In a sea of influencers on Instagram, making your content stand out from the rest has a sink-or-swim learning curve. As Melany Cecilia knows, nailing the strategy to do so can open the door to a world of opportunities for exposure and brand partnerships. Using what she's learned in fashion internships, the bi-coastal content creator, who also does marketing and events for fitness lifestyle brand Work It Out, has already landed campaigns with major beauty brands, as well as the chance to speak on a WWD panel. Here Melany shares a new way of influencing she's embracing to craft her dream career, how to stand out on fashion job applications, her easy volume hair hack, and more.

OUAI Crush Melaney Cecilia

How did Instagram play a role in landing partnerships with brands you love?

I turned my once random Instagram page full of food pictures and general stuff into a destination for young women to reach a more empowered and confident self in their goals and aspirations. On @melanycecilia I’ve built a community where we openly and comfortably share topics with one another like career building, networking, social media branding, and of course, fashion and beauty. This newly-found platform has taken me through hosting meetups, collaborating with brands I’d only ever dreamt of (hey, OUAI!), serving on a WWD panel and most recently shooting a beauty campaign for MAC Cosmetics and Glamglow. 

If there's one thing I learned throughout my time and experience in this world so far, it's that you must, must remain true to yourself otherwise you’ll soon find yourself in a job that isn’t for you and your passions. I have tons to learn and tons to see, but the growth and lessons get that much easier to swallow alongside a community of like-minded women all striving to find their best selves.

OUAI Crush Melaney Cecilia OUAI Wave Spray Travel OUAI Dry Shampoo Travel

Your hair is so full and fluffy. What are your go-to hair products?

From snatching myself together at 7AM for work and then darting off to an event at 6PM—I keep two words in mind…dry shampoo. The OUAI Dry Shampoo smells like a busy girl’s DREAM! I use both the traditional and travel-size where I keep one at home and one always in my bag. What’s super important for me is the smell. I have no issue in slicking back my hair if it’s a bit oily- but once I get that not-so-fresh smell, that’s when my OCD kicks in a bit. 

Next is my new-found love! The OUAI Rose Hair & Body Oil has become one of my beauty staples. I first used it on a REVOLVE trip this past August and being that it was in LA, I wanted that extra golden oomph (better believe I was rocking the spray tan!) I used it every single day for both my hair and body and couldn’t be more obsessed. 

My other go-to is my mini travel kit, where I kind of pile the rest of my essentials in. Inside are my Treatment Masques, Anti-Frizz Hair Sheets (Lord knows I need these!), Wave Spray and Dry Texture Foam. I like to call all of these my little OUAI family haha!

OUAI Crush Melaney Cecilia OUAI Volumizing Hair Spray

What's your favorite hair hack for getting va-va-volume?  

I’m admittedly not the fanciest at hair tricks, but I have found something that really works! Once I finish curling, I flip my head upside down and tie my hair into a loose topknot. I leave it like this while finishing my last makeup touches/getting dressed. Once I let it down it’s super volumized and glam. I love it!

OUAI Crush Melaney Cecilia

Break down your skincare routine for us.

Skin is my LIFE, so here it is:

OUAI Crush Melaney Cecilia OUAI Volumizing Hair Spray OUAI Hair Oil OUAI Dry Shampoo

How did you get invited to do a WWD panel?

I served on the WWD Style Dimensions Panel through Glamglow. I’ve been working super closely with the team for about a year now and they nominated me as a candidate to represent their brand on the Fashion and Beauty Trends Segment alongside Samsung. It was honestly such a surreal feeling especially because I was the youngest up there by far. My last email to WWD was begging for a summer internship back in my senior year of college, so it was definitely a ‘pinch me’ kinda moment.  

OUAI Crush Melaney Cecilia

What tips would you give someone applying to fashion/editorial houses on standing out? 

Do lots of research before you get there! Know the company culture, employee work ethic, and other historical moments in their timelines. Coming to the table with ample knowledge is always such a plus and gives the person hiring you that much more affirmation that you’re a fit for the job! Once you land the position, always work hard and think outside of the box. Do things before you are told and show that you’re willing to take on bigger tasks and responsibilities than just the ones you’re assigned.

OUAI Crush Melaney Cecilia OUAI Volumizing Hair SprayWhat is your goal for hosting meet-ups?

I never intended to be an influencer or blogger when I first started to post on a more consecutive basis. My line would always be, “If at least one girl can read this and make a difference to her goal setting,” then that’s all that matters to me. Having my meet-ups is continuing that same phrase and putting us all in one room to listen and learn from one another. This space can be so discouraging when constantly seeing a million things thrown at your face, but when you get together as real people sharing raw experiences, it changes everything. 

What are your favorite photo editing apps?

I’m super basic, haha! VSCO and Facetune are my Instagram editing bible!

OUAI Rose Hair & Body Oil OUAI Crush Melaney Cecilia

What's the best business advice you've ever received?

Don’t compare yourself to others! You are unique in your own ways and your own hustle/determination will get you to where YOU need to be. Actually, Jen Atkin was recently quoted by Sephora saying, “Collaborate, don’t compete. There is enough success to go around for everyone.” This is the motto I live by! 

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Watch Volumizing Hair Spray 101 with Jen Atkin