Yesterday marked a full year since I started this blog. The whole thing began with a pill that helped me stop biting my nails, and with a few vlogs that helped me feel like less of a weirdo. I still haven’t gotten any better at waking up early to get dolled up for work. I can wake up and be at work 30 minutes later, and I don’t work from home. That’s definitely something I’d like to work on in the next year of this blog, but I won’t knock my progress for the first year. I started out with lots of Covergirl and NYC, because when you’re new to makeup, it seems like you can do the most experimenting and practicing with the inexpensive products. I subscribed to ipsy in hopes that I would find new and exciting things, and many times I did. One of the biggest things I learned was that having the right tools makes all the difference. It’s the difference between feeling like you try too hard to look okay, and having people ask you for lessons.
My nails have gone through quite a wild year too. I still refuse to have acrylics put on, because I’ve heard that they can be quite damaging to the nail beneath, so you either have to maintain them or live with gnarly nails until it grows back. For someone who has struggled with nailbiting for 30+ years, to have strangers compliment my natural nails makes my heart swell every time. Longer nails take more care, for sure, but this has also been a learning process. I learned that manicure sticks saved me from biting off unpainted nails. Instead of biting, just clean under the whites to release stress. Another weird thing I learned as my nails grew out is how much I used to type with the top edge of my fingers. It’s an unpleasant experience to jar your nail bed as you type, so I had to adjust. What ended up happening was a more elegant posture that made me feel ultra feminine. But accidents do happen, and when you have thin nails, you bend them backwards from time to time. Eventually, you’re going to have a casualty or two. Keep a file handy, or at least some blue jeans to smooth down the edge until you get home. Another touching experience is when a friend comes to you to say “Look! I grew my nails out.”
As I improved my makeup game, I realized my hair was still a major tragedy, and I swore that I’d do something with it this year. Oh boy, that’s been exciting. I even did some tight curls to see what that would be like. My biggest assets at this time have been leave-in conditioners and dry shampoos (oh, and Manic Panic). This is another case where strangers will comment on my hair. “Mermaid hair!” one girl said, “I bet you hear that a lot.” I don’t think I could get away with full mermaid hair, but it’s a lovely thought.
This year has had its share of misadventure too. ALWAYS do a skin test! If you’re using a new skin or hair product, if you’re using a product that you haven’t used in several years, or if you’re using the same product from a different brand assuming that they have the same chemicals, skin test! Rashes suck. Also, know the best temperature for your makeup. Stuff your mascara in your bra while you do your makeup so that it’s soft and ready to apply, pop gel pencils in the freezer before sharpening so they don’t fall apart.
I’ve also learned that some things are worth the splurge and some things you’re better off getting from the drugstore. Revlon makes great lashes; they’re flexible, lightweight, and easy to apply. I’m also continually impressed by e.l.f. products (though I think it’s a little weird that they sign you up for a magazine sub if you order from their website). You can also make your own makeup or support indie brands. The one major guilty splurge I’ve found so far is Laura Mercier tightline cake eyeliner. Seriously. Paired with tubing mascara and basically any eyelid primer, you will never have raccoon eyes again.
After writing a few subscription box reviews, I started to get good feedback on the thought I put into the review process, so in February, I started signing up for product review programs like Influenster, BrandBacker, and BzzAgent. This is an excellent way to find out what works for you if you don’t know where to start.
Overall, this has been a very educational year in my life. Thank you for being a part of it! If you haven’t followed my blog, but found anything interesting or entertaining here, please do ❤