We met Jessica Kahawaty for an in-depth interview which appears in the current issue of MOJEH. She’s the Australian-Lebanese model, presenter, beauty pageant queen and all round It-girl who believes in inner beauty and lots of chocolate. Jessica reveals all her style and beauty secrets right here.
What is your favourite shopping spot?
Best tip for getting ready for a big event?
Plan. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
I don’t like the monotonous gym and the machines. For me it needs to be exciting, so a circuit or aerobics and yoga or pilates with cardio – you need to grab my attention span, you need to keep me excited for that 45 minutes or hour, otherwise I’ll give up.
What’s your favourite lip colour for spring?
I love nudes for lips, so I just love using a nude or a peachy lip.
What’s your spring fragrance?
I’m obsessed with Parfums de Marly. It’s such a nice fragrance and I feel like it’s just so sweet and it sits really nicely on my skin with my natural scent. Apparently it’s inspired by the French perfumes of the 1800s.
What’s the one beauty product you can’t live without?
What’s your hair care routine?
I love doing natural hair masks, so I do a lot of avocado, banana and olive oil in my hair but it takes about seven shampoos to get the banana out! It gives your hair the most incredible shine I have ever seen. Honestly, it’s insane but you’ve got to shampoo – banana sticks. And Argan oils, just a lot of oils to keep your hair hydrated.
Five products in your makeup bag right now?
My favourite nude lip liner and my pawpaw cream. It’s an Australian cream, it’s called Lucas’ Papaw cream, it’s so hydrating for the lips. I always have eye drops just to keep my eyes fresh. I like a brown eyeliner, it’s less harsh than black. And mascara.
Tell us something no one would guess about you.
I’ve never tried coffee in my life. I love the smell of coffee but I can’t taste it. When I used to have late nights studying law I used to just have an apple because apparently apples have a lot of caffeine in them. I used to eat apples at night, and hot chocolate – it was such a bad combination! I eat a lot of sugar, a lot of chocolate. I love food. I feel like the way a person eats is an indication of who they are. If you love food you love life! If you’re around me you’re going to eat, it really is the rule!
What do you think about the standards of beauty today?
I think women need to stop taking the standards of beauty presented to them and adopting them to themselves. Women should enhance and work on what they have and who they are. What I’m against is a woman losing her identity and her features and her little traits and trademarks. Little quirky things that make her, her. And make me, me and you, you. What I’m against is women trying to be something they’re not or seeing a picture and wanting to be exactly that. I feel like women need to be them. In this region a lot of focus is put on makeup and beauty and hair, which is amazing but I just hope and wish that women let their true identity and traits shine. Arabic women are so beautiful and glamourous and sophisticated, I believe, and they have a reputation for being some of the most beautiful women in the world.
What has been your worst fashion choice?
I’ve had so many bad fashion choices! I can’t shop without my mother. Sometimes I buy things and she looks at me like, what were you thinking, did you have your eyes closed? Or was it really dark in there? I need her help and she’s so excellent at this, I don’t know why I didn’t get a part of it. I could never be a stylist, I could never style anyone!
And the best?
The best choices I have made have been when I have worn gowns by Lebanese designers, they always make me feel beautiful. Everything from Nicolas Jebran to Rani Zakhem to Elie Saab and Georges Chakra. I love glamour. But then it’s always a good choice to wear jeans and heels and feel like a million bucks. Sometimes think about the outfit, but sometimes go with the flow.
Cover Image: Jessica wears Salvatore Ferragamo dress and Bottega Veneta earrings. Location: Ritz-Carlton, Dubai.