One of the most exciting things about blogging is that you are able to meet amazing girls from all over the world. One of my first online buddies, Shireen L. Platt from Reflections of Sanity, lives in Canada where she blogs about beauty and makeup. I love reading Shireen’s posts where she reviews all of the beauty finds that she currently uses and loves in an impartial and reader-friendly manner. I am so incredibly excited to have Shireen as Red Lipstick Club guest and chat with her about fashion, beauty tricks, and life in general. If you would like to be featured on my blog too, please feel free to reach out to me via this contact form.
Favorite red lipstick: Aww come on, this isn’t fair! It’s like asking me to choose a favorite child. LOL! I love red lipsticks and they definitely dominate my collection, but if I really have to choose one then I would say Annabelle Twistup Retractable Lipstick Crayon in the shade Cherry.
Skincare routine: Oh, this is a very tricky question. I have tons of skincare products and I usually mix and match different products on different days. If I have to narrow it down then it would be:
#1: Olay Pro-X Cleanser (I’m not fussy about brands);
#2: Toner (usually from L’Oreal);
#3: Eye cream (Strivectin-SD Eye Concentrate for Wrinkles);
#4: Serum (DAY: Rodial Superfood Facial Oil; NIGHT: Dr. Hauschka Night Serum);
#5: Moisturizer (DAY: Dr. Hauschka Revitalizing Day Cream; NIGHT: Jurlique Herbal Recovery Night Cream), and
#6: Sleeping mask by Avon.
I know it’s a very long list, but I’m fighting a losing battle with Mother Nature and gravity.
What’s in Shireen’s handbag: A perfume, lipstick, lip balm, wet wipes and a mirror! I will never ever leave the house without any of those. I actually made my hubby turn back home once because I forgot my lipstick. Needless to say, he was not impressed with it. Haha!
Five go-to beauty products: It’s all about the eyes and lips so I would say eyelash curler, eye liner, mascara, eyebrow pencil and lipstick. I have pretty good skin so I get away without using any base products.
Favorite perfume: A friend gave me Angel by Theirry Mugler a long time ago and at first I hated it, but eventually the scent grew on me and has now become my signature scent. It’s deep, musky and a little heavy when you first apply it but after an hour or so, it becomes softer and pleasant. I had few people asking me what perfume I am using because they like it that much!
Favorite drugstore finds:
#1: Rimmel Scandaleye Waterproof Khol Liner in Black, which supposedly a good dupe for Mac and Urban Decay pencils;
#3: Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer, which is also my HG concealer;
Beauty essentials: My lips are naturally very dry so I can’t survive without a lip balm. You can rob me of all my makeup and skincare, but if you try to take my lip balm away then I’ll come swinging with an umbrella and fight you to death.
Makeup inspiration: I adore, respect and follow any makeup looks that are created by Lisa Eldridge. My makeup application improved tremendously by watching all her YouTube tutorials. She’s amazing, her explanations are very precise and clear and this is a lady who knows what she’s talking about.
How can you describe your style? What’s your signature look?
I am one of the least fashionable people you’ll ever meet but if I must describe it then I would say minimalistic. I am usually in jeans, t-shirt and heels but ever since having my little one, I am now mostly in flats, shorts and t-shirt with some puke on it. Oh how time has changed!
Who are your fashion icons? I absolutely adore Victoria Beckham! I know many dislike her, but I love her! She has an amazing sense of fashion and her line is stunning. I wish she collaborate with H&M and design an exclusive line, maybe then I could afford her clothes.
What are your favorite places to shop?
I wish I could say Louis Vuitton, but I’ve only entered the store once and looking at the prices almost gave me a mini heart attack. On a more serious note, hands down my favorite stores are Zara and H&M. Both always have great designs and reasonable pricing.
Which trends will you be adding to your wardrobe this coming season?
Believe it or not, I only recently started noticing fashion trends. I am currently following a few fashion blogs and have been loving the 70s and bohemian trend. I really want to purchase a flare jeans but so far I have yet to find one that suits me. I am still on the fence about floral prints, the thought of me looking like an overgrown plant is not appealing.
If you had to choose, what is your one most favorite dress and why?
My green A-line dress from Dorothy Perkins! It’s very simple but it suits me really well… and it’s very easy to wear.
Your favorite designers of…
Dresses: Victoria Beckham alas, I couldn’t afford it.
Shoes: I’m not fussy about brands, as long as the shoes fits me well, looks damn good and comfortable? Then I will love it.
Outwear: Nike all the way! Just do it!
Jewelry: Not a fan of it.
Handbags: Marc Jacobs and Michael Kors.
Why did you start your blog and what did you learn from it?
My blog started as a form of therapy for me. I needed an outlet to let out all the voices in my head, a place for me to vent, a place where I can be myself without trying to appease everyone else. It was my little world and no one else was invited to it. However in the end of July last year I discovered a very strong passion for beauty so I revamped my blog to what it is today.
What is the story behind your blog’s name?
As I said earlier, my blog was a form of therapy for me, it was my online diary. I wrote everything and anything that came into my mind, every feeling, every thought, every emotion was poured into it hence I named it Reflection of Sanity. It was a reflection of my sanity. Mind you, my therapist told me that I am not insane. I am however, is what you can describe as quirky…
What are the best aspects of running your blog? What are the hardest aspects?
Nothing makes me happier than the interaction with my readers. I have been so lucky to meet so many amazing and supportive people online. For me personally, I find the hardest aspect of blogging is the whole process of creating a satisfactory post. Arranging the product with the right background, getting the correct light, taking and editing the pictures, creating and editing a draft and finally read and reread the whole thing again and again before publishing. That’s why it really gets on my nerves when non-bloggers say blogging is easy. It is not easy; it’s very time consuming if you take it seriously.
As a blogger I want to put my best for my readers. I still have a long way to go. I know my photography needs improving, but I will slowly get there. The next hardest thing for me is taking pictures of myself. I am always the person behind the lens; I’m the photographer in the family so to have my picture taken is very uncomfortable. I feel completely awkward, I have no idea how to pose or smile and I always end up smiling like I have a few bolts loose in my head.
What are the most exciting collaborations you participated at?
I have been extremely lucky to get the opportunity to work with a few amazing brands but I am currently looking forward towards a collaboration with a few bloggers on a post. I guess this is where I say “stay tuned”?
How many hours a week do you spend blogging? How about social media? Oh goodness me, I don’t even know how many hours I spend blogging in a day but it’s safe to say at least three hours a day. I wake up latest by 6:30 am and work until my little one wakes up. And then I continue to work when he goes for his naps. It’s tiring hence I only post three times a week. This way it gives me enough time to draft a post, reply comments and visit other blogs to show my support.
I was horrible with social media! I am pretty good with Instagram because I naturally love taking pictures (food porn, anyone?) but I am terrible with Twitter. I recently found out about Buffer and it’s free so the past couple of days my Twitter feed has been active with promoting my blog.
Finally, do you have any advice for beauty/lifestyle blogging newbies?
Don’t start a blog because you want free stuff or you’ll end up being very disappointed. Get your head right and do it out of passion. For the longest time, I had no followers, no readers, no comments, my blog was like a twilight zone and I was the only occupant. But I kept at it because I honestly love blogging. And interact with others! You’ll be surprise at how supportive the blogging community is!
What are the five attractions you recommend to visit in your city?
I migrated from Malaysia to Canada on September last year so I am still in the midst of discovering new places here. But if you ever visit Kuala Lumpur then I would suggest Chinatown for shopping inspired designer goods, but make sure to sharpen your bargaining skills. You do NOT pay full price, period. Next up would be Jalan Alor which is a food haven, you get the best street hawkers food there. If you’re a nature and bird lovers then you’ll love a trip to which is known as the largest covered bird park in the world. It houses more than 3,000 birds from 200 species all over the world. And last two places would be Petronas Twin Tower, which I don’t think I need to explain why and Aquaria KLCC, which is a huge marine park.
What is your proudest achievement to date?
You know what? I’ve never thought about this before so this question really had me thinking. I was so broke in the past that I could only afford one meal a day and I had to work two jobs to support myself. But nothing made me more proud than winning my battle with chronic depression. I got severely depressed after my divorce and there were too many days that I wished and hoped that I would never wake up to see the next day. When I did wake up, I would cry and wonder why am I still alive. Looking back it’s scary to see how close I came to ending it all because I had no one to turn to. Depression is a very sensitive matter to me and I hope that one day the stigma on this matter will be lifted and more people will come forward and seek help.
What are your greatest passions? Cooking and unfortunately for my waist, thighs and hips, I love eating too. I am most at ease in the kitchen creating new dishes, experimenting with new ingredients and tasting everything. I know many find cooking as a chore but I find it to be very therapeutic.
Who is the ideal woman for you (and why)?
Frankly I don’t know, but if I am completely honest, I would say no one. Everyone is unique in their own ways and that’s what make us individuals. It’s all the little quirks in us that make us beautiful in our own way.