The life lessons Jessica Mauboy swears by
The L’Oreal Paris Woman of Worth reveals how she balances her Darwin roots and celeb life, knowing her worth – and a beauty blunder that still makes her cringe.
Being raised in a family of five girls has been both a blessing and a curse for Jessica Mauboy.
On the one hand, it taught her to stand out from the crowd and forge her own identity from an early age.
On the other, trying to emulate her big sisters resulted in one of the acclaimed singer’s most embarrassing beauty blunders.
“I was about 11 years old and I never really got to see what my older sisters would do behind their bedroom doors, but they would always walk out with these groomed eyebrows, looking so good,” Jessica says.
“Somehow I got it into my head that the shaver they used to shave their legs was a tool to create eyebrows.
“I remember taking one from my sister’s room and going to the bathroom with a small mirror, taking a deep breath and doing it.
“I was kind of halfway through when I realised half my eyebrow was gone. I literally dropped the shaver and started to cry.
“I was in shock because I realised that not only was half my eyebrow gone, but I knew I was going to have to go to school looking like that!”
Thankfully, one of Jessica’s sisters came to the rescue, crafting a fringe to cover her bald brow as it grew back.
Since finding fame on Australian Idol in 2006, Jessica has learned valuable tricks of the trade from many make-up artists, hairdressers and stylists.
The L’Oreal Paris Woman of Worth is now a deft hand at applying fake eyelashes and contouring her face with make-up.
She has also learned how to create eye-catching eyebrows – without using a razor!
But her most important life lessons have been those that help her feel beautiful inside and out:
Ignore the cameras and get on with life
Celebrities are often held to unrealistic beauty standards; their bodies, faces and fashions routinely scrutinised.
But Jessica isn’t someone who applies make-up for fear of being snapped looking less than her best.
“I know there will be cameras following me around trying to get the shot of me having a burger or looking pregnant,” she says.
“I’ve been in the industry for such a long time that I really had to let that go. I think it can really get into your head when you start thinking, ‘I’ve got to look great for the cameras just to get some milk’.”
Embrace where you’ve come from and where you’re going
Darwin born and raised, Jessica says she is just at home on stage as she is off the beaten track.
“I literally love going hiking. I love going out bush. I love driving a ute and going off road,” she says.
“Sometimes I laugh because it really is two extremes. I will be singing for 30,000 people, where I’ve got a fabulous green room and my band – and then the next day, I will be out in a tin boat fishing and crabbing.
“But it’s the life that I know, and I feel like it keeps me going when I am on the road.”
Find strength in silence
Jessica has been singing since she was young, but still gets nervous before every performance.
She finds quiet time – even inside a noisy recording studio or amid the chaos of a concert backstage – helps centre her.
“I always find a corner and lay flat on the ground to relax my body and mind,” she explains.
“It just helps me release the tension and find the energy I need to create again.”
Use your experience and expertise to lift others
Jessica understands how it feels to be a vulnerable young artist on a reality show.
Now a coach on The Voice, Jessica says she will prepare contestants for what lies ahead with encouragement and collaboration rather than harsh criticism.
“It’s my job to prepare them,” she says.
“No matter what they’ve gone through in their environment, their community or their family, they need to remember they are here to create a dream for themselves, to do their best and to have a strong work ethic.
“I will remind them that they are worthy and to follow their instincts and that while you will be doing all these fabulous things you have to stay true to yourself and be a kind person.”
Celebrate your uniqueness
Jessica says coming from a big family helped her realise the importance of individuality.
“Everyone just called us ‘the Mauboy girls’ and would tell us how alike we looked or how we stood the same way,” she says.
“Yeah, we shared a lot of traits, but we also had lots of differences. So, for me, it was about learning to love what made me different.
“As much as we love social media and we like getting ‘likes’ and love being loved, there’s a bigger picture on understanding who we are as individuals rather than comparing ourselves to others.”
Physical activity is vital for motivation
Jessica credits running with helping to maintain her stamina and fitness for gruelling tours.
“When I am in work mode, I love running. I love running down the streets doing sprints to get my heart rate up and get a slight sweat going,” she says.
“I feel like that’s kind of a really good thing for me. I will do the sprinting and some little circuit trainings in the hotel room or outside on the park bench. They help keep me activated while I’m on the road.”
It’s OK to treat yourself to cheat days and Cheetos
On trips home to Darwin, self-confessed foodie Jessica loves whipping up a fish curry using barramundi she has caught.
“I’m very mindful about how much I consume and what might put me in a bit of a slump or food that will help me accelerate,” she says.
“So I put a lot of thought into what I eat and the effect it will have on my body – but there are also days where I just want to eat chips. Well, Cheetos. I love my Cheetos!
“I also love eating chicken salad. And I love clean eating when I need to. I feel like I have great balance so that when I am on holiday, I can eat all the bad stuff.”
Written by Siobhan Duck.