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My Chicago Makeup Show Trip

Chicago is one of our favorite cities, and we were so excited to return for a visit! The Windy City held true to its name and reputation: the wind was bone chillingly cold AND it was snowing, but Chicago is always worth the trip.

Nick and I travel a lot for work and always try to make time for exploring and OF COURSE dining - it’s the best way to add a little extra fun to a business trip!

Part 1: Hitting the Town!

Photos of Melanie Mills in Chicago

To start Day One off right, we headed to the Gold Coast, lunched at the world-famous Italian restaurant, Carmine’s, then window shopped at the uber-expensive designer stores. 👀  Chrisotfle drew us in with gorgeous crystal wine glasses with rims hand-painted with white gold flowers, and a stunning crystal caviar service that I still can’t stop thinking about.

Afterwards, we paid a visit to the world famous Drake Hotel. I love all the shops in the hotel, and the daily seasonal flower arrangements. Nick and I can’t get enough of old historic hotels that retain their same, classic standards, and we always try to make the stop!

Inside, the Coq D'Or is famous not only because of all of the celebrities that have visited over the years, but also because it was one of the first bars to reopen when Prohibition ended in 1933. We dropped in for a martini and their famous fish soup - the perfect meal for a cold day in the Windy City! We always make sure to pick up one of their famous bottles of whiskey, which is made resembling a prohibition-style bottle of liquor.

Then after a much-needed nap, we headed to dinner at a new restaurant called Sepia for an incredible five-course meal. Each course was better than the last, but my favorite was the scallops!

Part 2: The Makeup Show

Melanie Mills in Chicago, part 2

The Chicago Makeup Show is an incredible event geared towards professional makeup artists. I’ve been attending with my brand for over 10 years! It was such a treat to return after the two years missed. Reuniting with colleagues and friends is the best!

I started the weekend off right by finally taking professional makeup artist & photographer Danessa Myricks’ “Photo Ready, Makeup and Photography” class. It was a true delight to learn from one of the best in the business. The four hours of learning FLEW by - Danessa’s class was worth every penny and was so inspirational. I can’t wait to purchase some lighting and photography equipment, use the knowledge I gained, and apply it to my own work! After the class and setting up our booth, we reunited with our beauty family at the brand cocktail party.

Saturday & Sunday was PACKED with makeup enthusiasts and makeup professionals. I put on two classes: one seminar, and a demonstration on how to create my signature gleaming skin.

Our booth had a lot of success and almost sold out of everything including our setting spray, which was at the top of everyone’s list! We even had the pleasure of having one of Chicago’s best makeup artists, Aga Rhodes, at the booth demonstrating gorgeous gleaming skin on her beautiful model.

The best part of the makeup show besides connecting with old friends and colleagues is seeing all the new innovative makeup products, meeting other beauty experts, seeing longtime brand fans, and most of all introducing/educating those that have never heard of my brand on how easy my beautiful products are to use and how reliable they are for pro MUAs!

Davee, longtime Gleam Teamer from the DMV area, made the trip to help us at the booth. We finished the long weekend by taking her and her mom to Apolonia, a new lovely Mediterranean restaurant in the South Loop of Chicago. I can’t go on enough about the wonderful fresh baked truffle kale bread and beautiful sea bass. Just another great weekend event in the books for The Chicago Makeup Show!

Part 3: Last Day in the Windy City

Photos of Melanie Mills' last day in Chicago

Our final hours in Chicago were as cold and brisk as expected, but bright and sunny! We had a flight to catch and exhausted as we always are after a tradeshow, we decided to make a trip to Millennium Park to see some of the famous art installations (including the “bean”). It’s a beautiful park!

We stopped at Graham Crackers Comics in the Chicago Loop (under the Athletica hotel at Millenium Park) to pick up a few comics for our daughter, Solaris. I highly recommend this shop if you love comics - they have an amazing selection!

We ended the visit with a quick stop at the Chicago Athletic Hotel, another historic place to stay and visit, with its amazing views of Millennium Park and its rooftop restaurant/bar, Cindy’s! It was restaurant week so we got to partake in their 3-course delicious special. The highlight (besides the stunning view of the lake) was the ceviche in a beet sauce.

Overall, it was a phenomenal year at The Chicago Makeup Show. As always, a huge thank you to James, Danessa, Shelly, and the team. And a huge thank you to all of the lovely people that attended the show and came by to say hi, supporting my brand! It means the world!

Coming Soon

Model in swimsuit advertising The Makeup Show, NYC

Heads-up, NYC: I'll be at The Makeup Show, NYC on May 1 & 2! Come and watch me in action, or just stop by my booth and say hi!

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