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Friday, January 17, 2014

Confessions from 2013 and Resolutions for 2014

We are over two weeks into 2014 and I am just getting to my 2013 review posts.  Why so late?  I blame it on it being my first full year of blogging, my late decision to do review posts and my OCD tendencies.  This post is going to be word heavy and pic light, so if you don't like reading, wait till tomorrow.  However, if you give me an ear, you may find out some funny/interesting things about me! 

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!

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  •   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:
Edited

Unedited
So this is a typical editing example.  The top pic is the final pic.  The bottom is the original pic with only cropping.  You can see how bad the lateral fold is on that index finger.  It always has that rough extra flap of skin on the left side that looks like a hangnail.  It is totally unnoticeable IRL, but looks gross in macro.  I almost always fix this.  I clean up any cuts  or scrapes.  I hate looking at other peoples scabs in their pics, so I don't want to submit you to the torture.  Up there on my ring finger is a dog hair.  I seem to edit those out a lot, usually sticking out from the ends of my tips.  Also on my ring finger is a small flaw in my polish application that I fixed.  Normally I don't fix these little missed bits since it takes time to fix anything but flat, plain cremes.  In this case, however, because this was so small and easy to fix, my OCD personality wouldn't let me leave it alone.  Finally, on my pinkie I erased some wrinkles.  I don't always do this, it just depends on how obsessive I am being at the time of editing.

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!

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 Next I want to share my nail/blogging resolutions.  Maybe it will keep me on track this year.
  • 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.
So there you have it, confessions and resolutions.  Did you find anything interesting?  Any good tips for any of my resolutions?  Is editing my pics the way I do "cheating" or "untruthful"?  If you blog, do you edit your pics?

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!

Tina     

 








50 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed reading this! I wouldn't have known you edit your pictures, means you do a good job! I used to use a blemish fix on my photos, when I had my old camera. Since I swapped cameras the picture quality difference is so great that if I try to fix a picture it looks obvious, plus the app I use has changed I noticed that it pulls colour from nails and uses that to fix blemish. It is easier for me to photograph from a different angle than mess around! It is also much less time consuming not to bother.

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    1. Thanks so much for reading! I know if I had computer design training and the right program, I would be able to do all the wrinkle erasing I wanted with little time or effort. I just can't justify getting the training just to do my blog....just like I can't justify getting a nail tech cert to be able to purchase polish at Cosmoprof (tee hee)

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  2. I enjoyed reading this, too. One of the things stopping me from starting a blog is my hands. I constantly look at them and see where I need to work on something. I'm glad I'm not the only one, lol.

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    1. We are our greatest critics! Don't let it stop you! There are some very popular blogs out there with some imperfect nails/hands (and I follow several). It is all about the polish and art after all!

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  3. Tina Dahling! Please don't hate your hands, they are a part of YOU. They may show stops in your journey thru life, but that's ok...really! (says the 45 yr old w/hands that would make Rand McNally jealous lol) That said, I wish I could edit out cat hair etc. LOL I just don't have the skills to do it, so I try to catch them before hand (ouch, bad pun!), position my hands carefully & crop to remove other lil 'uglies'. If I can't avoid something in my pics I either ignore it or make fun of it, but I don't let myself stress over it. I edit to fix lighting & color cuz my phone camera doesn't always capture reality.

    As for age wrinkles: lube, lube, lube! It may not get rid of all our lil lines, but it does help. I keep my SH CE&B plus a bottle of lotion at my desk so I can use them while blogging & surfing. I also keep a tube in the drawer next to my TV chair, so I can lube while I'm sitting there vegging or after a mani. I keep oil in with my mani supplies & use it after every mani. I also get lil sampler tubes of my fav Mary Kay Extra Emollient Night Cream to put in my purse (cuticle oil pens are also great for your purse). I have lotion bottles at every sink. Do I use every one of these, every day & twice on Sunday? Heck no! LOL But having them every where I turn does help to remind me to moisturize several times a day & I can see the difference in my skin when I don't lube often enuf. Oh! You could also keep a sample size in your car to use while waiting. This over saturation method also works for lip balm if chapped lips are an issue. LOL

    If you're unhappy with your blog, change it! If you want to change it to be more like what you see others doing or what you think others want your blog to look like...don't go to all that effort unless it really is what YOU want. Be you, nobody does it better! <3

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    1. Inky - You are always have great words of encouragement. Mary Kay Extra Emollient Cream, I have some of that around! My hubby uses it before bed. *Palm to the forehead* Santa left some Burts Bees cuticle balm in my stocking and this has been my go to at work, but now I need to find some good fragrance free hand lotion as we aren't supposed to use fragranced products at work.

      Yes, I am unhappy with my blog....well, maybe not unhappy, just unsatisfied. I need some social media buttons and a better header. I have an awesome idea for a header, now I just have to figure out how to accomplish it! Thanks for all your support throughout the last year Sweetie!

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    2. You are most welcome! You have inspired me in so many ways, how can I not support you? Without you, I wouldn't have polishicles!!! <3

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  4. I loved reading both parts of your post today! You had an honest voice in the confessions part. While I don't agree with you 100% (I'm more of a I'm-still-a-real-life-person-cuts-and-scraps-and-all) I do edit minor things from time to time as well. E.g. my cat gave me a big scratch on my swatch hand ring finger, thankfully it did heal quickly, but no matter how much I moisturized it the scratch still looked dry and brittle so I edited that.
    And wow, you set yourself some pretty big resolutions. I'm wishing you good luck and good stamina with them. I'm looking forward to your Sunday Stamping manis :)

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    1. Thanks Chester! Too be honest, I figured most people wouldn't agree with me 100%, but I still felt like sharing! I continually have to tell my inner voice to shush when it comes to my perfectionist tendencies. Thanks for supporting me despite my flaw hiding :-)

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  5. What is more important to have in your life is a blogger is that you must be sincere in what you do and honest in what you say. And this post tells me that you have both and it is great! I just know you will go places with your blogging life :) Good Luck with your resolutions for 2014!

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    1. Vinma, thanks for your sweet words of encouragement!

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  6. LOL... you erased wrinkles on your pinkie. LOL I need you to come show me how to erase some wrinkles on my face.
    I love being a blogger and getting to meet and visit so many different blogs .... Love hearing what each of them are up to in their lives.

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    1. Notice I only erased a few and then got overwhelmed and gave up LOL. Thanks for visiting!

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  7. I just found your blog and love it! I <3 nail art!

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    1. Welcome to my obsession! Hope to see you again soon!

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  8. your photos are gorgeous i would never have thought you edited them want program do you use to get them so perfect

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    1. I use a really old version of Photoshop Elements. I think it is 2005 or something. For uncomplicated editing, you can't go wrong with Photoshop Elements! It is uncomplicated, yet has a lot of editing features and an easy learning curve. Plus there are lots of tutorials out there!

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  9. Oh god, you would hate my hands then. With three boys, my poor hands take a beating and I am always covered in bruises and cuts.

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    1. I completely understand! The thing with macro pics is that EVERY little detail is so....well, mountain out of a molehill comes to mind LOL.

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  10. Well let's start with--I can't take a pic to save my life much less edit it--and truthfully I would not know if a pic was photo shopped or not unless told! I also do not even attempt to do my own nails--much less nail art.I do enjoy looking at nail art on others hands and look forward to seeing what you can do!

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    1. Miki, the key to doing your own nails is practice, practice, practice. Believe me, my polish did not look like this when I started!

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  11. There is the trick; not over committing to the challenges or projects. That is the one I struggle with the most. Good luck with all your great resolutions for the next year!

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  12. sounds like your starting to find your blogging grove I have yet to find mine I only been blogging since aug. I took edit photos and love photoshop.

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    1. Amanda, keep it up! I have been blogging for a little over a year and still feel that my groove is a little shallow.

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  13. I wouldn't have even noticed those little things, I'm sure of it. Also, I don't really see the imperfections you're seeing, but aren't we always more critical of ourselves?

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    1. Liz, it is soooo true! A lot of us in the nail art community are a bit OCD (you have to be to if you are obsessed with nail art) so we notice that stuff more readily.

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  14. We all hate something about ourselves. But I really didn't notice anything wonky about your finger. It's a fun story, though :)

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    1. Isn't it though! I am here to entertain (tee hee)

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  15. That is a whole lot of goals. I need to learn to use Instagram too but always take pictures and say - I will post it in a minute never wanting to miss out on what is actually happening to post. Then it does not get posted. I love that you used dog products to soften cuticles, I have heard of people using stuff to harden horse hoofs for years to harden nails so why not!

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    1. I am the same way with Facebook, Jennifer! I hop on to post what is on the blog and an hour later I still haven't accomplished it! I now post before I look at my feed!

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  16. I've only recently started reading your blog. I did not notice the Photoshop lol but since your reason for editing your pics are legit (to me) I won't hold it against ya! Oh how I wish I had ocd when it comes to certain things.

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    1. Thanks for the forgiving attitude Marielle! And watch what you wish for sweetheart!

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  17. Better late than never with your year in review. I could sense your sincerity and honesty in your writing. Great post

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    1. Thanks Casa! I am always of the better late than never point of view....meaning I am usually late (tee hee)

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  18. I think it is perfectly fine for you to edit your photos if you need to remove imperfections. At the end of the day, we just care about looking at your beautiful nails.

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  19. Haha! I think we all use Photoshops - I don't before, but I use to work on photoshops more often now.

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    1. Photoshop is my sanity builder/tearer down.

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  20. Lol, Dog supplies can be tested on humans :) love this post got a great giggle thank you

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    1. Teresa, glad to give you a giggle!

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  21. Lol thanks for sharing i had a giggle until you hurt your finger ouch...i hate my hands and my nails having a horse and other animals they are always getting broken and my hands scratched up.thats without the mischief the kids get me into lol.Also if you are not happy with the layout and design of your blog change it make it the way you want it it took me forever to sort my blog out and i am not 100% on it still,i look forward to seeing how you get on :-)

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  22. Wow, very interesting to know about the conditioning oil for the dogs. Too bad, they don't make it anymore, bummer.

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  23. Thank you for confessions. I like your honesty... losing a part of you to porn. ..stuff like that :)

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  24. I think its perfectly ok to edit. Coming from a professional photographer, my brides thank me for getting rid of imperfections!

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  25. That was cool about the conditioner oil for the dog. I won't mind using it too if I'm getting the result that I wanted. Goodluck to your resolutions for the New Year! :)

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  26. I think after the first year it is great to look back and see what you are happy with and make changes. I am starting my fourth year and am still making changes!

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  27. Becoming more involved in instagram...now there is one I can get on board with. I have a hard time really utilizing it and I would like to do more with it. But sometimes I just don't get the draw.

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  28. Wow! If you hadn't mentioned about the photo shopping I wouldn't have noticed. I think that your pics are pretty nice and you always do a great job. Good luck with all the plans for 2014 and can't wait to see what your new design would look like when you get the one you're happy with.

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  29. I have to admit, I usually use an editing tool on my photos too. Wish I knew how to use photoshop though!

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