Saturday, January 30, 2016

#tokki365

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If you follow me on Instagram, you know by now that I managed to complete my 365 project of uploading at least one photograph for every day of 2015. Before this personal assignment, my track record with consistent themed posts has been nothing but lackluster, so this is a big achievement for me. Towards the last few months, I practically restarted the project by gramming more often on my (previously unused) makeup-exclusive account and am happy to report that I reached 4k followers from a starting point of about twelve. I may not have the most viral growth comparatively, but I am proud and wholeheartedly grateful for every person's support. 4k is the greatest number I've ever managed to reach on any of my social media platforms, and I hope to continue growing.

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Throughout the year, I learned a lot about myself and though I still dislike a lot of my shots, it's sort of satisfying to look back on the tag and know that I spent some time everyday to post something. It may not have been the best product shot or what have you, but devoting a little effort everyday has made me more comfortable with posting in general. I think my lip art has improved a lot too!

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It's interesting to see how my makeup tastes and financial situation has changed as well. I used to buy tons of MAC products (usually just for the pretty packaging) but I've strayed a lot from investing in the brand now. It's still January of the new year, but I haven't purchased anything MAC since November. Also, I'm slowly trying to become more oriented with cruelty-free cosmetic lines, but it is quite the process as I am still left with many products from brands that are not. I'm very hesitant to promote myself in such a way until I've 'cleansed' my stash to a level I think is appropriate. I feel like being a vegan and/or cruelty-free makeup consumer has become such a trendy thing to do lately that I don't want to be another on the fad-wagon without a good faith foundation for it.

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These aren't in chronological order, but my left hand got a lot more involved in posing for looks since the beginning of last year (lol). Probably more so due to the fact that I grew out my fingernails again so they'd look better in shots than the stubby short ones I actually prefer practically. My lighting has changed dramatically as well. The first time shooting with my light (2nd in the 1st column) versus the most recent public shot (2nd in the 4th column) are so, so different with regards to my feelings of newbieness, awkwardness, and lighting quality.

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All of the above shots are each so sentimental to me. I love and adore my makeup friends and their generosity. Very special mentions to Lana, Anita, Kate, Sugarpill, and Kat Von D.

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The first time Kat ever noticed me on Instagram was back in 2014, and I remember feeling incredibly flustered and thrilled that an artist I admire and whose makeup brand I delight over noticed someone like me; then later praised me for capturing one of her lipsticks in a way she hadn't managed to at the time. I still get butterflies any time she hearts one of my photos, and macros of KVD Studded Kiss lipsticks are my absolute favorite products to shoot.

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There were several memorable moments in 2015: went to New York by myself for the first time and finally met up with a long-time internet friend for the first time; really let myself down, and was unbelievably devastated regarding something I don't feel like sharing publicly; was a runner-up in a lip art contest and that very lip art ended up in an issue of Teen Vogue magazine.

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There are a lot of aesthetic and technical aspects I don't like about these shots, but despite any of my discontent, this collage serves as a reminder to me that others are still able to see beauty in my sadness. Learning curves are interesting, yeah?

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I am most pleased with the progress of my lipstick application and lip macroing. Often times, I don't feel like I'm perceived as a very creative person, but I am truly happy about how much better I've gotten at just applying lipstick on my own. I'm super grateful for all my Instagram friends who've encouraged me to join lip art challenges and those who constantly support my work.

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I'm face-palm embarrassed that the focus is on my teeth in that 2014 shot. I remember thinking that the shot (and application) was crap even back then, but still liked the bokeh enough to upload it anyway. I used to not be able to frame my lips close to the way I wanted or imagined before—and this isn't to say that it's a near perfect process today—but at least now I can focus on the actual texture of the lip product being worn. 

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This is such a cute tag for me, but I honestly get down about how much I miss Hazel that I haven't updated her gram in several weeks. She is such a sweet pup.

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Lastly, these were my favorite eye macros from 2015! My hopes for now is that I can keep growing to be more creative and uphold a level of consistency for the rest of this year and the next. Maybe I could do something about blogging more regularly too.

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