I was more concerned about entering a room full of pretty young fashion bloggers than the actual results. The Cosmo Blog Awards at the Oxo Tower had gathered the best of Britain’s fashion and beauty bloggers for a night of awards, treats and celebrations. This year, however, they had also included a category for Travel Bloggers and I was absolutely chuffed to be shortlisted for it, even if flummoxed about what to wear.
At least my hair was in good hands. Super-talented and multi award-winning hairdresser, Errol Douglas, had kindly offered to take on my untamed long bob and turn it into something chicer. Whilst I sipped my tea at the Knightsbridge salon and had a good chinwag with Errol about his travels (which are even more extensive than mine) he trimmed and tweaked my hair into a sleek yet bouncy new style. The usually rough texture of my hair was tamed by a Moroccanoil Treatment and I walked out of the salon with a lot more confidence than I went in with.
There was one other person I knew in real life who would be attending this event so I arranged to meet my fellow nominee Victoria (a.k.a Pommie Travels) at the tube station so we could enter the room I feared together. The event space at the Oxo Tower was filled with gorgeous women in some girl-crush inducing outfits (just look at the hashtag #CosmoBlogAwards on Instagram to see what I mean) but all were smiling and welcoming. Victoria and I quickly found our other travel blog shortlisters – Elle, Jess and Katie (sadly Isabelle couldn’t make it) – and we huddled together for support.
The awards were announced fairly swiftly. I’d only devoured 1 (ok, maybe 2) of the Pinky cocktails before the Editor of Cosmo, Louise Court, came on the mic to announce the results. The room was filled with excited chatter and the tap tap of bloggers on their phones so we barely heard the travel category get announced. Then we heard Victoria’s name called out and a woop came out as she looked for a place to put down her cocktail and take to the stage for her Highly Commended Award. I suddenly felt incredibly sick as they announced the overall winner. I didn’t hear my name but I could just make out the 40before30 logo on the screen. It was me!
A closer look at the illustration Cosmo gave the winners
The rest of the night whizzed by in a blur of manicures, false eyelashes and several dodgy photos in the photobooth. (We certainly made the most of the free activities on offer.) The goody bag was pretty exciting too – I have the contents spread across my living room floor from rummaging through it last night. Highlights, for those that are interested, include: Next accessories, Elemis face wash, AnnaLou London bracelet, Kusmi Tea, Gizzi Erskine cookbook, Tiki microphone and a PhotoDirector plus much more. Cosmopolitan and the sponsors really spoilt us – thanks to you all.
Massive congratulations to all the shortlisted bloggers and winners. To standout among the 43,000 nominations is crazy really – well done us! You can find the full list of winners here.
But I wanted to end on a thanks to you readers. To be entirely truthful the last few months have been a bit pants. Since going freelance with my blogging and social media consulting towards the end of the last year, I have questioned my decision almost daily. I try not to bore you with the details on this blog, this space is about my travels, not awkward conversations with my bank manager, but I must admit that at times it has been very hard to balance work with life and to navigate the very blurry lines I have between the two. Last night reminded me, however, how lucky I am to have something I love so much be an integral part of my career. It is so wonderful to have your passion recognised by an institution like Cosmopolitan, but even better is to have people like you come to read it. So thank you for your votes, your support, for just turning up every now and then and reading my musings on these pages. A blog is nothing without its readers; I love you for being mine.
(Special thanks to Errol Douglas for my award-worthy makeover. Find out more about his recently launched range of electrical styling tools, including the first Keratin capsule system built into a hair styler available on the high street, at boots.com and in Boots stores now.)