Lately I find myself more often than usual waking up and saying, "wow jlinhh you're such a failure.." About 3 or 4 years ago I decided to quit my job working for the city of Oakland, and around the same time I took my break from college. I started freelancing in makeup and tried to get my hands on any client I could. My kit wasn't always super fancy. I remember having enough money to buy foundations and eyeshadows from BH Cosmetics. I used that for a while until I made enough to convert my entire kit to MAC. That was a brand I looked up to growing up and it was also my dream job. After learning that not all of MAC's products were hypoallergenic I converted my entire foundation kit to my now favorite--the Make Up For Ever HD foundation.
It was the same time my Instagram started growing. I remember having about 5,000 followers at the time when Anastasia Beverly Hills' Team reached out to me telling me she loved my work and wanted to send me products. It was a Monday morning and I had just woken up from being in a rut. I broke down.. to have a huge company see potential in my work meant so much to me and from then on, my account started growing even more. Eventually, I started my own YouTube channel, because like every makeup lover, that was the dream. I never went to cosmetology school. Everything I learned about makeup was through researching on YouTube so I wanted to pay that forward.
2 1/2 years later, I find myself here today... lost. I always told myself that numbers didn't matter to me, but I found out the hard way that you're pretty much nothing without it. The amount of money you'll be paid and whether you're worthy of even being worked with relies heavily on your follower count and views. As much as it sucks to say or hear, it's true. I also find myself blaming every aspect of myself as to why all this might be -- "Maybe it's because i'm Asian in this industry, maybe it's because my face isn't symmetrical, maybe it's because I don't have perfect teeth or the perfect body." Just like any regular job, it sucks applying for 20 potential sponsorships and getting denied for pretty much 21. What more can you do after? I remember hearing people I knew saying it wasn't possible making a living through social media, and that this was all temporary. Maybe they were right about me after-all. Maybe this is their "I told you so" moment.
I've always been very kind to others and I've always been a very giving person. I always put my viewers before myself and try to host giveaways as often as I can. Even when I couldn't afford to, I did it anyways because it meant that much to me -- Not the amount of comments, not the people who solely comment for the sake of trying to get free stuff, but being able to have the opportunity to give back to those who might not have much. I never take for granted the support I have, and I never will. I'm very grateful for you guys.
My main goal was always to inspire others whether that was through makeup, fashion, or even traveling. I only hoped that through the content I was putting out, I was inspiring someone out there to do the same. My following and view count is no longer growing. In fact, I've been decreasing by 1000 a week, so with the people who are still following me, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I hope my videos are still of some use. I pour my heart into them and I only wished that sometimes more people could see that. If you made it to the end, thank you sincerely. I love you.