Monday, June 8, 2015

Hello Again

 purchased by me 

Welcome to Some Weird Sin!  Same old blogger, different blog.  Kinda.  I plan to be more "me" here than I usually was on PGS.  It also feels really good to start a blog when I actually know what I'm doing.  It's like moving out of mom's house and leaving all of the embarrassing baby pictures behind.

Anyone reading this today probably has at least a little idea of who I am, but if you've somehow stumbled upon it without having read PGS, here's some background info.  My name's Amanda, and I'm 32.  I live in a rural pocket of the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania suburbs.  I'm part of a very "modern" household.  My partner, "The Beard", and I live with "Zeus" and his fiance, "Player 4".  There's only an eleven year gap between the oldest and youngest of us, but The Beard and I have become stand-in parents to Zeus.  [The whole story would only add to what's already going to be a very long post.]  We've got a cat, dog, and snake too.

If you're wondering, Some Weird Sin is named for an Iggy Pop song from an album I've loved since I was 15.  The song's got nothing to do with cosmetics at all, but I was listening to it one night while trying to come up with a name and something clicked.  I know people who give polish buying up for lent.  We all feel the rush, and often the guilt, when we haul.  Maybe it is some dumb, weird sin...just to relax with.  There are worse vices, for sure.

So what happened to PGS?  Don't worry, Nichole and I really are still friends.  We'd both wanted things to change for a while, and deciding to get a blog divorce only strengthened our friendship.  I mentioned stylistic differences, but there is more to it than just that.  Nichole has reasons of her own, but for me it was hitting a point where blogging was taking over my life.  The first polish I'm posting on here is oddly fitting for what I want to tell you guys.

Zoya Veruschka is a forest green matte shimmer.

This is two coats.  The application's not as chalky as a lot of mattes.  I glossed it up too...

with topcoat

...but that's not what you came here for today, right?  What does Zoya Veruschka have to do with starting a new blog?  All kinds of things, oddly enough.

Longtime PGS readers probably remember that I used to get press samples from Zoya.  What a rollercoaster that was!  A few of you asked what happened.  I wish I knew!  Back in my ambitious phase, I sent a bunch of press list requests to mainstream brands.  Zoya was one of two that replied, and the other one said no.  I was thrilled to have gotten a yes from a brand I liked.  ...and then it turned out that I'd been approved to get press releases, not samples.  Damn.  Their representative (let's call her "E") asked if I had a specific post I'd like her to see for consideration for the sampling list.  I linked her to my picks from their Satins collection.  She approved me for the sampling list and I was overjoyed and relieved.  That was the first speedbump on what would become a short, uncomfortable ride.  Between December '13 and August '14, I swatched seven of Zoya's collections, and I had problems getting at least three of them.  They may have changed the process since, but at the time, people on the list would get an email with a code to enter on the site to have the latest collection shipped to them free of charge.  It worked just fine my first time around, but after that it seemed like there was a problem practically every time.  I almost didn't get samples of one collection because I didn't get the email and suddenly other bloggers started putting up swatches.  I sent an email to E asking what was up and she apologized and sent me a code.  Just in time, apparently, because it would expire in a couple of days.  It got to the point where I was used to having to contact E over stuff like this, when I got a "code" email without any code in it.  Weird, right?  Another email to E, and she explained that they were reevaluating their sampling list and some people would be dropped.  The blank email was a glitch of some sort.  I asked E if I'd been dropped from the list, but she said I hadn't been, and I got an email with the code for Naturel Deux samples.  E had told me they were only dropping bloggers who didn't post Zoya stuff promptly and often.  I was in the clear.  Phew!  I had really stressed out when I thought I'd been dropped by the only brand that had approved me.  Then Ulta weirdly had Entice & Ignite before the press releases even went out.  At this point, that didn't surprise me at all.  Eventually the press release came...but where were my codes?  Yet another email to E.  I'd been dropped from the list after all, and no one had bothered to tell me.  Fuck.  Supposedly, they had too many swatchers and had to dismiss some.  I'm not the only one this happened to, it seems.  They've approved new swatchers since (ouch), and here's hoping they have a better experience than I did.

I hope I don't come off as entitled or bitchy in all of that.  Being dropped from the list would sting no matter what, but to be told I hadn't been and then have them not bother to let me know was such a slap that I almost quit blogging.  If that seems a bit excessive, brings me to the next part.

I've got mental health issues.  When I was twelve I was diagnosed with what was still called "clinical depression", but I've had it for literally as long as I can remember.  It's been twenty years since I had any kind of professional help or treatment for it, and I think my diagnosis might be more complex now.  [I'd get help, but it's expensive and intimidating...and I'm full of excuses.]  Problems and setbacks hit me harder than they used to, probably harder than they should.  The whole Zoya debacle made me question my abilities as a swatcher and increased the feeling that I was falling short.  I originally started blogging as an escape from anxiety and tension, only to have it become another source of both.  When I told The Beard about all of this, he said "Hobbies shouldn't be stressful!"  I had to laugh at that.  Fun always turns into stress for me, because I throw myself into everything too hard.  My life had become about blogging, to the point where I was neglecting other things.  Unhealthy minds can make any activity unhealthy.

Depression turns everything bleak and ugly.  It sucks the color and life out.  Doing my nails can be a great distraction, and having something beautiful, colorful, and shiny right there has been a tug in a happier direction too many times for me to even count at this point.  Getting positive feedback on my blog posts and on social media helps even more.  That will always make me smile.  You've probably helped me keep going at some point, without even realizing.  Trying to post five times a week was just way too much.  I was opting for swatching over getting enough sleep way too often.  It was burning me out.  Nichole thought I should take a break, but I couldn't.  Blog stuff was what got me out of bed most days.  I couldn't stop completely, but I had to pull back a bit.  That made PGS seem even more disjointed.  Nichole and I weren't only posting about completely different brands, but also at different rates.

...and then allergy season punched me in the face.  I've had allergies since I was a baby, but this spring was the worst they've been in maybe a decade.  I'd planned to cut back to 2-4 posts per week, but for a while I could barely manage one.  Laying around doing nothing but coughing gave me plenty of time to evaluate how I felt about blogging (I missed it SO MUCH!), and eventually led me to tell Nichole I thought we should move on from PGS.  She'd felt the same way.  It's happened because it needed to, for all kinds of reasons...and as much as I will miss PGS sometimes, this change feels good.

Will I ever try for press samples again?  Maybe.  Not from Zoya though.  There's a tarnish there that might never go away.  September will be a year and I still can't even look at anything Zoya without being reminded of how they treated me and the other dismissed swatchers.  I've only bought one of their polishes since the whole kerfuffle...and I didn't buy it from them.  It was Veruschka, and I got it from a Storenvy seller near the end of last year.  It might be the last Zoya I ever buy.  We'll see.  It brings everything together oddly well because green is the color for depression awareness.

So...same old blogger, more relaxed pace.  I love blogging, and I want to keep going for ages...but this time around I'm running it instead of it running me over.

...and I'm gonna curse sometimes.  Fuck being staid and professional.  I'm gonna be me...and I curse.

 all products in this post were purchased by me 

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