With #makeup and #beauty being amongst the top most used hashtags on Instagram, it is no wonder why the number of beauty bloggers is on the rise. Reviews, fun makeup tutorials and colourful swatches of new products gather millions of likes every day. In fact, a single sponsored post by Instagram queen and beauty blogger turned businesswoman Huda Kattan reportedly costs over £25,000. Needless to say, this industry is booming as more and more people want to share their makeup artistry and skincare must-haves.
Safiyah Tasneem has been a beauty blogger for the past 10 years, accumulating well over 4,000 subscribers on YouTube and 20,500 followers on Instagram. Safiyah blogs about her experiences trying new products and often posts arty swatches and reviews on her social media. Being a beauty blogger has meant that she often gets invited to events hosted by big brands such as Too Faced or Clinique and has a ton of free make-up waiting to be “swatched” and reviewed. We caught up with Safiyah to find out about life as a beauty blogger and social media influencer.
How would you summarise what you do in a sentence?
I help people decide whether to spend their money on beauty products or not!
Can you briefly explain how you got into the beauty and makeup industry?
My love of makeup stems from trawling beauty counters on Oxford Street as a teenager with my mum. I then worked in a department store in the beauty department throughout university and really fell in love with a particularly colourful brand that I knew I wanted to work for. Then, I decided to do a short course on makeup after completing my degree and went on to work for the brand I loved as well as various others too. I also began working as a freelance makeup artist for photoshoots and weddings.
What was the inspiration behind starting your own blog and Instagram account?
I’ve always been a fan of using social media and joining the newest platform. When I discovered Blogger through Gmail I thought it would be cool to keep a diary of my purchases, after all, I was a beauty junkie with a department store discount to tempt me to buy more!
When I first set up an Instagram business account I only wanted to join to see what it was about but didn’t think it would be as big as it is today.
At what moment did you realise you could start making a living from your social media? Were there any posts which had a significant impact on your following?
It’s only in the last year or so that I realised there was real earning potential; by real I don’t mean Google AdSense as that can be pennies and has literally taken years to earn just £60.
I can’t remember which posts had an impact on my following initially. However, before the algorithm change on Instagram if a brand featured a makeup look I’d done and reposted me I could get a lot of followers from the shoutout.
What are the challenges with becoming a well-known beauty blogger?
If you’re referring to the blogging industry, right now it can be a bit harder to be recognised as it is slightly over saturated. However, I do believe that if you’re truly passionate and consistently working hard it can be achieved.
How has your brand evolved since you began blogging?
Initially, I started a blog to write about topics related to my degree (Human Nutrition) and beauty so I chose a name to reflect that – “frootibeauty”. It then ended up being just about beauty and so I rebranded in March 2016 to just my name, Safiyah Tasneem, as I felt like I had outgrown “frooti”, ha-ha.
You have over 20,000 followers on Instagram, do you have any tips for any entrepreneurs wanting to boost brand awareness through social media?
As aforementioned, I do think that being consistent with posts and having a true passion for whatever you blog about is key.