{ #WCW }: Lifestyle / Beauty Blogger Monique Sedlar of Le Freak

essellesse interviews Monique Sedlar of Le Freak, Chicago based beauty & lifestyle blogger! Follow @shannonsilver & @lefreaks_ on instagram!

I need to write a love letter to the internet.

Seriously.

I’ve said it once, and I will say it again & again & again.

We are extremely lucky to live in the age of the internet. It connects you with people around the world at any given time. Honestly, there is no wonder to me that Instagram has gotten as huge as it has because you can log in and see people around the world living their life.

I’m huge about being social on social media. It’s slightly selfish because it’s beneficial to me in so many ways. Sure, it helps with traffic but most importantly? It has helped me make friends from around the world & instagram helps me keep up with them.

Personally, as a microinfluencer, I love supporting other microinfluencers.

These friendships have been rad since we all do this and we can bounce around ideas off of. We all understand the day to days and it’s neat having these friendships because everyone just gets it.

Anyways about a year ago, I came across Monique Sedlar on Instagram & I was insta-hooked. Not only is she gorgeous but she has so much personality, a strong aesthetic, and has THE MOST flawless skin. AND- to make it even better, she shares all of her skincare secrets on the blog & instagram.

Monique and I INSTANTLY clicked. INSTANTLY.

We became immediate friends and our DMs are one of my favourite things in the world. We catch up constantly on life: personal & virtual. We talk instagram tips & tricks, blogging advice… really, it’s just virtual girl talk and I live for it.

I’m straight stoked to have her on the blog today – sharing all things from styling a tall figure {she’s 6’2!}, to instagram advice, to skincare & more.

I know you will love her as much as I do. SO, let’s get into it, shall we?!

Without further ado, meet MONIQUE SEDLAR of the raddest blog ever, Le Freak & get ready to be obsessed.

essellesse interviews Monique Sedlar of Le Freak, Chicago based beauty & lifestyle blogger! Follow @shannonsilver & @lefreak on instagram!

Introduce Yourself & tell me about your blogging journey!

I’m Monique, I’m 22, and I’m from Minnesota but am currently based in Chicago! Ever since I saw The Devil Wears Prada for the first time, I wanted to be a magazine editor. I dreamed about it for so long, but after dabbling in the fashion world on the modeling side, I realized the industry might not be for me. I didn’t like having to conform to certain sizing standards and subjecting myself to so much scrutiny. Also, the idea of being a blank canvas for someone else’s creative vision, and completely relinquishing control over how I’m represented was absolutely horrifying to me.

But I love to write, and I had just started noticing bloggers on Insta doing editorial-quality work when it hit me — I could be doing that too. I started imagining my own platform where I could write, direct, model, and edit my own creative vision. I played around with different names and aesthetics for years but I didn’t go public with anything until I was totally satisfied with my vision. And Le Freak was born in October of 2017! 

The biggest step in my blogging career was finally getting over the anxiety of putting my face, my body, and my thoughts on the internet to be judged by everyone who sees it. Once I finally did that, the blog went live. I can’t believe it took me so long to finally publish (I was working on it for three years), but the moment I did, so much started to change in my life.

The blog hasn’t went viral or anything, but the confidence and creative outlet it has given me is absolutely insane. {<<< LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS}

What are your short term & long term goals

Short term, I’m looking for a corporate PR job since I just graduated. Long term, I’ve got a lot of ideas in the works. I have so many things I want to produce, but what I actually decide to tackle first has yet to be determined. It’s safe to expect beauty items and maybe a few wearable pieces as well. I’m open to what the future will hold for me, though. You never really know!

essellesse interviews Monique Sedlar of Le Freak, Chicago based beauty & lifestyle blogger! Follow @shannonsilver & @lefreak on instagram

Favourite Books?

The Girls by Emma Cline is excellent, but White Girl Problems by Babe Walker is probably one of my all-time favorites. It’s such an easy read and fucking hilarious. I also just got The Burning Girl by Claire Messud for this week’s rooftop reading. I’m excited about that one!

Biggest beauty secret? SPILL! Your skin is always so flawless

Omg you’re too freaking sweet, thank you! It’s not always flawless though. I get *terrible* hormonal acne along my jaw and sometimes on my cheeks that is so tough to deal with.

Aside from my many skincare must-haves that I’ve blogged about, my best-kept beauty secret is Make Up For Ever’s Full Cover Extreme Camouflage Cream. It’s how I fake a flawless canvas even during my worst breakouts. Seriously that stuff can hide ANYTHING. {<<< *adds to cart*!}

essellesse interviews Monique Sedlar of Le Freak, Chicago based beauty & lifestyle blogger! Follow @shannonsilver & @lefreak on instagram!

I am in LOVE with your style – how would you describe your personal style? Tips for styling a tall figure?

AHhhh! Thank you so much, I’m such a HUGE fan of yours! My personal style is really tough to describe. I guess the best way is casual and classic. I like a very neutral color palette with casual, bohemian details and a little bit of sexiness. Does that make any sense at all?

And oh God, I’m still struggling to style a tall figure! Being 6’2, It’d be much easier if I shopped in store, but I’m an online shopper to the core. I know my measurements well, but I’m often a bit more optimistic online than if I could physically see something in a store.

With denim, I go for Levi’s or Madewell. It’s really upsetting because so much of the cool denim brands nowadays like Mother or Grlfrnd are really not made for women over 5’9. It’s endlessly infuriating, but don’t get me started on that because it could get ugly.

With mini dresses, my rule is nothing shorter than 32 inches long, and that’s even cutting it close. I’ve been loving midi dresses a lot lately because they’re always a great length and really easy to buy online. I love playsuits as well because you can get away with them being shorter since there’s less of a chance to flash anyone.

Separates are really where it’s at though. They’re extremely flattering and you’re able to position them to your body. Also, you get to mix and match them for an endless number of different outfit combos.

Who / what inspires you and where do you find inspiration?

I’m inspired by other bloggers and content creators. I find my inspiration on Instagram, Tumblr, and in magazines as well! Magazines have always been one of my biggest sources of inspiration, and I still love to create mood boards and collages of my favorite images to keep me constantly motivated. Literally the smell of a magazine’s pages is enough to get my creative juices flowing! So weird…

essellesse interviews Monique Sedlar of Le Freak, Chicago based beauty & lifestyle blogger! Follow @shannonsilver & @lefreak on instagram!

What are some of the challenges in blogging & instagram and how do you handle them?

Finding the time and the lighting are the biggest challenges with both blogging and Instagram for me. I’ve been trying to experiment a lot more lately since I’ve had a bit more time after graduating, but keeping up despite all kinds of weather and life interruptions has been the biggest challenges. I just take things in stride. If I know I’ll be too busy to post, I like to mention that somewhere on my platform, just to keep people in the loop! {<<< agreed! Transparency & vulnerability is so imporant!}

I love your insta-aesthetic. How would you describe it & what can people expect from your instagram?

Ever-Evolving. I’m constantly editing my personal brand. I think the overall color schemes are black, white, nude-pink, and denim blue. For a while I went through a bright coral phase, but it was hard to maintain and I didn’t feel like it reflected my true personality.

Now I’ve been doing a lot of black, white, gold, walnut, and my signature nude-pink. I’m trying to get a good mix of beauty and lifestyle shots with a slight favor towards beauty, but I’m still finding the perfect ratio. But overall, expect more —  product shots, beauty shots, and a few lifestyle shots as well. I’m really proud of path I’m on, and I’m confident it’ll only get better from here.

essellesse interviews Monique Sedlar of Le Freak, Chicago based beauty & lifestyle blogger! Follow @shannonsilver & @lefreak on instagram!

What are some of your tips for the ‘gram?

Omg I’ve gotten most of my tips from you! But building a community and being authentic have been some of the most helpful. The more of my real personality I show, the more people respond. And the community is absolutely wonderful. I’ve built so many great relationships on Instagram, and it really helps in dealing with the comparison, rejection, and stress that can sometimes come from blogging and Instagramming.

While we are on the topic of Instagram, what’s your advice to other bloggers who want to grow their account?

Engage with people who engage with content similar to yours. I’ll go down a rabbit hole of new accounts to follow and engage with and it’s great for inspiration as well as growing your following!

Also, do your hashtag research. I’m still trying to learn the perfect formula for that too, but it’ll come with time.

Last instagram question! What are your favourite photo editing apps? I know you like to get glitchy too 🙂

Yaaasssss, Gliche is dope. I’m an avid VSCO-er as well, but my favorite app recently is Adobe Lightroom. I can’t believe I’ve gone so long without it! It’s truly a must-have.

essellesse interviews Monique Sedlar of Le Freak, Chicago based beauty & lifestyle blogger! Follow @shannonsilver & @lefreak on instagram!

How do you see social media & blogs evolving and how do you plan to evolve with it?

I definitely see a lot more video content coming. I know how much more engaging video content is, and I plan on getting my first big-girl camera this summer. Following that, I have plans for a YouTube account, but I’m pretty sure the new Instagram video features are going to be my main platform. They’re launching the 20th [of June] supposedly, and I’m really excited! {<<< this was re: IGTV!}

Looking back, if you could do anything different in building your brand, what would it be?

I would have started with more product shots. My audience responds best to photos of me since that’s what I built my Instagram around at first. Now that I’m focusing a lot more on beauty-specific things, I’ve had to go through a bit of follower turnover to really hone in on the community members that actually appreciate the content I’m producing. {<<< THIS. IS. SO. IMPORANT!!!!}

For new bloggers, what is your biggest tip?

Start with a niche and build on that community. Engagement is always better than follower count, so building an engaged base is really crucial. {<<<!!!!} I didn’t start my instagram to blog, I started it to connect with friends back in 2014 and it evolved that way for a long time. Re-branding myself as a blogger was more difficult than it would have been to just start as a beauty blogger-specific account. But that just wasn’t on my mind back when!

essellesse interviews Monique Sedlar of Le Freak, Chicago based beauty & lifestyle blogger! Follow @shannonsilver & @lefreak on instagram!

Who are some of your favourite bloggers to follow?

For lifestyle: You (duh!!) @shannonsilver { <3 } , @paytonsartain, @highendhippie, @mandy_p, @bohemegoods, and @lindsaymariko. For beauty: @beaute.defile, @theglossarray, @laura.craffey, @pati_k, @bbtimmi, @topshelfbeaute, and @dirtyboysgetclean!

Best piece of advice you have ever been given?

“After a good horse there is always dust.” – My mom, my grandma, and probably so many Croatian families. I used to get so much anxiety about the gossip and criticism that was so rampant in my adolescence, but my mom taught me early on that that’s exactly what I should expect if I plan to be successful in life. {<<< & blogging or anything online – in fact, it’s quite scary at first}

I’ve developed quite a thick skin over the years, and that little piece of advice has gotten me through a lot of situations. Plus, it’s a piece of advice I’ll carry into my professional career in PR as well as blogging.

Finally, advice for others who are looking to follow their dreams but not sure how

Nike knows what they’re talking about, man — just do it. Whatever you’re trying to make happen, just fucking make it happen. 

You have so much potential, and the ability to have everything you’ve always dreamed of, but you just need to make it happen. You have to take those first steps and you have to be willing to put yourself out there and take risks. That’s a necessary part of the growth, and you should take the anxiety and fear and channel all of it into a fierce passion.

I’m still learning to take my own advice, but it really is a journey and the sooner you start, the better. Do it.

essellesse interviews Monique Sedlar of Le Freak, Chicago based beauty & lifestyle blogger! Follow @shannonsilver & @lefreak on instagram!

And you know I have to 😉 favourite song??

OH MY GOD how does anyone even answer that question?! Hahaha I like music that has a strong emotional impact on me, so I have quite a few favorite songs. For a serious groove it’s always Sultans of Swing by Dire Straits. For pregaming and the soundtrack to some of the best moments of my life, it’s Gloria by Umberto Tozzi. For passionate 80’s jams, it’s Heat of the Moment by Asia. For passionate jams of today it’s Dream of Mickey Mantle by Bleachers. Idk, I could go on and on forever. Basically all of my Spotify playlists are just collections of my favorite songs!

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Okay WOW. Seriously, her advice is dead on & very realistic. I love it!

Speaking of advice, I’m answering the following questions you guys sent for when I asked you what you want to know about blogging / social media. Check it out on my stories here. Feel free to ask any in the comments & I’m happy to answer!

Other than that, not much more to say here other than I’m stoked to finally shop the #nsale tomorrow! Here are my picks but I can’t WAIT to get the Vince turtleneck, the palm towels, & the birthstone necklace. Those are the first 3 in my bag!

That’s all I got! Hope you enjoyed this interview as much as I did. Who are some of your favourite bloggers? Or do you blog? Let me know in the comments. Would love to check them out… bonus points for microinfluencers!

x SLS

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  • current fav lipstick: TULIPA from @makebeautyofficial & Lucy agrees! 🌷 I actually discovered this brand via instagram and I’m just obsessed.
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