Last Tuesday, I had a rather exciting event to go to... and if the title of this blog post doesn't give away what that event was, well I don't know what will.
Yep, the Cosmo Blog Awards were finally here... and 3 months on, I was still in total disbelief that I'd even been shortlisted for Best Established Beauty Blog
Unfortunately I spent the morning of the awards doing a bit of work... highly glamorous, right? I wish I could have avoided it, but sadly there's no rest for a final year medical student, even on Cosmo Blog Awards day... major #MedStudentProblems.
When the work was done, it was time to start on the real job of the day... transforming my tired 24 year-old face into one that resembled a fresh-faced beauty blogger's.
LoadingLet the primping commence! #CosmoBlogAwards
I had planned my makeup in advance and, initially, was set on doing a matte berry lip... but when it came to the day, I had a total change of heart. Given how heavy my eye makeup was (more about that later this week!), I figured a peachy nude lip was the way forward, so instead of the Rimmel Kate Moss 107 Lipstick I'd planned on wearing, I used the L'Oréal Paris L'Extraordinare Liquid Lipstick in 500, Molto Mauve*. I paired this makeup with un-fussy hair, and simply added a few flicks and curls through the lengths for some definition.
I was really pleased with the finished look... but what do you guys think?
LoadingLondon: here I come! #CosmoBlogAwards
At 3 PM, I walked to the bus stop (sidenote: being dolled up to the nines at three o-clock on a Tuesday afternoon does get a lot of bemused stares) and departed for the station, where I was met by fellow shortlister and Bristol-based-blogger Rachel of the delightful Handbags and Cupcakes.
Rachel and I have been following each other's blogs for ages, but despite being at the same University, had never met face-to-face (mainly because she was off living it up in Europe last year!). You wouldn't have thought it, though, as within about 5 minutes of boarding our train, we were gossiping about everything from bad dates, to birthdays (having both recently celebrated one), to blogging.
London bound with the lovely @rachel_hosie! #CosmoBlogAwards pic.twitter.com/1e9v2bF0KC
— Ambi (@Bombay_Rose) October 7, 2014
En route to the #CosmoBlogAwards with the lovely @Bombay_Rose! pic.twitter.com/LgnhppyrUu
— Rachel Hosie (@rachel_hosie) October 7, 2014
The two hours flew by as we gabbed to our hearts' content, and before long we pulled into London Paddington and jumped on the tube to get ourselves to the venue... whilst indulging ourselves with a bit of classic tourist behaviour, of course.
After a stroll through London, we found ourselves at the OXO2 Tower, South Bank where the awards were being held, and were met with a gorgeous view... naturally, us blogger gals got rather snap happy...
We made our way up the stairs, checked in, then hastily made our way to the ladies' room to switch out of the flats we'd worn for the journey and into heels... hopefully we fooled everyone into thinking we'd been wearing the latter the whole time.
Heels on, we headed into the party and were met with champagne and cocktails... FYI, that's my hand eagerly reaching for the champers.
Champagne in hand, we strolled further in and were met with a backdrop by Next (who sponsored the awards), who asked us to write a few words to complete the sentence, "I'm at the #CosmoBlogAwards with @NextOfficial and..." This was an opportunity for me to be cool and funny with what I wrote on my speech bubble, so I went with something really original:
Rachel's mind worked very much like mine, in that food seemed to be the epicentre of both of our thoughts for a large part of the evening, so it was pretty good that Next had provided these yummy cookie pops:
It's safe to say Rachel got quite excited by the cookies...
I think we ate a faaaaair few of these as the evening progressed... sorry Next.
The eagle-eyed of you may have spotted that she'd also got herself another drink... so naturally I needed to catch up. Good thing, then, that I had just found myself at at a bar...
Provided by Pinky Vodka, the cocktails were numerous (and obviously included Cosmopolitans) and seriously yummy... I'd love to tell you I tried them all, but a couple of sips in and I realised they were pretty strong.
By this point, we had spotted another source of sugar to soak up some of that alcohol, and it came in the form of cupcakes provided by Two Little Cats Bakery.
Not only could you eat these scrummy cupcakes, but you could also decorate them with your choice of frosting and edible treats...
This was not our only trip to the Two Little Cats stand, and having, ahem, sampled a fair few of the flavours, I can tell you that the peanut butter frosting was the best of the bunch, with the coconut flavour coming in a close second... mmmmm....
Sorry, think you lost me to a frosting-induced food coma there... where was I?
Not only could you make your cupcakes look all pretty, but you could also make yourself look fabulous too. In theory, I could have walked into the Cosmo Blog Awards bare-faced and walked out looking a million dollars... I say in theory, because in reality, I don't think I'd want to walk into an awards ceremony with absolutely no makeup on, especially as I am a beauty blogger.
Despite already looking beyond great, Rachel opted for a bit of a makeover. First stop: MUA.
Whilst Rachel had her makeup done, I chatted with the MUA artist, who showed me some of the eyeshadows she was using - they looked easy to blend with really great colour pay-off... Think I'll be giving these a whirl in the future.
The London Dolls were on hand to give everyone fluttery lashes, and of course I'd already come with falsies glued on, so...
And, finally, Iz Beauty were on hand to get your talons looking trim with some rather cool nail wraps... finally, something I could actually have done!
Then came some mingling...
I met Sophia Meola (above), who was also shortlisted in my category - we only chatted briefly, but she was so warm and friendly. Check out her Chanel... me? Jealous? 'Course not.
Before long it was time for us to sit down for the awards... not before another a quick pit stop at the Two Little Cats stand, though.
We piled into the room and took our seats and sure enough, the results were announced.
Sadly I didn't win in my category, but hey-ho - I think being shortlisted from 47000 entries is a pretty big achievement in itself! Huge congratulations to all the winners, who can be found here... make sure you watch the video at the bottom and see if you can spot yours truly!
Ceremony over, it was time to get back to the cookies, cupcakes and cocktails.
I'd left my flat in Bristol with my hair looking great, but sadly the bouncy ends I'd styled 6 hours earlier had pretty much dropped out... lucky, then, that Remington were on hand to tend to our tresses!
The Remington hair stylist had quite the task on her hands thanks to my oodles of thick, heavy hair... oopsy... luckily, Rachel's hair was a bit easier to manage!
One of the girls working on the Remington stand (Hi Esther, if you are reading!) happened to be a friend of a friend, and it also just so happened she (quite literally) lives over the road from me in Bristol... small world, hey?!
LoadingUtterly fab night at the #cosmoblogawards, as you can tell by the expressions on my and @bombayrose's faces.
Hair done, we headed on over to the Thomson photo booth for some crazy 'holiday' snaps... it seems I was rather taken with the inflatable shark.
Rachel and I put down our inflatables, and skipped off without realising we still had our holiday gear on... then had to walk back and return it, awkward.
Then came a little more mingling, this time I bumped into Alex and Victoria from Cosmo Blog Award winner My Little Black Book.
Victoria knew her stuff when it came to my actual job (student doctor, incase I didn't mention it enough!) as she happens to be the sister of a couple of fully-fledged doctors, and seeing as I am now applying for jobs (still in denial about that one) we had a little chin-wag about all things application related... mainly about how terrified I was about the prospect of being a responsible adult rather than 24 year old student next year.
Then it was time for some awkward posing in front of the Cosmopolitan magazine backdrop... when in doubt, hand on hip...
I chatted with a few other bloggers including Abi, Natasha, Samantha and Katie, but the night was drawing to a close, and with both Rachel and I scheduled to have teaching on Wednesday morning, it was time for us to get back to Paddington and board our train to Bristol.
We slipped our heels off, put our comfy flats back on, and I popped on a coat and cardigan with some leggings to brave the chilly temperatures outside. We took a leisurely stroll back along the river towards Waterloo, all the while taking in a totally different view from the one we'd seen earlier...
The dull, grey water of the river was replaced by a glossy, black sheet, which reflected the twinkling lights from the big city so very beautifully...
I've always considered myself a country girl, and before now, I can't say I've ever been drawn to relocating to the Capital, especially as my first few years of work will be spent paying off six years of student debt from medical school... but as I stood looking out onto the Thames, I did think to myself, "Boy oh boy, I could get used to this view." Maybe in a few years time when I have a little more than an overdraft to my name, I'll revisit this idea... watch this space.
We got to Paddington, climbed onto our train and sprawled ourselves out across a table, having a mooch through our Cosmopolitan goodie bags and looking through each other's photos from the night. At 1.30 on Wednesday morning, we pulled into Bristol and said our goodbyes before setting off in seperate taxis back home.
I woke up early the next morning to get myself back to hospital placement in time for teaching, whilst donning a find from the awesome goodie bag...
LoadingBack to reality (aka hospital placement). Wearing my new favourite @nextofficial scarf! What a lovely find in the #CosmoBlogAwards goodie bag! 😍
A bonus find was yet another Two Little Cats cupcake... that went down a treat, especially as I hadn't managed breakfast that morning.
LoadingThe joy of finding last night's squished (but still delicious!) @twolittlecatsbakery cupcake in my bag (along with appropriate reading material, naturally). #CosmoBlogAwards
I'd like to say a massive thank you to Cosmopolitan for a great evening, along with all of you who nominated Bombay Rose for Best Established Beauty Blog, and ultimately got my little piece of Internet spotted by the lovely people at Cosmopolitan. I wouldn't have been shortlisted if you ladies hadn't voted for me in the first place, so from the bottom of my heart: thank you so very much.
Credit: many thanks to Rachel for letting me use some of her photographs