Hair & Beauty Magazine

Interview with Mary from Swatch And Learn

By Kellabella @kellabel

Interview with Mary from Swatch And Learn
Interview with Mary from Swatch And Learn Name: Mary Location: Canada
Mini Bio:
I love marching to the beat of my eardrums, encouraging people to challenge themselves to become better, and dancing like a freak when I think nobody is looking.
I'm like a moth to a flame for albums like Lana Del Rey's "Born to Die", I used to be a vegetarian for a few years, and I opt for crunchy peanut butter instead of smooth.
Writing, networking, and experimenting with nail polish are the passions that allow me to express myself. It is through these avenues that I am continually also inspired by others' creativity.

Where can we find you?

Blog: Swatch And Learn
Twitter: @SwatchAndLearn
Facebook: Swatch And Learn
Beautylish: Mary
Google+: Mary
Pinterest: Mary
Klout: Mary

What inspired you to start your blog?
I wanted a creative outlet to share with others my love of beauty products and writing. Also, I'm always trying out lots of new products, so I thought the reviews and swatches would be helpful for others so that they could make informed purchasing decisions.
Even before Swatch And Learn began, I regularly read a lot of other beauty blogs. Their hard work and friendly personalities inspired me to join the wonderful community.
What is it about nail polish you love the most and when did you start getting into nails?
Nail polish is an easy way to convey thoughts and emotions, to express your individuality, to gain artistic skills, and to even challenge the status quo. That's what drew me to nail polish - I find it very intriguing how even a simple bottle can be like color therapy for the soul and even make a political statement. To me, nail polish symbolizes more than just the beauty industry. It represents women's voices and exercising autonomy.
I got into nails when I was in the first grade. My mom hardly wore nail polish, but she had an opalescent one that I was dying to try. Once I got the green light, I painted my nails eagerly! But, it was only until maybe grade 7 when I started wearing nail polish more often...and ones that were colours that I selected. (As for becoming a serious collector, I only started in the fall of 2008.)
What are your 3 favorite nail polish brands and why?
It's really hard for me to pick three all-time favourites because I love a lot of diverse colours from all different brands. But, if I had to name the first three that popped into my head now, I'd say OPI, China Glaze, and Nubar.
I love OPI because they're very creative, not only with their colours and marketing campaigns, but also the whimsical, punny names they give many of their polishes. You can really tell that they put a lot of thought into the creation of their products. Plus, I consider them to be the nail-polish leader, so they're always the one to watch!
China Glaze is great for their wide range of colours. They always follow the trends, but put their unique stamp on things, too, by releasing colours that you might not see everywhere. I commend them on taking risks and being bold like that.
I also love Nubar because they have so many incredible duochromes and multichromes. They're risk-takers who aren't afraid to do their own thing and put out colours that might not appeal to the average person, but that'll make the nail junkies like myself do a somersault! I really like companies with guts, but also the talent to back it up with strong products.
One of the many reasons I love your blog is because you have a lot of fun nail art. Where do you get your inspiration for these looks?
Thank you so much! Nail art is fun for me because I get to try my hand at creating something original and sharing it with others. And it's also a lot of fun to recreate designs!
My inspiration comes from so many avenues. Sometimes I'll read something in the news (like Paul the Octopus whose feeding behavior correctly predicted the winners of the 2010 FIFA World Cup) - I had to do octopus nail art after reading about him!
Other times, I'm inspired by a holiday (e.g. Christmas, Hallowe'en) and I'll want to do something festive to celebrate with my readers.
And occasionally, I'll even have a cool dream (not of nail polish), but I get inspired to use certain colours that way.
Haha, and there has been more than one time when I was just hungry. (Hehe, remember my Fried Egg nail art? Strawberry nail art?)
Have you experienced any negative aspects of blogging, and if so, how do you handle it?
Yes, although the positives of blogging far outweigh the negatives, there have been some negatives.
A few times, I received hateful e-mails. If they are constructive criticisms, that's alright, but those messages were unsound, negative rants from people who obviously jumped to conclusions about me and my blog without really reading carefully.
Although they're written in such a hostile way, I don't let it get to me because there's always misunderstanding and prejudice - sometimes intentional and other times not. I remind myself that, at the end of the day, these people may just be trying to push my buttons...but I'm not an elevator. ;) Hehe! I normally just think that the person was having a rough day, and I feel badly about the manner in which they're taking out their frustrations.
How do I handle rude or mean people? I let spiteful comments roll off my back. It's not worth getting upset about, and I don't give cruel people the satisfaction of hurting me.
What advice would you give people that are just starting a blog?
Blog because you find it enjoyable, not because you have ulterior motives. You can always tell when people are being genuine and want to share things with others compared to those who are just in it for freebies and fame. Passion shines through, in the end.
Be prepared to be patient. For a long while, your blog may very well get no visitors and no comments. Stick with it, and both will come organically (which is the best way).
Also, if you can't blog daily, don't force yourself to. Quality always wins over quantity at the end of the day. The best blogs put quality first.
One more important piece of advice is to reach out to your readers and to other bloggers. The more you can participate in the beauty community and engage with others, the more enticing you become as a blogger.
It's not enough to create good content and ignore every comment left or tweet sent your way. You have to be a caring person. You have to be grateful for every positive thing that comes your way - never take it for granted because it's a gift! (People revisit blogs also because of the person behind the blog, not just because of the posts.)
Has your life changed since having your blog become so successful. If so, how?
I define success in terms of happiness. So, yes, my life has changed because blogging has made me happier. I love being able to express myself and also collaborate with so many people from all over the world. It has been a pleasure sharing similar interests, but also have conversations with others who have differing opinions.
Blogging has opened doors for me to develop friendships with people in other countries who are passionate about beauty products. I may not have met them otherwise. My blog has also helped me get a better feel for certain companies that I respect, and it has allowed me to encourage people to try new things and voice their honest opinions based on their experiences. I love being part of the ongoing dialogue!
Where would you like to see your blog in the next year?
Perhaps next year (or sometime in the future), I would love to start featuring guest posts. I feel like there are so many talented kindred spirits out there who I would love to promote. Plus, I want to use Swatch And Learn as a platform to help others get the word out about their own blogs or passions. And the bottom line is that I want my blog to foster a welcoming beauty community where people can befriend each other in a safe environment.
Thank you so much, Kelly, for giving me this huge honor and being interested in what I think! And thanks for visiting Swatch And Learn!
Thanks so much Mary for the interview!! Your so creative and talented and I love reading your blog. 

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