With the Miss Ireland competition coming up at the weekend I thought it would be nice to get to know our beautiful Miss Kilkenny, Sasha Connolly, a little better.
Why did you decide to enter the Miss Kilkenny competition?
I have always had an interest in Miss Ireland and I had actually downloaded the form to apply before but at the time I just wasn’t confident enough to go through with it. This year it just happened to pop up on my Facebook page and I thought I’ll just go for it, it will be a great experience and it will definitely help my confidence. When I was younger confidence and self‐esteem was definitely something I struggled with. But being that bit older now at 23 I feel I’ve developed more self confidence through life experiences and I’m more comfortable in my own skin and with who I am. The whole Miss Ireland experience has been so amazing, it definitely helps boost confidence and I would encourage girls to enter. You get to meet such wonderful people and experience things you might never have the opportunity to otherwise. I believe that as it makes you an ambassador and representative for your county it instils a sense of community and pride. I think the Miss Ireland and Miss World competition is highlighting the ‘modern woman’ with the elimination of the swimwear section. It focuses on the whole package ‐ intelligence, innovation, personality and through the Beauty with a Purpose section it focuses on helping those less fortunate.
Has modelling something you’ve always had an interest in?
Modelling is definitely something I’ve always had an interest in. It’s something I went about when I was younger and like before I lacked the confidence and self‐esteem to go through with it, even though an agency had expressed their interest in signing me. At the time I felt I wanted to focus on my education first. My parents always told me I could do anything that made me happy as long as I had an education to fall back on. To be honest I love learning and I believe education is extremely important especially with today’s economy. I really enjoyed my time spent in college. Now that I have my degree under my belt I think I will try get involved in the world of modelling.
What was your first ever makeup product as a young girl?
I have always had a huge interest in make‐up but when I look back on some old photos I get so embarrassed. When I was 13 I used to wear Pan‐Stick as foundation and I put glitter mascara in my hair. It was all the craze back then!
What beauty product can you not live without?
I actually don’t have one in particular ‐ there’s a couple of things I’m very particular about. The first would be my eyebrows. I’m extremely fussy about how I do my eyebrows because I actually don’t like the shape of my eyebrows so I change the shape completely. I use the Inglot Brow Gel for my eyebrows and I find it amazing! It glides on so easily and once it’s on it stays put for the day. The next would be mascara. I spend so long on my mascara it delays me so much
When I’m getting ready. I love the Benefit ‘They’re Real’ mascara as I feel it makes your lashes look so long. Sometimes people actually ask me if I have false lashes on. I am a massive contour/highlighting fan and it has become so popular lately so I definitely could not live without my Crownbrush 10 Colour Concealer Palette. I actually bought it after Suzanne Jackson mentioned it on her blog and I’m on my second palette now, I just love it!!
Can you describe your personal style?
I would say my style is definitely a bit different, quirky and sometimes vintage. I love anything that is unique and stands out, I like to be a bit out there. At the moment I’m loving the Tulle skirts and Palazzo pants. I’m not someone you would see in dark colours very often as I LOVE bright colours. Although I love style and getting all dressed up, when I’m not going anywhere or if I’m having a lazy day I am absolutely obsessed with my cotton bottoms and hoodies, I’m a real comfort person.
Who is your style icon or whom do you look to for style inspiration?
I would say Cara Delevingne, Rita Ora and Cheryl Cole for sure. I think they have that funky, street inspired style that I love. I really like Suzanne Jackson’s style. She never gets it wrong. She can so flawlessly mix high street wear and designer wear, she just has an amazing eye.
What did you study in college?
I first studied Geography, Sociology and an Nua‐Ghaeilge in NUI Maynooth. I have always loved an Ghaeilge and try to use mo chuid Gaeilge as often as I get the chance. After taking a year out to save money for my H Dip I then went on to study the Higher Diploma in Primary Education with Hibernia College. Teaching is always something I’ve had a love for. When I’m in the classroom I just don’t feel like I’m working, I enjoy it so much. I feel so fortunate to be able to do what I love most.
If you were stranded on a desert island and could only bring 3 items, what would they be? (Your family, friends and pets are already there with you!)
Definitely my phone, I know it’s awful but I use my phone for so much I don’t think I could possibly live without it. I would absolutely need my contacts because I’m so blind without them. Lastly I would probably have to bring food as I’m allergic to fish there wouldn’t be much for me to eat on an island.
If I asked your friends to describe you in 3 words what do you think they’d say? Don’t be too modest!
Luckily my friends are with me at the moment so I can ask their opinion. I am so fortunate to have amazing, supportive friends. They always look out for me and I’m so grateful for that. After a few jokes,(I hope!) they described me as loyal, unique and ambitious.
I know you have a strong passion for charity work, can you explain some of the recent work that you’ve done and what you hope to do in the near future?
Miss Ireland emphasises Charity Work through it’s Beauty with a Purpose section which was introduced to Miss World by Julia Morley in 1972. In my opinion this is one of my favourite sections as charity work is something I’ve always had a very strong interest in and something I’ve always wanted to do. It’s so important to give back and to help people who may be less fortunate than you. I think we should always remember how lucky we are to be healthy, happy and have a roof over our heads. There are so many people who would give anything to be in our shoes.
I’ve done a couple of things for the Irish Cancer Society ‐ The Joe Boland Walk, The National Dawn Walk and I’m currently fundraising for a 10,000ft Skydive. Sadly, I lost an Aunt and her son ‐ who were two very special people to me and my family ‐ to cancer. Ta siad i gconai in ar gcroithe. It’s awful to see someone suffer from cancer and it is a really hard time in the lives of all family members.
I am so happy to have been asked to be an Ambassador for Teenline joining the likes of Irish Rugby Player Jack McGrath. Teenline are a phone line set up to help teenagers who may be struggling or may need someone to talk to.
Sadly, I have witnessed the effects of alzheimers first hand through my Granny. It is very hard for family members to experience and support is vital. I am currently waiting on clearance to work with the Irish Alzheimers Society. My Granny is currently in Gowran Home and my family and I are so grateful to their care and time. I am so thrilled to be able to give back to them by helping out with activities in the home such as doing make‐up, nails and art activities.
Going forward I will be involved in volunteer work with the Share a Dream Foundation and the Children in Hospital Ireland Organisation. Both organisations do amazing work to help terminally ill children.
I think you’ll agree that Sasha is a beautiful person both inside and out. We should be very proud to have her represent Kilkenny on a national, and hopefully, an international level.
To keep up to date with Sasha’a progress give her Facebook page a like by clicking here.
I would like to personally wish Sasha all the best, both this weekend and in the year to come as Miss Kilkenny 2015.