Happy 5th Anniversary to me!!! Woohooo!!! This blog is officially 5 years old today!

It actually feels so surreal to be typing this down. When I started this blog in 2013, I didn't really have concrete expectations I'd do it until now. I had just come from makeup school and had wanted to offload AALLLLL the photos we took of our models somewhere. Just so the photos wouldn't be lying around in my computer. But well, there is a backstory to this backstory.

You see, I've been an avid reader of blogs since 2008, and somehow, at the back of my mind, I had always wanted to have my own blog. Back then, as you all are also aware of, it was sooo expensive to have equipment. Phone cameras were also still a source of fascination at that point. 10 years ago, I didn't really take the idea of becoming a blogger myself seriously because it just cost so much money back then. I took the makeup junkie part more seriously, as it was somehow more affordable as my sister used to work for a fashion magazine and got lots of free makeup as a result.

Truth be told, I was waaay wilder with makeup 10 years ago than now. I always had a full face of makeup on complete with false eyelashes. 2018 Mari is still fascinated with how 2008-2010 era Mari was able to pull off false lashes almost all the time.

Fast forward to 2013, that a brand that I really liked held a makeup tutorial contest. I was reaaaally so obsessed over it. I spent so much money to buy makeup of that brand, as the contest required you to use only that brand. I filmed for several hours using my brother's camera, then edited for days. At that point, I had edited some school project videos and had some idea of video editing. I dreamt of winning the contest and winning free items from that brand for a year. I loved the brand so much that it really felt like the ultimate dream to be winning a whole year's worth of makeup from them. I thought that that would be THE great jumpstart to the top, to a successful blogging career, and then happily ever after. But then, you may wonder, now, how come there isn't any tutorial anywhere? That was because my tutorial didn't even make it past elimination. I was honestly so heartbroken, thinking that I had worked so hard and done a good job only for the video to not make it past elimination.

Remembering that video, I laugh so hard at how I thought that such a poorly produced video and such horrible makeup could pass an elimination for a makeup tutorial contest. But at the time, I took it hard. As someone who was admired for makeup skills and knowhow in my circles, it was a real blow. I deleted the video out of being so upset, much to my regret now, but I can tell you that it just wasn't good. But from that defeat, I used the experience to realize that maybe I wasn't good with makeup and needed to improve. That's why I enrolled in makeup school. And then the rest is history (?)

From that point until now, there are many things that have changed. I learned and grew so much in photography and videography. I'm still not good at these things today, but compared to 2013, I made a big leap. Being a blogger is the ultimate entrepreneurial exercise, and from that point until now, I learned so much about how PR works and how this industry works. I used to be clueless over how press releases work, concepts of quid pro quo, and basically, everything. I didn't take up journalism in college, and I also didn't work for the press, which is why I slowly learned how press and media work in action by myself. 

Even though I didn't ask for it, I've witnessed a lot about the evils of people with the abuse I have gone through. A lot of things were eye-opening to a naive me. Years ago, I used to be hungry for each and every opportunity. I wanted this, that, this, that, without really thinking about what the implications would be for me in the long run. I have experienced a fair share of abuse throughout the years from some unscrupulous brands, that I have learned to keep an eye on things more. Back then, I used to pray for each and every door to open. But now, when I pray, I always pray that if a door will lead to bad, then keep it shut forever. Although people expect me to have learned my worth from all the abuse and to value myself more, I don't really think that way. I learned the hard way from various work experiences that no matter how much worth you have, to the wrong or abusive people, it's still not enough. It's important to spend more time on the people who see your worth and to cease wasting time on the people who don't. That's something that really comes up to mind when people ask me what I've learned or how I've changed. 

But of course, some things don't change. It's been 5 years of having a rookie mindset and I intend to continue to do so. In my whole life, it was my grit and guts that got me to places, and will take me to more places in the future. 

Finally, to those who are wondering, I chose to take this kind of photo last night because it's what's real. In reality, to shoot that much beauty products and flatlays over the years, it's very messy. I mean I do tidy up and organize and then reorganize. But when I shoot things, it really gets messy. I work late nights, spend countless of hours editing things, and I often don't have a sense of time. The lights are hot, which is why I'm just in whatever clothes I have on, and usually without makeup, because I'll sweat and get dirty anyways. My legs and back always hurt because of all the bending and squatting I do when shooting things. It's the exact opposite of glamorous. 

The biggest irony perhaps is that it's actually really unglamorous to be a beauty blogger. No one really tells you that behind all the cutesy flatlays and makeup shots. But obviously, of course, I wouldn't have stayed around for this long if I don't love what I do.