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#ThrowbackThursday: Beauty Trip to Poland

As summer nears and the weather gets warmer it’s hard not to fantasize about getting out of town and planning new travel destinations and spending some quality time with the wonderful friends in my life. Unfortunately, My schedule has been so crazy recently, I haven’t had a second to plan anything —  I’ve been fantasizing about going somewhere tropical (maybe St. Thomas, Costa Rica, or South America). Although my true desire is to do a month in Europe; spend time in Paris, visit Berlin and make it to Greece and Maldives. (If I keep running with this fantasy, I may never return.)

Danielle, Rachel, me and Felicia!
Danielle, Rachel, me and Felicia!

A lot of this need to explore dates back to last summer, when I was invited an a impromptu press trip to Poland with some of my best blogger/beauty friends, Rachel from Birchbox, Felicia from This, That, Beauty, and Danielle, The Style and Beauty Doctor. This was our first trip together and it could not have been a better time! Nothing but beautful weather, great conversation and endless exploration! We were invited to attend the inaugural Polska Cosmetics conference and Beauty Forum Expo and to learn more about the Polish beauty industry, and what we got was so much more. Shopping trips, dance clubs, museum visits, walking tours from downtown to old town and between.

The Sites of Warsaw: From Old Town to Downtown

The walk from the Old Town in Warsaw to the Downtown area is about 2 miles and in between the two destinations the streets are full of historic sites, restaurants, shops and popular tourist destinations. The entire time I was there I felt completely safe walking the streets alone (or with my lovely fellow bloggers) and was overwhelmed by how hip this town is! I’m not usually one for “tourist” areas but in the case of Warsaw, I loved every minute.

On the walk you’ll see…

{The mermaid — which legend has it is Warsaw’s protector, in the center of Old Town Square}

{Old Town Square Market}

{Castle Square in Old Town}

PC Goes to Warsaw! A View of the Polish Cosmetics Industry

From the moment I stepped back into NYC last week the #1 question I’ve been asked is What we’re you doing in Poland?? Well besides instagraming and tweeting up a storm… (Thanks for noticing); HBA Global invited a handful of bloggers and buyers – I’m talking Felicia from This That Beauty, Danielle from The Style and Beauty Doctor, Heather from Beauty Unbiased, Alice of Miss Alice An, Rachel from Birchbox and me! — to attend the inaugural Polska Cosmetics conference and Beauty Forum Expo to learn more about the beauty industry in Poland.

{Team Poland: Danielle, Rachel, me and Felicia at dinner!}

I’ll be honest, prior to landing in Warsaw my knowledge of their industry was limited to – isn’t that where Inglot is from? Yes, it is! However after spending almost a week in that beautiful city, I learned so much!

For starters… how are these for some fun facts?

  • Helena Rubenstein was the first manufacturer to offer a sun-protecting cream and who popularized mascara and color face powders, was born and set up her first cosmetics company in Cracow, Poland.
  • Max Factor, also born in Poland… His real name, Maksymilian Fakorowicz.
  • The very 1st alcohol based perfume in history, “The Queen of Hungary’s Water” was created in the 14th Century thanks to it’s Polish namesake, Elizabeth, Queen of Hungary.
  • During the economic transformation post 1989, foreign companies such as Avon, Proctor & Gamble, and Colgate Palmolive invested in new factories in Poland.
  • Poland and Lithuania are the only countries in Europe where cosmetology is taught at a university level.
  • Poland is the 6th largest cosmetics producer in Europe.

Considering Poland is located in the center of Europe and is a member of the European Union coupled with their world-class research and development facilities, low employment costs, and high experience and flexibility within the industry opens them up to a world of possibilities (literally). And that hasn’t gone unnoticed.

In a 3 year effort to expose and grow the cosmetic and beauty industry, the European Union and Polish Ministry of Economy have co-financed The Promotion Programme; which will support the