The Chronicles of the Unlucky and Unemployed – Chapter 2: Unemployment is Expensive.

PSA: To all my lovely readers in the same boat as I am, it is not our season yet. You are loved. Massively. Ferociously. Unconditionally. The universe is totally freaking out about how awesome you are. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone seeking employment at the moment x.

Another unsuccessful week has gone by in terms of the job search but we must remain hopeful. This week was incredibly difficult for me personally because I felt like I had really hit an all time low when it came to looking for work. I know, everything happens in it’s own time (God has his timing and it’s just not my season yet). However, I wanted to touch on something that has touched me personally and that I feel is not talked about enough among graduates from university or unemployed job seekers.

Recruitment processes. I have a love-hate relationship with them. Obviously it forms part and parcel of getting a job which is understandable, but I’m talking about processes that can take anywhere from weeks to months. I love the idea of getting to know the company and seeing what life is like behind the scenes, but I don’t think that businesses understand how expensive processes like these are, especially if there’s a chance that the potential employee might not be hired at all. To give you guys a bit of background, I recently went through a strenuous recruitment process which took place over the course of a month. It required me to be in different parts of town, which included central and north (about 30-40 minute drives each for me) and also required studying and completing assessments. I know I’m going to sound like a complete geek, but I genuinely enjoyed the studying aspect. Being fresh out of university gave me that competitive edge and I’m not new to burning the midnight oil in order to ace results. However, two steps away from the final interview, I was told that they would not be moving forward with me with that recruitment process. What killed me was that I had put so much time and effort in because I really, really wanted this job and I thought I was a perfect fit. Not only that, but after a month of patiently waiting for answers, buying new clothes to meet whom I thought would be my potential employee, filling up my tank to drive to the other side of town and purchasing a few odds and ends (like printing study notes, etc.), I found myself really broke.

I am truly fortunate to have my own car, but I don’t think people understand that not everyone has their own forms of transportation. As someone who only got her car a few months ago, I decided it would be best to Uber to town as I wasn’t comfortable driving to town on my own in peak morning traffic. Luckily my grandfather offered to take me (and might I add, took me through his work which made a really nifty shortcut). However, if I had to Uber to town that would’ve cost me about R250 from where I live (which would have totalled a whopping R500 for me to get back home), R300 to take me to the North side of town (R600 total to get home) and add in the fact that I needed a white blouse (which was requested by the employer) which I could only find at Woolworths for some reason (I won’t even mention the price, but please know it cost me a pretty penny) and of course if you didn’t have internet and you needed to communicate back and forth (to complete my assessment) which would have probably cost around R50 for printing as well. If my total is correct (maths was never my strong suit) this process could have cost close to the tune of R1250 for someone who used Uber. All of this, just to be told that you didn’t get the job.

I’m not necessarily upset about the situation anymore,  because looking back, I genuinely enjoyed the recruitment process and I understand now that maybe I was destined for something better. I just feel that it is quite unfair for unemployed students or job seekers to have to go through such extensive recruitment processes when it is evident that we lack certain criteria for the job. In my case, I was told that I was too young and lacked “life experience”. In my CV, the first bit of information under my name is my date of birth and in my academic history it is stated that I graduate this year.

The job search in itself is already so hard and it is evident that one of the biggest groups that suffer the most is students who have just graduated from university. Not everyone has money to complete some of these processes too, which is heartbreaking. Moral of the story: unemployment is expensive. My heart really goes out to people who use public transport or have to use internet cafes to get work done, it really does impact on the pocket. Not to mention, over the course of a month, it was possible to find other opportunities as well, but you’re so focused on the recruitment process you’re already in because you think you’re so close to the finish line.

What are your thoughts on recruitment processes?

A new week. Let’s go.

We kap aan.

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My Updated Skincare Routine featuring Cetaphil Oil Control Range & Tips For Keeping Acne at Bay

I may or may not have had a killer dance party in this video, you’re welcome x

Please Note: None of the links below are affiliate links, I’m just genuinely trying to help you find these products! x

Anyone who knows me personally will know that I have struggled for the longest time with hormonal acne. My skin is extremely sensitive to heat and I often find myself breaking out after a heat rash. I’ve tried almost everything on the market and I never found any product that I could swear by religiously. Someone suggested I try out Cetaphil as it comes highly recommended by dermatologists. The first thing I tried out was the gentle skin cleanser which worked treat for my skin but wasn’t really helping with my oily skin. After doing some research, I found that Cetaphil actually has a range for acne prone skin. Cetaphil didn’t have to say anything more, I said they could take my money.

Cetaphil’s DermaControl range is formulated for acne prone skin. It is specifically designed for oil control so for all my oily girls, this is definitely something I’d recommend. I often worry that products like this will be very drying on my sensitive skin but that was not the case for me. I loved how gentle the foam wash was on my skin because a part of me always felt that if the product doesn’t foam then it isn’t working. The smell tends to bother some people as some people say it does tend to have a bit of a clincal smell, but it really doesn’t bother me.

Can we please talk about how much my photography skills have improved? I captured these on my Canon 200D using an EF 50mm f/1.8 lens.

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I use the daily foam wash in conjunction with my Safeway Facial Cleanser. I love the rubber head because it’s the most gentle on my skin and it doesn’t irritate my skin as much as the exfoliating head does. If you’re looking for a pretty cool dupe for the Clarasonic Mia and you really don’t want to spend an arm and a leg, I got this baby for R150 at Clicks, thank me later. The head does alternate directions and is standard battery operated (AA). It comes with 3 different heads, but I only use the rubber head.

 

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With regards to the moisturizer, I love the fact that it’s not a thick consistency and it doesn’t leave my skin feeling greasy. When my skin gets oily, I find myself breaking out more. I wear this underneath my make-up but I’ve noticed that my foundation (The LA Girl Pro Coverage foundation) tends to leave my skin oily after a few hours of wear. If anyone has any recommendations for a great full coverage matte foundation, please let me know! Due to the fact that the bottle is relatively small, I do tend to use this sparingly.

My only con about this product is the heavy price tag it comes with. Although I do understand that it is a great product and that it comes highly recommended, these products are really expensive. If you know my current situation, you would know that I am currently a graduate seeking employment and if I don’t get a job soon and my skincare products run out, I doubt I’ll be able to replenish them. I usually purchase my skincare products from Clicks or Dischem depending on where I can find them on special. Clicks is currently having a 3 for 2 on their Cetaphil products. The Cetaphil DermaControl Oil Control Moisturizer retails for R238,00 (118ml) while the DermaControl Foam Wash retails for R189,00 (236ml). Unfortunately, I cannot find the same facial cleanser as pictured above as I’ve had it for about a year, but I’ve found a similar one here which retails for R139,00.

I have been actively trying to work on my skincare since I am no longer on the pill, which really helped for my acne. I left some of my favourite tips in my video but I’ll leave a few here too:

  • I like to stay hydrated. Water is so important, I love flavoured water even though it contains more sugar, it helps with my water intake.
  • I try to wear my hair out of my face as much as I can because the grease from your hair can cause your skin to break out.
  • I’ve transitioned somewhat to almond milk instead of normal milk. Regular milk contains hormones which conflict with our hormones and result in hormonal breakouts.
  • Going to bed with make-up on? Never heard of her. I cannot get into bed with make-up on my face as it feels super gross and I know it can only result in breakouts. I love the Garnier Micellar Water which is so gentle on my skin and the best for removing make-up. I use this in conjunction with the Nature’s Nourishment Rooibos Wipes

Do you have any tips or tricks you use to keep your skin clear? If so, let me know in the comments! x

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The Chronicles of the Unlucky and Unemployed – Chapter 1: Experience.

I want to pretend like I’m not writing this with tears streaming down my face and that I’m not struggling to get oxygen into my lungs, but hey it’s the truth and I am an absolute mess.

kris jenner mess

Ok, maybe that was a little bit dramatic.

Yet again I have received the soul crushing e-mail which basically says “thank you so much for putting all your time and effort into this job that we for sure looked like we were going to give you, but in actual fact we’ve only got more bad news…”

Rejection is not new to me if I’m being completely honest. Been through the job search, got the e-mails saying you’ve done great for yourself but we just don’t think you’re the right fit, blah blah blah. I’m not bothered by the rejection aspect at all, what bothers me is the fact that this process took about a solid three weeks, which required me to go into town for an interview, study for a week to write an assessment (which I aced with a solid 87% by the way) and then a whole work day on the other side of town (my petrol tank did the things guys), dedicated to learning more about what life in the business is like (sounds like they were literally preparing me to get ready for the job, right?). But, this morning I open up my e-mail to find those words we all love to hear:

“thank you so much for your application, but we’ve decided that we’re not going to move forward with you for this recruitment process”

Perfect.

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Obviously my hurt butt wanted to know exactly what the heck I did wrong, so naturally I had to pretend like I wasn’t falling apart so they could provide me with feedback and I kid you not, this was the response:

“The team thought you were very sweet, and clearly you were passionate about working here. You’re role play (yes, they actually made me do a painfully awkward role play) was excellent, so well done. This position comes with daily challenges and stresses and after careful consideration, the team felt that you are still quite young and inexperienced and perhaps you may not be able to handle those stresses and challenges just yet. So we recommend gaining some more life skills and experience and then you are welcome to re-apply in a years time.”

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I have no words.

Really, I don’t. You see, age and experience you can tell from the get-go, so why was this not evident in the first round of my interviews? Most importantly, can someone please tell me where I was supposed to find experience when:

  1. I’ve been studying for the past 4 years and will get my degree next month.
  2. I’ve been balancing a job on top of my studies in order to make a bit of money on the side.
  3. You know these posts I write occasionally and those videos I make on YouTube? yeah, throw those into the mix too.

So, now what? Well, I guess the search starts from all over again. So please pray for me as I pull together the last few cents I have to go through this all. over. again.

Graduates, I feel ya’ll on a spiritual level when I say that unemployment is expensive.

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Unfortunately, it doesn’t get any better. Fun fact: South African graduates fall part of the large unemployment statistics because most companies in South Africa are not willing to hire students with no prior work experience. Don’t believe me? Check this out for yourself:

 

So let’s just get this straight: I spent 12 years in the schooling system just to obtain a matric certificate, followed by 4 years studying in the hopes of obtaining my degree (which I will receive next month). While balancing my studies I could only do part-time work as I could not commit to full-time employment (duh). Yet, it is my country who would like me to pull experience out of thin air before I can apply for an entry-level job. Yikes.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am still part of the South African unemployment statistics. Yup, it is I, who has just completed a 4 year degree in English and Communications while balancing a job in marketing, who has poured her heart and soul into creating content and of course who is constantly plagued by those unlucky e-mails trying to push me into a deep, dark place where alcohol is rife and the devil laughs at your misfortune.

Unfortunately for me, I can’t stand the taste of alcohol and I think I’ve had enough misfortune so that if the devil ever told me I’d never be able to withstand the storm, I’d whisper in his ear “babe, I am the storm”.

and so it continues, the chronicles of the unlucky and unemployed.

In the words of a true Capetonian, we kap aan.

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What I Got For Christmas 2018 + GIVEAWAY!

CLICK PLAY TO WATCH, PLEASE LIKE & SUBSCRIBE!

‘Tis the season & Jesus, you’re the reason.

Every year at Christmas time, I always binge watch “What I Got For Christmas” videos. They’re one of my favourite videos to watch and I love seeing what other people get for Christmas. With that being said, please do not think that I am trying to brag in any way, shape or form because these videos are purely for the entertainment of my subscribers and a tradition on my channel. I am extremely grateful to have the things I have, even if it’s friendship, health, family or success. 2018 has definitely been a rollercoaster of emotions for me personally and I am grateful that I finished off my university career with 2 distinctions and I graduate in 2019.

While it is the time of receiving gifts, the spirit of giving still thrives inside of me and my charity of choice for this year is the Cape of Good Hope SPCA. I love everything they do for animals in need and they have never let me down when it has come to fetching animals I reported in distress or stray animals. If you would like to donate to this cause, please click here (none of these links are affiliate and all proceeds you decide to donate go straight to the SPCA.

I’m also having a giveaway on my Instagram for all my South African readers. You can find the giveaway here and it closes on the 31st of December so you still have time to enter!

On that note, I just wanted to wish everyone well for the rest of the festive season. This time of year is not a good time on the roads and it is no surprise that crime thrives in these times. Please be safe on the roads, if you’re traveling this festive season. To everyone drinking, please drink responsibly and do not drink and drive. If you’re in need of a lift, I have a promo code for both Uber and Taxify, where your first ride is free (for Taxify I believe it’s free up to R150).

Uber Promo Code: deeanned4ui

Taxify Promo Code: BGSVY

Thank you for all your love and support this 2018. If I’m not back before 2018 comes to a close, I wish all my lovely readers all the best for 2019 and a prosperous new year filled with love, happiness, health and adventure.

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Behind the blog: The truth about why I stopped blogging & took a break from social media

It feels so weird to sit down and write this because I haven’t written a post in what feels like months. It’s terribly sad, because I love this blog. Heck, I pay almost R500 a year keeping this blog going, but I never really made use of it and I felt that I should explain myself…

When people stop blogging, others assume that they stopped for the following reasons:

  1. It was just a phase, that person didn’t really have the intention of actually becoming a blogger.
  2. It was for the freebies and all those nice perks that come with having a blog
  3. The blogger was just downright lazy and doesn’t actually have what it takes to be a real blogger.

Okay, maybe number 3 is partially true but not enough reason to keep my blog going, so why is it still up? Why am I still here and why on earth am I even writing this?

You see, in 2015, when blogging was still relatively new, I walked into university and I was honestly so unhappy with my classes, I felt that I needed an outlet. I loved writing, from a very young age I always had my nose in a book and every month I would ask my mom to buy countless magazines just so I could read articles and get beauty freebies. So I turned my love for beauty, fashion and lifestyle into a blog. I knew absolutely nothing, but I liked that I had my own little place on the internet where my voice actually mattered. People were leaving lovely comments, following me on social media, asking to know more about me. And so began Sincerely Deeanne.

However, with all of this came its challenges. As my blog and following grew, so did the blogging world and people who also wanted to jump on the bandwagon. My passion that burned so wildly for blogging was slowly but surely being put out and here’s why:

Blogging became a numbers game

Once I had hit about 3000 followers on my old account (which has since been deactivated since my account had been compromised), there was suddenly a large demand for even more numbers. I was so confused. I didn’t understand why I needed a reach larger than what I had already, but companies didn’t care, they needed tens of thousands of followers if not more in order to be reached out to and to work with you. Now don’t get me wrong, if a brand doesn’t want to work with me, I don’t take it to heart. I take it as a challenge. But then it became a regular occurrence. I wasn’t big enough, I wasn’t busy enough and eventually I felt like my blog was not good enough. My favourite occurrence that grates my TITS is when you put your life and soul into a post thinking it’s so good and a brand responds with a heart emoji. Wow, okay. Next time instead of that heart emoji, you might as well send me the middle finger because you basically told me to get lost and take my content with me, because you couldn’t care less. This is what contributed to the lack of posts, as I couldn’t afford to review every brand out there on a student budget. Not to mention the hype around people with fake followers. Even though I read an article that actually supported people buying fake followers, it was just something that I couldn’t see myself doing. Firstly because I felt like it was an easy way out instead of actually taking the time to get to know your followers and secondly because even if for some crazy reason I actually wanted to, I wouldn’t be able to afford it (girl, when I say I’m hella cheap I mean I AM DEAD. ASS. CHEAP.). What hit me the most was that I had learned that people with huge followings were making money off of creating content, even though they weren’t actually content creators. I never went into blogging for money, so I was disheartened to learn that people with fake followers would make money off of something that I genuinely enjoyed doing.

Click, Click, Snap

The average blogger posts almost twice daily. Instagram algorithm, blah blah. So I decided to do it too. What I didn’t realize was that it was becoming so exhausting. I constantly had to have images ready, make sure my feed was in order, manage accounts, tag brands, make sure the picture is good enough to be featured. This lead to me becoming unhealthily obsessed with the way I looked. I would fuss over every picture of myself and would delete almost 30 posts at one point just because I didn’t like how I looked in photos. If friends tagged me in photos that I thought I couldn’t associate with my brand, I’d have that tag removed faster than you can say “selfie”. I became more focused on products and featuring that rather than beauty and lifestyle posts associated with myself. I became a victim of the gram sham. Where my life looked pretty darn dandy on camera but was falling apart in real life. This lead me to take a break from social media to focus on myself.

PR Lists & all the glitz

Who doesn’t love PR? I remember my first PR package. It was a gift from Cosmetix and even though it was probably the smallest gift ever, I was finally being recognized and sent all these nice things. Don’t get me wrong, I love the thrill of being asked for my delivery address and waking up to the delivery man dropping off something nice. That was until I stopped receiving them on a whole. No, I didn’t go into blogging for PR — please don’t come for me. When I would see other people getting PR, I would over analyze and I would think that maybe I was doing something wrong. What if I wasn’t good enough? What can I do to be better? This is what lead to all the unhealthy comparisons and endless nights I would spend crying because I finally felt like my blog had maybe reached its expiry date.

Compensation station

Here’s one of the real kickers. I’m not necessarily angry about this situation but I felt like it did contribute to me asking myself “why the actual heck am I still doing this?”. I was once e-mailed by a brand asking to be featured on my blog every week as promotion for their clothing line. I love clothes so I thought, wow. A brand actually wants me to regularly curate content for them. Then, they continued to say that as compensation, they would offer me a 10% discount code that I could provide to my readers. Yup, you got it ladies and gentlemen. A whole ass 10%. I feel like I need to add that their clothes weren’t exactly cheap. This is another problem that I feel has become an issue in the blogging world. So many companies and brands expect bloggers to work for them for free. Yes, it’s work. We don’t just sit around and take pretty photos and go to events like people think. We take time out of our day to create posts and spend hours shooting products, even though we’ll end up with 50 images and only be happy with one. Not to mention the effort it takes to share our content because it’s not just going to sit on the blog and market itself. The cherry on the cake: I was only offered that discount because I was considered a “small blogger”. As if all the hard work I had done was great but not good enough. I felt like someone had given me a pat on the back and said “yup, that’s nice and all but we don’t really care because your numbers aren’t big enough”.

Life happens.

2018 was not the best of years for me. My grandfather was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and is currently in a weak state as he is deteriorating, I quit my job as a promoter and no longer had an income to buy products to review, I have no job security for next year and my final year of varsity kicked me so hard in the butt that I didn’t even know if I was coming or going. Yes, there are people in more terrible situations than myself and I count my blessings each and every day but my mental health had taken such a toll at this point that I decided to leave my keyboard for good and focus on my studies. It happens. Yet here we are, 1257 words later and we’re still going.

Call me lazy, silly or even weird for thinking that these reasons justify my absence in the blogging world, but truth be told, it’s the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the damn truth. I love this blog with all my heart and soul and I am grateful for every opportunity that it had afforded me. It’s still my little place on the internet where I matter and that will never change. My passion for creating content still burns wildly inside me and will never die, it’s just that it has to be fueled again. It will, when the blogging world least expects it.

 

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Mental Health, Break-Ups & Fake Friends! TMI Tag [30 day blogging challenge]

 

If there’s one thing I love, it’s being open and honest about issues that matter. In this video, I get real with you about issues like mental health, boyfriends, break-ups and fake friends.

I did the TMI Tag with questions from YouTube Society (if you decide to do this tag yourself, please send me your links so that I can support you) and the questions are as follows:

  1. What are you wearing?
  2. Ever been in love?
  3. Had a terrible break-up?
  4. How tall are you?
  5. How much do you weigh?
  6. Any tattoos?
  7. Any piercings?
  8. OTP? (One True Pairing/Favourite Couple)
  9. Favourite show?
  10. Favourite bands?
  11. Something you miss?
  12. Favourite song?
  13. How old are you?
  14. Zodiac sign?
  15. Quality you look for in a partner?
  16. Favourite quote?
  17. Favourite actor?
  18. Favourite colour?
  19. Loud music or soft?
  20. Where do you go when you are sad?
  21. How long does it take you to shower?
  22. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
  23. Ever been in a physical fight?
  24. Turn on?
  25. Turn off?
  26. The reason I joined YouTube?
  27. Fears?
  28. The last thing that made you cry?
  29. Last time you said you loved someone?
  30. Meaning behind your YouTube name?
  31. Last book you read?
  32. Book you are currently reading?
  33. Last show you watched?
  34. Last person you talked to?
  35. The relationship between you and the person you last texted?
  36. Favourite food?
  37. Place you want to visit?
  38. Last place you were?
  39. Do you have a crush?
  40. Last time you kissed someone?
  41. Last time you were insulted?
  42. Favourite flavour of candy?
  43. What instruments do you play?
  44. Favourite piece of jewellery?
  45. Last sport you played?
  46. Last song you sang?
  47. Favourite chat up line?
  48. Have you ever used it?
  49. Last time you hung out with anyone?
  50. Who should answer these questions next?

On that note, this is my first blog post for the 30 day blogging challenge. I have decided to get my views up because for some reason my views and interaction on posts have been relatively low. The last time I did the 30 day blogging challenge, my interaction and stats sky-rocketed and I just enjoyed challenging myself when it came to new and innovative posts. If you would like, I’ll have a post related to a bunch of blogging ideas so that you can start your challenge too!

INSTAGRAM | YOUTUBE CHANNEL | TWITTER | FACEBOOK PAGE

Snapchat: just_deeanne

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I tried OKCupid (worldwide) for a month and here’s what happened…

The world of online dating has become somewhat humorous to me. After downloading and deeply regretting having Tinder for a while, I deleted it thinking that I was not going to put myself through that ever again. Until I saw an ad for OKCupid. Now, keep in mind that I knew it was a dating app. What I didn’t know is that you can actually use it to meet like-minded people and make new friends from across the world. Having absolutely nothing to lose and add in the fact that I’m on winter break, you have me over here writing my thoughts on my experiences using the app.

HOW IT WORKS:

Unlike Tinder, OKCupid is not the same as diving right in after posting your best selfies. In actual fact, before you can use the app, you have to answer a series of questions so that the app can set you up with people who you have a number of things in common with. Questions can range from what you’re looking for on OKCupid all the way to what you’d like to change about the world, and then some. At first, answering these questions were really cool because it’s almost as if people want to get to know you, but after a while it became very tedious. Once you’re done answering a few questions, you add your best photos of yourself (with a few great compliments every time you successfully upload a picture, I really liked this feature) and there you go, you’re all set.

This is what your profile looks like once you’ve added your photos:

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Once you’ve added your basic information, this is what others will see:

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MEETING NEW PEOPLE:

On OKCupid, you do swipe left and right like Tinder with the added bonus of getting to know new people by reading their bios (Ok, I’ll admit it’s exactly like Tinder but people actually have their act together). Next to their names, there’s actually a percentage match designed by OKCupid to tell you how much you have in common with that person, which could tell you whether or not you’d make a good match. This is great but I don’t think you can accurately match people by percentages when you take into consideration that men are actually really lazy and hate doing these types of things. I can’t tell you how many times my guy friends have told me that they’re willing to lie in their bios simply because they want to impress ladies or that they don’t even bother reading bios in the first place. That I can believe, because when I used to be on Tinder, a lot of guys would send the most disgusting messages despite my bio explicitly stating that I’m not into hook-up culture.

You’re allowed to message anyone on OKCupid, but they won’t know you’ve received it until you choose to answer or they have A-List, which is similar to Tinder Gold, a paid service which allows you to access certain features like boosting your profile to increase your matches or a higher success rate of matching with someone you like. This is the only thing I don’t like about the app. You see, the app will notify you that someone has liked you (so far, I’ve been liked by over 1000 people) but they won’t tell you who it is unless they’ve messaged you, so you basically have to guess. Due to this, you have to sift through all the profiles or you have to state in your bio that you can’t see likes (so the person can message you, you can see messages).

You’d think that because I have over 1000 matches that I’d have found the perfect man by now, right? Haha, wrong. You see, I’ve matched with a few people from all over the world who can’t even string together a decent conversation or people who message me with “hey, how are you?”. Come on guys, you can do better than that. I have however made a few great friends who are nothing short of excellent when it comes to banter. Knowing that long distance isn’t really going to work for me at this stage (I am contemplating teaching English in the Far East/Dubai), knowing that others are on the same page and are in it for the giggles like me is always a plus. I’ve left my favourite messages I’ve received here for you guys to laugh at, or if you’re curious:

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It’s 2018, ok. More power to the females

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Not going to lie, this one kind of freaked me out a bit.

OKCUPID VS. TINDER

I find these apps relatively similar. Basically it’s photos and a bio, except Tinder is very popular when it comes to hook-ups, which is the main reason I deleted my account. I like OKCupid because it allows you to connect with people all over the world and your profile is tailored to what you’re looking for in terms of friendship, meeting new people, short-term dating, long-term dating or hookup. The only gripe I have is that I can’t see who’s liked me and you’re only allowed to match with a certain amount of people before OKCupid sends you a message to tell you that you have to set up a date with your matches once your number of matches has reached max (because I’m totally going to order chinese with someone in the U.S, living in South Africa). I find Tinder to be faster in terms of matches, but I’d say OKCupid is definitely a step ahead in terms of exploring your options all over the world. If you’re actually looking to find something solid, I’d recommend this app rather than Tinder.

THE VERDICT

Did I find the love of my life on OKCupid?

No.

Did I make new friends across the world (and gain a few Instagram followers in the process? shameless self-promo, ya know?)

Yes.

Keep the app?

No. I find it to be quite boring and although it is a better option than Tinder, I still feel like it’s a way to make money off of people. Realistically, I don’t think I would be able to “fall in love” with someone on the internet without meeting them first. 1 because I am terribly afraid of being catfished (although I know exactly what to look for, some people are repugnant when it comes to playing games with people) and two, I’m a very good judge of character in person. We could have fireworks going off in our conversation and meet up in person and well, crickets. I like the idea of meeting new people, but that’s about it. Love is definitely not on the map (see what I did there?) for me with regards to OKCupid.

RATING

6.5/10.

Have you ever tried dating apps? If so, let me know which ones are your favourite. I personally would just like to meet new people for now, pen pals welcome!

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Snapchat: just_deeanne

signing out of my dating profile!

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How I beat the Instagram algorithm, even though I started a new account.

DISCLAIMER: The Instagram algorithm will soon be non-existent, as Instagram has heard our cries and endless pleas. However, I still thought I’d post it since I have been asked for it.

February and March were tough months for me. Besides the fact that it’s final year and I’m set on graduating cum laude next year, I had my Instagram password changed and could not get into my old account, even after changing my password on numerous occasions. After much consideration, I made the decision to create a new Instagram account, even though I thought I’d go back to 10 likes per post and no comments or engagement. This was not the case.

When I started my new Instagram account, I did not jump right into posting pictures and trying to boost my follower count by following all my Facebook friends (even the people who bullied me throughout high school), no matter how much I wanted to. So instead, I did what a linguistics and research major is supposed to do, I did my homework. For weeks I watched videos on how I could take new Instagram photos, how I could encourage engagement on my feed and most of all, what exactly was I going to do to get my new profile recognized? So there I was, with my laptop and my phone researching how the Instagram algorithm worked and how I could beat it.

Here are some of the tips and tricks I’ve picked up along the way, I hope that until the new update that this will be able to help you in some way. If you would like to know how I edit my Instagram photos then please let me know in the comments.

  1. Hashtags, Hashtags, Hashtags

To be honest, I used to find hashtags extremely annoying and I hate how it looks in my captions. However, they are still extremely effective in terms of growing your audience and making the most of bulking up those likes. The thing about hashtags is that by using a hashtag, you’re allowing everyone who uses that particular hashtag to find you in searches. The key to using hashtags is that you want to use hashtags that aren’t too popular, to avoid your photos getting lost in a flood of other photos. My best advice is to use hashtags that are within the 100k limit or at least under a million. You can use popular hashtags, but the likeliness of a large group of people liking your photos or following you is going to be very slim. Also, I’ve noticed that posting hashtags in your captions is more effective than posting it in your comment section. Instagram can actually detect a bunch of comments as spam and is more likely to get you shadow banned.

Here is my first Instagram post from my new account sincerelydeeanne. Let me just say that I was so surprised that with about 150 followers at the time, I was able to pull off 100 likes. Hopefully that means that with more growth in followers, it will increase engagement and the likes will grow too.

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2. Beware of the Instagram Shadow Ban

Surprisingly, a lot of the people do not know about the Instagram shadow ban. Basically, by using certain hashtags repeatedly or using hashtags that are commonly associated with spam, you could potentially be a victim of the Instagram shadow ban. The shadow ban hides your posts on certain hashtags, which decreases your engagement with others. So if someone who doesn’t follow you searches a hashtag you’ve used and you’ve been shadow banned, they won’t see your post. When you’ve been shadow banned, you are more likely to see less interaction on your feed after posting a photo. To see if you’ve been shadow banned, you can ask a friend to unfollow you and search the hashtag you used to see if they see it or you can use websites. One website I’ve used to check is actually a Shadow Ban Analyzer which searches for your last photo in the hashtags you’ve used to see if you’ve been shadow banned. I’m not sure how accurate this website is but I have noticed that it is down for the time being.

3. Aesthetics & knowing your audience

I’ve always wanted a themed Instagram account. I am crazy about aesthetics and I love when my feed doesn’t look out of place. This does make it harder to post consistently, but it does pay off in the long run because eventually people who are looking at your profile are more likely to follow something that is cohesive and aesthetically pleasing to the eye than an account with hundreds of posts that look rushed and are not good quality. I also recommend knowing what your audience likes. When I started blogging, I had already had an Instagram account and I started posting blog photos to my personal feed. This caused me to lose followers and in turn made growing my account even harder. Then I decided to make a count dedicated to my blog alone, where I do reviews and strictly post products. This allows me to attract different audiences from different spheres. My combined following is about 540 followers which means that I must be doing something right on both pages.

Here is my Instagram feed. I”m currently trying to do a colourful theme but the theme I had before this was dark brown and then when I started Instagram my feed was pink and white. I’m really proud of how my Instagram feed looks and feature a lot of fashion posts and the odd beauty post. I want to get into posting Instagram tutorials soon, as soon as my feed is more put together.

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4. Use your Instagram stories to your advantage

I cannot stress this enough but on average, my new account with 294 followers receives almost 100 views. That means 100 people will see what I post on my stories. Letting your followers know that you have a new post up on your feed will allow others who have not seen your post to interact with your content. This puts it out there that there’s a photo they might not have seen yet. Make it known babe, get adding to that story!

5. Don’t buy your followers, but find ways to up your count

I have a love-hate relationship with this aspect of Instagram. In the latest South African issue of Cosmopolitan, it was said that buying your followers will help you get noticed by brands because most PR people do not do their homework and are more interested in massive numbers than genuine engagement. In recent times it’s actually been harder to spot the fakers due to the fact that engagement can also be bought. Likes and followers are so easy to get hold of these days so brands are easily fooled. The problem with a fake Instagram account is that at the end of the day, you’re only fooling yourself. Whether you’re buying likes, views or comments, it only allows some engagement and it’s hard to keep up. It’s not illegal to buy followers, however it does violate Instagram’s terms of service. I’m a student who doesn’t work and I still can’t seem to wrap my head around how people would pay for fake engagement. It is, however, illegal to enter into contractual agreements with a brand in exchange for money, as a company can sue you. I would recommend tagging brands in your photos and even pages similar to your niche so that you might get featured. Paying for features is one thing but there is no guarantee that you’ll get likes and followers. I personally love tagging Clicks South Africa in my blog photos because they always do a weekly round up of the posts they’re tagged in. This also allows me to find similar pages I’d like to follow. Being reposted by brands allows the brand and other users to find your profile. Who knows, if you’re lucky, you might be able to work with a brand or two!

How have you been beating the algorithm? I would love to hear your thoughts.

 

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August Instagram Round Up

August was a great month, if I’m being completely honest. Not only did I celebrate my 21st birthday but I managed to be more consistent in terms of posting my Instagram. I did not like how my feed looked at all and I decided that I wanted a more cleaner feed with white detail (not an all white feed as that is too difficult for me to maintain). In August I loved the filter N2 on VSCO Cam and tended to go for a darker theme to my page. Are we friends on Instagram? If not you can give me a follow here and I’ll follow you back if you leave me your username in the comments! I love following other bloggers and getting inspiration for product shoots or flatlays.

 

I’m not sure how the rest of this month will play out with regards to my Instagram schedule because I have so many assignments and tests 3 weeks every week. I will however be posting videos every Friday, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel here.

 

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My Night Routine ft. Lux Body Wash

Hello beautiful and welcome back to my blog!

–video is still loading, I will come back to insert it here. I was just scared I was going to miss my deadline–

I thought that I’d share my night routine and what goes into my relaxation process. I am a home body and I really enjoy coming home after a long day and simply winding down. Let me know if you enjoy being at home too!

So after a long day the first thing I like to do is get inside and change into some comfortable clothes which include: boyfriends hoodie and leggings. I then like to curl up on my couch and watch some TV (if there isn’t a bunch of nonsense playing) and allow my brain to unwind.

Then often times hunger strikes so I like to opt for healthy meals at night, I very rarely eat meat because I feel that it makes me sick. Some of my favourite foods to eat include: mac and cheese with a side of vegetables or seafood paella. If I feel like eating out then I opt for the Cobb Salad from Kauai, no egg.

Bath time is my favourite time of the night and I love using the Lux Body Wash. Rubybox was kind enough to send me a bunch of these (As I mentioned, I am having a giveaway.) and I love both scents. The purple is Sheer Twilight with fragrance pearls of Black Orchid and Juniper oil. I love using this when I go out because I always get complimented on the fragrance. If I’m staying home or cuddling with Matthew for a movie night then I opt for the pink which is Soft Touch with silk essence and pink floral infusion. It leaves my skin noticeably softer and always makes me smell so fresh and soft.

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After a bath I like to make myself a nice cup of tea for when I watch YouTube videos in bed and then I like to turn off all my electronics at least an hour before bed (I have the most vivid dreams and if I watch something weird on YouTube I will be dreaming about it later that night).

And that is my night routine! As I mentioned, there will be a video which I will come back to insert but I did have a deadline and could not risk missing it.

-DISCLAIMER: This post was NOT sponsored, these products were sent to me by RubyBox Beauty in exchange for a review HOWEVER I have been using Lux already, so it was already incorporated into my night routine xo.

RUBYBOX BEAUTY: http://www.rubybox.co.za

MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL: http://youtube.com/justdeeanneDIY

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