Ru Chan’s blog, Short, Small, & Sweet, is a combination of pretty photography, on-point product reccomendations, and in-depth brand interviews that I always enjoy reading. I was lucky enough to get to interview her about everything from understanding your skin to what the most difficult part about blogging is.
1. If you had to choose one word to describe yourself, what would it be?
Hmm, I never use just one word to describe myself, but since I had to choose I’d say: bubbly.
2. How would you define the word ‘perfect’?
Not making mistakes, doing the right thing at the right time always? Personally, I think there’s no such thing as ‘perfection’ – the world would be in a very weird place. We all should focus on progression instead.
3. What is your biggest beauty tip?
Be more gentle than you think you already are! Honestly I’ve only learnt this very recently, and this is crucial especially if you have problem skin or prone to hormonal zits.
I used to be very harsh on my spots – and even on myself when I get breakouts. I will use clay masks and/or spot treatments too much, too often, and that can stress out your skin even more.
During cleansing, massage your skin very lightly and don’t apply any pressure at all if you have any active spots. Be gentle and your skin will heal faster.
4. What made you decide to go green?
(I’ve written a little bit about this before but) I’ve always been on the quest for better skin, and when I experienced a bad breakout a couple years ago, I stumbled upon the Story of Cosmetics video. It was a shocking discovery, and from then on I redirected my attention to educating myself about the toxic beauty industry, and turned to natural solutions for healing and repairing my skin.
5.What has been the hardest part about making the switch?
I wish there was a Sephora of green beauty!
I like window-shopping for beauty products – seeing them in person, feeling the packaging, and most importantly, being able to swatch them in real life.
I love online shopping but it’s tricky especially when you’re trying to get new make-up.
6. What have you learned through the process?
Switching over to the green side doesn’t necessarily guarantee you clear skin immediately. It takes time for natural products to work and there’s no such thing as ‘instant results’.
Beauty is also more than skin deep; a well-balanced diet and lifestyle makes a difference and it will show on your skin.
I recently shared my thoughts on ‘A year of green beauty: 5 things I learned‘ where I detail my top lessons learned.
7. What are some of your favorite green beauty finds?
One Love Organics is my very first green beauty brand and I love everything I’ve tried from them. I absolutely love May Lindstrom and Laurel Whole Plant Organics for their pure and effective plant-based skin care.
I also adore body products from Organic Bath, hair care from Josh Rosebrook. And lippies from Ilia Beauty and Red Apple Lipstick, and most recently I fell in love with a sample of Tata Harper’s Lip & Cheek Tint!
8. What was the hardest product to replace?
Definitely mascara, because I’ve always used Lancome’s and they’re freaking amazing and no natural option has proved to be comparable so far. (Okay, I just tried W3LL PEOPLE’s and that might be it.)
Another item is eyeliner pens made popular by Japanese drugstore brands – they’re sooooo easy to use! Will a green beauty brand please make one?
9. How has this journey changed your overall health?
Being a green beauty led me to looking into what I eat and pursuing a healthier lifestyle.
I don’t believe in any fad diets but I’m more aware of my food/nutrition intake now.
I’ve also noticed that my skin is more resilient than before, and I’ve learnt to be happy and feel good in my own skin.
10. How you would recommend getting started to non-toxic newbies?
Research and more research! Blog reviews are helpful but ultimately you make the choice for yourself.
Read up on the company’s ethos and find out how they source and make their products. The label ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ doesn’t speak for itself – always read the ingredients list carefully.
“Listen” to your skin and gradually you will learn what kind of ingredients your skin likes. If I could start over, I’d definitely go slower and take the time to appreciate every product I use.
11. What is your favorite ingredient?
Hmm, this is really hard because there are so many that are beneficial for my skin! My newfound loves are neroli and sandalwood. Neroli has a wonderful calming scent and stimulates cell renewal. I used to dislike the smell of sandalwood but it’s great for blemish-prone skins.
12. What is a quote you live by?
As my grandma-in-law always says:
Make good choices.
13. If you could only leave the house with one product, what would it be?
14. Where do you see yourself ten years from now?
Ideally still as happy, less complaints, and owning a eco-home.
15. What is one piece of advice you’d tell your 13-year old self?
Stop comparing and just be yourself. Also, some friends don’t last forever and that’s okay.
16. If you were able to read minds, would you? Why or why not?
Absolutely not. In a way I’m still self-conscious and sometimes I worry what others think of me, so no thanks to knowing their true thoughts.
17. What is the last thing you Googled?
Most probably a book I’m interested in or a product review.
18. What is the most difficult part about blogging?
Consistency and quality. People think blogging is like ‘doing nothing’ but it actually takes a lot of work in researching, testing a product for an extended period of time, and putting together interesting topics so readers don’t get bored.
I can be quite a bit of a perfectionist especially when it comes to photography, so I’m always thinking of new ways to take product photos. When they don’t turn out the way I envision it, I get frustrated!
19. What is your favorite part about it?
Photography is also my fave part about being a blogger. What’s even more fun is connecting with other like-minded individuals (like Megan!) and learning from other bloggers.
20. How do you stay positive?
Take a step back, breathe, and do yoga.
Connect with Ru!