Good morning!! Today officially marks one year since I started this leetle blog, and to commemorate, I thought I'd post some big (to me, anyway, lol) moments in LLPT history along with a few things I've learned along the way. So, welcome to my completely narcissistic, self gratuitous, and extremely photo-heavy anniversary post!
My first polish post after I decided to separate my polish blogging from my food was Polished Components Honeysuckle. Enlarge only if you dare. This gal was my first "follower" and gave me my first comment and I was very grateful and, in my mind, off to a roaring start.
This was about three weeks in and possibly one of the worst photoshop jobs done, like, ever. The polish is OPI Royal Rajah Ruby. Maybe I shouldn't broadcast that.
I started out with a dslr and the wrong reasons for blogging, on top of it. I learned early on that the best equipment in the world does not hold a candle to practicing, learning, and figuring it out on your own. As for the wrong reasons, I don't think it's inherently bad to start out with visions of grandeur. I do think it's very naive, and if anyone wants my advice, wanting to see your name come up first on a google search is not a reason to start blogging and you WILL be in for some rude awakenings. Fact.
April 4, 2012. I figured something out with this post! Clearly, it wasn't how to focus.
April 11. NOPI Fresh Squeezed. This was my first in-focus photo and I bumped up my size from medium to large for the occasion, lol.
April 26. L'Oreal Club Prive. I can't even tell you how proud I was of this post. I started learning how to shape my nails a little bit, too.
May was a really big month for growth. First, I voiced all my insecurities about my blogging experience thus far in the interest of documenting the WHOLE journey, including the lumps. I made some great connections, finally got that I needed to do this for me and no one else, and really began to solidify my friendship with this gal, who you may have seen mentioned on here a time or two. ;) That post was an experience that ended up being cathartic, humbling, and uplifting. It's here, in case you're interested in reading another novella, lol.
Also, the dslr broke. Camera phone shot! May 8. OPI Care To Danse?.
It ended up being okay because the point and shoot I had thus far neglected is much more foolproof and I felt the quality of my pictures improve instantly once I wasn't thinking about it so much.
June 4. L'Oreal Rendezvous.
Then I broke a nail, which seemed tragic at the time but was actually the best thing that could have happened because it forced me to learn how to use a file. Also, I got so many compliments on my nubs.
I have not yet mentioned how sweet and supportive the gals in this community are. Yes, you. When I've felt down and self conscious about stuff, there's always been someone there to lift me up and support me and for all the nonsense that floats around in this community, there is kindness in spades and I can't even tell you how much your words have meant and continue to mean to me. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥
Moving on.... ;)
Summer was filled with challenges, and I completed two, Rainbow Favorites, hosted by Bec at Lacquer Dreams, and an ABC challenge hosted by Gosia at Life in Color. Challenges, if you've never done one, are just that, but the camaraderie and friendships you develop doing these things together are second to none (and you get to use some untrieds in your stash... always a bonus!).
But first, it is of the utmost importance that you moisturize your cutes on a several times a day basis and it took forever for this fact to lodge itself into my brain. Do it. Not everything works for everybody. I was doing bi-weekly olive oil soaks when I took this photo, and now I slather on Lush Lemony Flutter every night and Burt's Bees Cuticle Balm as many times a day as I think to. I've got a tin in my smock pocket at work and next to my computer. In my purse is Sally Hansen Cuticle Balm and Eraser, which I'm not in love with, but it serves its purpose.
Rainbow Favorites yellow day was not one of my favorites, lol....
(Essence Wanna Be Your Sunshine)
R & S from the ABC challenge, however, was. Red Sandwich, anyone? lolol. Ahem.
(Ulta Red Carpet Red and Milani Jewel FX in Red)
It should be noted that I also started to get involved with the Beauty Blogazons, a baby blogger bootcamp-style fb group and younger sister to Beauty Blog Coalition, this summer, and I've gained some great technical perspective and a few awesome growth opportunities through their tutelage.
Also, my good friend Candice at Mommy Does Her Nails revamped my page and header to what you see today. She does amazing work and it felt great to finally have a custom header. Never underestimate the power of your own signature, or of a brilliant graphic designer. This one is worth every penny.
I decided to branch out in August and start doing beauty products in general, here and there. L'Oreal Magic Skin Beautifyer BB Cream got the designation of being my first non polish related post, and since then I've had makeup hits (NARS Orgasm blush)...
...and misses (attempting to create eye looks around green mascara).... :/
The important lesson here is to not take yourself too seriously. I don't, and if you've been reading for any length of time, you know I have no conscience about the stuff I post sometimes, lol. I'll leave the perfectionism (and the perks that go with it, haha) to the big gals. ;)
Joby Nail Art actually sent me something to review (my first) and I put that post up in early November.
I was honored and flattered to be asked to review a product, and pressured beyond words to get something worthy of the attention out in the public eye. It's one thing to buy a polish or a nail decoration and say how pretty it is and take your photos and hope for the best, but quite another to know that the whole point of a post is to influence someone to buy their product. It was at once totally exciting and totally terrifying to me.
Dec. 9. Born Pretty Stamping plate. Stamping is not as easy as it looks and I will never understand why this company still wants me to review stuff, lol.
Dec. 27. Deborah Lippmann New Flesh. Clearly, a lightbox will NOT fix all your photography woes...
Jan. 7, 2013. Deborah Lippmann Strange Love. ....but an ottlite just might. ;)
Feb. 12. OPI OY- Another Polish Joke over You're Such A Buda-pest. I'm pretty stoked about this photo for lots of reasons.
So friends, if you've made it this far, I just want to close with a couple things, the first being one last shot of one of my favorite polishes and duos, WetnWild Private Viewing and Julep Emma. I've posted one or both four times over the past year and it's kind of a cool indicator of where I've been at various stages.
Left to right from top-- 3.12.12/4.10.12, 6.6.12/1.21.13.
Last but not least, if you haven't entered mine and Essie's joint blogoversary/friendship appreciation giveaway, you are cordially invited to do so here. Thanks for being you, and for reading this massive post, and I sincerely hope you stick around for the next 365 days!