In the same way that some people are born short or tall, blue-eyed or brown, some people in life are just born cool. Their innate understanding of style and simplicity is something that cannot be taught (all attempts to do so read as cheap imitations), and it’s hard to picture they’ve ever thrown together a tragic, trend-heavy outfit, or felt the hot, red flush of embarrassing oneself in public.
Jessica Gomes is one of those people. The model, actor, and beauty entrepreneur had her start as a swimsuit model for Sports Illustrated in 2008. Her traffic-stopping looks propelled her into the pages of publications like Vogue, Glamour, Italian GQ, and Teen Vogue before she went on to become the brand ambassador for David Jones, joining the likes of fellow professional good looking people, Megan Gale and Miranda Kerr. Now, at 32, she’s the proud founder and face of inclusive beauty brand, Equal Beauty. Her effortless energy translates perfectly into the natural brand, which stands as the antithesis of the over-complicated beauty industry.
Like all impactful brands, Equal Beauty was created with a product in mind that Jess herself would love. Simple, minimalist beauty products that speak to a woman’s sense of self. To her, creating a brand that was “meaningful” and that “was going to make change, and make women feel good” was of high importance. The trajectory of her career is mirrored by her progression from girlhood to womanhood; Jess created Equal Beauty upon reflecting on where she was in life, and where she wanted to be heading into her 30s. As a successful model, it can often be easy to fall into a space where you’re told what type of person you should be, the products you should use, and the type of people you should work with, and in starting a business that aligns strongly with her own set of ethos, she’s been able to regain control. To take such a leap into the unknown is brave.
Aside from being courageous, Jess is mindful, driven, and most importantly, kind. We hung out in the natural beauty’s beautiful Los Angeles home, where we chatted with her about the lessons she’s learned since starting Equal Beauty, her shifting perceptions of beauty, and her flawless style. Thanks, Jess!
Words, Madeleine Woon. Photography, Dana Boulos.