Miss Universe Australia state finalist, Kassandra Kashian, is a twenty-one-year-old Sydney sider, taking the beauty pageant industry by storm and inspiring others on her path towards success. At such a young age, she has already reached impressive heights within the pageant industry, including placing as first runner up in the recent Miss Galaxy Australia competition. A determined young woman who is not wholly consumed by the glitz and glamour of her industry, Kassandra’s social conscience and positive attitude give her a maturity beyond her years. We sat down with the talented up-and-comer to chat about juggling life, pageants, pressures and beauty – both on the inside and out. Here’s what she had to tell us.
First of all, we know you juggle a lot of commitments between studying, competing and even makeup artistry – could you tell us a little bit about what a typical week in the life of Kassandra Kashian looks like?
Yes, it can be very busy at times! A typical week for me involves going to university three days a week, working in makeup artistry 4 days a week, planning activities and making appearances for my pageants, exercising and spending my free time with my boyfriend, friends and family!
A lot of Australians probably don’t know much about the pageant world, if you could tell these people the best or the most important things to know about pageants, or things that might surprise them, what would they be?
I believe that pageants within Australia provide a wonderful opportunity for young women to challenge themselves and work toward achieving something. They encourage hard work and determination and allow people to strive towards becoming the best version of themselves. In Australia, there are currently a lot of different pageant systems operating, each with different requirements. It is important to find the pageant that best suits your lifestyle and your passions. For example, some pageants encourage charity work. This is a fantastic opportunity for young women to help those less fortunate than themselves. It is important for people to know that pageants in today’s society are more than just beauty focused. They are focused on the individual as a whole (including confidence, public speaking, intelligence, community work) and the work they do within society.
How long have you been involved in pageants? How did you first get involved?
I have been competing in pageants for two years now. I entered my first pageant when I was 18 years old and fell in love with the experience and the confidence it gave me.
Can you tell us a bit about your recent Miss Galaxy Australia journey? What are the highs and lows of competing in such a nationally acclaimed pageant?
From October 2015 until April 2016 I dedicated myself to the Miss Galaxy Australia pageant. The pageant focuses on judging contestants in fashion wear, swimwear, evening wear, interview and photogenic. It also awards bonus points to contestants based on their community appearances and charity work. I immersed myself in the competition and made it my priority. The high is definitely being able to help those less fortunate than yourself and gaining confidence by competing on stage. Another high for me was also placing 1st Runner Up at the national final.
Naked Tan is just as much focussed on inner beauty and self-confidence as we are about helping our customers feel great on the outside too – do you feel a lot of pressure to look a certain way, particularly when competing, and what do you do to take care of your inner goddess, to nourish how you feel inside as opposed to how you look on the outside?
I completely agree with Naked Tan’s message of inner beauty and self confidence. Being a make up artist I am constantly helping women look and feel that they are their best and most confident self. When competing in pageants obviously there are guidelines on how your hair, make up and tan should look but each contestants individual beauty is celebrated. I nourish my inner goddess by trying to fill my body with nutrients from healthy foods, exercising to feel positively about my body and my health and by challenging myself to gain further confidence.
Going on from that, do you feel a certain pressure to be a role model for younger girls in your industry? Or do you embrace that community responsibility/aspect of pageantry?
When you are heavily involved with pageantry you automatically become a role model for younger girls within the community and the industry. It is important to recognise this and attempt to inspire them to achieve their full potential and challenge themselves. I feel I have a lot to teach others and would love to be thought of as someone they look up to.
Who is your biggest role model and why?
My biggest role model happens to be someone who is younger than me; Malala Yousafzai. She is the youngest person to ever win a Nobel Peace Prize and firmly stands up for her beliefs at all costs.
With the colder months ahead of us, it can often be hard to stay bronzed and sometimes we don’t look after ourselves as best we could, do you have any Winter beauty tips for our readers? What do you do to spoil yourself and feel/look great over Winter?
All year round I make sure to use my Naked Tan products and exfoliate, tan and moisturise to keep my skin looking its best. I am quite fair so love the natural glow Naked Tan gives me. I also love to have a bath every once in a while to hydrate my skin and relax! It is especially nice to have a bath during winter. I also try to continue exercising even though it can be very cold!
You always seem to be glowing with beauty and confidence on and off the stage, how does having a tan make you feel? Do you think having that extra bronzed, healthy glow gives you extra confidence?
Thank you! Having a tan makes me feel one hundred times more confident in myself. I honestly never leave the house without tan if I can help it! I just love the natural bronze glow I am able to achieve.
What do you love about Naked Tan products?
I love that the Naked Tan products are organic, vegan, cruelty free and ethically sourced! I think it is wonderful! I also love that they have a beautiful scent and feel very nourishing on the skin.
Finally, what’s the next stop on the journey – What exciting things can the world expect from Kassandra Kashian next? Where do you see yourself a year from now and five years from now?
My next step is graduating from my business degree! I am also currently a Miss Universe Australia state finalist and am extremely proud of my achievement. I can’t wait to continue working toward my goals before the next round of the competition. Additionally, in 5 years I hope to be working and combining my business background with my love for public speaking to secure the role of a television presenter.
Photo credit: @foreverbeautifulimages and @kassandrakashian via Instagram @kassandrakashian