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Friday, January 18, 2013

Inspire Me Woman - Sarah Giakoumatos

I am woman, hear me roar...

My name is Sarah, I am the creator/writer of this blog - something that started as me writing for myself on topics I was interested in. Below are some questions I will answer, these are the questions I put to some other women, women I find inspiring and in who I can see amazing potential. I wanted to give the readers of this blog, some insight, into me.. 'Kooklah'. So here goes....

Can you briefly describe your job/career?
My official position is an emergency nurse - it is a very challenging environment, there are definite highs and lows with the job. It can be a very stressful job, where skills of multitasking and communication skills are absolute assests. I am in my second year as a registered nurse.

The 'job' I have in my spare time is as a blogger. I have a personal blog called 'Kooklah' which I write occasionally when I feel like I have an issue I want to speak out on, or something to put out into the universe. My other blog started as fun, it is this one you are reading right now! 'For the Style Seeking Girl' . For me this blog was a chance to write about my passion (or obsession) for fashion, beauty and styling. A lot of it is my own personal style beliefs, or atleast that is how it started. I try to balance between style critiquing, reviewing new products or styles and just having fun writing about trends and amazing finds.
I have always loved fashion and beauty, I think this comes from being little and trying on my Mum's clothes and experimenting with her makeup - as well as playing dressups! As I grew older I began noticing my interests also moved to styling, either with friends/family or using magazine cut outs to create inspiration/mood boards in notebooks. These days I have some people who always ask my opinion and a friend who takes me shopping with her to style outfits for events. I love it! I would love to style people for a living.

I also love to plan weddings and associated events. I have been to many weddings and really love them. My best friend and I planned her wedding last year and I loved thinking of all the aspects that would be involved to make the day amazing. The result was a fairytale. I am undertaking an online wedding planning course and am looking for work in this area, for a small fee for time spent. I am happy to be involved in multiple aspects or to assist to advise/coordinate/style any aspect of the big day and festivities leading up to the day. Send me an email if you are interested (

How did you decide to get into the field you work in?
I went straight from high school to study Nursing at University. I had been interested in this field for many years, I originally wanted to be a paediatric nurse, but due to lack of placements in this area and developing interests in others I have ended up in emergency. I worked three casual jobs throughout my time at Uni, two of which were in the nursing field. The experience I gained in these areas assisted my nursing style greatly. It is challenging- physically and mentally. Most days I enjoy it but I definitely have days where I am not so happy. One patient can change all that though, you can have a really stressful day and then the last patient you see has an amazing outlook or story- it blows you away.
I am interested in applying with the Red Cross to work in the case of disasters, I think this could be really fulfiling. I am really interested in charity work and helping others in times of crisis.

What do you like the most about it?
NURSING - I love when your instinct proves right and the cause you have been advocating for the patient is validated, when you hold the hand or sit by a dying patient so that they do not die alone or when you know you have handled a situation well. I love the variety where I work.

Blogging/Styling/Wedding Planning - I love the fun I have with it, looking through pictures of trends and writing reviews or how to guides, I love to go shopping with someone and completely style an oufit or look and I find weddings fun - from the simple to the complicated each aspect should sparkle on its own to make the experience stand out. Like, for instance at my best friend's wedding when we walked into the reception room we both gasped, the vision we worked towards had come together and the result looked like something out of a fairytale.

What do you like the least?
When the day goes into a chaotic state and there is so much to do, when you get mistreated by a patient or someone gets really sick quickly.

What is your favourite colour?
Turquoise, I find it to be really calming. I also love white, for example my dream house has lots of white and light with one colour woven through in accessories or furniture.

Do you do your hair or makeup first when getting ready?
I always do my hair first, if you are running out of time and you have your hair done, you can quickly apply some staple makeup and still look presentable.

Growing up what were your favourite styles/fashion trends?
When I was little I loved dressing up, I remember my Mum had made me two 'princess' dresses, one was mulitcoloured (pinks, purples and blues with a layered skirt and glitter), the other was a version of the gold ballgown that Belle wears in Beauty & the Beast. Belle was absolutley my style icon when I was younger - I watched the movie constantly.

As I became a teenager I began experimenting a lot with makeup, hair and clothes. I definitely remember a fascination with blue eyeshadow when I was 14. I must have seen it somewhere and I would wear it everywhere, with pretty much everything. It was around this time that I would use packet dyes, you know the 10washes until it washes out? Loved them. Blueberry, light brown, caramel and hot chilli... My hair was black when I was 17 - and I loved it! By this age I had been using eyeliner for awhile and my best friend and I had been obsessed with a slick of eyeliner along the top of the eye with some mascara, add some pink blush and you had my look. It has evolved since then but the accentuation of my eyes and cheekbones are essential to my look.

What are your current fashion favourites?
For makeup I am currently loving defined eyebrows and illuminising tinted moisturiser for makeup. Tinted moisturiser is so fantastic for your skin, keeping it hydrated whilst giving a fine but natural looking cover. On my trip to America during a Sephora splurge I discovered Laura Mercier - her makeup is amazing, very light on the skin and looks amazing! I use the illuminising tinted moisturiser in natural radiance with spf 20, the compliments I get (gives the skin a lovely glow) when wearing this are an absolute boost! I have really come to appreciate the minimalistic look with my makeup of late - saves time, have improved skin condition and looks fantastic!

For fashion this summer in sunny Australia, I am currently loving maxi dresses, gladiator sandals, bright colours - especially sky blue, hot pink and yellow, that been said I keep been drawn to navy, especially in accessories or nail colour. Loose, flowing or peplum tops are also comfortable for summer and look great paired with summer shorts for a lazy dinner and drinks.

If you could only use three makeup products what would they be?
This is hard! I love makeup... but if I had to choose three I would pick the Laura Mercier tinted moisturiser, mascara and lipgloss.

What makes your signature look?
Hair curled or in a topknot, defined cheekbones (blush or bronzer), defined eyebrows and made up eyes with a nude lip. "Flirty eyes" as a friend of mine says!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see myself as having travelled more, having figured out a way to balance work and things I enjoy to be happier and hopefully have my own house!

What has been something you have struggled with or been challenged by lately?
I had a difficult 2012... felt unsettled or discontent, with some areas of my life which was hard to deal with. I have also been struggling with depression. But as they say... "It is only in darkness that you can see the stars..." 2013 is my year!

What has been the most exciting or satisfying moment for you professionally?
Nursing- Securing two highly sought after temporary positions in my first and second. I was really happy to be accepted into the emergency field this year and then be offered a permanent position in the department. Job security,  Fantastic!

Blogging/styling- A very satisfying moment for me was when I started to get regular traffic feed from the USA and UK, I really value every single person who reads or comments on my blog (whether you read one post, three or regularly tune into this site) but to realise that there was interest growing in these countries that have such strong and successful fashion/beauty industries was very thrilling. Everyday I check to see how many people have read my posts and what countries they are from, for the last three months or so, the majority of views a day have come from USA which is exciting! I also love when I get a view or two from places like Finland, Slovakia, Switzerland, as it shows that in its own small way FTSSG is making an impact. I think this definitely helped For the Style Seeking Girl to be noticed by American stylist Anya Sarre who wrote Fashion Speaks for You. Having a guestpost from Anya was really flattering and I am hopeful of further collaboration with other prominent people or businesses in this field in the future.

Recieving comments is always exciting especially when they are positive or constructive feedback, I also discover blogs to follow myself via this avenue. It is through a comment that I have been working with 'Heylet's' to provide content for a smartphone app which will hopefully go live early 2013.
Last week I recieved my first piece of tactile mail in relation to my blog, I was sent a package by an online Australian accessories brand called Kushla They have recently launched their website and sent me a product to use and blog about - you can read my review here.

Do you have a quote or piece of advice that you use to motivate you?
"Everything will be ok in the end, if it is not ok it is not the end..." whenever I am going through something rough I use this quote to remind me that brighter days are ahead. Without challenges how would you recognise the feeling of success?
What is the piece of advice you offer to others?
Find something you love, and cherish it. It will become your way to achieve a piece of happiness or serenity. Something to turn to when you are feeling down or stressed. I love to lie on my bed and listen to music, or curl up with a cup of tea and a good book.

Also, do not be afraid to make mistakes or 'fail', as John Lennon famously said 'Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans...', you never know what life will throw at you or where it will take you - this can be confronting but I also think has the possibility to be unbelievably exciting!

If someone wanted to break into your line of work what would you tell them?
They need to be dedicated, motivated and really interested in helping other people. Nursing is an incredibly stressful job - mentally, emotionally and physically, it is extremely challenging but can be really rewarding too.

Who are your role models, why?
My parents - they are amazing. They have an incredible relationship which is strong with great communication and support. I really admire that, and it has influenced how I view my own. They are both successful, driven, encouraging, supportive and loving. Growing up, if we had done our best - that was good enough. They raised my sister, brother and I to be as self-sufficient as possible.

Who is/are your style icon (s)?
My style icons include Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Drew Barrymore and Lauren Conrad. They all have class, elegance and fantastic unique style. I am inspired annd my own style is influenced by them definitely, but not defined. Drew is possibly my favourite - she can go from girly to grunge so effortlessly, and I love to swap or mix those two styles.

Do you have a styling and/or beauty tip for my readers?
My mother taught me this one- moisturise everyday - especially your face. Be sun aware - I use makeup with SPF, I do not want a face full of horrible sun damage! I also cleanse everyday and use toner twice a week. Styling - less is more, the use of impact or statement pieces will always look incredible, pair them with simple items for a more classic, stand out look. If in doubt, dress up - over dressed is better then under dressed! Beauty - don't be afraid to experiment, find your perfect eyebrow shape they will open up your face and pull attention to those beautiful eyes. Match base/tinted moisturiser/foundation to your skin tone and a little bit of glitter can add that sparkle or POP you need to make an impact!

What was your dream job growing up?
I always wanted to be a fashion designer who styled makeup too. I was always drawing people or faces with sketches of outfits, hairstyles and makeup... A lot of days I wish I had of held onto that dream! But who knows, there's still time yet!

What is a guilty pleasure of yours?
Watching shows like The Hills or Geordie Shore with a glass of red wine and dark chocolate... Heaven!

What is something you want to cross off your bucket list?
Explore Italy, buy a pair of Manolo Blahniks, buy a house, go in a hot air balloon, skydive... I have written my actual bucket list! So excited to complete it. Four friends and I wrote them together (they all contain different items) and if we complete them by 2022 we are heading to Vegas!

Do you have a single moment/time that has changed your life
My best friend dying when I was 16. That completley changed my life and the way I am forever. It was so unexpected. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of her, the hard days are definitely ones I live for her. Brooke was the most bubbly, viviacious person, I loved her dearly.

What would you tell your 16 year old self?
To enjoy the summer and the next six months as what happens next will be so devastating and significant that it will change your life forever, you will never be the same. To really start appreciating the small things, these are what really make up moments and memories - they eventually become the big things.

What is a styling/beauty “rule” that you – follow – break?
Follow- Advice from Coco Chanel, take one item off before you leave the house...saves over accessorising, another version of this is when I have high volume hair and big makeup I go light on the accessories.

Break- that your shoes must match your handbag/clutch. I cannot stand this idea, I don't think things need to clash but they certainly don't need to be matchy matchy.. Go for something that complements or something striking that adds that POP of colour!

What would you like to pass on to future generations?
A world without so much discrimination and hate. I cannot stand it - against race, religion, sexuality, gender. Ridiculous to think that at this time, two people who love each other cannot have a wedding or often be recognised as each other's significant other due to their shared gender. So that's what I want to pass on, and it is something I am very vocal and passionate about, I support the cause, sign petitions and email/write letters to publications and politicians. The change is coming.

What is a fashion/beauty trend you dislike?
I am really disliking the tiny shorts with pockets hanging out the bottom. I am not against short shorts or distressed looking shorts but the ones that just look like tiny scraps of fabric with the pockets hanging out drive me crazy!

What three things would you take with you on a desert island?
Practical- Sunscreen, a tent or hammock, water
Unpractical- my best friend, a book and music

What is your favourite song?
I have a lot.. but some of my most favourites are 'Song2' by Blur, 'Miss You Love' by Silverchair, 'The Scientist' by Coldplay, 'Passenger'/'Pick You Up' by Powderfinger

What is your favourite movie?
I have two favourites 'Alot Like Love'... showing sometimes it takes years to fall in love at first sight. Definitety watch!! 'Remember the Titans' based on a true story about leading with love, tolerance and acceptance against discrimination.

So there is some insight into who I am, next week the Inspire Me Woman post will feature Peta Serras ...

Kooklah Xx

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