Joelle Mardinian

From Glamour to Giving Back

In a world where beauty is both a passion and big business, achieving commercial success while becoming an icon of empowerment, innovation, and inspiration, is a rare happening, especially in the Arab region. That is why the success story of Joelle Mardinian, the renowned Lebanese beauty mogul, television personality, and philanthropist, stands out. With unwavering determination, a relentless pursuit of excellence, and a heart dedicated to making a difference, Mardinian has carved a remarkable path that transcends the boundaries of conventional success. eniGma’s Janna Rabie had the chance to interview this beauty powerhouse to bring you the inside scoop on her truly inspiring journey.

Joelle Mardinian’s journey in the beauty industry is nothing short of extraordinary. Born in Lebanon and raised in London, Mardinian’s early life was marked by adversity. Nonetheless, despite the challenges, she was always determined to pursue her innate passion for beauty, and never let go of the entrepreneurial spirit she was endowed with from an early age. Little did she know that her ambitions would take her on a journey that would redefine the landscape of the beauty industry in the Middle East.

Starting out as a make-up artist in London, Mardinian’s skills were quickly recognised, and she quickly found herself working with and making a name for herself among celebrities. “I was living in London when I became a make-up artist. It was my number one choice for a career. I had the good fortune to be chosen by Sony Records to do make-up for their artists, both British and international, and my career really took off,” she recounts.

But there was more in store for Mardinian, than make-up. In 2004, while on a holiday in Dubai, she found out that the TV network, MBC, was looking for a presenter for the Arabic adaptation of the British TV program What Not to Wear. Convinced that her extensive professional experience in the make-up industry and in styling artists, made her a good candidate for the job, she sent her application to MBC. She was then asked to film a pilot episode, and sure enough, a few weeks later, she found herself hosting the show on television.

The next milestone for Mardinian came four years later, when she opened her first salon, Maison de Joelle, in Dubai. The salon quickly earned a stellar reputation as a high-end beauty and wellness brand providing luxurious services and high-quality products. Maison de Joelle rapidly expanded to various countries, including Qatar, Algeria, and Tunisia.

In 2013, the ambitious Mardinian raised the bar for her beauty business, creating Clinica Joelle, a prestigious beauty and aesthetics clinic offering a comprehensive approach to beauty and wellness that provides medical expertise as well as beautician services. The clinic’s team of skilled professionals, including dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and aestheticians collaborate to deliver top-notch services in a safe and comfortable setting. Dedicated to making advanced beauty treatments accessible to a global audience, Clinica Joelle has expanded its presence beyond its flagship location in Dubai, bringing its renowned expertise and quality services to clients around the world, including presences in Qatar and Egypt. Clinica Joelle has become a trusted name in the global beauty and aesthetics industry.

Not long thereafter, the enterprising Mardinian started another slightly different venture, though still having to do with beauty and style. “During COVID-19, I started a business that I had always wanted to pursue, namely a brand for eye lenses. Through my work, I was convinced that coloured lenses were great at glamming up make-up looks. They complimented the make-up I would do,” she explains. So her next business, Eye Candy, was born. “I will be launching the third line of Eye Candy very soon, and I’m super excited about it. Eye Candy has been voted the most comfortable lens by make-up bloggers and influencers. It’s a brand that all make-up artists love,” she adds.

Mardinian continued to look for more businesses that would fit her temperament and ambitions. Her next venture was Dabdub, a hygiene products brand for babies, consisting of shampoos, shower gels, baby oils, nappy creams, and face and body moisturisers. “Dabdub’s products are clean, high quality and affordable. That’s the only kind of products I use for my own children, and all mothers deserve to have such products for their babies,” says Mardinian. The brand’s name, Dabdub, was chosen after her son’s nickname, which makes it that much closer to her heart.

Today, Mardinian also hosts her own very successful reality TV show, The Joelle Show, a natural step for her that followed her work as a TV presenter in the Arabic adaptation of What Not to Wear. Confident in her ability to make others feel better about themselves, she decided to have her own platform inspired by the transformative process presented in the show. “I am obsessed with making people feel better about themselves and with helping them find the style that suits them best,” she explains. The Joelle Show became a vehicle for showcasing her talent in empowering people to express their personal style with flair and sophistication.

Mardinian is also known for her advocacy for various social causes, including women’s empowerment and children’s rights. With her significant following and broad reach across the Middle East and beyond, she possesses a powerful tool which she uses to advocate for change. Through social media campaigns, fundraising initiatives, and public statements, she has always been drawing attention to the plight of the Palestinian people. With the ongoing horrours in Gaza for the past months, she is raising awareness and mobilising support for humanitarian efforts to help the people in Gaza who are experiencing the most pressing humanitarian crisis of our time.

The biggest challenge for Mardinian, however, had nothing to do with her career or her advocacy efforts, but rather with her personal decision to adopt a child. Mardinian explains how the orphaned characters in movie The Little Shock of Horrors, resonated deeply with her, and led to her decision to adopt her younger child. She realised that providing a loving home for a child in need was something that touched her core. “It was a dream of mine to adopt a child, and thankfully my dream has come true. This life-changing decision has brought me profound fulfilment and joy,” she explains, with passion. “Nothing in life comes easy and certainly the adoption process was anything but simple. It was like nothing I’ve gone through in my life,” she adds. The emotional rollercoaster of hope and fear that she went through with all the paperwork was overwhelming, but she has no regrets.

Like other women having a family, Mardinian had to juggle her many business-related obligations with those of her family. “As women with children, we need to learn how to balance things out and set our priorities straight,” she asserts. Indeed, her success at juggling her roles as a mother and businesswoman, while excelling in both domains, serves as an inspiration to many. Her example encourages others to prioritise their passions, embrace their responsibilities, and pursue fulfilment in all aspects of life.

As our interview comes to an end, Mardinian reflects on her life and the lessosn she would like to impart to the younger generation. “The best advice I can give is, just be honest. People see that straight through your eyes.”

Enigma Questionnaire

What inspired you to start a reality show?
The UK show What Not to Wear inspired me to host my own show. I thought I could do a better job at transforming people’s styles and seeing what suits them best.

How has the experience of adopting your younger child influence your perspective on family and parenthood?
Overall, the experience of adopting a child can broaden one’s perspective on family and parenthood, deepening connections, fostering empathy, and enriching the lives of all involved.

What role does self-care play in your busy life, and how do you prioritise it?
Despite being in the beauty industry, I don’t really prioritise my own self-care, as I don’t have that much time to focus on myself!


STYLIST Khaled Remouche

Make-up by Nabieh Alfugaha

Hair by @maisondejoelleofficial

Taller Marmo:
Giuseppe Zanotti: