Reflecting on 2019 and going into 2020 - a new decade

Tuesday, 31 December 2019

I almost feel embarrassed to write this as I feel so guilty I’ve not been able to blog as much as I’ve wanted to in 2019.
Somehow this year has slipped by so fast and in retrospect I realise how and why I haven’t been able to keep up and why I feel so unaccomplished despite actually accomplishing a lot this year.
Simply put: Instagram has taken over my priorities as that’s been my main source of earning now that I’ve gone full time with this “influencing” career and it bothers me that I feel like I’ve neglected my baby- this blog.

my beauty highlights post from 2019 (here on IG)

Despite my guilt though, I’ve adopted a new attitude which may not necessarily be the most positive or healthiest in some ways but it’s: if it’s not paying my bills, I can’t kill myself (the latter is hugely influenced by Melissa’s wardrobe if you don’t get the reference, follow her she's hilarious!).

Ultimately, I’ve learned to accept that as a single mother I’m NOT a super human and can’t feel guilty about anything and everything; if I can do something I definitely will, but if I can’t, I won’t allow myself to feel bad because I need rest too and if I am not my 100% best being burnt out, then my son will bear the consequences in some way.

So whilst everyone is making their 2020 goal lists, mine is a bit broader; I want to do a goal list for the next decade which is to simply continue doing what I love by sharing it with you guys who have followed and supported me on this blog/the internet, to travel more if it’s in my means - as I love to learn and meet all kinds of people - and just be a good role model In Shaa Allah to my son whilst also helping/empowering other women, like those of you who reach out to me now and then, because I feel so strongly about women feeling confident and empowered, as we are the mothers of the next generation now.

I still don’t like that my blog has been neglected this year and am sad that I have had so many ideas and drafts like “turmeric tales”, “concealer chronicles” and even some “foundation files” posts, so I will try and aim to blog more frequently in 2020 or at least enlist help of my fellow bloggers to guest post while I’m busy like I have done before.


To end on a more positive note, these are some of the things I’ve accomplished this year that have kept me busy (and distracted from my blog); it’s more understandable when I reflected on this!

  • Being an Aveeno Ambassador/Wellness Pioneer - something I really am grateful for and couldn’t have picked a more appropriate ambassadorship that literally encompasses so many parts of me I want to share. It incorporates scientific research which makes me use a part of my brain I'd long forgotten how to use since graduating 10 years ago (after years of just beauty talk!) and also actually includes a section about nutrition which is what subject my degree was in.
    I like that it's holistic in it's approach about health and beauty as I really do believe true beauty isn't just topical.
  • Being the face of the BECCA Eid campaign at selected BECCA counters - this meant a lot to me as I love that brands are acknowledging our religious celebrations here in the UK and as I've said before, seeing more hijabis in campaigns is kind of a silent fight against people who don't accept we are part of this world and humans too.
    I loved that BECCA sent a PR package with the card with my face on to a bunch of bloggers and it felt nice to have the love/support from these fellow bloggers/influencers.
  • Being in the Clinique Even Better Pop Lip foundation campaign - my second campaign with Clinique (read about the first one here!) where a follower of mine could have the chance to be in the online campaign and Clinique picked none other than guest poster Yazmiinaktar.
    Even though I felt self conscious in this campaign, it meant more to me as my son was old enough to somewhat understand that his mummy was on a screen and was visibly excited - a video moment I will forever look at and grin about, heart bursting with joy. It was nice to be tagged on stories too and a friend of mine gassed me up saying I've made it, now that my face has been on underground screens too 😅
  • Bobbi Brown #BBEditor - being picked to be a BBEditor and share products every month is another surreal moment as they were one of the only brands that catered to South Asian tones back when I did makeup artistry, but also the first book I read as a teenager that impacted my life as it focused on embracing flaws and actually made me feel confident in my own.
  • Being shortlisted for the Cosmopolitan Influencer Awards as "Beauty Influencer of the Year". I honestly never would have ever dreamt of actually being shortlisted when I shared it on my instagram story because tbh I don't ever see anyone with as small a following as me (and a hijabi too at that) being nominated for such an award, but I'm so so grateful to everyone who took time to nominate me, it really did mean the world to me that all the time I've spent swatching, reviewing, replying to messages and comments wasn't unnoticed 😭
  • My Facebook group - I thought Facebook was dead until I realised that actually what I love is women supporting women and my PAGE wasn’t really the place for this as it wasn’t in my control as to who can like it (being public and all). Making my private Facebook group “Safiyah’s Beauty Babes” has been the best thing I’ve done because it’s everything I love about social media - finding like minded people who share what they love and help support eachother!
    I’m eternally grateful to everyone in the group who contributes and helps when someone needs a discount code or honest thoughts on a beauty product, because even though it might seem superficial, I know now over the years that sometimes that beauty product is a means of confidence for someone or even just a distraction from something like Post Natal Depression as someone mentioned in the group. So I am very happy that my group has been a positive space and am proud of everyone in it ❤️
  • #DesiDecemberChallenge - I started this challenge last year as I missed being part of Asian bridal/party makeup and December is usually wedding season for a lot of Muslims due to the Christmas break, so it made sense to do this challenge and make it as colourful as possible - as this is where my roots and love of makeup started!
    In recent years I’ve become pretty boring and quite basic with my makeup, but it works for me as a mum and it’s actually been nice forcing myself to get colourful and creative again for my own challenge.
    Again, I’m happy and grateful to everyone who joined! It really does mean a lot to me that the challenge inspires creativity, so I’m super proud of everyone who may have gone out of their comfort zone for this challenge!
  • Hand picking brands/campaigns I actually want to endorse. There have been various other sponsored “ads” I’ve taken this year and I want you all to know that I only ever take on paid work if I actually like and have used the brand and/or can see myself using it/my follower audience using it. There have been a fair few ads I’ve not taken on because they simply do not fit me/my audience. This is majorly important to me because when I started my blog almost a decade ago, it was as a hobby and a place I could share things I seriously recommend, so authenticity and trust of my followers means everything to me. الحمد الله I’ve managed to remain authentic and plan to stay this way because tbh I’m a pretty simple person. Trust and authenticity really does mean more to me than how much money I make and as long as I can pay my bills and achieve some travelling goals then what's important is how I may impact someone’s life or what feeling I leave them with.

On that note, I really do want to get organising a social media type event I’ve mentioned and been planning for aaages, where like minded people get together and network but also help each other grow in more than just social media following- ideally in skills too.
It bothers me that in this social media world people are only interested in growing follower numbers, thinking that equates to success when in reality it means nothing if these sites were to shut down tomorrow. 
I don’t want to sound preachy but on a basic level, the world still needs people that empower others, make them feel confident and practice self love, so that’s really what I want my event to be about - if I can actually find the time, energy and babysitting to do it iA!

I’ve met some really amazing souls in the last 10 years being in the beauty industry which includes my time in retail, my time as a makeup artist and now as a blogger; it’s crazy how old customers of mine are now people I talk to and catch up with here and there, an old client of mine is now my super close friend and blogger friends from the early days are also close friends.
These friends and family have been essential in my personal growth where life hasn't been the easiest and learning to believe in myself again and grow spiritually too.

I want to end this post reflecting on my personal and spiritual growth (there’s so much more to work on) and maybe encourage each of you to reflect too.

I hope you all have an amazing year full of self love, personal and spiritual growth and confidence to do what you really love and be happy ❤️

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