Real Girl, Real Beauty: Glam Advice From A Pro Hula Hooper

Marawa The Amazing may have the coolest job title, ever: professional hula hooper. As a performer, instructor, and all-around fireball, she’s the kind of girl who grabs life with both hands and inspires everyone who crosses her path. And, what’s not to love? The gal's got custom-made high-heeled roller skates. She went to school for circus arts. She can keep 133 hoops spinning at the same time. Need we say more?
And, not only is Marawa a talented artist and athlete, she’s also a total glamour girl. Whether she's getting into cabaret mode — her tricks for applying false eyelashes will change your life — or treating her incredible mop of curls to some TLC, Marawa is filled with tons of clever beauty advice. But, don't take our word for it — see for yourself as we offer up a peek at her East London base and pick up some makeup tips that are, well, nothing short of amazing.
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Photographed by Cecilie Harris.
Who are your beauty icons?
"Pat Cleveland — always so beautiful, disco perfection. Grace Jones — 'nuff said. Josephine Baker — her makeup became wilder as she got older and she brought out her own brand of hair product called 'Bakerfix' because of her iconic hair style. Genius!" Joseph trousers, Edgeley top and earrings, ZU heels, and bangles from Beijing.
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Photographed by Cecilie Harris.
You say you swear by a red lipstick. What's your go-to hue?
"Russian Red by MAC. I also have a 'Crazy Horse for Benefit' red which is brilliant, but it's limited-edition so only for super-special occasions."

Do you wear glitter just for performing?
"I love glitter, but it's usually just for performing or if the right party calls for it."
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Photographed by Cecilie Harris.
Where do you get your nails done? We love the angular design you're sporting.
"I love nails! At the moment I am getting them done at Yen's in Hackney. I have started wearing tips, which I didn't think I ever would, but they are so strong and I get them filed into sharp points. I can still type and hoop, so they are not annoying at all and I feel like a proper lady now! When I am home in Melbourne, it's all about Clara H. She is a genius! I wish I could fly home every month to see her."

Professional hula hooper sounds like the most incredible job. How did you get into it?
"I was a rhythmic gymnast when I was younger. Then I studied at the National Institute of Circus Arts in Melbourne and have a Bachelor of Circus Arts. I specialised in trapeze, but I also studied hoops."

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Photographed by Cecilie Harris.
What is your tip to being a great hula hooper?
"The core. Make sure you hoop on both sides to keep your abs even! And, make sure you have the right hoop! You've gotta have a hoop that is hip height! People think they can't do it anymore because they are using a kid's hoop. You've gotta get a big one!"

How often do you teach classes and do performances?
"At the moment I am teaching three classes a week and then performing on top, which is hard with travel. I perform in Europe a fair bit. Sometimes I have eight shows a week, sometimes a couple in one night, and the logistics with cabs, etc. can be tricky! I also perform on and off with La Soirée, the Olivier Award-winning cabaret show."
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Photographed by Cecilie Harris.
What's the best beauty advice you've ever received?
"I am really into face and body brushing. Another performer friend got me onto it and it's great. It wakes me up in the morning and my skin feels much better for it!"
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Photographed by Cecilie Harris.
What are the top beauty brands you swear by?
"Chanel. It's just so classy and always smells so nice (duty-free every time). I also love Aesop — born in Melbourne, yeah! So many great scrubs and creams, and natural, too. I love products made out of real plants and natural ingredients."

Vintage kimono.
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Photographed by Cecilie Harris.
How do you keep your curls bouncy and conditioned?
"I have a serious routine. Basically, I wash and condition my hair every day (annoying). I comb it out with a wide-tooth comb and a good handful of Yes to Carrots conditioner. When I get out of the shower I squeeze the excess water out, add another half a handful of conditioner to the ends of my hair, and then wrap it all in a towel turban. I leave that on for about 10 minutes and then I am good to go!"
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Photographed by Cecilie Harris.
Who cuts your hair? You mentioned that you trim your fringe yourself.
"Tim Nolan at Ion Studio in New York City — he's the best! Curly fringes are hard — you have to really commit. Keep them well-moisturised so that they don't just fly up and make a fluff ball tuft on top of your head and channel Rick James."
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Photographed by Cecilie Harris.
Tell us about your favourite scent.
"I have two. I will always carry a little Chanel No. 5 in my travel bag, as it reminds me of my grandma and suits every occasion. But, I have totally fallen in love with Florabotanica by Balenciaga. I'm obsessed — it's so good."
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Photographed by Cecilie Harris.
Your false lashes are amazing. What's your secret?
"Good glue! Duo make the best one, but get the one that dries clear. It's important to make sure the lashes are curved. You can use an eyelash curler to help if they are a bit straight. It's best to buy human hair ones, which are easy to get these days. They also shouldn't be too long. Just trim with good scissors to match your natural lash line length, then add a thin strip of glue and leave for at least five minutes before you put them on. The glue needs to get tacky! When applying, hold the outside of the lash, stick on the inside corner first, then follow along 'til the end!"

Edgeley dress and earrings, Wampnation ring, Charlotte Olympia heels.
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Photographed by Cecilie Harris.
How do you describe your personal style?
"Pretty mixed up — vintage gems mixed with practical travel pieces. Everything stretches so there's nothing to iron."

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Photographed by Cecilie Harris.
Any other beauty tips up your sleeve?
"Double cleanse. Always. It's a game changer."
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Photographed by Cecilie Harris.
What are your other beauty essentials?
"Lip balm. Nuxe make the best one, especially for long flights, etc. Also, moisturisers. I really like the Aesop body balms."

Marawa's collection of custom-made platforms, including her famous glitter roller skates.
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Photographed by Cecilie Harris.
And your fave eye liner?
"Lancôme Liquid Artliner. There is no other. The tip is beyond. End of."
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