Here is my last look back at 2014, condensed into one post so as not to prattle on too much! I've picked my favourite collections, favourite nail art and rounded up some blogging highlights (along with a lowlight or two) and made some blogging resolutions for 2015 (that's a lie, I totally haven't).
Favourite Nail Art
Never an easy one, and I've ended up choosing 10. Surprisingly they're not necessarily the ones that got the best reaction from readers, but they're definitely the ones I like the most!
Less Than or More Than?
Framed Neon Gradient
Gradient & Lace
Nailvengers Assemble: Halloween
Fruit Salad Gradient
Leather 'N Leopard
Bear in mind these are my favourite out of the ones I'VE swatched this year, not my favourites out of ones I think look pretty but haven't tried!
Models Own Polish For Tans
As I look back at these, it makes me excited for Summer to come back around! They may have been a little tricky to apply due to the extra bright neon formula, but it's totally worth it as they're beautiful and you'd be hard pushed to find anything brighter for your nails. I wore nothing but this collection on my holiday to Turkey!
Barry M Gellies - Summer & Autumn/Winter
I couldn't decide between the Summer and Autumn/Winter collections, so they both get a mention. The Summer collection brought an unusual mix of brights and neutrals, and gave us Coconut, which made it into my top ten polishes list! The Winter collection brought fabulous retro shades which I used in a lot of nail art, and of course gave us Mustard, which also made it into my top ten list.
I adored this collection, it's always a nice change to see glitters that aren't just toppers! There's so much going on in them, they're easy to apply and each colour is stunning.
China Glaze Off Shore
I swatched all 12 of these and it was a bit of a strange mix (some matte, some glossy) and the formulas varied, though most were perfect. I fell in love with the range of colours though, the greens especially!
It's been quite a good year for my blog in general. I've gained friends and followers across the board, had the opportunity to do some wonderful things and I learned how to take decent macro shots! My main highlight is of course the release of Unicorn, my piCture pOlish collaboration shade! I really felt like I'd made my stamp as a blogger with that, and I'll always be proud of it.
Other highlights include:
- Becoming a regular blogger for some brands that I truly admire
- Being taken for lunch in London by Rimmel, along with The Nailasaurus, One Nail To Rule Them All and Dahlia Nails
- Going along to a Coty press day and being spoiled rotten!
- Creating tutorials for Barry M
- Being given the exclusives on some collections from Models Own
- Becoming The Lacquer Lab's resident swatcher
- Getting a fabulous, simple, user-friendly layout that I'm really happy with!
- Hosting some amazing guest posts while I was on holiday from One Nail To Rule Them All, Dahlia Nails, Nailz Craze, Polly Polish and Nails by Danielle T
All in all it's been great! I do feel I must mention a lowlight though...
Towards the end of 2014 I really lost my confidence as a blogger. There was a month or two where I came very close to giving it up completely. I'm still not entirely sure what killed my confidence, but I suddenly hated my photography, my nail art, what I was writing...pretty much everything I did. You might have noticed I really haven't been posting as much the past few months, and that's a big reason why (also being a little more busy in my personal life) and I'd be lying if I said my confidence is truly back.
I'm very lucky in that I've made some supportive friends in this community, and they've picked me up with kind words and basically telling me to stop being so silly! It's probably down to them that I didn't quit. My confidence hasn't returned to what it once was, and I still don't know if and when it will, but I'm not giving up. So, there'll be no resolutions from me this year other than to power on and do my best.
What I'm looking forward to in 2015
Collections, collections, collections! I can't wait to see what my favourite brands do this year. Will this be the year we get a true yellow Gelly from Barry M!? (please!) are any mainstream brands going to go indie on us and maybe release some multichromes or flakies? Barry M has never made a neon collection, will we see that this year? So many possibilities! I'd love to see affordable quick dry top coats from some of the popular mainstream brands, too.
Things that can stay in 2014!
HOLOGRAPHIC POLISH! Please, no more holo. I really have never understood the fascination, and while I've swatched some and appreciated them, I wouldn't care if I never swatched another (this doesn't apply to scattered holo, I'm a fan of those) I swear the people that lose their minds over it must spend their life under direct sunlight or LED lighting.
Ok, that's enough restrospect!
Let me know your thoughts on this post, and if there's anything in particular you'd like to see in 2015/leave in 2014!