She is well-known by her makeup artistry, a loving mother and a wife. Michelle Quan or familiar with Emquee has spoken with RÊVES STUDIO about her journey to finally finding her righteous moment in her life. From being insecure because of her self-consciousness to finally reaching her goals to be a successful career woman and inspiring many people every day.
Her journey started when she met her husband back in Australia. Then she moved to Surabaya, Indonesia on her quest of following love and family. She started everything from the very beginning, as she refers to being “an orphan to this country”. So here is our inspirational interview with Michelle Quan about life, career, and how she started all from 0.
Tell me about yourself?
A mother, a wife, a makeup artist, and hopefully an inspirational influencer.
Do you feel accomplished in life by now?
I’m happy with what’s happening in life, but I’m sure there’s a lot of milestones and bucket list that I need to fulfill before I hit the graveyard. I feel accomplished a lot being an expat in Indonesia, but I know that are a lot of opportunities further.
Unconditional love, Respect, Honor and Trust.
How to maintain a balance between family and career?
If you put priorities into your schedule you can make it happen. Of course, there are sacrifices that have to be made sometimes but it needs to be worth the while.
How do your family and friends support your career?
Let’s talk about my husband. My husband is very supportive of me. Being an expat coming here, I’m technically an orphan in this country. He knows how hard but blessed enough I am to have this journey. He said to me as long as you are happy with what you are doing, keep going. But never forget your role as a wife and mother.
How long have you been a makeup artist?
I have been a makeup artist for 22 years, so I have been actively working as a makeup artist for 6 years before finally married to my husband, and I was doing extremely well. I was on the rise, in the industry. But then I chose family, I then came here and started from 0, so I want to tell everyone if you wanted bad enough you’ll figure out your way up there.
And later that I know the older I’m getting the closer I am to God. He exists and he is right next to us. If we are doing the right thing he opens up the door and allows us to continue doing the right thing. I am a pure example of that, everything that has happened to me is not 100% my doing, it is given to me.
Give us 3 qualities that make a successful woman?
Trust, responsibility, love & compassion.
You can be a very successful career woman, but you wouldn’t last long on your own because everything in this world needs a team effort. It’s not only you, you need the people around you who shares love with you, that supports you. If you don’t have love and compassion to begin with, how can others around you feel the same for you? The whole equation needs it. What really important is to stop comparing and start running at your own pace.
How would you describe your style?
Effortless, simple, monotones, I love black & white and neutrals. But, the most important is comfort.
How would you dress for work?
Sweatpants, sneakers, sweaters. When I’m working I’m not Emquee, I’m Michelle Quan, and Michelle Quan is simple. I feel the simplest I am the most focus I am with what I do. You’d see me when I work, I wear no makeup, hair tied back, and dressed in comfortable attire.
If I have events I’d dress to my comfort, because when you’re comfortable your confident, the way you walk and talk is different. And what I wear reflects my character, and I’m not there to follow trends, or what the others are wearing.
I have flaws, from certain parts of my body, and I hide it. And I put out my strengths. And a lot of girls don’t understand that. They usually follow the trend and you can see how awkward because they’re not comfortable in public. So for me, comfort is number one.
Define fashionable in your own words?
Is having your own identity in what you wear and people can pinpoint your trademark, that makes a good fashion influencer. Someone who doesn’t follow trend but making it a trend.
What’s in your bag?
Wallet, mouthwash, keys, lip balm, fan, sugar snack, and phone. So, you can see that I’m scared of having bad breath, hunger, having no money, and cracked lips.
Moving further into this interview, we asked Michelle Quan on her opinions about women, and yes, you NEED to read this!
“Independent women are extremely beautiful in my sense.” -Emquee
What is your opinion about an independent woman?
It is someone who is confident enough with themselves in a positive way, she doesn’t need to depend on someone else for their own happiness and achievements. Independent women are extremely beautiful in my sense.
Who is your role model?
My role model is my mother. My mother is a superwoman. She could handle everything in the household, she could raise 3 children and later becoming independent and successful. She handles her empire in her own way. So, my mother is my role model and superhero.
Do you empower other women? We know that you love the healthy living and outlook towards life, but how do you implement it?
By doing and leading. I didn’t set out to do things and create attention for myself, no. I do it to benefit my own lifestyle. I did what I did and people view it, and they got inspired by it, and many people followed my journey, they entered the gym and eating clean. Over time, I got many messages letting me know, how are they doing and their progress. Through social media I empower women, why stop now?
Since when do you start your healthy living lifestyle?
I vigorously changed my lifestyle 2 years ago, I knew all along I need to change it. Probably 5 years ago, I spend too much time with my child. I didn’t have a nanny and I lost myself, cause all of my attention is too my child, and 5 years later I’m still plump and out of shape, and I couldn’t feel beautiful in any way no matter what I wear. Especially in this industry, your look is very important. I came to the point where editing photos did not work anymore.
I had people saying to me Michelle you are fat and questions like “are you pregnant?”. It’s harsh but sometimes the harshest critiques wake you up. After so many people telling me that, I started to eat clean but it’s not easy. I came to realize I did do it because I needed to, not because I enjoyed it.
And then I got hooked. So, I stayed and do the workouts and the result starts to show fast. I feel younger, my energy & stamina. After a while people got inspired by the little bits that I shared about my journey. Because they saw me before and they saw my struggle but I’m persistent and I kept going. They were days that I don’t want to get out of bed, but then I pushed myself. Even if I couldn’t put in 100% today at least it’s 50% or 25% but not 0.
I used to workout 6 times a week. But now that I got shoots as the ambassador of a big sports brand so I work out twice a week, and I’m in a very vigorous program. I work out 5 times in the morning, two times cardio at night, one time capoeira, and one time yoga. So, it’s a whole program and it’s painful. One day you do it and the next day you’ll be stronger. So, don’t give up.
At what point in your life do you feel the most comfortable?
Now. Because I changed my way of thinking, probably two years ago when I started this journey, I need to filter out my mind and thoughts, I feel the more you feel negatively towards the world, the more negativity came towards you. So, for me, I start to change everything positively. Why I have so much love for me because I send a lot of positivity towards people around me and I love people truly from the inside. It’s hard to attain, but when you got into the routine of positive thinking it really changes your life.
How do you start it?
It is hard you need to think outside the box, everything has a story, and social media is a powerful tool right now, it’s a filtered system of showing the world who you are. If you would only see 5% of a person’s life, the 95% is real and it’s not glamorous. Most of the time we’re struggling. For me, it’s a struggle but at the end of the day if you compare your life with someone who has an internal disease that is living life day by day in acute pain you would think of yourself as the lucky one.
I wake up in the morning and can do all of my daily routines by myself. I catch my first breath of air, and that’s a blessing of itself. Because not everyone got that blessing. From there I feel that everything else is not important. So, if anyone has done something to me that is negative, I see it as unimportant to carry out that burden of hatred. There’s no jealousy in me nor competition for me. In this race, I am racing alone by myself, I’m racing forward at my own pace.
Besides your way of thinking, confidence is key and I did not give an f*@#, I learned to let go and don’t let people get into my mind feeding me this perception about myself. I simply don’t care, so I don’t go out and let people criticize me. You know what? for every single person in this world that loves you, there be 10 to 100 people behind that don’t care. You are living your own life and racing at your own pace. So, these few years of not giving an f I learned to love myself. I never felt the most beautiful and I’m not the ugliest, at the time I don’t put such importance of how women look, what matters is inner personality is the most beautiful thing ever. There are no ugly women, there are only lazy, and negative women. I set my floors and came to the conclusion that I don’t need to be perfect.
“Women’s role very important for the future generation relies on her principles” -Emquee
What do you think about women’s roles?
The role of women is very important in the family.
Women by nature are very strong beings. That’s why God placed motherhood on women. To have a successful man there must be a strong wise woman supporting him. Also, a strong figure to guide the children as well. You know the expression “monkey sees monkey follows”. So, women’s role very important for the future generation relies on her principles, because, how she operates is a foundation of a family and a glue of the family.
What is the most important lesson in life that you have learned so far?
Every situation we will be put in a test in life. It is not to have any seed of jealousy towards anything and anyone, it could be the start of something and manifest into something ridiculously evil. You need to treat people the way you want to be treated. It is very toxic to the max. So, we need to learn to be positive, cause if you hate someone how can you expect someone to love you?
Any future goals?
Inspire the next generation, by leading and spending time with the next generation on how to contribute to society. Being an expat coming here, I see that we depend so much on helpers. Hopefully, I can share my views on what I feel about that and inspire the younger generation to be independent. In some cases, I see kids just hitting the maid and the mom is next to them and she allowed it. Can you imagine what will they become when they grow up? So, I really want to get into motivational speaking for the younger generation.
Since our campaign is about Dream, do you think everyone should have a dream? And what about yourself?
I walk my steps one at a time, I never dare to dream to be able to have my own product, I never dare to dream to be the brand ambassador of under amour, and never dream to be a well-recognized makeup artist. Because it is out of my expectation. But now I dare to dream, now you can dream the further you dream the closer you would get there. Aim for the moon and you’ll hit the stars. If you don’t have a dream you don’t have goals. So, everyone should have a dream and goal in your life, even if you can’t achieve it at least you try.
Michelle is wearing our #REVESxSJW Oversized Bomber Jacket.
Michelle is wearing our Cigarette Pants with slits in Navy blue.