Swatcher Spotlight: Bria / hbh_nails
What's the most exciting thing about swatching for you? (i.e. why do you do it?)
Juicy Macro Shots, and showcasing art
If you could give advice to newbies it would be _______________?
Pace yourself, take your time and don't feel like it's a competition. Always be yourself, and find your groove.
What was the first brand that you worked with?
How do you keep your shots so uniformed? (Same hand positions, bottle shots, etc.)
At first I didn't, but after a while I stuck with the shots that I liked the most, and I stuck to those. It sort of happened eventually, but there were a few times where I had larger products and I had to work at getting shots to be more streamlined.
What do you use to take your photos with?
Right now, my cell phone. I want a camera someday, but again, I want to take my time and find something I will really like.
Tips for lighting?
Ottlites, lightbox, and find what works for you. My lighting setup is adjustable, but very rigged. I've got some chip bag clips and paper light diffusers. Go with what works, one day you'll still be able to get the expensive official stuff.
Has swatching changed your relationship with nail polish? How?
Yes, I was obsessed before, but Now I see a whole new reason and dimension to be in love with Polish. Indie polishes are bottles of art. They are intricate and unique and a science really. It's mind-blowing how much thought and trial and error, and labor of love that goes I to creating these.
Favorite collection you've swatched? Or favorite PPU polish you've swatched?
Wildflower's Winter Koi's. They are magical
Favorite finish to photograph? Least favorite finish?
I love Flakie Jellies and Multichromes. I specifically like mattifying those. In every other case or format, other finishes are all on the same level for me.
Any fun stories to come out of swatching? Like strange things you did to get the photo? Weird poses? Stuff that felt like a disaster in the moment but was funny later?
I've been on my front lawn, in my pajamas trying to take pictures of holo polishes in the last hint of sunlight for that day, trying to get that holo flame just right. I'm pretty sure my neighbors were wondering what the heck I was doing.
What is your favorite brand to work with and why?
I love every brand I swatch with for different reasons. I have been blessed to have swatched only for brands that I already was a huge fan of, and I wouldn't change that for the world. Each one of them has a specialty, and a huge talent at making a certain finish that I go to them specifically for.
How much time do you spend each week swatching, taking photos, etc?
Depends on the week. I have a regular nine to five, but I work in finance. When finance is busy, swatches get pushed to the weekend, but I always keep up with due dates, it's usually my insta that won't get as much activity as a result.
If you could only wear one polish finish what would it be?
Crelly. I am a Crelly fiend
What are your favorite nail/hand care products/routines?
Blue Cross Cuticle Remover; Acetone Additives from Swamp Gloss and Baroness X; Nailed It, Bees Knees, Vapid and Red Eyed Lacquer's creams and balms; Unicorn Magic oils; Anchor n Hearts Mermaid Tears and Cuticula's Cloud Cover. I swear by these!
Who’s a swatcher you watch/admire and why?
College Cuticles, The Polished Mage, Lisa of Cosmetic Sanctuary, Delanie FatCat Pawlished, Kimberly Kitty, Xandria and Lina Lackiert, Kad.Polish. I look up to them.
Given all the swatching, how often do you get to actually wear polish for yourself?
Not often, but that's because my day job is exhausting. I plan to get back to more challenges and nail art once busy season is over.
How many bottles of nail polish do you own? How many do you actually use?
I know I am closer to 1000 than I think. I haven't counted, but given how much space they take and how many I remember buying over this year, I just know. I will count once I have them organized into the helmers that I a getting for Christmas.