30 December 2013

Year in Review: The Best of Will Paint Nails for Food for 2013

Hi everyone! I got  back from my holiday vacation late Saturday night, and after a lazy Sunday of watching Angel and eating holiday cookies, I figured it was high time to get some end of the year posts out. I've been wanting to do a year in review post since my blog anniversary at the end of November, but it got delayed and somehow it just seemed fitting to save it until the end of the calendar year.

I've gone through 13 months of blogging and picked out my favourite posts from each month. Since I didn't do a round up post last year, I've also included what I did in December of 2012. These aren't the most popular posts in terms of page views - instead they represent important milestones, nail art breakthroughs, and manis that just stood out.

So read on to find out my picks for each month! And maybe some of these are your favourites as well...

27 December 2013

Guest Blog Post at Work Play Polish

Hi everyone! My nail art was recently featured in a guest post at Work Play Polish. I’ve admired Leslie’s blog for some time now, so I’m very honored to have this opportunity. Not only that, this guest post series was put together to support a great cause, making this an even more positive experience.

Holiday mosaic nails

26 December 2013

Renaissance Cosmetics End of Year Sale

Hi everyone! This is just a quick post to let you know that my indie brand, Renaissance Cosmetics, is having an end of the year sale. Everything is 15% off from today December 26th until December 31st. I don't know when we'll be able to have another sale, so if you've been thinking about trying Renaissance Custom Lacquer, now is the time! The shop can be found here.

If you are looking for some inspiration, there's some photos after the jump!

25 December 2013

Girly Bits Get Weaponized and Merry Christmas!

Hi everyone! Merry Christmas if you celebrate, and if you don't, I hope you had a relaxing day of movies and Chinese food! It seems odd to be wearing a polish with such an aggressive name for my Xmas mani, but I couldn't have asked for something more perfect, or gorgeous. It also was the ideal base for some snowflakes so make sure to check out the full post.

Girly Bits Get Weaponized

24 December 2013

Girly Bits Auld Langs Wyne

Hi everyone! Recently Girly Bits Cosmetics released its Holiday 2013 collection, which consists of four perfect holos in very appropriate holiday colours. And you have a chance to win them in my blog anniversary giveaway! Recently I've been more restrained in my nail polish spending, so I only picked out one of the polishes from the collection, but I couldn't be more happier. If you can only get one polish from this collection, Auld Langs Wyne would be a great choice!

Girly Bits Auld Langs Wyne

23 December 2013

Will Paint Nails for Food Turns One and It's Giveaway Time!!

Hi everyone! A few weeks ago, I quietly celebrated one full year of blogging with a pat on the back and a status update on my Facebook page. On November 30, 2012, I published my first post on this blog, and since then there's been many, many hours poured into this hobby of mine: countless sleep-deprived photo-editing sessions, many nail art frustrations and breakthroughs, many self-doubts, and lots of support from readers and fellow bloggers. Support that I'm incredibly grateful for of course!

21 December 2013

Four Weeks of piCture pOlish: Week Four, A Voodoo Ruffian

Hi everyone! This is my last post for this piCture pOlish miniseries. I'll admit that I saved Voodoo for last because initially it didn't really catch my eye like the others. In the bottle it looks like a brown shimmer polish. It wasn't until I swatched this polish that I realized I made a mistake overlooking this one. If you love vampy dark colours, Voodoo definitely deserves a place in your collection.

piCture pOlish Voodoo

Check out the rest of this post for swatches and some shimmery nail art perfect for holiday parties!

18 December 2013

Beginner Blogger's Bootcamp: Week Nine: Staying Motivated and Wrapping Up

The Beginner Blogger's Bootcamp is a series of posts published once a week on Monday (or Tuesday) evenings. It is designed for new bloggers, those thinking of starting a blog, or seasoned bloggers wanting a refresher, and covers everything from starting a blog to photographing your nails to using social media. Check out past posts in this series.

Hi bloggers! This is our last post of the series, can you believe it!! I'm almost teary-eyed, this series has been a part of my blogging life for the past two months. I have enjoyed reading all of your comments and hearing about how you've enjoyed the series and/or found it useful. I've been thinking about how I can take this series to the next level, but for that I need your help. I've included a short survey at the end and it would mean a lot to me if you took 5-10 minutes to fill it out. You don't even have to give detailed feedback, any feedback would help.

Before we get started, I have a quick announcement: If you participated in the group critique and haven't received any feedback, please leave a comment with your blog name (links are not necessary, just the name you signed up with) and let me know that you're still looking for feedback!! Since it is hard for me to visit and give feedback on 70 blogs, I will make sure to visit anyone who hasn't received any feedback.

Today's post is on how to stay motivated, and further resources for learning about blogging. Motivation is a key thing when it comes to blogging. Some bloggers just have enthusiasm spilling out all over the place: they can post all the time, sometimes multiple times a day, be involved in multiple challenges and groups, do reviews, and still not get tired of blogging. For most of us we will struggle at some point to keep up with blogging.

16 December 2013

Four Weeks of piCture pOlish + The Digit-al Dozen Does Red, Gold, and Green

Hi everyone! Along with falling behind on my posts for the Digit-al Dozen this week, I also fell behind on my piCture pOlish posts. I tend to dislike publishing posts that serve a dual purpose, for some reason it feels like cheating for me. However, the ladies at piCture pOlish sent me the gorgeous red O'Hara, and it was perfect for this week's Digit-al Dozen challenge.

piCture pOlish O'Hara

So this week's piCture pOlish post features the O'Hara in a holly design inspired by one of my favourite nail artists Lindsey at Wondrously Polished.

15 December 2013

The Digit-al Dozen Does Red, Gold, and Green: Day Two: A Classic Holiday Gradient

Hi everyone! You may have noticed (or not!) that I didn't published many posts for The Digit-al Dozen challenge this week. The prompt was red, gold, and green, but because of my work with my day job (teaching assistant) and my dissertation, it was just impossible for me to do any nail art this week. So I have one post for you today, and I'll have one more tomorrow, then I'm giving up on this challenge.

This design is super easy but perfect for the holidays. I've used two Renaissance Custom Lacquer polishes to do a gradient that is very classic and shimmery!

13 December 2013

Polished by Alexandra, Winter 2013: Holiday Traditions

Hi everyone! I have the latest collection from Polished by Alexandra for you tonight. If you haven't seen my previous posts about this brand, you should know that Alexandra started selling soaps and other bath and body products through her shop Soaps by Alexandra, opened in 2011. Earlier this year she moved into making indie polishes, also sold out of the same shop. And she's a professional classical opera singer!

This is my third collection I've reviewed from this brand, and I'm happy to see the development in Alex's work. While the summer collection contained some bright cremes and sheers, and the fall collection had rich shimmers, this collection offers you some classic crellies, and shimmery duo/multichrome polishes.

Polished by Alexandra, Winter 2013: Holiday Traditions

12 December 2013

The Beauty Blog Coalition Winter Giveaway

Hi everyone! I'm happy to announce that I'm participating in a huge multi-blogger giveaway! You may have seen this posted on other blogs, but if not, it's your lucky day! I do hope that all of my readers will take advantage of this. If you have any questions please email me or leave a comment below. And good luck!

11 December 2013

The Digit-al Dozen Does Red, Gold, and Green: Day One: Lynnderella Spumoni

Hi everyone! This month's Digit-al Dozen nail art week started yesterday, but I missed it on account of the Beginner Blogger's Bootcamp post. So it looks like I'll be playing catch-up later this week! The theme of red, gold, and green obviously ties into the upcoming holidays. And despite the fact that I generally like holiday-themed nail art, I'll admit that I'm finding this week hard in terms of coming up with unique nail art ideas.

Lynnderella Spumoni with water marble accent nail

10 December 2013

Beginner Blogger's Bootcamp: Week Eight: Navigating Social Media

The Beginner Blogger's Bootcamp is a series of posts published once a week on Monday evenings. It is designed for new bloggers, those thinking of starting a blog, or seasoned bloggers wanting a refresher, and covers everything from starting a blog to photographing your nails to using social media. Check out past posts in this series.

Hi bloggers! If you're interested, and haven't already done so, don't forget to check out the group critique launched last week. I'm so overwhelmed by the very positive response to this experiment and the many good things I've seen come out of this so far. There's still time to sign up, and if you've already signed up but haven't visited any blogs, don't forget to give feedback! There's still some blogs that haven't received any feedback.

Now on to this week's topic...social media. I definitely have a love/hate relationship when it comes to social media. On the one hand, it can be a great distraction, and I encounter lots of a talented bloggers and nail artists that I might not otherwise have found. On the other hand, it seems to be the necessary evil of blogging. In my experience, it takes a considerable amount of time to update each account and it is difficult to keep up with everything being posted and to separate the unique content from the noise.

The purpose of this post is to get you to think about how you use social media as a blogger, and how you might develop a social media strategy. By social media strategy I just mean a way to develop unique content across multiple social media platforms.

09 December 2013

L'Hiver, The Perfect Backdrop for Holiday Ornaments

Hi everyone! Another week, another entry for the Nail Polish Canada Holiday Nail Art Challenge. The theme for this week was decorations, and I'll admit it was pretty difficult to try and come up with an interesting slant for this one. However, I was able to use some polishes from my indie line, Renaissance Custom Lacquer, so I'm very proud of the results.

Holiday ornaments nail art

08 December 2013

New Polishes from Renaissance Custom Lacquer

Hi everyone! I haven't blogged for a few days, but behind the scenes I've been very busy. My sister and I have been working to get new polishes in the shop and I was finally able to release them today. All of these polishes are currently available at Renaissance Cosmetics. You can also go to the shop to see more swatch photos.

Renaissance Custom Lacquer Evenstar

I'll be sending these to some bloggers so that you can get some unbiased reviews, but in the meantime if you have any questions about finishes, formulas or whatever, please ask!

05 December 2013

China Glaze Dash of Dazzle Set: Swatches, Nail Art, and Review

Hi everyone! For the holidays China Glaze has released a number of small gift sets of polishes. They are great stocking stuffers, and so I was fortunate that Nail Polish Canada sent me one of the sets for review. The Dash of Dazzle set contains three polishes from the Happy Holi-Glaze collection - Bells Will Be Blinging, Mingle With Kringle, and So Blue Without You. (Note: In my initial review I forgot to mention that all three are full-sized polishes) The three polishes complement each other perfectly and they are great for doing festive nail art.

China Glaze Dash of Dazzle set

But first let's take a look at some swatches...

04 December 2013

Four Weeks of piCture pOlish: Week Two: A Whimsical Skittlette

Hi everyone! Another week, another gorgeous piCture pOlish shade to share with you. When I was asked by the ladies at piCture pOlish if there was any polish in particular that I wanted to review, Whimsy was my choice - and do you blame me!? This collaboration shade with Neverland Nail Blog is so stunning that I had to show you swatches and some simple nail art, so make sure to check out the full post!

piCture pOlish Whimsy

03 December 2013

Beginning Blogger's Bootcamp: The Group Critique - Hurry, Sign Up!!

Hi Bloggers! I'll be back later (either tonight or tomorrow) with a post on social media, however, I want to post this before it gets too late. Reading about blogging is very useful when you are building your blog. So too is following blogs that you admire and learning from what they do. But feedback on what you're doing is essential. Without feedback, how are you supposed to know what you are doing right, and what needs improvement?

When I started the Beginning Blogger's Bootcamp I knew from the beginning that I wanted to have an interactive component. It is essential for learning. If you are interested in participating (and I encourage all of you who have been following to participate), you will need to sign up ASAP - the deadline to sign up is December 12th. I would like to finish this series before the holidays when people start to take off. Also, I figured if I ran the group critique over a longer period of time, the people who signed up later would not get as much feedback as the people who signed up earlier.

01 December 2013

A Snowy Country Landscape + Tutorial

Hi everyone! I created this design for the Nail Polish Canada 2nd Annual Holiday Nail Art Challenge. Each week there is a new challenge, with the challenge for this first week being snow! I'm very excited to be participating in this year's challenge, because last year I heard about it too late and wasn't able to participate. There's some stiff competition but I'm hoping that will just up my A-game! ;)

Snowy country landscape nail art

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