I am not sure if you’d noticed, but I’ve been posting less often on my Instagram and blog posts here have also been more sporadic, especially during the later half of this year. I felt like I’ve ran out of ideas and inspiration, and to actually do the work for the IG and the blog became quite a dread. I didn’t know what to post, I didn’t want to post but felt like I had to and ultimately, I think I forgot what my purpose of starting beautybyrah was in the first place.
2018 was a big year of change for me and that included my journey with makeup products and its industry.
When I started beautybyrah on Instagram roughly about 4 years ago, it was mainly for me to keep track of my eyeshadow looks (thus, the eyeball pictures) and for me to see my progress. I then started a blog too, as I really enjoyed writing and what better to write about than makeup, am I right? (Side note, I still cringe when I read my very first blog post! But it’s all part of my journey so I’m just leaving it up there). This was actually meant to be a personal journey. Unbeknownst to me was a whole social media and beauty industry that I had accidentally stumbled upon.
Soon, I started gaining followers and soon, emails from various beauty brands started to follow. I have to admit, as someone who basically just stays in the background throughout my life, these little accomplishments felt a little strange but it felt good to be noticed. I started to think about what people wanted to see, rather than what I personally wanted to post. That’s how I dived into the world of makeup flatlays, which I am grateful for, as it helped me improve my photography skills and to build on my creativity when it comes to styling.
I had a great time for the last few years. The opportunity to try out many new makeup products, the invitations to events and the whole idea of getting recognised by brands improved my self confidence tremendously. Growing up, I was never the extroverted and confident type, and going to events where I had to mingle and socialise forced me out of my shell and comfort zone. Personality wise, I’m still an introvert but I definitely have more confidence to talk to strangers now.
I wore makeup daily and I bought tons. Tonnnnsssss. I loved playing around with the various products and just creating a different look everyday. I truly did love it and I never thought of makeup as a mask or defence of some sort. That being said, as people started to find my Instagram and read my blog, I subconsciously felt like I had an image to uphold.
It was this year that things really started to change. It started with YouTube; I slowly got really tired of watching youtubers talk about the same item in their videos or seeing them constantly post PR hauls. New beauty products kept getting released and since PR is usually sent to influencers around the same time, my feed is usually filled up with the same content. Many influencers were also collaborating with various makeup brands or coming up with their own, and I just felt the beauty market getting increasingly saturated. I just felt overwhelmed with everything and slowly, my inclination to buy new makeup items waned (my wallet has never been happier).
Instagram’s algorithms also made it difficult to view my favourite makeup artists’ works and all I saw were sponsored posts on my timeline. My posts’ engagements also dropped pretty badly. It got old really quick and I have to admit, the urge to open the app drastically declined (this was until I started following Instagram accounts of cute dogs!).
During the course of my journey, I also got many opportunities to work with various brands which I am extremely grateful for. I still remember the very first time I received my first PR package from Loreal and the amount of pride I felt. It was as though all the effort I put in over the years came to fruition. However, I don’t want to sound ungrateful or spoilt, I started to lose that excitement when more PR packages arrive. Instead of my eyes glinting with excitement, I realised that I have become indifferent to it and subconsciously became stressed as that meant I have to fulfil more obligations. Nothing in the world is free, and brands do want exposure after all. I used to be incapable of saying no, and took any opportunity that came my way. I tried so many products and I always wrote about them the way I wanted to. The last straw was my encounters with some PR companies that had demands which I felt went against what I believed in. Slowly, I started to turn down many offers and I started to find out what I was truly passionate about trying and writing about.
2018 was also the year I started working out. A lot. Ever since my trip to Phuket (blog posts here and here) and my first ever Muay Thai lesson, I started using guava pass and class pass to go for fitness classes at least once a day. This slowly reduced my usage of makeup as I have to remove it before or reapply after. Eventually, I reached the stage that I am right now, where concealer, lip tint and the occasional mascara is sufficient for me.
Despite my idea of makeup as fun instead of a protective shell, I used to be uncomfortable going bare faced but I feel like I am truly alright with that now. Yes, my dark circles are pesky and pretty horrifying. Yes, I have blemishes and acne scars. I am human after all. It’s also associated with growing older I suppose, where the amount of f**ks you can give to trivial matters dramatically reduces year after year.
So here I am, typing this in a coffee shop, bare faced as I had just finished from my boxing class. I feel great and honestly, I’ve learnt to accept that what people think of me is really none of my business.
So where does this leave beautybyrah? Honestly, I am not sure and am still figuring this out. I love to write so this blog will always be part of my life. The content is evolving, as can be seen from the past few posts. I know for sure that my interests are slowly evolving, and I know that if I keep this blog heavily focused on just makeup, it is not going to work out in the long run. Of course, beauty will still be a huge part of my life and I’ll definitely still feature skincare and makeup here. But it’s no longer the largest aspect of my life and I want my content to reflect that. I want my content to reflect my life, my journey and my passions. That said, I also love to churn out content on my travels so I’ll be working on more travel guides this year. Also, I would love to work on more content featuring the books I’ve read as well as my journey with life as a whole.
Throughout December, I’ve been working on the new blog design (I hope you like it!) and changing up bits and bobs. Hopefully by 2019, a brand new BBR is up and ready to go!
Thank you for staying with me and following me on my journey if you do! This blog is an outlet for my thoughts and experiences, and I hope that by sharing bits of them with you, they would help or inspire you in some way.