Being the neglectful and inattentive blog mother that I am, I forgot my poor little one’s birthday this year. And it was an important birthday too – a big milestone in its young life. Healing Beauty turned one on 22nd April.
If I sound a little dispirited it’s because it’s with a twinge of guilt that I blog these days, as I know I don’t do it enough and haven’t accomplished what I wanted to by this point. Despite my best intentions I’m still only managing to blog at the most once a week (usually even less) and there is so much more I’d love to write about if I could find the time. I also really want to change the layout of my blog. When I set it up I went for something really simple thinking I could tweak it, but I’m too scared to mess with it without having a clue what I’m doing; I need to find time to sit down, read some tutorials and do it properly and I haven’t mustered up the effort to do that yet!
But enough of the negativity. I am really glad I started this blog and although I haven’t learnt and done as much as I wanted yet, I have made inroads into changing my beauty routine to a more natural one, and have discovered some brilliant natural and organic brands in the process. Not to mention I’ve made some brilliant fellow blogging friends along the way!
So to commemorate (belatedly) this blessed day, I thought I’d tell you some of the most memorable and significant things which have happened during my first year of blogging.
Something that happened quite early on in my blogging career was unexpected to say the least. One Sunday I noticed a discussion happening on Twitter which caught my attention as it referenced the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez, an area I spent months studying at university when writing my dissertation on the US-Mexico border area. It turned out MAC (makeup) had teamed up with fashion house Rodarte to create a makeup line ‘inspired’ by the area, which is infamous for violence, bloodshed, drug wars and the rape and murder of hundreds (possibly thousands) of women. (Apparently amongst all of that they found something beautiful about the ‘ethereal landscape’ that would translate well as a nail varnish.) Thinking this wasn’t the most tasteful of ‘inspirations’ for a makeup line, a few bloggers, led by @CarolineHirons , decided to write a blog post at the same time that evening in protest, hoping to get MAC’s attention. Of course I decided to join them.
Anyway, I won’t go into the whole thing again now, but it was a rather epic few weeks for me. I felt I’d somehow found myself at the forefront of a political battle, completely unexpectedly, and for once when it came to something political I actually knew something about it! That made me feel that in a weird way, fate had something to do with it. It was such perfect timing that I’d recently joined Twitter, connected with loads of beauty bloggers and started my own blog, just in time to take part and give my two penneth on the issue. Because of all the research I’d done in the past, I also knew already of many of the main non-profit rights groups in the area, who I contacted to tell them about what we were doing and what MAC/Rodarte had planned. Hearing their gratitude was so touching.
If you missed the whole thing and you’re interested in finding out how the power of beauty bloggers and Twitter encouraged MAC to drop the makeup line and donate their projected profits to the women of Juarez, read the story here. You can also read my dissertation on the Women on the Border website if you want, which also has some brilliant articles and information about the violence against women in Juarez. I am also going to make it my mission this month to recontact those organisations and see if any of that money has made it to the places it was supposed to. I’ll let you know what happens.
Finding new natural brands
Since this was one of the main purposes of the blog in the first place, I’m glad to say I’ve been lucky enough to have had the opportunity to try and review some brilliant natural and organic beauty products from brands I may otherwise have never heard of over the past year. I will do another more detailed post on my favourite products and brands to date, but here’s just a quick list of some of the things which have become my beauty staples: Green People’s Gentle Cleanse, pretty much anything from Liz Earle, Balm Balm’s Baby Balm, Burt’s Bees lip balms, Naked Bodycare’s shower gels and hair products, RMS Beauty and Bare Escentuals makeup, Lavera Sun Spray lotion, Happy Hair Days shampoo and conditioner…amongst so many others. My routine isn’t 100% natural yet, but I am getting there and having a lot of fun trying out new things along the way.
Joining the beauty blogging community
One of the best things about starting a blog has definitely been ‘meeting’ so many brilliant people, sometimes in person, but often just via Twitter. There are some really special people who I feel I know, although have never met and others I have met, which is always weird but wonderful. I work in social media so my day job has always involved reading blogs and talking to bloggers (the best part about it), but there’s something very different and special about being on the ‘inside’. The support and friendship that I see on Twitter is amazing; it’s a really lovely community and I’m happy to be a part of it, even though I don’t have the time I wish I did to read and comment on blogs and chat on Twitter.
Goals for this year? Mostly I just want to blog more, to do which I need to make a bigger effort to fit it into my schedule. There are lots of products I am looking forward to reviewing as well as other things I want to write about, so I am determined to make the effort. Here’s to another, even better blogging year!