I am so delighted to be welcoming this week’s #HustlinKween to our Queendom.
This gorgeous and bold kween is all about supporting and promoting cruelty free beauty.
She passionately shares her knowledge about local beauty brands that are cruelty free.
She also shares snippets of her life experiences for those who may be suffering to assure that
they’re not alone and there is a world beyond beauty.
So let’s welcome the beautiful and glamorous, Stephany Balogh from @beauty.of.shades.
Stephany is a Sri Lankan Tamil and came to New Zealand in 1996 with her parents and brother. “I came here during a time of war in Sri Lanka, particularly in my birthplace of Jaffna.
So, New Zealand was a place for a better life and safety”. Being an immigrant and to top that being a women of color, Stephany faced all sorts of discrimination.
“I've always had a passion for beauty, but I knew cruelty free beauty wasn't something that many actively seeked, so I wanted to guide and educate people into knowing about new brands and products that worked just as great or even better than the mainstream ones that already exist. In my blog I share my love of cruelty free beauty as well as my life experiences.
Stephany’s proudest moment was when she graduated from University of Auckland with a Bachelor of Commerce degree. “My parents sacrificed a lot for me to get to that point in life and higher education has always been ingrained in my upbringing”. However things were not falling into place for Steph in her professional career as interview after interview, she couldn’t score the job she had studied for.
“I tried for 5 years or so while I could only land basic admin roles, even then I had long periods of unemployment between. Within these 5 years I met my husband and got married. Then I lost our son due to a pregnancy complication that resulted in stillbirth.
My heart and soul were shattered along with my confidence. I got to a point where I had to break free from this feeling of nothingness, so my blog beauty.of.shades started. It was a way for me to push myself out of my comfort zone and get myself back out there.
It was also a way for me to use my knowledge from my studies and gain new skills for myself too”.
Stephany shares her life experiences very rawly on her social media because she believes there is more to life than beauty. “I thought if I experienced these things myself, there must be many others out there who are suffering silently. So, it was a way for me to reach out to others to assure them that they're not alone”.
“I guess through my blog I've built many relationships and there are a few who really enjoy both my beauty reviews and life experience stories.
Even though my blog is not a place of income for me, it is a place for me to inspire people and I hope that's what I've done”. Stephany’s go to person who pushed her to start her blog was her husband. “He's the person I go to for a second opinion - about a photo I took or a story I tell. I've taught him to be honest with me and not worry about my feelings and just give my constructive feedback, which helps me a lot. He's also a Kiwi, so I like getting his perspective on some stories I share, especially racism and colorism”.
“The stories I share come from a place from strength, so I want others to know they have that strength too, but that doesn't mean you have to put someone
else down to get to where you want to be in life. We all share the same journey and should be building and lifting each other up”.
To check out Stephany's latest recommendations and updates, check her instagram page @beauty.of.shades