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