by Alexandra Nicole Nuralam

THE SKIN WE WEAR: The Art of Self-Love with Sasha Mei

Canadian brand consultant and content creator Sasha Mei shares her routine of self-care, dealing with negativity online, and the beauty products she swears by.

In the series ‘THE SKIN WE WEAR’, BEAUBIT focuses on how beauty can be self-empowering and a form of self-expression, how women are not defined by the way we look.

Based in Toronto and Montreal, there is something captivating about Sasha Mei’s (@sasha.mei) minimal yet effortless sense of style. The content creator is also a brand consultant, former contemporary dancer and skincare junkie.

We sat down with Sasha to chat about her beginnings in fashion, how she practices self-care and self-love, how to deal with negativity online, and the beauty products she swears by.

Tell us more about yourself.

I was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and I grew up in Toronto. I did a brief stint in PR before I became a full-time brand consultant and content creator. 

Share with us how your love of fashion began. What does fashion mean to you?

I feel like this is such a classic answer, but my mother fostered my love for fashion! Growing up, I had the coolest Baby Guess outfits and she made beautiful clothing for us (yes, made!). We would see a dress or pattern that we loved, and she would make them for my sister and I. Looking back, I only started paying attention to what I wore at the end of high school and have worn some really questionable outfits. I guess it’s an ever-changing industry, and that’s what I love about it.

Fashion to me is a merging of culture, identity, and expression. There are different manifestations, and that results in what I perceive as fashion. 

What are some of your most cherished pieces in your wardrobe?

There are too many! My mum gave me this beautiful black Ralph Lauren gown. I’m waiting for a red-carpet moment (or wedding) to be able to wear it. I will always cherish my first Bottega Veneta bag—I bought it secondhand at the start of my career, and it will always have a special place in my heart. 

How do you apply the art of minimalism (such as mindful consumption) into your beauty routine and buying habits? 

This one has (and still is) taking me a long time. I’ve made the commitment this year to downsize my closet by 50%. I’m a sentimental person which makes letting go of pieces I haven’t worn in years, difficult.

With clothing, I try to buy vintage or secondhand as often as I can. It’s more exciting this way — I love the thrill of a hunt! For my beauty routine, I’m still working on it. I love skincare. It is fun trying out different serums and moisturizers. If something doesn’t work for my skin, I try to find a friend or family member who will be able to use the rest of the product to reduce waste.

How do you deal with negativity online? What advice would you give women who are insecure about the way they look?

I recently heard this quote from Kirsty Godso‘s podcast that resonated with me, “It’s sad that people waste their breath and energy on putting negative energy out into the universe”.

I am insecure about my feet as a result of the damage from 13 years of ballet. A brand reposted one of my photos and someone made a nasty comment about my feet in sandals. Honestly, it made me really upset. Circling back to Kirsty’s quote, it helped me to recognize how trivial it was that someone invested time from their day to ruin mine. I hope that women experiencing online backlash about their looks can recognize that it is a waste of energy dwelling on negative comments.

“I think I’m beautiful, and I think that’s a taboo phrase that we don’t hear often enough. It took time for me to proclaim that about myself, and I want other women to do the same.”

“At my lowest points of self-loathing, I had to recognize that I would never say anything that I thought of myself to a friend. My friends are beautiful people, inside and out. I would never say one unkind word about their beauty, so why should I treat myself differently?

How do you think people can mindfully practice self-acceptance and self-love?

It is important to realise that you are worth loving and being loved

With a busy lifestyle, it’s easy to lose sight of self-care and self-acceptance. It sounds silly, but I have to be deliberate and literal when I’m working on self-love. It helps that I schedule time in my calendar for that. I designate time for a face mask or a walk. I think that it’s important to do things for yourself and to spend time alone because true self-love doesn’t come from external validation.

What does beauty mean to you?

Being kind. It doesn’t matter how beautiful someone is — the minute they say something mean, that image is ruined.

What does your daily skincare routine look like?

In the morning, I use the CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser (SGD24), Malin + Goetz’s Replenishing Serum (SGD97.25) and Chanel’s Hydra Beauty Camellia Water Cream (SGD105). For sunscreen, I love either Supergoop’s or Chanel’s UV Essentiel Protection Globale Complete Protection SPF 50 (SGD104). 

In the evening, I double cleanse with Shu Uemura’s Sublime Cleansing Oil (SGD62) or Chanel Le Lait’s Cleansing Milk (SGD69). Then I apply either Shelby Naturals’ Serum (SGD98) or Kora Organics’ Noni Night AHA Resurfacing Serum (SGD98), depending on whether I feel like my skin needs moisture or exfoliation. Then I follow up with Chanel’s La Solution 10 De Chanel Sensitive Skin Cream (SGD131), which is great for layering products. If my skin is feeling normal, I will use a face oil last. I also use retinol about once a week.

Sasha’s Beauty Picks
CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser, SGD24
Malin + Goetz Replenishing Serum, SGD97.25
Chanel Hydra Beauty Camellia Water Cream, SGD105
Chanel UV Essentiel Protection Globale Complete Protection SPF 50, SGD104
Shu Uemura Sublime Cleansing Oil, SGD62
Chanel Le Lait Cleansing Milk, SGD69
Shelby Naturals Serum, SGD98
Kora Organics Noni Night AHA Resurfacing Serum, SGD98
Chanel La Solution 10 De Chanel Sensitive Skin Cream, SGD131
Kora Organics Noni Glow Face Oil, SGD87
F. Miller Face Oil, SGD113

What is your favourite self-care ritual?

Face masks and a movie! I love to multi-mask.

What are your goals in the future?

To move to New York, and to continue to do what I am doing, because it makes me so happy.

If you liked Sasha’s story, there’s plenty more to come. Just hit the ‘Sign Up’ button at the bottom to receive the latest round-up.