I love Dubai, says Olivia Culpo

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I love Dubai, says Olivia Culpo

The pageant queen turned social media darling chats with City Times ahead of visiting Dubai to announce lifestyle event Beauty Pop

By Enid Parker

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Published: Tue 20 Feb 2018, 2:09 PM

Last updated: Sat 24 Feb 2018, 4:52 PM

American model, actress, fashion influencer and former Miss Universe Olivia Culpo is no stranger to Dubai, and admits she's extremely excited to be heading down to our shores yet again. She will be in the city from February 22-24 to announce a major beauty event, Beauty Pop, to be held at Dubai Design District from April 19-21, featuring a star-studded line-up and make-up masterclasses, panel talks, meet & greets, as well as brand pop-up activations.
We caught up with Olivia over the phone ahead of her trip to the city for a quick chat.

What are your thoughts on visiting Dubai again and announcing the launch of Beauty Pop?
On one of my previous trips I went to the Burj Khalifa, which is absolutely beautiful! I was also with Belle Femme, and I did a beauty demo with celebrity make-up artist Patrick Ta, which was very fun! So I'm looking forward to coming back and I'm also going to be announcing a really great collaboration in the beauty space outside of the pop-up, so that's fun, and then photoshoots, press and definitely a lot of tourist activities, because I love Dubai.

Apart from being a model and an actress, you're also a fashion influencer. What's your favourite subject to give your fans tips on - is it make-up, hair, style or something else?
I have to be honest, I like the way that it all comes together. There's not one thing I could tell you that I like more than the other because I do feel like each component plays such an important part in creating the entire look. So it's definitely just the combination of all three.

I read your five-step Galentine's Day feature and I have to say it was really sweet and also very inspiring for single people! What made you decide to do this?
Well, I think girls should remember how important camaraderie is! I think that on Valentine's Day in particular, a lot of people can be focused on their significant other and not their friends. Honestly, your friends are just as important a relationship in your life as a loved one. So I like to kind of highlight that.

Because sometimes on Valentine's Day when you're down in the dumps, going out with friends can make a big difference!
Absolutely and it (my piece) kind of just gives you ideas to do things fun with your friends, even if you do have a date later that night with someone that you're interested in seeing! You can still make it fun with your girlfriends, you can make an excuse to have fun with each other, and who doesn't love a party?

You were recently featured in Sports Illustrated magazine as a rookie and you could win Swimsuit Rookie of the Year. How does that feel?  
That was so exciting. Sports Illustrated has been something that I've wanted to do for my entire career. It's because of all these business moguls that I really admire who have used this magazine as a stepping stone.

On your day off, what's your fashion mantra? Do you go completely casual and what's your favourite outfit on such days?
Well, lately I've really been into matching sweatsuits - because I think you can dress them up and you can dress them down - and if you put on a really nice pair of heels, you can go out and it doesn't feel like you're underdressed. Also, they make so many great athleisure pieces. they don't look too casual; they look very cool and laidback and they can be worn for any occasion.

What's your favourite red carpet look - is it classic glamour or something a bit more daring and edgy?
I definitely like to take risks but my current favourite red carpet look would be cat eye, dewy skin, no mascara, and I would say pinky-mauve lips!

You won the Miss Universe title in 2012, and since then have established yourself as a prominent figure in the world of beauty and fashion - what kind of doors did winning the pageant open for you and how would you describe your journey so far?
I think that Miss Universe was a huge launching pad for me, but I've been doing so many other things outside of that as well. I think that these days you can do so many different things, and I was able to use Miss Universe as a stepping stone, but I didn't feel like I needed to pigeonhole myself; I felt like I could do anything that I wanted to do basically. I try not to limit myself. And I take every opportunity that I have and really try to make the most of it, and I think because of that I was able open up doors that kind of took me out of the pageant world.

You've appeared in films as well as a music video (Nick Jonas' hit single Jealous) and have a couple more films in the pipeline. What are your future plans as far as Hollywood is concerned?
Well, I have a movie that just came out called American Satan, and I have a film with Bruce Willis called Reprisal, and I have another one with Amy Schumer that's releasing soon called I Feel Pretty!

One of your New Year's resolutions as you've outlined in a blog on your website was to do more volunteer work. Do you feel celebrities have a kind of moral responsibility to give back something to society and raise a voice on behalf of those less fortunate?
I think that everybody has a responsibility to give back, whether you're a celebrity or not, and I do admire people who are celebrities who use their fame and their platform to do good. Like Jennifer Lawrence, I just read, is taking a year out of acting so that she can inspire young people to get more involved in their local communities and things like that are what make work and your job so much more meaningful.

Another thing that stood out amongst your resolutions is the fact that you keep a journal - as a writer myself I find that very interesting. Is it cathartic for you to put down your thoughts on paper?
Yes, absolutely! Putting down my thoughts on paper is one of my favourite things to do. I have a journal at all times. I always travel with a journal. For me it's just a way of letting my thoughts out and venting and just really getting in touch with how I feel. Because I think sometimes when you're so busy and constantly on the go, it's hard to check in with yourself and really know what you're feeling, how you're doing. Writing helps.
While Olivia didn't really need to appear in Nick Jonas's Jealous to be catapulted into the spotlight - you have to admit that being in her handsome former flame's video for his hit single did draw many more curious eyeballs in her direction! And why not - she's absolutely breathtakingly fabulous to look at (okay, so it's obvious we're huge fans)! Her love life seems to have taken a turn in the right direction. Olivia is currently dating American football player Danny Amendola and she recently posted a sweet Instagram message to her beau after his team's (the New England Patriots') Superbowl loss.


Olivia's new reality show, E's Model Squad, follows her and fellow models Ashley Moore, Caroline Lowe, Daniella Braga, Ping Hue, and Devon Windsor, as well as Hannah Ferguson, Nadine Leopold and Shanina Shaik as they navigate the fashion industry and life in New York City. We can't wait to tune in!

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