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R&P Celebrates 3 Years

Hey dolls! Things have been so ridiculously busy that I completely forgot to make a post on April 11 when R&P turned three years old. I thought about it at the end of April when my third wedding anniversary rolled around, but still forgot to post. Better late than never right? R&P has grown tremendously over the last three years! I’ve met so many great bloggers, nail polish enthusiasts, and worked with so many amazing brands. Today marks my 821st post on this blog!

While a lot of bloggers cringe when going back down memory lane, I actually don’t mind doing it at all. My first post included these photos of Zoya Gemma and Breezi. Clearly at this point, I didn’t really have a concept of taking great photos, or lighting. My polish application wasn’t horrible, but I didn’t know about leaving a small gap at the cuticle. I’m glad to say I actually still own both of these polishes; here’s an updated swatch of Gemma.

Zoya-Gema

Zoya-Breezi

A few months in to blogging, indie brands were starting to hit the nail polish scene. The first that I ever tried was Cult Nails Devious Nature. As you can already tell, I was hooked after my first order. Clearly I didn’t really pay attention to keeping my nails an even length at that point. The other independents brands that I started to indulge in were a-England, SoFlaJo, and Pretty & Polished. I’m glad to see that all of these brands are still around, as it’s been quite amazing to watch them grow.

Cult-Nails-Devious-Nature

By April 2012, I was starting to make some improvements. I was reviewing for some of my favorite mainstream brands like Zoya and Barielle and I had been contacted by BornPrettyStore. At that point, I was taking most of my pictures outside in direct sunlight. My pictures were getting much better and I finally landed on a signature hand pose. I even started to dabble in simple nail art like dots and stripes. Have you noticed that much hasn’t changed in that area?

ManGlaze-Royal-Matterimoaning

April 2013 rolled around and I finally started to feel like an established blogger. I was working with more and more brands, expanding my nail art skills via participating in a few challenges, participating in collaboration giveaways, and creating new series like Reader’s Choice Mondays.

LA-Girl-Teal-Dimension

Over the years, fashion has always been an underlying component of this blog, hence the tagline “where polish is inspired by fashion.” From inspiration boards, trend recaps, to the Fashion Inspiration series, I love sharing my style with you all. I don’t claim nor want to be a model; I just like to dress up and take pictures. It’s been really fun showing another side of myself through the photo shoots that you all wouldn’t get in polish reviews. I’m thrilled at all of the opportunities that have come my way through this expansion, especially with brand collaborations like ShopStylePOPSUGAR, and Adorned Boutique.

Shabby Apple Guinea a Minute

Fast forward to April 2014 where R&P has grown by leaps and bounds and has been featured by several companies. I’ve had a polish named after me, Mentality Lakeisha, which is pretty awesome! This blog has far expanded my initial goals. Back in 2011, I just wanted to have a small space where I could show polishes I loved. There were not very many African American bloggers at that point, and I wanted to be a frame of reference for those with darker complexions. I’m glad to see that the nail blogosphere has grown to where it has at this current time. To celebrate three years, here’s a photo of Contrary Polish It’s Your Anniversary, a gorgeous olive green with heavy gold shimmer. I won this polish in the Manicurator’s anniversary giveaway and I knew I wanted to save it for this post.

Contrary-Polish-It's-Your-Anniversary

This blog was an outlet during my doctoral process and I wasn’t sure if it would be something I would continue with long-term. While it’s sometimes difficult to balance home life, a full-time career, and blogging, I can gladly say this is something I still enjoy. I’m thankful to all of you who have stuck around for the last three years and I hope you stay on board to see what’s ahead for R&P!