Since then, I've published 213 posts here, and my writing has featured on The Peach (sadly, now defunct), Kiki and Tea, The Beheld, and Already Pretty. I couldn't actually tell you how many people have read my words, since I first tottered into the public arena, tentative and clumsy. I remember looking up to bloggers like Michelle at Lab Muffin, who is ridiculously stylish and also ridiculously brainy, and thinking I could never pull that off. I remember looking up to people like Autumn at The Beheld, and Garçonnière at à l’allure garçonnière and thinking I could never match the sharp insight they offered into things I'd only begun to think about. To be perfectly honest, I still look up to all these people, and amillion others I've discovered since. I don't consider what I've done anything close to what these talented writers do. Maybe in another 2 years, 6 months, and 27 days, I might be a little bit less self deprecating - but I wouldn't hold your breath.
I remember the first time I met a "fan" - technically, it was some friends of friends who I kind of knew anyway, but they were the first people I met in meatspace who knew more about my blog than about me. I remember how startling it was to realise that there were actually, seriously, people out there who didn't know me, but who knew my blog. That was the first time I really understood The Reluctant Femme as someone at least partially distinct from me, Cassie, and it spun me out for a good long time. I still have to remind myself it's actually a real thing every now and then. Eventually, once I stopped freaking out, I started to learn how to use that separation to give me more freedom in my writing - by creating a "brand", I guess, to speak my words for me, I felt safer speaking into the great dark abyss that is the internet. If people don't like what I have to say, having that deliberately constructed facade between my insides and the internet can come in SUPER handy.
Which is not to say I haven't thought about giving this up. Quite seriously, on occasion. I remember when I first started blogging, and looking for other similar blogs, I came across SO MANY abandoned blogs. Just blog after blog of amazing, interesting, intriguing content for a year or so then...silence. It was deeply discouraging, and I came very close to calling it quits before I'd even really begun. I looked at all these amazing writers, who'd just burnt out, wandered off, or otherwise given up, and I wondered how long it would take until I hit that point. I still do.
But over and over, I gather the motivation to bash out the words, take the pictures, publish the post, and you amazing, endlessly generous people just keep coming back. How could I possibly abandon this project now? How could I live with myself if I let you all down? Again and again, it's my wonderful audience that keep bringing me back to blogging, and giving me the motivation to push that publish button. Every time I think of quitting, I remember all those sad, lonely abandoned blogs, and I know I need to keep going. I might not ever be the best there is at blogging, but I'm determined not to abandon the wonderful audience who have given me so much of their time.
Reluctant Femme is a strange blog - I always knew it was going to be, and most days I'm pretty proud of that. Even now I've migrated my more text heavy posts to Brainy Femme, this blog still features a hefty dose of feminism, fat positivity, and general politics - far more than your average beauty blog. This was a deliberate choice, right from the very start. I didn't want to write just another beauty blog. I wanted to make a blog that was different, write content you wouldn't find anywhere else. I'd be lying if I tried to tell you guys I hadn't considered giving that up in the name of popularity. The fact is, people in general like easy things, familiar things - and Reluctant Femme is not familiar or easy a lot of the time. Sometimes I look at blogs like Temptalia, and I'm SO jealous of how smooth and safe, and freaking POPULAR they are. I want that many readers, I want that kind of reach and influence. But safe and easy isn't me - I'm a weird person, and my blog is always going to be weird. So I try to work what I've got, and give you content that you won't see many other places.
Which brings me to the CELEBRAGANZA part of this post!As a thank you for sticking with me while I figure out this whole blogging thing, and your kind, encouraging, and supportive words over the last two years, I've pulled together two prize packs stuffed full of things you can't get anywhere else - just like my content! Not only do I have three custom polishes created just for this contest from Sayuri, Celestial Cosmetics, and Shades of Phoenix, I also have a couple of discontinued polishes I've been scooping up and storing away for just this occasion!
First up, the customs! From left to right we have; The Glass Ceiling from Celestial Cosmetics, a gorgeous purple to gold duochrome with holo flecks floating in a sea of shimmering purple; Glittermob from Shades of Phoenix, an eye scorchingly holographic teal glitterbomb; and How Long!? (a reference to my alleged tendency to ramble) from Sayuri, a lush foil finish purple microglitter.
|The Glass Ceiling by Celestial Cosmetics|
|Glittermob by Shades of Phoenix|
|How Long!? by Sayuri|
Next up, the discontinued, can't-get-these-anywhere-else polishes!
I have retrieved from the deep dark recesses of my stash these two wildly under appreciated Femme Fatale polishes, which are now both discontinued. These are from my personal collection, but they're brand new and unused. The one on the left is Planar Anomalies, a deliciously dark black jelly base filled with black and holographic glitters. This one has a delightful pinkish purple duotone flash in just the right light, and IHO is one of the most complex glitters Femme Fatale has released. On the right is Glinting Lodestone, which is probably my favourite Femme Fatale polish of ALL TIME. It's a deep blue jelly base, with an absolute riot of blue, turquoise and purple glitters in all sizes and shapes, and it's GORGEOUS.
|My swatch of Glinting Lodestone|
|These polishes are so sparkly it's kind of unbelievable|
|Decorate a Palm Tree|
|My swatch of Kevin!|
|My swatch of Decorate A Palm Tree|
Phew. That seems like a lot now I write it all out. BUT, I have one more exciting and unique thing to throw on the prize pile....
The Reluctant Femme. Since Loki's Lacquer has now closed, and I have the last full size bottle in my stash (and I will never EVER give it up) this is your absolute last chance to try this deceptively complex polish.
|You can see just in the bottle the rainbows and holo fire dancing across the surface.|
|My swatch of The Reluctant Femme|
FIRST PRIZE will be: All three custom polishes created for this giveaway, PLUS your choice of two polishes from the Femme Fatale and Powder Perfect duos.
SECOND PRIZE will be: The remaining two polishes from the Femme Fatale and Powder Perfect duos, PLUS the Last Reluctant Femme mini.
Winner will be drawn by the Rafflecopter random winner generator after four weeks, and this competition is open internationally. So what are you waiting for? Get entering!
a Rafflecopter giveaway