cosmetics was looking for the next “Best in Brows”. Out of the 17,000 entries I was chosen to join 19 other makeup artists for a trip of a lifetime! I loved my week at Benefit Brow Camp and I wanted to share some highlights, lessons I learned and memories from the trip.

TSA Pre-Check is a God-send!

I had this crazy idea to sign up for TSA Pre-Check two weeks before my trip. I’m so thankful I did! Filling out the form was easy and I was able to make an appointment to get my fingerprints done too. In a little over a week and a half I was approved! When I arrived at the airport I was shocked to see that the regular line was already over an hour long – and this was at 4:30am! Thankfully it only took me five minutes to go through the TSA Pre-Check line. Plus I didn’t have to remove anything from my bag or take my shoes off.

On the way home I almost missed my flight. But because I had TSA Pre-Check I was able to get through quickly and make it to my gate! Overall it cost $85 for 5 years and it was completely worth it. Literally saved my life twice!

New York City is Breathtaking

I wouldn’t normally use the word “breathtaking” to describe a city. Usually dirty and smelly are the first words to come to mind. Seeing New York City has been on my bucket list for a long time! I feel so blessed that my first time there was on this trip with Benefit Cosmetics. We stayed at the gorgeous Indigo hotel and had cocktails in the penthouse suite! I felt like I was in a Disney channel movie!

Camp Friends are for Life

When the 19 other contestants and I found out we were selected for Benefit Brow Camp we created a group chat. We’ve been talking non-stop for the past month! When we got to camp, it was like we were meeting up with friends as opposed to meeting total strangers. This helped us become fast friends and continue that friendship after camp ended!

We were all totally different when it came to our personalities and our artistry. But we all shared a passion for makeup and creating. I felt like I was home, being with people who totally got me. And it was fun being able to geek out on makeup products with other people too!

Benebabes are Homies

I’ll be honest, when I worked at Sephora I didn’t know much about Benefit Cosmetics. We had a whole section dedicated to them, and their Hoola bronzer was a huge hit, but it wasn’t a brand I was naturally drawn towards. I’ve learned so much more about the company since I joined Benefit Club Pink this last year and after Benefit Brow Camp.

Not only are all the Benebabes (employees) so kind, but their brand is truly joyful. From the way they package their products to the immense support they show for others. Being around them lifted me up and totally encouraged me to keep creating!

Ya Can’t Always Get Whatcha Want

Although I put my heart and soul into my “pitch”, I ended up getting cut the first round. Not gonna lie, it wasn’t fun not hearing my name get called. But, I wasn’t alone! I realized out of everyone there 95% of us wouldn’t win the $50,000. I realized that it would probably be much easier to get cut in the first round, than in the last.

You can’t always get what you want. And that’s ok! It’s not about what works out and what doesn’t. It’s all about how you react to it and how you let it affect you. I chose to see it as an opportunity to enjoy the rest of my time there, stress-free!

We’ve Got Spirit!

You know I didn’t win the $50k, but there were a lot of other cool prizes too! During one of the challenges an entire team won Riki mirrors! My friend Jose won the storytelling challenge and will get to do six Instagram takeovers this next year. Garrett won a photo challenge and got $500 towards studio equipment, and Xavier won a Riki mirror too! My team tied for first in the skit night. This means we’ll be on the PR list for the next six big PR sends!

Last, but not least, I ended up winning the “Most Spirited” award which came with $500! They picked me because I was constantly lifting up and encouraging everyone throughout the whole trip. I don’t know about you guys, but I was pretty dang proud to win this award!

See Ya Real Soon

This week went by so fast, but I’ll treasure the memories forever! Thankfully I vlogged (A TON) and can re-live the experience virtually. If you haven’t seen my series of this trip, I’ll post the videos down below! Would you enter the brow contest next year? Which part of the trip would you enjoy the most?