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Sunday, 30 August 2015

BEAUTY || The Beauty Brands I Couldn't Live Without.

This post has been playing on my mind a lot recently. I think it's because I've been spending so much time around beauty counters and my mind starts to wander... If I absolutely had to, which brands would I use exclusively?
Of course, I would never be able to narrow it down to just one. Puh-leaseee. But when I'm applying my make-up in the morning, it's easy to spot some definite trends, i.e. which brands I repeatedly come back to. Recently, it's been all about NARS and Charlotte Tilbury. However, when I was in the States two weeks ago I picked up a lot of Too Faced products and it's rare to find me not donning a Nails Inc polish of some kind.
I've been in love with all things NARS since the end of 2014. It all started with the Satin Luxembourg lip pencil... now I own two bases, four eyeshadows, two blushes, and a slightly worrying number of lip options. The products I couldn't be without? The All Day Weightless Luminous Foundation (i.e the only full-coverage base I've ever loved) and the Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in 'Sex Machine' - the ultimate dusty pink, everyday lip.

If I could, I would own the entire Charlotte Tilbury range - but my bank balance says otherwise ha. Yes, this brand is pricey - and probably the most I would ever spend on make-up. As much as I love this make-up guru's products, this range just isn't accessible on a student budget so I have my select items that I indulge in.
I gushed about the Filmstar Bronze & Glow at the start of the month and I can honestly say that it's one of my favourite beauty products ever. Yes, ever. Two buttery, rich powders that work together to give you gorgeously defined features and an oh-so-subtle highlight, I'll happily fork over my £49 - well, I'll wince when I do it - but a repurchase of this wonderful duo is inevitable. My heart broke a little when I hit pan on the highlight last week...
 Other wondrous products include Brow Lift and the Matte Revolution lipstick in Miss Kensington - but again, products worth splurging on if you're looking to spend a little more.

Too Faced is a brand I would gravitate towards in my early teens - I think it was to do with the largely pink packaging and tongue-in-cheek names. I see it as Benefit's controversial older sister ha.
The Hangover Primer has been in my daily rotation ever since I bought it as part of my Sephora Haul because my skin just adores it. As a sufferer of spot-prone yet strangely dehydrated and sensitive skin, this primer is the perfect mix to give my complexion a small burst of moisture in the mornings. A few coats of Better Than Sex mascara, a quick swipe of eyeshadow from the Natural Eyes palette (which I stupidly kept closed for this picture - nice one Lydia! - see it here), and a layer of my favourite Melted Lipstick shade and I'm good to go.

You can never too many Nails Inc polishes in my books. In fact, the bright pink shade in the bottom right hand corner arrived as I was taking this photo - I had to reorganise everything to fit it in! Shows how much an addict I am, huh? I have descended into a full-on obsession - but it's justified! The formula is the perfect balance of thickness, the applicator means it applies like a dream, and dries within ten minutes too. Ideal, if you ask me. But yeah, I'll stop rambling now - just take my word for it, as a nail varnish fanatic, these are the best.
As far as High End brands go, these are my tried and trusted favourites! That's not to say I don't use a whole range of products - including plenty of drugstore alternatives - but I would happily use these four brands forevermore. Finding a make-up brand you trust is like finding your perfect pair of jeans - once you've found it, it's hard to shop anywhere else..!

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Friday, 28 August 2015

WRITING || How Private is the Bloggosphere?

I've been sat here for the best part of half an hour trying to start this post but I'm not sure how. I don't want to name names or use specifics so to avoid unnecessary complications that come with writing about your life on the internet. But therein lies the issue - when you write a blog, you allow your life to become a point of discussion. And even though I don't tend to write too many personal posts these days - because who wants to read that? - sometimes I write about issues that are playing on my mind because this is my creative space and I feel like they are also topics that concern my readers. Like the time I wrote about my Long-Distance Friendship, or my 'Bikini Body' post, or even I'm Not Ready For My Other Half musings. They have been some of my favourite posts to write and have got some of the best responses from you guys and I love writing them because I realise that there are other people out there facing the same issues as me - and there's something quite comforting in that, right?

I'll get to the point now. I found out the other day that someone who I used to be very close to had looked out a very personal, almost therapeutic, post I wrote back when I was going through a pretty painful break-up and had a right old laugh at it with their friends. First off, I was angry - I wanted to message them there and then and call them out on it. Then I felt rather violated - I had shown them my blog in confidence back when we were still inseparable and now they had almost turned it into a weapon to use against me. And finally, I just felt downright embarrassed because I had been the one to write that post and publish it on the internet - surely I had no right to be angry at a person for reading it because I had put it out there for anybody to see.
But that's the thing, it's not just anybody who reads this blog - I mean, it can be ha - but my typical readers are other bloggers, other young women like myself who are interested in fashion and beauty and have also experienced what it's like to have your heart broken and were therefore able to emphasise with that post. I remember writing 'Heartbroken... yet Hopeful' like it was yesterday - it had been the Humanities Christmas Ball the night before which was basically an excuse to get all dressed up my uni friends and it's still one of my favourite memories of First Year. But something was weighing me down all night - I couldn't escape the heartbreak and just felt like I needed to write something in order to release those feelings. So I sat in bed on a Tuesday morning and just wrote until I felt I had gotten it all out of my system - if anything, that post was what I had so desperately wanted to say to him at the time but just didn't have the confidence to. I spent a couple of hours on it, hit publish, and moved on. Well, I wish I could say it was that easy - it wasn't like magic - but that post certainly helped a lot. 
I've said it before but after that, I made the conscious decision not to write about my personal life on the blog anymore - it's like I knew it was going to eventually come back and haunt me! Instead, I focus on Beauty and Style these days and throw the occasional Lifestyle post into the mix when I feel like it. In fact, this incident isn't the first time I've looked back at that post and wondered whether I should take it down. When I made the active decision to take LydiaLulu in a new direction, I considered removing it. And then when my blog had its Pipdig makeover, I took down a lot of posts that I didn't feel where relevant anymore. But somehow, this one post has survived thus far.
Reading over it now, I do feel sad - all these memories come flooding back and I feel really sorry for the girl sat behind her laptop on a wintery Tuesday morning just trying to make herself feel better somehow. I'm sure anyone who has been through a break-up will understand that - and no, I didn't hold back and wrote from my point of view as to why that relationship ended. I know that none of this matters anymore - it's ancient history! - but the fact that this post was brought up in an almost public way to people I actually know was totally humiliating. Although it did lead me to wonder why they were looking through such old posts in the first place. My friend told me to see it as a compliment, but to me it felt nothing short of invasive.
The reason I never took it down is because I see it as quite an important post - at least, to me it is. It marks a real turning point in my life - I was hopelessly dependent on a boy who broke my heart, I had only just started university and was yet to meet some of my best friends, and I look back on it and see it as the beginning of my adult life. You only need to read I'm Not Ready For My Other Half to see how far I've come in the past nine months.
Back in December 2014, 'Heartbroken...Yet Hopeful' was very much a post I wrote for my own wellbeing. When I first found out that this person had shown all their mates and laughed at it, I wanted to take it down and curl up into bed, an embarrassed mess. But my wonderful friend, Immy, told me that would be like letting them win and that she'd actually read that post and there was nothing to be ashamed of. So I'm keeping it live indefinitely - for that person to read at their leisure and in the hope that anyone going through a similar experience will stumble upon it and be able to relate or realise that they're not alone in how they're feeling. Because isn't that what blogging is? That, and also getting serious fashion inspiration and beauty tips ha.
A blog isn't a private space - it could never be, we're sharing our thoughts on the internet with people from all over the world. And that's the thing, I never wrote that post to name and shame that person to my readers - I wrote it because it was something I was going through at the time. No, the bloggosphere isn't a private forum - but as long as your heart is in the right place then it's worth sharing.

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Thursday, 27 August 2015

BEAUTY || An Overdue Sephora Haul.

Hands up, I've been back from the States for over a week now and I've been meaning to write this post ever since. But better late than never, right? So put your feet up and make yourself a cup of tea because this is going to be a long 'un. Yep, it's my somewhat overdue Sephora Haul.
You know you're a beauty blogger when you visit Sephora on three separate occasions. Because once just isn't enough. Oh, and you also made it your mission to find Becca's 'Champagne Pop' and the 'Better Than Sex' mascara. As you do.
I know the above picture looks like a lot of stuff, and it certainly is, but it helped enormously to go into the beauty palace of dreams with a game-plan. I've watched enough YouTube tutorials over the past year and a half to know what I wanted to splurge on.
First up are lip products - because there are a lot of them. I don't know if it's only me, but I can buy lipstick until the sun goes down. I think it's because they feel like just the right indulgence - and a quick pop of colour can totally transform a make-up look. No wonder I have lip products in the excess. 
Anyway. The first thing I bought was actually a repurchase - the Fresh 'Sugar Lip Treatment' in Petal. When I first bought this back in 2013, I was actually quite disappointed ha. I wasn't such a fan of the pigmented colour and wanted something a little more girly. But about a month before I left for New York, I rediscovered this product from the depths of my collection and loved it. Weird, huh? Colour-wise, it's a bold dark pink that packs a punch. Applies like a dream and moisturises the lips while also remaining pretty long-lasting. Just make sure it doesn't get on your teeth... I've had a couple of slightly embarrassing incidents at work ha. 
I've read about Too Faced's 'Melted Lipstick' range around the bloggosphere and thought why not give them a try. Any long-term readers of LydiaLulu will know that I can't resist a liquid lipstick. I picked Melted Peony - a very light, almost bubblegum pink shade - because I've got plenty of bold colours in my collection. It's a lot brighter than I was expecting and so I have to make sure to play down my eyes when I'm wearing this one to avoid that Disney Princess-gone-wrong effect. All in all, a very comfortable lip product to wear, with good staying power - I just have to be careful about re-appling to avoid that awkward build-up in the corners of your mouth. Not a great look! (See Melted Peony in action here).
Yeah... I bought even more NARS lip pencils. I can't help it! They're that good. I'll avoid the gushing because I've already raved about these beauties too many times to count but I bought the Satin pencil Lodhi (which Sephora describes as 'Coral' but I'd say it's more of a peach) and the Velvet Gloss pencils in Mexican Rose and Frivolous. Expect a review in the next couple of weeks.
And finally, I had to try one of the Hourglass Opaque Rouge Lipsticks while I was on a lip product binge. I chose the hot pink shade Ballet because it's unlike any colour I've tried and because, well, it's pink. So far, I'm not too impressed. The pigment is great - the watery formula is what lets it down. If you have time to check up on your lips regularly then you can just about pull this off - but when you're working an 8 hour shift, it's not ideal. I also purchased two mascaras that have been much-discussed on the bloggosphere of late. Again, I have a post coming up with a direct comparison of Benefit's RollerLash and Too Faced's 'Better Than Sex' mascara. SPOILER ALERT: Too Faced wins in terms of drama and I feel like RollerLash will improve dramatically once the formula dries out a little. Time will tell with this one. 
Next up and I just had to try the Kat Von D Liquid Eyeliner that US beauty gals are always raving about. As far as first impressions go, this stuff is seriously long-lasting. It was definitely put to the test in the New York heat and it was fairly successful, only smudging a little. You do have to be quick with this one, however, as once its applied it sets incredibly quickly. But again, I need a bit longer to judge as it hasn't really been liquid-eyeliner weather of late.
And now we have to appreciate the beauty that is the Too Faced Natural Eyes palette. I'd been in the market for a browny-bronzy palette for quite some time as these shades really suit blue-eyed girls like myself. The idea is that you have three ready-made eye make-up looks all neatly aligned which is great if you're feeling unsure about mixing and matching. But I personally love playing round with the mattes and shimmers, just to see what works for me. My current favourite is applying 'Silk Teddy' all across the lid and then blending 'Cashmere Bunny' in the crease.The moment I saw 'Champagne Pop'  in stock in the Sephora on Fifth Avenue was a real exciting one for me. In fact, I got so overexcited that my sister bought one too... That store had gotten it back in stock the day I was leaving so this was my last US beauty purchase and probably my best. It really is the most incredible highlighter - I'm glad I resisted buying too because this one will last me forever. I can't see myself ever finishing it, it's such a pigmented powder that I have to be very careful to not overdo it on the shimmer front! This beauty really does deserve it's own post but it needed to be mentioned here as I was practically bouncing off the walls when I found it.
I'd been wanting to try an Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder for a fair few months but again, was slightly put off by the price tag. So naturally I made a point of picking one up in the States where it's considerably cheaper. The shade, Incandescent Electra, is not a shade I normally go for - it's quite a shocking peach and I'm normally a cool-toned pink kind of gal. But it's good to try new things, right? This blush has a lot more shimmer than I was expecting and I do find stray glitter on my face throughout the day where the product has faded. Although very pretty and Instagrammable, the jury is still out on this one.Of course, Nails Inc were always going to creep into my Haul somehow. Each polish is $15 in the States which means they're practically half the price. Like I was going to resist. First up is Rose Street, part of 'The Perfect Pink' mini collection. I went for it just for the simple fact that I have so many shades of pink but none like this. It's a lot brighter than it looks in the bottle but is still pretty and understated. A winning formula and a pretty colour, there's not much more to say ha. 
I wrote about the Alice + Olivia collaboration last week but I was equally as thrilled to bag these colours. RosĂ© & Poetry and Midnight Merlot are right up my street in their deep, sultry tones and perfectly in keeping with the 70s vibe of AW15. The shades themselves are so dark that I'd say they need only one coat to achieve the right shade. Anything that quickens the nail painting process is okay by me!
And finally, we have the Miscellaneous section. I finally got round to picking up the Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray that I've read so much about! They had a mini at the checkout and I couldn't resist. When we were still in the States, I shared it with my Mum and Sister and they loved it just as much as me. When sprayed onto wet hair and then left to dry naturally, it creates such a nice natural wave and I love that it's weightless and totally scent-free. Although not a necessary step in my morning routine, I've just been enjoying using this product and it gives my hair some extra oomph when I feel I need it. 
I finally indulged in some Sephora brushes and got this whole wrap which is basically like a starter kit for $39. A total steal. So far, I've got the most use out of the eyeshadow applicators and still need to play round with the foundation brushes as I'm normally one to apply most products with my fingers. But the blush brush is a good size and I love how portable this little kit is if I need to take it with me somewhere. It was safe to say I was pretty chuffed with this unexpected purchase. 
And we're done! Phew. That's got to be one of the longest posts I've written in a while! Hope you enjoyed this lengthly haul and got some beauty inspiration if you're in need of it. I'd say these are all typical 'Lydia' products but I've been loving them so far nonetheless. See - it helps to go in with a Wishlist!

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Tuesday, 25 August 2015

BEAUTY || My First Jo Malone Fragrance.

Jo Malone came into the store the other day. As in, THE Jo Malone. Of course, it was my day off so I didn't get to meet the fragrance mogul herself - apparently she's lovely in person and even bought my denim culottes which made me feel a tad better about missing this beauty giant. C'est la vie.
I've been meaning to buy a Jo Malone fragrance for a good few years. Owning a JM cologne feels like a rite of passage in the beauty world. But like all fragrances these days, they're on the pricey side. So I jumped at the chance of bagging one at World Duty Free before flying to New York two weeks ago. And I couldn't be more thrilled - especially as I managed to save £20 in the process!
I can't lie, I love buying a new fragrance before going on holiday because every time you spritz it, you're reminded of being away and all the memories come flooding back. This perfume will always remind me of New York which makes it feel that much more special. 
I went for Red Roses because it's a classic, sweet (yet not overwhelming sickly) scent. If I'm being totally honest, it wasn't the purchase I was expecting to make. After reading about the Plum Blossom Cologne on Lily Melrose's blog back in April, I went on a mission to smell it for myself and just fell in love. But I am a student after all, and was particularly perturbed by the £87 price tag - that amount can feed me for a month! As much as I loved it, it just didn't feel accessible and so I went something more in my price range and wouldn't make me feel tremendously guilty and/or have me living off chicken goujons for two weeks - LOL jk that's a regular occurrence during term time. I put the Jo Malone fragrance firmly on the back-burner for another time. 
Little did I know that it was Limited Edition and was no longer available by the time I finally convinced myself to make the splurge. So there I was, surrounded by what felt like hundreds of beautiful Jo Malone perfumes and about 15 minutes until the Gate opened. It was overwhelming to say the least! I very almost went for Velvet Rose & Oud but eventually decided on Red Roses because its effortlessly classic and just smells so beautiful. And I'm Lydia Rose so it fitted quite well ha. 
The staying power is pretty good, it seems to soak into your skin and linger for quite a while. In a way, I wish it was a little bit stronger but then again you always become desensitised to your own fragrance! So far, I'm loving it and I can see this huge bottle lasting a good year because you only need a small amount. My heart is set on the matching candle, pay-day could not come sooner..!

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Sunday, 23 August 2015

DIARY || Work, Reunions, and Battling Jet-Lag.

It's been a long week. I was really hoping to upload my New York vlog today but I've had only two days off work since I've been back in the country and those have been devoted to spending time with my lovely best friend who is visiting from Australia. I often wish I could prioritise my beloved blog over work but such is life. But I have to cut myself some slack, it's a problem a lot of bloggers with a Full-Time job will understand. It'll be up soon though, promise!
As for this week, it's been a funny one. I've just been working loads and sleeping loads - because that's the reality of jet lag while working in retail! Here are the highlights of my week:
I spent a day of light shopping and sunshine with said Australian best friend in Kingston on my day off and it was perfect. And beauty purchases were made, of course, but that'll be an upcoming post. No ruining the surprise ha.
This wouldn't be a LydiaLulu diary post if Django didn't somehow make it into it, now would it? He likes sleeping in the weirdest places - this week it was a paper bag. He honestly provides endless amusement and I'm considering sneaking him back to Southampton with me.
The perks of being a Sephora Beauty Insider! My Mum, sister, and I went so mad in Sephora that we had enough points between us to each try some of the Murad skincare range. So far, loving the eye-cream - will definitely be reporting back on this one.

Yes, I bought more Nails Inc polish. I seriously need an intervention - but how cool are these nail tattoos? Exaaaactly. Solid beauty purchase.
Although I'm 99% sure this isn't a real Banksy, I thought this unusual piece of street-art was worth a photo on my way to work yesterday morning. Gotta love London. 

It's not secret that I'm a huge sweet-tooth. I could drink sugary coffees and eat blueberry muffins until the sun goes down. So you can only imagine my delight when I stumbled upon the Husk & Honey granolda stand at a local food market near my work. I was having the worst shift and was feeling pretty sad/frustrated/annoyed - I won't bore with you with an explanation - but this gorgeous granola was the perfect little treat and just picked up my mood. Words can't describe how delicious it was, totally going back next Saturday!

Happy Sunday! xx
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Friday, 21 August 2015

BEAUTY || Alice + Olivia x Nails Inc.

What's this? Another week, another nail polish post as I always say. Yes, like I wrote yesterday, I am a total and utter shopaholic. And even after I published my US Nail Polish Haul last week when I was in the Hamptons, I went into a Sephora hours before flying out of JFK and found the Nails Inc Alice + Olivia collaboration - and also bagged the highly coveted Becca 'Champagne Pop' just to put that out there! - so I was pretty happy with myself, as you can imagine.
I heard about this collaboration through Instagram - how else? - and fell in love with the colours. There are four in total but I couldn't quite justify buying them all after my numerous Essie shopping sprees. So I was faced with a tough decision (please sense my jokey tone) and ended up purchasing 'Midnight Merlot' and 'Rose & Poetry' because they were the most 'Lydia' colours and I could see myself getting plenty of use out of them.
As with all Nails Inc polishes, the quality is just above and beyond any other brand I've tried - you need only type 'Nails Inc' into my blog's search bar to see how much I adore their polishes. God knows how much I've spent on them! But in my nail polish obsessed mind, however, it's all been worth it.
'Midnight Merlot' is a deep purple shade, so dark it's almost black. Although it might not be to everyone's taste, I love wearing dark, dramatic colours as it's just such an easy way to inject a little glamour into my everyday life ha. Again, the formula is dreamy - not too thick, not too thin - and dries so quickly it's almost laughable.
'Rose & Poetry' is the doppelgänger of a Sephora shade I used to pick up every year and wear religiously when I was sixteen. So I have gotten a little nostalgic when I apply it... which is weird when you realise that it's a new polish ha. But like I've said a million times, you pay for the formula when it comes to Nails Inc and I was happy to indulge in this staple colour once again.
As a fashion-loving girl living on a student budget, Alice + Olivia just isn't all that accessible for me at the moment. One day hopefully because their stuff is gorgeous - I may have fallen in love with a grey jumper when I was in the States last week but simply couldn't justify the $500 price tag. I got a phone case instead which speaks volumes about my current finances! But this collaboration with my favourite nail polish brand makes Alice + Olivia a bit more within reach and I love that the colours are inspired by the 70s vibe of AW15. A very pretty yet oh-so-trendy option if you're in the market for a nail polish indulgence.

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Thursday, 20 August 2015

STYLE || Shopping Tips & Tricks.

If you're a regular reader of LydiaLulu then you might have already gathered what I'm about to say but I'm going to say it anyway. Hands up here - as a lover of all things fashion, beauty, and pretty stationery related, I am also a total and utter shopaholic. For someone as money-conscious as I am (#studenylyfe), it's actually kind of ridiculous. But I when I really want something, it becomes my mission to own it - you know when you find the most perfect snuggly yet oh-so-stylish jumper and you picture how happy it will make you and how you'll wear it with everything and you'll live happily ever after. Yep, I'm guilty of that shopping habit big time. But working in WHISTLES and my recent trip to New York has taught me a lot about the best ways to shop. Here are a self-confessed shopaholic's tips and tricks.

1. Know What Works For You.

I've spend enough time in shops and/or trying on clothes in the past twenty years to know what suits me and what doesn't. But sometimes, I can't even tell you what happens - I pick something up that I know won't look good on me and buy it because it's pretty. Zero logic.
Take last week for instance, I did some panic holiday shopping, went into Brandy Melville on my lunch break, picked up a skater dress without trying it on and didn't wear it once in New York because it made me feel like I was wearing a sack. It's a lovely dress - a very simple breton skater style - but I like wearing structured dresses to give me a bit more shape. And I knew that when I bought it. So this is a tip I clearly need to start enforcing! Button-down A-Line skirts are my current obsession and I can justify owning three because they suit me.

2. Wait and Think.

If I had a penny for every time I said this is to a customer ha. Although this may not be the best selling technique, it's something I implement if I'm ever unsure of a purchase. Walk out the store, get some headspace, and see how you feel. Are you relieved that you didn't buy that overpriced jumper? Or did leaving it behind make you want it even more? There's your answer.

3. Snap Sale Up.

Don't wait for further reductions - just buy it before it disappears. Trust me, Sale time is mad for stores and the average sizes are always the first to go. Fact.
And a side note, don't pester Sales Assistants to try and track it down for you - chances are that the item is like gold-dust in the mania that is the Sale season.

4. Will It Go With Items You Already Own?

Always a good question to ask yourself before indulging. Is this piece of clothing going to slot seamlessly into your wardrobe? Can you see yourself styling it a number of ways?
The same goes for make-up - because buying an electric blue liquid eyeliner when you're notorious for only wearing peach-based products probably isn't going to end well and it'll end up sitting on your dressing room table forevermore. Save your money and invest in things you know you'll wear and love.

5. Don't Follow Trends Religiously

Make the trends work for you. As much as I love it, fashion is such a fickle industry. And even if you do buy into ever 'Stylist's Edit' that's out there, you're probably won't even be that well dressed - have you see some of the pieces they put in these features? Yikes.
Inject your own personality into your wardrobe - clothes are a reflection of you, after all - and don't stress too much about being deeemed 'Stylish' at all times. Have fun with your clothes and invest your hard-earned money on an item you'll own wear for one season.

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Tuesday, 18 August 2015

WRITING || Long Distance Friendships.

Today I saw my best friend for the first time since Christmas. When Immy told me back in 2013 that she was moving to Australia, I didn't want to believe it. We partied all Summer long, making the most of our newfound freedom from school and all responsibilities, and spent the best part of four months avoiding the inevitability that she was leaving. When I started secondary school in 2007, I remember thinking that Immy was one of the nicest people I'd ever met. Although initially shy and quiet, like most 11 year olds are ha, she lit up once you got to know her. We bonded over our daily commute to school on the coach and our eagerness to fit in with the 'cool' crowd. As we got older and a little wiser, Immy and I only got closer, bonded together by time, and it became clear that I had a friend for life in this girl.
Immy left our school for Sixth Form while I stayed on. But despite her living in Ipswich (she had chosen to go to boarding school) and me remaining in the Big Smoke, nothing much changed between us. Except that she had a far more exciting social life with all the new people she was meeting and even had her first boyfriend. My life, on the other hand, revolved around getting my predicted grades while balancing my part-time job at Starbucks. Of course, I missed her like mad at school, but I saw her fairly often and it wasn't too drastic a change. The only time we really fell out of contact was during our final year at school but that's such a crazy time for A-Level students that we never really thought much of it. So it's easy to understand that I couldn't quite get my head around the idea of her moving half-way across the world. Before she left, I was in total denial and not quite ready to accept that one of the most important people in my life wasn't going to be around much anymore. It's been hard on us both. Immy moving to Australia made me realise just how much I needed her. She was my constant! Of course, I'm lucky to have a few very special girlfriends but that doesn't mean I liked the idea of Immy moving away... I needed her here! But after almost two years (time really flies), I can tell that it was the best thing for her. She has a real life out there - two dogs, a house, a paying job, a serious boyfriend, all while studying to become a Veterinary nurse. I'm still very much a baby in comparison! I'm so happy for her and it was absolutely the right thing to do - especially as the 'normal' thing for people our age is to be going off to university or going into a job of some sort. But Immy beat the odds again and has done it both. I wouldn't expect anything less from her!
We've been there for each other through all the big moments - the first exams, the first time we both got puppies, the first boyfriends, the inevitable first break-ups, and just all the silly sleepovers spent watching movies and chatting all night. I miss her every single day because life gets in the way and we aren't always so good at filling each other in on all the little things. Seeing her for the first time today, we spent about eight hours in a constant state of conversation and never running out of things to say. Oh and driving round London and getting hopelessly lost.
This is quite a personal post from me but Long-Distance friendships seem to be more and more common these days. And with the rise of the internet, we can stay in contact with our friends much more easily and see what they're getting up to on a daily basis. You can say what you want about the internet taking over our lives, this is a serious perk if you ask me.
Immy still has 11 more days in London and I plan to make the most of having her here - we've planned a sleepover just like the old days... I don't care that we're both 20 now ha. We've been there for each other for the big moments for the past ten years (!) and I don't see that ending any time soon. Another three years and she'll be home for good, I can't wait. But until then, I know that she's always there even if she's not physically here - only a Facebook phone call away at 2am if I need her... 

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Sunday, 16 August 2015

DIARY || I Heart NYC.

After the most incredible week of strolling round Manhattan, spending all my money on numerous trips to Sephora, and four chilled out days in the Hamptons, I'm finally home. Sob. Literally just got home. As in, walked through the door, dragged my overweight suitcase upstairs and immediately began uploading my New York snaps. So please forgive my jet-lag ramblings, I'm recovering from a very long journey and only got about two hours sleep ha.
Anyway, I've been filming a vlog on the Nokia Lumia 830 which will *fingers crossed* be going live in a couple of days so I won't recount every single thing we did here. But I've got some amazing photos that I just couldn't wait to share. Most of them were taken on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, East Hampton village in Long Island, and the High Line walk down in the Meatpacking District. I'll let you have a peak. A Parks & Recreation marathon will no doubt get me through the rest of the day, nothing like Netflix to combat jet-lag..! Oh and nail polish, tons and tons of nail polish - like I said Sephora wiped me clean!


Happy Sunday! xx

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