Pania Rose is a beach babe through and through – and she’s got the freckles to prove it.
The Perth-born model was ‘discovered’, as many Aussie models are, when a Girlfriend magazine model search came to her hometown when she was 18. Since then it’s been onwards and upwards for Rose, who gets her model good looks from her Maori mother and Dutch father, she’s landed campaigns for Bonds, Revlon and Victoria’s Secret, and graced the pages Harper’s Bazaar, marie claire, Sports Illustrated and Spanish Vogue.
Interestingly, when we ask about her career highlights, Rose’s instinctive response is to name the thrill-seeking memories she’s been afforded thanks to her globetrotting career:
“Driving an eight-tonne SnowCat down a mountain in Utah or manning a six-seater light aircraft over the Mexican jungle and swimming with turtles in Hawaii,” she replies, fondly.
These days, as well as being a model, she’s mum to three-year-old son, Cas with her menswear designer (and surfing enthusiast) husband, Thaddeus O’Neil. The family is based in NYC and life’s charmed.
Gritty Pretty recently caught up with the beauty to talk about the new Aussie beauty brand she’s rep’ing, her son’s freckles (or lack thereof) and why she’s decided to be more experimental with makeup…
GP: Congratulations on your new role as the face of endota spa’s skincare and cosmetics line. How did that come to be?
PR: I was approached by the brand and immediately said yes! I completely relate to their natural beauty ideals and was in awe of Melanie Gleeson (founder) who started it grassroots style.
GP: What’s your favourite spa treatment and why?
PR: I adore a massage. At endota, I love the relaxing 75-minute Endotarama treatment, easing out all the tension in your neck and shoulders followed by a customised facial. It is very rare that I get this much heavenly care and attention without any distractions so it’s the perfect time out.
GP: Describe your approach to beauty –
PR: I have always been very natural in my approach, inspired by my mother who only wore lipstick on special occasions and to church on Sundays. I still don’t know how to apply eye-shadow correctly but on an average day but I’ll wear mascara, a dab of concealer to even out my complexion and some lip balm for a little gloss. I also wear sunscreen every single day and you won’t catch me without a hat in summer now.
GP: How has living in NYC and becoming a mum changed your beauty routine?
PR: Becoming a mum made me so much more appreciative of my body. I had a pivotal moment when I realised that this was as good as it gets and it’s time to cherish and enjoy what I have. Since then I’ve started experimenting more with eyeliner colours, wearing shorter dresses and colourful outfits. I even got some tiny delicate ear piercings. One of the best things about living in NYC is that you can walk onto the street and be any character you want to be and try different beauty looks.
GP: Reflecting on your career, what’s been some highlights so far?
PR: I adore my job – it is a dream to be world traveler and mother at the same time. The travel experiences are truly the highlights. Driving an eight-tonne SnowCat down a mountain in Utah, anning a 6-seater light aircraft over the Mexican jungle and swimming with turtles in Hawaii; these are the perks of my job!
GP: What are your favourite Aussie beauty products?
PR: We lead the world in producing the best SPF products and I am obsessed with endota spa’s Ceuticals 50+ SPF Daily Moisturiser.
GP: What’s the best beauty trick you’ve learned on the job?
PR: I sleep on my hair while it’s damp and the next day I have that beachy look. And, I curl my dead-straight eyelashes after I apply mascara. It’s the only way they’ll stay curled. I also avoid dairy and alcohol the day before I shoot.
GP: Your freckles are obviously such feature of your look (we love them!), did you have them even when you were a child growing up in Perth? Tell us, does your son, Cas, have them?
PR: It’s funny because when I look in the mirror I don’t see my freckles but I realise that they’re often the first thing people notice about me. They’re unusual in that they are only on my face and nowhere else on my body. I didn’t get my freckles until I was 6 years old. We moved from Perth to Karratha which has really hot-sun, desert country.
In my pre-primary school picture my face is completely clear and in my Year 1 picture, there are distinct freckles on my nose. I believe they were awoken by the West Australian sun. Cas is about to turn 4 and looks a lot like his Irish/Swedish American father, but with my eyes. I do hope he’ll get the freckles too!
GP: What’s the best thing about being a mum?
PR: It made me see just how amazing us women are. We can do anything! I get high on doing it all – jumping on a plane, cooking the meals, doing the laundry, out for a date night with my husband and then snuggles and stories with Cas. I’ve become like a quintessential Italian Mama – fiercely protecting the family unit, wanting her son to love only her and taking care of everybody!
GP: What’s next for Pania Rose?
PR: I’m working with my husband on his menswear line Thaddeusoneil.com. My specialty is organising all the background stuff including casting and producing the shows at NYFW.