Not all YouTubers with a burgeoning subscriber base love the attention.
Renee Amberg, 27, is a content creator who is all about making to-do lists, having at-home spa moments and reading an insightful self-help book — but doesn’t feel the itch to post her every move on Instagram.
In fact, she took a break from the app for about three months — returning just recently to connect with her nearly 480K viewers.
“I don’t like attention at all — surprisingly — even though I’m on camera all the time for my job,” Amberg told the Post. “Whenever I was taking an Instagram picture, I never enjoyed the process of taking pictures of myself, and I’m never the person who’s always posting at the moment. I didn’t want to be basing my life around a picture.”
Videos touting the law of attraction and manifesting desires is how Amberg grew her online audience, but she now veers more toward lifestyle content. Specifically, she loves filming morning routine videos, cozy book hauls and Q & As to connect with her subscribers. Another thing she’s big on: “soul-care.”
“When I think of self-care, it’s about taking care of your body,” she explains. “I think of self-care as ‘soul care,’ which is more about the things that calm and recenter you. It’s good to have self-care days, but it’s work to primp yourself up. Soul-care days are more about relaxation and listening to your body.”
The NYC-based vlogger tapped into soul-care with her Instagram break. Now, Amberg only uses Instagram for the story feature (to poll her followers, of course) and doesn’t follow a single user — not even friends or family.
It’s the meaningful connection, minus the pressure-filled feed.
“Rather than seeing what my family and friends are posting throughout the day, they were texting me snippets of their day,” she said. “We were having more one-on-one conversations when I was off the app.”
Amberg talked about her social media detox on her YouTube channel Simply Ney — updated explicitly each Sunday, Monday and Wednesday — in the spirit of transparency. And she’s not afraid to get real.
“A lot of young girls look up to influencers and it’s so important to keep authenticity,” said Amberg, who downplays the price tags. “I didn’t come from money — I didn’t have these products growing up — and it’s important to remember that you don’t need products to be ‘relatable.’ You can still touch people through your productive and happy habits without materialism, too.”
Below, find a list of products Renee adores — transforming the TikTok-famous ‘that girl’ persona into a ‘real girl’ wishlist to keep in your back pocket.
Renee’s Top 5 Favorite Products
Ana Louisa Meesh Gemstone Necklace, $76 (originally $95)
“Any jewelry I’m wearing is from Ana Louisa,” Amberg said. “I love their jewelry because it’s environmentally friendly and simple — I love quality, dainty pieces like their necklaces.”
“My 11 11 perfume is my go-to,” she said. “I’m very picky with my perfumes and I’ll find one and wear this clean-scented one for years. It’s also unisex; my brother wears it, too.”
“The Kite Runner is such a humbling and grounding story about life that’s a must-read,” she said.
“The Canon EOS Mark II is my go-to camera,” she said. “I’m not into the mechanics and all of that, and I love how with this one, you can just press record and shoot.”
“I love my Alexa for the cozy ambiance,” Amberg said. “I have a night and reading routine pre-set on my Echo Show, and I’m always talking to her — she’s my best friend.”
Plus, she loves listening to self-curated, dreamy playlists on Spotify with the bedroom device.
Renee’s Favorite Reads
“I love reading because it’s not online and it’s a little world — away from your world — that’s relaxing,” Amberg said. “I’m not big on TV shows, and I believe reading is a more intimate way to receive a story.”
Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid, $6.98 (originally $17)
“You have to read Daisy Jones and The Six,” she said. “It’s such a humanizing book with so much emotion. And, you have to read the page before Chapter 1 because it explains how it’s written, which gives you a better idea of the book’s premise.”
The Happiness Equation: Want Nothing + Do Anything = Have Everything by Neil Pasricha, $11.19 (originally $16)
“The Happiness Equation features the author who did a study on what makes people happy and it’s a collection of things — stories, tales, lyrics — that is simplistic yet profound,” she said. “I love self-help books that are straight to the point that impacts you.”
Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds by David Goggins, $17.99 (originally $19.99)
“This book made me wake up at 3 a.m. to run because it was so motivating and action-driven,” she said. “He didn’t make the book to help people; he just wrote about how he mastered his mind to do these incredible things.”
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides, $14.39 (originally $17.99)
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, $9.98 (originally $18)
“It’s a book about everything: love, murder mystery, and life in general,” she said. “And, I read it during quarantining and the many mentions of isolation really hit my soul.”
Life After Life: The Bestselling Original Investigation That Revealed ‘Near-Death Experiences’ by Raymond Moody, $13.39 (originally $16.99)
“Life After Life is about near-death experiences from a doctor’s perspective,” she said, “It’s not pushy or drawn toward religion but instead, is really straightforward and interesting.”
“Sharp Objects was really good,” she said. “It’s an HBO series that’s just as good as the book — which I don’t say often — and is a murder mystery-detective plot that keeps you on your toes.”
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari, $11.40 (originally $24.99)
“Sapiens is one of my favorites because it’s about homosapiens from the beginning to now,” she said. “It goes throughout human history and is almost like an interacting textbook.”
How to Be Yourself: Quiet Your Inner Critic and Rise Above Social Anxiety by Ellen Hendriksen, $14.49 (originally $16.99)
“How to Be Yourself is a good book about social anxiety and a good confidence-booster in general,” she said. “It’s the most powerful book in terms of anxiety I’ve ever read and totally changed my life.”
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, $14.31 (originally $26.95)
“At the beginning of Big Little Lies, there’s a murder mystery but you also don’t know who was murdered,” she said. “It’s another series that’s just as good as the book.”
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, $10.20 (originally $17)
“The book was so much better than the series, I think because you were connected to every single character, whereas with the series, you were more prone to pick a side,” she said. “It’s a captivating story, for sure.”
Renee’s Favorite Beauty & Soul-Care Products
Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser with Pump Dispenser, $8.86 (originally $10)
“I’m very simple when it comes to my face wash,” she said. “I’ve tried expensive and even prescribed products— literally everything — and nothing compares to Vanicream for my sensitive skin. It’s so inexpensive, too. ”
“I’m pretty simple when it comes to moisturizer, as long as it doesn’t give me that greasy feel,” she said. “I don’t like anything with fragrance in it, so I love the Kiehl’s one.”
“Pureology’s shampoo and conditioner are really great for color-treated hair,” she said.
BlissLights Sky Lite LED Laser Star Projector, $39.99 (originally $59.99)
“I always mention my skylight in my videos because it’s so calming,” she said. “It goes on your ceiling and makes your bedroom or bathroom look like it’s a universe.”
“I love the Sol de Janeiro Bum Bum Cream,” she said. “It’s thick, moisturizing and smells delicious.”
“Self-tan is so messy and can take hours,” she said.” I love using the Tea to Tan spray with the body brush and it looks like you just came home from an island. It doesn’t get on your clothes, either.”
Renee’s Favorite Home Office Products
“I love buying anything for my office, specifically, because I’m always there,” Amberg said. “Also, I love trying new health-related products and ones that boost the ambiance in my space — I’m all about the cozy vibes.”
Soundance Laptop Stand, $23.99
A monitor stand is “key” for work-from-homers, said Amberg, because it reminds her to sit up straight.
Griply Dry-Erase Computer Pad, $29.99
“I love my dry-erase pad because I’m a Post-It note person who needs to write down my thoughts,” she said. “It’s nice to have a simple board to write my to-do lists — such a game-changer.”
Lamicall Cell Phone Stand, $9.99
“I love my phone holder,” she said.” You’ll never go back to putting your phone on your desk or propped up against something.”
Logitech Combo Touch for iPad, $129.99 (originally $149.99)
Renee’s Favorite Health & Fitness Products
“I love my treadmill because it’s a foldable and apartment-friendly one,” she said. “I live in a studio and running is such an easy way to get cardio in. It’s like a suitcase — I just roll it from under my couch and it’s under $1,000.”
Hoslafon Resistance Band Set, $7.99 (originally $9.99)
“Cloth resistance bands are a must for me,” she said. “I take them everywhere, I love them for leg and booty workouts, and the cloth doesn’t irritate my skin.”
“I have a supplement box that I show a lot in my videos,” Amberg said. “I take l-carnitine to help with energy levels, a women’s multivitamin, D-mannose to help prevent UTIs, magnesium to help boost mood levels, and a probiotic — which may sound like a lot, but excess supplementation will just be excreted through urine.”
This box is a great storage option for your vitamins and supplements, but make sure to consult with your doctor about which nutritional additives are best for you.
“I love chocolate Built bars — because Rx bars aren’t ‘amazing’ to me and Clif bars are all sugar,” she said. “Built bars have little-to-no sugar and taste like a Valentine’s Day variety box of chocolates.”
“I love GymShark because of the look because it cinches you everywhere,” she said.
“The Align Leggings from Lululemon is so worth it,” she said. “I remember thinking there was no way I was going to spend $100 on leggings, but I now understand the hype.”