Happy New Year! I've been enjoying various bloggers "Best of" or "Top 10/20" lists over the last few weeks. Of course, I got a few more polish lemmings as a result of looking at all the awesome pix of the polishes which somehow I had missed or didn't know I needed during the course of the year! I knew that a Best Of list would be far too ambitious for me....how would I ever be able to narrow down so many awesome polishes or plates or favourite blogs or manis......but I did love reading other bloggers favourites. I did take part in a few blogger questionnaires on the matter which was fun! So while I have no Best of or Top 10 lists, what I did come up with is a list of few highlights during 2013 which I thought I'd share. Here they are in no particular order!
1. Stamper Decals
Credit has to be given to Julia at Messy Mansion for the stamper decal.....she is the first that I know of that posted the method, and it has taken stamping to a whole other level in my humble opinion! Stamper decals are a game changer for anyone who stamps as it added a lot of versatility, colour and a multidimensional look to images! I wish I did stamper decals more often but they take a bit of time and planning....both of which I don't do a whole lot when I sit down most times to do my nails. But well worth the effort when they are used.
2. Sand/Texture Polishes
Love, love, love texture polishes! I know that some bloggers picked their favourite brands but I can't even do that...I love them all and want them all (and I think I own them all...no wait, Perfect has some textures that I haven't made their way to my stash yet...oh and Dance Legend...and I only have a few of the Barry M's......ok, I own a lot of them, but not all them!) I like both the sparkly textures and the plains....great uses for both when doing mani's. I really look forward to the new colours that may come out in 2014.....I hope this isn't a trend that fades any time soon!
3. MoYou Plates
Even if you don't own any of the MoYou UK plates, you at least have seen them posted out and about the blogesphere. The MoYou plates are like nothing that has been released in the past and some of the full size images are like works of art on a stamping plate....however, these plates can be a little challenging on how to figure out placement on the nail. MoYou has been releasing new plates on a fairly regular basis; I'm sure they will continue this trend in 2014. My only wish for 2014 is that they address the sizing issue of images on the plates. Some of the XL images are wayyyyy too large for nails, but to address this, they do another plate with the same images but smaller in size. However, in some instances, the images are wayyyyy too small for nails. And in some instances, the smaller images are still too large to fit on a nail! There needs to be a more happy medium of image sizes IMHO!
4. Digit-al Dozen
I guess it's just been a little over a year since I was asked if I'd be interested in joining the Digit-al Dozen and oh, what an experience it has been! It is hard to believe that I am part of the uber talented group of ladies that form the DD. Most mani's, I feel that the caliber of what I produce is so much lower than the rest of the ladies. I mean, I just stamp...and not perfectly by any means! There is a little skill to it but not the skill level needed for the awesome freehand work that most of the other ladies do. Their creativity and colour schemes are at a higher level than anything I could ever produce! I have loved being part of the group; it has challenged me to come up with more creative mani's (not sure who successful I've been at this though!) and the challenges take me out of my comfort zone and gives me ideas for mani's that I may not otherwise have done, which has been a plus. Every challenge is a challenge for me....I look forward to an exciting 2014 with the ladies in the group!
5. Meeting Other Polish Fanatics
I had the pleasure of meeting fellow polish lovers a couple times this year. I flew to Las Vegas at the end of June and met up with a few other polish lovers and shopped for lots and lots and lots of polishes. When we weren't talking polish, or shopping for polish, or eating new and interesting foods, or trying to stay cool in the excessive heat, we went to a few shows, fought against the masses of teenagers exiting the Justin Bieber concert around the same time we were exiting another show at the same hotel as well as seen some of the local sights.....did I mention we shopped for lots of polishes? I still have to do a post about this but in the meanwhile, you can see Frazzle and Aniploishes post here.
Nailxchange and I met up with KarenD of Frazzle and Aniploish in Leamington this fall as mentioned in my post here (I also think this blog post has the sole distinction to not receive one comment!) While we didn't meet Pam from Girly Bits, it was awesome to see all the Girly Bits in real life. It's always a lot of fun meeting up with other polish fanatics and talking about all the polishes. But as much fun as it is to talk polish with the ladies, it is also great to meet them in person, put a face behind a moniker and get to know them further on a more personal level including interests and other things we do when we aren't polishing our nails or buying more polishes! I hope to be lucky enough to meet up with other nail fanatics in 2014!
6. Indie Polish Makers
The indie polish makers continue to create amazing polishes in every colour and finish imaginable! I have so many favourites....Pahlish, KBShimmer, Smitten, Darling Diva, Elevation, Girly Bits, Lynnderella, WingDust Collections, Literary Lacquers, Shimmer Polish, Contrary, CrowsToes, Hare, Pretty Serious, Different Dimensions, Nail Pattern Boldness, Emily de Molly, Liquid Sky, Lacquistry, Too Fancy Lacquer, Pretty & Polished, NailNation3000, Cirque and Oopsie Daisies to name a few (but not all! This is why I can't do Best of or Top 10 Lists lol!) While it seems that these are a long list of favourites, I have a wish list of even more brands and have some brands on hand that I haven't tried yet to know if they are a fave! One thing is for sure; indie polishes are where it's at! I can't wait to see what 2014 brings!
7. Duri Rejovicate
I made the change to Duri Rejovicate around April this year after being a long time faithful user of Sally Hansen Nail Quencher. I was relatively happy with Nail Quencher; my nails seemed healthy and strong but the biggest issue that I had that didn't seem to ever go away was nail peelies, so I made the switch. I didn't keep track of when they went away, I just know they haven't been an issue for some time so obviously the change was good! (Now, what to do with the 20 bottles of SH Nail Quencher that I squirreled away?)
8. Nail Pattern Boldness Glitter A-Peel
Oh, I love my glitter! But don't love glitter removal by any means. Glitter removal has always been a pain in the arse. It was terrible way back before the foil method was made popular but not much better even with the use of foil. I just find the foil method is super drying of my skin and nails, nor do I like the sound or feel of the foil on my hands either. My nail friend, nailxchange, swears by the rubber thingys and while they work well, it still is a pain cutting the cottons to usable sizes and then the time wait for the glitter to loosen enough. I heard about NPB Glitter A-Peel and picture polish Revolution around the same time; I'm pretty sure I ordered them both in the same order via llarowe. I tried Glitter A-Peel shortly after and what a difference; the glitter just pops off with a small amount of pressure of an orange stick. I've used it many times now and it is my go to glitter bomb removal base. I've also tried pp revolution since then and prefer Glitter A-Peel over it. Major game changer to me in terms of glitter removal! If anyone hears that the product is being discontinued, please, please, please, someone let me know so I can hoard large quantities of it!
The hubs and I celebrated our 20th anniversary in September; I don't think that that we have vacationed by ourselves in at least 18 years (since kids joined the family) so it was a rare treat that we were able to take an Alaskan cruise in September. It was a trip that was on both of our bucket lists and was not a disappointment by any means. I have always wanted to see whales in their natural habitat and was not disappointed....seen orca's and many, many whales....not to mention other wildlife! Phenomenal scenery as well. One day, I'll have to get around to sharing more pix but here are a few pix taken on our trip.
(If pix of Alaska interest you, it may be suggested to check out Living in Alaska blog and the out of this world photography of Susan Stevenson!.)
I've had the Mango squishy stamper for several years...maybe 3?...more of less?....but it was by no means my favourite stamper as my stamper of choice has always been the clear Konad stamper. There have since been several other suppliers of squishy stampers and I've bought and/or been gifted a few different ones. Over the past 4ish months, I've been sampling the ones I have with varying degrees of success (why is that that some squishy stampers work with some plates but not others?) Anyway, when a squishy stampers does work, it is nail heaven....I personally find that some of the more finicky to apply images or less forgiving images like lines can be applied better as you can line them up better and place your nail into the stamper versus rolling it on (but I still get it off lots lol!) The squishy stamper also goes down right to the tips of my nails and down to the curves on the sides which are other benefits. I can't be throwing away my go to Konad stamper anytime soon because not all images work well with the squishy stamper, and I still use it when my nails aren't as long, but squishy stampers certainly have been an improvement for anyone who stamps. There have also been some gals report that the squishy will pick up images from plates that their other stampers (Konad) didn't work before....so I guess it is good to have a few different stampers in any event. I have a favourite squishy that I was gifted a long time ago and am now trying to figure out where I got it from and then buy many backups!
11. Pinterest/Social Media
Somehow, CNF pinterest has over 10,000 followers on pinterest!. I have absolutely no idea how this happened.....I can only surmise it is the power of FB sharing. But by leaps and bounds, this is the greatest number of followers I have on any type of media (ahem....hello to CNF's 10 twitter followers lol!). A couple months ago, CNF ventured into FB as well as instagram and twitter. I find it hard to keep up and post so many different places and I still wonder if one is following all the different medias or just one, so have to come up with a better balance what to post where. Regardless, pinterest exploded in a very short time to numbers higher than I ever thought possible. That being said, regardless how anyone follows CNF....pinterest, GFC, bloglovin, twitter, FB or instagram, I thank you for checking it out! While this isn't pinterest specific, I do wish to say that I've met and interacted with some incredible ladies since the start of blogging, not to mention completing amazing swaps (greatest invention ever!!!) and just learned so much from reading various blogs or belonging to various groups....thank you so much!
A few Goals
I'm not a great resolution maker but I do have a few goals; some nail related and others, not so much. I want to eat healthier and exercise more (and hopefully lose weight in the process but that's not the goal; the eating better and more exercise is). Travel out of country at least once a year. Work less. Spend less money/save more. Get more sleep. Less FB and internet surfing; hopefully the trade will off to less internet will be to read more (and not until 4 am!) I do my nails a lot so there is no related goal needed but I need to get the mani's I do posted...I think right now, I have 36 draft mani's and I know I have pix of many more that haven't been uploaded yet. Spend more time with my kids before I'm an empty nester; teach them to cook wholesome, homemade meals so they aren't eating out once they leave home! Declutter the house and get better organized. Take all my vacation time! Try a few mani methods that I've never done yet...waterfalls, marbling...probably more, but I can think of those off the top of my head. Attend CosmoProf 2014 in Las Vegas....I'm not in the biz and have no idea about how to go about this if not in the biz, but really want to attend! Use my untrieds...I know I have a lot of incredible polishes but so many have never made it to my nails! Have a blog sale....I've needed to do this for some time now and I hope I can find the time in 2014 to get a sale posted! And lastly, after reading this post, maybe in 2014, I'll learn to be less wordy!
I'd love to hear about your 2013 highlights and/or goals!
Have a fabulous 2014! Thanks for looking!