Influencers Are Apparently Taking Pics At A Toxic Lake

Another day, another instance of Instagram influencers being stupid. God, they just never stop, do they? Not that I’m complaining, because it gives me endless article fodder. Carry on, you naive fools! The most entertaining thing about influencers (and wannabe influencers) is the lengths they will go to in order to capture a photo. Legitimately, last weekend, my friends and I watched as this girl stood in the middle of a house party, fake laughing to herself as if she were in the middle of an actual photoshoot, while her friend stood there with an iPhone, snapping pics for Instagram. If you just did that, not in front of a camera, you would look insane. A lot of the time, the dumb sh*t influencers do is pretty innocuous. But sometimes, it can be dangerous—like the Instagram couple who fell to their death while taking a selfie, or the “bikini hiker” who died of hypothermia on a hike. And you would think terrible, tragic stories like these would stop people from doing blatantly dangerous sh*t simply for the ‘gram, but you would be wrong, because PEOPLE recently reported that the newest Instagram destination that influencers are flocking to for photos is… a toxic blue lake.

Say it with me now: yeesh.

Russian government officials are apparently warning tourists to stay away from a body of water that’s been dubbed the Novosibirsk Maldives, after the bright blue water that’s reminiscent of the islands in the Indian Ocean. And, at a glance, it looks like a beautiful place to visit, swim, maybe snap a few pics.

 

 

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Photo: @nohopezzz

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Look at this guy! On a floatie, living his best Instagram life.

 

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Photo: @anyta_anyta777

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Another great shot! Look how blue the lake and the sky are! I want a picture like this for my feed, should I go to the Novosibirsk Maldives? The guy above was in the water! What could go wrong?

Answer: a whole lot! To start, this isn’t a real lake. It’s a manmade pond, basically, and its name in Russian translates to “Lake Ash Dump.” Yikes! That’s because, you guessed it, the “lake” is a dumping site for a nearby coal plant. Even the company that owns the plant is urging people not to go swimming in or fall into the water. “We beg you not to fall into the ash dump in the pursuit of selfies!” they said. “That is the biggest danger.” When the actual company who runs the plant is telling you that it’s just not worth a selfie, you should probably listen.

And if you don’t want to just take the coal company’s word for it, one visitor told the Siberian Times that, after filming “a dreamy video as if she was on a tropical beach,” her face was “covered in a small rash” and she suffered from “a dry throat and nose”. Other visitors have reported the soles of their sandals flaking off after walking along the shoreline, so just imagine what that would do to your skin! The company itself warned, “skin contact with such water may cause local allergic reactions due to high mineralisation.”

Even more alarming, the Siberian Times alleges reports of “poisonous vapour, shrivelled plants and alarmingly-tinged blue seagulls,” though the company running the plant denies any harmful radiation.

So basically, this is the nuclear power plant from The Simpsons. And yet, people are still treating this like it’s the next go-to travel destination.

 

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Photo: @ekaterinaaaaks

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Guys, come on. This is so not worth it! I get that the waters look really blue and pretty, but this is not necessary. Especially in a day and age when you can just edit your photos or buy presets to make any old image look like it was taken in front of bright turquoise water or completely Photoshop yourself into a different location anyway. See:

 

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Wow! First pic? Amazing. Second pic? Terrible. Thank god for Abby Stevens Presets. Available at abbystevensphotography.com/preset. For a limited time! Use code “preset20” for 20% off! #revolve #revolveme @revolve

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I found this post a few days ago and haven’t stopped thinking about it since. Technology is f*cking amazing. If you must get pictures with bright blue water, be like Michaela. Don’t go swimming in a toxic lake. Do. Not. Do it. This has been a friendly PSA.

Images: michaelaokland, maldives_nsk / Instagram

Are Selfies Actually Ruining Your Skin? We Asked An Expert

Yesterday, I woke up to a text from my mom. Was it an emergency? Of course not. Instead, she was sending me a story she heard about on the radio about how selfies are apparently “as damaging to skin as sunbathing.” Naturally, she heard this story and automatically thought of me. How sweet! I really don’t think I take a lot more selfies than the average millennial, but nonetheless, I don’t want my skin to be ruined just because it takes me 50 pictures to find the right angle. I wear sunscreen every day, so should I be wearing selfie-screen too? I need answers!

First, let’s go through what this new report actually says, because I’m a little skeptical. According to “nurse and beauty therapist” (idk what that means) Sara Cheeney, the electromagnetic rays emitted from our phones can accelerate aging at an “alarming” rate. Cheeney says that she “has noticed a sharp rise in the number of patients suffering from selfie-induced skin damage and claims ‘the results are quite alarming. I get a lot of bloggers and patients who take selfies every day coming to me and complaining about the issue, and it’s an issue which seems to be getting worse'”.

First of all, I love the phrase “bloggers and patients,” as if bloggers are some different form of humans who don’t count as regular patients. Sounds about right. The original article also quotes dermatologist Zein Obagi, who says that he can tell which hand patients use to take selfies based on their skin damage. “You start to see dull, dirty looking texture that you cannot identify on one side of the face.”

Excuse me? Are they trying to say that even with a seven-step skincare regimen, the selfies that you can take are making your skin look dirty? This just doesn’t seem fair. Also, what makes taking selfies specifically so bad when we’re all looking at our phone screens all day long anyway? Needless to say, I was left with some important questions.

In order to get a little more context, I reached out to Deanne Mraz Robinson, Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Yale New Haven Hospital. She broke things down for us:

Electromagnetic radiation extends across a spectrum from high energy to low energy. High frequency (energy) radiation can penetrate our skin deeper than low frequency energy.  Cell phones emit blue light, which is also known as high energy visible (HEV) light. This is a form of high frequency and high energy light.  There is evidence that excessive HEV can damage our skin, break down collagen in addition to causing issues such as hyperpigmentation.”

Essentially, she’s saying that the initial report was more or less correct. The blue light emitted from your phone can damage your skin. But I think the most important thing to note, both from the original story and from Dr. Robinson, is that none of this is specific to taking selfies. Sure, it’s more attention-grabbing to say that selfies are going to kill us all, but your phone is emitting blue light the entire time you’re using it. Basically…we’re fucked?

Dr. Robinson does recommend using protection against the blue light from your phone, and her recommended product for this is the ISDIN Mineral Brush 50, a facial sunscreen powder that “contains iron oxides that protect skin from photoaging and blue light.” It’s  new product that’s not available in the US yet, but once it is, I’ll definitely be giving it a try. We could probably all benefit from using our phones a little bit less, but products like this are a more realistic way to protect our skin.

So, should you stop taking selfies? Perhaps. But you’re probably not going to, and it’s okay, neither am I. But it’s good to understand what potential side effects technology has on our bodies, and to make choices with these side effects in mind. That being said, don’t ever let anyone tell you your skin looks dirty, because you are not the one.

Images: Vinicius Amano / Unsplash; ISDIN

I Didn’t Realize I Was A Terrible Person Until I Deleted My Instagram

As a self-proclaimed Instagram addict, I struggled harder than I thought I would after temporarily deactivating the app that basically legalized stalking. Bless up, Mike Krieger. However, like any sort of cleanse, (unless it’s a juice cleanse during which you are miserable the entire time), the longer I went on my Instagram cleanse, the less I craved it. And by “it,” I mean attention and validation from my followers. I’m aware that sounded very cult-esque, but tell me what Instagram is if not a raging cult with millions of followers? I’LL WAIT. Anyway, going without Instagram is like that episode of Broad City where both Abbi and Ilana’s phones break during the most epic rainbow and they are just like forced to enjoy the moment sans filters, hashtags, and posting. That’s kind of what I’m doing, except instead of rainbows over the Statue of Liberty on a beautiful summer day, it’s more like the cast of Queer Eye walking into Build Series studio near my office on Broadway. My point is, disabling my Instagram account has introduced me to the definition of IRL, and surprisingly, I’m into it. As Giovanna, the skinny blonde Y7 yoga instructor whose real name is definitely Sarah or Haley, says, “Connecting with the world around you is more important in the moment than after it.” Truth, Gio, truth.

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I am not one of those people who deletes Instagram just because it takes up 98% of my phone’s storage space or because I never use it. On the contrary, I spent most of my time watching the Foster sisters’ weird family dynamics and videos of puppies frolicking in the snow. The reason for my Instagram cleanse? I had just started dating someone, and no one outside of my immediate circle knew about him because there was no photo evidence of our relationship on Instagram or Facebook. (Does anyone even still use Facebook for purposes other than the daily birthday reminders?) The moment I realized this, I had two thoughts: “It’s kind of nice to be this cozy social bubble” and “OMG will we be in this tiny claustrophobic bubble forever?” Until I’m back on the ground, I may have to share the news of his existence in person. Gross.

So that got me thinking: Instagram puts so much pressure on its users to keep their followers up-to-date with their lives! I know this isn’t a revolutionary epiphany or anything, but for what it’s worth, it’s true. Look, I am definitely not swearing off Instagram forever, I am just really enjoying my life without it, and here are five reasons why.

I Have More Free Time

Checking Instagram isn’t time-consuming the way Marie Kondo-ing your closet or making a cauliflower crust pizza from scratch are, but if you add up all of the minutes you spend on an app (there is an app for that!), you will discover that you probably spend a disgusting amount of time on Instagram on a daily basis. For the first few days sans the ‘Gram, I found my thumb constantly reaching for the space where the app used to be in my phone and then accidentally opening my Con Edison app instead because it lives there now. One unexpected benefit of deleting Instagram is that I have accidentally opened the ConEd app so many times that I got to see and pay my bill the exact moment it was due. Kewl, right??

Anyway, after I got used to not checking Instagram the literal second I opened my eyes in the morning, I realized that I didn’t need to physically have my phone on me at all times because, let’s be real, I have iChat on my computer and does anyone under the age of 60 ever actually call anymore? No. So with 2.7 hours suddenly available in my day, I can spend that time being a real human being instead of a socially stunted child who cannot function in a social setting or watch a movie without a phone in my hand.

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I Am More Social

It’s not like I would cancel my plans just to sit in my apartment alone and scroll through Ariana Grande’s feed back when I had Instagram (but no judgment if that’s your M.O.). I would still go to dinner with my friends and stuff, but I would be having a conversation with them while fully looking at my phone. To paint the picture clearly for ya, we’d take a cute photo at the table, then I’d spend the next 45 minutes editing it and another 15 on the caption. For real, I barely had time to eat my burger! Life was hard. So going to meals with my gal pals without a phone glued to my hand has been an interesting experience with a myriad benefits! For starters, I get to yell at bitches for being on their phones at the table like the angry Jewish grandmother I am, and I get to genuinely enjoy the meal, restaurant, vibes, ambiance, etc. without the added pressure of capturing every moment. Like, unless you’re waiting for test results, you don’t need to have your phone face up on the table, just saying.

I’m Nicer (Kind Of)

Honestly, once a betch, always a betch, so I’m not about to pretend I’m Gandhi these days, but I’m not as obviously bitchy now that I am not intentionally rubbing my fun dinners and nights out in people’s faces. Look, just to keep it real: No one posts an Instagram Story just to share beauty of lovely photo of a beach with the world. No. Everyone just wants to prove they are “living their best lives” (read: in tons of debt and faking it).

Now that I don’t have Instagram (feel free to take a shot every time I say that), I am just taking it all in and soaking up everyone’s awesomeness because, without a pic to post, there’s nothing else to do. Like why did I, and everyone, feel like I needed to prove how fun and cool I am? The only people whose opinion of me that I give a sh*t about are the ones I actually spend time with IRL, not that girl I thought I’d be lifelong friends with during the first two days of freshmen orientation.

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I Don’t Hear/See Sh*t I Don’t Care About

You know when something happens and then literally every celebrity/person feels the incessant need to post about it? For instance, the death of an icon (RIP Mac Miller), the birth of an icon (hi Blue Ivy), a scandal (anything Trump does on any given day) or an engagement/breakup (howdy Ariana and Pete). All of this ~news~ is fine in small doses (or maybe just one dose), but when every single person with decent wifi stops their lives to post about the Khloé-Tristan-Jordyn drama, I get a little overwhelmed and want to crawl into a dark hole for the rest of my life. To just drive the point home, there can be 100 posts on Instagram, and 99 of them won’t be factually correct, but all you need is one that is at least kind of accurate to get the info you need.

Look, I am not swearing off Instagram forever, in fact I’ll prob be reactivating my account in a few weeks (if I can remember the unnecessarily complicated password they made me choose). But for the time being, I am enjoying my life without it. If you’ve ever thought about doing an Instagram cleanse, I would try it. You might not miss IG as much as you think, and you can definitely live without it.

Images: Andrii Podilnyk /Unsplash; Giphy (3)

Science Has Figured Out Why Your Selfies Look So Bad

I’ve never taken a selfie. Well, that’s not true—I’ve never posted a selfie. I’ve taken lots, of course, it’s just that they always look like ass. I always assumed it was just because my face was broken—a little too wide, a little too round, etc. It was never that big of a deal to me, because a) men who take a bunch of selfies should be jailed, and b) I figured that people who post lots of selfies probably spend the bulk of their free time (these people never have jobs) finding the right shots. I never searched for an explanation as to why selfies look bad, I just assumed that’s how the world worked.

As it turns out, as usual I was right: people do have a hard time taking selfies, and my face is just as handsome as my mom tells me it is. But much to my dismay, new research finds that it’s not out fault our selfies suck—it’s the fault of our dumb ass cellphone cameras. From JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery:

The selfie, or self-photograph, has rapidly become one of the major photographic modalities of our time; in 2014 alone, there were over 93 billion selfies taken on Android phones per day.1,2 Despite the ease with which selfies are taken, the short distance from the camera causes a distortion of the face owing to projection, most notably an increase in nasal dimensions.

As the Washington Post explains in a follow-up article, our phone cameras don’t work like mirrors. Instead, they can distort the image at short distances (like where selfies are usually taken from), with the facial features looking bigger than they actually are. According to CNN, the nose in particular can look up to 30% bigger than it actually is.

That’s not surprising, and maybe even a little bit of a relief. The solution is to have someone else take your picture like a normal fucking person, or (God forbid) use a selfie stick to create some space between you and the camera. But what’s really funny is that people don’t know this, and thousands of idiots are going under the knife for the noble cause of looking better in their profile pics. Not just a few people, either—literally most of the ones who get facial plastic surgery. This is part of a statement from The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (emphasis mine):

For better or worse, “selfie-awareness” is more than a fad. In 2017, 55 percent of facial plastic surgeons saw patients who want to look better in selfies in their practices (up 13 percent from 2016). First identified by AAFPRS members more than three years ago in the annual survey, the trend continues to gain steam and transform the facial plastic surgery industry.

“For a few years, AAFPRS members have been at the forefront of this trend,” says AAFPRS President William H. Truswell, M.D. “More and more of our patients are using social media as a forum to gain a sense of solidarity when under-going a major, potentially life-changing procedure. Consumers are only a swipe away from finding love and a new look, and this movement is only going to get stronger.”

55%. God, that’s incredible. A generation from now, the world will be nothing but people walking around with impractically small noses that look normal in photos. Then, people will start choosing breeding partners based on nose size, so they can maybe save some coin and avoid having to get their babies nose jobs. The noses will get smaller and smaller, until eventually it’ll just be normal for people to have all kinds of upper respiratory issues.

People are eventually going to turn into pugs, is what I’m saying. Can’t happen fast enough!

Image: Boris Paskhover/Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

Science Says Your Selfies Are Making You Psycho

A recent study has joined my mother in claiming that our generation is taking too many selfies. Published in the International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, the study refers to compulsive selfie taking as “selfitis.” This, of course, begs the question: can we call out of work due to selfitis?

How many selfies are too many selfies? Asking for a friend. Dr. Ramani Durvasula, a professor of psychology at California State University, says that, “a selfie addiction is when a person is almost obsessively taking selfies, multiple times a day, and posting that to whatever it might be – Snapchat, or Facebook, Instagram.” Cool, so every Kardashian has selfitis. No surprise there. What are some other symptoms? Some major red flags are if more than half of your photos are selfies and you’re constantly using filters — so the same rules for swiping on a guy’s Tinder.

What’s the harm in taking too many selfies? Selfies = likes = validation = need for more validation = selfies, and so on and so forth until one day you reach nirvana, no? According to these so-called studies, spending too much time taking selfies and posting them to social media can negatively affect your self-esteem, and even cause anxiety and depression. Well, this explains a lot…

According to Dr. Durvasula, selfitis can be treated by putting down your phone and creating “selfie-free zones.” Not to be a bitch, but a selfie-free zone sounds like a p. hostile environment to me. Dr. Durvasula also says that if you are concerned a friend might have selfitis, you can help by not liking their posts and validating them. Way harsh, Tai.

So, I guess if none of your selfies are getting enough likes, you can assume it’s just because your friends are worried that you are unhealthily obsessed with your own face and have selfitis. Phew.

Heads up, you need to keep up with the news. It’s not cute anymore. That’s why we’ve created a 5x weekly newsletter called The ‘Sup that will explain all the news of the week in a hilarious af way. Because if we weren’t laughing, we’d be crying. Sign up for The ‘Sup now!

How To Stop Looking Pale In All Your Selfies This Winter

Winter is full of sabotage. First, there’s the fact that people just expect you to come to work every day even though it’s cold and miserable and riding the J train during any sort of inclement weather is the equivalent of playing Russian roulette with your life. Then there’s the fact that you’re too pale for half your makeup and you can’t step outside for 2.5 seconds without your skin rapidly flaking off. All of that is pretty hellish, but there is no worse fresh hell on this earth than ghostface.

Let me paint a picture for you here: it’s January, you just survived your first full week back at work WITH SNOW ON THE GROUND and you’re ready to fuck up all your New Year’s resolutions in one night. You show up to work Friday barely hiding the crop top you’re wearing under your cardigan or the fact that you DGAF about being there. By the time happy hour rolls around you’re ready to start pounding shots and sending selfies to your entire squad to let them know it’s going down right fucking now. Then you go to take said selfie and you’re so fucking pale that your skin actually blinds the camera. And all of your friends are just like…

That’s called “flashback” or “ghostface,” and it exists to ruin lives. Usually any phenomenon with the word “ghost” in it I take as a personal attack, but ghostface is even more of a betrayal than when guys ghost me, because this is my own fucking face sabotaging my happiness. My. Own. Face. But fear not, I have access to Google am an expert at hiding all my flaws, so here’s how you can stop your selfies from being sabotaged. RT to save lives.

Pick The Right Foundation

SPF in foundations is the leading cause of sabotaging my fire selfies ghostface. Why there aren’t more documentaries on this v important issue is beyond me. Anyways, stay away from foundations with SPF in them like it’s a guy who actually seems interested in you. Certain SPFs use minerals like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which can make your skin look fucking translucent. This sabotage happens because their white pigments are designed to reflect the sun’s harmful UV rays as well as camera flashes, giving you a white appearance. I’m honestly feeling so attacked rn I can’t even. I suggest using a nighttime foundation with low amounts of SPF because those won’t usually cause ghostface. If you’re a betch on a budget then try L’Oreal True Match foundation. It costs less than your Starbucks order and they have a wide range of shades.

Always Check The Ingredients In Your Powder

Sometimes it’s not even your foundation that’s screwing you over, it’s your powder—because apparently the betrayal from your beauty products knows no bounds. In particular, you should stay away from beauty products that have the ingredient silica in them because silica is the nastiest skank bitch you’ll ever meet and you should not trust it. Silica is used mainly in HD powders aka the good shit. HD powders are known for their light-reflecting particles that soak up oil and blur imperfections. Basically it’s like Facetune but IRL. But I guess all deals with the devil crazy good beauty products come with a price, because once you go to send a fire selfie to a fuckboy to make him regret not responding to your text last night, the flash comes out and can result in harsh white patches that make your skin look flaky AF. *adds “silica” entry into personal burn book* Nah, no betch has time for that shit. Instead stick to silica-free setting powders—trust me, you’ll thank me later.


Betches may receive a portion of revenue if you click a link in this article and buy a product or service. The links are independently placed and do not influence editorial content.

Your Friend Who Takes A Lot Of Selfies Might Be Depressed

Here’s something we all know: Instagram is an emotional roller coaster. One minute you’re looking at all your old selfies thinking about how pretty you are sharing memories with friends, the next you’re sent into a rage spiral because your-man-who’s-not-really-your-man commented the heart eye emoji on some thot’s belfie and it reminded you that you haven’t gone to the gym in three years weeks. So yeah, while the highs of a 100+ like beach pic are pretty high, the lows of a vulnerable selfie that never even hits the double digits are pretty fucking low. All of this is to say, Instagram can be depressing as fuck, and now we have the science to back that up. A new study from Harvard University (what, like it’s hard?) found that your Instagram posts hold clues to your mental health, and I’m not just talking about how we all know you’re fucking depressed when you post a picture of you looking longingly out a random window and caption it with some emo song lyrics from the early 2000s. But that too.

The actual study found that people who are depressed (aka you all winter), “tended to post photos that, on a pixel-by-pixel basis, were bluer, darker and grayer on average than healthy people.” So basically, your grainy-ass black-and-white food pics aren’t just fucking up the flow of my feed, they’re actually revealing to the entire world (assuming your account is public) that you’re depressed.

Researches came to this very obvious stunning conclusion by identifying participants as “depressed” or “healthy” based on whether they reported having been diagnosed with depression in the past.

Side note: Who are these healthy, non-depressed people? Where do they live? What is their secret?

Researchers then “used machine-learning tools to find a pattern in the photos and to create a model predicting depression by the posts,” which is basically fancy science speak for “We taught a computer how to scroll through Instagram.”

So what exactly in your posts reveals that you are depressed? Well, they found that depressed IG users tend to use “fewer filters,” which supports my strongly held belief that people who post
#nofilter selfies are seriously disturbed. When they do use a filter, they tend to use Inkwell aka the fancy Instagram way of saying black-and-white, whereas healthy people use Valencia because…IDK. I guess the greenish hue brings people joy? Unclear.

Depressed participants were also more likely to post photos of just their face, which means that someone needs to drive to Brentwood and check on Kylie Jenner ASAP. I’m seriously concerned.

One thing these researchers found that I def could have told them myself is that depressed users tend to post more frequently. I mean, fucking duh. Anyone on Earth can tell whether or not I’m going through a breakup based off my daily post rate. Two or more selfies a day and you are fully justified in sending me a “U OK?” text. (I’m most definitely not okay.)

They also found that depressed people also tend to get more comments and less likes, which is really unfortunate because, as I previously stated, there’s nothing better to get you out of a funk than a fire candid with 100+ likes. If they could find a way to turn that feeling into a pill, depression would be a thing of the past.

All in all, this study is, for lack of a better word, depressing. Mainly because all the things they said are signs of depression describe the social media use of literally every human person in my feed, including myself. That being said, I think the moral of this story is clear: Inkwell is just not an acceptable filter anymore and using Valencia is the same for your health as like, a really good cardio workout. 

How To Take The Perfect Selfie That Will Get You Tons Of Likes

Now that we’re in the second month of summer and the second most important summer holiday is over (National Tequila Day is first, fucking obviously), your Insta game is more important than ever. In order to make up for the fact that you haven’t done shit this summer, like backpack across Europe or anything remotely sophisticated, I’m sure your v loyal followers can assume all you’ve done is swim with basic pool floats and that you may become an alcoholic sooner than later. More likely than not, this is probs the story of your life because there are only so many times you can Insta yourself on a rooftop with a pretty drink without looking desperate AF. Luckily, it’s not socially acceptable to post what you’re actually doing (i.e., sleeping, bingeing Netflix, eating our weight in food) because god forbid people see what a disappointment to your family loser you really are.

Before summer ends, do yourself a favor and bring out your inner narcissistic, egotistical self Kim Kardashian with a glow-up so no one knows you wasted the summer away. Here are six essential tips for nailing a solid selfie that will get you triple digit likes without having to do like, 23,456 takes.

1. Find Good Lighting

Um, fucking duh. Although you’ll look like a complete freak running around your house holding your phone in front of your face, your roomie will totally know that you’re just finding good lighting. Because this is like, the most important. Natural light is best for selfies because lamps can make you look yellow and/or diseased. Face a window that gets a lot of sunlight for best results, so that way your skin looks clearer and softer—like what your fave animal Snapchat filter does for you.

2. Choose Between A Crazy Or A Simple Background—There Is No In-Between

As much as you have to look flawless, your background is v important too. Obviously, the better the background, the more likes. If you’re living it up somewhere across seas or jumping out of a plane, make sure to capture a selfie right in the middle of it all. Or if your only background is your bedroom, find a plain wall to sit in front of. This draws (even more) attention to your features.

3. Slightly Angle Your Phone Down, Show Your Left Cheek

Okay, this is like, kind of hard. Everyone wants their phone angled to make them look skinnier, which is the goal, but too much or too little can make you look fucking awkward. Instead of drastically angling your phone downward like you would on MySpace (#tbt), you only want to slightly angle your phone down (that 30 degree rule is real) just enough where it barely looks as though you are. At the same time, turn your head to the right to show off your left side—IDK, science says this is your most flattering side. Don’t forget to put on a ridiculous amount of highlighter to accentuate your cheekbones.

^^^ We could learn a thing or two from Ariana.

4. Try To Look As “Natural” As Possible

This one is a little bit of a lie but, then again, who doesn’t edit their selfies? Nothing is real when it comes to Insta. If you want to smile in your selfie, that’s fine because maybe your ex will think for even a second that it isn’t forced. However, your fans probs want something new, like a sexual smize that doesn’t look like you’re weirdly squinting or having menstrual cramps. You may have to practice your “love is eternal” face but it’ll be worth it, I swear. Do it for the likes.

5. Blue Is Your Best Hue

Whether you’re wearing it, hanging out by the water, or next to a wall, try to incorporate the color blue somewhere in your picture. Google Research says people are more attracted to the color blue and therefore, more willing to like your pic if it has blue in it somewhere. Don’t get crazy and try to pull a bold blue lip, though. It’s not going to work.

6. Wait Until Thursday Anytime From 5-7pm

Lastly, after editing the pic enough that you look like a second-cousin-twice-removed of the Kardashian-Jenner clan, wait to post your picture until optimal posting time. For Insta, that’s usually Monday or Thursday outside of work hours. Unless your selfie shows something worthy of scrolling through from your weekend, don’t post a duckface on Monday. No one fucking likes Monday, everyone is miserable, and I’m probably crying so no, I’m not going to like your selfie. If you wait until Thursday after you get out of work, chances are everyone will like it during their commute home. It’s like, pre-Friday, so spirits are high and so are the chances of getting triple digit likes.

Read: The 6 Makeup Mistakes That Are Ruining Your Selfies