I love that you’re here. I love that you’re reading this. Because if you are, it means you are sharing a part of what has been the most amazing start to my beauty blogging journey, and it is a journey. A little under a year ago I started my Pretty Polly Beauty Instagram account for two good reasons. The first being that I had entered quite a difficult period in my adult life and was looking for a way to distract myself from what I was experiencing, and the second being that I adore anything and everything beauty. I adore practicing it, talking about it, sharing it and discovering it. As my account and interest developed I decided to take a leap and create my very own blog site. The perfect place to really get down into the nitty gritty of all those lovely lotions and potions that grace our presence. Even though I was quite self-conscious at the beginning (and still am a little in some ways) it has led me down a path that I didn’t even know was on my life map. My eyes have been opened and I’ve found the creative flare that I never knew existed. So here are a few of the gifts Beauty Blogging has given to me.
- I Can Write! – At school I was never the student that would relish the though of writing a short story or in-depth essay. It always seemed tedious and I found myself running out of ideas quickly, leaving a vast expanse of blank paper. Oh how things have changed! Starting my blog has ignited a passion for having my own voice and being able to express thoughts and opinions that might otherwise have been washed away into the atmospheric abyss. I find myself checking my word count whist writing, conscious that I may have in fact waffled on for far too long. The major difference is that I don’t feel like I have to desperately try any more. The words just seem to flow naturally and I can’t tell you how therapeutic it can be just to sit down at my laptop with a cup of tea and let the magic happen. Now this ‘magic’ is magic to me. I’m not saying I write posts worth winning awards (I’m not that deluded) but there is something just a little bit special about it in my eyes.
- The Art of Photography – I’ve always loved taking pictures. People, places, things, you name it, I’ll photograph it. Two years ago I asked my husband for a photography book for Christmas and the little angel came up trumps. I flicked through the book a couple of times and then it got packed away. In truth I didn’t understand a whole lot of what I was reading which was frustrating and the defeatist in me just gave up with a face like a slapped arse. Two years later here we are, and that very book has become my bible. Taking pictures for my Instagram page and now my blog has struck a major chord, helping me to realise that product photography can actually be very exciting and beautiful, and I DO in fact have a creative side. I always thought I didn’t. 2017 was the year I invested in a snazzy new camera and enrolled in a photography course at the local college (which was scary in itself). Needless to say a lot of what was in that previously shunned book, seems to make sense now and I have the knowledge to put it into practice.
- Not everyone is out to get you – Living in today’s society and digital age, judgement often feels like it’s only an arm’s length away. Where as nasty comments used to be passed down the school bus on a scrap of paper, we now feel the effects of bullying and negativity instantly, and consistently. Text messages, Tweets, DM’s and on-line commenting has made it hard to get away from those who relentlessly want to p*** on your campfire and in turn it can become harder to put yourself out there for the fear of being scrutinised for doing something you care about. A lot of that fear was present in me when I first started this journey and I even hid my Instagram page away from those I knew for a while as judgement from them seemed ten time worse than from any old Tom, Dick or Harry. But now? I’m not so bothered. The beauty and blogging community I am proud to say I am a apart of are so overwhelmingly supportive and encouraging. We raise each other up, and isn’t that what it should really be all about? Have your voice, use it wisely and encourage others to do so too.
- To take better care of my skin – I dare say we’re all guilty of slacking a fair bit in this department. And I’m in no way saying that I treat my body like a temple. It houses lots of food that it probably shouldn’t, consumes a probably less than average amount of booze, and I occasionally have a cigarette or few on a night out. There we go, I’ve outted myself. But I have learned a lot about my skin, and what it needs to stay healthy. Watching endless YouTube videos has opened up a mine field of not only products, but also ingredients and process’ that we ‘should’ invest in to keep our skin looking and feeling healthy. It’s all actually very scientific when you get down to it and our skin really is an amazing organ with the ability to heal itself and tell a story. Usually of too many nights out on the razz! I suppose what I’m saying is that we’ve only got one skin, and we’d serve it well to preserve and protect it in any way we can. I’ll work on doing that to the rest of my body next year.
- Not everything is as scary as it seems – Probably the most important thing on this list. As someone who always worries about the worst that could happen, It’s been bloomin’ hard to make some decisions over the past year. But you know what? The sky hasn’t fallen to the earth, the ground hasn’t swallowed me whole, and I’m still here. Doing what I love. A door is open for a reason, not so that you can run away and hide, but so that you can walk through it. All that being said, my counsellor often quotes Rumi’s mantra – ‘There’s a voice that doesn’t use words. Listen’. And in my eyes there’s a lot to be said about gut feelings and instinct so I’m not saying go full pelt into anything everything that scares you, but sometimes, that one things that does scare you, might not actually be so bad.
Word count by the way was 1149!