As the 65th Miss Universe and the second woman from France to hold the title, Iris Mittenaere is anything but what you might expect. Sure, she’s a beauty queen, but she’s also incredibly serious about her studies, entering her fifth year of a dental surgery fellowship where she is studying to become an oral surgeon. The 24-year-old recently sat down with us to discuss her role as ambassador for skin care line Guinot Paris, what makes her so passionate about her future profession and why she loves “American hair.”
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NB: What surprised you about becoming Miss Universe?
IM: “The new journey in New York that I started right after I was crowned was surprising but exciting. I was a little bit anxious living in another country, working with people I didn’t know, as well as living with people I didn’t know. I was surprised to live with such amazing women and was so lucky to have lived with two incredible Miss USAs—Deshauna Barber and Kára McCullough. Everyone was extremely welcoming, and I’m now at ease and comfortable living in this beautiful city.”
NB: You’re studying dentistry. What made you decide to go into the profession?
IM: “I decided to study dentistry and become a dental surgeon because of a specific memory I have from when I went to the dentist at six years old. I had an issue with one of my teeth, and being a child, I was afraid. My dentist was so kind and explained to me step-by-step what was going on and what he was going to do to fix it. I immediately felt calm and my tooth was fixed with no worry. Procedures sometimes are scary for the patient, so I hope to become a dental surgeon who allows others to feel as though they are in good hands.”
NB: Why did you pair up with Guinot and what is your go-to product from the line?
IM: “I am so happy to work with Guinot not only because of their amazing products, but also because the line reminds me of my grandma. My grandma grew up using Guinot products and the scent reminds me of her. It makes me feel like my family is close to me while I am living in New York. My favorite product is the Guinot Mirific Oil because it smells fresh, hydrates my skin, and I can even use it in my hair.”
NB: Anything out-of-the-box in your beauty routine?
IM: “I wouldn’t say that I have any out-of-the-box beauty secrets, but people do look at me like I’m strange when I use eye masks on planes for hydration. Something that I always love recommending to people is to use coconut oil on your hair before shampooing. I also think using mineral spray in the morning can start your day off with a healthy glow.”
NB: What’s the biggest misconception about French beauty?
IM: “That’s a tough question. I don’t really think there is a big misconception in French beauty. Women in France embrace their natural beauty and though we do use makeup, we only use a light amount. The natural look is very popular, but we aren’t afraid to add a bold red lip.”
NB: What French beauty trend do you think the U.S. is missing out on?
IM: “I think a French beauty trend that the U.S. is a little behind on would be the natural look. Though, if you love wearing makeup, then you should continue to do what makes you happy. On social media, I see a lot of Americans slowly accepting their natural beauty—whether that be embracing a full brow, letting your freckles show or having a natural glossy look. I do encourage taking a break from makeup to let your skin breathe. What I love about the U.S. is walking around the streets and seeing everyone’s hair done so nicely. I love big, bouncy curls or short, styled hair because you can tell it really expresses a person’s personality.”
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