Previously I came up with an idea to put together more content into my site through interviews with people that I admire. I think I’ve been overwhelmed for years now with trying to sort out what I can bring to this mini zone of mine, and got really excited when I found out that it doesn’t necessarily have to be me who ‘creates’ the content; rather, I can be the one who gives a leg up for it. So here we go, my first interview with Beverly @bev_muah while doing my makeup, an amazing and down to earth makeup artist in Kota Kinabalu. I hope you enjoy this conversation and please let me know what you think about it.
F: Let’s start from introducing yourself.
B:What do you want to know?
F: Well how did you get into beauty industry?
B: I started as a Quantity Surveyor. Do you know what that is?
B: But after 8 months I realised I didn’t like it, so I quit and went to study Makeup in KL. After that I came back and worked in The Body Shop, mainly in charged of training the staffs in Sabah & Brunei.
F: Wow. How old were you that time?
B: Hmm, I was…wait, 12 years ago, probably 23, 22?
F: Oh my you were so young!
B: Yeah. Then after that I realised it was more to retail business and I wanted to focus on makeup, so I decided to quit and joined an academy. They offered me a partnership where I had to do marketing and formulating the makeup courses. That is where i really learnt on how to run my own school.
F: So how old were you when you had this obsession of makeup?
B: Well you know there was no Instagram & Youtube back then. All I can do is to check out the magazine, which wasn’t really a thing at that moment. I started playing with makeup right after I quit QS. It was just eyeliner and basic eyeshadow though, I didn’t have the knowledge yet (haha).
F: (Haha) When did you start posting in your social media then?
B: It came naturally I think, from Facebook. And then I signed up in Instagram, I was quite late actually. It was 2013 I think?
F: What about youtube?
B: Well for Youtube I tried to dabble in, I created an account 4 years ago. But you know, Youtube is a bit more challenging.
F: Is it competitive?
B: Not really, but you have to think of the content, plus the editing part takes a lot of time, which is demotivating me.
F: Yeah I get that, for Youtube you need to have longer videos comparing to IG.
F: I must say that all of your videos are really nice. I like it because they are professionally done.
B: Thank you (hehe). I’m doing more of vlogging now, as it is easier to edit.
F: True, but you have to be comfortable talking in front of the camera.
B: Yeah, but it comes with practice. I’m not naturally like this (haha).
F: I tried doing it while I was travelling, but it was very awkward.
B: It is definitely easier when you have friends around. If I’m alone, I think I can’t do it either.
F: (Haha) Back to makeup, is there anyone who inspired you doing what you’re doing today?
B: My inspirations change from time to time. Just like last year, I was really into trendy makeup, for example cut crease. However this year, I switched to doing natural and glowy makeup, and really trying to create my own signature look. I think it is really important to have my own style especially when I host my makeup Master Class.
F: Interesting! So what do you name your signature look?
B: I don’t know, I have a name for my signature brows, Bev Brows (haha).
F: Oh ya! That’s the star of your makeup. I actually bought the soap you recommended (haha).
B: Really? The pear soap?
F: Yes! But my brows are really stubborn.
B: Tips: you have to keep it long so it’ll be easier.
F: Alright let’s see after I grow it. Next question: What have you learnt from working on your social media channel?
B: I’ve learnt a lot. One thing that I’ve learnt is that the contents can’t just be pretty faces, as I have to connect with my audiences. And last year I realised that putting a lot of effort doesn’t mean I’ll be getting a lot of engagement. It’s really hard to know what my audiences like to see. I got the most views in my Unduk Ngadau video with almost 100K views, which was unexpected at all.
F: I think one of the reason is that your audiences are mostly local, and they find it unique and relatable. For example, Pageantry is really popular in Sabah recently.
B: Exactly, they’re everywhere. Oh and one thing about social media is you can’t be so obsessed with it or else you’ll get attached.
F: Well if so, how do you manage and control your time on social media? Do you plan your posting schedule?
B: Usually I’ll upload once a day, in the morning. However there are times when I didn’t as I didn’t feel like it. I don’t like it when I overly focus on the likes and views. So if I decided to have an off day, I will really put it aside and take a break from it.
F: I agree with that. I used to seek validations from the social media, which I know is really bad.
F: So when and how did your account really grow?
B: For my account it grew after I did a hairstyling video. Well you know, it is really beneficial when big accounts share your post. For me, I got almost 4k followers over night after Huda Beauty reposted my video.
F: Wow, even users from overseas?
B: Yes, but I stopped doing hair videos as I want to be known as a makeup artist. But that was really a good stepping stone because not many people create hairstyle related content. So instead of competing with everyone doing makeup video, I did hair video.
F: I see, but you’re good at hairstyles too, don’t you?
B: Not bad (hehe), but I transferred all my hairstyle videos to another account just to keep it neat.
F: Oh! What’s the account?
F: So you’re managing all the accounts?
B: Yes, including my new business @wed.dreams.
F: Of course, WedDreams, we’ll talk about that later!
F: Do you get recognised when you’re outside?
B: Yes but so far, no crazy fans (haha). Some of them recognised me but were too shy to talk to me, so I approached them and and asked for a photo instead (haha).
F: (Haha) I bet nobody in Sabah will be acting crazy when they see someone they admire.
F: Next, define beauty.
B: For me, the most important thing is the personality. I find it a really big turnoff when someone is beautiful but with bad attitude.
F: Well said. For me wisdom is also important.
B: Mm-Hmm. Also having integrity, for example Influencers marketing, company can just pay you for saying good stuffs about their products. For me, if you do not agree or like the product, you shouldn’t endorse for it.
F: There’s a lot of Influencers in Sabah doing that.
B: Yeah, I personally do not agree with the culture of paid review. Review should always be honest, nobody has to pay you to say good things about a product/ brand, unless you yourself have been using the product and the brand approaches you, that’s a different story. So there’s nothing related with physical look for being beautiful.
F: I’m fully on your side with this. What about your opinion on being called fake for using makeup?
B: It really depends on how you carry it. Makeup can be something that gives you strength and confidence. For me, makeup is to help creating an image of what you want to be. If I’m feeling Gothic, I can put on Gothic makeup look, same goes to Vintage and many more, so it is creating an image for me, and enhancing what you already have.
F: Cool, what is your favourite makeup brand?
B: It all depends on the product itself.
F: What about local brands? Do you have any suggestions?
B: For eyeshadow I have tried Zhuco Cosmetics and it’s really pigmented. I like it.
F: I’ve never tried any local products, are they available online only?
B: Yeah it’s mostly online/ during the Artisan Market season.
F: Got it, I’d really love to try them on one day. So, drugstore or high-end product?
B: Definitely high-end products (haha), especially when you’re used to using high-end products, it’s very easy to feel the differences.
F: I’ve seen you using makeup products that are not available in Sabah. So where did you get your makeup from?
B: I got them mostly online, directly from the websites. The shipping fee is expensive, but it’s definitely worth it.
F: Let’s talk about WedDreams.
F: As for now it’s only available in the website, are you guys working on the app?
B: Yes, we’re currently developing the app right now.
F: Are you guys hiring local app designer?
B: No, it’s all in house, by my husband.
F: Wow, I see. Is he doing full time in WedDreams?
B: Yeah, hoping that it’ll grow not only in Sabah, but other states in Malaysia too. Recently, we got our first 5-Stars Hotel Shangrila Tg Aru Resort to sign up in WedDreams.
F: That’s really great. I don’t see any disadvantage for companies to sign up in WedDreams. Alright last question: What is your favourite breakfast, unless you’re one of those people that doesn’t eat breakfast.
B: (Haha) Don’t be surprise, I usually only have biscuits as my breakfast, with a cup of Milo.
F: Khong Guan biscuits?
B: Yes (haha).
F: Try applying a layer of condensed milk on top, it tastes superb.
B: I know that! They’re super good.
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