We’ve always liked when people give it to us straight in any shape or form (and not just in the form of potato vodka), which is why when Style Network’s Jeannie Mai – host of The Real – came to town, we couldn’t help but sit down for a chat.
Mai empowers women every day as a ‘wearapist’ that gives style advice and empowering messages via The Real, non-profits and appearances on shows like The Today Show, Entertainment Tonight and E! News. More simply put, the woman does it all, also telling us she thinks whiskey is the new potato, that she’ll never travel without nipple covers and happens to believe men should be 25% more emotional…yeah, we kept it real.
From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?
Mmmm..and it’s not my birthday? (Because this is what I do on birthdays.) I would start with Peanut Butter Waffles at Bea Bea’s in Burbank, CA. To wash it down, I’d have a coconut-based cold pressed juice and delicious raw curried cauliflower soup from Beaming in Brentwood, CA. Lunch would be a Brussels sprout salad from Cafe Gratitude. Dinner would be happy hour drinks at Murph’s followed by whiskey and pork belly barbeque at Barrel And Ashes.
How do you practice beauty from the inside out?
1. Keep a steady consistent relationship with my faith. My faith reminds me to be centered and enjoy who I am in the process. (This gets hard when you’re busy fretting about everything else in life!)
2. Try to maintain a regular workout. I totally feel the effects of becomeing lethargic when I don’t get in hikes or cardiovasular activity.
3. Eating balanced meals, on my terms. I’ll do equal exchanges of a gluten-free cupcake for every kale shake.
How do you always start your day?
If my husband is home with me, a big kiss and five to ten minutes of snuggle time to ask him what he has planned for his day. I also try to pray to start our day off. Then I’ll try to get a hike in, otherwise it’s a full swing into work. Happy hour starts at 6pm, but often times I’ll still be working until 10pm.
What piece of news has surprised you most in the past year?
The 270 plus Chibok schoolgirls that were kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists in Nigeria. It is alarming that something like that can still happen today and yet after all the news and social media involvement not all girls were returned home safely. It’s just a horrible feeling to go to sleep at night feeling like you have not done enough.
Most exciting news you’ve ever covered…
The SNL 40th anniversary was the best red carpet of my life, rubbing shoulders with Will Ferrell, talking style with Kerry Washington, and giggling with Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph was amazing.
Funniest thing ever said to you on a set…
“You still look hung over.”
Advice you’d give to your younger self…
Stay out of the sun.
You don’t need him anyway.
This too shall pass.
Live in this moment, because you can’t get it back.
What advice would you give to women waking up, looking in the mirror and getting dressed in the morning?
Remember that you could walk out of this room not doing one thing to yourself, and you will look perfect because you are the only YOU out of seven billion people that look the way you do.
Something most men don’t understand about women…
Men should know that we “live in our feelings,” so do us a favor and add about 25% more emotion and thought into what you are saying to be more sensitive. I’m almost sure there will be about 85% less fights.
What are your biggest fashion don’ts?
1. Don’t have the same look year after year.
2. Don’t stick to what’s “safe”.
3. Don’t forget to have fun when it comes to experimenting with style.
What are your biggest entertaining don’ts as a hostess? As a party guest?
As a hostess, don’t start cleaning while your guests are still there (instead just go to bed and show them where the fridge and booze is). As a party guest, never leave the toilet roll dispenser empty, ever. And always help the host by getting to know the other guests on your own. And if you know you are a mess (like I am) opt for the white wine.
What’s always in your bag?
A lint roller. You are seriously in dusty danger if you don’t carry one of these with you. You don’t want split ends, dog hair and dust cramping your style before a date, dinner or simple shopping trip with the girls. Pick these up at any drug store!
My Samsung NX Mini Smart Camera with 9mm Lens (Mint) and MegaGear “Ever Ready” Protective Leather Camera Case, and Bag for Samsung NX Mini with 9mm Lens Kit in baby blue. I first learned of this camera when I was out having dinner with my friends and bloggers Song of Style and Dani Song. Everyone’s hands were yucky from crab and lobster, so imagine my surprise when Dani flipped the camera screen back to reveal a selfie opportunity with no other help needed to take the picture. Snap! I got a fun photo of the night and went online to buy this camera ASAP. Thanks Samsung (and Dani!).
Must have dark chocolate for those desperate times – i.e your body telling you that your period is coming. #Necessary
Everyone should smell scentsational, so I suggest carrying a roll on essence that has a fresh, sexy scent like these from Jo Malone. Behind the ears, along the collarbone…Don’t miss the makeout spot ladies.
Being on the go means shaking a lot of hands and being in unfamiliar, sometimes dirty places (sorry LA, you are beautiful but why?) Hand sanitizer prevents diseases people!
Nipple covers. You never know when the headlights come on.
How do you healthily snack during the day?
Throughout the entire day, I’ll always have gluten-free snacks. I mix between savory chips and seaweed snacks along with any variations of dark chocolate.
Do you have a go-to recipe you can give us?
The shrimp mango salad by Chef Katie Chin, or any of her recipes because they take less than thirty minutes to make. They are super light and healthy!
Five things you’re coveting right now…
1. My relationships
2. Chocolate Martinis
3. Truffle Fries (extra crispy)
The instagrams you’re addicted to…
What are your favorite cities for food? What restaurants do you go to in each?
In the same vein as ‘what is the new black’ in fashion, what’s ‘the new potato’ right now?
Whiskey is the new black in drink, offal dining is the new black in food, matte everything is the new black in fashion, The Real is the new black in daytime television.
*Jeannie Mai, photographed at Jack’s Wife Freda in New York, NY by Danielle Kosann.