Mirella Pandjaitan, Style Blogger

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Fashion has always appealed to me because it doesn’t have any limitations. As an art form, it’s not one that can be easily interpreted— it could mean one thing to me but something completely different to you, and that’s a good thing because it gives us freedom. Freedom towards our appearance, as well as to our creativity. I must have realised this when I was about 14, when I would go to the mall a lot— Pavillion was like my third home— and people watch, paying particular attention to the clothes. Not only the clothes that the mannequins wore, but also what tourists from different countries wore. They all dressed to battle the same crazy Malaysian heat, but somehow it all came out differently. So going to the mall as a teenager really developed my interest in fashion, but it was also around this time that I would help my mom to get dressed for her many outings. Through helping her, I discovered my love of colourful, uniquely shaped accessories and elegant handbags.

My personal style philosophy is comfy yet chic. It doesn’t just refer to your footwear, but to everything on your body— torso, legs, ears, wrists, fingers. In terms of designers, I think Karl Lagerfald for Chanel really encapsulates this philosophy— I mean, it’s freaking Chanel! Everything they have is so elegant and classy, from the silhouettes to the colours and fabrics. But in terms of who I look up to as a personal style icon, it would have to be Kristina Bazan, the founder and CEO of Kayture. Go follow her on Instagram and Snapchat. Everything about her is so inspiring and fresh— from her clothes to her hair and makeup and also her views about life. What I wouldn’t give to have breakfast with her! As you can tell, I have a bit of a girl crush!

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When I was first offered to walk the runway for Dian Pelangi, I was… nervous, excited and grateful all at once! I couldn’t even walk properly at the time— she wasn’t the first designer I ever walked for, but by then it had been about 2 years since I did my first show at 16, so I was definitely grateful to my fellow catwalker, Andrea, for coaching me. God bless, Andrea! Since then, I’ve walked for Dian about 7 or 8 times… One of the most memorable was when I was asked to walk for the Indonesian Ambassador’s wife’s birthday, just last year. The ‘Dian Pelangi model squad’ in KL were mostly busy, so instead I walked with the women from the Malaysian-Indonesian society (MALINDO) who were practically mothers of 2… It was epic! But what really made it memorable for me was the fact that I opened the show, and it went great!

I walked my final runway in KL last year, the month that I moved back to Jakarta. I was the only Indonesian girl walking in that show— the rest were all Malaysian models. It was definitely a patriotic moment! Aside from that, the event was practically magical, and I felt like a fairy princess in my outfit, although I was a bit nervous since the stage was high and I’m afraid of heights.

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My favourite runway makeup look that was ever done on me was by Heri, a KL-based Indonesian makeup artist and hair stylist. He was called up to glam up the girls for a special runway show at the Indonesian Embassy, around February or March 2015, and I absolutely loved his work since he didn’t stack up so many products on my face. There wasn’t too much blush, eyeshadow or powder. I felt like I still had my skin. Plus he used products that worked well for my skin, and the result was just appealing and satisfying.

Most of the time, though, runway makeup is going to be very heavy. Gosh, the long lashes and the 3 layers of foundations! So you have to always make sure you clean your face properly. My cleansing routine usually starts with wiping off with Nivea facial cleansing wipes, before further cleansing with Thursday Plantation’s Daily Facial Cleanser, or The Body Shop’s Aloe Soothing Facial Cleanser. Then I’ll use a toner— it could be Thursday Plantation’s Tea Tree Oil + Chamomile or The Body Shop’s Aloe Toner— and apply The Body Shop’s Tea Tree Oil on any zits I may have. I finish things off with Cetaphil’s Sensitive Moisturiser. But if I have to be honest, this is just my current skincare routine. I’ve been switching things up recently, because my skin hasn’t been cooperating too well with me. I’ll be eyeing up new products when all these are finished!

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The makeup items I have in my personal collection that I love the most have got to be my MAC lipsticks. I’ve loved lipstick since I was a little girl. I used to pout at my mom so that she would put some lipstick on me, but that eventually stopped so I started sneaking into my parent’s room to raid my mom’s lipstick stash along with her other makeup items. I got caught by her many times, haha! Or else it would be my older brother who would catch me, and I’d order him to keep his lips sealed. Nowadays, I buy as many lipsticks as I can— but most of the time it’s MAC that I purchase from, though. I don’t know why. Personal preference, I guess?

Speaking of personal preferences, my ultimate icon for makeup would be Chloe Morello, a beauty Youtuber from Australia. She can pretty much do any makeup look and her collection is to die for! Indonesian girls in general don’t keep huge makeup collections like that. I’ve noticed that the women here tend to go pretty light with their makeup on a daily basis. The typical makeup look amongst Indonesian girls is BB cream, powder, black eyeliner, a coat or 2 of mascara, a tad of blush and lipstick. The celebrities, on the other hand, wear heavy eye makeup and tons of blush. Nonetheless, it’s all about natural skin with a bit of a statement lip and a strong eyebrow game. The beauty standards in Indonesian and Malaysia are pretty similar, actually— except for one difference. Indonesian women don’t do heavy contouring! The Kardashian contouring trend has not effected Indonesian women at all, to say the least.

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You can follow Mirella here on her style blog or follow her on Instagram.

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