Sunday, 28 February 2016

BeautyChat LIVE with Lily Pebbles & Vivianna Does Makeup


I made a two-night trip back to London this week to go to an interview for a summer job and, while I was there, managed to go to BeautyChat LIVE with Lily Pebbles and Anna from Vivianna Does Makeup. Both are mainly beauty-centred YouTubers (although in the past few months they've branched out to make videos about a range of their interests) and I have loved and watched their videos for about eighteen months or so. 

The whole evening was so lovely. I got to see the beautiful Emma and catch up with her as we attempted to navigate our way around Westfield where the event was held (turns out neither of us have a great sense of direction!). When we arrived at the Clarins Urban Oasis we were each given a glass of prosecco, which was very kind of them, and made our way to sit down at the cutest little tables with canapes to listen to Lily and Anna's Q&A. 


After the Q&A we got to see some of Clarins' amazing products, try a mini massage treatment and pick out some samples to take home. In the midst of this were Lily and Anna who were both so friendly and approachable. I always think it's such an odd thing to meet someone who you feel like you know because you see so much of their lives online but who you don't actually know in real life, if that makes any sense! But both of them were so sweet and we had such a nice chat even though they were short on time by the time Emma and I got around to speaking to them. 

You can tell from both of their channels that they are super hard-working but listening to them talk in the Q&A you could see the passion they have for what they do and it really made me realise how much I hope to be able to one day do a job that I love as much as they seem to love theirs. The crazy thing is just ten years ago their job didn't really exist and that's partly why I found the night so inspiring (as well as a little daunting at how incredible they both are!) - because we have absolutely no idea what the job market will look like in the next ten years which makes me feel like the possibilities are endless.  

All in all, it was a wonderful evening. The Clarins ladies working there were so helpful and friendly too and I got to meet two ladies who really inspire me and make me excited to get out into the world of work in the next few years, whatever it will look like then!


Clarins were also kind enough to give us gift bags to take home with some of their products, which I'm so excited about! I gave the anti-ageing product that I can't remember the name of as well as their eye makeup remover included in the bag to my Mum, who was very happy with that, and have kept their day cream, body scrub and natural lip perfector for myself! I'm particularly loving the lip perfector which is the perfect combination of a lip balm/gloss and is keeping my lips both peachy pink and moisturised. I may have also picked up a new MAC lipstick while we were in Westfield... but in fairness I've wanted MAC's Twig lipstick for a while now so I feel like it's justified ;) 

Although events like these can seem a bit intimidating when thinking about attending them, after going to BeautyChat LIVE I would highly recommend nabbing yourself a ticket if any crop up in the future! It's so nice to meet the people that inspire you and also to meet other lovely like-minded people who go to the events too!

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Nineteen


On Thursday it was my nineteenth birthday. I think that nineteen's a bit of a strange age, personally. It's not as exciting as turning eighteen and yet you still haven't entered a new decade as you do when you turn twenty. It feels like a bit of an in between age, at least to me.

So this birthday was pretty quiet and I liked it that way actually. It's the first birthday I've not been with my Mum for which was a little odd but it was nice to celebrate with uni friends. I woke up on Thursday a little worse for wear from the night before shall we say but I refused to stay in bed all day on my birthday and so after a shower I wasn't feeling so bad.

I spent most of the day opening presents/watching my favourite tv shows and essentially avoiding doing any work possible. Because not doing any work on your birthday is completely acceptable, right? In the evening my friends and I went to Urban Burger in Exeter for dinner. Urban Burger is a really nice restaurant that, you guessed it, does incredible burgers. They also have a cocktail bar downstairs called Urban Underground so after having an amazing dinner we headed down for a quick drink before heading home. It was a really nice evening and a lovely day.

I was so so spoiled this year that I can't quite believe it. My lovely friends from home sent me the beautiful flowers pictured above on the right and a bottle of wine. My Mum got me a Longchamp bag which I have wanted for ages and my favourite Chanel perfume. My sister bought me the beautiful dress and cami crop top pictured above and my uni friends got me a bottle-sized wine glass which is both hilarious and amazing.

But I was most of all spoiled by my one of a kind best friend, Lish. This girl not only got me a card that is completely 'me', some stunning earrings and a Topshop voucher, but she also sent me flowers just from her. I can't even begin to describe how lucky I am to have her as a friend and she really made this in between birthday special. So thank you Lish for being the best friend ever and thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday, I feel so grateful to have so many wonderful people in my life.

I have no idea what the age of nineteen has in store for me but I'm excited to find out!

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

The Master Builder


I went home last weekend and, as a birthday treat, my Mum booked us and my godfamily tickets to see The Master Builder at The Old Vic theatre. I've written countless times about how much I love going to the theatre, there really is nothing like a day out going to see actors do what they do best, live. The Old Vic is my absolute favourite theatre as it's just so beautiful and, looking back on all the plays I've been lucky enough to see there, I've not seen a single bad production.

Mum has always been great at buying us tickets for productions I'd never think to go to myself and, in that way, she opens my eyes to shows and themes I'd likely never have given a chance without her - I have so much to thank her for. The Master Builder was no exception to this.

Written by Henrik Ibsen, the play is about, unsurprisingly a master builder (essentially a self-taught architect), the loss he has experienced throughout his life, and how that has come to affect his relationships. Although not an entirely uplifting tale, the play gives an incredible insight into how relationships can come to be damaged and people can come to be broken.

I know that may not exactly sell the play to you but I've found that perceiving and understanding darkness and struggles can help you to truly appreciate the light. A cliche that may be but seeing plays such as these always make me think long after they're finished, and isn't that the sign of experiencing truly exceptional art?

What I really thought was outstanding about this play was, unexpectedly, the set. I only say this is unexpected as I've never noticed how substantially a theatre production's set can impact the quality of the play. In no other production I've seen has the set been so foundational to the story's message and emotion. The Master Builder is worth seeing for that alone in my opinion. However, on top of this, the acting was impeccable. Getting to see Ralph Fiennes in his element was a true privilege and he acted with the rest of the cast just seamlessly.

When the play had finished my Mum said it's the best play she's seen in a very long time and still, three days after, can't stop talking about it. That may not mean much to many, but my Mum has seen a huge number of theatre productions during her life and I can think of no one who I personally know that possesses more knowledge and experience than her of what makes a play great. High praise indeed then, coming from her!

All in all, it was a wonderful day out and such a lovely birthday present from my Mum. The Master Builder is on until the 19th March and I would highly recommend seeing it if you get a chance!

Sunday, 14 February 2016

On Dating Myself

Saw this on Alice's Twitter this morning and thought it summed everything up perfectly

I remember when reading Carrie Hope Fletcher's wonderful book, All I Know Now, I really loved her chapter on the importance of knowing how to date yourself. As someone who spent what I would consider 'the defining years' of her life in a long-term relationship (for my age), I've learnt a lot about this over the past few months.

Granted, it sounds like an odd concept. But it's not necessarily about literally taking yourself out to dinner, although if you're up for doing that, great - go for it! For me, it's more about enjoying spending time alone. When I was fifteen, just before my said relationship started, I didn't really like to spend time alone. In fact, I'd try so very hard not to have much time alone that I'd try and make endless plans with friends to the point where I was spending every hour I could with them. And in some ways that was great, and I have some fab memories from the days when we were essentially inseparable.

Yet, in some senses it wasn't so great. It was kind of draining after a long time and avoiding the fact that I didn't like spending time alone only made it worse when I was alone. Ultimately I think that I didn't really like myself then, and so my logic was why would I want to be alone with someone I didn't like?

That's why I think earning to 'date yourself' can be so important. More than anything in my book it's about looking after and learning to like yourself. It's giving yourself time to do yoga every day whenever you can because you know that it benefits your body and mind. It's picking yourself up some new books and making time to get lost in them with an enormous cup of tea in hand. It's buying yourself flowers to brighten up your living space and to make you smile. It's allowing yourself to not feel guilty if all you want is a massive chocolate bar and eating it.

Dating yourself, on the face of it, is really about acceptance. And exploring yourself. And as that's really my mantra for 2016, nothing could be better in my eyes than finding out what makes me happy, and that not necessarily having to be a significant other. Being single can be hard on days like today, but it doesn't have to be. If you are I recommend choosing to make today great. Take the time to relax, go out for a coffee and take your favourite book. Watch a new film at the cinema. Above all know that you're lovely and you're someone worth knowing, so get to know yourself and enjoy it. That's what I plan to do today.

Happy Valentine's Day - I hope whatever you're doing you use the day to spread a bit of love!

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Flashback to Five Years Ago


I received a lovely letter from one of my oldest and closest friends, Rosie, two nights ago. (Still loving receiving real letters btw.) In it she was incredibly sweet and told me that the song Army by Ellie Goulding reminds her of us when we were growing up. Somehow the song had passed me by but, when I listened to it, I completely agreed. This girl has been and, I hope, will continue to be my army throughout my life.

Last night I watched the Taylor Swift Speak Now Tour DVD with my friend Ellie. I went to that tour with Rosie and some of my other best friends when we were just thirteen. Ellie actually went to it too funnily enough (since we met at uni), and on the same date as me - obviously we were always going to be friends ;) It's funny how music and lyrics can take you right back to a specific time in your life, even if that time was five, nearly six years ago.

Both the letter and watching the DVD have made me a little nostalgic and I wanted to write about it, as I always do when thoughts like these strike. Thirteen is such a funny age, don't you think? I can only speak from experiencing it as a girl but, from that perspective, or at least for me, it's such a defining age.

As I wrote to Rosie in the letter I posted her today, it's an age of countless firsts. First kisses. First loves. First heartbreaks. First true friendships that are more than who you play with on the playground everyday. Some of which have lasted to me on the brink of turning nineteen. I have such precious memories from being thirteen. I remember being so confused about who I was and boys and love, but knowing that I wanted to find out about these things all the same.


The Speak Now album especially resonates with me at that age because my friends and I listened to it constantly and if we weren't listening to it we were singing it, excruciatingly out of tune I might add. But, more than that, the lyrics have an innocence that thirteen year olds have. It's the age when you believe girls can really steal boys from you like in the song Better Than Revenge. The age when meeting a boy who probably actually isn't the slightest interested in girls at this point feels sparkling like in the song Enchanted. The age when you and your friends make some memories you'll remember for a lifetime and you realise that these friends will be there through anything like in the song Long Live. It's the age when it's considered okay to be a hopeless romantic.

This is why I love music and admire Taylor Swift so much. I may be biased because I grew up listening to Swift's music but I think her sheer honesty about very personal times in her life is frankly admirable. Thirteen year old me needed her music to try and understand what was going on in my life. Nearly-nineteen year old me does too.

It's funny how looking back on some of these memories makes me laugh now when I took them so seriously at the time. I've painted thirteen like it's just magical. And it is. But it's also a very painful and confusing age and one that I'm not sure I'd go back to, even if it was nice to have a flashback to it over the past couple of days.