Jessica Gomes wants to inspire women to love the skin they're in
The Equal Beauty founder and model is passionate about making beauty inclusive and inspiring women to embrace who they are. In this interview for the new release book, Australian Beauty: Inspiration and Advice From the Beauty Set, Jessica Gomes reveals the driving force behind her brand, her best beauty trick and what makes Australian beauty unique.
"I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur," says Jessica Gomes. Despite being one of Australia’s top modelling exports and loving her career, Jessica wanted more from life. "I didn’t want to do another interview where they just asked, 'Tell us about your workout.' I couldn’t do it anymore. I didn’t want to sell myself short." Clocking up hundreds of hours on a plane every year, Jessica was always on the lookout for quality products she could take travelling. "I wanted something that really looked after my skin, but looked luxurious as well. When I realised there wasn’t anything on the market, I decided to create my own products."
Equal Beauty is a skin care line that centres on hydrating and protecting the skin. It took Jessica three years to develop products she was happy with. She wanted to create products that combined her unique Asian and Australian experiences, were easy for consumers to understand and would make anyone who used them feel beautiful. "I wanted to create a brand that was inclusive, and made people feel good and be OK with who they are," Jessica says. It was also important that her line be alcohol, paraben and fragrance free.
Jessica found success as a model and TV star in South Korea. In a country long recognised as a market leader for innovation in the beauty world, she started learning about the technology behind beauty products. "When creating my line, I looked to Korea for certain types of technology that could enhance the efficacy of my products," Jessica explains.
She also looked to her home country for inspiration. "I wanted to create products which featured the finest Australian ingredients but were powered by Korean-and Japanese-inspired technology."
Many models and celebrities create their own lines but have nothing to do with the development, sales and marketing. Jessica had a different approach. "It was really important to me to be totally involved," explains Jessica. "I funded it myself and found the people to help me develop it. It was the hardest thing I have ever done, but it was so rewarding. When I showed up for a meeting with a major department store to discuss stocking my line, they were shocked that I had turned up in person. I didn’t realise this was rare and that they normally meet with sales reps. But I knew I would sell and explain my line best so it was a no-brainer. I’ve done everything, from posting out orders to selecting ingredients, from being involved with the branding and package design to posting on social media. I have a very particular vision and I want to be involved as much as I can be so that my brand has integrity."
Jessica has discovered that being a businessperson and entrepreneur involves continual problem-solving. "You’re constantly running into issues, but you just have to push through," she says. There have been times when she has wanted to give up, but it is her belief in what she is doing that keeps her going. "I’ve put my blood, sweat and tears into the brand so I really appreciate every single win, no matter how big or small."
Jessica on ...
Starting a business
Just start. If you try and figure out how you are going to do everything it’s too overwhelming.
People can tell when you love what you do – it’s infectious. When you are passionate about something, you can do anything. Passion is what will get you through the tough times.
How Australia has influenced her business
I’m really proud to be Australian. Australians work hard. We have a culture of ‘just do it, get amongst it’. I was also influenced by Australia as the quality of our ingredients is second to none, so this was something I wanted to incorporate into my products.
Her best beauty trick
Massage facial rollers. I love using those to sculpt the face before applying makeup or using my Equal Beauty Super Serum. It really draws out the fluid and puffiness.
Her favourite beauty look
I’m very natural. I don’t want to not look like myself. I’m all about embracing what you’ve got.
Beauty starts on the inside. It’s about how you feel and loving yourself. Embrace who you are and where you come from. I’ve come to learn that beauty is less about how others perceive you and more about how you perceive yourself and how you carry yourself. To me the most beautiful people are those with confidence, strength and a sense of self.
You really need to be precious with your time and who you give your energy to. It’s crucial to have people around you who are supporting you and pushing power to you. It’s a difficult road if you have negative energy around you. Your team needs to be tight and light.
Monica Bellucci, Eva Mendes, Sienna Miller and Margot Robbie.
We have a raw natural look. This is because of the environment we live in. We are active and love being outdoors, so a full face of makeup all the time just doesn’t work for us.