Life is full of so many ups and downs, isn’t it? In an age when we can filter our lives perfectly, it’s often easy to hide trauma, hardship and loss, replacing it with pictures of exciting nights out, times spent travelling, and general events that are deemed as successes on social media. I’m definitely someone who has done this. 2018 was quite possibly the hardest year of my life, and it’s not something I shouted about on my social media much.
Instead I really tried to force myself to create makeup looks in an attempt to hide my intense depression after a number of events that happened. Everything hit hard and I saw 2019 as a chance to escape the negativity. Round-up posts are terribly cliche, and maybe an unpopular post to create, but for me it’s more of an opportunity to say to myself, ‘woah Maz, look how far you’ve come!’. This year has seen a lot of change for me, and I think up until I scoured my camera roll this morning, I hadn’t quite realised the sheer amount that I’d done and what I should be thankful for, and proud of. Here’s what I got up to this year, with some lo-lights cos dayum we gotta keep it realistic, right?
Okay so I’m cheating ever so slightly with this, but December was big for me in 2018, so I’m including it, aiite? I’d saved up most of the year to go to America, and I went with my brother to San Francisco and Seattle, before heading to Hawaii and Los Angeles.
I have soooo much content that I can create from that trip, and hundreds of images that I still really haven’t shared, so next year I’m going to make an effort to create something fab. A highlight was definitely visiting Hawaii, which, I can say is definitely worth the hype. Follow my travel Instagram @liltravelfreak for more nostalgia pics.
Lo-light: Who knew five flights and over 35 hours on plane rides would be a bad idea for ten days?
January was a month I spent winding down after Christmas, and the highlight for me was visiting my usual hair salon and getting green hair, which I’d wanted forever. I’ve been going to Ursula now for upwards of two years and I’m very lucky to have her! I do think self-care is super important and whether it’s a face pack, watching your favourite movie, playing video games or, like me, getting your hair done, it’s super important to focus on yourself once in a while.
Lo-light: fell on my butt on a night out while drinking too much. Bruise didn’t shift for like, three weeks guys. Pretty sure I gots tissue damage idk
In February, I made the decision to take a little solo trip to New York, which was uh-mazing. I’d been the year before, but this was the first time I’d been anywhere alone really. Luckily the lovely Dana let me stay with her, and I met up with an old school friend Florrie too while I was there. I drank way too much, ate yummy food, saw the sights and got my first (tiny tiny) tattoo, too.
Lo-light: Staying out until 04:00, falling asleep at 05:30, then going to a teeth whitening appointment at 08:30am…
I returned from New York with a new lease of life, and after living with my parents I’d taken that independent city break as a sign I need to move out. I started looking at places soon after, and at the beginning of March, I moved into shared accommodation in south-east London.
My commute dropped from 90 minutes to 30 minutes, and my bank balance emptied quicker than you could say broke biatch. It was definitely worth it, as cocktail-drinking, gig-going and blogging events ensued throughout the year thanks to my convenient location.
Lo-light: Getting grabbed by a drunk woman in Old Street Records. Never go to Old Street Records…
April wasn’t really a month where I had much going on, but after moving more into the city, I started to really make genuine connections with people. I’ve had casual friends for years, but I really noticed the amount of really great, supportive people that came into my life this year. Cheesy but true y’all. My bank account may have been empty due to the overpriced cocktails and subsequent Uber Eats orders, but my heart was full.
Lo-light: My brother changed the wifi password to something really really hard and I still to this day cannot remember it by heart.
May was a month of mini-trips, with Ben and I going to both Liverpool and Edinburgh, which was lots of fun. Liverpool was obviously a Beatles bonanza, and Edinburgh was filled with windy walks, whisky tasting and wonderful views. I’ll get round to doing a write-up on each place when I get my butt in gear, but The Beatles Story in Liverpool and Camera Obscura in Edinburgh were definitely highlights.
Lo-light: Having to stand on the train all the way up to Edinburgh because LNER sold too many tickets. Never travel to Scotland for bank holiday, kids.
Just as summer started to rear its beautiful head, I got the opportunity to do my first ever makeup gig at Ena Salon which was amazing. It was such a fun and welcoming environment, and honestly the first sign for me that I really would love to pursue makeup as a career! You can see the beginnings of my MUA page here.
June was also the month I was able to see my favourite band Foals, twice, eep. Once with a trip to Manchester and the other at Bedgebury in Kent, which I totally recommend as a venue, it was brilliant.
Lo-light: I spent most of this month hungover, tbh.
At the beginning of July, I headed to Open’er Festival near Gydnia with two work friends and oh my it was unbelievable! I got to see Vampire Weekend, Kylie, The 1975, Lana Del Rey, Robyn and Marina and the Diamonds to name a few.
I also discovered my love for Poland, Polish Soplica and omg, dumplings. Aside from this we also explored a bit of Sopot and Gydnia, and I got my second tattoo of the year!
Lo-light: Seeing The Strokes in the pouring rain. The lead singer is an asshole I tell ya
August consisted of a lot of drinking, drinking and more drinking, if my camera roll is anything to go by. So much so that I wrote a post on my favourite places to drink, but more importantly it gave me a chance to rekindle some great friendships I’d made in my other jobs.
I also managed to focus more on my makeup on Instagram, so got my creative juices flowing and that’s something I really would love to get back into!
Lo-light: Painted my face yellow but it stained my skin for like, two days
At the beginning of the month, Ben and I headed to Prague which was definitely the highlight of the year in terms of trips for me. The city is beautiful, the weather was just right, the food and drink was everything! I can’t recommend the place enough. Back in London, I also managed to have a couple of gatherings at the flat too, which was really fun and not something I usually do or have done before.
I was also lucky enough to attend London Fashion Week at the end of September too, which was, a dream. I took Ben along and we enjoyed a day of runway shows in Covent Garden.
Lo-light: Twisting my ankle, or something, longboarding in Prague. The pics looked great though
October is always always my favourite month of the year, as Halloween and my birthday are events I get really over-excited about. At the beginning of the month, I went to see a Midsummer Night’s Dream at The Globe (you must go!) and worked on a number of Halloween looks, then I threw a pumpkin carving party at the flat, got a choppy new hair cut and celebrated my birthday and Halloween all in one.
Lo-light: Not finishing my A-Z of Halloween makeup. I really wanted to, but I got burn out. Wah.
The hype of October was quickly followed by a month of gigs, they all seemed to come at once! FKA Twigs, Goldlink, The Amazons, Vampire Weekend, Sofi Tukker… it was madness. The highlight though, was going to a screening of Foals’ Rip Up the Road and ACTUALLY meeting them…
Lo-light: Funnily enough, going to that many gigs is intense and tiring. Poor me, right?
This month has been pretty lovely too, and I count myself lucky that I was able to head to Disneyland Paris and explore the French capital for a few days. It was nice to break up the month, then have a relaxing Christmas too. I also managed to bag myself a new job! So 2020 is all about the new starts, and I’m excited for the challenges that will come with it.
Lo-light: There were bad strikes in Paris when we went, so transport was very unreliable. This is something I would definitely double check if you’re thinking of visiting…