If you are into stalking skincare accounts on Instagram, you know Ajiasskindiary. Most famous for her amazing Drunk Elephant and Tatcha shelfies, she has definitely made her mark on the skincare community.
I loved getting to know her better through this interview, and I know you will too!
interview – let’s begin
Me: So everyone knows you as the Instagram queen of DE and Tatcha shelfies, but I want to know who you are as a person. If you were to design your perfect day, what would it include?
Ajia: My perfect day would go a little like this: I’m on a trip in Hawaii visiting the island where I was born, Oahu. I start the day by sleeping in, putting on one of my favorite face masks, going outside to take in my beautiful surroundings and slowly waking up while drinking my daily Guyaki Yerba Mate and eating a light breakfast. Then I indulge in a long skincare routine, and get ready to head to the beach with my family. We spend a few hours at the beach, then grab some poke and bubble tea for lunch. Afterwards, I’d go out shopping and to get my nails done with my mama before heading to a family dinner at Roy’s for some Hawaiian Fusion cuisine where I’d eat my favorite dish, the Misoyaki Butterfish. Then my dad and I would go out for a walk along the beach before heading back to our hotel where I’d get into some cozy pajamas, do my nighttime skincare routine, and snuggle up in bed for a movie! That would be a perfect day in my book!
Me: Through your stories, we learned that you work at a tattoo shop (which I found really cool). How did you get into that? Have you always wanted to work in something tattoo related or did it just come about?
I’ve always done art and thought I wanted a career doing something art related. I started getting tattooed as soon as I turned 18, and after spending a good amount of time in tattoo shops I began to think that being a tattoo artist could be the perfect career for me. My first job in a tattoo shop was when I was 19 and living in Hollywood CA. I worked as the counter girl who would handle the reception work, take payments, etc. I didn’t really enjoy living in LA though and ended up moving back to San Diego to be closer to my family. (I’m extremely close with my parents and little brother!) After moving back, I found a new job at a different tattoo shop doing the same thing. My plan was to be the counter girl for a while, then get an apprenticeship to learn how to tattoo. I’ve been here nearly 4 years now, and my desire to be a tattoo artist has faded pretty much completely. One thing led to another and I am now the shop manager, handling the business side of running a shop. Our shop owner lives in Chicago where he runs our other location, so it’s my responsibility to make sure everything runs smoothly out here. I still love artwork and tattoos, but after spending so much time around it and seeing what being a tattoo artist is really like… I’ve come to the decision that I’d like to do something else career wise. My plan is still in the works, but I see myself doing something where I help people in a more meaningful way, and have a pretty good idea of what I’d like that to be!
Me: Okay, a little bit into Instagram now! I heard that you used to post your DE shelfies on your personal account, and from there you started ajiasskindiary. At what point did you realize, “Hey I am getting a lot of recognition from this?” and how did that make you feel?
I’ve had a personal Instagram account ever since IG was launched but was almost never active. That is until I discovered Drunk Elephant and couldn’t help myself from taking photos of my collection! My Drunk Elephant shelfie photos were receiving 500+ likes at the time, which was crazy for me because my usual posts would barely reach 100 likes! I was getting lots of comments from people in the skincare community, and Drunk Elephant began reposting my photos to their page! After the 3rd repost from Drunk Elephant, they asked me for my address and kindly sent me a sneak peek of their upcoming launch at the time (D-Bronzi). I couldn’t believe it! The brand I was obsessed with was not only recognizing me for my photos, but had also gifted me a product that hadn’t even been launched yet?! I was over the moon, and it got me thinking that maybe I should start a skincare page of my own! The final push to start my skincare page came from Aila, the owner of the @sharemyshelf account. She believed in me and encouraged me to join the skincare community, even helping me think of names for my page! So on June 6th, 2018 @ajiasskindiary was born!
Me: A lot of people in the skincare community (and just Instagram bloggers in general) have expressed their frustration with Instagrams new algorithm and how it affects influencers/bloggers. Have you noticed any affects on your page? What are your thoughts on this?
I am not technologically savvy in the slightest, and really don’t understand much about the Instagram algorithm… but I can tell you that I have absolutely noticed a HUGE change in engagement and reach on my account this year. When 2019 began, my posts would get anywhere 3,000-5,000 likes on average with my highest being over 8,000, and my posts would reach anywhere between 40,000-90,000 people with my highest being over 100,000. Ever since March though, my reach and engagement just keeps plummeting lower and lower. In March I could barely break 2,000 likes and 20,000 people reached. As of right now, I haven’t even been breaking 1,000 likes and my posts are only reaching 4,000-7,000 people on average. Compared to the reach my posts used to have, this is a massive reduction and I would be lying if I said that it hasn’t gotten to me at all. But I’m trying to stay positive and keep sight on the reasons why I began my page in the first place. Instagram is not my job, it’s supposed to be fun! Yes my account is at an all time low, but I still have countless friends and followers who make me smile daily, and recognition from the brands I love most! That’s what matters most to me and keeps me going!
Me: Instagram, in my opinion, is a little different to work with than when I first started. I find that it’s harder to grow and be seen now, than it was a year ago. Do you notice this? What advice would you give to newly started pages that want to find a place in this community?
I agree that it is much harder to grow your account on Instagram now than it was a year ago, at least I know it is for me! I haven’t gained followers in months, instead my following has consistently been decreasing. At times it’s made me unsure of what I’m doing, “are my posts not good enough anymore?” “are people bored of my content?” “what am I doing wrong?” are all thoughts that have crossed my mind. But I’ve realized that it’s not just me who is experiencing this change on Instagram, and that rather than get down on myself I’ve decided to use this as an opportunity to experiment and try new things, and also focus on engaging more with those who have supported me without fail. The advice I’d give to all the new people in the skincare community would be to not even think about the numbers. The numbers suck for almost everyone right now. Instead, focus on making your Instagram a happy place for you. Post the things you love and that make genuinely make you happy. Play around with your photography. Be unapologetically you. Don’t be afraid to be different, post different photos than everyone else, or have a different style. Also, don’t apply too much pressure to yourself on how often you need to be posting or what number of likes you think you need to be receiving. Most importantly, MAKE FRIENDS! The friendships you cultivate on Instagram will be what gets you through the tough times like what we are experiencing now, and also will be what will create the most success for you!
Me: Okay, let’s take a break from the serious stuff… from your stories I’ve learned that you are a cat LOVER! If you had to choose between owning your own cat cafe or Drunk Elephant products, which one would you choose…?
Omg that’s a tough one, lol!! How about I keep my Drunk Elephant products, and instead of owning a cat cafe I just foster a bunch of kitties at my home! That would be the best of both worlds for me! 🙂
Me: From Instagram, we know you are a massive Drunk Elephant lover, and are also fond of Tatcha! If you had to pick ONLY ONE skincare product as your holy grail product (from any brand), what would it be?
I do love both Tatcha and Drunk Elephant, but if I had to give up one brand forever it would be Tatcha in a heartbeat. I am devoted to my Drunk Elephant products and use a full DE routine both morning and night! I genuinely love every single product they’ve made, but if I HAD to name one as my holiest of holy grails… it would be their retinol, A-Passioni! A-Passioni has done the most for my skin out of any product I have ever used in my entire life! It’s completely banished my acne problem, which was always my biggest skin struggle! (DM me for before and after pictures if you’re curious!)
Me: Instagram has become an outlet for many. Has Instagram helped you through any personal struggles in your life?
Yes, I’d say the skincare community on Instagram has definitely helped me through personal struggles! Being able to come online to such a positive and welcoming environment serves almost as an escape for me. It’s a happy place where I know I’m guaranteed to smile and laugh at least 5 times every time I log on! Plus with my love for skincare, looking at beautiful photos and reading about new products is just plain fun!
– – SPEED ROUND 3..2…1.. GO! – –
Favorite Food? Ajia: SUSHI!
Favorite Movie and/or TV Show? Ajia: Movies: Fight Club, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind , TV Shows: Forensic Files, Lost, Stranger Things, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Favorite Song? Ajia: Wait by the River by Lord Huron
Favorite Photo Editor? Ajia: Camera+ and Facetune are the 2 apps I use to edit all my pics
Dream Travel Destination? Ajia: Japan!
Thank you so much to Ajia for participating in this interview! I learned a lot about her and I hope you did too! If you enjoyed reading this, please comment below! Also suggest any other bloggers that you want interviewed!
Find Ajia here on Instagram