Follow Vogue Arabia

Lebanese Actor Nadine Nassib Njeim on Why She Believes Her Beauty is No One Else’s Business

The Lebanese actor believes her beauty is no one else’s business. Now she’s launching a makeup brand to prove it.

Cardigan, dress, earrings, Schiaparelli. Photo: Nima Benati

Something is different about Nadine Nassib Njeim, but she can’t quite put her finger on it. Maybe it’s related to turning 40 last month, though the change isn’t physical. Nor is it about age, which she believes is just a number. This indiscernible shift, she says, is coming from within, and from her steadfast disinterest in living for other people’s satisfaction.

“I see myself in the mirror and I’m like, I have a mature beauty now, mature skin, a mature mind, a mature body, and I love it,” the Lebanese actor tells Vogue Arabia over the phone. Her voice is full of energy despite having spent another long day on set for her forthcoming 15-episode Ramadan series 2024, a continuation of the hit show 2020. The filming schedule has been grueling, requiring plenty of late nights, action sequences, and fake injuries to boot. Promotional imagery for the project currently circulating on Instagram featuring a scarred and gun-toting Njeim is sure to incite a flurry of cyber chatter. No stranger to the spotlight since being crowned Miss Lebanon in 2004, Njeim is accustomed to the scrutiny that comes with fame and a social media following in the millions. But she certainly cares a lot less what people have to say about her, especially when it comes to her looks. “This is my beauty, my face, my body, I do whatever I want to maintain my physical appearance. If I feel happy stopping fillers, I will do it, and if I feel happy having a facelift, I will do it,” she says unapologetically. “Whatever I do, positive or negative, people will never stop talking.”

Dress, Krikor Jabotian. Photo: Nima Benati

She speaks about the pressures of being in the public eye with the wisdom of someone who has spent enough time in it to develop a thick skin – one she has no qualms admitting benefits from a bit of Botox every once in a while. Having been burned often enough in the comments section, she knows to avoid the vitriolic flames of judgment that can set Instagram alight with negativity. She scrolls straight past it, reminding herself that the negativity comes from people seeking to remedy discontent within themselves by harming others. But the meanness rages on, and it’s this darker side of social media that disturbs Njeim. She recalls being bullied online following the seven-hour operation she underwent due to wounds sustained during the tragic port explosion in Beirut in 2020. “[People] did not understand that I had a problem with my face and that it would take many years before returning to what it was before, and they did not understand that I gained ten kilos and this also affected my face and my body,” she says of the subsequent speculation about why she no longer looked the same. “But I’m not willing to always explain myself to people. I was sad, and then I was like ok, I need to do something. I need to protect my daughter and the new generation.”

This protection begins with setting an example of how to drown out the sounds of social media in order to focus on self-acceptance. Njeim wants to see women and girls taking care of themselves and their bodies in whichever way unlocks the confidence within. To amplify the message that beauty is personal, she has spent the past three years working on a makeup brand. She can’t disclose the exact launch date but promises it is imminent, sharing her intention to build a judgment-free community around the product offerings where women can support and inspire one another. Getting the business off the ground has been a challenging undertaking, but the actress-turned-entrepreneur wasn’t willing to rush the process. Having been taught by her own mother to always trust herself, she persisted to find the exact formulas and packaging that reflect her “your body, your beauty” ethos. Perhaps it is making this dream a reality alongside her milestone birthday that explains Njeim’s indefinable emotional transformation of late.

Dress, Carolina Herrera. Photo: Nima Benati

“You cannot stop the noise, but you can keep on believing in yourself and doing what makes you happy in every possible way. This is what I tell my daughter and what I want to tell every woman. Do what makes you happy, as simple as it is.”

Originally published in the March 2024 issue of Vogue Arabia

Style: Amine Jreissati
Hair: Ilham Mestour
Makeup: Michel Kiwarkis
Digital operator: Massimo Fusardi
Style assistants: Yasmina Karam, Neymat Master
Photography assistant: Mattia Mazzucchelli
Producer: Sam Allison

View All
Vogue Collection