Recap: My QVC Visit & Product Picks!
Hi everyone! (That's really what I'm saying in the screenshot above!) It's hard to believe that one week ago I was out in West Chester, Pennsylvania, visiting QVC! I know I've posted some pictures here and there and commented about what I was working on, but I wanted to do a little journal-ish blog post for the fellow QVC fans who want the inside scoop!! :) So I'll take you through my (brief) experience from start to finish! I flew from St. Louis to Philadelphia last Thursday evening, and then had a 30 minute ride to West Chester. I didn't really get to explore but it seems like a very cool college town... and then there's the big campus of QVC! Jessica is on QVC's social media team, and she picked me up at my hotel early Friday morning so I could see QVC's studio... since our shoot that afternoon was actually happening at another location! It was so nice of her to offer to show me around!
We were greeted by head videographer, Phil! He actually went around with us, getting some video as we explored the grounds. I didn't know that this was happening, so I'm glad I went ahead and had my makeup done! My hair was waiting to be done by the stylist at the shoot. By the way, Phil was awesome. Nice, funny, and complimented my videos-- which meant a LOT coming from a pro! He was very encouraging and helpful all day. Anyway, we walked up to the building which was just massive and beautiful!
So... I brought some really cute shoes to wear to the shoot, but wore my comfy sandals for the tour (I have a bunion, you know). They weren't stylish enough for one of my YouTube commenters, but I didn't know how much walking was involved! And I ended up keeping those puppies on all day long (my feet thank me). Jessica took me through the hallways and the desk where anyone and everyone coming on air at QVC checks in. QVC is on 24/7, so there are always people manning that desk. The first familiar face I spotted in that area was Angel (she is the guest that's on during the Quackers clothing shows!)- she's just as sweet as you'd expect! I also saw QVC host Sharon walking around meeting with people. Phil was telling me about some of the celebrities he'll randomly run into in those hallways- so crazy! Then- were were just one door away from the studio!
Let me just say... HUGE HUGE HUGE. You know all the different backdrops there are for QVC shows (living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms, etc)? Well, just picture a giant place that houses all of those- one right after the other. Whenever I watch news or any program, really, I always imagine that the people are somewhere small or more closed-off. In reality, it's a large, wide-open space filled with thousands of lights, lots of cameras, and in QVC's case- STUFF. Hallways and sets that weren't currently on air were kind of like staging areas for products that would be featured soon. In the pic above, I was being told about how things got organized, cleaned up, and arranged just-so for live TV.
On a set that wasn't currently in use, Jessica told me what a host sees when they're on air. See those cameras pointed toward us? Those are just a couple of the many un-manned, robotic cameras that are capturing what we, the QVC viewers, are watching at home. Of course, someone in a control room is telling those cameras exactly what to do! :) The host also has not one, but two monitors to look at. The one on the left is what's live on air at the moment, and the one on the right is the NEXT shot that the director plans to put up on live TV. I suppose this helps the host stay a step ahead of the game- knowing what kind of shot is coming next that they should be referencing.
Forget trying to act like a cool kid... I'm pretty sure my jaw was dropped throughout this whole tour. I was totally in awe as I stood in the midst of this impressive, high tech environment. My fellow technology geeks-- you understand! :) Phil and his partner in crime CJ had me stand just off the set that was currently LIVE on the air! That's host Jayne Brown up there- being a total pro as I was having a little kid freak-out moment about how cool this was. There were just a couple of cameras in this large space that were being operated by people... the robotic cameras were also moving about. Gotta say, the hosts make their jobs seem easy- but they have a lot of things to be thinking about, and they just have to have such an awareness of how the things they're showing are coming off on camera. Plus, I'm pretty sure there's a producer talking in their earpiece all the while. Respect.
Then we moved on to another area that housed the beauty sets! You know the white brick and window-type backdrops? This is that spot! On the other side of the glass, they have a little salon area with lighted mirrors and tables. Sometimes during beauty shows, they'll cut to this area showing the models being prepped to go on air. While it's totally lit and studio-like, Jessica said that this is really a functional area that gets used a lot for the beauty shows. There was nothing on air in this area at the time, but Jessica and the gang were nice enough to turn on the lights and show me what it looked like. They seriously gave me the royal treatment and couldn't have been nicer. Plus I don't think they judged me for being a giddy goofball! :)
Then it was time to do some beauty videos! We headed out to a gorgeous house on a hill that QVC sometimes uses for special projects like this. When we pulled up and I saw that it took several large vans to tote in all the people/equipment required for this shoot- I was immediately kind of intimidated! As I said, I already had my makeup done and it was still holding up nicely, so Adrienne did my hair. She (smartly) pinned one side away from my face so it wouldn't be getting in the way as I did my tutorials. Adrienne was so great, and it was fun to chat with her about favorite products and listen to her stories in the bit of down-time we had! Also during this time, I talked with Jessica and Brian (the director of this project), about what kinds of fall trends we should spotlight, what products should be used, and which lovely lady should have which look.
Then we actually shot the videos outside! It was a little cool at the start, but very calm and great lighting. Here I'm getting my microphone put on, and I don't know what the heck that huge grin is all about! Maybe it's the refreshingly cold microphone pack that's just been clipped to my bra! LOL :) No, wait- I'm smiling because I'm in Pennsylvania shooting beauty videos with a crew that consists of more than just ME! :) And they all seem like total pros and perfectionists. I actually remember feeling pretty darn nervous at this point. My videos are normally me, one camera, and maybe one light. For this, there were half a dozen people with several cameras, lights, headsets, monitors, etc. Oh yeah, and my cue to start talking was Brian literally saying "Action!" (Which translated in my mind to- you're not alone anymore, don't screw it up!)
QVC host Gabrielle was my partner for my first video! Makeup artist Adrienne prepped her and gave her a pretty cat eye. My job was demonstrate the fall trend of the matte lip! You can actually see this video and my others at QVC.com's Fall into Beauty section. Once I started talking, I really felt right at home. Gabrielle was gorgeous, nice, and made me feel at-ease. I was told that these would be fairly quick videos, so I made sure to keep my explanations clear and concise. I tried to break down my how-to's into easy to remember and understand steps. The gang really gave me free reign to explain things the way I wanted to though, which was nice!
By the way, when I was getting up in the middle of the night to get ready for the morning news, I would often turn on QVC (always live, baby!) to have a little something to listen to! Gabrielle was often on air in those early hours, so I kind of felt like I "knew" her before technically meeting her. She's just awesome an an absolute pro! Thanks for letting me apply your red lips, Gabrielle!
The other ladies that I got to do looks on were Audrey and Sharon from MomGenerations.com. Sharon is Audrey's mom! What amazing women. So smart, kind, and incredibly nice to me! They were prepped by Adrienne, and did a great little interview with Gabrielle (You can also see this on QVC's site- along with the how-to videos!) Meanwhile I brainstormed exactly what products I wanted to use for their looks. Jessica and I pawed through a lot of different QVC products that were provided, and fortunately, I was familiar with these items and knew what would give the best look for the specific trends that were outlined. We all had a delicious lunch, and then set up for the last two looks. Even though it was a lot of equipment to tear down and set up again, I loved how we moved to different areas to shoot each look. Again, the crew was awesome!
On Sharon, I did a very soft, smokey eye using the 12-shadow palette from IT Cosmetics. It went great- and thanks to Sharon for being so pleased with the end result!! :) As I was applying the product, I tried to keep in mind where the cameras were... I was trying to get the product where I wanted it, without getting myself in the way of the shot. It's kind of tricky!
Then on Audrey, we moved to another location and did the Copper Glow trend- which is something that's suitable for eyes and cheeks. Again, Audrey's face was already prepped, and I used the Mally Shadow Stick in Champagne and the IT Cosmetics palette to get a glowy/metallic look on the lids, and Laura Geller baked Blush in Sunswept on the cheeks. Since I knew these video would be short, I tried to really simplify the look into just a few very basic steps that could still give the look we were after. All of these shoots went so well- I'm thankful I didn't trip over my words too much, and I had three beautiful women to work with... I mean, they already looked awesome to begin with!
Then we shot one extra video where I was able to pick out some of my own personal QVC favorites to share! Kind of like an "Editor's Picks" type of thing. If you've been watching my channel for very long, you've probably heard me talk about these products before! :)
-Laura Geller Bronze & Brighten
-IT Cosmetics Wand Ball Brush
-IT Cosmetics Luxe High Performance Eyeshadow Palette
And this "Behind the Scenes" clip shows my whole day in a nutshell! :) Thanks to the QVC gang for shooting and editing this for me!
Me, Sharon, Audrey, and Jessica!
What an amazing day! Again, to check out all of the how-to videos and the Mom Generations interview, as well as some special deals, check out QVC.com's Fall into Beauty section! Thank you again to QVC for inviting me to take part in this special project. It was incredibly exciting for me as a QVC fan as well as a lover of all things beauty! Thanks to anyone who made it to the end of my epic blog post!! :) Have a great weekend!