Australia has been accused many times of tall poppy syndrome – a tendency to discredit the famous people we make famous. But, then there are those who win the country over, and the love is unconditional and loyal. Jesinta Franklin (nee Campbell) is one such celebrity. From pageant beauty to TV regular, model, author and ambassador, she has remained a darling to both media and fans. But when you start your career winning an award for kindness (she was voted Miss Congeniality in the 2010 Miss Universe Pageant), there’s no room for haters. Now, busy renovating her home with new husband Sydney Swans player Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin, she's the face of Olay and a David Jones ambassador - in-demand but never a diva. We were warmly welcomed to her Eastern Suburbs pad to discuss her early pageant days, her beauty product obsession and the first date with Buddy that did not go to plan…
"My first date with Buddy was a green tea at The Crown hotel bar…
I was thinking, I really need a drink, and the waiter came over to take our order and Bud was like ‘A green tea’. I was like, shit! ‘Okay, I’ll have a green tea too, thank you.’ Really what I need is like a triple shot gin and tonic… Yeah and then eight green teas later and three and a half hours I was like oh actually, you’re quite nice.
But, he had tried [to ask me out] before then and I said I was too busy…
Five years ago, he got my number off someone and then he just started messaging me. And I was like, ‘Um, I’m not dating at the moment. I’m dating my career.’ Cringe! Oh my God, I can’t believe I said that. Back then, as soon as I came back from competing at Miss Universe I hit the ground and the years following were insanely busy. Weekends were none existent and I never took any holidays. I was so busy I couldn’t imagine fitting in any dating.
The Miss Universe Pageant was surreal…
It was really the first time I’d worn makeup, at 17. I felt so out of place and like it wasn't me. I grew up in the Gold Coast in the bush, I didn’t have a pair of heels, I didn’t really wear makeup… The Australian pageant was one thing [but] then the international pageant was just nuts. It was in Vegas and all the girls’ veneers were perfect, not one hair out of place, the nails were perfect. The outfits are styled from head to toe, they’ve been media trained and I just called mum and I was like, ‘There’s no point in me being here’.
After talking to mum, she told me to make the most of the experience and I did.
It ended up being a really nice, supportive network of women. There was no cattiness, I still interact with a lot of the girls on social media. I had actually nominated Miss Ireland for the Miss Congeniality award, and I still keep in touch with her. My life advice is to get your heart broken… Live a little, you know? Have new friends.
My mum’s quite simple when it comes to beauty, but she taught me to love skincare.
Skincare was definitely something that mum [wanted us to understand], and looking after our skin was something she drilled into us. She was always making sure we moisturised and looked after our skin in the sun and what we put in our body would reflect on the outside. All of those kind of things, she always said to make sure you never, ever sleep in your makeup because I think she did that when she was younger and wished she didn’t. My beauty and skin care philosophy is not to spend too much time on it or let it consume too much of your life with it.
But, in saying that there’s something really amazing about beauty products, you know?
For me, I think growing up on the Gold Coast, a very humble upbringing, I didn’t have the fancy things in life - we went camping for holidays. When I got introduced to makeup it was a way for me to transform myself. I don’t have facials often but I do have a SunDynamica infrared sauna, I just lay it out on the ground. It’s more like relaxation for me. Treatment wise, I only go under the LED Light, which is the upgrade of the Omnilux, at Skin and Tonic. I have an efficient but strict skin care regime. So I sit under that once a week for about 15 minutes.
I'm obsessed with the Dior Lip Sugar Scrub...
...especially when I'm travelling. I love the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow, it's nice and easy to apply and the bronzer isn't too sparkly. Sometimes I find bronzers have glitter in them and they're too shiny. I'm a big fan of the Estee Lauder Victoria Beckham Eye Palette collab. It's great for date night - if I've got just a nice natural base, I'll put the colour under my eye and a little bit on the corner to smoke it up a bit. I love it.
I won’t align with a beauty brand unless I love the products, so I tried Olay for four weeks before I worked with them.
I started off with just the cleanser and the moisturiser which is still my favourite, then the foaming cleanser. I had a big meeting [with them] and took me through the history of the brand which was amazing, and all the research and science behind it - I was [in] hook, line, and sinker. It’s nice [that] it’s a product I use every day and I believe in and I feel like I’m promoting something I believe in which is really important. If I’m telling women to put something on their skin, I need to be able to put it on myself.
I love Miss Dior Eau De Perfume, it’s the first perfume Buddy got me…
I usually travel with the Perfume and every time I spray it I’m reminded of those early days together. Buddy wears Dior too. Sauvage is one of my favourites on him. It's really masculine and the aftershave is amazing too. I love a good perfume. I often find that certain scents can transport you back in time to certain events in lives or bring alive special memories.
I have an energy healer…
My interior decorator Kathy Bruce from Water Tiger has a sister who clears bad energy. She works on energy cords that run between people. Once you meet someone you exchange energy with them. When I’ve had negative experiences with people she has helped me to cut those cords and remove the bad energy from my life.
I love cooking.
I eat a lot of heaps of steamed veggies with a protein, grilled chicken or salmon. But with my veggies I try to get as many colours on the plate. So the other night we had steamed broccoli, steamed silver beet, purple cabbage, yellow carrot, these golden yellow carrots and then an orange carrot and some beetroot. Healthy meals shouldn’t really take you more than 20 minutes to make. I made a great Mexican brown rice last night with a smoked paprika, chicken, and a guac on the side with lime and chilli. It was so easy.
I do kick boxing and sometimes spar on Thursday at Bondi Boxing Gym.
I think for me it’s kind of like meditation, it’s the only time that I’m only thinking about that. I’m not thinking about work or what’s going on in my personal life, it’s really therapeutic. This is my third year boxing I think. One weekend I came home from a work trip and Buddy had hung a boxing bag for me out the out back of our house, he knows how much I love it. I haven’t used it much as I box most days at the gym. It was really sweet though. Anyone that knows me well knows that I rarely miss a boxing session, its a real passion of mine.