Deborah Henry in 24 Hours

Deborah Henry in 24 Hours

A day in the life of the model, humanitarian, and former Miss Universe Malaysia

8.30 AM I am a morning person so I’m normally up at 8.30am—no matter what time I go to bed. I like to do all my exercising in the morning, if I leave it until the afternoon; it’s never going to happen. It’s either yoga in the morning, and I try to squeeze in a gym session with weights to strengthen my back. I do horse riding as well; I drive all the way to Ampang for the polo club there and usually do that on weekends. It’s important to me to maintain that variety. If you just stick to one thing, your body will get used to it and it stops responding.

9.30 AM I only ever enjoy breakfast when I’m out at a café. There, I’d have all the eggs, breakfast bowls, and muesli I want. My staples include a cup of tea, and then maybe some fruits to go with it. I go through about four cups a day.

10 AM My skin is extremely sensitive, and 9 out of 10 products don’t suit my skin. But Omorovicza is really good! It really got me thinking about going to Hungary to sit in those Roman baths. I like to keep my beauty regime simple. I use an off-the-counter 99 percent aloe vera mist throughout the day. With all the make-up on especially, I just spray that all over my face—it’s really good. Occasionally, I will go to Phi Clinic in Damansara Heights. The kind of industry I work in causes a lot of stress to my skin, and my regular skin moisturiser or home facials just won’t cut it, so I do like to do laser and platelet-rich plasma treatments that help build your skin from inside out.

10.30 AM Every day is really different, some days are crazy and I have five different appointments in a single day, so I’m literally zipping across town to this and that. If I’ve no time for breakfast, I’m usually with my tea and fruit and I’m in front of my computer right after. It’s an addictive habit, checking emails. Till today, I’ve raked up about 17,000 emails! For me, it’s a lot of juggling hats because it’s the whole non-profit hat. From meetings to deliverables, to people who need this or that – everything from A to Z. There’s also my managing hat, where I manage myself from penciling in interviews, meetings, or shoots. And then it’s my personal social calendar which is everything else. I like to get all of that done right off the bat, according to priority.

11 AM I take a shower and if I’ve got to be out, then it’s slipping a wash, blow-dry, or manicure. I don’t enjoy these things anymore, but it’s just part of my maintenance. I go to Shawn Cutler for my hair, and my nails are done at the Soong Ai Ling’s Chic Nail Spa. Some days, I’ll find myself shooting for a magazine, but if I’m not doing that then I like to take the girls from Fugee School out to a workshop. Just recently we attended a jewellery making class.

12 PM I like a home-cooked lunch. It’s usually Asian—I like my rice with side dishes, protein, and lots of vegetables. Otherwise, my go-to restaurant is House + Co at Bangsar Shopping Centre. Their nasi lemak, kuay teow soup, and salmon sandwich are some of my favourites.

1.45 PM I go to Fugee School once or twice a week for meetings. I work on the school’s partnerships, so it’s a lot of external meetings and also at the school to work out what to do next. One thing that is currently keeping me busy now is Fugeelah, a lifestyle and social enterprise. I met with some universities last week, and we are coming up with fun art and design projects soon. We also have a current Fugee is Our (Fugee) project with Uniqlo. How many of us designers would die to have such a big brand publish their designs, let alone a bunch of five students who never saw it coming?

3 PM I get a case of itchy feet when I stay in KL for more than 6 weeks, so I like to get out. I like to go to Europe, and Bali is always a favourite, but my schedule is pretty random; I spent 6 weeks in the States with the American embassy earlier this year, and I got to see a lot of how the country dealt with refugees and migration situations. I love to appreciate architecture wherever I go. Frank Gehry and the late Zaha Hadid, are my favourite architects.

4.30 PM If I have an event, I like to be home by 4 to 5pm to get ready. I’d like to think I’m pretty low maintenance. I always tell everyone that I get ready quicker than my husband, Rajiv [Bhanot]. I’m quite decisive with my outfit decisions and make-up look. I think I got this from those many years of modeling; you get so used to doing things so fast during shows and shoots. I wear a lot of local designers, too – you can never go wrong with Melinda Looi, Farah Khan, and Innai Red.

7.30 PM For dinner, Rajiv and I eat home twice a week. Otherwise we’re out. I’m really lazy to cook so it’s usually Rajiv cooking when we stay home. I’ve been really excited recently with all the new hotels that are opening up, and just had a really good meal at Entier, Alila. I actually had two meals there last week—lunch and dinner! I’ve also been doing this sleep yoga class at Ohanajo Studios in Desa Park City on Friday nights, so it’s a really nice way to end the week. I love it because it’s an hour and a half of nothingness, and just being in this state of peace.

9 PM I like to be home, and squeeze in some episodes of whatever I’m watching on Netflix. I loved The Crown, and sometimes sneak in a little bit of Project Runway, but I really like those documentaries on healthy eating. I’ve also recently caught on to Sacred Games—it’s a Netflix Original but it’s fully produced in India.

10.45 PM Before I go to bed, I use a doctor-prescribed range of products. But like I said, I’m really enjoying Omorovicza right now, so I love to use their face masks in the evening. I also just bought the Dream Cream from Lush, which is meant for people with severely dry skin or eczema.

11.30 PM I like to end my day with a digestive tea. I’ve got a digestive issue, so I have the Tea Bird Tea’s Colon Cleanse tea. It just calms my tummy down and gets myself ready for bed. There’s this really nice quote that goes something like, “Wake up, get up and dress up”. It could sound superficial, but it’s a lot more than that. It gives me the idea of getting up every day and starting that day in the right mindset, and dressing up for that day. We let so much go in our lives as women, so turning up to life and taking care of yourself is definitely what’s important to me.

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