Like many of you I follow influencers on social platforms and blogs, admiring their work and feeling like we're virtual friends. Over the years I've had the great pleasure of actually becoming friends with these inspiring women, and yet I am still in awe of how ambitious and accomplished they have all become.

One of my favorite Houston influencers in Nicole Kestenbaum of Lipstick and Brunch. Simply put her blog is all about beauty, lifestyle and fashion, but more than that she is a proud Latina, wife and mother. She's also a down to earth, color-loving, authentically open and honest woman that I greatly admire. Nicole has been featured in Women’s Health, Taste of Home Magazine, My Red Glasses, Cricket Wireless and KPRC Channel 2. She's also done numerous segments on Fox 26 as an on-air beauty expert. Seriously this woman knows her stuff!

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If you weren't able to catch Nicole on TV or in a magazine, she's also known to host events around town with retailers like Palais Royal and Top Shop. I've been to a number of events that she's hosted and the crowd absolutely loves her. She's got an incredibly kind spirit that people can feel, and yet her sense of style leaves us all inspired to spice up our wardrobe, and explore new trends. I for one am a recovering yoga pants and flip flops addict, and Nicole has been one of my favorite influencers to watch as I navigate away from....shall we say a homeless chic look or perhaps giving off "it's laundry day" vibes.

Before Lipstick and Brunch Nicole held a variety of positions in various fields of media. She was a photographer at a local magazine, a manager at a photo studio, and an account executive at a PR agency.  Her background is what has made blogging full time an easy and obvious choice for Nicole. The idea of blogging first came to her while she was planning her wedding. Although no one could have imagined where that simple start would take her, Lipstick and Brunch has made a huge impact in our community, and Nicole herself is inspiring women everywhere with her platform.

Although I try to add as much value to the MsIndependent audience as possible, when it comes to fashion, beauty, style and motherhood, I know my limits. Lipstick and Brunch inspires me so much that I wanted to share that inspiration with all of you, which is why Nicole has been chosen as a collaborating influencer for the upcoming #GirlsNightOut Avant Garde event on July 12th. The event is intended to be a fun night out for the women of Houston, but it is also an opportunity to connect and collaborate with so many creative women like Nicole. You'll have a chance to meet the woman behind Lipstick ad Brunch at the event, and get your fill of all her colorful and creative vibes. Til then follow her on Instagram and check out her blog

All images were sourced from Lipstick and Brunch Instagram feed and are owned by Nicole Kestenbaum.

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