Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Hi, my name is Cassie, and it's been 2 years, 6 months, and 27 days since my first blog post.

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.

 When these arrived, I have to admit I thought twice about running this thing at all, because I want to keep them ALL. But, because I am a kind and magnanimous blogger (and because these three labels very generously donated their delightful goods), I've decided to actually hand them over to whoever the lucky winner happens to be.


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.

Planar Anomalies
Glinting Lodestone
My swatch of Glinting Lodestone
I'm also giving away two of the most sought after Australian indie polishes from last summer - Powder Perfect's amazing microglitters Kevin and Decorate a Palm Tree! As with the Femme Fatale polishes, these are from my personal collection but are brand new and untouched.

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 very last, never to be repeated, one of a kind, final mini available EVER of the polish Loki's Lacquer created called 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


  1. Something unique about me? I don't know how unique it is, but in my real life I am an actress and musician.

    1. haha! Usually that's the other way around :D

  2. hmm.. my leg was dislocated at birth, and reconstructed around 18 months old, when it was discovered because I walked lopsided!

  3. Something that I can do....knit! Often and quickly :) It comes in handy when nice jumpers made from natural fibres are pretty much extinct species in the shops. I can just make my own!

  4. Aside from being your American name twin, I am the only human who possesses a sittable lap in the eyes of my cat Yue.

  5. My unique skill will be my ability to hunt down who ever wins and steal their prize because OMG all the purple, all the glitter, all the neeeeed!
    Seriously though... Um, I have half of my pelvis plated and held in pace with 12 screws, I can touch my nose with my tongue, I've managed some pretty full on stuff that many people don't survive.
    IDK what to say, I'm in awe of the polish, sorry ;)

  6. Hi! I just came through to your blog when a friend linked to your swatches of the Shiro Game of Thrones collection. Ermagherd, amazing.

    Something I can do: play really crappy guitar. I bought a guitar when I was about sixteen and started learning properly late last year... I'm 29. It's hard.

  7. I can pop both of my shoulders out of their sockets and do an oogy woogy dislocated arm dance. Frightening and impressive at the same time. It made a guy throw up once :)

  8. Something unique (but not really) about me is my neverending need to keep writing fiction.

  9. Ummm... Something unique about me. I don't know - please don't put me on the spot... Hmmmm.... Oh wait, I have an extra bone in my right ankle and it got to a point where it was so painful to touch or do anything that I couldn't exercise or play sport for a year and nearly had to have a fairly risky operation to remove it.

    Also, congratulations on your blogiversary! I am so looking forward to the next 2 years, 6 months and 27 days of the Reluctant Femme. :)


    1. have an extra bone? Man, bodies are WEIRD.

  10. One unique thing about me is that I'm GREAT at memorizing phone numbers. Too bad that this talent has been rendered obsolete by cell phones and nobody knows anybody else's phone number anymore.

  11. One of my hobbies is inventing languages!

  12. What a superbly spectacular giveaway! Hmmmm I don't know about unique, but I spin (as in fibre, on a spinning wheel & drop spindle) and I taught myself by reading about it & trial and error. It actually developed into another addiction (Indie nail polish being my first) - I've collected 6 spinning wheels!

  13. I wouldn't say this is super unique but I read super quickly. Thank goodness for libraries!!

  14. This is awesome and thank you for running it! I guess one unique thing about me is I can make a heart shape with my tongue? Is that silly? It's silly. But true!

  15. my unique thing...hmmmm well i can look at any polish and tell you exactly what is in it then recreate itt exact (as long as i have the ingredients) but you already know that!!!

  16. I'm six foot tall, but I'm great at limbo!

  17. Oh, look... Glitters! *runs away crying in terror* ;)

    Glittermob looks super pretty, though.

  18. I am awestruck by Decorate a Palm Tree! That GLITTER.

    I'm glad you're around. I like your posts, all of them!

  19. Omg these are all soooo pretty. I want ALL of them. :D
    Let's see, something unique? All of my fingers and toes are double jointed! Better to show my polish off. ;)

  20. I... can tie cherry stems and jelly snakes with my tongue! :D

  21. I grew an extra wisdom tooth! That's unique, right? :)

    1. ...that is SUPER unique, and now I've got another thing to add to my List of Medical Oddities I'm Scared I Might Develop.

  22. Happy anniversary! You've definitely inspired me several times. Check out my blog sale if you need to restock!

  23. I can reach the tip of my nose with my tongue ! is it unique enough? :D

  24. I have a very unique name :)

  25. I have the ability to grow muscle anywhere on my body except my back, with the barest of exercise. I can also push the blood back in my veins so you can see where the valves in my veins are. I can also walk very fast for my leg length! And my hair will probably win over anyone else's hair in a hair war (when you try to saw through someone else's strand of hair with a strand of your own hair).

  26. Hmmmm. I graduated from law school when I was 40


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