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Interview With Lebanese TV Presenter Joelle Mardinian

Over the years, Joelle Mardinian has managed to become a signature name in the television industry through her revolutionary re-looking and beauty shows on MBC channel. And recently, when you watch Joelle Mardinian on TV, you cannot but think of the esteemed business mogul she has worked on becoming: a one of a kind Arab female pioneer.

In our interview, we wanted to follow Joelle’s career path starting off with MBC group and up to her current business ventures. And from the woman who brought confidence to spectators from all over the Middle East, we learned about her business mindset, beauty tips, and much more.

Joelle The Person & TV Presenter

AM: In your own words, how would you introduce us to Joelle?
I am a mother of two beautiful kids, a make-up artist, entrepreneur and a TV host. I am blessed and very happy in my life. I like to think that my life is simple. If we are passionate and if we love, we can create miracles! I also am a firm believer of hard work and perseverance. They never fail and this is the only reason I am here in life. So do what you love with consistency and determination and it will soon show results.

AM: How did you start your TV career?
I have always been fascinated with beauty and I felt like beauty was for everyone. Soon after studying hospitality, I went on to study makeup and working hard as a make-up artist to build my portfolio. Having lived most of my life in the U.K., I came to Dubai in 2004 and landed my makeover show Joelle. The show gained much popularity. I started to meet fans from all over the world, even Arabs living in Europe, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Amman, etc. And after working on my show for many years, I was able to gain the experience and trust from my audience that I needed.

AM: You are one of the first TV presenters to host beauty shows, and with all the competing programs, how do you manage to remain the leader?

I am lucky to have my fans and audience support me as they do. However, I have never really thought of anyone or any other program as competition. I do what I like to do, what I believe in and I know this is what my audience wants. The Joelle show has been running for 12+ years now, we are truly blessed.

AM: What is your proudest TV moment?

Every time I see someone smile because of how much we were able to change things positively for them, I feel proud. When I see people regain confidence and beauty, I feel proud.

Joelle The Businesswoman

AM: How did you become a business mogul?
Of course, when I started my TV show I was already an established makeup artist and stylist in the UK and I had worked with huge names as their makeup artist. When I came to Dubai and landed my job on my TV show, which is a makeover program, the show became super famous on MBC

Every time I met fans who saw the show anywhere in public, they would ask me about my salon, even though at the time I didn’t have one. People thought that the salons featured in the show were my salons! After a couple of years of saying “I don’t have a salon,” I realized it was only fair if I had one. That’s when I opened the first Maison de Joelle on Jumeirah Beach Road in 2008. That was a very tough period in Dubai, it was the beginning of the financial crisis but thank God with a lot of perseverance, dedication and hard work I was able to survive and to grow. I grew my salons to the many branches it has all over the Middle East. Because of the salon, I started doing makeovers for people. I started doing consultations for people and when I did those consultations, people would come up to me and ask me about surgery, about liposuction, about noses, about dental. So then I started referring my clients to different doctors that were on my show. This led me into deciding to open my own Clinic, Clinica Joelle.

AM: Please tell us more about all your businesses?
I have my chain of beauty salons called Maison de Joelle and it deals with cosmetic products, nails, hair and make-up. Clinica Joelle is my aesthetic clinic and works by giving therapeutic solutions from the field of cosmetology to solve patient’s problems from within.

Every patient is different and every need is different. Someone might just need a makeover or some touching up that can be done at Maison de Joelle, whereas someone else might want to re-shape their nose or fix the appearance of their teeth to look and feel confident. I am proud to have the best experts and doctors from various fields that make people happy and makes Clinica Joelle as powerful as it is today. It is quite loved by the residents of the U.A.E. and now slowly gaining popularity in the Gulf countries.

Finally, I also have my range of skin and hair care, my brand called Joelle Paris. It was developed after I noticed that the women in the gulf are very interested in make-up and they love it. But one thing they forget is to take care of their skin, which is very important especially with the weather conditions here. I want to focus on creating something for everyone – men, women and kids that suits all kinds of skin and hair. They are made after careful research and fabricated in the best laboratories of Paris for the Middle Eastern woman.

AM: What are your latest projects?
We have just launched the Detox range by Joelle Paris for hair. It is an amazing range made with eucalyptus extract, leaving hair nourished and clean, especially for the weather in the region.

We have also started a Maison de Joelle in Kurdistan and we are slowly expanding further. Clinica Joelle opened in Kuwait and Riyadh and we are beyond excited for the launches. Not to forget the one in Egypt, which we recently launched as well. We have more lined up for this year, wait for the surprise!

AM: How challenging is it to be a female entrepreneur in the Middle East?

I think if I was not in Dubai, 99.9% I would not have achieved what I have achieved till today. Today we have 11 beauty salons in the region. I started on the Jumeirah Beach Road, my first salon and today there are 11 branches in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Riyadh, Jeddah, Qatar and we have in Kurdistan, Morocco and soon in Tunisia. I think if I wasn’t in this amazing country I don’t think I would have had the confidence to start up a business. So I think for sure the U.A.E. has been a country that makes people’s dreams comes true, allows us to invest fear because we know that we are safe, our investment is secure and there is room to grow.

AM: What is your advice to all the young entrepreneurs in the MENA region?
If you want to be an entrepreneur make sure that you are willing to sleep less, and to think more. To give up your brunches, breakfasts and your lunches, and going browsing in the malls whenever you feel like, because your work is going to take a lot of your time.

Be willing to invest money and know that that investment might not come back to you for at least 2 to 3 years, which is actually a normal thing in business. So that’s what you need to put in mind that you have to work hard, be on top of your business, get into the smallest things and the biggest things, hire the right team around you, be a good leader to your team. You can not ask of your team to work hard while you are sitting down doing nothing. They will not be motivated. I think a great leader is someone that actually, honestly leads the way that’s why they are called a leader. So your team will take all of their energy from you, they will take all the inspiration from you.

AM: What is a career objective you still want to achieve?
When I first started in beauty, I started with a strong belief that beauty should be the right of everyone. I started my businesses that revolve around beauty in aims of taking this close and available to each and every woman in the world. My only aim now is to grow bigger, take Maison de Joelle and Clinica Joelle to more countries, to the Europe and the U.S.  I want people to appreciate gentle care through Joelle Paris products and understand that cosmetology and beauty is for all.

Joelle The Fashionista

AM: Where do you get your fashion inspiration, and where do you shop from?
I see inspiration all around me! I am always inspired by creativity, whether it’s piece of art, a statue or another make-up artists or another hair stylist, fashion designer. Everything inspires me. So from all this lovely inspiration I come with my own inspiration, my own version of a trendy look. Obviously we are all somewhat inspired by trends. From the latest pieces available at stores to make-up techniques, fads come and go based on various reasons. But I always like to have an essence of my style in how I look. Sure it depends on the season, on the country I am in and the kind of event or gathering I am at.

AM: In your opinion, what are some must-have items that every woman needs in her closet?
Simplicity is key and a woman must always show a bit of herself in how she chooses to dress. I am not going to say this for everyone, but basics are always important. A good blazer, a nice crisp white shirt, a good pair of well-fitted jeans, some smart heels, and a little black dress.

Honestly, every body type and every woman is different. I think these are pieces that everyone can work around with and look amazing as they style it with a bit of themselves in it!

AM: Can you describe your diet and beauty regimen?

I eat clean most of the time. I am not going to say what I eat is perfect. I try to eat clean and healthy, drinking lots of water. Once in a while, I will bake with my daughter Ella who loves to bake! I exercise regularly with my coach and many a days, I take my kids out for a run around the block, it’s a lot of fun. We also swim a lot and I absolutely love doing sports with my kids.

Living in Dubai, one thing I have learned is good sun protection from the harmful rays. I love My Good Day cream from Joelle Paris. It’s a sun protect cream which is very essential in maintaining healthy skin all year round. I also believe in good rest for your skin at night. Above all, stay happy and positive and it will show on you.

Joelle’s Favorites List:
  • Favorite Arab designer: Elie Saab
  • Favorite clothing brand: Miu Miu
    Favorite Fashionista: Kate Moss and Victoria Beckham 
  • Favorite model: Marilyn Monroe
  • Favorite city: Cannes, Dubai and London
Everyday Joelle:
  • I can’t leave the house without: My cell phone
  • On a typical day you will see me wearing my: Good Day by Joelle Paris
  • My current perfume is: Paco Rabanne and Chanel No. 5
  • My relationship with the gym can be described as: Consistent
  • My guilty pleasure is: Herm├Ęs
  • After a stressful week you will catch me: With my kids at home

Follow Joelle’s business and fashion news here.

Article by Victor