White House Correspondants Dinner – The Prequel

I went to the White House Correspondents Dinner.

A few years ago, I left a traditional 9-5, steady paycheck job to pursue my passion and dream of becoming a full time Hair & Makeup Artist. I jumped in to this adventure with a very small savings and a BIG set of dreams. I had decided that I must go Be Who I Was Designed To Be. I have said those words a ‘Trillion Billion’ times to myself …

I’m burying the lead here … (A term that I learned this weekend.) Burying the lead is when you tell a story before you tell the real story.

I was at the salon just living my dream and I got a voice mail. A voice mail that was about to unleash a Pandora’s box of excitement. The message went like this “Hi! This is Jacqueline Fell and Jennifer Cook and we were wondering if you were available to do Hair & Makeup tomorrow in DC” …  I giggled because it was Jackie leaving a message in her reporter voice. Jacqueline Fell is a dear friend and reporter in DC (She is a big deal.) I called Jackie back and said “Sure, what time & where?”   Even I couldn’t believe I was on board for this. I mean, I had clients scheduled. I take my business very seriously. I live and die by a code of stick to your commitments. I reached out to each of my clients that I had scheduled and explained I have the opportunity to experience a once in a life time adventure BUT it meant I had to leave within the next few hours to hop on a flight. Each of my clients adamantly cheered me on and said “GO, GO, GO!!” I had the approval of each of my clients and so I text Jackie & Jen  “I’m leaving the salon & book a flight” I had no more than 30 minutes to pack. I set a timer on my phone to keep my bouts of ADD in check. I packed my Hair & Makeup Kit and a weekend’s worth of clothes in 9 minutes 45 seconds.  I feel like this is going to be useful information in my future.

I now had about an hour to get to the airport. I gained 15 minutes in my allowed travel time because of my Expert Level packing skills. And then … The I-4 to 408 intersection was backed up and started stealing my gained time. I was panicking.  I rerouted and made it to the airport with exactly 10 minutes to park and check my bag. I parked my car and headed to check my bags with 5 minutes to spare – when I got on the elevator the doors kept opening and almost closing – This must have happened 800 times before the doors actually closed. (Ok, it happened twice) The doors were taunting me: “Are you sure you want to do this?”  All I could think was this entire trip was going to be derailed because these dang doors won’t close. I started praying … the doors closed and I cheered. I checked my bag with no time to spare. I headed through security and hopped on the shuttle to take me to the gate. Ummm … I took the shuttle to the wrong terminal and had to go through security AGAIN.  After my second round of security checks I was finally at my terminal. When I got to my terminal they were announcing my name. I quickly got to my gate and boarded the plane. I made my flight!!! A flight that was booked at 3:45 and left at 5:30. I made it. I had a layover in Atlanta. I used my free birthday coffee coupon at Starbucks. I had literally left with the clothes on back and I was freezing. My gate was right in front of one of those everything is 10.00 stores. I bought a cute black pashmina wrap.

Finally… it was time to board and land the last leg of this trip. I flew into DC at night and it is gorgeous. Jackie & Jen picked me up at the airport. We hugged and jumped around and all had a mutual sense of #Baller Status. We made a quick stop to visit Abe on the way to Jackie’s chic DC apartment. When we got to the top of the Lincoln Memorial, I could’ve sworn I saw Shonda Rhymes … False Alarm … Doppleganger … The false sighting was probably due aftermath of the recent Grey’s Episode or the universe priming me for the next day’s celebrity sightings.

Abe & Doppleganger Shonda Rhymes

Abe & Doppleganger Shonda Rhymes

I’m pretty sure that I buried the lead AGAIN…

Saturday morning … The day of the White House Correspondents Dinner I got up and got myself ready. Stylist friends: A great piece of advice – Get yourself ready first. I’ll blog details of why on another day.

I had 3 Hair & Makeups on the appointment list.

Jacqueline Fell was wearing a grey dress and wanted whimsical hair – I used the 1/8 inch Paul Mitchel Wand AKA THEE Tiny Iron to give her hair an immense amount of texture.   I’m not gonna lie. Hair looks wild at first when you use this iron. Trust the process, the tiny iron is awesome. Jacqueline’s look was completed with a dramatic eye and light lips.

Jennifer Cook was wearing a sparkly Badgley Mischka dress from Rent the Runway. Jen wanted a more classic look and wanted to rock the Pink Pewter Headband I had purchased for her earlier in the week. I gave Jennifer a Bombshell Blowout with my favorite Sam Villa Blow-dryer to provide volume and keep her hair sleek and smooth. Jen wears glasses. I highlighted her makeup look with a dramatic lip in NYX Licorice.

Marisa Schultz was wearing a grey one shouldered dress that had a peek a boo front. Her dress was very fashion forward. She mentioned she was wearing a pair of amazingly big statement earrings. After seeing her dress and knowing her accessories. I felt inspired. I gave her a funky sleek faux hawk . I used Big Sexy ‘s Powder Play to build her volume in her hair. Powder Play AKA Magic Powder is a sticky powder that provides grip  while teasing the hair. She looked like she stepped off of a high fashion runway. I completed her look with a smoky eye and dramatic lashes.

It was time for me to get dressed. I wore a recently purchased dress that had a Boho Chic vibe and accessorized from the hodge podge of items tossed into my bag during the sprinted packing session. Something was missing … I didn’t feel like my dress was going to be fancy enough. The black wrap I bought at the airport completed my look and took my outfit to Black tie ready. I completed my look with wild wavy hair and a dramatic lip.

Jacqueline, Jennifer & Marisa - Hair & makeup

Jacqueline, Jennifer & Marisa – Hair & Makeup

The girls called us an Uber – We rolled up to the dinner in a Black SUV with tinted windows. Who are we? Is this my Life? Pinch me. Jennifer Cook Periscoped our adventures as we traveled to the dinner. Periscope is a really cool live streaming app and is the answer to “Why don’t we have our own reality show?” SO … we pull up to the Hilton, the location of the dinner, and as we got out of the Car,  Hilton staff was there to hand each of us an umbrella as it started to rain during our travels.

We got inside and I was so excited. I was in a sea of beautiful dresses, amazing hair & makeup. I couldn’t stop providing my complimentary commentary to everyone I saw. . Love your hair… Love your makeup… Love your dress.   I complimented everyone from Tea Leoni to Madeleine Albright to Darby Stanchfield #gladiator. I even got a selfie with Tara Lapinski & Johnny Weir . He was wearing a head band and I am known to be obsessed with Head bands. I wanted to stay on the Red Carpet forever. I loved the flashing of the cameras and the Legit Paparazzi calling out to the celebs. Turn, Smile, look over here. I was in my element.


I am still in shock that my decision to leave a standard 9-5 job would lead me to this moment. I can’t stress enough. Follow your passions and Be Who You Are Designed to Be. Live in Gratitude. Following your dreams won’t always be easy but it will always be worth it. I’ve already started planning my next #Bucket adventures. #FashionWeek #CMAAWARDS

Read Jen Cooks Blog next –  She is an amazing Blogger & Person. Her Blog covers and fills in so many details and highlights of this amazing. http://mrsjennifercook.com/2015/04/27/2015-white-house-correspondents-dinner/


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