They say clichés develop because they contain a kernel of truth. So while ‘the blonde bombshell with a heart of gold’ may be a cliché, Sophie Monk is its living, breathing proof. Disarmingly self-aware and straight shooting, she has learned to carve out time to enjoy what matters – boyfriend of one year, marketing exec Josh Gross, her very close family, the freedom and creativity her career allows – and leave no time to waste on the negatives. And let us assure you, she is absolutely as delightful (and yes, normal) in person as she has seemed on our screens for the last 20 years.
“My career has become about doing a bit of everything, and doing it all kind of averagely, haha!
I absolutely love the sorts of things I get to do now, although earlier on it was a bit tougher. Modelling was depressing, because it’s not about who you are at all. You’re just a prop that gets pulled around. I did enjoy music for a minute, but it’s such a tough industry. Same with acting, though living in LA and doing an Adam Sandler movie (Click) was a highlight.
Doing radio is so fun, you actually get to be creative and they encourage you to be yourself. And then there’s Love Island… honestly, hosting it is the best job I have ever had. It’s so easy… because it’s not about me! I get to just enjoy the drama, instead of being a part of it. I feel very lucky that my work means I’m publicly encouraged to be childish, and to focus on having fun.
I genuinely don’t look at bad press.
I ask other people to filter it to me so it doesn’t ruin my day. I’ll read the headline, get the gist and jump straight out again. Because if you check the comments, you’re done. The one negative will be the one that sticks with you. It’s pretty horrible walking down the street when you feel like people don’t like you, but on the whole I’ve been lucky enough to feel pretty loved and supported. Having people come up to you is part of the job, and I accept it and love it.
The public interest in my personal life, post-Bachelorette, has definitely died down.
[My boyfriend] Josh has recently moved here from LA and we’re living together. It can be hard when we’re both focused on careers that require lots of travel, and we were apart for so long. So now we’re enjoying doing all the little things, getting coffee, going for walks.
I am very close with my family – they live next door to me on the Gold Coast. I do spend a lot of time in hotels (though now I usually get to have Josh with me, which is amazing), but I’m so happy when I get to be at home.
IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @SOPHIEMONK
When it comes to beauty, I either stick with what I know and am a total minimalist, or if someone else is taking care of me, then I love to experiment.
Mum was really simple in her approach – she was into lanolin and natural, easy things, and she has better skin than I do, even now. I think how you look at beauty tends to kind of come from what you’re taught, doesn’t it? Plus travelling so much forces me to keep it pared back. It’s definitely been a process getting to this point, though. I mean, you try every stupid thing when you’re growing up, don’t you? All the tips from Dolly magazine… I definitely put eggs in my hair as a mask and left it in all day while I sat in the sun. So yep, the egg cooked and my hair absolutely reeked. Excellent.
I hate that beauty takes effort. I’m so lazy. If I have to get ready for something big it’s a whole process – spray tan, nails, extensions… it’s endless. I wish it were quicker.
I’ve found that chocolate liner in the rim of your eye is a quick way to look like you’ve tried. But I’m really not very good at doing my own face, so it’s usually someone else doing it. It’s great because I’ve picked up some good tips, like adding a dot of highlighter to the centre of your bottom lip before you put lipstick on, to help make your lips look fuller. It also means I get to play around all the time, and it’s so fun trying out lots of different looks. And I reckon keep a great look as long as you can. If a makeup artist has done an amazing eye on me, I try to keep it on. I just wash around it!
IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @SOPHIEMONK
I’m really lazy about my everyday routine. I guess I try and shave my legs every now and then…
I absolutely love all Aesop products, but my favourite is the shower gel. Once I’m out of the shower I go straight in with good old baby oil or Nivea moisturiser. If I’m not spray tanned and can be bothered to DIY, I go for ModelCo fake tan. I’ve been using this for years and it is still the best tanning product on the market.
I like Shu Uemura cleansing oil to get rid of heavy make up. Then it’s time for skincare. I am working with Aus Medic Co as a brand ambassador, and genuinely use their six step product routine every day. Also, I love a face mask. They just help everything. I say put everyone in a face mask.
B&B Hair on the Gold Coast takes care of my hair.
For products I use at home, I like Fudge Blonde Shampoo and Conditioner. It’s the best for keeping the blonde looking fresh, and takes out any brassy color. Oribe texturising hair spray is amazing to freshen up to my hair, and it gives me that perfect, slightly messy texture.
Where I live, no one cares what you look like. It’s very casual. You’re lucky if people are wearing shoes.
I didn’t grow up with much money, and I still love finding a bargain, but it has to do the job. I’ve definitely had unfortunate experiments with cheaper products that don’t blend properly… I mean, highlighter sideburns, anyone? Unlike some other budget brands, MCoBeauty (the baby sister brand of ModelCo) is a brand I really rate – it’s so affordable but is just like designer makeup. I particularly like their eye palette in Burgundy/Nudes, and my absolute favourite is Fatlash mascara. I also love Tom Dixon candles.
IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @SOPHIEMONK
I definitely don’t love exercise.
I used to do really hardcore workouts, and to be honest, I did go overboard. I’ve pulled it back. Actually, I’ve gone to the opposite end now and probably don’t do enough. Josh and I are so proud, we just bought gym memberships, haha! It really is so nice to have someone to exercise with you and encourage you.
Trust me, I definitely blow up, you just don’t see me. Then I get myself in gear and come back.
Generally, I try and cut out white carbs and stick to the boring salads and fish. And then at least once a week I go and eat two pizzas. Whoops. If I have a big job coming up, I try to be a bit careful for a week or two before. But I am all about food – I just love it. I go out and eat a lot, and then have to rein it back in again. It’s so awesome that I was able to team up with Slim Secrets to create our Love Bites. I eat a whole packet every day even when I’m ‘being good’ and it makes it so much easier.
I’ll be 40 this Christmas. As it gets closer, I don’t care as much as I thought I would.
When you’re younger you think you’ll worry about getting older, but I’m liking it. And I’m getting smarter. I know now that my favourite nights are quiet ones at home with my boyfriend, UNO and a glass of wine. What else would I need?”