Big brunette curls and a captivating smile. These are the first things we noticed on Sofiia Manousha when we met her in the Platine Hotel, Paris. The award-wining actress is on her way to the top of independent cinema, thanks to her talent, charm and kindness. This pure bred Parisian invites us into her minimalist universe, only colored by oriental touches of her Moroccan roots and her contagious happy mood…
Sofiia, can you tell us about your daily beauty routine?
Sofiia Manousha: I always take great care removing my make-up. In the evening, I use Couleur Caramel Micellar Water with organic orange blossom. Then, I put on some Kos serum to minimize pores, and a few drops of prickly pear seed oil, which I buy from an agricultural cooperative in Morocco. In the morning, I use a moisturizer with grape seed from Couleur Caramel. I either drink lemon juice or green tea. I never miss my yoga training, and then I have a very healthy breakfast, gluten free, and I’m vegetarian. As to my hair, I use tons of oils and natural products: prickly pear seeds, argan, almond, coco, and Niwel‘s shea butter as a mask.
Talking about hair… do you always keep it curly?
Sofiia: (laughing) It’s true that, when you grow up, you see more girls straighten their hair. The hairdressers I work with also always wants to straighten mine, but you know, I’ve always had short hair till I was 13 or so. My mother used to cut it all the time, I looked like a little boy. When it finally grew back, I chose to keep my curls, and I became THE one with curly hair among all the straight-haired girls. At the same time, Shakira and her blond locks became more popular, so I was reinforced in my choice. I’m a very natural person, I also seldom wear any make-up. I think it would’ve killed my identity if I had straight hair. I’m fond of the “white t-shirt, wild hair” and less is more. My watchword is comfort.
So how do you keep it comfy for your evening looks? It must be easy for your day outfits, but how about your red carpet style?
Sofiia: Well, I don’t wear a lot of make-up on a daily basis. To me, beauty comes from nice hair, nice skin, and nice nails. I absolutely love nail polish! During the day I usually let my skin breathe as much as possible as during shootings it’s all covered with products and so is my hair. For the evening, I have a very basic make-up style. I’m fond of Bobbi Brown, I use their red crayon on my lips and cheeks. I use a Laroche Posay mousse foundation as a concealer, and Bobbi Brown mascara, some Lancôme blush or my Nars contouring palette to draw my cheekbones. My daily outfits are rather simple: slim jeans and my white Lacoste sneakers or my black Timberland’s (that I wore on the shoot). Color wise, I love monochromes: all black, all white, all grey. A loose t-shirt and black straight jacket finish up my outfits. I like to break the simplicity, I add an artsy touch from time to time. For example, I bought a Cheyma coat a few days ago (worn on shoot!), because I fell in love with its oriental Berber vibe.
Can you define your style in three words?
Sofiia: Less is more? (Laughing) I’d say minimalist, comfortable and sharp.
Today we’re here at the Platin Hotel, in a room dedicated to the beauty and movie icon Marilyn Monroe. Who is your icon?
Sofia: Golshifteh Farahani. She’s extraordinary, she inspires me both in my personal life and work. I think she is beautiful, talented and really fascinating.
How do your Moroccan roots affect your sense of fashion?
Sofiia: I’m a berber, and it influences me a lot! I love traditional jewelry, silver rings, I wear loads of them. I buy them all vintage in Morocco. I wear a lot of turquoise stones, eye of the tiger. I love everything oriental, Arab art moves me. I love the minimalism of gandouras. In my own minimalism, there is something deeply oriental.
Who are your favorite designers?
Sofiia: The pillars such as Saint Laurent, Valentino and Alaïa. Otherwise I adore Alexandre Vauthier, and I love Carven and Céline. Lately, I’m also fond of new creators such as Acne, Irfé, Dice & Kayek, and Cheyma.
Your favorite fashion item?
Sofiia: My Mulberry military clutch.
Bags or shoes?
Sofiia: Both! And I just bought a Furla bag I’m in love with.
Your fashion mantra?
Sofiia: Minimal is the new black.
What is your cinema agenda like? Can you tell us about your next projects?
Sofiia: I just finished filming Insoumise, a film directed by Jawad Rhalib where I have the lead part. It’s an engaged social film about a young Moroccan revolutionary who goes to Belgium to work on a farm and create a union denouncing exploitation. I also just finished Achoura, a French-Moroccan movie directed by Talal Selhami. I recently returned from Morocco after shooting a TV movie that will air on France 3, with Gérard Jugnot. Released on October 7th too, in Belgium, 7 rue De La Folie for which I had the Best-Actor Award at Agadir Film Festival. And I also have some exclusive news for you.. I’m preparing my own film! It’s called Brûle and it’s a story about the gift of self, how far we are willing to go for love. I will be co-directing this film with Willy Cartier and Youssef Hadji.
STYLING: Lilia Hamadi
HAIR: Laura Tilliet
MAKE-UP: Awara Gomis & Chad Pysson
LOCATION: Platine Hotel Paris