Shayoon Mendeluk is a fashion blogger for the modern age. In an age of Instagram influencers where everyone look the same, she values individuality – not just in herself, but in the world. While the crowd around her uses their platforms to sell skinny teas and advertise an enviably perfect life, Shayoon never deceives her followers. Her stunning feed is almost surreal in how magical it looks. The jet set destinations aren’t just vibrant – it’s too tame a word. The rich jewel tones of the waters around Ibiza and the dusky, tea coloured sands of the Sahara desert are all beautiful backdrops for Shayoon. She fits seamlessly into them like a natural topographical feature, adding to the locations’ lustre. She isn’t one to shy away from much, and especially not bold prints. Her style is utterly unique in its complete lack of care for the rules. The animal prints, neon colours, and mix and matched cuts might look daring on someone less fearless. On Shayoon, they inspire us. She identifies as a mother, a healer, and a philanthropist with serious style. There’s always more than meets the eye when it comes to her, including where she lives – Ibiza. Shayoon doesn’t rely on smoke and mirrors – she’s honest about everything from motherhood and body image to her experiences. We’re interested in almost everything she has to say! Head down to read our exclusive interview with this beauty.
When in doubt, where do you look for style inspiration?
I love looking at European blogs, magazines, and shops. The European vibe is very different, edgy, and refreshing.
Which five must-have items does one need in their closet at all times?
Sweats, basic t-shirts, body suits, a perfect little dress, and a classic bag.
What’s the easiest way to revamp your wardrobe without breaking the bank?
Buy affordable basics. You can never go wrong with simple clothing, and then accessorize if you wish to vamp it up.
What item on your wish list is worth the splurge?
I currently have my eyes on the new Louis Vuitton Horizon Luggage Collection. It’s super innovative and since I travel a lot it will be well worth the splurge (or at least thats what I will continue to tell myself).
Which items for your Fall wardrobe will you keep for Spring/Summer?
Not much, because I live on an island, and once summer hits you can barely keep your clothes on!
After marriage and kids, it becomes more difficult for women to keep up with fashion and maintain themselves, but you manage to do this beautifully. What advice would you give to women who struggle with this?
Thank you for saying that. The honest truth is that I struggle with it too. There are days where I realize I haven’t even brushed my teeth and it’s lunchtime. My biggest advice would be to ask for help. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We oftentimes as mothers think less of ourselves if we can’t do it on our own, but that’s completely not true. The truth is, if you don’t ask for help, you will wear thin like I did. My first year I had no one except my husband who, bless his heart, did what he could, but runs multiple businesses full time. I had no other help, no nanny, no babysitter. I did everything alone. I was blessed to be able to work from home and spend so much quality time with Ayaah, but I definitely wish I would’ve invested more time in myself and finding help. That being said, I prioritised myself for once, and made sure I gave just as much self love to myself that I did to others.
How important is it for a woman to maintain herself as she gets older, and why do you think so?
It is incredibly important to take care of yourself, period, regardless of age. In order to love others, or give to others, you must first be 100% in love with yourself. This is the true effort. Taking care of yourself isn’t only eating right and exercising. I’m talking about meditation, forgiveness, getting rid of toxicity; I’m talking about getting rid of all bad energy. I am talking about spending time with your soul. If you are clean in that way, from the inside, then you will find true happiness. The time is now – not the age. You can clean your soul and life at 70, and shine like a 16 year old or vice versa, you feel me?
How has living in Ibiza changed your views regarding world beauty standards?
I have always really been into natural vibes, but didn’t practice it until I started living here. I live amongst really beautiful, clean, and natural people. When I lived in L A I was surrounded by individuals who thought they had to be a certain way or look a certain way to fit in. I am surrounded by nature and the sea, so naturally I don’t want to be all dolled up. Don’t get me wrong, I still keep it glamorous. It’s just more occasionally now versus every day. Plus, when I am not working all I wear is sweats and a t-shirt with mismatched socks, no joke.
How do you think Pakistani features are perceived abroad?
I think they are really admired.
What beauty advice would you give to your younger self?
Wash your face at night no matter how tired you are, eat cleaner, and don’t dye your hair!
Name three beauty products that are a must-have for you.
Tweezers, a really good moisturizer, and a lip balm.
As a mother and as a woman that thousands of people follow and compare themselves to on social media, what is the most important beauty advice you would give?
First of all – never compare yourself to me or anyone. Comparison is a disease, it will eat at you. This is my beauty advice. You cannot truly believe you’re beautiful if you are comparing yourself. You are unique. You are you. Admire, set goals, but never say ‘oh hers are this, or that, or bigger than mine, or more than mine’. Do you ever say ‘wow, this banana is so much bigger than this grape?’ No, because that’s an unfair comparison! Be you, do you.
You live on a beautiful island, could you please describe your relationship with SPF – and also, tanned skin? Culturally, there is a ‘fair is better’ attitude in our part of the world. Is it different in Ibiza?
My relationship with SPF doesn’t really exist in product form. I only use natural things like coconut oil, which contains natural SPF that helps with radiation from the sun. It’s not enough for a whole day in the sun though, so then I add red rasberry seeds. People who can even utter the words ‘fair is more beautiful’ are ignorant, brainwashed, and in my opinion, racist. I cannot believe that it’s 2019 and my own culture practices colorism. It’s wild to me that if you’re darker in South Asian culture it’s frowned upon as if it’s a curse or something. I even remember relatives telling me ‘don’t go outside too long, you’ll get dark.’ As if dark is bad. Look at that programming. You’re being programmed as a young girl or boy to already think dark isn’t okay, and only light and fair girls and boys are beautiful. I recently just had a conversation with a dear family member of mine who was bullied about her skin color (which is gorgeous and dark and stunning), but because other Pakistani’s and Indian’s bullyed her, she has no self confidence, despite being one of the prettiest people I know. Why is Pakistani and Indian culture still selling toxic creams like Fair and Lovely that lighten your skin? Why are beautiful girls looked down upon from other families if they’re darker? You know why – because they haven’t evolved as humans. Their mentality is stuck, and stems from systems established in precolonial times. You know what needs to change? The quiet ones that sit there and let this still take place. It is a form of abuse. It’s disgusting and so toxic. The struggle is actually the fact that many Pakistani’s can’t or won’t stand up to their elders or the people who ingrained this ideology into them in the first place. If anyone said to me ‘you’re too dark,’ this is what I would do. I would sit them down, and educate them on the messaging they delivered to me. I would intelligently put them in their place and I would stand up for my self and for all the other people that suffer from this.
Hey, all you beautiful dark skinned and light skinned people. You are beautiful no matter the color of your skin. Don’t ever let anyone judge you or degrade you because of your skin color. If they do, please use your voice. Tell them the real truth. Tell them the truth is that they are unhappy with themselves, therefore they need to spew hate onto others. Tell them to go inside and find their truth. Forgive them and move on. But do not take it. Also, if you have trouble, please feel free to reach out to me via Instagram DM or email. I am more than willing to help you.
Stretch marks, breastfeeding, and a change in weight are all things that come with giving birth. As a mother, and a beauty, fashion, and wellness influencer, what are your thoughts on body maintenance? Have you gone through this after birth too?
I had all of this happen to me, and is still happening to me. I struggled with weight and still do, breast feeding, and stetch marks. I realized that instead of feeling insecure, I was going to carry my weight and stretchmarks as if they were trophys. Trophies that I won. I used my beautiful body to give rights of passage to a soul. After I fully realized that, I became the most confident. Because you know what? I’m a model and I have stretch marks, I have extra fat and I’m still making it happen, baby! Also as far as breastfeeding goes, it’s looked down upon in our culture to do it in public, and I know you know I’m not about hiding it. Just be free and open, and do what you want, how you want to, as long as you’re comfortable.
Tell us about your new book coming out.
I wrote a book a while ago, and I intended on launching it right before I gave birth. Then birth came along, and I found it hard to cater to all my priorities. It all happened for a reason and Im happy to also announce that the illustration for my books has been done by a fellow amazing Pakistani artist, Sara Shakeel. My book is called ‘Wake Up, A Quick Guide To Getting Your Spirit Together.’ I teach you how to pray, meditate, manifest, eat right, and even break bad habits. I’m on a mission to try and help everyone evolve with the information that helped me change my life.
What inspired you to start an apothecary?
My healing journey. I turned my life around from a toxic environment to a healthy lifestyle, and learned all the tricks of the trade. My true calling is being a healer, so botany is my love. I created my own skin care collection with CBD and I’m opening an apothecary in Ibiza this season!
Tell us your favourite herbal remedy that you swear by?
It’s a tincture made of echinacea, coptis root, yin chia, gingerroot, elderberry, AND horehound. It will be availble on my online shop soon, www.thelightforcecenter.com
What are three wellness tips everyone should know?
Meditation over everything. Intuitive supplementation – giving your body what it needs, based on what you’re not receiving from your diet. Move your body every single day, even if it’s just ten minutes. Get your heart rate up!
One reason you love being a Pakistani woman in 2019
I love being both a Pakistani and South Asian woman in 2019 because I am breaking norms, and using my voice for positive change. I want to see others doing the same, and I hope I can inspire even one person to step up and use their voice. You deserve a life of beauty and freedom. The choice is yours!