When I first started seeing 2013 in review posts, I thought, "Pretty cool! I want to do those!" However, this being my first full year of blogging, I didn't realize how much work these posts are! Next year I will start organizing my review posts in November! Of course, it didn't help that I decided to jump on the band wagon the last week of December.
On top of all that, there was some block in my psyche that was telling me that I had to have all the posts ready before I posted the first one. Yep, my OCD tendencies rearing their ugly head! A huge part of these posts will be dedicated to my favorite polishes of 2013. Since over 2/3rds of my collection has been accumulated during this year, just narrowing down my picks was a challenge. On top of that, a lot of my favorite polishes did not ever hit the blog, which means swatching, taking pics and editing before I could even consider blogging about it. But really, come on, I split the whole list into 14 (yes I am crazy) categories, so why in the world would I need to have them all completed before posting the first one? I have serious doubts about my sanity sometimes!
So, here I am, posting my "first year of blogging" review post and planning on having them all done by January 31st, as I have a daily nail art challenge coming in February. Do you see why I have doubts....about my sanity that is!
Truthfully, despite all the work, I have really enjoyed the whole process and thought I would like to give you a little deeper peek into this crazy obsession of mine as a starting place. First, despite my trepidation, I want to make some "nail/blogging" confessions. Deep breath.....here goes!
- Just a silly confession....for the first 5 months of blogging I used Royal Treatment Conditioning Oil as a cuticle oil. Don't know what this is? It is a conditioning oil for dogs. Yes, you read that right! I used dog oil on my cuticles! It came as a bonus in a package deal from HSN. It was supposed to help with dry skin....on the dogs, that is. Shake a few drops into your palm and rub it into the fur. It was a large bottle (I think more than 30 oz).....and it was great smelling....and I wasn't using it for my dogs.....and it soaked in really quick....and I loved it! I have yet to find a cuticle oil I like as much as I liked that dog conditioning oil! Unfortunately, they don't make it anymore....although I am tempted to try their Bath Spritzers to find out if it is the same product in a spray bottle!
- You may have heard me talk about my "wonky" index finger. You may have even noticed it. It is wonky because of porn. Yes, again, you read that right! In my 20's I worked at a video/music store that sold and rented VHS tapes (yes, I am that old :). They also had a small "back room" with porn. Since the boxes the porn came in were too big for the display cases we used for all the other tapes, they had to be trimmed to fit. For some reason management did not want the guys doing the trimming and none of the girls wanted to do it. Being a the kind of person who feels that if I can do it, other people won't do it, and it needs to be done, then I am obligated to do it, I was tasked with trimming the porn boxes once a week. This was done with one of those guillotine paper cutters. I was very skilled, cutting off what was not necessary and leaving the important bits that may entice rentals. I am sort of ashamed to say that I took pride in my work (tee hee) until the day that I sliced off the corner of my left index finger. They stopped letting me trim the porn and I was teased incessantly about being distracted by what I was cutting. This is why my nail leans towards my thumb and has a horrible lateral nail fold. You will see what I am talking about in a few moments.
- I don't like my fingers. This is a bad thing for a perfectionist that likes to show detailed pics of nail polish/art. My nails are not that bad, and my hands don't look too bad in real life, but those dreaded macro pics! They make me look like I have "old lady" hands with a lot of wrinkles around my cuticles. Plus I have discoloration near my cuticles that sometimes make it look like I haven't washed my hands thoroughly. Seems that no matter what I use, the skin around my nails looks bad...in my opinion. If you have any suggestions as to what I should use/do, please share! This leads me to my final, and most revealing, confession.
- I Photoshop almost every photo posted. I am not talking about just cropping or color correcting, I mean "fixing" things. I really have doubts about admitting to this. I have concerns that it is something that no one notices, but now that I draw attention to it, everyone will notice. However, I figure if you have made it this far, you deserve some hard earned truth! Here is an example:
After confessing this, I feel the need to justify my decision to do this. When you look at my pics, I want you to focus on the art or the beauty of the polish, not the scabs, dog hairs and ugly nail fold. I never edit my nail art! I feel like making the art look better than it is IRL is cheating both you and myself. The only time I edit my cuticles is if they are horribly stained. Again, I want the focus where it should be, the polish/art. Truth be told, if I had the skill/tools to edit every wrinkle and skin discoloration into oblivion and still have it look natural, I would! True confession!
- Improve the layout and design of the blog. I recently changed it and am not happy with it, but have been to busy to do anything about it. I have plans to have a finalized design by April. This may seem like a long time, but for someone with little design experience, this will be a large undertaking that may have to be done in small steps.
- Do not over commit to challenges. I love all the opportunities out there for nail art challenges, but doing 3 or 4 at once is just crazy. Most importantly, it keeps me from doing the random nail art that I love, like Fashion Fridays and Monkey See Monkey Do Mondays.
- Rotate which challenges I do. I am part of several groups that do challenges, but I seem to participate in the same groups all the time. Instead of trying to do them all and not completing any of them, I intend to participate in a larger variety of group challenges, just one or two at a time, rotating through my groups.
- Participate in Sunday Stamping with Adventures in Stamping more consistently. This was the first Facebook group I joined and involves my favorite technique, so I want to get back to my first love.
- Be more consistent in my hand care routine. I am a forgetful son of a gun and do not always apply hand lotion throughout the day and cuticle oil/balm at night.
- Put together a media kit. I would like to have the opportunity to do more polish swatching on the blog, especially for indie makers as that is where my real passion lies. This is not prompted by my desire for free polish, but by my passion to show you the amazing talent for polish making out there. If there is one thing I cannot stand, it is Googling a polish and not finding any, or few swatches. If it was up to me, I would show you every poorly or under swatched polish out there, but my pocket book just won't let me. To do this, I need to do some reaching out to polish producers with a solid blog "resume".
- Become more involved in Instagram. This means doing some research and figuring out how to do this with ease, since I already feel spread pretty thin in the social media world. If you have any suggestions, they would be greatly appreciated! I am a total Instagram novice!
- Wear my nail art more! Usually I will polish my nails in the evening, do nail art the next night and take it right off to apply the next polish base for the next nail art. That means the only people who get to enjoy it are my dear readers. I want to enjoy it too! This ultimately means that I need to start my nail routine earlier in the evening so I can get both base and art done before bedtime. It will also help to get some posts written during the weekend and scheduled to post during the week so I don't feel the need to constantly be changing what is on my nails. In other words, time management.
Next will be my top polishes of 2013! About time! A huge thank you to those of you who made it through this whole post! Love ya!