What’s new on my beauty desk – The Body Shop, SwiitchBeauty, Fitbit & More…

I have a serious online shopping problem and it is ridiculous.

DISCLAIMER: None of the products in this post are sponsored and all opinions are my own. Please do not use my photographs without my permission. 

Welcome back to my beauty desk. Grab a cup of tea or coffee (or water, if you’re on a health kick like me) and let’s look at some of the things I’ve been keeping for videos, reviews and all that jazz. If you guys would like a detailed video on these products, subscribe to my YouTube channel to find out more or just get my opinion on what I thought about them (I’m filming a full face of new make-up tomorrow and I am SO exited).

Catrice Beauty Kingdom 18 colour eyeshadow palette – Cherry & Nude

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I’m going to be honest, when I heard that Catrice launched a new range of eyeshadows, I wasn’t 100% sold on the idea. The reason for this is that I always felt that Catrice was a little bit too pricey and some of their products are really small. When I walked into Dischem, I HAD to have this palette. Cherry and nude shades are my absolute favourite and I could not ask for a better combinations of mattes and shimmers. The packaging is to die for (obviously, pink is my all time favourite colour) and it photographs so beautifully. This reminds me so much of the Urban Decay Naked Cherry palette and for R270, it’s a steal. One thing I will say is that I do not like the paint flecks on some of the shades, it makes the palette look broken to me or like mould in a sense but other than that, it is CUTE. This product was purchased at Dischem.

Make-Up Revolution Foundation Stick (F10)

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I have been wanting a new foundation for the longest time and when I saw that The Glam Doll Diary did a video review on this one, I knew I had to try it (a bonus that we’re the same shade so I can always count on her reviews to help me found the right shade). I’ve never tried stick foundations before so I’m really excited to see what it’s like. If I’m not mistaken, this foundation retails for R110 at Clicks.

Essence Cosmetics Super Last Eyeliner

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When I was watching a video with the new eyeshadow palettes from Catrice and Essence, I actually came across this baby and for R51, that was a bargain. Apparently the tip applicator glides on effortlessly and I love that because sometimes my eye gets irritated with hard eyeliner applicators. One thing that I will say is that I purchased this from Dischem and I wasn’t impressed with the packaging because it didn’t seem securely sealed. Other than that, cannot wait to test out this bad boy.

The Body Shop Matte Lip Butters

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I hate going into The Body Shop because it is my absolute WEAKNESS. You guys know that I’m a sucker for their make-up products and I love their matte lip liquids, so I was really curious to try these. Although the colour selection isn’t as great as the matte lip liquids, they are really dark and nude which I absolutely love (reds and nudes just look better on me, in my opinion). I’ve already tried the colour Manhattan Marigold and I received so many compliments on it, so I know I’m going to love the other shade.

SwiitchBeauty Matte Bounce Powder

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Thank you Springboks for winning the cup because the flash sale that SwiitchBeauty had was pretty hard to ignore. I got the Matte Bounce powder because I’ve always wanted a translucent powder and I thought it’s about time to jump on the bandwagon. One thing I will say is that the product does look a bit small. Hopefully this product will have me as shook as my bank account is after this haul. Purchased from SwiitchBeauty.

Fitbit Inspire HR

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I know this isn’t a beauty related purchase, but if you guys didn’t know, since June I have been trying to get into shape in terms of my fitness (and that my BMI scale told me I was obese) and recently I got a personal trainer. I purchased cheaper fitness watches before from Takealot and none of them worked. Then I decided to bite the bullet and purchase a Fitbit from Superbalist. Due to the fact that I have never ordered off Superbalist before, I could finally use the code FIRSTBUY! It was a bittersweet moment because I’ve been saving my code for something special and even though it wasn’t much, I still loved it. I;ve been wearing it for 2 days now and I can honestly say it has changed the game for me in terms of how I view my fitness stats. The watch retails for R2099, RIP bank account.

So tell me, what’s new on your beauty desk and which products are you excited to see me test out?

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VLOG: Just a regular week in my life – journalism internship, gym and grocery shopping

 

If you’re like me and love a vlogs where we’re just running errands and getting ready for work, then I hope you’ll enjoy my latest vlog on my channel. I’ve never been comfortable with vlogging in public due to the high crime rate in my country and because I’m not always on my phone (my attempt at trying to detox from social media). I wanted to increase the content on both my blog and my YouTube channel to make up for all the time that I’ve missed when I’ve been busy with my internship.

In this vlog I’m taking you with me to work, going to the gym and I’m also going grocery shopping. What’s not to love?

On that note, I have a super exciting announcement…

I’M DOING VLOGMAS 2019.

I’m not sure what my schedule is going to look like because I will be traveling, but one thing is for sure… The content game hasn’t seen anything yet.

I’m also doing my annual Christmas giveaway (open to South African residents only) and if you’re not subscribed to my YouTube channel, now would be a good time to head over because that is one of the rules of my giveaway!

Come say hello over on my vlog channel! Responding to all my comments.

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Everything you need to know about ZAFUL South Africa and my brutally honest opinion

From ordering to shipping, customs and exchanges, I’ve got all the details…

 

 

I’ve been receiving a number of questions on social media about my experience with ZAFUL South Africa. To my surprise, I even had a recruitment agent ask me about my experience because she saw that I had done a video on it! I love helping out wherever I can so I’m going to try my best to leave all the questions you’re dying to know right here where you can read if you’re not really into YouTube videos. Feel free to watch the videos instead if you’d like to see what some of the items look like.

What is ZAFUL?

Zaful is an online fashion retailer with a wide variety of clothing items such as tops, bottoms, denims and swimwear at reasonable prices (I say reasonable because in my honest opinion, they are not cheap but compared to South African prices they’re a lot better).

Ordering process

The ordering process is relatively simple, but checkout can be a bit of a pain. Once you’ve added all your items to your cart, you simply add a discount code (if you sign up with your e-mail, you’ll get tons of them and they’ll definitely come in handy) and then proceed to check out. For some reason, ZAFUL doesn’t pick up South African currency on their site so it converts it to U.S Dollars, which is the same amount but just a different currency. Once you’ve reached the payment process, you can go ahead and pay with credit card, debit card or PayPal (I’m unsure of the paypal method but checkout is safe even though I paid with debit card).

Shipping to South Africa & Customs

Yikes. This was definitely not the quickest process, but really not too bad. I believe that I received my first order 3 weeks after I purchased it and it was delivered to my house because apparently there is a South African warehouse somewhere in SA. The first time I ordered, I had no problems and the courier dropped it off with no charge whatsoever, but the second time I ordered more items (it was a bigger parcel than my first), my package was flagged by customs. I’m not sure how it worked the first time but the second time really got me fired up because it was a hassle to get in touch with the post office, find out why my parcel was flagged and then on top of paying R1700 for my second ZAFUL order, I had to pay a R1300 customs charge on top of that. Guys, when I tell you that it was the final straw for me, I meant it. Customs did me so wrong, on my intern salary, mind you. Just beware of ordering more than 5 items because I’m really not sure how the size issue works.

Quality & Sizing

I’m going to be really honest and say that ZAFUL’s swimwear is to die for. I’ve only ever had one issue with a swimsuit and that was the stitching that was sticking out (it looked messy, like it was coming apart), but I fixed it and now you can hardly notice it. Their clothes are a different story. I would highly recommend not ordering ANYTHING in white, because from my own experience, it is see-through as hell. Some of the clothing items look so cute in photos and once it arrives, it isn’t the best quality. For some reason, ZAFUL charges so much more for their clothing pieces than their swimsuits, which I don’t understand. Their sizing? Absolutely WHACK. I’ve had to order almost all my items in large even though I’m a medium. Their clothing and two pieces run small but their monokinis run true to size. I hate to say it but I really wasn’t impressed with their small clothing pieces, especially because they look so cute on their site.

Returns

I decided to return 3 items that did not fit and this is where I realized how bad ZAFUL’s customer support service is. It takes them 24 hours to respond to each message, which is really ridiculous and can be really frustrating. When I asked about their returns process, I was told that the returned items need to be sent to HONG KONG. Wow, I was at a loss for words. Then they said they’ll refund me the full amount for the clothing, but only a partial amount for the shipping. It cost me about R350 to return the package via airmail to Hong Kong and this could only be done through the post office (they ask you not to use DHL or other courier services, please do not ask me why). They also ask for a website to trace the parcel, an image of the receipt and details of the items. I only received my money a month later and this was after I had to follow up with them a few times.

The verdict

Would I recommend ZAFUL? Yes, if you’re going to buy their swimwear, please go crazy, just read the reviews before you purchase an item so you know what the sizing is like. The reviews are found below each item to give the customer an idea of what others are thinking. As for their clothing, just be careful with sizing and don’t be too excited about the quality. I feel like the only thing I can really complain about are the clothing items I’ve received, their customer support and crazy returns process. Other than that, I’m really happy with some of the swimsuit items.

Have you ordered from ZAFUL before? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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And so the adventure begins…

“May the flowers remind us why the rain was so necessary”

 

I’m not sure if I should be typing this with tears in my eyes or with content in my heart, but one thing I can say for sure is that I am at peace. As most of my followers will know, I was recently given a notice that the company I work for will no longer be hiring interns, which means that I do not have the opportunity to extend. I knew that my job wasn’t forever but I didn’t think it would be over this quickly.

I have completed 6 months of my journalism internship, which is crazy to me. It feels like just the other day I was buying a ton of stationery and getting rose gold quotes laminated so that I could have a cute little desk set up (my desk was really cute, by the way) and now it’s time for me to spread my wings and move on to another career. I’m not sure what exactly I’ll be doing, or where I’ll be going yet, but one thing I’ve come to learn is that my path has already been set out for me. God is laughing at my uncertainty right now and thinking “Is she going to trust me this time?” and as a matter of fact, I do. I saw a quote on Pinterest the other day that said “Be thankful for closed doors. They often guide us to the right one” and I don’t think I’ve ever resonated with something so deeply that it moved my soul.

I’ve always been a free-spirit. If you asked me to go on an adventure with you, I’d do it without thinking twice. I love a challenge and I’m very steadfast in my faith, so I’m basically unshakable. My internship has been the best and worst 6 months of my life. I’ve met new people (some really nice, others questionable because I wasn’t sure if they liked me, haha), had to get up at 5AM everyday and I have conquered my fear of driving long distances. I’ve been challenged and buried in work and I’ve also been enlightened and often amused at the medical content I’ve had the pleasure of researching. I’ll be writing an entirely different post on my internship experience but this is just a reminder to myself that everything is going to be ok, it always has been and it always will be. I’m currently completing my online professional diploma in social media marketing, so the possibilities are endless.

C.S. Lewis once said there are far better things ahead than any we leave behind and I am excited to keep looking forward.

To anyone dealing with unemployment, retrenchment and other forms of adversity, my Instagram DMs are always open if you need to talk. I’m sending you all my love and support, always.

But here’s to new adventures, may we walk into jobs we love and environments that make us want to get up in the morning x

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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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How To Start a Successful YouTube Channel – My Secret Tips + Tricks!

 

I recommend watching the video, as I go into great detail regarding the points I discuss in this blog post.

YouTube has surely become one of the best platforms to showcase a variety of content. Whether you’re into lifestyle, fashion, beauty or fitness, there is always something for people to watch on YouTube. Now, what happens when you’ve become so inspired from sitting in front of the screen and watching that you decide to move behind the screen and start filming? YouTube is a great way to build an audience and to create killer content to share with the rest of the world. However, YouTube is not everything that it is cut out to be and I am here to shed some light on what it really takes to be a content creator and if you’re genuinely serious about becoming one, how to start a successful YouTube channel.

Know why you start a YouTube channel

I think it’s important to know why you want to start a channel. A lot of the time, when people message me on Instagram and tell me they want to start a YouTube channel, they are somewhat confused when I ask them why. I’m not asking to be rude, but it’s because some people start a channel without a goal in mind and it results in their channel ending up dying because they didn’t realize what it takes to start a channel. YouTube is commitment and requires a lot of effort and consistency.

Doing YouTube for money/press drops

If you’re starting a channel thinking that you’re going to make dollar signs, I have bad news for you my friends. Am I saying you can’t make money from YouTube? Not at all. I have made money from YouTube even though I believe I only had 600 subscribers at the time, so it is possible. However, you won’t see money when you start out on YouTube because YouTube has now enforced a rule which states that unless you have reached a certain watch time or you have 1000 subscribers, you are not allowed to monetize your videos, which means that ads will not run on your videos and you will not make money. Press drops usually only come with quite a following and even so, it still requires a lot of patience and consistency on YouTube.

Just start

The one comment I get almost all the time when people want to start a YouTube channel is that they’re afraid of what other people are going to say. I think that I forgot to mention in this video that your content is essentially going to be seen by the rest of the world. If you feel that you are too sensitive to deal with criticism and bullying, I wouldn’t recommend starting a YouTube channel as I take mental health very seriously. However, if you think you can handle it then just remember that people always going to have something to say. Everytime someone views your video to “make fun of you” that’s a view for your channel which is a bonus for growth. I guarantee that the people you go to high school with won’t matter in 5-10 years from now. If you enjoy creating content, just do it!

Equipment and my favourite apps

I recommend starting on your smartphone if you do not have a camera because you don’t need the best camera on the market to start your channel. I started off with a basic Nikon L330 and once I saw growth in my channel, I decided to move into a new direction with higher quality content, which only came with 800 subscribers might I add. Being close to 1000 was the push I needed to up my game and now I film with a Canon EOS200D and I use a 18-55mm lens. You don’t have to have the best camera to start off with, rather work with what you have and once you see growth then you can move on to better quality.

Consistency

I would not recommend YouTube for someone who is not consistent. When people view your channel, they want to subscribe to people who are going to keep pushing out content. I feel like when you go missing for long periods of time, it hurts your channel because people can see that you’re not going to be consistent and then they probably won’t stick around to see more content from you. Am I saying you have to post everyday or week? Absolutely not. But it helps to have a schedule for yourself so that you don’t disappear completely.

Growing your channel and SUB4SUB

I talk a lot about this topic in detail and I definitely recommend watching this part of the video because I go into detail about sub 4 sub and how it hurts your channel and is an ineffective growth tool.

Descriptions

Why people leave their descriptions blank I will never know. It’s so important for your audience to know where to find you and important links you may want to share with your audience. If brands want to work with you,  they’ll contact you from the email in your description, but if you leave it blank then they’ll move on and find someone else instead.

Collaborations

Don’t be shy to reach out to other YouTubers. I honestly think that a sure way to grow your audience is definitely to reach out to someone who has more or less a similar number of followers as you and asking them if they would like to collab with you. You don’t have to physically be with them, it’s literally just mentioning their socials and doing a similar video. People like to find other content creators and I can guarantee both people will benefit from doing collaborations.

Sharing your content

I don’t think I can stress the importance of sharing your content enough. If you upload a video to a channel where you have 5 subscribers, chances are if you’re lucky you’ll get 5 views. The reason I say ‘if you’re lucky’ is because not all subscribers are active subscribers. You can have 100 subscribers, and get 20 views. There are a ton of reasons for this but the most important aspect is getting your content out there. I’ve mentioned that some of my favourite platforms to use are Twitter, Instagram Stories, targeted Instagram sharing accounts and Facebook Groups. A few tools I use are TubeBuddy and VidIQ which are both really helpful plugins for choosing the right tags for your videos and providing stats so that you can see what is working and what isn’t.

Do you have a YouTube channel? I’d love to know in the comments! Also, don’t forget to leave me any tips or tricks you’ve found to help grow your channel x

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September Goals & Reflection [Day 2: 30 day blogging challenge]

I know I’m a bit late on the bandwagon, but happy Spring everyone!

I love September because it marks new beginnings. For me, this month has brought some great surprises: one being that I was on the radio! Yesterday I won a competition on Heart 104.9 where I get to go to any nature reserve in Cape Town [Boulders Beach penguin is honestly at the top of my list right now]. August brought a lot of blessings, particularly turning 22. I’ve really had a lot of time to think and I’ve also made the decision not to take life so seriously. Your 20’s are supposed to be the wildest years of your life and I feel as though I’m not living the way I would like to and I’m not seeing as much as I should. However, this is also the month where I have to knuckle down and apply for jobs. I am so excited for the new chapter in my life but I feel that with this, comes great responsibility. So I decided to put my goals down in my virtual diary and get the ball rolling:

Get serious about blogging

I figured that every year, R150 goes off of my student account to cover the cost of my domain. I can’t have a blog and not utilize it. It doesn’t make sense to be paying for something I don’t use. When I stopped blogging, my stats started going down and I just didn’t feel motivated to produce content here because I was so focused on my YouTube channel. By doing the 30 day blogging challenge, I’m pushing myself to get back into blogging and to remember why I fell in love with it in the first place. This goes hand in hand with posting regularly to Instagram. I need to get my stats up so that I can reach my goal of 1000 followers.

Read more

I have a love-hate relationship with this goal. Books are expensive. I love to read but I hate spending money. When I stopped working this year, it was because I wanted to put more time and effort into my studies, after realizing that I could not graduate cum laude due to the fact that I failed an exam and was required to write a supplementary, it really made me see things differently. I then lost interest in my studies, partly due to the fact that I’m not doing what I love.

Stop spending money unnecessarily

I love to spend money on things I honestly don’t need. Make-up, shoes, clothes, you name it and if I think I can get it at a steal, I want it. I’ve been so careless with my spending this year and this realization came to me when I watched a video of a girl who stuffs envelopes with money to limit her spending. Although I’m probably not going to go to the extent of limiting myself to the last cent, I would like to try saving at least R100 a month. If I succeed, I’ll be on the road to putting money away and investing it so that it can grow rather than having the urge to spend it again.

Meet new people

This is terribly embarrassing for me to admit, but I have no idea how to go about meeting new people or networking. This hasn’t always been a problem for me, only in recent times when my confidence took a knock in high school. I used to love meeting new people and my goal is to meet at least 5 new people this month. This is to move out of my comfort zone and stop being afraid of going for things I’ve been scared to do before.

Take more risks

All my life, I feel like I’ve always played it safe. After watching the movie Ibiza, I feel like I have a new found love for doing things without thinking and following your heart. I resonate with Harper on another level. I say this with a sense of responsibility at the same time, because I’m sure that not everything happens the way it does in the movies.

Learn to love myself more

I am my biggest critic sometimes. I feel like I never take time out to assess my own needs and treat myself with the things that I deserve. That needs to change and I feel that without love, one doesn’t really have anything.

What are some of your goals for September?

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Enjoy Bath & Body Birthday Celebration – Competition Time!

“Another adventure filled year awaits you”

I love birthdays. No, wait. I love celebrating birthdays. I have always been the person that goes overboard when it comes to celebrating and making the most of someone’s special day because I believe that it’s the one time of the year when people should be given everything their heart desires. However, this year I received a gift on someone else’s birthday.

 

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That’s right, Enjoy Bath and Body was kind enough to send me my absolute favourite range of products, the Good Times Bubbly Celebration range! I came home to such an amazing treat today and I cannot express how grateful I am to be part of their little family. So, what’s in it for you? I thought you’d never ask!

Enjoy is hosting a birthday competition where you can win a shopping spree to the value of R5000 at a mall of your choice. All you have to do is head over to their Instagram or Facebook page to see how you can enter their competition (hint: it’s super easy!)

Happy Birthday Enjoy Bath and Body!

MY INSTAGRAM | BLOG INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | FACEBOOK PAGE | YOUTUBE CHANNEL

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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.

 

my social media

 

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Make-Up Tutorial: Sultry Smokey Eye & Red Lip Valentines Day/Date Night Look

Ah, and as “single awareness day” slowly approaches, Deeanne decides to throw out not one, but two valentines day inspired looks! In case you missed it, I did a girly fun Essence One Brand Tutorial: Bubblegum Pink Valentines Day Make-Up look and today I wanted to do something a little bit out of my comfort zone, so I went into my sultry side and did a sultry smokey eye with a bold red lip!

As usual, shameless self-promo here. If you enjoy watching my videos, I would love for you to subscribe to my channel so you can see more content from me!

 

FEATURED PRODUCTS:

The Body Shop Instablur for Eyes

Swiitch Beauty Slays For Days Palette

L.O.V Cosmetics The Forbidden Volume Mascara

Michelle Ori Feliner

Eylure London Dramatic Lashes 202

Maybelline Baby Skin Pore Minimizing Primer

Rimmel London Match Perfection Foundation in True Nude

LA Girl Pro Conceal in Natural

Essence Matt Compact Powder

Catrice Sun Glow Shimmering Bronzer

Beauty Treats LA Heart Love Blusher Palette

The Body Shop Illuminating Drops of Glow

Catrice Mineral Glow Highlighting Powder

Essence Lip Liner 14 Femme Fatale

L.O.V Cosmetics Christina’s Red Lipstick

Essence Keep It Perfect Fixing Spray

 

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I think that this week I will try one more make-up look before I start my back to school/varsity series. I am so excited to be going back to university because it is my final year and the year I have to start job hunting. I am nervous but calm at the same time because I know that God has a plan for me. I really want to go into journalism but I have been looking into teaching English abroad.

 

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