"We are not a perfect being -- all glam every day without problems"
Truth behind the beauty
Featuring : Kim ter Stege
I was raised in the Netherlands and I still live here. I grew up in a very small town, and I didn't feel at home at all. I was bullied a lot -- even in high school. And that is when I started to do makeup as a creative outlet -- I began my blog and YouTube when I was 14. Then later that year I was discovered by a photographer and he asked me to do makeup for photo shoots, so when I was very young I already had a lot of experience doing makeup and building connections which helped me become the person I am today.
Up until 16 I lived in that small village where I was bullied every single day. Then my mom and I moved to a big city. I am 22 now so I’m still very young, but now I live with my boyfriend. Living the life I always imagined for myself.
Some of Kim ter Stege's Popular Posts
Let's Dig A Little Deeper
Why do you think people follow you?
I think most of them follow me because of my lip swatches, they have been all over Instagram. Also For the looks I do, and I hope for my personality too.
Do you work a regular full time or part time job along with being a beauty influencer?
I'm still a student. I actually would have graduated a couple of weeks ago but I have a lot of deals with my Instagram and I also started my own makeup line so I was super busy and I have the chance to just do it next year. But my full time job at the time is my Instagram and my makeup line.
What do your family or friends think of your influencer career? Do they watch your videos?
Yes they do! When I started my blog my dad was super proud of me. He is a webhoster so he actually claimed my domain for me, and set up Wordpress. That´s where I started my blog! My mom is so proud too because I always stole her makeup when I was a little girl and trying to recreate Michelle Phan’s makeup tutorials. Also, they never thought I would make money out of doing this. I mean, what parent would expect their child to make money off of Instagram? It´s so strange for them, the concept of making money off of social media. So they are super proud, including my grandma as well. My boyfriend helps me a lot with my makeup line and is my number one fan on Instagram. He’s a true supporter and always helps me to make the best content possible. My friends support me a lot too, most of them I met through Instagram actually.
Do you think people know how much work goes into being a blogger? What do you think people imagine you do?
People think that we “Instagrammers” in general are always glam, have the perfect life, no problems in our lives, get all this makeup for free without doing anything for it. And that we don't have to struggle to pay bills too… But a lot of people forget we are people too and we also pay bills and work our asses off. We have to buy stuff too and we also have problems and insecurities of our own.
What is your creative process like?
Honestly, I just sit down and grab some palettes and some colors I wanna play with that day and I just go on and make a look. So it´s just sitting there and creating. When I feel uninspired I go around online and get inspired by other people, but most of the time I start creating on my own.
What is a day´s work like?
I wake up pretty late since I work with a lot of companies that are in the United States so the time difference is big. I wake up around 10 mostly, but it depends on the day. Today I was super tired from a PR trip so I didn't do much today.
But usually I wake up, have breakfast, shower, skincare routine, sit down and look what I have to do that day. So most of the time it´s getting packages ready because of my makeup line. After that it´s lunch time and I watch an episode of one of the series me and my boyfriend watch. After that I sit down and see if I have to do a look or a video, check my emails, reply back to comments, and I do that until dinner. Then I take a little bit of a break and so some stuff for myself. Around 10 pm I start working again, cause as I said I have a lot of companies I work with in the United States. So I just do some work stuff and emails, edit my photos and my videos. And around 3 am I go to bed, sometimes later haha ☺ It sounds like I’m not doing much if I say it like this. But on a day I can get all my packages ready for my brand Meraki Cosmetics, film 2 to 4 video’s and edit at least 1 YouTube video + 2 Instagram video’s. I also get all the pictures ready to post.
What is the hardest skill you've had to learn?
Dealing with negative comments and hate in general on Instagram. That is the hardest thing to deal with and to learn how to accept it and not reply back and not take it in and not let it take a part of you.
How do you keep Inspiration flowing?
To be honest, sometimes I don't even have inspiration and I just post some lip swatches because they´re easier to do. And sometimes when I feel super uninspired I take a day off and just do stuff I really like. I also like to play videogames sometimes all day long and don´t even do the dishes haha, and be like super lazy. After I take a day off, inspiration comes back to me.
What would you say is the most tedious process of your job?
The hate that goes around on IG is a lot, and also keeping up with all the emails is pretty hard to do hahaha. But I would say if you asked me half a year earlier I would say planning everything is the hardest thing to do. Planning your posts, when to upload was hard. Also what I hate about IG right now is that it's constantly changing and engagement is low and makes you think ughh what am I doing?! Am I doing something wrong is this me or is it IG messing again?
What is the most satisfying part of your job?
When people comment a lot on your looks, when they love your content, when you get recognition from the companies you really love. This year my focus was to work with Anastasia Beverly Hills because I´ve been using them since I started doing makeup and this year I got an email to be on their PR so that is a big accomplishment and I think it´s super satisfying.
What are some of your main struggles you face with as a beauty blogger?
Again the hate comments of course, that is the hardest thing, that´s all I can think of right now haha
Are there any times where you've had a crazy fan? Follow up: tell us about your crazy fan story
Not really a crazy story because the people in the Netherlands are so different than people in America. So when they see me in the streets they don't say hi or come up to me or anything. But what I find really crazy is that they send me a snapchat of me sitting there and I´m like ok what the hell, who is stalking me that is so crazy hahaha. So they don't talk to me, but they send me Snapchats of me sitting or walking. Just come talk to me, don't send me stalky Snapchats!
The best and worst comment you received and how you dealt with that?
The best would be the comments saying that they really feel inspired by you and that they really love the work you do. I think one girl once commented like a whole lot of stuff to me that she really felt inspired and that she was really really depressed, and that she found me through a repost. she followed me and she felt so much better to see my looks every day. I have hooded eyes and she has it too and she felt so discouraged by it. After she found my page and started to do more of her makeup.
And the worst comments are people calling you fat, or saying bad things about my birthmark on my face, people judging you, and they don't even know you.
Do other influencers ever get jealous of each other? Have you experienced this within the community?
Yes a lot, they do. I blocked two girls because they got so jealous and actually the strange thing is they had more followers than I do. Long story short: every time I got reposted or they saw a picture of me they sent it in a group chat and they were so hateful. I actually have screenshots from that convo they had. But as I said, I also met a lot of my friends trough Instagram and we really help eachother out. And try and support each other to be out best selves.
Were there ever a time something untrue was going around online involving you that you want to clear up?
Not really, just sometimes people commenting stuff like ¨you´re fat you´re this or that¨, “after this video she’s going to eat hamburgers” and sometimes you just wanna come back and tell them ¨you don't know me, you don´t know why I have more weight, maybe I have an illness?, oh and I don’t go to the McDonalds around the corner, because I am a vegan by the way lol”. Sometimes you just wanna say, you don't know what you´re talking about, but there never has been like a big lie about me going around.
How often do you compare your numbers to those of your peers?
A lot. And I think a lot of people do it and probably way too often. Especially when numbers are low then you start comparing and you feel down, but I try not to do that cause I know it´s not good and I know it´s not about me. It´s maybe the timing or just the look I did, I try not to do it that often.
Are there times you've felt like this industry has made you feel self conscious of how you present yourself on camera and online?
Yes especially when you get hate comments about your appearance, you start really looking at yourself. And also because I see myself a lot on camera, like videos and I edit my own pictures then you start thinking ¨maybe my nose isn't that straight maybe this or that isn't good¨ so it can make you self-conscious sometimes but it can also give you a very good confidence boost if you get positive comments.
What is your biggest physical insecurity?
My weight is, especially because a lot of people comment that I am fat or I'm this or that, so that is my biggest insecurity. But I just can’t help it.
Have you ever had a moment when you felt like giving up? What kept you going?
About one and a half year ago I think, my numbers were staying the same like for months and months and I tried so many things. I tried different pictures, I even bought a new camera, and I just felt like I was doing something wrong and that people didn’t like me. I wanted to quit and I actually did for about a month. Then I started again and slowly it took off and went over 10k pretty quickly. What keeps me going is I think I am so far in that if I stop, a lot of people will be sad that I stopped, but besides that I can be creative with makeup and I can help a lot of people, so loving what I do and helping people keeps me going.
What do you try to hide from your audience?
I try to keep my friends and family out of the social media world. I don't want them to get the same hate that I do, but I don't really try to hide anything.
Name a fact about you that most people probably don't know about.
Most people think that I am wearing makeup every single day but to be honest, most of the times I don't even wear makeup. Only when I am going out for school or an event and of course for Instagram. Even on IG -- if I'm doing eye makeup I do one eye and maybe a lip swatch - that´s all! After I film my makeup I just take it off. People think I go out with the crazy makeup I do and I actually don't haha.
Has your concept and views on social media and vloggers changed from when you weren´t a part of it? How?
I actually started pretty early so I think my views have always been the same. I started when I was 13-14 years old, I am 22 right now, I don't even know when Instagram started but I was on it when it started.
Though I think a lot of people act very different in real life than they do on social media. But then again, I actually know a VERY popular YouTuber / Instagrammer. She lives like 20 minutes away from me. She’s such a nice and humble person. She’s exactly the same person on Snapchat that she is in real live.
Describe some of your favorite moments that you've experienced during your journey as a beauty influencer.
The first time I did a look and it got reposted by a lot of big pages, like Bryan Champagne, Huda Beauty and big brands like Anastasia Beverly Hills, Makeup Geek, Gerard Cosmetics etc. I felt so amazing and that was the first time I thought " I want to do this every single day of my life." Oh, and every time a big company contacts me and wants to work with me, it´s so amazing.
What is the most important message you´d like to share with the world?
That people have to remember that we are just people too. We are not a perfect being -- all glam every day without problems. We are just like any person, only we get judged by a lot more people than most people do. Sometimes people need to remember that before commenting or before feeling jealous, we have feelings and problems too. We are NOT perfect people.