Sazan Hendrix is someone who perfectly sums up the word striking. She's petite but has a powerful beauty, with strong brows, defined cheeks and a Colgate-white smile. On top of it all, she's a sweetheart. I sat down with the Texan beauty blogger during her trip to Dubai for the Simply Stylist conference (where she also stopped by the House of Bazaar) to chat about her blog, her inspirations and why she was so excited to finally come to the Middle East.
The night before we sit down, Sazan attended our exclusive Q&A with Huda Kattan, and she's full of praise for the cover star. "I was sitting in the audience [when she was talking about not having it all] thinking, 'Oh my gosh, she's speaking to me right now! I'm taking advice from the Queen!' It was cool to hear all that," she tells me.
Sazan, who is currently based in LA after having lived in Texas for most of her life, has been blogging for over four years now. "I started a blog in college, as a hobby, just for fun. I thought I wanted to do broadcasting and TV news but I quickly learned that there was so much opportunity in the digital space. I met bloggers and they were doing it full time. Aimee [Song, who was also with Sazan at the conference] was one of the first bloggers I ever met and I saw these girls making blogging their full-time job and I was so intrigued and motivated by that. So I started researching and working my butt off and the rest is history."
When we met, she had 664k followers - no mean feat for someone who started only a few short years ago. Her eponymous blog, she tells me, has evolved with her in that time. "I started out doing fashion, but the more I started to get to know my audience, I noticed they wanted more beauty tips, like how you get the eyebrow and the contour and so I thought, I really like doing my own hair and make-up so I should start sharing more tutorials. That's when I realised YouTube was a really good platform for that." She says that when she married her husband Steve, that provided another turning point for the blog. "When I got married that was the new chapter of my business because ironically they loved him. We have such a unique story with our backgrounds - with me being Middle Eastern and him being an all-American white boy," she says with a laugh before getting a little more serious. "My family wasn't about it, so I had to share that on my blog. That was the first time I really got personal and people loved that so now my blog has a lifestyle element to it, as well as the beauty."
Coming to Dubai, it turns out, has long been on Sazan's to-do list, given her Middle Eastern heritage. "I'm Kurdish, so we're so close to Kurdistan here. We could have made a trip out of it! Being here in Dubai, as cheesy as it sounds, is really a highlight for me. Being Middle Eastern, I've always sort of tried to, not specifically market to that audience, but I knew that that is what made me unique in my world as I was one of very few Middle Eastern digital influencers. Dubai represents so much to me. The whole culture here reminds me of my homeland, from the food to the beautiful architecture. " It's a city she could see herself living in one day. "It is a place that is really ahead of the game. Everything is bigger and better in Dubai. It's so cool and inspiring to see. I'm looking around like 'I love it!' So I feel like I'm rooting for family here."
FIVE QUICK QUESTIONS
Harper's Bazaar Arabia: Gucci or Saint Laurent?
Sazan Hendrix: Gucci
HBA: Heels or flats?
SH: Well I’m short, so heels.
HBA: Contour or nontour?
SH: Contour! I like a little something-something.
HBA: Morning or night?
SH: Night. I’m a night person
HBA: If you weren’t blogging what would you be doing?
SH: Probably a nurse, isn’t that so random?! I’d probably be a children’s paediatric nurse.