Miranda Kerr: “People cringe at the word self-love”
The model opens up
Miranda Kerr is trying to silence two barking dogs when I call her on the phone. "Oi, oi, sit down!" she cries (Aussie accent intact) as the yapping continues and she apologises while explaining they've just come in from a bath. "They're so funny," she says, as the barking fades and we get down to the more serious business of what we're here to discuss: her booming beauty brand Kora. Launched in 2009, Kora Organics is experiencing a new chapter - stocked in Sephora and Net-a-Porter its rapid expansion has come to resemble Miranda's own journey to the US all those years ago. Because even though the Gunnedah-born supermodel with the kilowatt smile and dimpled cheeks still sounds like an Aussie girl from the country, her life is anything but.
From marrying Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel in her backyard (in custom Dior, no less) to her widely known ultra-healthy approach to life, it's clear Miranda Kerr is living a slightly different existence to us. And as she enters a new phase of her life as a newly married woman, Miranda is zeroing in on her biggest passion project yet: expanding Kora into a global beauty brand. Here, she chats to Yeong Sassall about health, beauty and living your best self.
Congratulations, I hear Kora's Noni Face Glow is performing amazingly in the US.
Yeah, I'm just so excited about it. It's become the bestselling face oil in Sephora in the US, which is a huge compliment and the body oil just won awards from Allure for the best body oil. I feel like once people try these oils they come back and buy them again. They see the improvements in their skin. We've actually have done scientific consumer studies because so many people are uneducated about the benefits of using organic skincare.
You've also extended the range to include supplements - is that something you've wanted to do for a long time?
I really feel that beauty is about feeding your mind, body and skin - it's that 360 approach to skincare. If you feed your mind with affirmations and self-love, feed your body with the nutrients it needs to function at its best, and [use] skin products that help detoxify, nourish and revitalise it then you are really coming from that holistic point of view. Being able to have powerful antioxidants and the superfoods like Acai berry, noni berry, pomegranate and matcha green tea - it really gives your skin and body a great chance to function at its best.
Do you just take one a day?
I do one in the morning and then maybe another one around 2 'o'clock if I feel really sluggish. It's a really great, natural energy boost, and the matcha green tea helps with energy and mental concentration. I love that it's in a single serve sachet which you can pop in your handbag. I mix it in with water and it's easy to use on the go.
I've been drinking noni since I was 13 so for so long I'd be like, 'How am I going to travel with it this time?' Flying somewhere I'd have to check it in and then I'd worry about the bottle breaking, but this way I don't have to worry about that. I can just take however many days I need and it's so easy to travel with, tastes pretty good and promotes wellness from the inside out.
You're well known for your commitment to healthy living. Has your philosophy on health and wellbeing evolved over the years?
I really feel like I love to learn about health. At the end of the day, if you're not feeling good, life is terrible. And if we take care of ourselves from that 360 approach, you know, the mind, body, skin and spirit - if we give ourselves that then our body is going to take care of us. We're going to have more energy, going to feel more invigorated.
People don't understand that what they put directly on their skin goes directly into their bloodstream. You only need to open your beauty cupboard and have a look at the ingredients in these products - I'm not saying go 100% organic, but be educated about it, because we do live in a world that has a lot of toxins and pollution in it that we can't control. If we know what goes into our skin goes into our bloodstream then that's something that we can control.
For me [Kora] was a no brainer. I was like 'Why has none else done this?' I like things that are uplifting, so it's also about that mind component. That's why a lot of products are filtered through rose quartz, to add that bit of magic and a little bit of self-love. I know that word, people cringe, but you know what? We're so harsh and critical of ourselves if we learn to be kind and gentle with ourselves than we can be gentle and kind with other people. And then we'll live a much happier existence.
How do you manage eating organically and exercising regularly when you're really busy?
The most important thing for me is planning. It's what really works for me. I literally will plan in my schedule, time to call my grandma, otherwise with the time difference, it won't happen. I have to sit down and plan, 'At this time I'll be dropping Flynn to school' and then I'll be in the office. Every little part of my day has that structure.
I've only been that way since I had Flynn. I feel like it's made a big difference to my life. Otherwise you go around in circles. And if you have that plan and this is your to-do list for the month, then you don't feel so overwhelmed. It actually helps me sleep better at night when I know everything is in its place. I also make sure I schedule in time for myself and exercise... being a mother, a wife and having a company - by managing all these things, I find your friendships can miss out as well. Even just planning once a month, to catch up with your girlfriends, it's important.
What does an average day look like for you in terms of diet and exercise?
In the mornings Evan will wake up around 5.30am and I will do my meditation and have a half an hour window in the morning before my son wakes up. He wakes up around 6-6.30am and then I'll he may come and sit with me a little bit and we'll have a little cuddle. Actually before the meditation, I like to go to bathroom and scrape my tongue - it's a new thing that I really enjoy doing. Because at night time all of the toxins come up and they're on your tongue, so instead of continuing to swallow that, you take that opportunity to go to the bathroom and scrape your tongue. And I do a couple of minutes of oil pulling with coconut oil with peppermint and then I will do the meditation and then have some hot water.
Hot water is favourite thing right now, it used to be hot water with lemon or apple cider, but now it's just hot water by itself. Then I will have a green juice and make a smoothie or scrambled eggs on gluten-free bread with avocado. Sometimes I make Flynny gluten-free pancakes with maple syrup. Then we get ready for the day, have a shower, I'll get our clothes out the night before - that way it's just easier. I'm very quick at getting ready. I keep it very simple. One thing I love to do - I make sure I'm religious with my cleanse, mist and moisturising and then I'll use the exfoliating cleanser every second day. I mix a couple of drops of the Noni Face Oil with the hydrating moisturiser - I love that because it's a perfect base for my make-up.
Then I take Flynn to school and go to the office, his school is literally two minutes from my office. I was lucky to find a space that was so close to school - on my days I have him, I make sure I take him and pick him up from school because I know how much it means to him. When I was a little girl my mum was very busy and she didn't have the opportunity to do that for me, so I've made a conscious effort to do that for my son.
What kind of things do you have for lunch?
Sometime I'll make a lentil soup or I'll take whatever we've had the night before. Sometimes a fresh salad, some chicken - with my salads I throw in everything, there's no rules really, like all the greens, spinach, radish, carrot, celery, cucumber - it's all finely chopped and pretty delicious. And then a little feta cheese or I love haloumi cheese. And then I'll sometimes take a little guacamole as a little snack. Lately I've just been loving slicing an apple up and putting a little almond butter on it. And papaya. And that's one thing I have every morning after the hot water, I'll just have fresh papaya. Or pineapple.
Do you find time to exercise every day?
I go by my schedule. I try to at least do 4-5 times a week. One of my favourite things to do with Flynn after I've picked him up from school is go for a walk with the dogs. And that's ok. It's better than doing nothing. Sometimes I'll come home and we'll have a dance party, just the two of us. I'll do the plank and silly squats and he thinks it's hilarious, but I'm actually exercising. You can have a lot of fun like that.
What about structured exercise? Do you do yoga or Pilates?
Yeah yoga and Pilates are my go-to and I can do them both on my own. I also have a reformer machine. My office and my house are very close by, and depending on what's happening, sometime I'll drop Flynn to school and do a workout and then I'll go back to the office and pick Flynn up - you know, it depends on the day. Even kicking a ball around with him, I mean it's all exercise. I'm not super strict, like 'I've gotta work out' I'm not like Madonna. [laughs]
And what about dinner time? Do you guys sit down together and have a family meal?
It's really something that I find important. I'll make salmon with salad and sweet potato mash or grilled sole with fresh lemon and parsley. Or I'll do roast chicken with sweet potato and salad. We keep it pretty simple, every now and then I'll bake an apple pie for the boys or a cheesecake. Evan loves a cheesecake but Flynn loves an apple pie so we've got to mix it up.
If you were to indulge for a day, what would you do?
I love a traditional roast, like a roast chicken with gravy and roast vegetables... and baked potato. Actually, I have some baked potatoes in the oven right now which I'm excited about. And I love an organic red wine or a dark chocolate Lindt ball. I personally am more like Flynn, I like the home cooked apple pie.
It sounds like you're enjoying married life, too.
Yeah, I've always been a homebody and really content being at home and it's just been so great to be able to, for the last two years. My focus has shifted from all the travel and modelling to be more focused on Kora and Flynn and I just feel so happy being able to do that. As much as I've really enjoyed the modelling it was a lot to have to travel and be away from my family. I think I only made one of my friend's weddings because I was always travelling for work, you know.
It feels like a hard lifestyle to sustain? Travelling all the time and never really stopping.
Yeah, but also at the same time. I wouldn't have been able to start Kora without it, because I wouldn't have had the finances to invest in Kora. Evan was the one who was like, 'What are you doing all these other things for when your passion is Kora?' And I was like, 'Obviously all those other things pay the bills though and I've been doing it for so long...' and he's like, 'Well, it will pay off with your own business if you make sure you put the time and effort that it needs' and I've noticed that. It's incredible. As you know, I've really put my heart and soul into it and I hope that people can feel that.
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