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World Wide Women: Shahzrad in Sydney

The final instalment in the green beauty edition of World Wide Women is Shahrzad from Sydney, Australia. With an enviable wardrobe and the sunniest disposition, she is always jetsetting off to the next exotic destination.

You may know her as The Spot Beauty on Instagram, but she is the twirling beauty and brains behind the travel, fashion and organic skincare blog of the same name. 

Ni Hao Shah! You were born in Iran but raised in Sydney. What was your experience like growing up? 

We left Iran when I was 1 and a half, and I’m sure it wasn’t an easy decision my parents had to make. They had decided to leave Iran as the country was going through a revolution, and a lot of change with politics, religion and the Shah (King) of Iran no longer reigned. Many Iranians started leaving the country and my family moved to Australia. We migrated to Sydney when I was three years old and it’s been home ever since. 

There were not many Iranians living in Australia thirty years ago as the majority of the Iranians that migrated moved to America and Europe. My mum felt so isolated living in Australia, far from home and the rest of the world she was so familiar with. Migrating to a new country is challenging, there are so many cultural changes and language barriers. As a young child I integrated quickly into my new Australian life, however for my mum there were many obstacles she had to overcome. 

Growing up in Australia no one knew what Iran or being Iranian was, which has been one of the hardest things I had to adjust to and constantly give history lessons or educate people on what Iran/Persian culture is. Often people will say “Oh Iran, that’s in the Middle East, so you’re Arab.”, to which I have to explain and educate over and over that Iranians are not Arabs, we have our language and we don’t speak Arabic. We speak Persian or Farsi. I see myself as an Australian/Persian and love my Australian home!

What does beauty mean to you?

Beauty to me means being your true self, not hiding behind a face full of makeup and embracing your own natural look. Beauty to me starts from the inside and it’s about mind, body and spirit. 

My definition of beauty has evolved so much from when I was a teenager. The media whether it be magazines or social media is constantly shaping or defining what the ideal “beauty” is, I think as a younger person your definition is formed by various media outlets and people change their looks/styles to conform to this. As a grown adult I now know that beauty is not Kim Kardashian or Kylie Jenner, beauty is from the inside- natural, imperfect and unique.

What are some of your favorite skincare brands/products?

I absolutely love Buddha Body Caretheir Rose products are simply divine and amazing! I also adore Botanical Signature, their oils and teas are so soothing and tranquil. I also love Ericka Brooke Skincare, she has so many products that suit all my skin needs. Her face masks are fantastic! Caim and Able also does the best body scrubs that have magnesium in them, and her magnesium spray is great for boosting your body's magnesium levels. Be Genki has the most beautiful aromatherapy creations from face mists to body oils that are serene and calming.

You have an Instagram boyfriend-turned-husband who takes the most vibrant, gorgeous shots of you. How did you guys meet?

My husband is originally from Vienna and I met him on a flight there. We were both going to Vienna for a white Christmas and started chatting in transit. We saw each other again on the aeroplane the next day when I went for a walk to stretch my legs. He offered to take me sightseeing and that's how our romance began. Eight years later and I’m his wife!

You seem to be constantly travelling and have been all over the world! Where has been your favorite destinations and why?

I love travelling so much and if it wasn't for my sense of adventure and exploring I probably would have never met my husband! 

We both love discovering new cities, countries and cultures. One of my favourite destinations has to be Majorca, this Spanish Island is so special and magical. We also got married here because of the amazing island vibes, it’s part of the Balearic Islands.  Majorca has amazing culture, food and the most stunning beaches! 

It’s hard to narrow it down to a few favourites, but I also loved travelling around Italy. The country has so many phenomenal and historical cities that are bursting with amazing architecture, food and life. I love the Amalfi coast for its beautiful scenery, delicious seafood and the best gelato I’ve ever had! Italy is stunning, literally bursting with so much flavour and cuisine.

I also love travelling in the US and have visited New York City many times, it’s one of my favourite cities!

Can you teach us a phrase in Farsi?

“Chetori” is a casual way of saying hi or how are you.

Thank you for sharing your story and photography with us Shah- I am looking forward to seeing you if you visit New York again!

If you know someone who could be featured in this series, you can email me at tricia [at] nihaonewyork [dot] net.

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