For every silver lining there has to be a cloud, and whilst this is mostly a positive, happy blog to visit, it also has its fair share of truth.
Today, we take a look at my personal MISSES of the year ....
You've already read the Lost Girls post, but this has been a real area of sadness for me, largely because 2 close friends have disappeared without trace - Missy and Emma, both also of the DD.
Whilst I totally get the need to step away and re-evaluate, or take a break, or stop, I don't think there's any excuse for not letting your friends know you're ok, and in both cases we've been worried, and met with silence.
Sam Biddle Nail Art pen
Oh I was so excited to try this! I saw this on another blog and it looked like all my nail art problems had been answered! A pen for nail art. Yes, a pen, and all the control that provides.
Sadly, despite multiple attempts, I just haven't been able to get it to work. I tried polish, and that wasn't a good idea. Acrylics didn't really work for me either, and then I bought the proper ink for it - and even that didn't work!
I'm still not prepared to totally give up on it, as other people are clearly using it with a lot of success but argh, it's like the first time I met Konad the Barbarian.
Ok, indulge me here whilst I try and not sound like a whingey whiney whingebag. For a little over a year, I was an official blogger for Barry M. I was very proud to fly that flag and I feel I did A LOT to bring Barry to the attention of the US.
In January this year, they changed their PR set-up. Don't worry, the email said, we'll be in touch. Or not. Silence. Despite reaching out several times and by various channels, silence.
So, can I understand a brand changing its PR strategy, of course! Can I understand a brand deciding I may not be the sort of blogger they want to use in future? Yes, I can. What bothers me again, is the rudeness. No "thank you for all your hard work but we're going in a different direction". No "sorry we won't be working with you in future". Just silence, and to me, that's very ignorant.
I also have a not very attractive petulant streak, which is why you haven't seen much Barry on the blog this year. If I'm no longer wanted as an official blogger, I'm not going to provide as much publicity for them, out of my own pocket. You can't have it both ways.
It's been a little bit like being dumped, and then the boyfriend won't answer your calls. Was it you, or was it me????? Either way, we're on a break.
OPI Sheer Tints
Ugh mother of holy messes! I don't know WHAT OPI were thinking here but these polishes were just shit. The colours weren't that special, but worse, they had the consistency of syrup. Impossible to use. Heinous.
Mundo de Unas
Aah, Mundo de Unas, how I coveted thee. The holy grail of stamping polishes, and in more colours than a rainbow. Unfortunately you smelt like shit.
In a genius move, the makers added a bubblegum flavour to disguise the smell, but it's a bit like spraying air freshener after a big pooh - the bathroom still smells like shit, albeit flavoured shit. Muchos disappointas.
OPI have had a mixed year - some great polishes, but a LOT of product. My main issue though, is were they sponsored by the colour red??? How many red polishes can a brand issue in 12 months, especially when it already has a heaving mountain of a back catalogue of reds?
OPI, step away from the reds! If you release more than 1 red polish next year, you should be shot! (Purple though is fine, obviously).
Mostly, indies have had a great year, but there is something I've been noticing in a lot of my polishes which has displeased me. A lot of them are starting to look unmixed in the bottle, with the white base starting to peek through the colours.
I don't know whether this is 1 bad batch, my local environmental factors or just one of those things ... either way, it makes me sad. I know the polish can be shook back up and it will be fine, but ... it doesn't look as pretty! And some of them have been subjected to a LOT of shaking.
Step forward Pretty and Polished, a brand I have always espoused for leading the line rather than following the trend. I've had some of the worst examples with this brand. Massive separation issues, and thermals which didn't change colour.
I'm not an unreasonable woman (unless you're trying to steal my food), so I contacted Chelsea. Quite rightly she asked for photos, and since then ... silence. I know how easy it is to overlook a message, so I sent a polite reminder, and still nothing. P&P is a top brand, and I don't like to think I am being deliberately ignored, but somehow, somewhere, there's a quality issue.
Here's an explanation from another indie maker which may explain the issue. Also, there was a faulty batch of white base at one point, which again may be the culprit.
The green is having 1 of 2 problems. Something I call "Pushing white" where the titanium dioxide gets exposure to a different temperature or humidity than when it was first handled (the polish was created) in cases where the humidity was drier when created, exposure the a higher humidity level will cause the coating on the TiOx to absorb that moisture and expand. In most cases the polish it self is fine. the effected TiOx likes to isolate itself on the sides or bottom of the bottle but the semi expanded TiOx melds with the rest of the polish so the color itself isn't effected. It's still got enough white for the polish to be normal (except for how it looks in the bottle) The second option with this is bismuth oxychloride (BiOCl). It's commonly used for opacity in extra shimmery micas. It likes to bond to itself when there is change, any kind of change (over sheering, temp, humidity, shaking too much) When it bonds it gets heavy and you might see pockets of white on the side (because it can be sticky) or toward the bottom.
Basically polishes don't like change. If you live in an area that is hot, keeping those polishes at a stable temp (60-75), away from sunlight. If you live in cold temps keeping them stable room temp and not shocking them by exposure to open cold (fridge is fine if the threading is clean and the polish itself doesn't get exposed to the cold) because when it get again exposed to a change you will get problems like you live in a hot climate.
We have been seeing a lot of this lately. The particle size of the white pigment (TiOx) was supposed to be super small and it wasn't so the suspension used wasn't enough. It both effected those that use liquid white and those who use titanium dioxide.
So, I love my holos, always have, always will, but man, this year they are starting to wear me down a little. They are EVERYWHERE.
Now, don't get me wrong. There have been some stellar holo collections this year, but even *I* am getting to a point where I can't find anything NEW (and it's all about the new, shiny new).
For me, the sadness is that almost every indie seems to have jumped on this bandwagon (and you can't blame them; this is where the money is), but to the EXCLUSION of all else. By all means release holos, but please, focus on the flecks, the flakies, the shimmers!
Here's to a new year of variety and wonder!