This year marks the 8th year my blog has existed. Time flies so fast and I've learned so much. Being a blogger opened so many opportunities for me, but it also closed some freedom in my life. I've been loved, hated, attacked and stalked over the past few years that it has become a part of my life. I've only been actively participating in the blogging scene for five years but I'm patting myself on the back for persevering (despite the number of times I insisted on quitting) and still going on strong.
Being a blogger is never easy, especially when you're not a highly paid blogger and you need to keep a day job. I learned to save from the jobs I get, did some freelance work and be a little bit more frugal than I used to be. I have to admit that luck has been on my side (and of course hard work too) but I do struggle sometimes producing content now that I'm not as outgoing as I used to be. However, if someone told me that this is the life I would be leading I don't think I would change anything I went through (maybe I should have kickstarted a few projects I planned last time). I just wish I had someone to tell me these things so I'd save a lot more time throughout those years.
1. Never say yes to everything.
I have to admit that I have a soft spot for saying yes when people ask for favours. I've had friends trying to take advantage on the existence of my social media and also big corporations who told me that I literally should kiss their feet and work with them to gain exposure (well not exactly but I think you get my point). If you don't believe in it or it doesn't benefit you in any way, you are not obligated to say yes just cause you're trying to be nice.
2. You cannot pay bills with products.
Being a well-known blogger definitely does have its perks. You'd get products for reviews, and also sponsorships from various brands. Sometimes, these perks are a bonus on top of what you're paid for but most of the time, you don't get anything but products or services in exchange for write-ups and shoutout on your social media platforms. As much as I try to be nice, but you can't take everything in product form. Free items won't pay for your bills. Some does help bring down your expenses, in my case household items, makeup, body care products and electronics but most products can't even be exchanged with cold, hard cash. At the end of the day, you can't keep accumulating junk from goodie bags and have no money to eat with. This is why most blogger cannot be a full-time blogger. In the end, they phase out as it could not be balanced with the demand of their paying full-time job. There are times when you can exchange your service with products, but it shouldn't be a must in every case.
3. Competition should be healthy, not catty.
If there's one thing I'm not a fan of in the blogging world, it would be the dramas between bloggers. Surely there's always someone better, prettier, smarter than you but that should not be a reason why you should feel threatened in a bad way. Take it as a motivation to create a niche for yourself. Don't bring your competition down with rumour mongering and if there are any dramas within your radius, steer clear. If you don't like another blogger, just keep it to yourself or the people closest to you.
4. Stick to what you know best.
As a blogger that started with no niche, I was literally writing about everything that was happening around me. Then it skewed more towards clothing and now I've decided to make this one a life and style based while I separated my travel content to another website. I did not want to talk about things I'm not familiar with hence why I don't do food reviews for F&B establishments. It's best to stick to what you know better than others so you have a niche and its easier for clients (cause I've worked on the client's side) to categorise you as they know your target audience better.
5. Value is not always in numbers.
I have to admit, I'm no longer raking in as much readers as I used to the moment I changed my URL. Google is still showing links to my old url so I'm losing out on the search engine part. I have been very honest with clients and agencies and try to work with them on other platforms which has higher engagements such as instagram. However, some clients are still insisting to work with me on the blog as they do not look at the numbers, they look at the value of the target market they can tap on. It doesn't matter if you don't have followers in six-digit count, as I've met successful bloggers from around the world who honestly has lower number of followers than our average popular Asian bloggers but brands still want to work with them and tap onto their readers. There is no point to have so much followers but you have no substance. Work on one, and the other will follow.
I'm a sun worshipper - I love being under the sun, and I prefer to be in tropical heath weather. Give me the beach any time and I'll be happy to just soak under the sun with a long nap and a tanning oil on my hand. I know the sun UV rays are harmful to my skin, but I have to admit I'm taking it granted right now as I have not seen any visible signs of ageing yet (except my skin drying out compared to a few years back). I've also noticed sometime last week that my mole count has increased (it worried me a little since it is linked to skin cancer). What killed me this morning was a video by Thomas Leveritt, How The Sun Sees You.
Instead of showing the effects of sun on the skin throughout time (which isn't really effective, to be honest) he showed the current condition of skin under ultraviolet cameras, and how it looks like when sunblock is applied to the skin. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the turning point in which I took out my stash of tinted moisturisers from Sephora and tried them on to see which would be my daily partner from now on. I used to wear tinted moisturisers when I was younger, but as I grew up I totally neglected wearing any skin protection altogether! Since my skin is considered on the fairer side for an Asian, I totally get why I would need sunscreen since my Melanin count is lower than someone with darker skin. Now you don't just need to moisturise your skin, you also need to protect it with sunscreen to slow the ageing process! Since I'm not a big fan of thick traditional sunblocks (they clog up my pores and make me breakout) I'm trying on these three tinted moisturisers with SPF20-30 that I got from Sephora Malaysia.
tarte BB tinted treatment 12-hour primer SPF30 sunscreen, broad spectrum
- can be used alone or underneath a foundation to enhance coverage. oil-free, minimises pore, brightens skin and acts as a base for your makeup.
Sephora CC Care+Color SPF20 sunscreen.
- Universal shade fits all skin tone, moisturises and evens skin tone, wear alone or as makeup base.
Peter Thomas Roth CC Cream broad spectrum SPF30 Complexion Corrector.
- anti-aging sunscreen, complexion xorrector and tint in one. Helps protect, brighten and moisturise skin.
Upon application on skin I noticed the differences in each product instantly. (The product was not applied in order as the photo):
Thickness: Tarte has the thickest consistency, almost like a heavy foundation followed by Sephora's which has more of the sunblock consistency. Lightest would be Peter Thomas Roth.
Pigments: Sephora's has the least colour while Tarte's is the most pigmented (hence there might not be a need to wear foundation on top).
Finishing: Tarte has a velvety finish, dries a little slow compared to Peter Thomas Roth's which glides evenly, sets fast into the skin and has the most even finishing.
Scent (nearest to sunblock smell): Sephora is the one closest to sunblock smell, tarte comes in second while Peter Thomas Roth has the lightest scent.
Based on the tests above, I've decided that Peter Thomas Roth is my daily choice. I hope I keep this up regularly *makes swear sign* and I will take care of my skin better. I've already started by cleansing regularly and eating more fruits, vegetables and drinking water so this sunscreen would be the next step to better skin.
All products are available at Sephora Malaysia outlets.
Routine has been a part of everyone’s lives since the early days of mankind. Every day we wake up with a goal, and constantly repeat the same thing the next day. That is routine. Every day we wake up with a set of task, and make sure that we’ve crossed that out of our to-do list at the end of the day and that, is routine too. Institutions teach us about routine – scheduled classes, timed meals, public system, they are all routine cycles in life. Without routine, most people would walk about aimlessly and not have a goal in their lives. However, all work and no play make a person dull so breaking out of habit and routine at times are good and could be refreshing.
People have been duly following the routine of life and have put the importance of hair care off their priorities. Hair loss has become one of the major issues faced by Malaysian women and our confidence fades as our hair gets thinner. It is a shame to see friends and family that has become more self-aware and conscious of their appearances mainly because of hair loss issues.
Although I am currently a freelancer and not bound by 9-5 timing, I still have my daily routine to follow. I wake up, wash up, check emails and social network and write down tasks I need to complete for the day. I would repeat this everyday and only at times encounter impromptu decisions during ‘working hours’ usually suggested by my husband – swim, lunch out, go to the cinema and more. At times I would of course do some pampering as I love it when I get compliments by my husband, especially when it comes to my physical appearance. It’s like a instant confidence boost to know someone notices all the effort you put into taking care of yourself, even when its not as often as you wish it to be.
Recently, Dove has just launched their 14-day challenge app that participants will have to follow towards the ultimate goal – saying goodbye to the old you, and hello to a newly confident, beautiful and appreciate you.
I love breaking routines. I love the excitement of new things; the same satisfaction traveling gives me – a sense of something new and foreign. It’s like an adrenaline rush like falling in love for the first time, or tasting a new dish. When Dove introduced it’s Facebook app in conjunction with the launch of their new Hair Fall Rescue System range, they encourage women to step out of their comfort zone and start making changes! The best part about having a routine is breaking them, and it is a refreshing feeling of freedom and staying confident.
Dove’s Serlahkan Dirimu app enlists of 14-days surprise challenges online that an individual may follow. It ranges from tasks of listing things that made you happy in the week, or encouraging you to try a new hairstyle or new outfit and upload the photo. Despite my busy schedule I managed to try a few days of the challenge and the purpose of these challenges, although small tasks instantly hit me - stepping out of your comfort zone is a self-discovery step towards a better you.
This app is fun and super easy to use! All you need to do is to complete a daily task according to the challenge given every day via the app for the following 2 weeks after registering. The fun part is that the app will create a personalized digital video of the transformation journey based on the challenges you’ve performed after the 2 weeks duration. You will learn things you like, or you may not fancy by trying new things. If you’ve never tried anything you will never learn or discover your preferences, strength and weaknesses.
Following this challenge was a motivation for women to discover themselves, feel good and step out confidently despite their daily challenges as an individual, daughter, partner, and mother. Many women have joined this challenge today, why don’t you try too by clicking HERE. Plus, you stand a chance to win prizes worth up to RM20, 000 thanks to Dove Malaysia.
Some photos of the mission I did!
Being confident makes a girl 10 times more beautiful!
Love how he makes me feel like the perfect girl in the world.
If you have straight hair, curl it up or if you have curly hair why not straighten it for the day. If you’re more adventurous, go for a crazy color altogether!
Don’t forget to try the Dove 14-Day Serlahkan Dirimu challenge (click here) and I’d like to know what do you do to break your daily routine in the comments below =)
Have a good day!
I’ve been so busy co-running WhateverThereWas, my own blog and helping out my husband on some work that I’ve barely had time to pamper myself. The closest I get to pamper would be indulging on the couch in front of the television with ice cream! So I decided to join a one-night program of pampering session with a bunch of lovely ladies courtesy of Dove and talk about a common problem that most ladies have.
First up, I arrived at my hotel room and was welcomed with the latest Dove Hair Fall rescue products - exactly what I needed now that my hair is growing out and it drops more than usual and also a plate of fruits to keep things healthy.
Our first session was the highlight of my day, a head massage! Using Dove Hair Fall Rescue’s latest intensive hair tonic, the masseuse gave me a good massage and worked the products into my scalp. I loved the cooling sensation it gave and the scent was refreshing.
We were then ushered into two sessions of workshops – first for image consultation and another for relationship talk. The first workshop, an image consultation had us breaking the ice by playing a game – we were supposed to say something nice to others by writing nice things on a paper stuck to their backs. That was a nice gesture seeing what others have to say about my appearance and me. All the ladies were smiling when they read the nice things a stranger wrote about them.
We then were taught how to choose the best tones for our look by putting cloth pieces of different colors beneath our chin – it will highlight the best colors suited to your skin undertones. The relationship workshop on another hand, highlighted the importance of understanding your partners based on your own personality. I discovered and learned a few tips and tricks during the workshop so it was very nice of Dove to have all of us included in it.
Our day then ended with a pillow talk session after dinner, hosted by local celebrity Nana Mahzan with a panel of guests such as Yasmin Hani, Sharifah Shahira, the two new Dove’s Real women championing the campaign, Suhainah and Shariffah.
The purpose of this pampering session is to celebrate women and empower them through a series of 14-days challenge with Dove, and to introduce Dove’s new range of hair care – Dove Hair Fall Rescue System. The ambassadors, Suhainah and Shariffah Nadia who are real life bestfriends shared their problems with hairfall that lowered self-confidence, something that hits close to home with many women around the world.
I, too, have my fair share of hair fall issues, especially when I try to grow them longer. I’m currently trying out this new Dove haircare and I am seeing great results myself. My hair is falling lesser than usual, and I hope to see good effects with the continuous usage of the shampoo and conditioner. The women in this workshop shared their stories on hair fall issues and I would like to hear from you too!
Since I’m trying out on this challenge campaign Dove Rambutmu, Mahkotamu ‘Serlahkan Diri Dalam 14 Hari Dengan Dove’ I’d love you to try it too! Just click on this link http://bit.ly/DoverSerlahkanDiri and have fun!
The Challenge will require you to complete one mission per day for two weeks, and there will be a digital video created for the submissions when it ends. If you decide to share it on your facebook, you might even win prizes from Dove! There are prizes worth up to RM20,000 to be won.
Lastly, don’t forget to watch Dove’s new advertisement featuring their two new ambassadors talking about their experience on hair fall and how they overcame it below.