On the day of our shoot, which also happens to be Thanksgiving eve, Jess Hart arrives fresh-faced straight from the gym. Some people just look better with no makeup, and Hart is one of those blessed few. Having lived in the Big Apple for almost ten years now, we are pleased to find that she’s still a very down to earth Melbourne girl with a penchant for all the good things in life – pizza, pasta and meat pies. That’s our girl.
Working as a model equals a lot of travel, and Hart is rarely in New York for long. Overnight flights and time differences can get you down, but Hart takes it all in her stride. “It’s hard to find routine, but I think that’s why models strive for it even more. You have to be careful what you wish for though, because most people have nine-to-fives, and I would probably die if I had to do that all the time!”
A regular day in New York consists of gym sessions with her trainer at the no-frills Crunch chain in Manhattan, then onto French lessons with her private tutor of three and a half years. “I’m not too bad,” she confesses, “but I’m a bit shy to speak unless I have to.” Also surprising for a model, we learn that Hart is not into the juice phase taking New York (and the world) by storm. “I am not a huge fruit person. I love to eat, and I am not pretty if I’m hungry.” We hear you! On that subject, citing carb loading as a cherished pastime, Hart loves Italian restaurant Il Buco Alimentari, “It’s my favourite!” We make a mental note to go next week.
With beauty being her trade, we knew Hart would have the scoop on some of the best on-set secrets. “My favourite is highlighter. When I feel a bit dry and pasty in winter, if I highlight my face it makes me feel a bit better. Eyelash curling is also great, but people often forget about this trick. It really opens up your eyes.” Contouring is another hard one to master, but Hart has it down pat. “The brown should always go underneath your cheek, in the crease, and then you do your colour on the top.”
A self-professed “jeans girl”, Hart adopts a regular uniform of model-off-duty slouchy denim and white Converse. Sundays are spent with her adorable dog Floyd, gallery hopping and shopping in her local NoHo neighbourhood. “There’s a great little shop I’ve fallen in love with called In God We Trust. It’s on Lafayette St. and they have really cute little things. Resurrection Vintage on Mott is also great.”
We’ve got to hand it to her, Hart always looks effortlessly together in that semi-disheveled, Alexa Chung way – is it an Australian thing? “Being Australian made me have no style!” she laughs. “I used to wear matching tracksuits like adidas and Kappa.” We predict another model-off-duty trend wave coming on…
Photographed by Soraya Zaman
Words by Lucinda Rose Constable