Describe yourself in 3 words?
Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
As a child I was very much influenced by my grandmother. She was so strong and determined but so loving and giving. When she passed away my biggest influence was my mother. She was a single mom who had three jobs to raise my brother and myself. I never saw the struggle back then. I just felt love and a very warm home, but looking back, I can’t even imagine how hard it was for her.
As an adult and currently, my biggest influence is my husband. He is my best friend in the world and I thank God every day for allowing us to meet in this lifetime.
When did you start modeling?
I was working in KFC to help my mommy with my expenses for university when I was 16. A guy at the drive thru window asked me if I was a model. I thought he was making fun of me because I was so skinny and would usually be called Olive Oil so I ignored him. He parked, went in and convinced me to do a photo shoot. I showed up to the shoot with my mom, uncle, cousins, aunts and everyone in my family. They were all ready to kick his but if he was a pervert.
Little did I know, I was shooting a big campaign and fell in love with how the camera made me feel. I couldn’t believe I was getting paid so much money. I used to have to work for a month to make the money I made in one campaign. Thats why when models complain about how hard it is, I can’t stand it.
After that campaign, I got very lucky and became one of the Top Models of Puerto Rico, I was able to travel a lot and make money to help my mom. Her one condition was that I had to finish my university studies. I finished both my bachelors degrees (One in Social Work and one in Special Education). I will forever be grateful for my modeling days as I was able to help my mommy, meet amazing people that I love and are still a part of my life and travel to places I probably would have never been to.
What’s fun about modeling and whats not?
I think everything is fun! Maybe some would say that the long hours aren’t fun but when you put it in perspective, you are getting paid to be glamorous and wear nice things; what could possibly be not fun? Maybe the casting process.
You just launched a new Line, tell us about it?
I am beyond excited! I just launched the Joyce Miracle Elixir Collection and it really is a dream come true! We launched it on Evine and thank God its been a great success! We’ve been constantly Sold Out and the reviews are fantastic!
I brought together the 4 best oils in the world. When I was little in the mountains of Puerto Rico, my grandma would make me these potions and things to put on my hair and skin. We didn’t have lots of money but we had lots of nature and an abundance of LOVE. Thats why my entire line is inspired on Love & Nature. I learned from her potions, from all the little tricks I learned in my modeling days and in my travels.
People have always asked me about my hair and my skin. I come from the consumer side; Im one of those girls who loved and still loves hanging out in pharmacies and beauty supply stores just exploring everything. In Puerto Rico my favorite hang out was going to Walgreens in the night and browsing though everything. All my friends used to say I was the hair & skin guru; they would come to my house and ask me to make them potions 🙂 Now I can share my little secrets with everyone!
I could talk about my line all day long; LOL… If you want to read more about my inspiration and check out the entire line, please visit me at joycegiraud.com
Whats your favorite product from your line?
I love everything! I would never sell something I don’t absolutely love or believe in. If I had to pick just one item; I would say its my Pure4. Its my no compromise product. 100% organic and I love how my skin feels and looks. Its the blend of the best oils in the world which are the base to all my products.
Sometimes people have the misconception that oil will break them out or be bad for their skin but my oil is 100% pure so it does the contrary; it balances the PH in your skin. Gives you all the natural antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that your skin needs and your skin just looks plump and fresh. Im kind of obsessed with it.
Everyone that has tired it is in love with it so that makes me very happy.
You opened a school in Africa, tell us about it? How did you get involved in this project?
Ive always believed that in life, you have to give back. You can’t be selfish and only think about yourself. Ive been working with the UNESCO Foundation for Children in Need. Now known as the YOU Foundation for 13 years. My mother in Law has opened over 500 schools worldwide in places that have no access to education.
When I became a mother and my kids started school, it really hit me and I couldn’t believe that there are places in the world where education is simply not an option. I firmly believe education should be a natural born right.
How do we expect our future generations to excel if we don’t give them the tools to do so?
It was breaking my heart seeing all the images of the children having to work at such an early age just to go get water, so I saved money and funded 3 wells in Africa with my husband. Then I started a charity pageant called Queen of the Universe and through that was able to open our very first school in Senegal. When I get the pictures of my children writing me and see their happy little faces my days just become brighter.
A portion of my line will go to the YOU foundation. For anyone reading this… Please help any foundation that touches your heart. It doesn’t matter how little you think it is.
Ive always said that if everyone would give one dollar. Just one! We could all make such a huge impact to try to end world hunger.
What part of your job do you find the most challenging?
Thats a loaded question because I wear so many different hats right now. But I love everything I do!
I produce, I act, I’m in the lab with my amazing people to create new products and Im a mommy above everything. Being a mommy has little challenges but they are very worth it and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Producing is very difficult but I get such a high in knowing that I’m creating something. Its as if all the adrenaline in the world kicks in. Acting I absolutely LOVE! I love being able to play different characters and to dive into each one of their worlds but the biggest challenge about that is location. Ive gotten offered several projects that I would’ve loved to do but if something keeps me away from home I simply wont do it. I will travel for a project a couple of days but I could never leave longer than a week unless I have my babies with me but I want them to have the stability of their home and their friends.
What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion means expressing yourself through clothes and accessories but staying true to who you are.
I love clothes and I don’t care if anyone doesn’t like what I’m wearing. What matters is that I like it and feel great in it. I think people need to stop worrying about what others think and worry about what makes them happy and feel good.
Who was your role model as a child?
Definitely my mother. As I said before, she was so strong and so determined.
From the “famous” people; I LOVED and was extremely inspired by Nelson Mandela. I loved how passionate he was and determined to show the world that it should never be about color. Its whats in your heart and we are all human no matter what our shells look like.
How challenging was coming from another country and getting your name into Hollywood?
It was extremely hard because I didn’t know anyone and had no friends. Ive always said that you can be anywhere in the world as long as you have your family and loved ones but when I came to La La Land, I was so homesick. I came to study acting and at the beginning, I would go home to Puerto Rico every weekend. I was lucky that I had saved so much money through my modeling and could support myself and pursue my dream without having to have a 9 to 5 job as they call it. I begged my gay best friend to move with me. He left his job in Puerto Rico and came to live with me, then life was fun and great again and I started making great friends that still today are a part of my life.
In five years from now, where do you see yourself and your career?
I never know where life will take me but I hope I’m literally doing what I do now.
Happy, married to my best friend, raising our beautiful children and seeing them grow in a happy home. The rest is just icing on the cake.
What are your top three favorite fitness tips?
Im the last person that should give fitness tips as I LOVE food and I LOVE LOVE LOVE chocolate. It literally keeps me smiling :))))
I’ve never been too much into fitness but I have to admit that lately I do feel that I should start working out. I think after my pregnancies I stayed fit just running after my kids. But as I’m getting older I do want to start working out more.
What is your favorite healthy food?
I love mashed cauliflower. My husband makes it amazing!
And your favorite cheat food?
CHOCOLATE! and cheetos :)))))))))
Do you support any charity?
I support a lot of charities. My biggest charity is the You Foundation For Children In Need. Our goal is to make education be a natural born right and to give children the proper tools to a better future.
I also support my friend Lisas cause (Lisa Vanderpump) I love how passionate she and Ken are about ending the horrific Yulin Festival in which they torture doggies simply because they believe that the meat is better and will give them extra “powers” if the doggies are tortured. If you see the images, they would be engrained in your heart forever and you would instantly become a fighter against this horrific thing.
I also support Friend Movement which is to stop bullying as its something very dear to my heart because I was bullied as a little girl and as a teenager. Back then there wasn’t a word for it. It was just kids making fun at you because you were too “ethnic” or too skinny or your head was too big for your little body frame. I think no child should go to bed crying because of the way others decide to make them feel bad. But I also think that sometimes the bullies are just sad kids or sad people trying to get the wrong type of attention.
I also support the Kimberly Moore Foundation which during Christmas and the year answers letters that children write to Santa Clause. You would be surprised; some kids ask santa for bit TV’s or computers… but then there are some who ask for socks because all the ones they have are broken, or food so mommy doesn’t cry at night. When you read the letters, you simply can’t control the tears. Every time we show up to one of the homes, the happiness in the children’s faces and the gratitude from their families is priceless. Reminds us of how blessed we are. There are other causes I support but those are the ones closest to my heart.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
I would absolutely LOVE to meet Jesus Christ. To witness the things in the bible would be simply amazing.
I was lucky enough to meet one of my idols before he passed away (Nelson Mandela).
Idea of a perfect Sunday?
My perfect Sunday consists in being home in my pjs with my kids and hubby. Sipping coffee, watching the kids run around the yard, then hubby bbq’s. In the night we all watch a family movie together, then I take a bubble bath with my kids and get them ready for bed. After that hubby and I watch a movie and cuddle in bed. #PRICELESS and my absolute favorite days!
Three things you can’t leave home without?
I can’t leave without my cell phone because I want to always be accessible in case my kids need me. I am obsessed with having my Pure4 oil with me because its an instant “pick me up” when my skin is looking tired or dry. And if I would have to pick a third thing, I guess it would be chocolate as I ALWAYS have some in my purse.
What do you think of social media?
Those who know me, know Im not too cyber. I always joke around saying I’m simply not cyber cool lol.
I do love that social media gives you the opportunity to connect with people from around the world. I love reading all my messages and interacting with all my cyber friends. There is also a very ugly side of social media tho; some people hide behind that key board to be cruel and say things they wouldn’t dare to say to others face. Its so sad but I just feel bad for them. When I get a mean tweet or a mean comment on instagram I just feel sad for that person. I always wonder what is going on in their lives that they feel better about belittling others. My advice is to use the block button and just block out the mean ones. Then social media is joy 🙂
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Anything else you would like to say to our readers?
YES! To anyone out there who is reading this… Always remember to be yourself and make no apologies for it. Try to look at the glass as half full instead of half empty! Look at the bright side and remember that everyday is a gift, so no matter what you are going through, remember that just being alive is the biggest gift in the world so seize every moment and don’t take it for granted.
Photo Credit: IMW Photography Isaac Mathew White
MUA: Paul Anthony Using the Joyce Miracle Elixir Collection