Can you believe it’s been almost eight whole years since I sat down and pressed publish on my very first blog post? Back in 2010 blogging was only a little bit more misunderstood than it is now (lolz) and confused pretty much every one that stumbled across it – before everyone heralded it ‘new age media’ and threw more money at it than could possibly stick. Ahhh, the good old days when all you needed was a Blackberry (remember them?) to take your god-lordy-awful grainy photos on and the ability to type; nothing was shiny, nothing was anything even verging on #goals and there was certainly no more money to be made than a measly few pence off the back of a dodgy Google ad. Skip forward less than a decade and it’s a whole different landscape, helped along by the rapidly declining print industry and a generation that just wants to ‘Netflix and chill’ rather than switch on ITV of an evening. Blogs, online magazines and YouTube videos provide not only a means of escapism, but a plethora of useful information from ‘real people’ – so it’s no surprise that they’ve exploded in popularity over the last few years.
When I first started this here site, my passion points mainly revolved around mascara and listening to music in a field; I was a mere 27 years old and living in London, having just left the beauty industry and wanting to continue documenting the knowledge I’d accrued along the way. For the first six years you barely saw my face as I focused so much on product reviews and industry insight, but that slowly started to evolve as I became more comfortable in my own skin and proud of the candles I’d accrued on my annual cake. My interests diversified, as did what I wanted to talk about – although the latest skincare launch remained as exciting as an ASOS discount code on payday, I needed to start injecting a bit of everything else to balance it out.
In 2017 I started to make real changes, knowing that in order to thrive I’d have to put more of ‘me’ into my blog and celebrate all the different facets of my life. Fashion posts became a regular occurrence, as did those that covered everything from period poverty and diversity to maintaining wellbeing and documenting my wedding journey. And do you know what? I’ve blooming enjoyed it. The freedom that comes from removing your own limitations (“I’m a beauty blog, so I can only write about beauty right…”) is incredible for creativity; the ideas that have spiraled and the passion that I’ve rediscovered has kept me going during the most transitional twelve months of my life, so I haven’t regretted those changes for a moment.
Skipping back to 2010, I picked the name ‘London Beauty Queen’ on a bit of a whim; I wanted it to encompass the fact that I was London based and into beauty, so BOOM, that was that. I never thought I’d still be writing eight years later, let alone making a living from it and navigating my way through being self employed and a double business owner – if I did, then I sure as hell wouldn’t have picked a name so limiting! Over the last few years I’ve felt increasingly disconnected from the LBQ alias and felt it limited my desired diversification; it was hard to recruit new readers and work with brands when they couldn’t see past the URL. I’ve been thinking about re-branding and re-launching for some time, but I could never pin down a replacement that seemed to warrant losing what I’d worked so hard to build.
Picking an identity is really quite tricky, but when we got engaged this time last year I made the decision to adopt my married name as my business name too… Because, like everyone keeps telling me, Hayley Hall does sound a bit like a superhero doesn’t it! What better way to showcase every facet of my life than by simply using my name? Keeping it simple and embracing my new identity felt like a natural progression and will allow me to write about whatever I like, future-proofing not only my business but also my enthusiasm for said writing. If you’ve been a long-term reader, then thank you: thank you for the support you showed London Beauty Queen and I really hope you can continue to be with me during this next exciting phase. If you’re a new reader, then I hope I can deliver on your expectations and keeping you coming back for more.
Don’t worry, beauty will remain a big part of this site and always one of my main interests – they’ll just be more of what you’ve experienced over the last twelve months under a new online header. I’m really excited for what 2018 has in store and to kick off a new year with refreshed devotion and affection.
London Beauty Queen, you’ve been a blast… But it’s time to step aside and say aloha to Hayley Hall.
There’s a new gal in town.
Photos Taken By Kaye Ford: www.fordtography.co.uk
NEW WEBSITE: HayleyHall.UK
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