Standout Sri Lankans Q&A:

Lalitha Epaarachchi ~ Health & Fitness Coach and Youtuber

1. Tell us about yourself and your Business?

I’m a father, Health and Fitness Youtuber (Alpha lee fitness) & Online coach ( weight loss,  Muscle building and health & fitness lifestyle coaching)

Over the last 3 years I’ve built the largest online health and fitness community in Sri Lanka with 26,000 followers on instagram @lalitha_epaarachchi and 62,000 subscribers on Youtube, my Youtube channel alone has had over 3 million views in  just over an year. I’m proud to say that I have successfully hoisted myself to the top of the space with zero paper qualifications.

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The way my business works:

What I found out through the initial stages of my work was that there were plenty of influencers who are willing to share their lifestyle, expose their bodies, promote products without considering its impact and provide subjective information convincingly enough to make a sale or push a brand. This is a very lucrative method to earn on the short term but on the long term, in a space where you are dealing with people’s health and fitness it’s a naive, shortsighted method.

Based on this understanding, over time, I fine tuned my approach to:

  1. Delivering accurate information that has scientific evidence. I do this both in Sinhalese (youtube) and english (instagram)

  2. Promote a balanced lifestyle which the majority in Sri lankan’s can afford, emulate, still be healthy and fit and importantly keep building on.

  3. Work long term with brands. This is mainly because I noticed that most influencers worked with brands for a few weeks and moved onto another brand. Brand hoping is lucrative but damages your credibility as a product influencer which means in the longterm brands will not be paying you as much due to a lack of conversions. Engagement is meaningless without conversions – Your audience to Their customers. The 2 best examples from my brand portfolio are zimantra leisure center battaramulla and protein.lk. Both have become top brands in their space.

  4. Build my own paid service (online coaching). This is a service where I build training & nutrition plans for my clients. This was important because I wanted to make sure that brands could not pressure me into promoting anything I don’t like or agree with. If my income is covered through my own sweat equity, I would not have any reason whatsoever to con my audience by promoting products that i don’t believe in.

  1. Why did you decide to start your own business and What keeps you motivated.

I started making content on youtube and facebook while I was working as a software engineer. 3 weeks after I had my son I was very unfairly treated by my employer at that time. In brief, my employer accused me of not working well enough. That experience made me understand that as long as I work for someone else I will never truly be happy or appreciated regardless of how well I worked for them.

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I’m not a believer in motivation. If you need to be motivated to follow your passion i don’t think it is your passion to begin with.

  1. As a Sri Lankan influencer, how would you like to influence other Sri Lankan’s, as well as all others around the world?

I can’t fix the world with the work I’m doing but I firmly believe that I can change the health and fitness space for the better. With my work and approach to my work I hope I can influence more people to bring our space back out from vanity & drugs. In other words, I want to show people you can be honest, ordinary, average looking, earn and live a happy, peaceful life.

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VLOG: Bloggers United Australia ~ Adelaide Event

Throw That ‘Too Hard Basket’ Out and Start Achieving Your Goals

So that famous too hard basket, have you heard the saying? Well i reckon I hadn’t heard of it till I joined the workforce. And it’s made me think, why have we made it so easy to just throw something in the too hard basket, why should this be allowed, because really throwing something in the too hard basket actually means giving up or not doing something about something that needs doing.
I know for me I don’t really think about the too hard basket very often and I think there are 3 reasons for this:
1. I’m usually passionate about the things I think about doing so I’ll do whatever I can to not make it so hard to do.
2. I work on it slowly, do abit here and abit there so it doesn’t feel like I’m taking on a massive task all at once.
3. I don’t think of it as too hard. Our brains have so much power that the more we think something the more real it feels and the more we believe it.
So my lessons here are firstly if you really are passionate about doing something then take it on as a challenge, it’s not going to be easy but it doesn’t mean the idea needs to go in the too hard basket, it just needs a little TLC. Secondly, break your idea down into doable steps (Rome wasn’t built in a day..hey hey hey). And thirdly, I think this point is so important; don’t think of something as too hard, if you really want to do something, and it’s physically possible, then just put a little bit of time and work into it. Once you start working on it, it will become easier and easier!

Tonic Skincare Review

A while ago I was sent a range of skincare products to try out, if you’ve read some of my previous beauty posts, you’ll know how I have struggled with my skin and the up’s and down’s (mostly downs) I’ve gone through with trying to make it better. When I was asked if I would like to try these products I said I would be happy to try them out because I am open to trying anything (well mostly anything).

I’ve been using these products for a couple of months now and I think it’s fair to say that I have been enjoying them and the results they have given my skin. So the products I am talking about are called Tonic, the range includes facial cleansers, exfoliants, moisturisers, night creams, eye creams, serums and more. With a name like Tonic, they are bound to be filled with some ‘good for you’ ingredients right? Yes! They sure are, some of their ingredients include avocado oil, bentonite, macadamia nut oil, witch hazel extract, rosehip oil, lactic acid, ribose and more. Also, all of their ingredients are certified organic and all products are made in Australia.

Since I’ve been using these products I have noticed a significant decrease in the amount of breakouts I get, they have honestly reduced to next to nothing, which is so amazing to me, I actually can’t believe it! In terms of using them on a daily basis, they are easy to use and apply, I use the facial cleanser and moisturiser every day and the exfoliant every couple days, I find the exfoliator quite rough so I mix a little in with the cleanser and then it feels comfortable on my skin. The only downfall for me is that the pump on my moisturiser feel apart, but it’s still useable and if the only problems with a product is the packaging, then it’s still a winner.

I highly recommend that you check out some products from Tonic, if you want to try them out first before buying, Essential Beauty offer facials where they use the Tonic products, so it’s a great opportunity to try the products plus have a nice pamper sesh!

Tonic Skincare

Essential Beauty

Inside the Media Preview of Adelaide’s Newest Lush Store

I recently got to live the Lush life for one evening at the relaunch of the new Lush store in Rundle Mall…which I must mention is the biggest Lush store in Australia!

So, what do you ask is ‘the Lush life’? Well just imagine walking into a world filled with delicious scents, luxurious balms, scrubs, bars and bombs, smoothie making push-bikes and Lushy cocktails. Yes this was all apart of the Lush world at the media preview and grand opening.
I spent sometime walking around the store taking in the sights, smells, and textures and it made me think about how we experience the moment that we are in at any one time. Within my work as a counsellor I do a lot around mindfulness and being aware of thoughts, actions and your surroundings. Creating this sense of awareness can start from having a strong awareness of your body and the sensations we feel according to the different emotions we feel.
So how does Lush fit in with this concept,  well have you ever tried to be mindful? It’s not that easy to stay completely focused in any given moment but having something to motivate us to practice could help, so why not pick up a Lush massage bar or bath bomb and experience your moment for what it is while using this product. How much easier would it be to pay attention to your moment if you have the smells and lushness of any Lush product flooding through your mind….I don’t know about you but I feel relaxed just thinking about it!
Here are some pics and video of the Lush life…

Joy of India Menu Launch

I was recently invited to a menu launch at an Indian restaurant called Joy of India and boy was it joyful; the food, the company and the great service just made my night!

Before I get onto the food, I have to share something funny. My cultural background is Sri Lankan but people mostly assume I’m Indian and a lot of people think India and Sri Lanka have the same food (like the assumption made by Roxy on last weeks episode of First Dates!!!) but actually they are two different countries with different types of cuisines.
Anyway, now to the food…a group of us ordered a range of vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes to share along with garlic and cheese naan and steamed rice. I have to say ordering different dishes and sharing is the way to go at an Indian restaurant. For our entrée we shared a tasting platter of non-vegetarian delights, including tandoori chicken and fish and lamb koftas. The chicken and fish were so tender, they just melt in your mouth.  This was my favourite dish of the night by far. I have to say all the dishes were tasty as well as the drink of choice; Mango Lassi (a must have at any Indian restaurant).
If your unsure of what to order at an Indian restaurant, here is the list of dishes we ordered:
Garlic and cheese naan
Steamed rice
Mixed non veg platter
Butter chicken
Prawn jalfrezi
Dhal maharani
Vegetable korma
Palak paneer
Aloo gobhi muttar
Cucumber raita
So if you’re not salivating already here are some photos…..

 Joy of India

 

Essential beauty: asap Antioxidant Facial

Do you want to know where to go, to get a great facial that actually helps the overall health of your skin?

Well the place to go is Essential Beauty

Essential Beauty recently invited me to try out one or their beauty treatments, when I first received the invitation I wasn’t quite sure if I wanted to accept it, because when I think of Essential Beauty, the only thing that came to mind were the pictures of scary piercings I see when walking past their stores. Before accepting, I went on their website and had a look at their menu of treatments available and saw that they offer a range of facials….so I thought I’d try one of them out.

I went for the asap Antioxidant Facial, when you go on their website and click on the facials available  they provide an outline of the steps that go into the facial, so you can go in knowing exactly what to expect….which is great, because its important to know what’s going on your skin. The asap Antioxidant Facial follows the following steps:

  1. Remove any eye make-up with asap gentle eye make-up remover
  2. Cleanse with asap daily facial cleanser
  3. Apply asap AHA / BHA exfoliating treatment mask and leave for up to 20 minutes
  4. Remove your mask using asap daily exfoliating facial scrub
  5. Lather on asap gentle cleansing gel and rinse it off
  6. Apply and infuse asap super C serum then massage it in
  7. Apply and infuse asap super A serum then massage it in
  8. Apply and infuse asap soothing gel then massage it in
  9. Apply a thick layer of asap advanced hydrating moisturiser
  10. After 5 minutes, massage your face with damp hands
  11. Apply asap advanced eye repair + and lightly massage

(Taken from: http://www.essentialbeauty.com.au/service/facials/#collapse2)

I have included some photos from my experience below but I didn’t take any before and after photos because usually after facials, you can’t really see a difference in the skin, it’s more about how it feels. In saying that I didn’t notice a difference in my skin straight after the facial, but I did notice a difference a couple days after. 
 
When the beauty therapist applied the mask she spoke about how it works by taking of all dry skin and removes pretty much the outer most layer of skin. I think this was what helped the overall texture of my skin. You know the feeling when your having a bad time with your skin and you just feel like peeling the top layer your skin of and cleaning out the underneath, getting rid of all the black heads, white heads and any others gross things under the skin, I have this feeling quite often, and I think the mask worked extremely well in doing this, without me having to conduct any surgery on my skin…thank goodness!
 
Overall I was really happy with my Essential Beauty experience, the beauty therapist was lovely, the products are great quality and my skin feels a lot cleaner and in my eyes looks smoother.

Essential Beauty

Lush Blogger Event at Westfield Marion

It’s no secret that Lush is a favourite amongst many. It’s the perfect place to go when it’s time to pamper yourself because there are so many luxurious treats which are also affordable.

Until a couple of weeks ago, we only had one Adelaide store in Rundle Mall, but I’m so excited to announce that we now have another; located at Westfield Marion. I recently attended a blogger event to check out the store and all the beautiful things inside, they did not disappoint!

We were treated to hand massages using Lush massage bars, product making demonstrations (we were shown the making of the Lush cleanser ‘Angels on bare skin’ and much more.

I love that Lush are completely ethical, all ingredients are sourced ethically, they make sure that no animal testing occurs at any time in the process of making a product and all products are made fresh in Australia. Not only are the products amazing but the staff in store are all very helpful and knowledgeable about the products, so you can walk in there, tell them a bit about what you’re looking for and they will make sure that you leave with the right products for you.

What more could you ask for!

At the event I was treated to a hand massage using one of the very cool massage bars. They come in all different shapes and scents. They would make such a cute gift as well. I was also looking for a face mask so I had two tried on the backs of my hands and after hearing all about them and getting everyone to feel the difference the two had on my hands, I went with ‘Love Lettuce’, which I’m so happy with, and for only $13.95, it’s so affordable for a product that actually works.

Here are some photos from the event, let me know what you end up choosing after your next visit to Lush.

Lush

Paige Rowe: An Exclusive Shopping Experience

Paige Rowe is a new fashion label offering fashion lovers a whole new shopping experience.

Rather that going in-store and purchasing mass produced pieces, Paige Rowe offers guests a one-on-one style session from which you can order the pieces you love and have them delivered to you.

The current capsule collection comprises of interesting patterns and unique cuts that can be styled to suit all body shapes and sizes. Each year Paige will be launching two capsule collections, in August/September and February/March. With such a unique concept it brings some excitement to the usual shopping trip, and adds an exclusive touch. It is also a great opportunity to be styled and learn more about what suits your body and make you feel beautiful.

Paige Rowe

Current Beauty Favourites

I wouldn’t call myself a beauty expert at all, but I do have real issues with my skin and what products work for me, so when I find a product that I think works for me, I want to share it with you all because it could work for you as well!

1. Chanel Hydra Beauty Micro Serum

As you can see this is a Chanel product, and you’re probably thinking…oh gosh it’s probably really expensive…well I’m sad to say that it is around AU$140. But the reason why I got it was, the Chanel counters in Myer and David Jones offer Chanel facials where you pay $70 which is fully redeemable on products. So that is what I did, I booked myself in for a facial and then purchased this product. The facial is also really great, they take you to a fancy room that is decked out in chanel towels and products, they use all chanel products and not only do you get a facial but you also get a hand massage, which I loved!

So this product is supposed to bring back moisture into dehydrated skin, which inturn reduces your pore size and makes your skin look plump and healthy. I have noticed a big change in my skin after using this product, I apparently had really dehydrated skin, so I think this really has brought back the moisture into my skin because my pore size has reduced and my skin actually feels healthy. I’ve also been told that my skin looks so much better than what it was by family.

The only negative of this product is that it has to be used morning and night and because it is so expensive I do feel abit stingy with it. So what I did is, I started of using it morning and night, and after using it for a few weeks, I now using it once daily.

2. Face of Australia Eye Liner (Black)

My daily make-up routine only consists of black eyeliner on my waterline, I’m not one to wear a full face of make-up unless there’s an occasion. So findng a good eyeliner is really important to me. I bought this eyeliner to try as it was really inexpensive. I was so pleased by it, it is soft, easy to apply, very dark and pigmented. It is a really great day eyeliner option.

It does last till the evening but I do notice slight smudging as it gets towards the end of the day.

3. Seven Wonders Moroccan Argan Oil Dry Shampoo

This dry shampoo was sent to me to try out, and once I did, I realised that it is the first dry shampoo I have used that is actually great for dark hair. It doesn’t leave me looking like I have white powder all over my head…..which is amazing! It is also very light on the hair, so it feels fine during the day and I’m not worries about it drying and flaking away throughout the day.

I’ve actually run out so I will definitely be purchasing a new one!

4. Benefit Hoola Bronzer

Now it’s no surprise that this product is a favourite amongst many, but I had no idea how good it actually is. Benefit kindly sent it to me to try out and I’m so glad that they did because now I know myself that it actually works to define the features of your face. I also love that the colour suits my skin tone and that it actually shows on my skin. Also it can be subtle or built up to really showcase the features.

PS. How cute is the little brush it comes with?!

5. Australia Velourlips Matte Lip Cream (Doo-Bai)

I love the look of matte lips but I’m not a fan of the dry feel, especially having naturally dry lips allready, I need all the help I can get with lip products to make my lips look nice and moist. I really anjoy everything about this lip cream; the colour, consistency and even smell are really nice. And what I love most about this product, is the price, they are only AU$10!

Below you will see a photo of myself wearing this product at a recent event.