"I have never given up and kept going because of my fans!"
Truth behind the beauty
Featuring : Mona Petre
Where I Grew Up: I was born in Albania, which is a country located in Europe. I lived there until I was 8 years old and then my parents and I moved to the states. Growing up in my home town was fun as a child. I remember walking to school, playing volleyball and hide and seek every afternoon and being around my family all the time. I also remember when Albania was in a state of civil war and we had to sleep in the floor of our living rooms and couldn’t go outside. That was definitely a part of my life that I look back on and say that I am thankful of where I am today.
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Let's Dig A Little Deeper
Why do you think people follow you?
I think people follow me because I have always been positive on social media and I reply back to everyone’s comments and messages. I’ve received so many messages from fans saying, “This is the first time a blogger has replied to my comments or messages and I love you for that.” The one thing I have done since day one is staying really connected to my audience and answering every question or comment left on my page.
Do you work a regular full time or part time job along with being a beauty influencer?
I am currently only working as a beauty influencer as I have recently finished my Master’s degree in Business Administration and Marketing, and I was in school full time. I will be seeking new job opportunities, both in the beauty and marketing fields this fall.
What do your family or friends think of your influencer career? Do they watch your videos?
My family and friends have supported me in my beauty career since day one. I am super happy about this because I feel motivated and very encouraged from the support to continue doing what I love. Yes, they all watch and share my videos, which really makes me feel valued about the work I do.
Do you think people know how much work goes into being a blogger? What do you think people imagine you do?
Every time that I have a family member or friend around, and I am either editing photos, videos, or creating any content to post, they say, “Wow, I didn’t know how much time and effort you spent on this.” So, no, I don’t think people know exactly how much work goes into being a blogger. It’s definitely not easy and it is very time consuming, just like a regular full time job. I think people imagine that I do a look maybe a couple times a week and take photos and that’s it. But the process of putting quality makeup on, taking photos, editing, and making sure everything looks good for posting is very long!
What is your creative process like?
I usually just sit at my vanity, look through all my palettes, and decide which color patterns I feel like using that day. I almost always start with my eyes then the rest of the face. After I create the look, I take photos, upload them to my laptop and edit for posting.
What is a day´s work like?
My days usually start mid-day, after around 12-1PM. I’m really not the best morning person unless I’m on vacation! I usually create makeup looks more just because video editing is such a long process and I am currently working on figuring out better lighting, so makeup and outfit photos are generally easier to take.
What is the hardest skill you've had to learn?
The hardest skill I’ve had to learn is working with different skin textures because everyone has a different skin type, whether dry, oily, or combination. It’s definitely a challenge learning what products fit best with each skin type for a flawless makeup application.
How do you keep Inspiration flowing?
I love looking at other beauty bloggers’ pages for makeup inspiration and keeping up with the latest trends. I also ask my audience what kind of makeup looks they would like to see. I usually take screenshots of random makeup looks I find online and then create something of my own.
What would you say is the most tedious process of your job?
It would have to be video editing. Video editing is such a long process and you have to make sure that you are showing all the products clearly, have good quality content, lighting, and frames. Especially when editing for a one minute Instagram video where you have to fit everything in that time.
What is the most satisfying part of your job?
The most satisfying part of my job is knowing that I am reaching so many people around the globe. It feels so good talking with all the fans through social media and answering their questions. The best part is reading all the sweet comments and messages of my fans; it really makes my day! Another satisfying part is working with all these amazing makeup brands that I never thought would be possible. It’s so humbling knowing that such huge brands like working with me.
What are some of your main struggles you face with as a beauty blogger?
I think it would have to be content creation for me. I would like to find better lighting for both my photos and videos. Fans always ask me what I use because they think I have really good quality, especially photos, but when you are a blogger, you always want to find the most perfect lighting. I feel that if I had better lighting, I would be creating more content, especially videos.
Are there any times where you've had a crazy fan? Follow up: tell us about your crazy fan story
I don’t think I’ve ever had a crazy fan, but I’ve had fans who have been super excited to meet me who know of me through social media asking me to take photos, which is always so sweet!
The best and worst comment you received and how you dealt with that?
The best comments I receive and the ones that say, “you inspire me.” This makes me so happy because before I was a blogger, I used to look at Mario Dedivanovic’s work (still do) and his work truly inspires me. So, hearing this from my fans really means so much to me and makes me so happy that I can somehow give them this feeling because I feel the same way for bloggers I look up to. I know there have been some negative comments that have been left on my Instagram page because I remember deleting and blocking that person(s), but I cannot pinpoint what they exactly said as I don’t remember. But I believe the best way to deal with it is not to reply, because you will create more drama, and just block and delete the comment, so that person does not have to leave negative comments again. I believe in replying only if there is a super degrading comment made towards you that you need to address.
Do other influencers ever get jealous of each other? Have you experienced this within the community?
I am sure that they do, but I have not personally experienced this, and do not want to. I don’t think that anyone should be jealous, but should be supportive, because everyone is trying to show their own form of art. It’s a learning process for everyone.
Were there ever a time something untrue was going around online involving you that you want to clear up?
I don’t think that there was anything that was untrue about me online. I believe that I have a very positive social media presence to both fans and brands I work with.
How often do you compare your numbers to those of your peers?
I try not to compare my numbers because everyone’s process is different. For example, videos are very popular right now across all social media and that’s what brings in more views and followers to a page, but since I do not have the proper lighting and I am not creating as much videos, I will not be discouraged that my page is not growing as fast.
Are there times you've felt like this industry has made you feel self conscious of how you present yourself on camera and online?
Definitely not, I am the same online as I am in person. The only thing I probably do different online is that I almost always wear makeup because I am a makeup artist and I am showing my art, and in my daily life or when I go out, run errands, etc., I wear makeup maybe 30% of the time, usually when I go out once or twice a week. Other than that, I am usually makeup free and let my skin breathe. There has probably been times where I haven’t put on makeup for one or two weeks at a time.
What is your biggest physical insecurity?
I honestly have no physical insecurities. I am very self-confident and always have been.
Have you ever had a moment when you felt like giving up? What kept you going?
I definitely have. There have been many times to where I have not felt creative enough with my art. But, I have never given up and kept going because of my fans! I know that there are many fans and brands in the world that I have connected with and it’s definitely not something I would want to stop.
What do you try to hide from your audience?
I believe I have never tried to hide anything from my audience. When they ask me what programs I use to edit, or cameras and lighting I use, I am very honest about it. I don’t believe there is a reason to be a public figure and lie to your audience about anything. I think people can sniff out if an influencer is being genuine or not
Name a fact about you that most people probably don't know about.
I love swimming. If I could live on a house on the ocean and swim underwater every day, I would do it!
Has your concept and views on social media and vloggers changed from when you weren´t a part of it? How?
I definitely think my views have changed a little bit, because now I admire vloggers so much more, knowing all the hard work that goes behind the scenes. It takes a lot of time and effort to create quality content that people will genuinely love from you.
Describe some of your favorite moments that you've experienced during your journey as a beauty influencer.
The first time I did a look and it got reposted by a lot of big pages, like Bryan Champagne, Huda Beauty and big brands like Anastasia Beverly Hills, Makeup Geek, Gerard Cosmetics etc. I felt so amazing and that was the first time I thought " I want to do this every single day of my life." Oh, and every time a big company contacts me and wants to work with me, it´s so amazing.
What is the most important message you´d like to share with the world?
Some of my favorite moments have been meeting fans at events, traveling to LA for a @boscia product launch, meeting some of the beauty industry’s top makeup artists and influencers, experiencing the Anastasia Beverly Hills Halloween party, being invited to the MAC Cosmetics Fruity Juicy collection launch in Miami, and creating my own liquid lipstick line with Rincon Cosmetics. It has been such a wonderful and positive journey so far, and I look forward in the many experiences to come.