Afternoon folks! Can you believe it's time to say adios to another year. I literally feel like 2013 consisted of 6 months; for half of the year I was out of it on medication after surgery, so that's probably why. 2013 was the toughest year of my life thus far but it changed and grew me as a person like nothing else could. Although it was a tough year, it was quite a good year in retrospect. I've compiled a list of my personal highlights and favourites of the year - a mixture of everything. I hope 2014 will bring you all happiness and positivity, bring on the new year!
The biggest moment of 2013 - and my life - was obviously my double-jaw surgery finally happening in March. I lived with a facial disfigurement for 9 years and waiting to have it corrected absolutely destroyed me. The surgery and recovery were beyond difficult but I am proud of myself for going through with it all. Although I'm still technically recovering and have a few complications, I don't regret it one bit and my life has completely spun around because of the surgery. I don't feel like crying every time I catch a glimpse of my reflection, which is always nice.
(You can find ALL info here on my surgery; photos, day by day accounts and vlogs.)
The Big Move to London:
I made the huge decision of moving to London in September; it was always a dream and a goal of mine. The entire experience was completely life-changing and made me grow up entirely. Although I moved back home last week, I don't regret the decision to move over at all. Quite a few negative aspects of the move got to me after a while and I made the decision of returning to my family and friends for the sake of my own wellbeing. London is amazing, there's no doubt about it; I made amazing friends, I experienced working in retail in central (you can conquer ANYTHING after this), I attended fantastic events and worked with some incredible people and companies. I won various awards for my blogging whilst over there; Company Magazine's 'Highly Commended for Best Fashion Blog' and Cosmopolitan Magazine's 'Highly Commended for Best International Fashion Blog' which both came as a complete surprise. It was an experience that will stay with me for life, no doubt.
My First Meet-Up:
I held my first ever meet-up in Dublin during the Summer, where nearly a hundred of my blog readers and Youtube subscribers showed up to meet me! It was nerve-wracking but I'm so glad I did it in the end. It was such an honour and pleasure to meet the people who have gotten me where I am today. It was one of the year's greatest highlights.
My Style Evolution:
After my surgery, I went through a month or two of completely losing myself style-wise. I've always had a "set" style for the last couple of years but in 2013 my interests and tastes started changing. Black became my go-to colour, I started wearing less prints and patterns (except leopard-print, obviously) and I more or less stopped wearing jewellery altogether bar a gold chain now and again. I would currently describe my style as "Courtney Love meets Wednesday Addams" and I feel completely at ease with my "look" at the moment - as cliche as it sounds, I feel like 'me'. The 1975 and HAIM (who are mentioned later) were two huge influences on my style, along with celebrities like Alice Dellal and Sky Ferreira. My outfit highlights of the year are below.
Favourite Beauty Products:
2013 definitely wasn't a year of makeup/ beauty for me, in all honesty I didn't really fall in love with many products throughout the year. I focused more-so on fashion and lifestyle, especially blogging-wise. My favourite product of the year is definitely MAC's Studio Fix Fluid foundation in 'NW10' (reviewed here) because of it's perfect match to my skintone and overall texture. My favourite skincare products were Simple; an affordable brand that actually does the job and works better than the majority of high-end products for my skin.
My styling highlight of the year was teaming up with Topman HQ here in Dublin and styling Plinio Bastos with their key pieces for Summer. It was my first ever go at styling menswear and I couldn't have been happier with the end result. (See the full shoot here).
The 1975 - If you follow me on any of my social networks (all listed at the end), you'll know how bloody obsessed I am with The 1975. It has been years since I've fallen in love with a band; their style, their sound and their overall vibe are so new and unlike anything else in the charts at the moment. I've listened to them daily on repeat for hours since Summer, I've watched every interview and read every article. I'm obsessed! They're by far one of the greatest things to happen to me this year - as cheesy as it sounds - it's true. I'm seeing them live in February 2014 and to say I'm excited is an understatement! I fancy Matty and George a ridiculous amount, they bring out my inner 13 year old fan girl, embarrassingly enough. My favourite songs would be: 'So Far (It's Alright)', 'Milk', 'The City', 'Pressure', 'She Way Out', 'Menswear', 'Sex', 'Girls' 'Heart Out' and 'Settle Down'. The video for 'Girls' is also by far my favourite of the year.
HAIM - My love for HAIM began late last year; they were a close second to being my overall favourite band of 2013. There aren't many all-girl groups in the alternative music sector, so they're highly influential and inspiring with that behind them alone. HAIM's music is completely unique, they have their own sound and style - musically and visually. My favourite songs would be: 'Falling', 'Days Are Gone', 'Edge', 'Let Me Go', 'Send Me Down' and 'Forever'. The video for 'Falling' was a runner-up in being my favourite video of the year.
Best Songs of 2013:
The following songs were some of my favourites of the year, all featured on various playlists on my Spotify that you guys can listen to - search my name 'Leanne Woodfull' to go on to profile. They're all different to each other and the videos are brilliant. I make monthly playlists of my favourite songs: November's was the year's most popular
I stopped being a pescatarian a few months after my surgery and it was one of the greatest decisions I've ever made. Nearly 4 years without eating meat was taking a huge toll on my health - I was also craving bacon like a madman! Going back to meat was highly beneficial and my love for food exploded even more. Yum yum bacon.
I love internet humour and the majority of internet sensations amuse me beyond belief. My favourite internet sensation this year was by far Chloe and her infamous facial expressions made during a viral Youtube video on a trip to Disneyland with her family. Her bitchface skills are beyond admirable and quite frankly, I think she's my long lost child. 'Doge' came in a close-second to this. Such wow.
I announced this on Twitter last month but it seems to have slipped for a heap of you. I won't be continuing YouTube in the new year - I haven't made a video in AGES and don't plan on doing so in the near future. The website has lost its niche; it has become a platform for people to build a "celeb" status around themselves and there's very little growth on it for new members (which bothers me because that's the whole ploint of the site). You're all aware of the abuse I went through on that site and unfortunately the negativity never stops; it ended up affecting me so badly and already my mental health has improved since stopping it. I think there's something new around the corner for us creatives, everything seems to be dying down in the blogging-YouTube world.
I will continue blogging, just not as regularly. It will remain focused on fashion and beauty but my lifestyle/ personal posts were my most popular this year and I'll be focusing more on those (e.g body image, online dating etc). Thanks to those who have stuck by me over the years, throughout everything and will continue to do so regardless of changes. I'm just too happy at the minute to risk YouTube ruining that again for me and it became a chore as opposed to hobby this year. My channel will stay up, some of my less popular videos will be deleted. (I will make one last video in March documenting my 1 year jaw surgery update, as those vlogs are far too important).
My social networks:
Have a fantastic new year everybody, I can't wait to work on some exciting new projects in 2014!