Daijah Johns is a 19-year-old stunner who splits her time between New York and Melbourne. The chill legend is a photographer, stylist, and model, and slays equally as hard behind the camera as she does in front of it. You’ll find plenty of evidence of that over at her dreamy Instagram, @whoiskatemoss. Go peep it, we implore you!
We nabbed some time with her in Melbs recently to chat about everything from her favourite artists — Christiane Spangsberg and Henri Matisse, FYI — and her personal views on feminism, to her beauty and skincare routine. Get to know the mega-babe below.
What’s your skincare routine?
I never go to bed at night without having washed my face. I swear by double cleansing at night and using a micellar water in the morning with a cotton pad to wipe off any excess products from the night before. It’s also so important to moisturise – I can’t stress that enough.
What’s your skincare routine (tell us about the products you swear by)?
I’ve always used products with less ingredients. I love using Cetaphil and Mario Badescu’s Enzyme Cleansing Gel to wash my face. I’ve also just discovered a brand called The Ordinary — their serums are phenomenal. I’m also a sucker for anything made by Aesop. Back to basics is the motto I live by when it comes to skin care.
Do you wear make-up? What’s your go-to everyday product?
I have a very minimal approach to make-up, I haven’t worn foundation or mascara in three years.
Last but not least, I always curl my eyelashes, then I’m ready to walk out the door.
What’s your haircare approach? And the products you use.
I only ever brush my hair after I wash it. I use Ouai Wave Spray and just comb it through my hair with my fingers if I need to. My hair is naturally curly and I love the way it falls, so I don’t do much more.
What’s the biggest beauty mistake you’ve made?
I feel like many people have had the same problem, but over-plucking eyebrows in high school – think 80s spaghetti brows (that’s what I had).
How do you unwind?
A glass of wine and a good record.
What’s that one word that you can’t stop saying at the moment?
Favourite online shopping spot?
Net-A-Porter, and Etsy for various bits and bobs. Ultimate shopping destination is my local thrift store and Sunday markets.
Netflix or Spotify? And what are you loving right now?
Ooh, I’ll have to go with Spotify, ‘cause Australian Netflix kinda sucks. My favourite things to listen to at the moment are anything by Palace, The Japanese House, and Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti.
What’s your favourite travel destination and why?
New York – it has my heart and always will. New York to me is like a breath of fresh air, I can’t wait to call it home in the near future.
Who was your first celebrity crush?
Brooke Shields. Biggest girl crush ever. Blue Lagoon, just sayin’.
What’s your most treasured item of clothing/jewellery?
I have two. The first is my mom’s ruby engagement ring. I never wear it though, I’m worried it will give me bad luck! It’s beautiful, though. And the second is my gold Saint Christopher necklace; I haven’t taken it off since I purchased it. I’m not religious, but my mom had this cool Saint Christopher charm hanging from her mirror in her car when I was a kid — it had a Grim Reaper in the background, but I thought it was as cool as it was creepy. It’s supposed to protect you from death on your travels, and when I wear mine it reminds me of my mom.
What does ‘beauty’ mean to you?
As cliched as it is, my parents brought me up to believe that beauty is within, and I couldn’t agree more.
What has been your favourite movement in art?
A woman’s body being recognised as art.
Who are your favourite artists at the moment?
One of my favourite artists has been and always will be Henri Matisse (I was actually removed from MoMA because I was hysterically crying in the Matisse section, lol). And Christiane Spangsberg; I discovered her in early 2016 and I’ve been in love with her quirky drawings ever since. Also need to mention Stef Mitchell, Harley Weir, and Petra Collins, who are all equally out-of-this-world.
Who is your biggest idol in life?
I’ve found that I like to identify various qualities in others that I aspire to have, and taking those and trying to apply them to my own life to make myself a better person, instead of just idolising someone. I fear if I did that, it would consume me and I would literally aspire to be that one person instead of myself.
Do you identify as a feminist? Please explain.
Definitely, I think it’s really important to empower women, but at the end of the day feminism is all about equality — not about wanting women taking over the world. I’m very lucky to have incredibly powerful women surrounding me, it’s a privilege to know them.
Do you think female friendships are particularly important, and why/why not?
Absolutely. I grew up with my brother and dad, so my close girlfriends are like sisters to me. It’s super important to bond with other girls like you, and to surround yourself with women who will empower and inspire you.
Have there been any books/articles you’ve read in recent memory that have impacted your worldview?
I read a lot on philosophy, a subject I’ve taken an interest in since I was little. I suppose that impacts my view on everything, however I really do live under a rock and it’s always my dad that informs me about world issues and politics over a very lengthy phone call. I read a lot of classics and romantic novels, so I’m really just sitting over here in my own world waiting to be swept off my feet.
When do you feel your best?
Sipping on a cup of coffee after a very productive day. Also when I’m wearing matching lingerie.
What do you want your legacy to be?
I want to be the cool grandma who had an eclectic mix of artworks, and was always caught doing grocery shopping decked out in Gucci.