Mona, Student - Into The Gloss

Mona, Student


"I moved to New York from Saudi Arabia three months ago to attend Columbia University. I had always wanted to move to a big city like New York, because everything is so different here; it’s so much busier than my hometown. I wanted to try living in a place where people were passionate and angry all the time. I love it! I feel like myself here. But I expected New York women to be crazier than they are. [Laughs]

I had my nose pierced back in Saudi Arabia, which is pretty normal for women there. And we usually wear abayas, which are a traditional outfit. It basically covers everything from head to toe—people can only see your face and sometimes your hair, so beauty is really important.

I am very careful with my skin. I like to look natural, and that starts with good skin. I wash my face with water, and moisturize with coconut oil. If I’ve been wearing makeup, I take it off with Bioderma Créaline before washing my face. I am probably exaggerating, but I think I was the first person to use Bioderma in my country. I started using it in 2000, which was right when I started wearing makeup. I have eczema, and when I started putting makeup on, the eczema really flared up. So that’s when I started using it.

Makeup-wise, I don’t like to wear foundation or anything heavy. Instead, I put Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel all over my face. It’s actually a bronzer, but because I’m already dark, I just use it to enhance my skin. On my lips, I love Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Romantic. It’s nice because it doesn’t have any glitter or shimmer. And on my eyes, I just started using Guerlain’s Terracotta Kohl, which I read about on Into The Gloss, actually. I think I’m putting it on wrong though, because it keeps dropping onto my cheeks... I don’t like to pluck my eyebrows, so I groom them with a clear Brow and Lash Gel from The Body Shop. I like the idea of filling my eyebrows in with a pencil, but they look too harsh when I do that. That’s basically all that I use. My sister is a makeup artist, and it actually makes people angry that I have an expert at my house and all I use are these few products. [Laughs]

In the shower, right now I’m using Dr. Bronner's Pure Castile Soap in Lavender on my face, hair, and body. I like L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil, too. It’s an oil, but when you use it in the shower, it foams. The smell is really beautiful. And to keep my hair soft, I moisturize it with coconut oil."

—as told to ITG

Mona Alsubaei photographed by Emily Weiss in New York.

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • Sarah

    Mona is so beautiful! <3


    She is beautiful :)

  • Bella

    She is blessed with lovely natural colouring and features that she allows to speak for themselves. Love!

  • Cel

    This is a reminder to stop plucking my brows. She is also tempting me to dye my hair back to black. Very pretty.

  • 1Alouette

    Love it!

  • Q.
  • Emma Hager

    Absolutely stunning, as is her skin. She looks like she carries herself well, and by that first sentence, I can imagine incredibly smart.

  • hollygoeslightly22

    Coconut oil is one the best beauty buys. It has endless uses!

  • Nancy

    She looks like she's 20. So 2000 means she started using makeup when she's 7?

    • katy

      so progressive. makes me proud to be a woman.

  • Nicole B.

    Such a natural beauty!

  • Lucy Apted

    She is beautiful

  • Beks

    She is so fabulous oh my lord she's such a natural beauty

  • Em

    She is so cool and beautiful! I wish I knew more about her - does she have a blog or anything?

  • sylvia

    aww she's cute, i remember you mentioning her in a different article.

  • Angelina

    She is so beautiful! Love her approach to beauty! Does anyone know where her necklace is from? I love it :) x

  • S

    I'm from Saudi too! She's so beautiful. It truly is amazing to see posts like this! Really enjoyed reading her approach to beauty :)

  • Jasmine Alvarez

    I love that she uses coconut oil all over....its one of my staples

  • isilnoir

    So beautiful and natural, I'm gonna start to use coconut oil, too.

  • Rawabi

    She's The most inspiring girl I ever met in my life .. I realy appreciate our friendship .

  • Anna Maria V Turcato

    Very pretty girl!
    Coconut oil is amazing!!! Such a multi purpose product. It smells good and it's 100% natural: we can't ask for more :)


Jarrow Formulas
Jarrow Formulas Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Bioderma Créaline
Chanel – Soleil Tan De Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base
Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain – Romantic
Guerlain Terracotta Loose Powder Kohl
The Body Shop
The Body Shop Brow & Lash Gel Clear
L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil

Dearest ITG Reader,

We're working on something new called Glossier. It's launching soon(!) and we want you to be the first to know updates.

xo, Emily