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4 reasons to keep blogging when everybody else is doing it too

I've written a few posts in the past providing an insight into some of the tips and tricks I've picked up on in the three years I've been blogging consistently, but this isn't one of them. This post is intended more to address the fact that (as many people keep reminding me) everyone and their mother has started a blog or a YouTube channel. Young women everywhere are snapping their meals for Instagram posts, registering custom domains and filming monthly favourites videos.

It's not easy to stand out and cut through the noise, but as the hobby becomes more and more popular it's worth remembering that competing for pageviews doesn't have to be your only aim. People regularly ask me why I still bother to do it when there are probably hundreds of thousands of other bloggers out there trying to do the same thing, but luckily for me I can think of plenty of reasons to continue.

It keeps your creative juices flowing

My very first blog started way back when I was at university as a place to share my poetry and short prose. Things have changed a lot since then but I still use my blog as a place to be not only creative but productive. I love getting my camera out to shoot a post and planning exciting content as much as I love the writing side.

You get exciting opportunities

I had been blogging furiously three times a week for at least 6 months before my first opportunity to collaborate came along. I was invited over to the High Tea Club in Cambridge to review their menu. Looking back it felt pretty special to have been able to go, and I've worked with brands like Thorntons and Multipower since then too. It really opened the doors for some amazing experiences, from cocktail making to massage treatments. It takes some hard work to get noticed but once you do it's very much worth it.

You make amazing friends

The more you get involved in the blogging community, whether online or offline, the more you grow to appreciate it as a special place to be. I've met tonnes of lovely people like Pippa and Lauren through local events and meet up groups - it takes up half my social life some months and I wouldn't have it any other way. I used to hate meeting new people as I'm awkward as hell but blogging has helped me to embrace it!

You can see yourself making progress

Having an archive of blog posts to look over isn't just the chance to have a big ol' cringe fest at your pre-2013 flatlay skills and 'What's in my bag' posts. It's an opportunity to see how far you've come, how your life has changed, your skills have improved and you've continued to stick at something - I find it really helps boost my confidence. It's also a great thing to have on your CV for those very reasons. Use it as a tool to motivate yourself to keep going.

So if you're struggling with motivation, post ideas or making time to get shiz done, don't forget to remind yourself that blogging has more to offer than being a mere popularity contest. 

The nude lip edit

In case you couldn't tell from the title, this post is a bit of an ode to the humble nude lippy. In my teens I never bothered with lipstick at all, but over the last few years I've gotten into a habit of wearing it every day. While vampy reds aren't really for me when it comes to daytime wear I now have a decent collection of muted tones at my disposal, from warm browns to cool mauves. Here are my faves...

The 'Your lips, but better'

This phrase gets thrown around a lot, but I just love that slightly more 'done' look you can achieve by using a product that's only a shade away from your natural lip colour. 

My all time favourite for this is the NYX Soft Matte lip cream in Abu Dhabi - it's beautifully pigmented, matte without being drying and lasts until at least lunchtime before any kind of top-up is needed. It's the perfect low maintenance product. 

For a little more va-va-voom I love the Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Pucker glosses. They really plump your lips up, to the point that it actually tingles, and leave a subtle pink colour. Bonus: its also not too sticky.

The MAC ones

Although I have a few other MAC lipsticks these two are the ones I'd recommend investing in the most. Velvet Teddy is probably the most popular shade of recent years and I can totally see why. It's a matte finish and I'd describe it as a browny pink, that leaves lips looking full. 

Persistence is far more brown in kind of a 90s chic way. Again it's pretty matte and I feel like it would probably suit just about anyone.

The pinky purples

I don't always have much luck with pinker lipsticks, but there are two cool-toned products that I use very regularly. 

Last year while in Paris I discovered the wonder product that is the Sephora Cream Lip Stain. The shade 13 Marvelous Mauve is by far my favourite of these and I do find them much longer lasting than the NYX version. It's highly pigmented and withstands eating and drinking virtually all day. They can be drying so I do apply a lip balm half an our before I get ready.

A product I go back to time and time again - and a line that's always proven very popular in the beauty world - is Rimmel's Lasting Finish lipstick. The shade 08 is a gorgeous pinky hue with a semi-matte finish, but isn't too warm.

A shout out also needs to go to Rimmel's The Only One lippy, which although a newer product is also very wearable. The shade 700 Naughty Nude is about as pink as I ever go, with the formula also less matte than my other choices. It's a great one for summer as it's a little brighter than most nudes.

Summer holiday reading list

In just over two weeks I'll finally be off on my summer holiday to Turkey! As I've got back into reading the last few weeks (warm evenings sat in the garden really do help) it was of course time to pick a couple of new books to take with me.

I doubt I'll get through all three over the week but a solid one and a half would be the most I've read in a long time. I feel like life and the internet just get in the way sometimes so this is the ideal opportunity to unwind.

I've tried to aim for a little variety here as I sometimes get fixated on one particular genre for a while which can get boring. Here's what I went for:

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins - I can't always get into psychological thrillers. I really didn't get on with Gone Girl and there are few others I've even entertained. This story however intrigues me! It's being adapted for the big screen - anyone else feel like they've run out of original storylines for films? - so I want to read it before I see it.

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey - This definitely isn't my usual kind of choice but reading the reviews the story sounds so enchanting and mysterious. I don't tend to go for emotional reads as I always end up crying and getting the pages wet so cross your fingers for me!

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern - I have very high expectations for this book! I love an element of fantasy or magic and got quite into Neil Gaiman last year. It's the subject of so many book clubs that I felt entirely left out having not read it!

Have you read any of these or do you have your own recommendations? Let me know below in the comments!