Blog Haitus – I’m Quitting

Blog Haitus – I’m Quitting

Hiya bellas,

It’s been a hot minute since I posted and I apologise for going AWOL on you with no explanation. The last few months have been crazy and I decided to step back from it all to gather my thoughts. I know most of you are thinking the title is click bait like those videos on YouTube but I’ve been seriously considering how I feel and fit in with the beauty community both in and apart from my blog. Today’s post is going to be a chat about my thoughts, feelings and strong opinions about certain stuff. Most of you might hate me after this, unsubscribe and talk s*#t about me but it is what it is. This post is all over the place so please bear with me. It’s really hard getting such complicated thoughts to flow smoothly. It’s also going to be hella long so grab a drink and a comfy spot if you’re interested.

If you read my post here, you’ll know that 2016 wasn’t the greatest year for me. It sucked career wise, I gained loads of weight and friendships came and went like the seasons. Unfortunately, this year was a million times worse. I don’t want to talk about it too much but I threw myself into my blogging as an escape. Every waking minute was spent taking photo’s, researching products, writing posts and planning. I never spent time with my kids, I was constantly broke trying to keep up with new releases and I was stressed 24/7. Blogging was a distraction from reality but now I’m not so sure about that. My blogging has turned against me and it took me quite some time to realise that. I had to step back from it all to reflect and I want to share it with you. I’m only human, I make mistake and I have feelings I cannot control. If this can help just one person who is feeling the same or doubting what they do, then it’s worth it.

I know these types of posts are not everyone’s cup of tea but that brings me to my first topic.

My Blog

Keyword. MY. Me. Mine. Something that belongs to me and me alone. That sounds so childish but it seems to be something other people forget in the blogging community. Not so much targeted at me but something people need to be reminded of. I started this blog as a space to share my thoughts with like-minded makeup lovers, beginners and pros, even those wanting to dip their toes into the wonderful world of beauty. I’m closing in on the 3-year mark and it’s been an adventurous ride.

What started as a safe, secure, sane place for me to just sit down and write (something I’ve loved doing for my entire life), has turned into a nightmare. Not because I don’t love writing anymore, but rather how I do it and who I do it for. I have no one to blame for this except myself. This is not something brought on by the blogging community but rather a reaction to me wanting growth for my blog.

Blogging Schedule

I don’t know when or how I decided to start blogging 5 times a week but that was a really stupid idea. I’m not saying it’s not good or not possible, it just wasn’t right for me. The pressure was so intense, I didn’t see what was happening around me. I got so consumed with trying to reach milestones that nothing else mattered. At the beginning of the year, I set myself a milestone of 40k pageviews per month by the end of 2017. I shattered that record by getting 66k pageviews in March already. Instead of reaping the benefits and enjoying the success, I pushed myself even harder trying to review the plethora of products I bought and items brands had sent me.

Keeping up with the latest products

I’m a brand whore. I don’t need to tell you this. You can see by the products I typically purchase. It’s not something I’m proud of and it’s been to the detriment of my wallet too. I still love trying out affordable products and finding those hidden gems, but I tend to invest in well-known brands because they have consistently performed better and are generally of better quality than their drugstore counterparts. That’s the reason I didn’t really do dupe type posts over the years. Some people still don’t realise there’s more to a dupe than just being the same colour. It needs to apply the same, feel the same and last around the same amount of time. Otherwise be specific and call it a colour dupe, otherwise, like me, expect it to perform the same when it’s not even possible.

There are hundreds of products being released weekly and browsing social media keeps us privy to the latest and greatest. Even though I read hundreds of reviews, I still want to buy the product to see how it fairs on my skin type and how it looks on my complexion. This has resulted in many a purchase that still didn’t work or suit me. But because I saw it, I wanted it. You can see how many blog posts and YouTube videos are titled “YouTube/Instagram made me buy it”. I have more makeup than I could use in a lifetime and the feeling of wanting more still prevails.

Working with brands

I receive constant emails asking me how I get brands to send me products. In most cases, they find me and the ones I’ve reached out to have never responded by sending me freebies. I get the occasional press release email now and then but that’s about it. I never wanted to say this before but since I’m moving on to a new path, I’m leaving it all out in the open. Working with brands isn’t always as great as it seems. The perks of not having to pay for certain items, being able to try products before they launch and getting invited to events are the only things great about it. Little do most bloggers know, it comes with strings attached. For me, those strings strangled to a point of disdain. When accepting products from certain brands, there’s an expectation from the brand for you to feature the product. No problem, makes sense, right?

But there’s no clear instruction on what EXACTLY it is that’s expected. I like to test the product out thoroughly before I write my review. Different weather, any other issues, comparing it against something else, etc. So do I need to post my review within one week, a month, when it launches? I don’t know because the brand didn’t say when. Certain companies do let you know the embargo date (when you aren’t allowed to post until) and that makes things a whole lot easier but I’ve experienced first hand what happens when you post without an instruction. It turns nasty even though the blogger is the last person to be blamed for an incident like that. On the flipside, brands can get really annoying, pestering for a review two days after I received the products. At that point, I decide whether to submit to their request or cut all ties depending on the value of the product.

The other thing I’ve noticed is that brands don’t do their research when selecting bloggers. I’m not sure what they base their findings on but it does happen. For instance, I managed to get hold of a fellow bloggers media kit (unofficially) and checked out her stats. She’s been blogging for less than a year and her media kit states she gets over 60k+ views per month. Like I said, this has taken me 3 years to accomplish. At first, I thought, wow she must be doing something right because she started receiving press drops like crazy. After a while, noticing that there was no engagement on the blog, I asked her what her stats were because I just wasn’t being successful. She obviously trusted me because she told me it was all a lie. She made it all up because she knows brands don’t verify the stats or how else is she going to get noticed. That was around the time I went AWOL because it made me question everything I had worked for and whether I still wanted to be doing it.

Lastly, and the worst of it, is being honest. I’ve had brands stop working with me and sending me stuff because I featured a product I didn’t like. I’ve even had one drugstore brand, it’s probably in the top 3 you’re thinking of, personally phone me and s*#t me out like I was a child. I apologised profusely at the time but in hindsight, I was completely honest and I’m happy to no longer be affiliated with them. That is part of what I pride my blog on, featuring both what worked and what didn’t work for me. At the end of the day I blog for my readers not for brands and that’s the bottom line. I’m not going to bash brands but I’m certainly not going to sugarcoat products that didn’t work for me. As my disclaimer says, just because it didn’t work for me doesn’t mean it won’t work for you.

From my side, I think I’ve missed the boat completely when it comes to working with brands. To this day I still don’t know the answer to what is expected when working with brands and how to catch their attention. I’d rather stay in my lane and do what I like so I don’t succumb to the pressure of pleasing and working on someone else’s demand.

Social Media stats mean nothing

If you guys follow @lipglossgirl on Twitter you’ll know where I’m going with this. She brought to light the amount of bloggers and influencers that purchase followers for their social media. Some of the people I admire and look up to were brought to the firing line and upon further investigation, were found to be guilty of it. I’m not saying everyone has done this, but if people gain and lose followers with no change in interaction, it’s one of the signs. If you follow me on social media or are a blogger with an organic following, you know how hard you have to work to not lose followers on a daily basis. It’s a constant struggle and with the way social media algorithms work, damn near impossible to grow your following even when posting consistently. This is one of the reasons I’m deciding to quit social media.

Hate/Shade/Nastiness whatever you want to call it

This is the other reason I’m quitting social media. To be honest, I haven’t gotten much negativity from my followers over the years. Actually none whatsoever. I probably have the some of the sweetest followers I could ever wish for. The amount of you guys that reached out to find out why I fell off the face of the earth really touched me and kept my love for the blog going. It’s the hate towards others that really p**$es me off. I see my fellow bloggers struggling to get content out there, trying to learn and then nasty cows on social media trampling them when they’re down. Everyone talks about women empowerment and lifting each other up but it seems they only do it when they’re benefitting along the way. Also, it’s become such a norm that people don’t defend and stand up for others and reading that kind of stuff every day doesn’t help the way I feel towards it.

Religion

Yep, I’m going there. But it’s not aimed at anyone but a message to myself. A part of the reason I hardly post my face on social media is that as a Muslim girl, I need to protect my beauty and modesty. Wearing a full face of makeup and getting likes and comments say ‘You look so beautiful’ goes against that. Posting products of expensive items and showing off my makeup collection is far from modest. That goes against everything I’m supposed to stand for. That’s the main reason I’m quitting social media. There’s more to the religious aspect of blogging but I’ll share that with you once I decide to walk a new path.

It’s also the way it makes me feel. We are taught to be happy for others but recently all I’ve been feeling when browsing social media is jealousy and envy. I can’t control my feelings and I certainly don’t want to be that person whose heart aches for what other people have so I rather just remove myself from the situation completely. I don’t know how to explain it because I don’t feel that way when watching my favourite YouTubers. I guess I feel that some people deserve it more than others.

So bellas for now, I’m still going to blog and review products I’ve lined up to share. It’s going to be on my terms and on my schedule but rest assured it is coming. However, I won’t be updating Instagram, Twitter and Facebook from here onwards.

I hope you’ll stick around to experience this new journey with me and find everything you’re still looking for. Again, apologies for the post being all over the place, kudos to you for making it til the end.

Lots of Love!!!

Follow
Share:
  • Sanesh Makeup

    I missed your posts and I am 100% sticking around to support you through your new journey. Lots of love and light💖

    • Nisa

      Thank you for sticking around! Mwah

  • Juwairia Nicholson

    I was wondering what happened thought It was Ramadhaan etc and that’s why you were so busy, I loved this post so much as you were so true to yourself and honest..Wow you are truly an inspiration😍❤❤❤…lots of love and I wish you all the best…But to be honest i loved how you always had this awesome products we don’t get in S.A and that was what made your page and blog so interesting…and do you know what’s so “amazing” that you buy all your stuff with your own money…that is an actual blog to me not getting freebies and running a blog just for freebies ….I truly admire that …keep up the good work…and you’ll always be one of my favorite bloggers❤❤
    Lots of love and hugs😘😘😘

    • Nisa

      Thanks so much for your kind words babe. I guess using my own money was both a blessing and a curse in a way. Everything in moderation xoxo

  • Aisha Salasa

    Mashaa Allah I am so proud of you. This post brought tears to my eyes because I feel it applies to me as well. When I started Stardustandlipstick it was just a way for me to write, as writing was a new found hobby. But since then it just hasn’t been the same. I’m not gonna type a long story, but I want you to know I look up to you for taking this step. I know it must not have been easy, but often tests from the Almighty isn’t. I think it’s amazing, you taking this step, Mashaa Allah. I 100% stand behind you. I wish you only the very best and am excited that you will still be sharing blog posts, as I love your blog so much. When you give up something for the sake of Allah, he rewards you with something 10x better. I know it might seem silly to think this applies to social media too, but it does. I make Duaa Allah grants you something better that will benefit you not only in this life, but in the hereafter as well, Ameen. Much love. Xx

    • Nisa

      Ameen. Thank you so much hun. Here’s to bigger and better things for us.

  • ClickClick

    Thank you for your honesty. I have never doubted for one minute that a blog is not a full time job. I have even taking to looking in the backgrounds of product pictures, taken with their kids, and it was complete chaos. Piles of laundry, dirty kitchens, etc. I am not saying it’s a bad thing, I’m just saying that a blog and product testing is a full time job.
    And, just like you said that companies don’t want to hear anything bad about their products. Have you ever tried to leave a bad review on Amazon? They tell you they won’t put it up
    You have told the truth about the time and work it takes. Keep to your word, and just do it at a pace that you are able to have a life…not tied to a keyboard.
    My favorite blogs are the ones that post every few days. Not that group of mommy bloggers that have all the giveaways, and want you to do 100+ task on a rafflecopter to enter…that takes an hour to do. You have made the right decision. So relax, and enjoy your family. We’ll all still be here. Much love! Audrey Stewart

    • Nisa

      Thank you so much for your feedback. I completely agree. Not many people take note of what goes on behind the scenes. I’ve seen all the positive Amazon reviews, now I at least know it’s all a hoax. Glad that you’re staying along for the journey. Mwah

  • Nadene Moothal

    Love your honesty & your blog. Always wait to read your posts.
    Love and light to you & your family.

    • Nisa

      Thank you hun xoxo

  • Kamini Dhanjee

    Will still continue to support you and everything you said is 110% relatable. All the best for your further endeavours! You are one heck of a blogger! ❤️

    • Nisa

      Thanks babe. So are you! xoxo

  • Shannin King

    Good for you! You go girl 🙂

    • Nisa

      Thanks hun

  • Lucinda Singh

    Your honesty is an eye opener. Thank you for sharing your journeys up and downs with us and being so open. I salute you and the decision you have taken to take your power back. I don’t always read every post but I def will stick around to see where this new journey takes you and us your readers . All the best and lotsa love x

    • Nisa

      Thank you hun. For being around for it all. I truly appreciate it. Mwah

  • I love that you are putting you first lovely! As much as I will miss your pretty pics I want you to be happy with YOUR blog and do things for you the way you want. I agree with what you are saying. I’m subscribed so I won’t miss your posts and can’t wait to see you in 2 weeks! Hope you will come over for birthday cake xx

    • Nisa

      Can’t wait for you to get here. It feels like forever. Of course I’m coming over. For makeup not just cake lol

  • Aisha

    Mashaa Allah I am so proud of you. This post brought tears to my eyes because I feel it applies to me as well. When I started Stardustandlipstick it was just a way for me to write, as writing was a new found hobby. But since then it just hasn’t been the same. I’m not gonna type a long story, but I want you to know I look up to you for taking this step. I know it must not have been easy, but often tests from the Almighty isn’t. I think it’s amazing, you taking this step, Mashaa Allah. I 100% stand behind you. I wish you only the very best and am excited that you will still be sharing blog posts, as I love your blog so much. When you give up something for the sake of Allah, he rewards you with something 10x better. I know it might seem silly to think this applies to social media too, but it does. I make Duaa Allah grants you something better that will benefit you not only in this life, but in the hereafter as well, Ameen. Much love. Xx

  • Rayne Toni Alexander

    Well done on putting yourself first lovely! Your blogger friend who lies about stats just makes me blood boil. Let me at her!!!
    You do you and you’ll be so much happier. I’m sure this wasn’t an easy or quick decision for you to come to xxxxx

    • Agreed! I am so cross about it! I really need to learn to not let things like this bug me as much as they do 😀

    • Nisa

      Thanks babe. You’ve always been so amazing. Can’t wait to meet you in person xoxo

  • inkchick

    You absolutely need to do what is right for YOU. Following your personal ethics and taking care of yourself will always lead you down the right path. I am sorry you’ve gone through so much stress and I support you completely in the choices and changes you are making.

    • Nisa

      Thank you for your support and kind words

  • Angel Eyes

    I don’t always read the posts, guilty I know but I just don’t seem to have the time, 😥 so I can only imagine the time it takes you to sit down and write plus see to the family. Glad you doing what makes You happy. Much love😍👏

    • Nisa

      There’s never enough hours in a day to do it all. Thanks for sticking around.

  • Marelize du Toit

    I’m glad you can take a step back before something you love turns into something you hate. I read your blogs not only for the product reviews, but also I enjoy your writing. I wish I could be half as eloquent. Whatever you decide to do from here on, know that you will have support and love coming from all over.

    • Nisa

      Thanks babe. Miss you so much. Wish you were still here. FYI. English is my first language so it doesn’t count lol

  • Ndapewa Laudika Iithete

    Hi hun,
    I want you to know that you’ve been an inspiration to me. Gonna continue to share the love, your reviews are honest and that’s what’s important in a space where it’s all become about peddling new products everyday.
    You’re nailed it on the regarding the blogging community, the beauty industry and social media today, the struggle is real.
    You’ve also reminded me as to why I started my blog, it was for me; a place where I could share my honest experience about new things.

    Take the time you need, and do what’s best for you and your loved ones. We missed you, but we understand and empathise.
    💜 💜 💜
    N

    • Nisa

      Thanks hun. For being so supportive from the very beginning. It’s a harsh reality that the beauty community has resulted to such but I hope the journey for you is easy and successful. Lots of Love

  • Shana Press Abrahams

    Hi Lovely..

    Thank you for taking your time and pouring your heart out with us.

    Well done for putting yourself first, in many spheres of life, women tend to get caught up, yet you took a step back and re-evaluated what you stand for. SUPER WELL DONE!!!

    I will continue reading your blog as I found you to be a blogger with truthful reviews and not there to please brands…

    Can’t wait for your next article..

    Sending you lots of love, happiness and blessings…

    • Nisa

      Thank you for your encouragement and support. You’re amazing. Mwah

  • HI Nisa,

    I read this last night and my heart felt for you.
    Personally your blog is my favourite.. i think it’s perfect and i love it!
    I just wanted to send you some love and good vibes and just let you know that i will support you and still stand by you on your new journey. <3

    Lots of love!
    XOXO
    Chermel

    • Nisa

      Thank you for always being there and checking up on me. You’ve been such an inspiration.

  • Nicole Wasserfall

    Aaaaaw Nisa… reading this post made my heart so sad… I absolutely LOVE you blog and always read your reviews – its pretty much my go too when needing a good and honest review of a product I am considering. I totally understand and respect your decision, at the end of the day, you have to do what is best for you! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us <3 Lots of love and hugs xox

    • Nisa

      Thanks so much babe. That means a lot coming from you. xoxo

  • Wow, Nisa. Very insightful! I am so sorry that you have experienced what I deem the worst parts of blogging. I like that I am not a suuuper popular blogger, it brings with it so many trial and tribulations. I completely respect and agree with everything you have said here. The parts that irks me the most? “I receive constant emails asking me how I get brands to send me products.” and that someone point-blank LIED about their stats – I am disgusted! It goes against all the hard work I have put in over the years (and not even close to the amount of hard work I want to put in). I wish you all the best xxx

    • Nisa

      Thank you Camilla. I think you’re an amazing blogger and I’ve seen how hard you work. It’s truly disheartening but wishing you all the best as well.

  • This was such an inspiring post Nisa. Firstly, thank you for all your help of the years, it really meant a lot. Secondly, I can totally relate to parts of you post wit trying to push yourself but never being able to keep up with others who have such a large following. I hope that this break gives you the space to clear your mind and find a place of comfort. I will still be reading your posts because I have always enjoyed reading your review and that will always stay the same regardless of your social media interactions. All the best!

    • Nisa

      Thanks babe. You’ve stuck around for it all, even the hiccups and I truly appreciate it. You’re an amazing person and I’m so lucky that you’re here

  • sassy

    Hi,I’m not a blogger but I have few friends who are (beauty,lifestyle & cooking) & I know all this you’re talking about it’s true….Just keep your standards & don’t lower them & your readers will see it. And it’s better to post once in a month with real content than 5 times with nothing

    • Nisa

      Thanks for the feedback hun. I guess it happens in all aspects of blogging.

  • So brave, thank you so much for sharing this honest post – I think it was seriously needed… The blogging industry especially in Sout Africa is rough, from PR companies, to fake bloggers…. I have been following all of the drama myself on twitter and I am actually disgusted that so many bloggers I also admired just down right have a fake following. It’s so much work to grow a blog and a following and here comes some people and just buy a following and the sad thing is that many PR and brands fall for it, they send these bloggers press drops because of their bought followers while all of us struggling and working hard, literally have no social life trying to work on our blog do not get noticed….

    Anyway this post got me started!! Goodluck hun xxx

    Beauty Candy Loves

    • Nisa

      It seems we’ve experienced it all firsthand but yet no one wants to talk about it. I hope things get better because a lot of bloggers deserve more recognition for their hard work.

  • Well, you know I will continue to read your blog, and see you often 🙂
    I felt exactly the same about social media, which is why I quit 3 years ago. And unless you reach the realisation yourself, you won’t understand. I am sure your blog will continue to grow though, and you keep doing you!

    • Nisa

      Thanks Azzie. Now I’ll have to live vicariously through your purchases lol. Whatever you don’t want send it my way k

  • Siobhan Hughes

    This post really touched me to the core. It’s something I’ve been feeling on and off – is it worth it, when it was something for me to begin with?
    The social media aspect is also so true – I’ve been working exceptionally hard to build an organic following, and freaked out when I had 5 followers leave in the space of a day. Had I done something wrong?! I was posting well, commenting and interacting? And then in half a day I replaced them again.
    It’s just hard to do this blogging thing with integrity and honesty, and I salute you for being honest to us and yourself. xxx