Scroll down to read my interview with Johannesburg based blogger, Megan Smith. She shares her love for beauty, good coffee, and lets not forget gin and tonic:-)
Tell me a bit about yourself and your blog?
My name is Megan Smith, I am a full-time student at Wits, where I study Chemical Engineering. I am a homebody, who loves to be around my family and close friends.
My love of photography and beauty collided when I created Perilously Pale. My blog has been up and running for only four months now, but it has brought me so much joy.
On Perilously Pale, I discuss products I’ve been enjoying (and not enjoying), routines I’ve been trying, tips, hints and a large supply of flowery pictures to accompany the posts.
What inspired you to start your blog, and when did you know it was something you wanted to do?
I’ve always had this thought at the back of my mind that I would love to share the sales, tips and facts I’ve learned about beauty, but being a shy human being, I never considered putting myself out there.
One day, after talking my boyfriend’s ear off about how much you’re actually paying for a MAC eyeshadow, after comparing grams per pan to the Inglot eyeshadows, he suggested I start a blog. I was vehemently against it to begin with, but after some encouragement from him, I eventually took the plunge.
What made you choose the name Perilously Pale for your blog?
I am INCREDIBLY pale! Significantly paler than my friends and family. I knew I wanted some form of alliteration in the name, to make it cute and catchy, and the most fitting word I could think of to describe how pale I am, was perilously.
Being so pale was something I was really self-conscious about for a long time. We all have strange things we don’t like about ourselves, I guess this was my thing. Naming my blog after my insecurity also gave me a sense of acceptance.
The naming process actually took a LONG time, as things like available social media handles, existing blogs and context all had to be considered before I made my decision.
Who takes the majority of your photos?
I am proud to say that I take each and every one of my photos, with the exception of the ones of myself that I used for my About Me page.
Taking the pictures for my blog and Instagram is my favourite part of running Perilously Pale. I find it incredibly rewarding to take, choose and edit my photos.
How do you motivate yourself to keep the blog up and running?
Admittedly, sometimes it is really difficult. When life gets busy and other projects demand your attention, blogging can feel like a chore.
What I try to do is make sure that I only write about things that I really want to. I usually have a list of ideas for articles, and one or two will stay on the list forever, because I just don’t get excited when I think about writing them. So staying enthusiastic has a lot to do with staying true to what you WANT to write.
What makes you happy?
Many things. Clean sheets. Washed hair. Woolworths Brownie Bites. New makeup. New outfits. Loads of comfy jerseys. Hearing your favourite song on the radio. Love letters. Rings. Sunsets (and sunrises). Watermelon. Getting a varsity problem right. Finally understanding a difficult concept. New Instagram followers. Compliments. Finishing a good post.
What is your current beauty routine, and name a few products you can’t live without?
My current routine is quite minimalistic, a sheer, glowy base with strong brows and some highlighter. I start with the Smashbox Photofinish Primer Oil and L.A. Girl BB Cream, then I run some mascara through my lashes and brows (multipurpose!) before applying a powder blush and the Body Shop’s Honey Bronze dome highlighter. Voila!
How would you describe your personal style?
Oooh, very disappointing. I am the furthest thing from a fashionista. My IDEAL style would be simple and put together, think monotones and pretty dresses. But my ACTUAL style is leggings, sneakers and a t-shirt (I know I know).
The thing is, I spend all day at varsity, where I’m not really aiming to impress anyone with the way I look. But when I go out, I do make a more concerted effort.
What are the first items you gravitate toward when shopping?
Makeup aisle. Every time. I’m drawn like a magnet to makeup and skincare first. Specifically, Essence, Catrice and L.A. Girl, and for skincare, Avene.
When you are not blogging, what do you o to relax?
I have a beautiful three year old niece who is the centre of my world. She brings me so much happiness and I prefer nothing to spending time with her. She loves to swim, so I am often braving the pool to spend time with her, or reading her favourite books… over and over and over again.
I also love going out to eat. It’s a terrible and very expensive habit. I get super excited when I know I am going out for dinner that evening or breakfast the next morning. I check the place’s ratings, reviews and menus before I go, to know exactly what to expect!
What is your favourite food and dessert?
My favourites both come from a restaurant called Franco’s near Zoo Lake. This little Italian place is homey and traditional, my family and I have been going there for years!
My favourite food is any and all of their amazing pastas, usually accompanied by their incredible nougat ice-cream for dessert!
What are you reading right now?
I am reading a book called New Woman New Earth by Rosemary Ruether. It is such a heavy going book, but I feel it is one that is broadening my understanding and making me think hard about my opinions (which I like).
It discusses how feminism relates to other social justice movements (such as the fight for racial equality), and how feminism interlinks with economic and political issues. It is such a worthwhile read, and is written in a way that makes you feel like every sentence is teaching you something new.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to others just getting started in the world of blogging?
The biggest lesson I have learned is this: there is place for everyone in the blogger community. I was so worried about not being cool, pretty or funny enough to start a blog, but you need to remind yourself that you have something different to offer than each and every other blog that is already out there.
It may be your perspective (like Kelly-Anne Joseph who writes about the makeup industry’s influence on women of colour) or your post types (like mine that are all white and mostly flatlays) or your style (like Sayla Dean who produces fantastically glam and artsy looks). Find what makes you, you, and run with it.
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