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Okay, so I finally decided to do an FAQ post. I’ve been avoiding this forever because sometimes these are really pointless, like who really cares what my favourite colour is? I’ve collected all the questions I’ve been asked more than once on Instagram or via email, as well as the ones that I think are really useful to know and complied the answers here… So let’s start!
Where are you from?
I was born in Singapore, but I moved to London when I was three. I thought I was going to Disneyland haha. When I’m in the UK, I tell people I’m from Singapore but when I’m in Asia, vice versa.
How many animals do you have?
Two – a golden Labrador named Gatsby, I got him when I was 18, and a bunny named Perseus/Percy, he’s a Lionhead Dwarf.
Why are you always travelling? Why are you always in Hong Kong?
One of the things I promised myself when I moved from Singapore was that I was going to make more effort to travel to places I’ve never been. Within reason, I believe that when you prioritise a vision, you can will it to life. I never went to Bali or Australia whilst I lived in SG and I am still so annoyed with myself for not taking the opportunity, so that’s how the goal began.
As for Hong Kong, my boyfriend lives there at the moment for work, so I go there to see him. My family and animals (my kids) have moved to Singapore recently so I stop over to visit them and the trip always ends up much longer than anticipated.
How long have you been blogging for?
I’ve been blogging since 2011, took a break between 2013-2015 and I have been building my presence on Instagram since August/September 2015.
What do you do for a living?
I’m a lifestyle writer. I want to move specifically into fashion but right now, I really enjoy features in general because it means I get to write about food and art. You can read some of my published work online here.
Where did you get your leather varsity jacket?
I get this question every time I post it on Instagram! The story goes that I finished lectures at UCL, and popped over to Charlotte Street for some lunch. I stopped by this vintage store called Bang, Bang (now shut) and I saw the jacket. It was £100 and it was brand new with tags on and everything. I figured that since it was leather and was so amazingly detailed it was definitely worth it. It wasn’t until afterwards that I realised the retail value was 5x what I had paid. It’s a collaboration between Nike and the street artist Parra.
What’s your clothes size?
US 00 or UK 6. I’m quite short so being anything else doesn’t really work for me (been there, done that, looked like Shrek).
How do you do glitter makeup? (HERE)
If it’s a quick shoot, Vaseline does the trick but I don’t recommend putting it on the eyelids as it’ll crease very easily. I use Duo waterproof eyelash glue for my looks, which is great as it’s so easy to take off. I got the big glitter pieces from Topshop Beauty but I also use a mix of micro (the one I usually use has sold out but I want to try this next because omg, the colours!) and sequins from craft stores.
Who takes your photos?
I don’t have a dedicated photographer, I just edit my own pictures. I used to live in Asia and the circles in Hong Kong and Singapore are tight. A lot of photographers with two degrees of separation often message me. I also have quite a few blogger friends and we help each other. I’ve realised that although it’s crucial for my blog to always have the best quality photos, Instagram can benefit from a mix of Iphone and proper shots. Some of my most ‘liked’ pictures have been effortless, quick snaps on my phone by friends who don’t know how to focus a DSLR (still love you guys).
Do you blog full time?
NO. My goal isn’t to be a full time blogger or influencer. More than that, I would never recommend going full time until you have enough traffic on your blog, and followers and engagement on your Instagram that you’re making a steady income. I don’t even mean achieving what you would if you had a ‘normal’ job. That is more likely to happen in Singapore (or maybe even Asia as whole?) but in London, that’s quite rare. I just mean a reasonably reliable ‘salary’ that you can take home, which with this line of work is incredibly difficult.
Do you reply to every comment/ DM/ email?
For comments, yes – unless they’re spam, on a picture dated 64 weeks ago, or really strange, then I think it’s best to leave it as it is. I comment on people’s photos when I really, really like them so I wouldn’t ignore someone intentionally if they were to take the time to write something to me.
As for DMs, I have a different policy. If I feel that someone wouldn’t say in real life what they have written in a message, I rarely reply. I don’t appreciate being addressed as ‘pretty’ or ‘babe’ by someone who doesn’t know me. My name is in my bio and I think it’s quite obvious that I’m not a ‘casual’ Instagram user, so it’s kind of insulting to send a message without saying hello properly. Also, my girls will get this – it’s quite obvious when someone is messaging you with motives other than to engage with your content. When I write to bloggers that I don’t know, I never call them anything but their actual name, it’s just respectful.
I reply to almost every blog related email because my thoughts are that if someone is professional enough to contact me via email, I should reciprocate, even if it’s to turn down an offer.
How do you keep up with blogging whilst travelling?
I once asked a girl (she’s now a super famous blogger, not exaggerating) how she juggles an online show and blogging whilst going to university full-time. She answered, ‘priorities’. At first I was like, dude, I went to UCL and I struggled to do both! The truth is that she is right, priorities.
Does someone take your photos when you’re travelling or do you use a self-timer?
I don’t use a self-timer outside of my house. I just don’t trust people and I’m pretty sure someone’s going to run off with my tripod and even worse, my SD card. Also, I’m quite self conscious in front of a camera and I couldn’t deal with the pressure of doing it on a side street somewhere by myself! I’ve seen Margaret Zhang take self-portraits on a TV show and I was like, ‘YOU GO GIRL!’ However, that’s just not me.
Truthfully, I do get a bit stressed out about the quality of my photos if I’m going on holiday. Fortunately, I often travel with my boyfriend who has been trained with my camera haha, or when I’m in Asia I have a lot of photographer friends that I can rely on. Otherwise I just prep my friends beforehand and ask (beg) them to set aside 15 minutes to take some snaps for me (e.g. Greece).
What advice would you give to bloggers starting out?
Years ago I would’ve said, don’t give up after two months. Now I’d say, why do you want to blog and what are your expectations? Certain social media platforms could be made obsolete in a matter of months or years (does anyone really care about Facebook that much anymore? People in Asia aren’t very active on Twitter, etc.) so if you were to lose all of your followers overnight, would you still write on your blog? Bear in mind that after Instagram’s infamous and much detested change of algorithm, low to mid-weight accounts were severely affected. If another change were to happen, would that frustrate you and make you want to give up or would you think, ‘right, what do I need to do now?’.
Photos by Koray Hussein
Topshop shirt and jeans
Lack of Color hat
Saint Laurent bag