Ever wish you could spend every day at the beach? Trade in your 8am meetings and paperwork pileup for a bathing suit and salt-tousled hair? While that’s just a daydream for most of us, surfer/model/swimwear designer Malia Jones actually lives that life.
The sun goddess guru and mum of two splits her time between Honolulu, Hawaii and Venice Beach, California, where she designs her namesake line of bathing suits and kaftans. With that much time spent alfresco, Malia definitely knows a thing or two about sun protection strategies—think easy-to-reapply-SPF and a wardrobe of wide-brimmed hats. We sat down with her in sunny California to get her surfer-approved tips.
The Wink: Living in Hawaii sounds like a dream. Is it?
Malia Jones: I surf almost every day. I throw on one suit in the morning, then go jump in the ocean. I’ll come home and change into another suit and work for a while. Then I’ll go back out and jump in the ocean again. I sometimes change into four different suits a day!
TW: What inspired you to start your own line?
MJ: After modeling and surfing for 15 years, I’ve worn a lot of bikinis. But I always had a hard time finding the perfect fit. So I knew exactly what I wanted to make—something chic and timeless that you could wear in any country or season. And the cut and fit had to be impeccable.
TW: You spend a lot of time outdoors. Did you learn about sun protection at a young age?
MJ: My mum always told me that if I did one thing, I better wear sunscreen. Growing up we’d wear these super thick sun sticks that were almost like a mask. We’d surf all day long and not get burned. Then, as I got into my 20s, I started to realise that I should wear sunscreen every day, even if I wasn’t at the beach. My mum warned me that my neck, hands and décolletage would age the fastest.
TW: What do you look for in a sunscreen?
MJ: For my face, I really need to use something that’s not oily and dries matte because I wear contacts, so when I jump in the ocean, I don’t want it to run into my eyes. I like Clinique SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen Fluid for Face because it’s light and non-greasy and you don’t feel it. I also always wear a hat between 10am and 2pm.
TW: What’s your post-surfing beauty routine?
MJ: I believe less is more. I think wearing more makeup ages me. I don’t own foundation, but I’ll use a concealer stick to cover any redness or blemishes. I’m also obsessed with oils. I use a face oil over my moisturiser and I use them on my hair and body, too.
TW: Every day must seem like a holiday when you live in Hawaii. What are your summer plans?
MJ: My family and I are going to Italy and France for a month where our only plans are to surf and eat! I’m also just finishing up samples for our new Resort collection. And then I’ll be going to Cabana, which is a huge swimwear show in Miami.
Photos: Katrina Dickson | Words: Katie Livanos | Hair & Makeup: Mia Yang