Her latest venture? She’s just landed a role as an ambassador for Clinique’s #FaceForward campaign, inspiring women to set goals and make promises to themselves. The result is a raw, honest and touching… when was the last time you were true to yourself and wrote down a list of goals?
Here’s our chat with Margaret…
Why is skincare important to you?
I grew up training as a ballet dancer and the makeup you had to wear was so thick. Skincare was really important to me then because if I didn’t look after it, I would have terrible skin.
Skin is confidence. If you look good without makeup, makeup will only make you feel better, as opposed to using makeup to cover your flaws. Skincare is like your baseline, you just have to get it right before doing anything else.
It’s also about having a holistic lifestyle though – what exercise you do, what you eat, and even how stressed you are. I know when I’m super under the pump with exams and stuff, my skin just breaks out.
What’s your biggest beauty mistake?
Not doing eye makeup for the Asian eye was such a mistake for me. I think it’s a mistake that a lot of Asian girls make (and maybe some makeup artists that aren’t familiar with Asian facial structure) because the shape is so different. Our eyelid isn’t as deep-set and you can’t really fill it with eyeshadow. Eyeshadow for me doesn’t really work unless you’re shading it with brown to open your eye a little. Smokey eyes are a tough one!
What’s your secret to a glowing complexion?
Having a really balanced diet is important, like some protein and some greens because your skin needs all of that. Drinking lots of water, because your body really needs to flush everything out. Even the recommendation of 8 glasses a day… I don’t think it’s enough. I have almost 3 litres a day especially if you’re doing exercise.
How do you stay so fit?
I do ballet once in a while, but ballet-movement lends itself well to pilates. I’ve been doing a lot of reformer pilates only when I’m in the country. When I’m overseas it’s harder, so I go for runs. There’s a great girl on YouTube called Cassey of Blogilates, and she mimics pilates, but you use your own body weight and household items like your water bottle or pillows and stuff like that. Her videos are only about 10 minutes each, and if you do a couple of them, you don’t really get bored.
Do you have a moment in your life when you realised blogging had changed your life?
It was when I was 17, and really late at night. I was going to a friend’s dinner for their birthday, and was just standing outside waiting for a taxi… and a girl walked past and she was like “Margaret!? I read your blog, it’s so amazing!”
New York at the time seemed so far away at the time, and I never really envisaged that I had international readers who looked at what I do. Now when I travel, it’s almost like a taste of home when people scream at you down the street. It’s really nice to have people you know in every city. It was a turning point for me because I realised I had an audience and it wasn’t just a hobby.
Out of photography, styling, writing and modelling, what’s your favourite and why?
It’s so hard to pick as they feed into each other. You’re able to really understand the bigger picture when you can work across photography, styling and modelling. I love doing things from further back too, like directing, and working with brands on putting my spin on their brief. I don’t think you can do anything in isolation. It’s really important to diversify as much as possible as it is a changing space.
What’s your favourite photo-editing app?
My favourite apps are Snapseed, Luminance, and VSCO Cam for a little bit of colour correction. It’s all about taking the right picture first though, with lots of light.
Your favourite travel destination, and why?
I’d love to move to New York as I’ve been there every six months since I was like 17, and I’ve built a great network of friends there and I really know the city. It’s also one of those places where you walk on your doorstep and there’s something happening.
Paris is so beautiful to photograph… but Morocco has been my favourite trip. It was really eye-opening learning about Muslim culture. On a spiritual level too. We had a legend of a guide that took us to heaps of local places too.
Do you have any advice for emerging bloggers?
Try not to see yourself as an emerging blogger. Your end-goal should never be about being a blogger. A blog should be your vehicle to get you wherever you want to be. If your end-goal is just to have a website, then you can’t really progress from there. You can always improve your website but I think branding-wise, you really need to know what your point of difference is. It would be a mistake to just look at it as updating a website and taking pretty pictures; you need to think about the longer-term, like 5-10 years ahead. Just be honest as well. I see so many people trying to replicate aesthetics (not maliciously) but they think that’s what works. It shouldn’t be formulaic. Stay true to yourself and don’t take yourself too seriously. Have fun with it and own it.