When I first got into blogging, I never imagined that I would end up meeting so many great people. Mihlali was one of the first ladies I managed to connect with on a personal level. I randomly came across her YouTube channel while watching some of my favorite local beauty/makeup videos. I followed her channel and social media and then ended up booking her to do my makeup. She is as funny, humble and genuine as she appears on her channel and is also obsessed with fitness and taking care of her health (something we both have in common).
I met up with Mihlali for a workout session, so we could all get to know her a little better.
Tell us about yourself?
I am a certified makeup artist who obtained her makeup qualification at LISOF, then went to further my education at VEGA School. I’m currently studying a BA in Strategic Brand Communications.
I was raised by my grandmother in Kokstad which is a very small town in KZN, then went on to boarding in high school in PMB at an all-girls school which was honestly great. I really enjoyed boarding. I have now been in Johannesburg for 3 years, and it’s been nothing short of amazing – crazy, but really amazing. My digital career really took off about a year ago, I’ve worked with numerous well-renowned brands such as MAC Cosmetics, NYX Professional makeup, Benefit Cosmetics, Urban Decay, Samsung and Aldo to name a few. I am also a YouTuber (Mihlali N), I would say YouTube is number one on my priorities list because it’s a platform where I get to do something that I love and share my passion with the rest of the world. YouTube is a timeless platform, it’s an amazing opportunity for you to take your craft and brand to another level, and earn a living while doing what you love.
How did your passion for makeup originate?
My passion for makeup started at a very young age, around grade 5 I stole my mother’s red lipstick when I went on a school excursion, and I wore it the whole time because I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup at home. Then I discovered makeup tutorials on YouTube around the age of 14, and I was hooked. I told myself this is something I need to do, and I did it.
What motivates you to keep working/following your passion?
Firstly the love I have for what I do, and secondly the opportunities that have come along since my career took off. When I first moved to Johannesburg I used to take a bus back and forth during the school holidays, the route that the buses take passes L’Oreal factories etc. I used to look at those factories every time and tell myself that one day I will work with beauty power houses like L’Oreal, and I remember L’Oreal was the first company that contacted me after I uploaded my first YouTube tutorial “The L’Oreal Infallible Foundation Review” and I almost fell off my seat when I received an email from them. So the fact that it’s possible, and I am a living testimony to that, motivates me to continue doing what I do.
What inspired you to start taking care of your health?
I started taking care of my health at the age of 16 when I gained a good 7 kgs. I had a mini panic attack because you don’t see yourself put on the weight until other people start mentioning it to you. I knew that if I didn’t stop having chips every day at tea time it was only going to go downhill from there – so that’s when I started working out and trying to watch what I eat.
Tell us a little more about your approach to fitness and how you manage to stay active?
I have a membership at Virgin Active so I try to go to the gym the least 3 days a week. When I’m extremely busy and I have to miss a day or two I try to squeeze in a bit of cardio like a run, or skipping. My body tells me when it’s feeling sluggish – that’s when I know that I’ve been slacking, and I need to go to the gym. So it’s all about consistency and wanting to feel good.
Describe your weekly fitness routine?
I do about 15 minutes of cardio before every workout session, then I lift some weights which is honestly my favorite part. I pay close attention to my legs, and abs more than my arms but I always make sure to have an arm and back session at least once a week.
What are your favorite post workout snacks/meals?
In all honesty after a workout I always crave things like Mc Donald’s nuggets or KFC wings, but I have to tell myself that I’ll only feel bad after devouring, so I usually have a shake if I work out at night so that I don’t have to worry about having a heavy supper before bed or I’ll grab a smoothie at the gym if it’s a morning workout, then I’ll have fruit or oats when I get home.
The most random question you have been asked as a makeup artist?
“Can you make me look like you?”
Describe your dream holiday.
My dream destination at the moment is Thailand – I imagine relaxing on the beach, doing some fun water activates, going on boat rides and trying out various spas, especially the one with those tiny fish that nibble on your feet. I have been thinking about a lovely getaway, be it with my girls or boyfriend.
If you were stranded in a desert, what three items would you want to have with you?
It would have to be, mouthwash, cell phone, and a power bank.
Your absolute worst habit?
Procrastinating, I am the queen of “I’ll do it later”. It’s a very bad habit I need to outgrow.
Last book you read?
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, such a beautiful read.
What is your secret to networking and growing your business?
My secrets are:
To be good to your customers or clients, and they will be good to you.
To seize great opportunities and try to get the best out of them.
If you’re going to do something make sure you do it properly!
What would be your advice or parting thoughts be to other students/makeup-artist/social influencers?
My advice would be to never doubt your capabilities and trust God’s timing because it is always perfect. Don’t compare your life to your neighbors, because the race of life is all about your own time and your own pace.
Where can we find you?