I’m not usually one to talk about dreams.
By dreams, I mean in life (not like when you’re asleep!). For me, they were unattainable, fantasies, unrealistic. They were for, well, dreamers! I’ve never thought about the things I’d like to do in life as dreams of mine, mostly because I’ve always been taught if you work hard enough for something, it will come your way. So I’ve never thought about things like my lovely little house, my fabulous husband and my holidays as dreams, just things I’ve been super lucky to get or have worked hard for.
All of this was until I lived out a dream, something I never anticipated I would do. Something that I thought was so far out of my reach, it never even reached the realms of fantasy. But then, one day in March, it wasn’t a fantasy any more. If was fucking real! And it was one of the best days of my entire life. Now, I know what dreams are made of.
After a lot of waffle, let me take you back to the beginning.
Earlier this year, my friend Louise messaged me. “Look Fantastic are doing this blogging competition, you should enter.” I sort of rolled my eyes; I’ve never won anything in my life and I’m not super special, why would I stand out from the crowd in a blogging competition? Plus, they’ll only be interested in mega-bloggers, not the little guys like me.
But, as it turns out, the little guys were what they wanted. Look Fantastic is a website I’ve shopped on many times; it’s one of the world’s biggest online retailers and it stocks all my favourites, has free delivery, great offers and is super-easy to navigate. It’s a one-stop shop for beauty addicts like me. And they were looking for new voices of beauty, people who loved the industry and had something to say about it. The prize was to partner with them for a year as part of their Beauty Squad. It sounded incredible.
So, late one night after getting in from work, I stuck on Maz’s superhero print pyjamas and filmed myself claiming to be a fashion blogger. Looking at what I had on, it was questionable! I had to answer some questions, do a beauty look on camera, chat about myself. I did it on my phone, propped up on my mirror, in one take. You could view a couple of other people’s entries and they were so polished and professional, I didn’t think I stood a chance. But I just ‘did me’ and hoped for the best.
A week or two later, I got an email. I deleted it at first, anticipating it would be the usual ‘thanks but no thanks schpeal’ but on second glance, it reference the pyjamas and a couple of things I’d said. They’d bloody watched my video! Out of thousands of people, they’d watched mine. And whilst I hadn’t won the competition, would I like to come to a shoot and be part of another campaign they were launching?
Would I fucking ever!!!!
I didn’t tell anyone for weeks, it seemed too good to be true and I didn’t want to look like an idiot for getting so excited about something that wouldn’t, couldn’t, happen to someone like me. But, sure enough, one sunny afternoon in March, I headed to the Hale Country Club, where I was greeted with juices and robes and choices of which full body massage I’d like! I spent the evening being totally pampered, sitting in the outdoor jacuzzi still thinking it was all a massive joke.
I still couldn’t quite believe when I checked into the Radisson Edwardian Hotel in Manchester, into my huge room, where I sat watching TOWIE and eating Oreo mini eggs (my new favourite thing!) in bed.
It was only when I arrived at this amazing studio, with all its buzz and energy, that it started to sink in. And the day passed in a big, wonderful, girl-power-filled blur of the most fabulous people and incredible moments.
I was whisked around like some sort of celebrity, answering questions, speaking to camera, taking photos, trying products. My make up was done by the amazing Nilly, Head of Artistry for Illamasqua and I got to spend time with two of my most inspirational You Tubers, Lydia and Patricia, who I just fan-girled over like a love sick puppy!
The campaign is called #IamFantastic and is all about empowerment, being the best version of yourself and unleashing your inner confidence. Despite being a fairly confident person, I struggled with some of the questions . They just weren’t the sort of things I usually think about, my journey with self confidence and what makes me fantastic.
I chatted about my troubles with my skin when I was younger; the self loathing of having such awful acne, the hours I spent trying to cover it up and the crazy remedies I used to put myself through before I went crying hysterically to my mum one night who prompted marched me to the dermotologist, who put me on Roaccutace, the strongest acne drug on planet Earth. And I never looked back.
It so so interesting to delve into these questions. Of course, not all the questions were so deep; talking about our favourite products, beauty tips and tricks and lots of my other most-loved things, including my friends, family and wonderful husband.
As I publish this post, the campaign will have just gone live. And I’ll be seeing it for the first time along with everyone else. I’m a little nervous as I really don’t know what it’ll look like or centre on but what I do know is, at a time when I really needed a boost of confidence, being a part of this campaign gave me that. I walked away feeling like I could take on the world.
As a friend of mine messaged me when I told her I was going to do this, “Pursue your passions and opportunity will follow” (thanks San!). This was the opportunity of a life time and if I never get anything like it again, I will forever treasure the memories (and the amazing footage of me looking my most fantastic! Even if I am talking about acne!) from that day.
I suppose you want to see the campaign video we shot on the day? Well here it is!
The message of this campaign is simple. Be you. Do you. Don’t worry about others. It’s not always easy and it’s certainly not something I practice 100% of the time, but if you can always keep that in the back of your mind, I think you’ll do OK. I have.
I’d love to know if you’ve seen the campaign, what you think and most importantly, share with me what makes you fantastic! Also, get involved on social media using the hashtag #IamFantastic.
Thanks for all the support guys, hope you love it!