My First PR Sample – What Does This Mean?

It’s just a little talking post today. I’m feeling a little introspective and thoughtful, and just wanted to chat with you guys.

What about?

Well, something exciting happened over here. Over a week ago, a box arrived on my doorstep. It was a box that I had been expecting to come, but I still couldn’t believe it when it actually showed up. I’m not going to lie, when I got the email asking if I wanted to try the product, I thought it was an elaborate hoax and now someone out there had my address. But it was really them, and it really showed up.

As you can tell from the picture above and the title: I got a PR Sample from Sally Hansen.

What’s a PR Sample? It’s a sample that companies will send out, to bloggers and YouTubers, of their product, for that person to test out and talk about. I got a free box of polish from Sally Hansen. They either saw my Instagram or my blog, thought I had a good thing going, and wanted to send me something to show and talk about, whether positive or negative.

It’s still wild to me.

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They sent on over a box of their new Mega Strength polishes – 6 of the shades, a top coat, and their hardener, in this cute little orange box. There will be a full post coming up on these polishes (in the next couple of days) and I’ll talk all about them. But first, I want to talk what this box means for me, and for you all reading. I just want to reflect a little.

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At this point, I’ve been writing on this blog for almost 3 years now (this summer will be the anniversary), and I’ve purchased far too much polish, and will continue to be purchasing too much for years and years to come.

I went into this all because I loved beauty and nail polish. I had tried and failed a couple of times to start a blog, and during the summer of 2016, I said screw it and finally just went for it. I just wanted to talk about something I loved so much. I didn’t have friends in real life really that were as crazy as me about beauty as I was, and I just wanted to talk about it. I just wanted to tell others if something was bad, or good, or just plain fantastic. I wanted to let others know about something before maybe they purchased it too. I was buying it and using it anyways, why not let others know about it?

I never expected PR. I thought maybe hey, someday, that could be cool, just to be able to show more products. But it wasn’t something I went into this for. I couldn’t put this much time and effort into something just for an end goal of free product. You would be able to tell that my passion wasn’t there.  I went into this simply because I was actually was passionate about it and wanted to help people with reviews. I’ve put a lot of hours and effort into this blog, and I still love it, and I’ll still continue on even if I don’t get a single more free product.

But I got this one. So what does that mean overall? What can you guys expect?

I will admit, I was goddamn excited. I was texting friends who have supported me and this blog from the start and almost screaming. I still smile every time I see it sitting on my desk. I’ll probably keep the box for sentimental reasons. It’s a special thing. It may seem small, just one piece of PR. But it’s still my first. I’ve never gotten this before, and you’ve never seen it over here.

And sure, I get PR from a small indie nail polish brand before this. That’s still there, and I’m still forever grateful for that as well. I never want to minimize that experience, and I’ll still be working with that brand because I love it. At this point, it almost feels like me critiquing and giving points to a friend. I’m just helping out a smaller brand as they continue on.

However, this one is Sally Hansen. It’s a bigger brand and a whole different ballgame. It’s a product you can find in drugstores, and I’m one of a bunch of bloggers that it was sent to. It still feels special in a whole new way.

It means I get to try out a product that I was interested in, but that I honesty hadn’t planned on buying for a while, or at all, because of budgeting.

I know it seems like I buy a lot of makeup and nail polish (because I do), and at this point in my life as a single young woman living by herself in the city with a full time job, I’m able to portion out a part of my paycheck each month for fun purchases. But I’m nowhere near rich, and I can’t afford to buy everything that catches my eye currently. I do hold myself back and pick and choose over some things that I wish I could review, but will pass on because there are other brands that I feature more on this blog. I would love to add on more, and hopefully as my budget continues to grow, I can.

So here’s what it really means: this is just another product I get to feature on the blog, and talk about to you honestly. I’m always honest with you guys, and I never will change that. I have your trust at this point, and I can’t ever give that up, even for more free products.

I was even transparent about this in my email accepting these products. I said I would be reviewing them honestly, and the free product doesn’t guarantee a positive review. It never does, and never will. I’m excited about them, but I’ll talk about the formula and any issues openly.

You might just assume all of this already and think this is a pointless post. It’s just something I wanted to get out there, and emphasize, especially for this very first piece of PR. It’s a policy I’ll continue on with, and if I get lucky enough to continue to receive more, I’ll make sure the same transparency is there with every single company. It’s about you guys, and your trust in me in the end.

It’s just something I wanted to talk about, and I’m glad you’re all here with me and supporting me. Without you guys, I wouldn’t even be here talking about this now.

I can’t wait to talk about even more polish with you all.

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Instagram: @GingerlyPolished
Twitter: @GingerlyPolish

My 2019 Goals & Resolutions

This post is entirely too late. I mean, it’s already the 6th of January, and where has the time gone? I’ve sat down and continued honing and crafting this list of goals – to make them more specific, as well as streamline the rambling, and cut down the long paragraphs I originally had as I organized my thoughts (that’s right, this post was EVEN LONGER before this).

It’s the beginning of a new year, so of course (call it cliche if you will) it’s time for a resolutions post. Maybe this post is just for me, maybe you’ll find inspirations, maybe you do really care about what I want to improve this year, and help yell at me when I need to get back on track. Either way, I’ve written down my thoughts to have a record for them, as well as hold myself accountable. They’re defined in terms I know I can accomplish, and organizing makes it seem less overwhelming.

They’ve been split up into 3 categories, with separate goals underneath them. Blog Goals, of course, about my posting on my blog and Instagram. Collection Goals, all about the mass of makeup and nail polish I’ve acquired, as well as other items I own. And Personal Goals, on how I want to make small improvements for myself.

2019 is about being in love with myself, and the things I choose to surround myself with, and being the best possible version of me. I’m the only one who can make these small improvements, and make 2019 the best year yet.

Do you have any resolutions? Keep reading to see mine below, and Happy New Year.

Read More »

#TopicTuesday: Sentimental Polishes

Hello everyone, it’s my very first Topic Tuesday! Topic Tuesday was started on Instagram by Jodi of @jodispolish. Each Tuesday a new question, pertaining to the nail polish community is posted, and anyone can join in! It’s open to all who want to join and you can see everyone who participates by using the hashtag “#topictues” at the end of your post!

This is my first one, and when they were deciding topics for February, I actually suggested this one and it got enough votes to be included for this week! 🙂 So of course, I had to participate. I love always seeing everyone’s answers and learning more about the faces behind the nails. I’ll definitely have to do more of these!

So this week is ‘Sentimental Polishes’, so polishes that have a special meaning to you!

This might be a little longer of a post, but read on to find out more about me!

Read More »

Happy New Years and 2018 Plans for Gingerly Polished

Hello, and happy New Years! It’s crazy to believe it’s already 2018 – and that the time has gone by so fast.

A new year means lots of brand new and exciting opportunities, and a time for resolutions, and that includes for this blog. A little cliché maybe, but I have some big goals for Gingerly Polished, and some many new things ahead.

I know I’ve been behind this year, especially in this last couple of months. Between graduating college, getting a new job and moving, it’s been trying to figure out a new schedule, and working up the motivation to blog after a long day at work.

I still have holiday collections, and even a fall collection to review. I know, very late, but I still want to do them, just even as my own personal feeling of finishing them, better late than never! So I have some “resolutions” for my blog, and my beauty life.

  1. I know I’ve said it many a time before, but I plan on getting my shit a little more together. Posts will definitely be much more timely, and in season. And I plan on posting so much more. I have so many new nail and makeup products that I just want to talk to you about, and I started this blog for my love of nail polish and affordable makeup, and it’s still going to be that.
  2. I also plan on really taking care of my nails and my skin this year. My nails have especially suffered these past few months, as well as my cuticles in the super dry, super cold winter air. So it’s time to really take care of these babies. After all, they’re the stars of my blog. It’s time to treat them better.
  3. It’s time to really dig into my untrieds. There’s far too many lovely polishes stashed away inside my drawers that just need some love. Even if I don’t wear them as full manicures, I can swatch them on my nails to see formulas and colors.
  4. Time to get organized! Time to update my spreadsheets and really keep track of all of the polishes I have, as well as tackle the project of getting them all on swatch sticks. This will help so much with future posts and making comparisons way more accessible and easy to do. I’ll also be doing my best to declutter any polishes and makeup that I don’t truly love. After all, I have too much of a stash already to just keep things that are okay. Gotta stay ahead of the organization. (Not to mention my poor ignored Pinterest page).
  5. Lastly, I really just want to be more bold and daring with my makeup. It’s time to really feel creative and inspired, and get crazy with my looks. I have a brand new obsession with eyeshadow palettes, and let’s just see what they can really do. I’m inspired to really go for colors and wear bold lipstick more and more (luckily with my work I can do this). It’s time to really use all of my collection.

I just want 2018 to be the best year yet for Gingerly Polished, and for all of us lovers of all things nail polish and affordable makeup.

Can’t wait to go along this year with you.

So to start the year off, here’s my manicure for New Years. I don’t often do any sort of nail art or combo, but I definitely loved this, and want to continue even more.

This is a black base with China Glaze’s ‘Fairy Dust’ on the ends, as well as ‘Diamond in the Rough’, also by China Glaze.

NYE-2017

So happy 2018 everyone, and stay tuned for an even more inspired and in love with all things beauty me.

To a new year of Gingerly Polished.

Cheers.

 

Follow me and all the new adventures:
Instagram: @GingerlyPolished
Twitter: @GingerlyPolish
Pinterest.com/GingerlyPolish

Sorry, I’ve been MIA.

Hey guys!

So you might have noticed that I’ve been a little MIA this week. And will be next week. Lemme explain.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m right in the middle of my final semester of college, crazy right? Well, during that senior semester, since I’m a graphic design major, part of the requirements is completing a semester long final project. We’re getting down into the final week of that project, so that means I’ll be super busy.

This means I’m not going to have time to post this next week, or even work on posts. But once this project is completed on April 2nd, I’ll finally be back – and much less stressed.

Until that time hang on with me, I promise I’ll be back and better than ever after that – posting about the new spring collections that have already come out (I know I’m already late but school comes first). So this was just the explanation of my absence, so it’s not just a cold shoulder from me.

I’ll see you all on April 3rd for a new post. Be sure to join me then.

Letting Go of My First Makeup

Do you remember your first makeup?

I still remember the first little eyeshadow palette I got from one of my friends. It was her mom’s, and it had a purple shade right in the middle that I would just smudge into an area to add a “pop of color” into the mess of eyeshadows that I had already applied. It probably didn’t even show up, but you know, that was me experimenting.

I’ve recently been trying to use up a smattering of foundations I have, and I finished up my latest bottle of Revlon Colorstay. This was my who-knows-how-manyth bottle of this stuff, because I absolutely love it for its high coverage.

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And it was the first real foundation I had as a teenager getting makeup. I remember, even back then, researching about the best high coverage foundation, one that would cover up the acne I had, as well as all of the other teenage insecurities.

I remember just caking this onto my face, thinking the best way to cover acne was to just add more layers. It was so heavy, and looked so obvious, but hey it was part of my first attempts at makeup – and something I think everyone has to go through really.

And then the other day while decluttering, I found this super old Contour and Blush kit from BH Cosmetics – truly my first love in brands of makeup, basically all of my brushes that I still use today are from BH Cosmetics. Look how dirty it is – it’s been through so many moves and being tossed from drawer to drawer.

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It’s super old, and you can see where I used the crap out of that stark white shade, and too dark brown contour. I wish I could back and see what I looked like “contouring”. I’m sure it looked a little clownly.

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I remember using that yellow and nude shade to clean up things as well as those blushes all the time. Caking more and more powder on top of already cakey foundation. But now they’re super old, and barely show up in swatches anymore, so it’s time to let it go. I have better contour sets that suit my skin tone as well.

I’m sure BH Cosmetics has changed this palette since then, and it was funny, right after I found it I saw the newest version at my local TJ Maxx the same day. It’s like life was trying to highlight it that day.

So even though I’m letting these things go, it’s always funny to think back on where my makeup journey started – with the muddy, crazy contours, bright unblended eyeshadows, and cakey foundations. They’re nostalgic, and they make me smile. It makes me think of how far I’ve come in my makeup journey, as well as how much more I have to go.

What were some of your first makeup items?

And do you remember some of your “regrettable” first makeup choices? I cringe, then laugh just thinking about mine.

But if anything, they make us who we are today.

 

Find me:
Instagram: @GingerlyPolished
Twitter: @GingerlyPolish
Pinterest.com/gingerlypolish

My Nail Story!

Hello 2017! I can’t wait for this year honestly. I’ll be graduating college, traveling Europe with my 2 best friends, and then moving to Chicago to find a real adult job. It’s going to be crazy, but I can’t wait! Bring on 2017!

So I figured since it’s the start of a new year, it’s only fitting to make my first post of 2017 my nail story! This is the story of how I’ve gotten to the crazy nail polish hoarder I am today. I wasn’t always like this, I swear.

Now as a young child, I always like playing with nail polish. I honestly have no idea where that came from, as my mom never wore it. She’s a nurse, so the constant hand-washing all day every day just wears polish off her hands like no other. So my nail polish was just probably me finding one bottle and just going nuts.

I remember 2 colors I used to have for sure. I have no idea what brand they’re from, and I’m sure they’re long gone by now. But one was a sheer milky pink color, while the other was a bright pink fuchsia. They were in the weirdest shaped bottles, but whatever. I also had a singular OPI, back before I even knew how hyped OPI was. It was just a pretty silver color to me. So my nail polish collection back then was pretty standard – random 6 bottles of polish that I would randomly grab and use every so often.

I remember always wanting to paint my cousin’s nails too – hey there Ellen. So it was obvious that I had a polish hoarder hidden away deep down inside me from birth.

I don’t remember that much after that – until college. My freshmen year, I met my friend Molly. Now Molly had the nail polish stash that everyone wanted. She had a container full of all the colors you could ever want, and I would often go to her room to paint my nails. Maybe I should blame Molly for this?

I also got a job at Starbucks at the end of the year, and would work there for my entire sophomore year and summer after. Now during this time, I couldn’t wear nail polish on my hands because there’s a chance of it chipping in the drinks. So I couldn’t really wear nail polish that often. My friend Sam would tell me she could tell when I wasn’t working for a couple days because I would paint my nails.

But then, before Thanksgiving of my junior year I got my current job in the Marketing department, where I could paint my nails freely as I wanted.

And then I went nuts.

I had my final shift at Starbucks, and went home for Christmas break, and I WENT HAM. Oh my god I bought so many nail polishes.

I think there was something in me that just clicked and I was like, I need to buy everything and put it on my nails. I went to my Rite-aid and just found every discount nail polish I could. I think that was when I started watching nail polish videos? Who knows. But I packed up all my nail polish and headed back to school.

I tried to start a makeup blog a couple of times, and each time it just dropped off. I would honestly try to do it in “secret”, which cracks me up when I think about it now. I would quick take photos of products when my roommates weren’t home, and hurry and put everything back when I saw them coming home. Weird.

I would post nail swatches on Snupps every so often, even before I started my blog. I saw nail blogs and I loved the idea. I just didn’t know how to start, or rather, how to keep up a blog.

From my Snupps:

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Pre-clean up era.

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From January 16, 2016 to January 3, 2017.

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Oh my gosh look at those lil’ stubs. The rough cuticles, the uneven nails, and awkward hand positions. I love looking and seeing how far I’ve come. It was weird that the day I decided to do this, before I started, I just put on the same polish. Maybe it’s my January polish.

Fast forward to the summer before my senior year. I moved into a new apartment with my best friend Sam and I’m just livin’ life. I don’t exactly remember what spurred me to do it, I think because I got the L’Oreal gold dust polishes and all of a sudden I realized I could do a nail polish blog. So I made that first post.

And 6 months, and 300+ polishes later, here I am. I can’t wait to see where this goes, and I’ve loved every second of it.

I’ve learned that no matter what, you just gotta start. It might be scary, but you never learn anything until you just start. Can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store for me.

What’s your nail polish story?