The indie movement has made my simpler nail polish outside world more like my complex inner world. There are so many brands, so many collections, so many boxes, so many brand Facebook groups, and my brain physically cannot process that amount of information overload. I have a difficulty navigating it. I sometimes yearn for the simplicity of the days of just OPI, Zoya, China Glaze, Essie, Orly, and Color Club.
You only had to worry about your wallet burning holes on a few collections or a few colors. Everyone shopped at the same stores and there was an added element of "the hunt" for new nail polish at Ulta or drugstores. Everyone was also on the same page as far as nail polish discussion. I mean there were only a handful of brands to talk about, so it was easier to connect with people over the only few brands. There is just something so comfortable and nostalgic about all of that, that I miss.
Mind you, I do not want this post to be misconstrued into I do not like indies and I resent them coming into the picture. That is not what I mean. I love indies and they have definitely reshaped the nail polish market and allowed for so much innovation and creativity we never could have imagined before. Not to mention, the indie market has become the bread and butter to many wonderful people in this community. It's just hard for me to keep up and sometimes I find it stressful.
The only way I've been able to semi-manage it is to just focus on brands I really enjoy and even that's hard. KBShimmer, Cupcake Polish, Different Dimension are tried and true favorites for me, but then I come across some others and then they have sales or involved with etailers with exclusives and have this box coming out....it hurts my brain.
I honestly think part of it is guilt. I feel guilty because makers are just like myself they're not hot shot mult-million dollar brands. They're everyday people and I want to support them all, but I can't. Financially I can't and mentally I can't keep up with everything either. I feel bad about that. I honest to goodness do. I know there are makers I'm friends with on Facebook or who are involved in Hobby Polish Bloggers that I've never purchased from or only did once. There are indies I met at Cosmoprof whose products I've eyed and loved, but I felt ashamed to tell them I never tried their product.
I don't want to come off as self-important. I don't think indies are up at night crying because I Stephanie Merlin, haven't purchased from them, but I feel like as a blogger I'm not doing my job to help support the community I guess? As I'm writing this I feel like a lot of this ties into my previous "Talk It Out" posts of feeling like I need to follow sort unspoken nail blogger guideline.
I'm sure that's why I get nostalgic and miss the simpler times of OPI and Zoya when I didn't have to worry about so many people and whose feelings I could potentially be hurting or whose toes I could be stepping on. I do kind of appreciate the distance between brands and consumers that you have with major brands. Boundaries are good, and some indies don't have boundaries with their customers and fans, so a lot of lines get blurred. I know that makes it harder for people to feel comfortable expressing opinions. Heck, there is even a Facebook group with ask anonymously feature so people can discuss issues with indies anonymously so they don't have to fear retaliation (from indies or their fans). You don't have to worry about that with OPI or Zoya. OPI and Zoya have millions of dollars and don't really care if you think their polish sucks.
This is a whole other issue, though, but it's definitely part of the same whole. There just a lot of noise whether it be the onslaught of so many releases, brands, exclusives, and such or the social aspect of the nail community. It's a lot of for my brain to process and handle. I think for me it's figuring out how to navigate it without the noise, so I can still enjoy what's new without getting caught up in the hum of everything else around it.
Does anyone else feel this way?