We thought we knew hair envy, but that was before we met Negin Mirsalehi. The blogger and model has voluminous, shiny, down-to-there brunette locks that are jaw-dropping when straight and even better when wavy. And come to find out her secret weapon is one (yes, just one) product: Gisou Honey Infused Hair Oil. Sourced from her family’s bee garden and developed by her mother more than 15 years ago, the vitamin-rich oil is magic in a (beautifully packaged) bottle. Count us in!
But gorgeous hair isn’t the only feature making this Netherlands native utterly museworthy. She’s got a flair for the dramatic party look too, making her the perfect subject for our holiday beauty exclusive! Whether you’re looking for subtle glamour or outright glitz, we’ve got a stunning look for all your festive fêtes this season. Scroll down for to see our December editorial and interview with Mirsalehi.
BYRDIE: Tell us the story behind Gisou.
NEGIN MIRSALEHI: Gisou was born out of love for family, honey, and beauty. My dad is the most passionate beekeeper that I know, and I was practically born and raised in his bee garden. We would spend every Sunday in the bee garden playing backgammon, having picnics, and supporting my dad with his beekeeping. I had (and still have) the most amazing time there.
BYRDIE: Sounds wonderful!
NM: When my mom came to the Netherlands almost 30 years ago, she was studying to become a hairdresser. Being a fashion and makeup junkie like myself, she was not satisfied with the hair products that were available in stores back then, so she was determined to make her own haircare products that satisfied her needs. This is where her desires fused with my father’s passion. Knowing that my dad's honey was very healthy, containing hundreds of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, she focused on incorporating them as the key ingredients in her products. She was also determined to eliminate the use of parabens and sulfates, because they can be detrimental to the health of your hair. It took her years to develop her products, and we’ve only ever used it within the family—well, until now, that is. I wanted to share my favorite product with my followers, which is the Honey Infused Hair Oil. Together with my team, we’ve been working on the Gisou product line for almost two years, and we have put a lot of time and effort into the product in order to make every little detail perfect. I’m very proud of the result, and I hope the world will like it as well.
Get the Look
To achieve a modern-day Twiggy vibe, makeup artist Noto lined both the top and bottom lash lines, opting for a thicker line on the bottom to achieve a more rounded cat-eye shape. Noto used brown eyeliner for an overall softer result and added lots of mascara to the bottom lashes to bring in the ’60s feel.
FACE: Noto Botanics Deep Serum and Hydra Highlight; Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base ($67). EYES: Nars Eye Paint ($35) in Porto Venere and Mesopotamia; Tarte Amazonian Clay Matte Eyeshadow Palette ($67) in Wanderer; Chanel Le Volume de Chanel Waterproof Mascara ($52) in Black. LIPS: Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Hydrating Sheer Lipshine ($52) in Boy.
BYRDIE: What do you think sets this hair oil apart from others?
NM: Definitely the homemade honey of the Mirsalehi bee garden, which is the key ingredient! I really believe in my dad's honey. Next to having hundreds of vitamins and minerals, honey is also known to be a natural humectant, which means that it attracts and retains moisture, and so it rejuvenates your hair and adds lustre.
BYRDIE: Do you incorporate honey into any other parts of your beauty regimen?
NM: When you’re healthy from the inside, it reflects your beauty and confidence on the outside. To stay healthy, I use honey in different ways. Growing up in a beekeeping family, we’d smear the honey of my father’s bees on homemade bread, stir it into our lukewarm tea, or simply eat it as a treat. Honey didn’t just satisfy our taste buds; my mother used it as a natural antiseptic, too. It soothed our sore throats and treated our cuts and scratches. Also, I occasionally use the raw honey as a face mask—it really softens my skin!
BYRDIE: What haircare tips did your mother instill in you from a young age?
NM: Like most kids, I wasn’t interested in taking care of my appearance, but I became more aware of my looks when I started high school. That’s when I asked my mom to give me advice on my hair. For me, my hair was something I felt good about, especially when you think about insecurities girls have in high school. My hair was a reliable source of confidence, and if my hair was looking good then, I felt good. Since my mom is the only one who has ever touched my hair, I learned a few things from her. In general, I don't experiment with my hair too much, and I don't wash it that often.
BYRDIE: You have such a great fan following on social media. What do you think has been an instrumental part of that growth?
NM: When I started on Instagram, I first only shared my outfits of the day. At a certain point, I realised I wanted to share more of what we do, so I started to post more personal things, like my beauty routine, the food I eat, and also stuff pertaining to my education, my family, and our love for bees. Since I decided to do that, I’ve noticed that I’ve attracted more people, and that my interaction has greatly increased. I guess that’s a result of people feeling as though they know me better, on a more personal and intimate level. In general, the more personal things you share, the more people will connect to you and like it. That’s why YouTubers that make vlogs have huge followings. For me, I only share the things I feel comfortable with. I will never share everything.
Get the Look
For the split cat eye, Noto suggests creating a thicker scoop starting at the midpoint of the bottom lash line. Next, apply a basic cat eye on top lash line, making sure to leave a gap between the two tails, so you get that negative space.
FACE: Chanel Correcteur Pefection Long-Lasting Concealer ($56) in #20 Beige Ivoire. EYES: Nars Eye Paint ($35) in Black Valley; Chanel Crayon Sourcils Sculpting Eyebrow Pencil ($45) in #30 Brun Natural. LIPS: Nars Satin Lip Pencil ($39) in Majella; NAILS: Nars Nail Polish in Chinatown.
BYRDIE: Can you share any Dutch beauty tips/secrets with us?
NM: In general, Dutch girls take great care of their health and drink loads of water during the day. I feel that that’s the main reason why they have this beautiful natural glow.
BYRDIE: Let’s talk about your beauty routine! What do you in the morning?
NM: First, I drink one glass of water and eat one teaspoon of honey. My father always recommended I do this, and I guess he knows best! Then I take a shower and use some of my favourite skincare products, like Embryolisse. Then it’s time for my hair. Like I said before, I’ve always felt that when my hair looks good, I feel good. It’s my most important step in my beauty routine. As for my hair, I use my Gisou Honey Infused Hair Oil on a daily basis. It's the one hair product I can't live without, and thanks to my mum, I've been using it for almost 15 years. What I love about it is that it's a multipurpose product, so I use it after I've washed my hair, after I style it as a finishing product, and once a week in my hair as a mask to strengthen it. I usually apply the oil on the mid length of my hair and really focus on the ends. The key is a little goes a long way! Regarding makeup, I will put on Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation ($92), Estée Lauder Double Wear Concealer ($35), and use the Anastasia Brow Wiz ($38). These are my makeup essentials. Also, I firmly believe in putting sunscreen on every morning, even when it's cloudy outside. Finally, I drink lots of water, and during autumn and winter, I extra-moisturise my skin.
BYRDIE: What about before you go to bed?
NM: I usually take a shower, take off my makeup, and always finish with some skincare products. I have never had a favourite eye cream, so at the moment, I’m using one by Estée Lauder, which is good. And then I use Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentre ($35) again as my face cream and hydrate my lips with Sugar Nourishing Lip Balm from Fresh Cosmetics. And right before I go to bed, I moisturise my hands with any hand cream that I can find at that moment. I’m not too picky.
BYRDIE: How do you get those perfect waves in your hair?
NM: My mum bought me a curling wand years ago at a local grocery store, actually. It is from the brand Balance, but when I wanted to repurchase it a year ago, I couldn’t find it in any stores and online. I think it was made in Germany.
Get the Look
The key to a monochromatic look is to use the same hue throughout. A lip/cheek stain works great in this case! Noto gently smudged the stain on the eyelid, using a fluffy eye shadow brush to buff out the outer edges. This will help to avoid any harsh lines around the eye. Noto then filled the entire lip with a liner to get a dark matte colour and added the same stain on top to enrich the colour.
EYES: Noto Botanics Multi-Benne Color Stain in Oscillate; Chanel Le Volume De Chanel Waterproof Mascara ($52) in Black. LIPS: MAC Lip Pencil ($30) in Walnut; Noto Botanics Multi-Benne Color Stain in Oscillate.
BYRDIE: Are there any particular beauty trends you’re into right now?
NM: I love the double-lined eyeliner look. I think it’s different than what we are used to, and it’s very pretty, yet edgy at the same time.
BYRDIE: We’re in the midst of holiday party season. Are you into any festive beauty looks?
NM: I channel that festive glamour when I'm confident in my outfit, when I rock a red lip, and when my hair feels good.
Get the Look
A sticky agent is your friend for this wonderfully festive look. Noto used a product from her personal line, a highlight formula with a dewy quality, to cover the eyelid. Using an eye shadow brush, she gently dabbed glitter on the eye.
FACE: Tarte Amazonia Clay Matte Bronzer ($38). EYES: Noto Botanics Hydra Highlight; Chanel Le Volume De Chanel Waterproof Mascara ($52) in Black. LIPS: Chanel Coco Baume Hydrating Lip Conditioner ($50); NAILS: Opi Nail Polish ($20) in Haven't the Foggiest.
BYRDIE: What’s your New Year’s Eve look?
NM: To me, it’s all about the glitter. It doesn’t matter if you look like a disco ball, as long as you have fun, right?
Photographer: Justin Coit; hair: Sylvia Wheeler; makeup: Gloria Noto; manicurist: Chelsea King; stylist: Sarah Schussheim.