Hair & Beauty Magazine

Interview with a Youtube Beauty Guru Sara A.k.a. IcyAbstract

By Joanna Koh
One of the reasons why productivity levels worldwide are not as high as they should be (right after Facebook), Youtube is one of the largest and most popular websites in the world today. With over 6 billion hours of video being watched each month on the site, it is easy to see how a simple video-sharing website has launched the careers of numerous Youtube personalities. From musicians (Pop sensation Justin Bieber was discovered after a talent manager came across his videos on Youtube) to make up artists (Michelle Phan, who now owns her own beauty-related business IPSY, became an “accidental millionaire” through her Youtube channel), it seems like if you have a video camera and an internet connection, you could be a star in the making. Because of this, there are thousands of Youtube channels covering various topics from sports to music to gaming, and it is not an easy feat to establish a significant presence on the site. That said, our guest interviewee for the day is one of the first few Singaporean Youtube beauty gurus boasting of 1.3 million total upload views, 300,000 channel views with over 13,000 subscribers and counting! She is none other than Sara, otherwise known as icyabstract on Youtube. sara

Social Media/Marketing expert by day, freelance Graphic Designer, Copy Writer AND Makeup guru by night, this mother of one is both incredibly talented and hardworking. Despite juggling work, family and beauty blogging, Sara kindly took time out of her busy schedule for this interview and we’re glad to be able to share it with all of you! 

Q: We haven’t seen you on youtube for two years, until a recent L’Occitane video that you uploaded. What have you been up to and why did you stop uploading tutorials and other videos? 

I’ve actually been up to quite a lot recently, which is part of the reason why I have disappeared from Youtube –  can’t find the time to sit down, film, edit and upload videos.

Q: We read that you are also a mom now, congratulations! How are you juggling work, baby and blogging? 

Thank you for your well wishes!

On their own, work and blogging were already taking a toll on me which is why I had to forsake making Youtube videos. Add in taking care of a baby,  it did throw things a little off balance at the beginning, although I am slowly getting better at  juggling all three matters now. The priority is certainly on the baby since they aren’t going to be babies forever so I have been slower at updating the blog but it’s still active! I’m also thankful to have gotten a lot of help with baby from my husband and the in-laws.

Q: Do you think you would jump onto the mum-blogs bandwagon? 

As of now, with my current state of mind, I don’t think I will. Every parent feels differently about this and there is no right or wrong decision. As for me, I wish to respect my baby’s privacy even though she’s much too young to know anything about it. As I always say, I don’t want people to know so much about her before she even gets the chance to know herself.

Q: Tell us about your typical day/week now? Do you have a certain routine and what is it like? 

My weeks are quite routine actually, revolving around work – home – baby. It’s pretty straightforward and not too exciting. I occasionally meet up with some girlfriends for dinner and shopping, while Friday nights are reserved for a nice dinner out with the husband, our idea of a quick date these days! Weekends are set aside for some family time, be it chilling at home or bringing baby out and about. Amidst all that, I try to squeeze in time to snap photos and write for my blog!

Q: Has your daily beauty routine changed since the start of this year? 

Actually, it hasn’t changed all that much. My skincare routine did become more simple right after the baby was born but as I am getting the hang of taking care of the baby, it is back to the full works. Makeup-wise, I have always gone for minimal makeup over the weekends so that still remains the same but I do doll up for work and try products out in the process.

Q: What products do you typically wear on your face on a daily basis nowadays?

On a day to day basis, I usually have on the full works – liquid foundation (or powder if I am in a hurry), brows, eyes, lips and cheeks. On the weekends, I settle for just sunscreen, filling in the brows and maybe a quick dash of lip gloss.

Q: If you could only choose five bath and beauty products to use for the rest of your life, what would they be? 

It is way too hard to choose only 5 from both categories! I will just list what is more important to me:

  1. Sunscreen
  2. Eyebrow liner (Preferably liquid!)
  3. Shampoo + shower gel product (Lush, looking at you!)
  4. Body lotion (Cannot live without this!)
  5. Tinted lip balm (Specifically Maybelline Baby Lips)
Q: Any plans for your blog and youtube channel for now and the near future? 

For my blog, I would like to keep working at it,  sharing my beauty ramblings, discussing products, hauls and all things frivolous. As for my Youtube channel, I don’t have any solid plans for it nor am I looking at going back to the full swing of making videos. I will probably post the odd video now and then when I have the time, perhaps fun “Tag” videos (I am actually considering a Hubs Does my Makeup video, yay nay?) or a random rambly video. We’ll see how it goes!

Q: Any exciting announcements for upcoming projects? 

Sadly due to time constrains, I haven’t been able to accept any major projects or campaigns, settling for what I can manage to do in my own time. That said, I recently took part in L’OCCITANE’s Angelica’s Angel contest and it has been way too long since I had last taken part in something like this! It was certainly  a fun experience and I am yet again reminded of the awesome support that my friends, fans and family have been giving me.

Q: What advice would you give to someone who wants to start blogging? Can they expect to make a living from blogging? 

To answer the second question, it’s not to say that you can’t make money from a blog but I don’t think it should be the main reason for one to start blogging in the first place. Of course everyone has a different reason for deciding to start a blog and I personally feel that blogging should be something that you are passionate about and enjoy.  When you enjoy and feel passionate about blogging, it shows and flows through your words, and your readers will feel that you are genuine. Once it becomes a chore or a bother to blog, or if you are blogging for the wrong reasons,  readers can usually tell and it could backfire in the end. For anyone thinking of starting a blog, I would advise you to always remember why you wanted to start blogging in the first place. As you advance in blogging, build up a fanbase and gain more recognition, there will be times where you have to make some decisions and it helps to go back and revisit the reason why you started in the first place – for money, or for passion. That will guide your decisions and continue to pave the direction of your blogging journey. There is no right reason, but rather the reason you feel can keep you going further and longer.

Q: What are some of the most challenging things a blogger / youtube guru faces, even the most successful ones? 

The most challenging thing is battling time, because there is never enough time for anything! The next most important thing would be how they grow as a blogger, how they treat their fans, how they react to gaining more exposure etc. These little bits and bobs will reflect on them and cast light on how genuine they are with this. Again, it all boils down to why you started blogging to begin with – money or passion
;)
We hope this interview has been as fun for you to read as it was for us! If you have any other local bloggers/Youtubers that you want to know more about, do comment below and we’ll try our best to score an interview with them for you!

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