2016 | A Year in Review

Hello my lovelies! I hope you’ve all had a lovely Christmas and a Happy New Year! 2016 has been one hell of a year and you might have noticed that I’ve been pretty absent too. It’s been a while since I visited my little corner of the internet and properly communicated with you all.

Like I said, it’s been a strange year and with that, I haven’t been able to really contribute to the blogosphere. It’s been so lovely to see on the stats that people are still visiting Non-Fiction Beauty after all this time and I feel like, at the very least, I owe you all an explanation.

Why did I stop blogging in 2016?

There are a few reasons as to why I sort of fell off the blogging bandwagon. I’m going to try to explain why in a few paragraphs and I hope you can understand why I’ve been MIA throughout 2016.

Struggling with depression

Probably the biggest reason as to why I stopped posting regularly, and in turn at all, was because I started suffering from depression. I let my demons get the best of me at the worst of times over the year, primarily because of my health.

Bad health

For some reason, a couple of years back, my immune system decided to go AWOL on me. I’ve had severe asthma for most of my life and out of nowhere I ended up having severe sinus problems. In fact, to this day, I haven’t been able to smell for nearly two years (which is why you won’t see me mentioning anything to do with fragrance in my reviews:laughing:)!

I’m awful when I get sick. You can ask my partner, seeing as he has to deal with me, but being tremendously ill and dealing with depression ended up making me stuck in bed a lot of the time. With my immune system going haywire and struggling to breath with my asthma, it’s not been very pleasant.

I did a post a little while back about taking care of your breasts and checking yourself. It’s a subject very personal to me as my mother has had breast cancer. Which means I had a high chance of contracting it too. Unfortunately for me, I found a number of lumps growing in my breasts which has meant a number of surgeries.

Under the knife

This year I had to have yet another operation to remove lumps found in my breasts. I seem to be a breeding ground for Fibroadenoma! This, along with an operation on my sinus has left me feeling horrible all year long. Needless to say, I’ve spent more than my fair share of time in the hospital!

Balancing blog life with work life

Besides being incredibly ill all of the time, since I started my blog I’ve picked up more hours at work. If you don’t already know, I work as a beauty consultant in Superdrug! I work in the cosmetics department and I thoroughly enjoy what I do there. It’s so exciting being in the know for the latest drugstore/high street makeup releases as drugstore brands are really upping their game right now! Since picking up more hours, it became increasingly more difficult to balance work and blogging.

I fell out of love with the process of blogging

I love blogging, don’t get me wrong. But it became such a chore that I fell out of love with the process. Blogging is a lot more work than people think and as this started out as a hobby and merely something I loved doing on the side, it became much more than that. I decided I wanted to take blogging seriously and a lot of work came with that. Publishing just one blog post became quite a long process for me, which lead to me feeling unmotivated and stuck in a rut.

Comparing myself to others

I’m ashamed to say this but I started comparing myself to others and just feeling like what’s the point anymore? I even started questioning myself at some point wondering if I’m even ‘good enough’ for blogging and whether I should just quit while I’m ahead. Needless to say it is a toxic habit and something I am working really hard to eliminate from my daily thinking.

Then I reminded myself why I started Non-Fiction Beauty and why I love blogging

I am extremely passionate about makeup and beauty, extremely. A lot of people have a multitude of things they are good at and for me the only thing I’m really familiar with is makeup and beauty. I started my blog because I love talking, I love writing, I love sharing my thoughts, opinions, and experiences of beauty.

What’s happened since I’ve been away?

So we’ve talked about why I’ve been neglecting Non-Fiction Beauty, why don’t we have a good catch up! Let me tell you what I’ve been up to since I’ve been away.

I went on my first holiday abroad!

Yes you read correctly! My first holiday abroad! In May of 2016, my partner Sid and I travelled to Milan, Italy for our first holiday abroad together. Flying to Italy was also the first time I’ve ever travelled abroad! Milan is so beautiful and of course I had the pleasure of visiting Sephora heart_eyes. It was a little disappointing since they didn’t have the American brands I thought they would, nonetheless it was a great experience and my favourite ever lipstick came from that trip to Sephora!

I also discovered an Italian makeup brand called Wjcon which makes the most beautiful eyeshadow ever :heart_eyes:. Sid and I also visited QC Termemilano Spa and it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had in my life! The spa was such a beautiful place and the wellness rooms they had were so therapeutic. That was also the first time I’ve ever been to a spa too!

 

I qualified as a professional makeup artist!

As of September 2016 I officially qualified as a professional makeup artist with the IMA (International Makeup Association)! It’s something I’ve always thought about doing but never plucked up the courage to go through with it. I did a two week course with the Central School of Makeup in Birmingham. I am delighted to have been able to experience learning from such great teachers, gaining more knowledge, inspiration and experience.

As part of the makeup course I was lucky enough to receive the chance to work at Charlotte Tilbury for the day! It was an interesting experience and let’s just say there’s a lot more Charlotte Tilbury products on my wish list now! I’m so happy I had the opportunity to join the course. I met so many amazing women and felt really inspired being around them. It all happened with the help of my partner which I’m so thankful for, helping me achieve my goals!

 

I went on my first family holiday abroad!

Another memorable moment of 2016, going away to Spain with my family! It was such an enjoyable and unforgettable holiday. My favourite part was going in a submarine and watching all of the marine life in action, as well as snorkelling in crystal Blue waters :heart_eyes:. Not to mention I came back with a right tan!

 

Superdrug cosmetics conference

Another reason why I love my job is that I got to go to my first cosmetic conference and discover new products and launches. We are doing so well as a company and it’s great to be a part of the success! I got to meet Michelle Keegan who is the ambassador for Revlon in the UK. She is even more beautiful in person.

On top of that I met Adam Minto (Mister Makeup) who is the man behind TAM Beauty AKA Makeup Revolution, Freedom and I Heart Makeup. I was lucky enough to speak with him on a personal level and share with him my passion for makeup and beauty. He is such an inspiring person. I just love everything that he’s doing with these amazing brands that everyone has come to love so much. I also shared some product ideas with him so it will be interesting to see them come to life!

 

Where do we go from here?

Well, 2016 is over. It’s a new year for myself and Non-Fiction Beauty. I’ve had plenty of reasons that have stopped me from blogging and doing what I love most. If I have learnt anything from the past year, it’s that I’m not going to be knocked down so easily! Makeup and beauty is my passion. Sharing my experiences and work is what I love to do and I would love to make this an integral part of my future.

For me, that means knuckling down and getting to work on all of the posts I’ve planned on writing but have never got round to, reviewing products that I feel you should all know about and creating quality content that I can be proud of. It’s going to be a very long journey, a tough one at that.

An ongoing update to the site

There are going to be ongoing updates to the site. I’m very happy with how the site looks and functions, however there is always room for improvement. Over the next few months there are going to be changes visually and functionally to the site which will greatly improve the experience of using Non-Fiction Beauty which I am really looking forward to.

I would just like to say a huge thank you for anyone and everyone who has joined me on this journey so far :two_hearts:. Although I haven’t been here much throughout 2016, I still appreciate every lovely comment anyone has ever left me. Whether it be through the blog, Instagram, Twitter or any other social media handles. I can’t wait to see what this year has in store!

Take care, :kiss:

Louise Yafai

Louise is the founder of Non-Fiction Beauty. She studies Psychology, Sociology and Philosophy and has an addiction to sweetcorn.

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