11:00 AM

This is me, Bee, The Queen of Nail Care. Writer of Bee Polished .  Also on Twitter @BeePolished and Instagram @Bee_Polished.  You can visit me on Facebook and  Tumblr as well and occasionally I remember to update my Pinterest!

Now that we've got all the professional stuff out of the way, let's get to know each other a little bit! In the real world I am an administrative assistant and freelance nail artist. I'm lucky because my job allows me to polish my nails anyway I want pretty much, unless I'm meeting a client and I type and file mostly so it's not TOO hard to grow out my nails!  I also have two snuggly kitties and two hamsters which keep me busy at home and LOVE to steal my polishes (the kitties not the hamsters!)!

I started blogging in 2011 after stumbling into the nail art blogging world via The Daily Nail!
I'm not really sure why I went with Bee Polished as a name but I tossed around quite a few ideas and that one seemed to stick. I started out blogging just for myself as a way to journal my designs and my progress as an artist. I've always loved polishing but I'm not exactly a great artist so that side of it always intimidated me. It turns out a lot of it is easier than it looks! In 2012 I took my hobby to a new level by getting my manicurist license. I worked for a few months as a manicurist before taking freelance jobs at events for Deborah Lippmann and butter LONDON. Now I freelance on my own mostly, although I still occasionally do work for them. I think my blog because is relatable and honest and that's why people choose to follow. It also offers tips that are easy to follow. I'm not perfect and my nail art isn't always pristine and intricate! I have a real admiration for those type of artists but I think there's something to be said for art which feels like you can do it yourself too!

I think my favorite social media tool is Instagram. I like that it's quick and that it's easy to comment or like something. I love to write but Instagram allows me to post on the fly and sometimes, honestly, I don't have a lot to say about my nails! Even though I do a lot of art it seems that my nail care posts are the thing people like best about my blog! My most popular post was about cuticle care, which doesn't surprise me much since it seems to be the thing people are most confused about when it comes to nail care! You can visit it here! I love being able to offer tips and tricks to help with nail care but I don't always have a ton of time to put into my blog.  A lot of the more in depth posts, especially the ones about products require MONTHS of planning. Another down side to not having tons of time is that unfortunately sometimes there are lags because of it. On a slow week I put three or four hours into my blog. Ideally I like to have about two to three posts a week but that requires at least six hours and up to ten or twelve for more intricate posting. I average somewhere in between that most weeks! I also don't have a real method for blog planning. I usually keep a calender and write in what I plan to post. Once I have the things I NEED to do planned I toss in whatever designs I had to fill in the holes. If I'm doing something more elaborate, like my rehab series, then I plan a few months in advance so that I have plenty of designs to fill the space while I'm doing a treatment or something.

One thing I wish I had when it comes to my art is more patience. The above art work was one I sat down and really took the time to do. I wish did that more often so I could do more intricate designs. I also wish I were less ambitious because I think sometimes I get overly ambitious and then it doesn't turn out and it's discouraging.  It's important to know your strengths and then work your way up to the harder stuff! I'm a real perfectionist and that doesn't help but over the years I've learned to let things go a little more and be proud of what I've accomplished even if it's not perfect. I know some of you have been polishing since you were kids but I was 13 before I was even allowed to wear clear lip gloss! So I don't have any fond childhood memories of polish. However, that same year I got a polish stamper as a gift and I remember having loads of fun stamping random things onto my nails! I polished my nails a lot in middle school but not as much in high school since I was into sports and it just seemed like a waste. After college I got back into it and I started blogging shortly thereafter. So the polish came first but the blog and the art started around the same time!

After I got into the art side, a friend invited me to a group on Facebook and after that there was no stopping the polish addiction. I went from 17 to hundreds in just a year. Right now I'm hovering around 1000 and always looking to offload some! I try to only bring home polishes I'll use now and rather than buy more space I get rid of the old to accommodate the new. It gets overwhelming after awhile to have so many because no matter the method of organization, it's difficult to know what you have.

Even with so many I definitely have favorites, but that said if I had to choose just five it would be a TOUGH decision. Outside of white and black I have only used one entire bottle of polish. It was Essie Sand Tropez and I'm now nearly through bottle number two. That said I don't think it makes my top five list. I LOVE Butter London Fiver and Kerfuffle so those would definitely be in there and I use the heck out of Lime Crime Milky Ways. After those I guess I'd choose something fun and sparkly. Probably GOSH Holographic. It's just a stellar color. I also really love China Glaze I'm not Lion. If I could get a bonus it would be Essence The Huntsman. As you can tell from my list I don't have a single favorite brand. I love butter LONDON because they have great colors, awesome formula and they're three free and store well. I also have a real soft spot for Barry M but it's difficult to get here now. Still, I definitely have the most China Glaze polishes. It's affordable and they always have cool new collections!

Finish-wise I really love cremes because they're great for art or just to wear. There's just something so great about a shiny, solid color.  But my favorite finish is probably suede. I just wish it lasted longer! Sometimes you have to take the good with the bad though! One thing I see people do a lot with polishes that really contributes to the wear time is bulky coats. If I could give someone a nail polish tip it would be to keep your coats thin and tilt the brush UP. So many people lay the brush flat against their nail when polishing. If you tilt it up at an angle you'll get way less on your skin. Less on your skin also helps the polish adhere and keeps it from lifting and chipping!

Being a member of the Digital Dozen keeps me inspired to do art which is one thing I really love about it. We do themes that I never would have thought of on my own and picking five designs for each theme means sometimes I really have to think outside the box! My favorite theme so far was probably music, although I really enjoyed vintage as well. Those things are close to my heart so the inspiration came very easily. It's also really fun to see the exposure some of the designs get. It's awesome when someone is inspired by something I do, especially when it comes from someone who I admire in return! I always love to see people re-create my designs or take inspiration from them to create something new. Some of you are better at it then I am!! I'm always interested to see how things come out for others! It was really fun for me to do the art when we said goodbye to Leslie (although I'm seriously sad she's gone!). I'm inspired on a regular basis by the girls in The Digital Dozen. It's amazing how different our talents and aesthetics are. I also really love Sam at the Nailasaurus (who doesn't?!) and Melissa at The Daily Nail.  I wish I had more time to look at blogs but I don't have nearly as much as I used to. I get a lot of inspiration on Instagram lately.

It's also always flattering to be featured. It's something I never really thought about when I started blogging and the first time it happened I was blown away. Recently, I was featured (totally randomly) on Barry M's Facebook page and it was my biggest OMG moment! It's just a crazy thing to see.

Something I think really helps with the art is to be organized. I have two helmers and I put a piece of wood over them to create a desk which is where I polish. It's under a window so it's well lit. I used to have a bad habit of polishing in the dark! Never turns out great. I have my tools in various drawers and containers on the desk. I pull out everything I'm going to use for a design before I start and then I just go for it! Usually while watching a movie or TV.  I try not to polish unless I'm feeling inspired because if you have to look for inspiration it's easy to just repeat someone else's design.. It's HARD to create original artwork all the time. Not just because there's so much out there but because you see it so much you get inspired and don't even realize it sometimes! But I try to just draw my inspiration from real life instead of from other artists. I think trying new things helps too. Mixing textures, patterns, finishes.

It's taken me a long time but I'm actually really happy with my own nails and I wouldn't trade them for anyone else s! I wish some of them had slightly different shapes but overall I'm quite happy with them! They grow pretty quickly, don't break easily, almost never peel and I don't have ridges.  I do get white spots here and there but overall they're really healthy. It's funny how polishing makes you really LOOK at your nails and then you start to notice things you really never did before. Especially when the pictures are blown up to ridiculous sizes for the entire internet world to see!  But I'm lucky to really love my natural nails and I try to do as much as I can to help others love their natural nails too! I think that's why I'm the Queen of Nail Care! I focused a lot on natural nail care in school and also after I graduated when I was working at a spa.  I gained a lot of knowledge and there is nothing more satisfying then when someone finally falls in love with their own natural nails. :)