NSW Finalist Sheridan Mortlock Wins Miss Earth Australia 2022

 

Photo Credit: George Azmy

Fourteen worthy queens vied for a single crown on Sunday, September 4, 2022, and the coronation night turned out to be a smashing success!

This year’s competition also included musical performances from Angel Charms, Queeness Gutierrez, Deuc3s, Adlips, and Darius Vevo, dance performances from the Philippine Dance Ensemble and Rommel Reyes Olson of Olson Dance World with his dance partner, Jane Standish, as well as a fashion showcase featuring Faten Lawn, Kruz La Mode, Caftan House, and Maricris Delapena Couture. We also got introduced to the Miss Little, Junior, and Teen Earth Australia Princesses, as well as the Mrs. Earth Australia 2022 official candidates Analieze Bella Newton, Anie Benitez, Irene Evangelista, Jenina Cotelo, Judith Nguyen, Kristine Tadem, Louise Veronica, Mary Venus, Mel Diaz, and Rhea Tecson.

The Miss Earth Australia 2022 coronation night went down at the grand ballroom in Hyatt Regency Hotel Sydney. This year’s cream of the crop for Miss Earth Australia consisted of Jaisy Molina, Ariel Beninca, Haley Cobb, Jessika Bassan, Kajol Chand. Kelsy Prest, Naomie White, Riley Aston, Robyn Russell, Sheridan Mortlock, Himaya Wijayaweera, Jaisy Molina, Mariah Whyte, Sofiia Starchevska, and Judith Sanougah.

Following a four-hour showdown of environmental speeches, gowns, glams, and game-changing questions, here’s how things turned out for this year’s hopefuls…

Sponsors’ Awards

StarCentral’s Choice: Kelsy Prest (New South Wales)
Miss Budgy Smuggler: Jessika Bassan (New South Wales)
Miss Millionaires Alliance: Naomie White (New South Wales)
Miss Megaworld International: Sheridan Mortlock (New South Wales)
Miss Hyatt Regency Sydney: Ariel Beninca (Queensland)
Miss Lari Sports Active: Robyn Russel (Australia Capital Territory)
Miss UME: Riley Aston (Queensland)
Miss Cruz Lamont: Mariah Whyte (Victoria)

Special Awards

Best in Swimwear: Sheridan Mortlock (New South Wales)
Miss Photogenic: Sheridan Mortlock (New South Wales)
Best in Evening Gown: Sheridan Mortlock (New South Wales)
Miss Congeniality: Kelsy Prest (New South Wales)
Miss Talent: Robyn Russel (Australia Capital Territory)
Best in Environmental Speech: Naomie White (New South Wales)
Darling of the Press: Riley Aston (Queensland)
People’s Choice Award: Himaya Wijeyaweera (Victoria)
Green Achievers Award: Himaya Wijeyaweera (Victoria)

Top 5 Winners

Miss Earth Charity Australia: Himaya Wijeyaweera (Victoria)

Miss Earth Water Australia: Riley Aston (Queensland)

Miss Earth Fire Australia: Robyn Russel (Australia Capital Territory)

Miss Earth Air Australia: Naomie White (New South Wales)

Miss Earth Australia 2022: Sheridan Mortlock (New South Wales)

Congratulations to the current National Directors Juliet De Leon and managing director Marc Baylon for pulling off the incredible event, and hats off to the entire Miss Earth Australia 2022 team – it was an amazing effort. Congratulations also to all the beautiful ladies, and best of luck to the new Miss Earth Australia 2022, Sheridan Mortlock!

You can watch the full pageant via this link: Miss Earth Australia 2022

Ivana Alawi, One Of Philippines’ Top YouTube Content Creators Stuns In Her First Metro Cover

Ivana Alawi, one of the Philippines’ top YouTube content creators appearing in videos with views up to 30 million, is Metro’s latest digital cover star. The online personality and actress is making her star turn as Cherry Red in “A Family Affair,” ABS-CBN’s newest TV series that follows the Estrella family—four brothers played by Gerald Anderson, Sam Milby, Jake Ejercito, and Jameson Blake.

In a Metro editorial inspired by a look from one of her many viral vlogs, Ivana is stunning and smoldering as she channels that one-of-the-boys vibe in gorgeous, disarming photographs by Dookie Ducay. From her earliest role in “Precious Hearts Romances Presents” to capturing the attention of talent managers everywhere after appearing in “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano,” Ivana is only getting started, a star about to shine brighter.

Her exclusive interview on Metro.Style tracks her early years as a child of two worlds: a Moroccan father and Filipino mother, and growing up in a close-knit family. Ivana talks about her beginnings in vlogging, becoming a digital star, launching her own beauty brand, and her similarities to—and deep connection with—Cherry Red.

This cover, which kicks off the #MetroxStarMagic30 content series, was photographed by Dookie Ducay, under the creative direction of Eldzs Mejia and supervision of Metro Editor-in-Chief Geolette Esguerra. The glam team was composed of makeup artist Mickey See, hairstylist Brent Sales, and fashion stylist Adrianne Concepcion, with associates Vince Abarra and Dodley Gallardo, and tattoos by Tattumundo. The production design was by Rocket Design Studio. The video outputs were by Fold Canela.

The cover story was written by Metro staff writer Janelle Roa Cabrera-Paraiso. The shoot was also made possible with coordination by Metro People section editor Grace Libero-Cruz and Managing Editor Red Dimaandal, with assistance by Metro writer Carla Buyo. Shot in Studio LAJ, this shoot is also thanks to Star Creatives, Mico del Rosario, Des de Guzman, Keia Inciong, Star Magic, and Lauren Dyogi.

Celebrity Spotlight: Meet Comedian, Actress And Writer Catherine Cohen

CATHERINE COHEN: THE TWIST…? SHE’S GORGEOUS. Catherine Cohen in CATHERINE COHEN: THE TWIST…? SHE’S GORGEOUS. Cr. Aaron Ricketts/Netflix © 2022

 

By Allison Kugel

Comedian, actress and writer Catherine Cohen is a throwback to the likes of musical comedy acts like Carol Burnett, and Bette Midler, but add in a twist of ultra-femininity, glamour, and unabashed self-love. Cohen spent years cultivating an impeccable musical comedy act that made its way from intimate cabaret theatres in New York’s West Village and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in London to our television screens as part of a new comedy boom being championed by Netflix, with her hit comedy special, Catherine Cohen: The Twist…? She’s Gorgeous. For audiences, the twist, it seems, is that a one-woman musical cabaret act can be laugh-out-loud funny with the right comedienne at the helm.

In 2019, Catherine won the coveted title of Best Newcomer at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She’s the co-host of the popular podcast Seek Treatment and author of GOD I FEEL MODERN TONIGHT: Poems From A Gal About Town. Currently filming the hour-long dramady series, While You Were Breeding for the Freeform Network, Catherine took time out of her busy schedule to chat with me about her unique approach to comedy and what she is currently developing for her next act

Allison Kugel: Your Netflix special, Catherine Cohen: The Twist…? She’s Gorgeous, that title grabbed me so hard when I was thumbing through Netflix. 

Catherine Cohen: Thank you very much. I’m so glad.

Allison Kugel: How did you come up with such an in your face, ironic, and amazing title?  Not ironic in the sense that you’re not beautiful (laugh)

Catherine Cohen: Yeah, I’m thinking, “Okay Allison, are we fighting right off the bat?” (Laughs) The title came from a tweet I did a million years ago. I feel like I will often tweet things, and then if I’m trying to come up with material for a show I’ll go through old tweets and look at [my] thoughts that I’ve had. I was just thinking about movies like She’s All That or just that classic kind of romcom tropes where at the end the nerd is really hot. It’s like, “Yeah, they were hot the whole time. I was kind of playing with that trope, and in my work, I’m always trying to be hyper-confident, deciding I’m hot and making everyone else believe it, because I believe it.  It felt in line with that (laugh).

Allison Kugel: Love it! So, tell me, how does one get a Netflix special? Walk me through that… 

Catherine Cohen: I’m sure it is different for everyone, but this was a show that I was doing on my own for five years in New York. I did m show for the first time in 2017 at The Duplex [piano bar] in the West Village, along with [music composer] Henry Koperski, who plays piano and helped me write all the songs. Then we did it at Joe’s Pub in New York. I wanted to take it to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and right before I was going to do that, I got a message on Facebook from Steve Brill, who directed the Netflix special.  I thought, “Is this spam?”  He said, “Hey, I just directed Adam Sandler’s special, and I really want to do another one. Is that something you are interested in?”  I thought, “Duh!”  But then I thought, “This feels too good to be true.” We ended up meeting for coffee and just totally vibed and had the same vision, so I said, “Let’s totally do it!” Having Steve Brill on my team really helped a lot. He had a relationship with Netflix, so he helped me make it happen. We had a bunch of meetings with them. Robbie Praw, who works at Netflix, came to see my Edinburgh show. I remember the next day we went for a long walk, and we talked about what it could be and what my dreams were, and what would make sense for the platform. Then I got the offer to do the show as a Netflix special in 2019, and we were going to shoot it in 2020… LOL. Now this has become a very long boring story…

Allison Kugel: (Laugh). No, no, no! Go ahead…

Catherine Cohen: We finally got to shoot it September 2021, and it just came out in March 2022.

We shot it in Joe’s Pub, which was nice because that was a place where we had done early versions of the show and I felt really comfortable. It was a total dream come true. I’m so happy it is out in the world. It’s been many years in the making.

Allison Kugel: Amazing. What is so incredible about your story is that this is a show you have been cultivating and working on for so long, so it was completely organic. It’s not like you got this Netflix offer and then you are writing material for a standup special. And I love the fact that it was done in an intimate setting. It was very different from your typical Netflix standup special for so many reasons. 

Catherine Cohen: Thank you so much. I was actually just talking to a friend who said, “Don’t wait to get a book deal. Just write a book, you’ll have it, and at the right time someone will publish it.” I didn’t ever think when I started doing this show, “Obviously, it should be a special.” But it wasn’t like, “Oh, time to scramble and come up with an hour of material.” It was very much a labor of love and came very naturally.

Allison Kugel: You are super smart. You went to Princeton, right?

Catherine Cohen: Yes, I did go there. I don’t feel super smart these days, but I guess I did well enough in school to get there, yes.

Allison Kugel: That is incredible to me, because I got through school by the skin of my teeth. 

Catherine Cohen: It’s a very bizarre skill set; it almost has no reflection on your intelligence. It’s just like, are you obsessive? Uptight? Really hard on yourself and a fast reader?

Allison Kugel: Oh my God! My son is going straight to the Ivy League, because you just described him (laugh)

Catherine Cohen: You just have to memorize a bunch of stuff, be absolutely psychotic, and evil towards yourself, and then maybe you can get in (laugh).

Allison Kugel: Your comedy has a musical element. Do you consider yourself a stand-up, or more of a cabaret performer who is also really funny? 

Catherine Cohen: I think I’m a comedienne, an actor, a writer… I do it all.  I’m a singer, but yes, I definitely think I’m a stand-up who does a cabaret show. The jokes in between the songs, I will do those around town as just normal stand-up shows, and stuff like that. I like to do it all.

Allison Kugel: When you were putting this show together in the beginning, were you working out your comedy set and then you decided to add the music? How did this very unique show come together?

Catherine Cohen: I had been doing improv and sketch comedy at UCB (Upright Citizens Brigade) in New York, and saw people doing stand-up and I thought, “This looks fun, but I’m scared.” I started doing it and really enjoyed it, but I really missed singing because I grew up doing musical theater. So, I thought, “Is there a way to write a comedy song that isn’t really embarrassing?” I met this amazingly talented pianist Henry Koperski and said, “Can we get together? I want to try to write a song, and I want to run some ideas by you.” Pretty much as soon as we got together, it felt very magical. It felt natural, and we just started writing a bunch of songs together and I said, “I think I have enough to do a full show. Will you play with me for a full show?” We’ve been on that journey ever since.

Allison Kugel: You have an interesting background. Your dad is Jewish, your mom is Catholic, and you grew up in Houston, Texas? For starters, are there many Jewish people in Houston? 

Catherine Cohen: (Laugh) I think there are, but I did not meet very many of them because, as you said, my mom is Catholic, and we were all confirmed Catholic. We went to very religious private schools where everyone was very evangelical, and it was totally damaging and creepy.  Thankfully, I went to college and met a bunch of Jewish people and thought, “These are my friends. This is my vibe. I forgot I had this side.”

Catherine Cohen: The Twist…? She’s Gorgeous. c. Aaron Ricketts/ Netflix © 2022

Allison Kugel: So, you felt more of a kinship with the Jewish part of yourself?

Catherine Cohen: Definitely. I just hated all the arbitrary rules, the way the Evangelical church teaches woman to be so ashamed of everything; to hide their bodies, their personalities, and be submissive to their partners. It was just so against everything I had ever felt, and everything my parents had taught me. My parents didn’t teach me any of that. At one point I did get really into it, because it was intoxicating. You’re going on ski trips, meeting boys from different schools, so it was like, “Church is cool. Church is fun.” Then you realized you were kind of brainwashed into believing things you didn’t stand for.

Allison Kugel: How does your mom feel about that?  If she sent you to Catholic school, I would imagine that she was all in. 

Catherine Cohen: I think her mother was very religious, and she did it because it meant a lot to her mother. I think my parents were always supportive of whatever I wanted to do, whatever I believed, which was very lucky, obviously.

Allison Kugel: Nowadays it is very common to have mixed religious households or people celebrating Christmas and Chanukah, as they say. So, generally speaking, people don’t think very much of a mixed religious household because it is so common now. But from the perspective of a kid growing up in a home where you have a Jewish parent and you have a Catholic parent, what does that feel like from the perspective of a child? 

Catherine Cohen: I think it felt like my dad wasn’t very religious and we were just doing what my mom wanted to do, which would sometimes result in us saying, “Dad, please don’t make us go. Why do we have to go?” He would say, “Because you have to go.”  I would say, “This doesn’t make any sense.” I remember one time we were all waiting in line for Communion, which my dad wasn’t going to take, because he hadn’t been Baptized or had his first Communion, and he snuck it. My mom got really mad. My dad then said, “This is so ridiculous.  I deserve this. Everyone deserves the spirit of Christ.” He took Communion even though my mom was mad at him. They are both very smart, funny, supportive, and open minded, so I feel like when I was younger it was a big deal, but eventually we weren’t forced to go to church. One of my brothers got really into exploring our Jewish side one year and wanted to learn all of the Hannukah prayers. But I feel like I got a taste of both. It’s nice.

Allison Kugel: Do you consider yourself to be a spiritual person at all.

Catherine Cohen: Definitely. I believe in God. I don’t know what God is, but to me there is a God. I’m endlessly feeling aware of synchronicities, and I believe everything happens for a reason, and that the universe is taking care of us. All of that kind of stuff I love. My friend just got me a tarot card deck for my birthday, and I’ve been taking some quiet time to draw a tarot card in the morning and journal and think, “What is going on with the planets.” Honestly, I will believe anything anyone tells me.

Allison Kugel: (Laugh)

Catherine Cohen: Literally, I say, “Okay, that sounds great.” How stupid.  I feel like it’s so insane when someone says, “That’s definitely not real.” I think, “How do you know anything, babe?”

Allison Kugel: Same.  I think it is the height of arrogance when someone says that something is definitely not real. We are limited by our five senses and there is so much more in the universe. How can you possibly say with assurance that something is not real?  You can say that you don’t know. That makes sense. But you can’t say it is not real. If you could travel back in time and have an effect on any famous historical event, or even just bear witness to it, where would you go and what would you attempt to change or bear witness to?

Catherine Cohen: I’m laughing, because I’m actively not trying to change the world. I’m just trying to enjoy my life and have a good time. I actually did past life regression therapy, recently.  Have you done that?

Allison Kugel: I did get hypnotized and do that once.

Catherine Cohen: In my first past life I was an ugly old lady who made bread, and she wasn’t allowed to go to the ball unless she brought a loaf of bread. I would actually go back in time to that first life and say, “Girl, you deserve to go to the ball, and you don’t have to bring bread. Just bring yourself.” That is where I would go. In my other past life, I was this big warrior soldier caring for my blonde wife, which is interesting because I’m not usually into blondes. Then I had a past life where I was a nurse caring for a soldier in a war who was actually my boyfriend in real life.

Allison Kugel: So, you would go back and alter your own past lives…

Catherine Cohen: And I would have to say this… I don’t think about the past much besides thinking about the fashion. I think about going back to the 1970s or dancing at Studio54.  Sometimes I wish I was part of that era, before social media, where you can just be an artist and a little freak. Just dance around and not have everything documented and measured against the success of your peers. I’m sure people throughout history have been very hard on themselves, but I feel like it is especially hard these days, being constantly bombarded with the accomplishments of everyone you’ve ever met, or even ever heard of. It is exhausting.

Allison Kugel: I can definitely say the same thing about my coming-of-age decade, which was the 1990s. I’m 47. It was so much freer in that way.

Catherine Cohen: You look so young. What is your secret?

Allison Kugel: I work hard at it.  That is my secret. Skincare is my religion (laughs).  And lots of nutrition. Tons of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, water and sunscreen!

Catherine Cohen: I know. I finally started doing daily sunscreen.  For so long I was so bad about it, but now I’m 30. There is no time and I have very fair skin.

Allison Kugel: Also, no drinking, no drugs, no smoking cigarettes. No nothing. Sorry!

Catherine Cohen: Have you always been totally sober?

Allison Kugel:  Yes, pretty much. I don’t touch alcohol or drugs.

Catherine Cohen: I definitely like a little bit of that stuff (laugh). I definitely enjoy that stuff sometimes. I actually, just last night, started the process of freezing my eggs. I just started the medications, so I’m feeling [weird]. First of all, I’m not drinking and I’m drinking lots of water, but I can’t exercise. I can only walk, and I’m feeling out of my body, but sort of a beautiful human experience, I guess.

Allison Kugel: So, when freezing your eggs, you can’t be extremely physically active during the process at all?

Catherine Cohen: Yes, which I didn’t expect. You’re getting your ovaries huge, for lack of better scientific terminology, and so there is danger of twisting or damaging them because they are so big. I’d been trying to spend more time at the gym, but now I’m just going on slow strolls, and I’ll think about the spiritual questions that you’re asking me.

Allison Kugel: You’ll come up with a better answer tomorrow and you’ll be kicking yourself, but don’t. Don’t beat yourself up (laughs).

Catherine Cohen: I’m sure. I’m sure.

Allison Kugel: If you don’t mind me asking, how old are you and why have you opted to freeze your eggs?

Catherine Cohen: I’m 30. I have polycystic ovarian syndrome, so my cycle is very irregular. I don’t get regular periods and I have been told it might be difficult in the future to get pregnant. I’m definitely not ready at all, so I figured I have some time this summer. I have some money saved, so why not do it. Then I can just not have it on my mind and enjoy the next five years of my life and revisit the matter at a later date.

Allison Kugel: Let’s talk about your show some more. Are you still touring? 

Catherine Cohen: No, I’m not. As soon as the [Netflix] special came out, I was done with that material. I’m doing all new stuff. I did some shows in London. I did some shows in Austin and LA, and now I’m just working on new [material]. I’m going back to the UK this summer. I’m going to do some dates at the Edinburgh Festival, and I think I might do an encore performance of The Twist. But emotionally, I’m ready to move on creatively.

Allison Kugel: What is your creative process?

Catherine Cohen: I was just sitting down this morning thinking, “Okay, girl. You’re so all over the place.” I think what is so hard is that any kind of creative work requires slots of time, and it requires getting bored and reflecting.  It is so difficult to do that when we are constantly bombarded with emails, calls, and obligations. I do a weekly show in the East Village where I will try out new material every week. It’s a great way of making sure I’m trying out some ideas.  With songs, I’ll usually sit down with Henry or another musician. I’ll come in with lyrics or a melody and we will try to throw something together. It’s a lot of improvising, and then with jokes, it’s just a lot of talking, looking at tweets, and seeing what sticks.

Allison Kugel: Do you find that your greatest ideas come to you when you are not trying to come up with material? 

Catherine Cohen: Absolutely.

Allison Kugel: Okay, so give me an example of something that you would be doing when an idea strikes; something PG-rated. 

Catherine Cohen: (Laugh) I was just thinking, everything I say is so disgusting.

Allison Kugel: (Laugh)

Catherine Cohen: I’m very big on the idea that you can’t force it. I have a new song called, “Blame it on the Moon,” about blaming all my problems on astrology and saying it’s not my fault at all. I’m a mess or I’m rude or whatever, because of the planets. I think that phrase popped into my head when I was just lying in bed one night, and so I wrote it down. If I wake up at 4am or 6am and I’m lying in bed, my mind starts racing and I’m like a genius, and then it all goes away.

Allison Kugel: Those genius moments, I feel like they’re not inside you, they come through you. It’s like you channel something inadvertently and then you better record or put it down on paper, because just as fast as it came through you, it can evaporate if you don’t put it down. 

Catherine Cohen: I totally agree. With everything I do I think I’m literally so talented and a genius, but I think that is just because of luck. It’s not mine. Things just come to me. It’s what’s in my heart at the moment. I didn’t put it there. Who knows who did? Life is all completely random, and it’s like a balance of being confident and realizing I have nothing to do with any of this.

Allison Kugel: There is a wisdom in knowing that it didn’t come from you.  It came through you and having a healthy respect for that. Once you made the deal with Netflix, do they micro-manage everything, or do they just have you do your thing, and then they air it on their platform?

Catherine Cohen: I’m sure it is different for everyone. In my experience, the show was already done, and they had seen it. The director and I had the same vision, so they just gave us a budget, we had a production company come on board, and we just shot the show. That was pretty much it. I got to be in the editing room. I was one of the producers, so I got to make all the calls and I felt very supported and lucky. Steve is such an amazing director. He accomplished visually what I was seeing in my mind but lacked the skillset to do on my own. It was a seamless process, because as you said, it had just been an organic thing of, I had this piece I was ready to share and then it was just capturing it for the camera.

Allison Kugel: Will you do another comedy special for Netflix at some point?

Catherine Cohen: I hope so, if they ask. Who knows? I don’t know how this works. I would love to do another one. We will see what the universe brings my way. I very much feel like with any of this showbiz stuff, no one knows until you’re doing it, because no one tells you and there are no rules. You work on things that disappear, or you do something like this where you made this [show] and all of a sudden, it’s on Netflix, so you never know.

Allison Kugel: I used to always say that I never know why people say no, and I never know why people say yes. So, I just don’t analyze it.

Catherine Cohen: That is a good way to be. It is hard to do.

Allison Kugel: That is what I’ve done. It’s like “Oh, you want to do this?  Great.” Or “Oh, you don’t? Okay.” 

Catherine Cohen: Exactly. I feel very strong. I was just pitching a project and got a lot of “No’s,” and I felt like, “Okay, this has nothing to do with me, ultimately. It’s out of my control.”

Allison Kugel: From what I’ve studied and all the people I have interviewed, one thing that everybody has in common is that they were all so set on a vision that nothing could interrupt that vision. There might be a little blip here or there, but otherwise it was like tunnel vision. 

Catherine Cohen: I definitely connect with that.  I think, “Of course I’m going to make a fabulous TV show, movie, or whatever. I don’t know when or how, but of course.”

Allison Kugel:  You should watch the TV show, The Food That Built America.  I believe you can watch it on The History Channel or Hulu.

Catherine Cohen: What is that about?

Allison Kugel: It goes into how the guys that made Heinz ketchup, Hershey’s chocolate, Kellogg’s cereal, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Birds Eye Frozen Foods invented their brands. Nothing was getting in their way. I was floored, because I’m like you went broke several times, this or that didn’t work, your factory burned down, and you kept going?  It’s amazing.

Catherine Cohen: I don’t know where the belief comes from, but it is definitely there. It has to be there.

Allison Kugel: That’s what it takes. Netflix has this new brand called Netflix Is A Joke.

Catherine Cohen: That is their comedy arm. They just did a big festival in LA, which was super fun. I did a bunch of shows.  It was like two weeks ago, and it was great.

Allison Kugel: I love that they are supporting the artform of comedy, and that they created that division. 

Catherine Cohen: It is amazing. I feel so lucky they gave their huge platform to something that I do, which has been described as very niche, though I think it is universal.

Allison Kugel: The style of your show feels niche and extremely unique to you, although I think it has universal appeal.  Apart from you, the only other name that comes to mind would be Carol Burnett.

Catherine Cohen:  Love it…

Allison Kugel: The way that she would sing a little, dance a little, and do jokes. 

Catherine Cohen: Thank you. I think when you are doing it all the time, it feels different to you.

Allison Kugel: What is the greatest advice you have ever received?

Catherine Cohen: There are so many good ones. One that I think about a lot is that you can only control yourself. I think about it a lot in terms of romantic relationships. You can’t force someone to love you, and it’s the same with creative partnerships. If it’s not working, it’s not working. Just trusting that you can only do what you want to do, and you can’t really concern yourself with or take personally why other people do what they do. It is very difficult, because I take everything personally.

Allison Kugel: Who gave you that advice?

Catherine Cohen:  My friend’s mom. Shout out to her (laugh). I think whatever you are worried about, if it involves someone else, it has nothing to do with you.

Allison Kugel: What is something about yourself that continues to be a work in progress?

Catherine Cohen: (Laugh) Everything. Literally, everything. The main thing that I haven’t begun to deal with and don’t even know how, is that the way I talk to myself is so mean, and I would never talk to my friends this way. I don’t know how to begin unlearning it, but I don’t know how life would be if I wasn’t constantly telling myself I wasn’t enough.

Allison Kugel: Do you think that is a driving force that propelled you to getting where you are so far? 

Catherine Cohen: Yes, definitely. I’m constantly convinced that if I wasn’t successful, I would be inherently unworthy. My boyfriend told me I wasn’t allowed to use the word “loser” anymore.  I would say, “They are a loser,” or “I’m a loser.” He says, “What are you even saying?  Don’t use the word loser anymore.”  I’m constantly convinced that I have to be the most successful person in the world, or I’m a loser. It’s a very Princeton mentality. I actually just went to my college reunion last weekend. I was just thinking about how hard on myself I’ve been for so long. It does often yield results, though it’s taking a toll, so I’m trying to figure out how to be productive without losing my mind.

Allison Kugel: Do you think, “If I stop being hard on myself, I may not continue to succeed,” so it’s almost like a superstition?

Catherine Cohen: Absolutely. Since the [Netflix] special came out, I’ve been trying to rest, refocus, and figure out what I want to do, which makes sense, but I feel guilty.  Like, I haven’t done anything today. I’m just looking at my phone, but then I try to remind myself that the way I got to making the first show was sitting around on my phone being bored, and I had some kind of creative spark.

Allison Kugel: What do you think you came into this life as Catherine Cohen to learn, and what do you think you came here to teach?

Catherine Cohen: Wow, these are really getting into it!  I came here to learn, I don’t know, to chill out? To slow down, chill out, and that it is just for fun. It’s just a game, so enjoy it. To teach? Literally, to teach everyone that they are absolutely fabulous. You’re deserving of everything. You should laugh, you should live. You deserve all of the extravagant things that you want. Every day should be glamourous and fabulous, and don’t take “No” for an answer. I sound like a total hedonist, but maybe I am.

Allison Kugel: No. So even the wardrobe, the set, and everything in your Netflix special is very girly girl, frilly, pink, and over the top glam. I’m guessing it’s an extension of your personal philosophy and how you see the world.

Catherine Cohen: Yes. Clothes are so important to me. The way people dress and decorate their rooms, and the way we choose to express ourselves visually, I’m obsessed.  I’ve always been drawn to very elaborate over-the-top fashion and styles. I’m also hyper-feminine, which I feel like I hadn’t seen a ton of with standup [comedy]. You see a lot of jeans or hoodies, and obviously, I’m wearing something incredible.

Allison Kugel: It is so funny that you say that, because I had this really stupid thought in my twenties that I could either be funny or pretty, but not both, so I chose pretty (laugh).  It’s stupid.  I don’t know why I thought that. What is that about?

Catherine Cohen: I think it’s what we are told. I think because I was not considered pretty, or because, like I sing in my special, “Boys never wanted to kiss me,” I thought, “Well, I better be funny to get attention.” We are raised in this world where we are supposed to pick a lane, and I think I, and many other women, are saying that is absurd.  Look at us LOLing and looking absolutely gorgeous.

Allison Kugel: And by the way, you are very pretty.  I don’t know where you got the idea that you weren’t.

Catherine Cohen: I don’t know. I think everyone has their insecurities, especially when your younger sense of self-worth was so directly tied to male attention and affection, and I didn’t get any of it. Thank God!  I would be so boring if I had just decided to worry about that stuff instead of myself.

Allison Kugel: I hear you have a TV show coming out for Freeform Network. Tell me about it…

Catherine Cohen: Yes, I’m so excited. I shot this pilot. This amazing TV writer named Kristin Newman wrote this memoir a few years ago called, “What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding,” about her decision to end a long-term relationship and travel the world as all of her friends were settling down.

Allison Kugel: And having kids. 

Catherine Cohen: Exactly, breeding. She has turned the memoir into a TV show. We shot the pilot in the fall, and we just found out that it got picked up, so we are going to do a full season of it for Freeform and we start shooting sometime later this year. I play the lead girl’s best friend and the lead character is played by Chelsea Frye, who is so funny and talented, and we’ve become totally obsessed with each other. I feel really lucky to get to work with her for a few months, instead of shooting something and never seeing each other again.

Stream Catherine Cohen: The Twist…? She’s Gorgeous on Netflix and follow Catherine Cohen @catccohen and Catherine-Cohen.com.

Watch or listen to the extended interview with Catherine Cohen on the Allison Interviews podcast @ YouTube, Apple Podcasts or Spotify. Follow Allison Kugel on Instagram @theallisonkugel and AllisonInterviews.com.

Man Of Style Of The Week: Introducing The Charming Chulumanco August

Chulumanco August is a man of style who hails from South Africa, Cape Town. He loves minimal and earth colors. He believes in following your style, having your unique way of presenting yourself, and remembering fashion is a trend, but style is your true identity.

Model & Mode Magazine recently caught up with Chulumanco to discuss his journey in the fashion world, and here’s what went down:

Where do you usually shop? Are there any hidden gems when it comes to snapping up some awesome designer clothes?

When I go shopping, I always look out for minimal and earth colors; these colors bring versatility to combining outfits. 

What are your top tips when it comes to fashion for the hotter months?

Since summer is around the corner, gents should invest in clothing that will make your skin breathe and start with your essentials; that’s the way to build a versatile wardrobe. 

Where do you look for creative inspiration?

Purpose and teaching are great inspirations as a fashion creative; most of all, I get direction from these two aspects. 

Is it hard to stay fashionable?

To stay fashionable is not hard; you just need to keep up with the latest trends, but I advise every gent to focus on knowing your style; that’s a true definition of who you are.

How do you walk the line between being unique and having commercial appeal?

I always consider the way I style and combine clothes with a particular trend that brings in uniqueness and makes me a trendsetter. 

Are there any key trends you’ve seen for this year?

This year what I have noticed is that most of the well-known clothing brands are focusing more on loose fit styles, for me personally I don’t feel comfortable with this trend. I am more of a tight-fit gentleman.

What do you think about the state of fashion today?

Fashion is changing each and every year that creates options for everyone to get out of their comfort zone.

The fashion industry has changed so much in the past few years; what’s the best advice you would give for staying ahead of the curve?

Personally, I advise that for every gent to just keep everything simple when shopping, look for something that will be easy to wear with a lot in your wardrobe. To make things easy for yourself follow your style, have your unique way of presenting yourself, and remember – fashion is a trend but style is your true identity.

Man Of Style Of The Week: Introducing The Dashing Bobby Medinas

Bobby Medinas currently lives in Mexico City, but he was born and raised in Acapulco, Guerrero. He’s now 28 years old, and he has been creating content for approximately seven years. He started his career as an intern at a magazine in the city, where he eventually did a weekly segment on Men’s Streetstyle, interviewing and styling national and international creators. He has partnered up with brands like Ferragamo, Montblanc, American Express, Hugo Boss, Ray-Ban, Porsche, Audi, Tom Ford Beauty, Starbucks, and Jo Malone London. 

Model & Mode Magazine recently caught up with Bobby to discuss his journey in the fashion world, and here’s what went down:

Where do you usually shop? Are there any hidden gems when it comes to snapping up some awesome designer clothes?

I like to shop everywhere. I particularly love places where you never know what you’re gonna find. (That often includes the women’s section)

Vintage stores, websites, and markets are definitely my faves. There’s nothing like the thrill of thrifting designer goods that you never even knew you needed in the first place. 

What are your top tips when it comes to fashion for the cooler months?

It’s all about layering! Most pieces of clothing can be worn all year long if you style them weather-accordingly. Also, always try to be as comfortable as possible. 

Where do you look for creative inspiration?

Mainly magazines, movies and other creators. But I’m a firm believer that inspiration can come from any place at any time. Certain songs and destinations will also do the trick.

Is it hard to stay fashionable?

I guess that depends on how you define fashionable. I personally think that people who stay true to themselves are always fashionable. No matter where they’re at or what they’re wearing. 

People often forget that we tend to exaggerate who we are on social media. Sometimes I’ll take a picture of myself and then remove most accessories on my body to move on with my day. It might have been appropriate for the gram, but not necessarily for a run to the grocery store (laughs).  

How do you walk the line between being unique and having commercial appeal?

I’ve always defined myself as “basic with a twist” meaning you’ll find me in ‘wearable’ clothes most of the time. 

I try to keep it balanced!

For example, if I know I’m wearing a very flashy garment, I’ll often try to tone it down with more generic pieces. This works the other way around too. 

I’m lucky that brands find me “appealing” commercially speaking; I guess I always try not to forget who’s on the other end of my social media. In reality, most of my audience will not necessarily attend events, launch parties, or runway shows every week, so I try to make approachable content that will appeal to them without compromising who I am and what I stand for.

Are there any key trends you’ve seen for this year?

Loving oversized blazers, square-toed shoes, and everything 80’s. 

What do you think about the state of fashion today?

What a time to be alive!

Every day, we see more and more people choosing not to stick to dated stereotypes and redefine the fashion game. I love walking down the street and seeing guys rock purses and girls slaying in tuxedos. 

Risks are being taken, and I’m here for it.

What are the clothes we can rid our wardrobes of that are considered very ‘last season’?

I personally hate to get rid of pieces that are not necessarily “trendy” anymore.

Fashion is cyclic. What goes around eventually comes back around (A lot more often than we may think).

We can see it nowadays with huge fashion firms like Gucci, Prada, or Dior.

re-launching some of their “vintage” signature pieces…

My advice is to buy quality pieces that will last you a long time – most of my favorite garments I’ve had for years, some even decades. 

My rule is: if you’re not gonna want to wear it next year, It’s not for you. 

Fashion is not about over-consuming; it’s about making smart choices.

What fashion advice would you give an emerging Men of Fashion Blogger?

No one will ever tell you this: but It’s completely OK to evolve. Even if you have a very defined style, be aware that you will eventually become a better or more polished version of yourself, whether you like it or not. 

Sure, being authentic is very important, and so is having a signature look. 

But that often includes knowing that your personal style may evolve because you will also evolve as a person. 

By the way, also know that you will inevitably look back at your early content and cringe at some point. 

I have been there (laughs).

The fashion industry has changed so much in the past few years; what’s the best advice you would give for staying ahead of the curve?

Experiment!

You never know what you’ll end up loving or hating until you see it on you. It’s 100% valid to know when something is not for you, but I often see friends wearing something they once made fun of (on me). 

You’ll never be ahead of the game unless you do what most trend-setters do: they dare to try something different. 

10 Surefire Ways To Stay Healthy This Summer

When it comes to getting fit and healthy, life can get expensive. So here are a few of my favourite free and cheap ways to stay healthy this summer.

1. Hot and cold showers

Run a warm shower, then cold, warm again, and finish on cold. This is wonderful for our overall health as it improves circulation which helps the whole body by getting the blood and nutrients to all the cells in the body, it helps activate the lymphatic system to help remove toxins, improves will power, our immune system, great for recovery, as well as wakes you up in the mornings. Strangely enough, it also helps some people sleep too!

My favourite fact that I’ve learned is that it helps make you happy. Coldwater activates temperature receptors under the skin that releases hormones such as endorphins and adrenalin.

2. Greens powders

This is my favourite multivitamin. Greens powders are made from real vegetables and whole foods. They are full of natural vitamins, minerals, and natural phytonutrients that our body can easily absorb. A lot of supplements are made synthetically in a lab and although they can help, natural options are always my go-to first.

3. Detoxing beverages

I like to wake up with cold or hot water with fresh lemon, cayenne pepper, and apple cider vinegar, it gets the system moving.

Instead of sugary drinks, make ice tea with herbs. To make herbal teas therapeutic, I like to get in three-plus cups in a day, this isn’t always easy so a great way to get them all in during summer is to make a big jug and put it in the fridge or your water bottle. Fresh herbs or teabags work well together.

Taking the time to sit and relax. Take 10, slow and deep belly breaths. Breathing in and out of the nose. Making sure to expand that belly and breath out slowly too.

You can do this when you wake up, before you sleep, before you meditate, on a bus, or anytime!

4. Salt therapy

Ask any surfer or most people who have grown up near a beach about the benefits of an ocean swim after a few drinks the night before.

Ocean water has high amounts of minerals including sodium, chloride, sulphate, magnesium, and calcium. So why not jump in the sea for a swim to improve your mood and health for free!

5. Those unused shower brushes

You know those big bristly brushes that hang in most people’s showers but never get used. Well, use them!

They are a fantastic way to get the lymphatic system moving and help your body remove the rubbish. The easiest way is to brush towards the heart, and don’t forget the bottom of the feet. They really do get your skin looking better.

6. Move and sweat

Whether it’s via exercise, movement techniques, or any type of sauna, traditional or infrared. Moving the body and sweating helps to break up blockages, get the energy and blood flowing, and removes toxins.

Many traditional cultures have been using sweat lodges for centuries and still do, there is definitely something in it.

7. Baths and buckets

Using a bath and adding herbs, herbal tea bags, Epson salts or even organic fresh flowers can make a wonderful relaxing and detoxing option. Don’t have a bath? Easy, use a bucket, add cayenne pepper, and pop your feet in!

8. Meditation

While we sleep our mind still works, taking the time out during the day to give your brain a little rest can work magic, especially for our nervous systems.

It’s simple, free, and painless.

There are also some amazing free apps, websites, and YouTube videos to help you get started if you are not quite sure where to start.

9. Self-abdominal detox massage

And lastly my favourite. I now teach all my clients self-techniques to rub their own tummies, in most massages everyone avoids the belly… yet it’s so powerful and a wonderful way to detox.

Slow, gentle spirals starting from the belly button, in a clockwise direction are a great way to start as a beginner. To learn more stay tuned on my website for free tutorials coming soon.

Happy detoxing!

Photo by Maria Orlova from Pexels

Meet The International Model Behind The Cover Of The October 2021 Issue Of Model & Mode: Mischaela Elkins

Download Now

Mischaela Elkins was crowned a national delegate in the 15th Anniversary Ms. Universe competition for 2021 after two rounds of qualifications and eliminations. She is a businesswoman, model, author, and masterclass coach. She studied Business Administration in undergraduate and graduate school and holds degrees from Indiana University (B.S.) and IE Business School (MBA) respectively.

Before receiving her MBA from a globally recognized Top 10 School, she also sat for the qualifying exam and was accepted in the Mensa High IQ Society – scoring in the top 1%> of IQ scores globally. Between undergrad and MBA she also attended programs with Universite de Geneve in International Banking and Finance, completed her Foundations for the CFA accreditation and exam, and completed a Business Analytics and Economics Pre-MBA Summer Program at Harvard University.

While studying as an undergrad she worked as a professional model, predominantly in couture, evening wear, jewelry, and bridal after attending an Elite Fresh Faces open call in 2009. She completed her model training through the Barcino Modeling Agency in Barcelona, Spain. Barcino’s Model Academy taught her everything about the business side of modeling (contracts, terms), model etiquette, casting conventions, and more. Mischaela was runway trained by Mandy Dyonne, a world-renowned top agency runway coach who has trained the Victoria’s Secret Angels for the VS Fashion Show and model trained for Chanel, Fendi, Dior, and more. Mandy is also a runway walk trainer for the top agencies Elite, NEXT, and for the Elite Model Look contest.

As a model, she has worked with top-tier brands such as Graff, Paloma Blanca, Van Cleef & Arpels, Cle de Peau, Calvin Klein, Vera Wang, Nicole Miller, and more. Commercially she has worked for Warby Parker, Amazing Cosmetics, and Intercontinental Hotel Group. She has appeared in Vogue Italia, Vanity Fair, Glamour, Lucky, and more. Mischaela has worked with top internationally known photographers including Scott Schuman (Vogue Paris, Vogue Italia, Interview) and Kirsten Miccoli (Vogue, Glamour Italia) among others. As an influencer, she was named to Glamour Mag’s Hot 100 in 2016 and was appointed a Flagship Brand Ambassador for Elizabeth Arden and its eponymous luxury salon and spa. She holds influencer deals with NatureLab Tokyo, P. Volve, and other brands in wellness and beauty.

Mischaela competed in the Miss Jetset 2021 competition, placing in the Top 15, Top 10, then finally Top 5. Additionally, she was a delegate in the Miss Vizcaya Swimwear modeling competition hosted by luxury swimwear brand Vizcaya Swimwear – sponsors of Miss Universe USA and Miss United States. She took home the IGM Model of the Year nomination in 2020, as well as received a Victoria’s Secret Bombshell nomination in 2021.

Mischaela has represented the title of “Miss Peru” a total of 3 times. She holds the Miss Elite Beauty Peru and Miss Model Beauty Peru national titles. In the Miss Elite Beauty competition, she won 4 subtitles: “Miss Photogenic”, “Miss Ideal Model”, “Miss Glamorous Beauty”, and Best Evening Gown”. She was named a Finalist in Top Model Peru Season 14. Finally, she competed in Ms. Universe 2021 on the International stage representing Peru. Mischaela was also selected for Miss Global, representing her heritage as Miss Indigenous Americas for the 2021 edition of the competition in Bali, Indonesia – on the same Miss World stage that Megan Young was crowned. Her ambition is to represent Peru at Mrs. Universe after she is married.

Mischaela was coached by Natalie Glebova, Miss Universe 2005 in soft skills such as interview, public speaking, and winning mindset. She was also trained by The Refinery – a pageant grooming and preparation academy run by Miss Earth 2001 and former Miss India Shamita Singha and the team that has worked with Aishwarya Rai, Sushmita Sen, Lara Dutta, and Manushi Chhillar as well as countless Miss India contestants and supermodels. She was fitness trained as a model and beauty queen by John Benton of John Benton Model Fitness – the trainer for Victoria’s Secret models and beauty queens the world over.

She is a published author of 3 self-help books and the creator of a self-help Masterclass that counts thousands of people in 105 countries around the world as students. Mischaela is an Achology Certified Life Coach and the creator of “Angel Academy” a spiritual “flight school” for those looking to get in touch with their inner divinity and gain their wings to transform themselves and their intuition, their wealth abundance, and their romantic relationships and dating life. As a businesswoman, Mischaela won the Porsche 30 under 30 in Business Award and has won the Crain’s Chicago Business for best use of Social Media to grow digital presence. She is employed with the #2 globally ranked bank/financial institution.

Leveraging her Ms. Universe Peru platform she is a brand ambassador for LA MER, Swarovski, Mikimoto, Shiseido, Selfridge’s “Ocean Project” Initiative, and Parley for the Oceans. She has partnered with Oceana, 4 Ocean, Water.org, UN Water, and other nonprofits as Miss Peru. Her key projects during her reign include: Sponsoring and advocating for the Nazca Protected Area’s Formal adoption as part of Peru’s Bi-Centennial Goals, working with international collaborators on the Lima Water Project, and developing ACQUAVENUS – a consortium of international beauty queens engaging in ocean conservation and water preservation projects, campaigns, and initiatives globally.

Model & Mode Magazine recently caught up with Mischaela to discuss her journey in the modelling world and here’s what went down:

How did you become an international model and beauty queen? What’s it like to model internationally?

I started out going to the 2009 Elite Fresh Faces Model Call alongside 300+ other models. I was one of three girls to receive a callback to meet with agents for the New Faces division and model development. I worked as a model full time during undergrad and transitioned to part-time or special projects work in my mid-twenties as the career of a fashion model isn’t that long. As I have a more international look, being of mixed heritage, I have had success in evening gown, bridal, and swim in my late twenties to thirties after working on fashion, luxury, and beauty campaigns. Working more in swim has led me to get involved with pageantry, as most pageant organizations have age limits set to late twenties through mid-thirties. I wanted to participate before I no longer could, and with international systems and align with international brands. International beauty pageants and winning those global/world titles are an excellent way to move into the international market in modeling. The key challenge with international modeling is to not bend to pressure to morph or change into that market’s beauty standard just to be available for any and every campaign. As a person of mixed heritage, the chameleon’s ability is naturally there, and its best to stand firm in your look and make that your signature…never look to change drastically to please everyone..instead work on perfecting your walk, your poses, your looks, and your fitness and naturally those who are on your level of professionality and want your natural look will gravitate to you. It’s never a dull moment collaborating with a set of professionals who are speaking 2, 3, 4, or 5 languages on set and you will learn so much about other cultures doing your due diligence as a model and researching the references the team has in mind for the set, garments, influences for the visuals, etc. That’s the part I love most about international modeling, the background work that every model should be doing on what the influences for the vision and what we are shooting for has really leveled me up to become a more cultured and worldly person. I am grateful for that polishing I am getting.

What has been your greatest triumph, to date?

My greatest triumph to date has been winning the Ms. Universe as Miss Peru the year after Miss Peru, Janick Maceta, was top 3 at Miss Universe. As I’m the first Miss Peru to also be a member of MENSA – it’s an honor to be Miss Peru in my own way and bring more than just beauty, modeling prowess, and beautiful gowns to the international stage.

what has been your greatest lesson, and how have you used that lesson in your life?

My greatest lesson in life has been that there is truly no competition. We are all equal, we’re just all different. The path that is truly meant for me, is and always will be meant for me. Competition comes into play when people take society’s conditioning to idealize a specific type of success, notoriety, fame, wealth, etc. from a specific place and in a specific way. When we limit ourselves to only so few ways something can happen for us then we naturally have to compete with others. This is the scarcity mindset. Be it for success, love, money, notoriety, press, you name it…..there is no competition when you’re on the path that is divinely created and destined for you. Only you can walk it. We are all, in our highest and best form, just out here driving side by side on our destined paths…completely equal and completely NOT in competition.

I’ve used this lesson in life to have grace and peace about things not working out so that other things can truly come into my life and really be for me. From every modeling job to my pageant wins, corporate career processes that have gone well, to the books I was destined to write…I found the least resistance and the most flow by being open and only open to what was truly aligned with me. There was then no forcing, there was only focusing…because the right opportunities and right place at the right time type of divine alignment started happening and doors opened and I was able to walk through them in peace, joy, and elation.

If you could travel back in time and alter one historical event, where would you go and what would you attempt to change?

My belief system centers around the fact that everything is fated and not an accident. Even negative and dark events have to occur for some reason, even if we cannot accept or process why, to advance us all or create ripple effects to other later events. For that reason there isn’t really anywhere I would go and attempt to change what has happened. I trust the bigger plan of the universe and the universal creator.

What do you think you came into this life to learn, and what do you think you came here to teach?

I came into this life to learn how to blend the spiritual and the material. I came here to master intellect and rational thinking merged completely with intuition and knowing. I came here to master these and then teach them and this very thought that we are spiritual beings on a physical journey, who must leverage rational thought guided by intuitive exploration and curiosity is at the heart of my books and masterclasses. I really believe we must care for our energy field and spiritual growth in the same way we get haircuts, manis, pedis, and care for our outer self. Both are vital to this reality and this human experience, and they must be held in balance. Overemphasis on either one over the other is the root of all misery.

What projects are you working on right now?

Right now I am working on completing the self-help courses that coordinate with each of my books, as well as a very large business endeavor that I can’t share right now but I’d like to think it is my “big idea”.

In terms of my Ms. Universe and Miss Peru platform, I am working on a number of key projects that I’m really excited about.

If I had any advice for someone pursuing pageantry I would advise them to get really clear on their platform and the types of projects they want to work on before ever even choosing a system. As they go they can then etch out exact campaigns – but the guiding principle is still to be very focused and niche.

I have 3 large-scale Ms. Universe projects that I’m working on and naturally, these are internationally geared – helping promote the Earthshot Prize by Prince William the Duke of Cambridge and the initiative’s focus on cleaner oceans. I’m also working on a few campaigns relating to the Sustainable Markets Initiative by Prince Charles, to promote eco-conscious business and sustainable capitalism. His Terra Carta initiative is part of this. Lastly, I’m working on a Coral Conservation project and the Mr. Goodfish sustainable fishing campaign with the Prince Albert II de Monaco Foundation.

I’ve also created a petition of my own to personally petition Victoria’s Secret to pursue eco-friendly ways of downsizing their brick and mortar footprint, as their key activities have been damaging to local water tables and that will eventually impact the ocean.

For Peru specifically, I have two key projects in works: supporting the Lima Water Project and helping promote international collaboration between Peru and the US and Switzerland to bring clean water to Lima from the Andes, and I’m working to petition and hold the Peruvian government accountable for securing and sustaining the Nazca Marine Protected Area which is an off coast Pacific area home to hundreds of key species that exist only there. This protected area concept exists to protect the feeding, mating, and migratory patterns of these animals so that their biome is secure and the entire ecosystem doesn’t fold under and die out due to imbalances in species numbers, behaviors, etc.

Combining the two, and in order to continue my platform for my lifetime, I have created ACQUAVENUS which is a consortium structure for international beauty queens to come together to support, promote, and collaborate with each other on ocean and water conservation projects globally.

Lastly, I’ve secured a handful of brand partnerships in order to promote and spread awareness for the ocean conservation work being done by major international brands. I will be working with LA MER to spread the word on their Blue Heart Ocean Fund. I’ll also be working with Shiseido to share their work and message with the We Are One Ocean initiative which calls for the protection of 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030. As Ms. Universe, I’ve partnered with Swarovski to promote their Waterschool initiative which seeks to inspire and excite children to take action and become informed about ocean conservation and water preservation in their own communities so that we can inspire the next generation of water defenders and warriors. Lastly, I’ve joined forces with L’Oreal to promote their ocean conservation and preservation efforts as a company as well as specifically highlight the work they’ve done under the Biotherm research arm to ensure their ingredients are sustainably harvested. As an exclusive, I’ve signed on as a spokesmodel and face of Leilani Shells, an innovative fine jewelry company that plants corals in Bali, Indonesia with every fine jewelry purchase.

What would you still like to attempt in your career?

I’d still like to build off of the ocean conservation and water preservation work I’ve begun as Miss Peru and later Ms. Universe.

My long-term goal is to work for the United Nations on the ground in Peru as a Director for UN Water or for Oceana in the Pacific Ocean of coastal Peru. My long-term ambition after building wealth as a businesswoman and entrepreneur is to pivot to United Nations work with a UN body or as a United Nations ambassador between the US and Peru.

After pageantry, my immediate concern is to focus on entrepreneurship and build out my self-help and spiritual wellness empire. Although it may seem like my endeavors are unrelated, I truly believe when we build a healthier and more healed emotional and spiritual world – we can bring our masculine and feminine energy into balance and stop suppressing our feminine energy. By being more in tune with and healing our inner feminine, we can have more respect for the divine feminine energy that is mother nature and our planet earth.

What Advice Would You Give To Those Hoping To follow your footsteps?

The best advice I can give to those hoping to follow in my footsteps is to do the healing work to be able to embrace all that you are without being torn apart by competitive mindsets and thoughts that you aren’t good enough. Competition and hierarchy are illusions put in place to control us. If I’ve learned anything it’s that the path that is meant for you won’t miss you. We ALL have a specific role in life and a divine destiny and that path is ours and ours alone, which means there is no competition on that path. There is only competition when we get caught up in scarcity mindsets that there are only a few ways to win. When we need the applause, approval, and validation of society we will naturally gravitate towards what society puts on high. That leads us to try to step into occupations and dreams that aren’t even ours…they are just what society tells you will bring you the love, adoration, fame, and fortune you think you need to fill up the hole in your heart. That hole can only be filled by YOU, your self-love, and healing.

No occupation, no relationship, and no amount of public adoration is going to make you feel truly loved. Heal your wounds, we all have them, and then pursue the path that was put in your heart. That is the only way to be successful in a way that endures and also feels fulfilling. Overnight success, paying your way to the top, etc. is just ego-driven nonsense that just enriches others and leaves you empty. Please remember this.

Emerging Model Of The Week: Introducing The Beautiful Bebe Dyl

Bebe Dyl (handle-bebe_dyl) has always been in the performing arts industry since a very young age. She has taken part in dance competitions, performances, and acting lessons as well as showcases. When she was 14, she joined an acting agency and after a few years when she was 17, she was asked if she wanted to be a part of the acting agency’s modelling section and she has been modelling ever since.

Model & Mode Magazine recently caught up with Bebe to discuss her journey in the modelling world and here’s what went down:

What do you like most about being a model?

I love the fact every time I do a shoot it’s always different which excites me as I don’t know what to expect. I also love all the team and the people I meet. I have met some of the most amazing and talented people who have taught me so much.

The downside to being a model?

I would say personally for me the only downside is that I sometimes miss going out with my friends a lot and have to cancel plans last minute. I also think starting with the knockbacks and “not good enough” comments can be very tough on your confidence but you have to get used to it after a while.

What has been the most memorable experience of being in the modelling industry so far?

I honestly think it was the first-ever shoot I had which was for Pepsi. It was so new to me and exciting and I had the best two days and met the most amazing people.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

Honestly, I have met so many I can’t choose but it has to be all of the hair and makeup artists. I hear so many funny and interesting stories from their previous shoots.

What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the modelling industry. This can be about the industry or about yourself.

I have learned so much already and I’m only just starting my modelling journey but the main lesson I have learned and will always keep with me is just to be confident and believe in yourself no matter how many knockbacks you get, and not to take things so personally.

Is your family supportive of you being a model?

Yes very, they were very indecisive at first about it but as soon as they saw how much I enjoyed my first test shoot and saw me having the photos they knew it was right for me.

If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?

I would honestly just tell myself to relax, I didn’t sleep for the week before my first shoot as I was so nervous but as soon as I got there they all made me feel so welcome.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

To relax and be confident and comfortable in your own skin.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

Well, I would love to keep modelling for as long as possible, but I also am very passionate about business and would love to own my own business in the future, maybe even my own modelling agency.

The ‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:

Last good movie I’ve seen: Atonement. this has to be one of my all-time favourite films although it makes me cry every single time I watch it.

What do you consider beautiful and why? Confidence. I personally feel that confidence is the key to beauty, it makes you a completely different person.

What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could? I love travelling so much so I would absolutely love to have a shoot abroad somewhere, I think would be such an unforgettable and exciting experience.

Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I’d… walk up to a group of people around my age and just start a conversation” I wish I had the confidence to do this.

What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself? I would probably say my stubbornness. I am very stubborn with most things how eve I personally feel as if comes in handy in certain situations.

Inside The Mind Of Makeup Junkie Bag Founder/CEO Meredith Jurica

Meredith Jurica is the founder/CEO of Makeup Junkie Bag. She was recently named by USA TODAY as “One of the Top 10 Travel Bags” with more than $10 million in sales and a breakout appearance on ABC’s “Shark Tank.”

It all started after making several bags for herself, and when MJ’s friends loved them she began to make bags as gifts for her friends and family. It didn’t take long for the cosmetic bag to become the hottest thing on the block-on lots of blocks. With her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in speech pathology, she didn’t feel qualified to start a business, not even a small one based in her home. But she loved her cosmetic bag so she became the founder, owner, and lead seamstress of Makeup Junkie Bags. She had a “baptism by fire” into the business world though when she was swindled and robbed of her designs (even though it was patented), the text on her website shamelessly pirated, and $100,000 of inventory was lost to Hurricane Harvey. Despite this setback, she still persevered, and her bags eventually brought in $1 million the first year.

The Makeup Junkie Bag’s magic – what sets it apart from every other travel makeup bag is that it lays flat, which allows easy and full access to all materials while eliminating the chances that the bag will fall over sending products everywhere.

Makeup Junkie Bags are handmade in Texas, sold in more than 2,000 stores nationwide, and come in more than 400 trendy styles and seven different sizes. Each of the bags is characterized by a signature brightly colored zipper, a suede tassel, and MJ hand-selects each designer fabric for each of the lines. From the trademark “Glam Stripe Bag” to the newer “Later Alligator,” Makeup Junkie Bags are on a constant quest to find the fabrics that reflect their customers’ lives. They are the company for the working woman, the loving (and often exhausted) mom, the grad student, and the social butterfly.

Model & Mode Magazine recently caught up with Meredith to discuss her journey as an entrepreneur and here’s what went down:

Could you please tell our readers a brief background about yourself and how you started your business?

Hi, I’m MJ, the founder, and CEO of Makeup Junkie Bags! Before starting my business, I was a Speech-Language Pathologist after obtaining my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in the field. I departed from my job as a Speech-Language Pathologist to stay at home with my two young daughters. As an avid lover of makeup, I was tired of makeup bags not meeting my standards and decided to get crafty in my spare time. It turns out I was solving a problem many people were having. A few short years ago, starting with one simple sewing machine at my kitchen table, I made an adorable lay flat cosmetics bag in my kitchen for personal use. I loved how the design housed all my modern-day large cosmetic palettes. Then the fairytale happened and Makeup Junkie Bags was born. People took notice and wanted me to make them one.

Fast forward to five years later, a design patent, an appearance on Shark Tank, and a Good Morning America sales event – my sweet little project has turned into a national wholesale company. We make everything with love in Houston, Texas at my private facility. My company now has a retail website and wholesales to thousands of retailers nationwide. All of my bags are “Handmade in Texas,” and carry a lifetime guarantee. I have continued to expand my lines over the last three years to include handbags, cosmetics, apparel, and other accessories. As a true “makeup junkie”, I own tons of makeup. Modern-day cosmetics are so much different than the cosmetics that have been around for years. Now we see all these large artist pallets and full-sized brushes that are supposed to make us look like Heidi Klum and Tyra Banks (laughs). I was frustrated that no cosmetic bag company was keeping up with the storage of modern-day cosmetics. I had an upcoming trip and so in preparation for my travels, I went to the local craft store and purchased materials to make my own cosmetic bag that would house all of my things. I wanted it to pack flat, be leak-resistant, and open up down the middle so I could see everything. The design did exactly as I intended it to and I was so pleased. I mimicked the 12-inch size I had made for my makeup and made a larger one for my shower toiletries as well as smaller sizes to pack face creams, eye care, chargers, etc. I was excited to take them on my trip and never really knew it would turn into a business.

What are you currently doing to maintain/grow your business?

I am continuing to expand my line so be on the lookout for new products coming soon!

What social media platforms do you usually use to increase your brand’s awareness?

Instagram and Facebook.

How did your business stand out?

Word of mouth, going Live in our showroom, marketing and we do several markets throughout the year, which helps in reaching hundreds of people. Always smile, be kind, and have great customer service. I have a patent on my lay flat medial line zipper bags, so there are no others on the market like it.

What form of marketing has worked well for your business throughout the years?

Social Media and word of mouth.

What is the toughest decision you had to make in the last few months?

What Makeup Junkie Bag do I want to use for each outfit. There are so many to choose from, so it’s hard to pick just one.

What money mistakes have you made along the way that others can learn from (or something you’d do differently)?

I was paying way too much for supplies until I was educated on how things are sold from retail price to wholesale to distributor to manufacturer.

What new business would you love to start?

I would love to own a little village of vacation rentals near the beach. It would be fun to be responsible for lots of families having fun vacations.

If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?

I can’t really think of anything I would do differently. My journey has helped me learn and grow so much and I am happy with where I am.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Fall down seven times, stand up eight.

What advice would you give to a newbie Entrepreneur setting up their first business?

It is a lot of work to get started and nothing is ever easy but stay focused and don’t give up on your dreams.

Meet The International Model Behind The Cover Of The August 2021 Issue Of Model & Mode: Robbie Canner

Download Now

Robbie Canner is a 63-year-old international model, an international and national judge, and the director and owner of Ms. Australia, New Zealand, and Oceania World Universal as well as Ms. Regal World Universal and Ms. Majestic World Universal. She was crowned Ms. World back in 2018/19, and she’s the reigning Ms. World Universal Elite 2020/21. She’s also a public speaker on the topic “Age Is No Barrier.”

Since winning the Ms. World title, her public profile has considerably grown, allowing her to promote her platform and raise awareness and funds for cancer research. Winning major international titles in her 60’s has given her a platform, showing men and women from all walks of life, that age is no barrier to what anyone can achieve.

Since losing her son to cancer, her emotional and mental stress led her to visit thoughts such as, “I don’t to be here anymore,” or “I want to be with my son,” but eventually her inner strength led her to still want to continue living, have a say and give direction to help others in any area of situational, emotional and mental stress – assuring them that things can get better in time.

She loves chatting to future queens and friends that she meets along her journey and she wants to help them achieve their hopes and goals.

Model & Mode magazine recently caught up with Robbie to discuss her journey in the industry and here’s what went down:

Could you please tell our readers a brief background about yourself?

My name is Robbie Canner and some of the titles I’ve won include Ms. World 2018/19, reigning Ms. World Universal Elite 2020/21 and I have also won Ms. Classic Australia MAQ 2016, Ms. Classic Global United International 2017 Minneapolis USA, and Ms. Global United Lifetime Queen. I’m also a national and international judge, national and international director of my pageant Ms. World Universal, Ms. Regal World Universal, and Ms. Majestic World Universal. Furthermore, I’m a pageant coach and mentor, guest speaker, international model and I have appeared on a number of TV shows.

How did you become an international model? What’s it like to model internationally?

To become an international model on world stages is something I’ve always dreamt about – I was never expecting it to happen. But winning the title of Ms. World at 60 years old certainly made that dream come true. My first runway show was New York Fashion Week and then came National and International magazine covers and stories, radio interviews, and magazine features. To model on the same runway with world supermodels is totally humbling and some I still call my friends. Waiting at the back of the stage before walking on a runway – my nerves were all over the place, I was thinking “what if I stumble or fall off my heels?” but once on in front of world media and stars in the audience, I just wanted more and more. I have had invites to Paris, Milan, South Africa, and Orlando Fashion Week and have been booked again for New York Fashion Week in 2022.

What has been your greatest triumph, to date?

My greatest achievement to date is growing myself to where I am today. There are stepping stones to my journey; like my guest appearance on “Interview” with Andrew Denton on Channel 7 – speaking about my story to a live 200 guest audience brings reality to my dreams and I realized then that I just wanted to open up avenues for others to have opportunities to get to where I am.

What has been your greatest lesson, and how have you used that lesson in your life?

I have learned many lessons in my journey; I learned that age is no barrier to achievements, I learned that I needed to love myself, and I also need to grow out of my personal barriers. When I lost my 22-year-old son to cancer to face a life of total sadness that I have built around myself, I learned to still give dreams a go and that I need to go out and spread this self-growth to help others and support their self-growth.

If you could travel back in time and alter one historical event, where would you go and what would you attempt to change?

I would change my outlook on bullying which I had to deal with at school. I’ll remind myself that bullies are just jealous of who you are and that criticism of self is the best form of flattery. I would want to grow through this adversity and realise that my dreams can be taken away from me so I need to learn to advance my growth through this experience.

What do you think you came into this life to learn, and what do you think you came here to teach?

I came into my life to learn about what I could achieve by just putting my mind to anything in my sight. We have the option of grabbing hold of these opportunities or choosing to let them go. I decided to follow my dreams and now I can teach, mentor, and develop women of all ages through grooming, deportment, public speaking as well as face any adversity head-on.

What projects are you working on right now?

I am presently working on my Ms. World Universal Pageant system, a book, modelling, podcasts, magazine interviews, and one of the most exciting opportunities – I have been approached to film a documentary. The outline for this documentary is underway now and I’m also looking at an international airing so I am so excited.

What would you still like to attempt in your career?

My career is pretty awesome at the moment but some of the things I would still like to achieve are to go on The View, be interviewed by Oprah, or go to lunch with Christie Brinkley. But most of all, I want to stay strong, fit, healthy, and stay on the path of growth.

What advice would you give to those hoping to follow in your footsteps?

Be true to yourself, learn, listen, train, follow your mentors and ask for help from those who can help to place you on the path you wish to follow. At 63 years old, I am still asking for directions from those who are at the top of their game in coaching and development.