Life Without Style, Makeup, Uncategorized

Four Years of Twenty Swans!!!!

Hi Everyone!

Another year has passed and we are at 20S’ FOURTH year! That’s insane. I know, I say this every year, but that’s really just amazing. Life for me is getting much, much busier now but I am hoping to keep up the blogging at least – I’ve realised this blog is how some people keep up with me and I think it’s important to keep in touch.

Here are some of this year’s blog stats!

Following stats:

  • 427 WordPress followers (steady as I have not been as interactive!)
  • 120 Instagram followers (give or take a few bots)
  • 304 Twitter followers (dropping as I am not really a tweeter)
  • 42 Bloglovin followers (HI.)

I’ve been much less stringent about social media promo so my views have actually dipped a bit this year. I just don’t put aside the time for it so it’s kind of a no from me. I enjoy the blogging most and the view count is a bonus, really. I’d like to post more on Instagram as a micro-blog for all the posts that don’t make the cut, too. In terms of views, I didn’t hit 20k again this year and I’m sitting at 17.5k.

I’ve posted just a little more than last year, and while my overall views have decreased, my blog engagement has been a lot higher! I got 293 comments this year (up from 85) and 728 likes (up from 342). As far as I know, though, I don’t have a system for accepting comments outside of WordPress. Maybe that’s something I can work on this year.

My top five posts overall this year are:

  1. This sheet mask post, again (2015) which now has over 10k views???
  2. My review of the Kose Suncut Aqualy UV Sunscreen (2017)
  3. My review of the Mamonde Balm Intense (2017)
  4. My review of the Canmake BB Cream (2017)
  5. A post about pH testing my cleansers (2016)

My top five posts from 2018 ONLY:

  1. Battle of the Velvet Teddy Dupes #1
  2. My review of Skinfood’s Avocado and Honey Lip Serum
  3. My review of Primark’s PS… Nudes palette
  4. My Snap review of the Primark Hydrogel mask
  5. Lipsticks in Rotation: February 2018

I’ve been a little more creative with photography this year and making use of the aperture and background blur for my photos. I’ve tried to be more flexible and more creative with my setups and develop a more airy and warm style whilst trying to remain colour-accurate for swatches.

Here are examples from throughout the year:

Check out this post on my photography process for a bit of my older photography!

I’ve just discovered Canva for title cards (including the one for this post!), although I am having a few teething problems with getting to grips with it I like all the custom options it has for my blog posts!

Update on Last Year’s Mindful Things:

  • I didn’t write a lot at all.
  • I joined the gym, so more cardio is being done.
    I think I still gained weight and got bigger, but I don’t feel ready to die after running for the bus anymore, which is very nice. Becoming healthier and losing weight are not the same thing to me and I am proud of the strides made in improving my fitness level.
  • I don’t think I spent more or less money on snacks, but overall I think I’ve been healthier which was the intent behind this.
  • I’ve become much more comfortable with being the manga/k-pop person and I think that it helped that I’ve surrounded myself with a group of friends who are the same which helps me normalise it – in short, I’ve found my crew at uni and it’s doing me a lot of good!
  • My wardrobe hasn’t changed much, really – there have been very little purchases through the year apart from some key items. But it may have to change, and more purchases made out of necessity because I’ve gotten a bit bigger in size again.

This year’s mindful things:

  • Try to be more a eco-friendly and ethical shopper in small steps, by:
    • exploring more veggie/vegan food options (that I started this year and I want to continue with that).
    • replacing my cotton rounds with reusable ones as soon as my current pack runs out (I don’t use them that often anyway). I don’t buy coffee often at all so I find I don’t need a travel cup at the moment.
    • moving towards being more and more cruelty-free with my beauty purchases, with exceptions which I hope to outline in a later post.
    • considering more small, indie and local (UK) beauty brands.
    • At the moment I don’t NEED or even WANT much of anything (kicking those consumer habits!!!) so I’ve just done a ton of research to prepare for the year.
  • Continuing to visit the gym and improving my fitness level – I’m trying not to be bothered about my size and weight, and the focus is just on being healthier. This will probably become really difficult as my placement year approaches, but the point is that I’ll TRY.
  • I want to draw more, but due to my book challenge the focus this year is on reading. I just want to do more of both, but I know I’ll be very busy.
  • Continue to blog during the summer.
    It’s my biggest weakness, blog-wise – I do next to nothing here in the summer and I always regret it afterwards. No particular reasons why, just that my life outside of blogging becomes busy or less interesting around then that even a trip to Vietnam cannot cure.
  • Use up a lipstick or cull my collection to a steady 30.
    Despite a year-long ban I still didn’t really fully finish a lipstick, and although the aim is 30, my storage rack holds 40 which doesn’t help. I am filling the other 10 with lip liners and other things that fit and I’ll aim for ‘one in, one out’. I can imagine this going haywire if I end up travelling for Placement year, though.

I feel like I should mention again that these aren’t really goals, hence the name, as I revisit this post a lot myself to remind myself of what I can do to improve myself. No point in making goals I’ll forget about, right? Plus this means less pressure on myself to achieve said goals and more gratification when things do improve over the year.

Once again, thank you for reading.

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