Jessica Gomes is feeling good in the here and now. The model, entrepreneur and actor now calls Los Angeles home, but that relaxed charm and unmistakable lack of pretension is residue of a childhood spent on Australia’s western coast: “dancing, playing with Barbies, playing dress-ups … riding BMX bikes ... going on bush walks, learning about how to scare snakes away if you see one, bush bashing in cars ... ” It’s a laid-back lifestyle that Gomes still craves. “I love hanging out at home. I don’t get to do it much, but I really appreciate making a cup of tea ... and hanging in my PJs.”
Gomes's desire for simplicity could be attributed to frenetic years spent working in the modelling industry. “[I was scouted at] 10 years old, then left home 17 to pursue it internationally with IMG … it’s a hard lifestyle to say no to when you’re doing quite well in it. It is freedom, money and travel, which I loved in my 20s.” Gomes grew up in the direct gaze of a lens, and felt the effects early on in life. “I didn’t think of myself as beautiful until I turned 30. No lie – I just never felt beautiful in my twenties. I was focused on artificial beauty because I was trying to survive in a fickle fashion industry, then soon realised I don’t need to fit a box. I can create my own box.”
"I know this sounds cheesy. But true authentic beauty comes from within and shines through. Nowadays you can turn yourself into anything through surgery. I like to keep it natural."
"[My] constant sources of inspiration? Artists – just the world around me. I love taking it all in. Nature gives that to me. Being alone gives that to me. I love digging deep, I always get inspired by that."
"I love simplicity, minimal elegance and [a] less-is-more approach. The education I taught myself is hydration and protection. It’s key to healthy glowy skin."
It was a journey that led her to her second career – CEO and founder of luxury skincare line Equal Beauty. “I was passionate about telling my own story of what beauty means to me. It came from a lot of pain and feeling very insecure about my beauty ... I love my brand and what it stands for, I love the meaning, I love the products, I love creating something from nothing.” Now living in L.A., a city not too dissimilar from her home town, Gomes has added a third line to her resumé: acting. “I started acting when I was little. It was always something I wanted to do … then as I hit 30 I was like, well now I have life experience, ready to give it a proper go. I had studied it before in New York at Stella Adler and felt I [needed] to be taught by someone else, but soon realised it’s just got to come from me.”
"I love the creative hub that it is in L.A. The movies! I love the history of L.A. and what it represents. I also love that it’s surrounded by nature. California is such a beautiful state ... It gives me energy and insight into the world of film."
PHOTOGRAPHY Ward + Kweskin
FASHION Bridie Gilbert
MODEL Jessica Gomes @ IMG
HAIR Rachel Lee @ Atelier Management using Mr. Smith
MAKEUP Sandy Ganzer @ Forward Artists using NARS
STYLIST’S ASSISTANT Katie Dehombre