Popular Instagrammers have celebrity-like status these days. Fashion Weekly caught up with Ashleigh D'Mello, Australian personal-style Instagrammer and blogger residing part-time in New York.
You grew up in Perth, but now live between Australia and New York. What are the biggest differences you have found living between the two cities and do you have a favourite?
AD: As you can imagine, Perth and New York are the absolute polar opposites of each other ... I love the buzz and excitement that exists in only a place like New York [but] I love that in Perth life is a little more laid back. Both cities have their positives and negatives and feel like home to me in different ways, so I don’t think I could pick a favourite!
Your Instagram selfies almost always include a winged-liner look, what are some of your go-to makeup items?
AD: Makeup is one of those things I am trying to learn more of [from] my favourite beauty YouTubers and make up artists. My favourite makeup item at the moment is definitely highlighter ... The Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector is incredible ... I’m really loving the Fit Me ‘Dewy and Smooth’ foundation. I have a beauty post coming on my blog soon which covers my daily makeup products - the beauty space is really exciting and I can’t wait to jump into it.
Almost every one of your Instagram images has a comment regarding your hair! Do you have any tips for achieving voluminous, silky locks?
AD: I have so much hair, it’s ridiculous! I think the two important things are to find an incredible hairdresser and to also ensure you consistently use high quality hair products to take care of your hair yourself. At the moment, my favourites are definitely The Therapist Shampoo and Conditioner from Evo, The Great Hydrator hair mask ... and the Olaplaex take home treatment.
Your eyebrows are so 'on fleek' they deserve an Instagram account! How do you maintain your brows and do you have any makeup tips regarding brows?
AD: The key to brow maintenance is to find someone who specialises in eyebrows, and not to be tempted to play around with them yourself - I’ve done some damage before, oops! My eyebrow girl is Alison Jade and she is the greatest, I highly recommend [her]! I also use the Alison Jade Cosmetics eyebrow palette and highlighter for my brows.
You mention in a blog post that since a young age, your mother has taught you to take good care of your skin. Do you have any skincare secrets or top tips to pass along?
AD: Thank god for mothers and the lessons they teach you... huh! The most important tips for skincare are to stick to a consistent routine and to use quality products. My current routine involves cleansing and moisturising... applying an eye cream before I go to bed [and] a few times a week I apply a serum on my face to work overnight... I think it’s [important] to invest in good skincare products - there’s a lot to be said for quality!
Your Instagram followers have reached over 11'000, what do you think it is that attracts your followers?
AD: I appear much cooler on the internet... [I] try to maintain a casual and interactive vibe on my Instagram... If someone feels like they are following and interacting with [Instagrammers] who feels like a friend, you are going to have that extra special engagement.
Your Instagram is beautiful with a variety of image styles. How much behind-the-scenes work goes into each image you upload?
AD: It’s crazy how much goes on behind the scenes ... it definitely doesn’t help that I’m an extreme perfectionist. For an outfit post, there’s the outfit planning, location scouting ... ensuring the lighting is good, getting the perfect angle, ensuring my face doesn’t look weird (which happens all the time) and then actually taking the perfect image after [many] attempts! All for a tiny square on a phone app... I’d rather take 100 photos to get the perfect one than upload something I’m not happy with!
Your Instagram flatlay images always get a ton of likes. How do you create the perfect flatlay?
AD: So here’s the thing about flatlays - they look like they are easy to create, but they are one of the hardest... the key is to choose what the focus of the flatlay is and curate visually appealing items that compliment... gather everything you want to include, find the perfect lighting, start styling, continuously test what it looks like on camera... until you’ve found what works best.
Which photo editing apps do you recommend to edit Instagram photos?
AD: My favourite photo editing apps are Afterlight and VSCOcam, although... most of my photos I just use some of the settings in the Instagram.
You began your blog recently, what exciting projects do you have to come for the rest of the year?
AD: I actually started my original blog back in 2012 [but] I didn’t really promote its existence... I relaunched and re branded my blog [because] I wanted a fresh start for my now serious life as a blogger! I’m looking forward to seeing what the rest of the year brings. Perth Fashion Festival begins [soon], there’s [many] events that I’ll be making my way to! I’m focusing on my YouTube... there’s a few awesome collaborations in the works. My rule is to always enjoy what I do...I definitely am at the moment. I’m just going to embrace the fun, work hard and hopefully the possibilities from there will be endless!
Ashleigh's online presence is huge and is sure to keep growing with the expansion of her YouTube channel - we can't wait to see what comes next for her!
Interview: Frances van Eeden