Well, You Might as Well Take Me Out Back and Shoot Me, Now...

Because yes. I have the nerve to be a consumer blogger. 

Hello gentle readers. How are we? Me? I am a tad upset on this lovely Saturday. And this is why. Add this to the mix and I start to fume just a little, tiny bit. 

You see, it all started when I decided to peruse the latest from my fellow polish junkies (meant as a compliment, dearies, meant as a compliment) while waiting for photographs of this morning's manicure to upload from my camera to my computer. I came across Beauty Judy's response to the above referenced article in Nails magazine. After reading Beauty Judy's response, I followed her links and read the original article online, then the follow up article in which the author, Hannah Lee makes a lame attempt to "apologize" for her harsh, rude words but succeeds, in my opinion, in merely shaking the polish bottle even harder. 

After reading Beauty Judy today, I found responses by Mary at Body and Soul BeautyPolish Insomniac and Nicole of  Nightly Nails. I am sure that there are many more, these are just the ones I have had the time to find and read, this morning. I am now going to add my own response to Hannah's article and follow up. Some of the points I make have already been made. Please let me make it clear that I am in no way trying to steal their words, thoughts or thunder. I stand, madly applauding every one of my fellow polish bloggers who have responded to this rude bit of journalistic quackery and am merely adding my own small voice to the outcry in my own words. 

I am not a professional blogger. I am not a journalist. I am not a professional nail technician. I don't possess a degree in English (obviously!) or journalism. Or anything else, for that matter. I am just a housewife who loves  polish and makeup and enjoys buying, using and nattering on about them. Call me stupid (I am sure that some people who read this article probably will) but I fail to grok how my being a polish, sometimes beauty blogger is such a terrible thing. How I, in my little home, with my little polish and makeup collection, with my old camera and my crappy laptop and my insanely bad writing could possibly be a threat to an entire industry. 

I depend on my fellow bloggers who receive, swatch and photograph the latest collections to keep me abreast of the latest trends in polish. And beauty, for that matter. I almost never go to salons (can't afford it, dude!) and I rarely read magazines, even those online. I get most of my polish/beauty information from my fellow bloggers. And I am willing to bet that a lot of other consumers do, too. 

I blog for me. I blog for my gentle readers. I rarely show the very latest. I just show what captures my imagination at the moment. I do the best I can to use, photograph and talk about the products I choose to feature in a fair,  honest and hopefully, entertaining fashion. The fact that readers like to come around, read, comment and even be enabled by me is a never ending source of delight to me. I don't aspire to take over and toss the professionals out of the mix. Shit, I couldn't, even if I wanted to! 

In her article, Hannah Lee derides polish/consumer bloggers, calling us "polish junkies who are looking for free handouts of the latest collections from manufacturers." For the record, I have never received from any polish manufacturer a collection of polish samples. Never. I have requested and do receive from OPI and their PR firm press releases to publish on my blog. I have never received accompanying polish samples nor have I been offered samples. I have never been offered payment from OPI or their PR firm in exchange for publishing their press releases on my blog. I publish OPI press releases because I love OPI polish and I want to share the latest offerings from that company with my readers. 

Every bottle of polish I own and show on this blog has been purchased by me, with my own money or sent to me by fellow bloggers or, in one case a company, because I won them as a giveaway prize. My collection is hard won, indeed and it has cost me a dear portion of my small amount of disposable income. So, stick that in your pipe and smoke it, Hannah Lee.

Okay, in the interest of honesty and full disclosure, I have received a few small shipments of nail art supplies from two nail art companies, a set of false eyelashes from another and two pieces of nail polish jewelry from another to keep and for my use and a fair and honest review in my blog. If polish/beauty companies should, in the future offer me samples, I will happily accept as it would be fun and a privilege to receive and swatch and feature the latest collections from polish and beauty companies I like and trust. But I don't expect it and I am certainly not standing here, hat in hand and begging for them. 

Yes, I do my own nails. I have for many years. I enjoy it, I know my own nails intimately and the products that best suit my nails and my body chemistry. I know what shape and length best flatter my nails and hands and work for my lifestyle. I know how to keep my nails as strong and "healthy" as possible. I know how to grow my nails, I know how to inhibit peeling. I know how to care for my cuticles and keep them neat and healthy. I know how to apply my base coat, polish and top coat to get the best results for me and my own nails. 

I am not a professional nail tech. I do not presume to teach anyone else. I would never say, "I use such and such product and you must do the same." I understand that different products work in different ways for different people and have said so, numerous times. Not something I hear often from licensed professionals. Many seem to be pretty rigidly entrenched in their beliefs that the products they use and advocate work for everyone and anyone who would argue otherwise should be drawn and quartered. 

Look, I respect the education and testing that is involved to become a licensed nail tech. But I am not going to stop buying and using and blogging about nail products, even those deemed "professional" products because I don't have a license. I am a credentialed interior decorator. I am educated in the field. Hell... I have a diploma and everything to prove it. But that doesn't make me the absolute, final authority on interior decorating and design. And it certainly doesn't qualify me to tell anyone who chooses to decorate their own home, use "professional" products and supplies, photograph their work and blog about it to stand aside and let the professionals take over, as the homeowner couldn't possibly know what they are doing, can't trust their own instincts or taste and certainly have no right to *gasp!* publish it all on a personal blog.

Mary is right, you know. There is room for all of us. There is room in the polish/beauty world for the professionals and the amateurs. There is so much information, so much knowledge that can be shared and passed around. Why must it all be jealously hoarded, guarded by the few? The licensed? How can a group of passionate amateurs, we, the consumer bloggers really be a threat to an entire industry? I say that we can't. That in fact, we aren't. And if the professionals would embrace, rather than fight us, they might just learn that, rather than being a threat to them, we could be an asset, that we could be valuable allies. 

Perhaps if more professional nail techs were as well informed as so many consumer bloggers are, they would feel more secure in their profession. It is astonishing to me that I can walk in to a salon to buy polish and and know more about the polish and the latest polish trends than the licensed professionals working there. Of all of the beauty supply stores I have shopped, in only one did I meet someone as knowledgeable about polish as I am. I have actually had to educate them about upcoming polish collections! What does that say about professionals? What does that say about us polish junkie consumer bloggers? You tell me, Hanna Lee. Because I am truly at a loss to understand where you are coming from.

I am going to click the Publish button, now. Than I am going to go don my flameproof suit. And get my arse in the shower as I have places to go and things to do. Thanks for reading. *muah!*

20 comments

  1. It is a really stupid article.

    I have had two companies generously send me polish to review and believe me, I'm not any competition.

    What is weirder, to me, is that if it weren't for bloggers, I personally wouldn't be into nail polish at all!

    Crazy to write such a bad article.

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  2. I was a bit speechless when I read that article. I actually couldn't believe that she was saying nail bloggers were a threat to nail tech's!
    I have to say that I have had my nails done prefessionally only 3 times in my life and all of those times I cried when I left the salon! I couldn't believe the application and the actual nail care! Even my mum laughed at my nails when I got home! That's why I do my own nails and take care of them much better than any tech ever could! My cousin cried on her wedding day because of the way an "extremely professional" nail tech did her nails, which she paid a small fortune for! On her wedding day people!
    I know a couple of nail tech's who are friends of friends. They have a "diploma" and trust me when I say that when I spoke with them about nail polish, upcoming collections, finishes, consistency, etc... they had no clue what I was talking about, I might as well have been speaking in a different language! I'm not saying that all nail tech's are like this, there are probably some great ones out there. Which boils down to the point that what counts is someone's experience and knowledge!

    Ooops! I got a bit carried away there. Sorry I hijacked your blog ice queen :)

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  3. I'm just glad that so many people can see through that. It was a thinly veiled, underhanded attack at people who were doing no harm by a woman who is clearly jealous and bitter.

    I can't believe she even suggested using bloggers' ideas and presenting them to a client as yours. I am flabbergasted that the magazine would allow that to be published.

    She is obviously vastly outnumbered, and for that I am very glad.

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  4. I read that article, and it annoyed me. So what if you're (Hannah) a "professional". Does that automatically mean you're better than me? Not. one. bit. Do you know how many time I've been to a salon for a change of pace, only to return home (or work) to remove the polish and start all over? I do my nails (and my blog) for me - nobody else. It is a form of creative expression. I'm sorry if your little rant was done to garner more attention back to you because us horrid polish/consumer bloggers are hogging your spotlight. Companies are smart to include bloggers in their "hand outs". Why? Because word of mouth travels fast. And I'm sure you, Hannah, know that now without a doubt. And negative finger pointing in an article such as yours travels even faster. I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea. Ugh. Hannah needs to realize she just bit the hands that feeds her. If she wants her profession to be more hush-hush, then they need to make things like Nailsmag a "professional only" avenue.

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  5. Very well written, Erika. You touched on the same things that irritated and yes, offended me - and were a bit more eloquent than I could be!

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  6. *insert sarcastic voice* You did a great job for someone without and English or journalism degree!

    You hit the nail right on the head! Especially since I too blog mostly about polishes from the past...

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  7. You do not stand alone, my dear friend. :)

    I cancelled, unfollowed and removed everything I could with my connection to Nails Magazine. I'm looking for friendly places to hang out, talk about my hobby/passion of nails, and Hannah is just too snobby for me.

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  8. Seriously....someone made a stink about bloggers....ugh

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  9. Hehe you made me stop reading my Google reader to go comment on the so called apology.

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  10. I just caught up on it all and I dunno what offends me more, the article or the horrid design of the nail magazine blog. That background, the flashing, my eyes!!!

    It's sad... the whole article and thought behind it is absurd.

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  11. Well said. Ad I completely agree, it's just pathetic and sad that she was so rude to such a valuable resource for consumers. I just have to shake my head at the close-mindedness here.

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  12. The original article and follow up were certainly rude, but I just see it is part of a larger transition taking place in media right now. Professional journalists of all stripes are having to deal with a world where they are no longer the sole source of information and some are adapting more gracefully than others. I imagine scribes in renaissance Europe reacted similarly when the printing press was developed and literacy became wide spread. I think the general freak out over digital media, including blogs and bloggers, will die down in the next few years as this form of media continues to become a part of daily life.

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  13. Keep blogging! I suspect she is going to lose more business than she gains for her mag. I also strongly suspect that good pros do not fear(and yes she sounds fearful...sort of how my cat would fight when frightened.....lashing out without thought)anything posted....and would not use others ideas as their own. They might show a pic and say it came from Ek and I saw it and thought of you, and would you like to try something like this....or they have their own ideas...and the rest.....not worth worrying about. I do my own nails, but like having my toes done and I bring products for us to try sometimes and we discuss my nails and share ideas while she does my toes. It took me a while to find her and I trust what she does, but along the way I tried some people suggested by friends of mine and none of them were worth a second try. A good pro will be busy by word of mouth and a bad one won't get the repeat business...and I don't think a book of copied images will help regardless of what Miss Rude thinks.

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  14. *cheers* couldn't have said it any better myself us consumer bloggers are just that the CONSUMER so of course we would trust each other and not some professionals who don't even know the latest collections or trends I'm sure there are good technicians out there but I have yet to meet one and I regret every salon trip I ever made, last one left me with bloddy fingers, never again...

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  16. good for you! i agree, i get most of my info from fellow bloggers! and when i do go to get the occasional mani/pedi at a salon, they either do not have new collections or look at me dumbfounded when i ask them a nail-related question.

    (one time i asked the girl if she knew of a better product to prevent chipping besides OPI's Chip Skip. she had NO CLUE what i was talking about, yet i paid her and tipped her just to apply polish on my nails??)

    please keep blogging and doing the great work you do! i appreciate you and my fellow bloggers alot more than i do your run of the mill supposed "nail technicians".

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  17. Just wanted to throw in there that I went to Ulta to do some polish shopping and when I asked about a matte finish top coat nobody even knew what a matte finish was!!!!!!!! And I am so new I don't even have any followers on my blog!!!!!!

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  18. Wow. I actually went and commented on that "Follow Up". (I never comment on anything!)

    I'd like to point out that there isn't actually an apology anywhere in it, there's a whole lot of her saying "I didn't say 'A', I said 'a', I can't believe you are all so offended".
    Potatoes, potatoes.

    Thank YOU for illustrating your point so effectively, IQ. All I got from the original article that Hannah wrote is that she's not much more than a petulant child who isn't being catered to, and may need to WORK to prove herself.

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  19. I'm obviously late to the party here, but I feel like adding my own two cents...

    I'm relatively new to the world of utter nail polish obsession... I've been at this about two months. (I'm not a nail blogger yet but I would like to blog in the future.) I already have a polish collection that is about 20 strong and growing fast, with fantastic brands like Butter London, Essie, O.P.I, Inglot... I even have a Chanel for flips sake. (Purchased in a momentary lapse of sanity... Gorgeous colour though.) I'm only a student and almost all my disposable income goes into buying pretty colours to stick on my fingers! I've thrown more money then I'd like to admit into the nail industry! And the ONLY - I repeat, the ONLY reason I got into nail polish was polish blogs. I found a blog called All Lacquered Up by accident one day and wound up spending the entire day browsing through a massive backlog of beautiful swatches. That blog flipped a switch in my brain which causes it to go into meltdown when near a nail polish stand. I'd never have found myself a part of this world otherwise!

    The spread of information through blogs frightens a lot of institutions, because it represents a change in where and how people access information. No longer can it be controlled by a select few. Look at how much the governments of the world like Wikileaks! And I'm sure the newspapers just love how we don't need to buy them anymore when we can access news for free with a simple Google search. The groups which will survive this transition are the ones who embrace the changes, who roll with it and adapt how they work in order to use the online world to their advantage. The ones freaking out and trying to hold back the tides will be swept away and drowned. The bar has been raised, the internet is not going anywhere and it will swallow what cannot learn to work with it. The public is better informed then ever and the media had better start treating us as such!

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  20. Very late to the party here, but going to say it anyway. I think what Hannah is really concerned about (although not nearly eloquent enough to get it out without stepping all over her tongue) is that as more and more people learn from bloggers, they will do their own nails rather than going to a salon. But who's fault is that? If the salons were keeping up there are plenty of people who like nice nails but can't be bothered or don't have the time to do them themselves that would be happy to hit the salon...if they could find a clean one that doesn't ruin their nails in the process. The fact that those kind of salons are hard to find is not the fault of bloggers. It IS the fault of an industry that doesn't police itself well enough and apparently isn't to picky about who they license. Me? I don't have the money to go to a salon, and besides, a manicure rarely goes more than 2 days on me. I like variety. So they aren't losing any business from me, but they've sure lost my respect.

    The very idea that this...'professional', would promote theft of copyrighted material as a way to boost a salon's business, and implies that it is somehow the consumer's fault that many of her fellow 'professionals' are anything but hacks, and that some idiot of an editor actually let this tripe be printed, not once, but twice!, makes me think that there isn't a whole lot of 'professionalism' here at all, at least not in anything connected to this particular rag. If this magazine is considered 'THE' top nail pro publication (or even in the top 10), the whole industry has some very serious problems.

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