[I am being cruel and making you click over to our BRAND NEW BEAUTY SITE xoVain to see the before and after pictures, but there are some good "during" pictures here to tide you over. ]
"I like doing this stuff," Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi confides to her hairdresser as she prepares to undergo what we've all been dreaming about at xoJane -- and today's newly launched xoVain -- for a looooong time as our quintessential dream makeunder. "But I'd rather be home with the baby."
The 25-year-old star of "Jersey Shore" and now "Snooki & JWoww" stares at her reflection in the mirror as she chats about life with her now 6-month-old adorable baby boy Lorenzo and her equally adorable fiancee, Jionni LaValle, also 25. (She wants a total of 4 kids, she says, and as she predicts in our revealing Q&A below, plans to get all of their names tattooed on her ankle because, well, that's just how Snooki rolls.)
As the makeunder is well underway, Snooki's striking red locks are being severely dressed down, more so than her normal over-the-top blowout -- and her makeup is being significantly stripped down. While being fussed over, Snooki tries to explain her ridiculous trajectory of fame. It is an upswing that continues everyday to expand its pop culture tentacles throughout the worlds of beauty, fashion, television, perfume and, obviously, more, more, more to come.
But right now, she doesn't look like a mogul or a reality TV star -- she just looks like a classic beauty, subtle, striking and demure.
"You look like a fairy princess," I offer as she looks around the surreal surroundings at Acme Studio in Brooklyn, and she just smiles, "That's cool."
Everyone at our joint xoJane-xoVain shoot is marveling at this live in-the-flesh pint-size diva, and Snooki just shrugs off the constellation of hair, makeup, fashion, publicity and personal assistants swarming around her. "I was always popular," she says, "so this is like that, just on a bigger scale."
And then, as I like to do, I brought up sex -- and the two of us really began to dish.
MANDY: People think of you as a person who is like, sexy, and sexual…
SNOOKI: Noooo! I don’t think so.
MANDY: (laughter) Well, I do. So I was wondering: If your sex life has been affected at all from being a new mom?
SNOOKI: Not really. I mean we still try to have sex a lot, and I think we do, but it definitely is different after a baby. It kind of hurts a little bit. You know, cause you pushed something out of there. It kind of makes it difficult, but we still try to have sex -- because you still have to have a relationship.
MANDY: Any thing you recommend to help keep your love life fresh?
SNOOKI: You just need to make time for yourself. It’s good for us because we can always bring the baby upstairs and have his grandmother watch him if we need time for ourselves. Because you’ll see on the show, at first we were bickering a lot, and I honestly thought we weren’t going to work because we fought so much. So it kind of scared me. But we got used to it, and you just need to make time for each other.
MANDY: Would you say you’re hornier now post-pregnancy?
SNOOKI: No, I was worse before. Sometimes I just get so tired with the baby that I have no energy to have sex, and I don’t even want to touch Jionni. Definitely before I was a lot hornier.
MANDY: In terms of giving advice to your co-star and best friend Jenni "JWoww" Farley, you're kind of pushing her to have a kid a little bit?
SNOOKI: Yeah, I think she’s always wanted a kid, but she always brushes it off like she doesn’t, but I know she does. I think she’s just waiting to get married, and she wants to do it the normal way -- and I didn’t. I think she wants to get married and then have kids. And she still wants to live her life, she wants to travel, she wants to do all that stuff. But she does want to try soon I think.
MANDY: When you say "the normal way" how do you feel about that? I feel like you’re kind of a role model for a lot of people in terms of being a fiercely independent person…
SNOOKI: I definitely would have rather gotten married first -- and then had children because that’s just, you know, I grew up in an Italian family, and it’s very traditional. But it’s not bad if you get pregnant with someone that you love -- that you know eventually you’re going to marry and be with for the rest of your life. So I don’t think it’s a bad thing, because I know I’m going to spend the rest of my life with him; he’s my best friend.
MANDY: Do you guys ever fight? Or are you not one of those types of couples?
SNOOKI: The only time we fight is if we drink too much. Which you know, anybody does that. Or if we want to raise Lorenzo a certain way, like we fought about diapers one time, or you know, what kind of bottles we want to use. But other than that we never fight, which is awesome.
MANDY: What about in terms of parenting decisions that you guys differ on?
SNOOKI: I think we’re both on the same page. We want him to go to a public school. We want him to have as normal a life as possible. That’s why I don’t want him on TV once he starts going to school. Once he’s like two or three I don’t want him on TV anymore. Just because growing up in a normal school doing normal things has made me a great person, and I don’t want him to feel like he’s special or better than everybody. I just want him to go through normal life things that everybody goes through.
MANDY: So, you are becoming pretty much like a mogul, with all of your different beauty lines. Can you tell me about what’s next -- in terms of perfumes, lipsticks?
SNOOKI: I have the perfume, the tanning, sunglasses, jewelry, and right now I’m designing my clothing and my shoes. That should be out by the summertime, hopefully, a few pieces, and that’s going to be huge I think.
MANDY: And how would you describe the style of that?
SNOOKI: There are a lot of styles. You have your animal prints, you have pleather that I love, you have lace… so it’s basically everything. I mean I rock everything. I can be a hipster one day, I can be leopard print the next day. So I just like all different types of styles, and I’m going to incorporate that into the line because I want it to match everybody.
MANDY: Is there going to be any maternity anything?
SNOOKI: Eventually yes, I would like to do maternity.
MANDY: Have you guys talked about plans for a second baby?
SNOOKI: Oh yeah! I already want one. I mean, if I got pregnant right now I wouldn’t mind. But we want to have our house first and that’s probably going to take a year and half, because we’re still living in the basement, so we don’t want to have two kids down there because that’s just weird and too small, so I wouldn’t mind being pregnant right now but we’re not trying, we're waiting.
MANDY: Do you know how many kids you want?
SNOOKI: Four. I want to have a big family, because I was adopted, and I always wanted my parents to adopt other kids because I was so alone. So I don’t want my kids to feel that way. I always want them to have someone to play with, so I think four is a perfect number.
MANDY: Is Lorenzo still keeping you up at night?
SNOOKI: He’s starting to be a baby now, instead of shitting all over the place and throwing up. He only wants to just play. Like last night he woke up at 3 a.m. and he wanted to play until 6 in the morning so I didn’t really sleep last night, but I’m getting used to it. He’s starting to giggle now, and he’s becoming aware of his surroundings, and if we move he moves with us.
MANDY: Is there anything you do to calm him down in particular, like a song or something?
SNOOKI: He never really gets upset. He rarely cries, and if he does cry we just rock him to Mickey Mouse Club, but he never cries.
MANDY: What can you tell me about an upcoming wedding?
SNOOKI: Everything is basically based around our house. We want to have our house, so when we get married we can go back to our house and get pregnant again. So everything is just waiting on that stupid house. We just bought land in North Jersey, but they still have to knock the trees down.
MANDY: Are you having an architect build the house?
SNOOKI: Yes, we probably could have bought a couple places, but I’d rather make it my own and design it my own, because I want to live there until the kids graduate so I wanted to make it my own, with a big playroom downstairs for the kids. I want a big backyard, a pool and stuff like that because summertime we always have people over, and we like to have parties and Sundays dinners. And we want a big kitchen because Jionni has a big Italian family, so we want everyone to fit.
MANDY: Where are you at now with partying and drinking?
SNOOKI: I really have no urge. I mean, I do, once in a while, but I’d rather stay home with Lorenzo and Jionni -- watch movies, do family things. Once in a while, like once a month, we have this rule that he can go out with his friends and then I can go out with my friends just so we keep sane and are not always around the baby. Because it’s stressful a lot. So I think to have those moments where you go out with your friends -- I think that’s okay.
MANDY: Is there a particularly embarrassing moment that sticks out to you that was hard for you to watch?
SNOOKI: Not really. No, because I always wanted to be on TV so I knew that was to come with it, even embarrassing things, and I never get embarrassed. It is what it is. Everybody does it.
MANDY: Why would you say that is? Because I think that’s inspiring. A lot of people have shame.
SNOOKI: That’s just how I am. Like, if you do stupid shit: That was stupid, whoops, move on from it, learn from it. And I think that’s how everybody should be.
MANDY: Do you have any advice for people who don’t have the confidence you have?
SNOOKI: Well, I didn’t have confidence in high school. I think because I got bullied a lot, and people were just mean. And not because I was a weirdo, but because people were threatened by me and my friends I think, and that’s why they were so mean to us. I was very shy in high school. So that’s made me into the person I am, that I don’t care what people think. I’m a great person, and I’m going to live my life, and if you don’t like it then step aside. And I think that’s how everybody should view life. Do what you want and don’t care about what other people think because you aren’t living for anybody else but yourself.
MANDY: Do you think you’ve showed those people who doubted you that you’re a great mom?
SNOOKI: Well, like I said, I really don’t care what anyone thinks about me. But it is nice for people to see who I really am on the show, aside from "Jersey Shore" and drinking and getting arrested, 'cause I was 21 when I started the show, so obviously I was going to go crazy, and basically I lived it up, and now I’m ready to settle down. And I think that’s what everyone should do. Have those years where you go crazy and do crazy shit, and then settle down and have a family, and that’s exactly what I did.
MANDY: What would you say is the craziest thing you do now?
SNOOKI: The craziest was probably when we went out with Jenny McCarthy the other night and got wasted. That’s probably the craziest…
MANDY: What did you guys do? Where did you go?
SNOOKI: We just hopped around the city 'cause Jenny has a new show coming out, so I went on that show to help her out, and we ended up clicking, and we just went out after.
MANDY: Why do you think you guys clicked so much?
SNOOKI: We both have the same personality. We don’t give a shit, whatever, and we’re both moms, so I look up to her as a mother. Because she can still be fun and herself but also be a great mom. I really look up to her like that, because we’re both moms who still have careers.
MANDY: Are you going to get any tattoos for Lorenzo?
SNOOKI: Yeah! Me and Jionni want to go together, but we’re not sure if we should save it if we do another season, we don’t know yet.
MANDY: Would it say "Lorenzo"?
SNOOKI: Yeah. I want to get something on my ankle and have it have a big heart. And then don’t do Lorenzo so big because I want to fit my other kids.
MANDY: I feel like you’ve gone through phases in your personal style. If you could describe the evolution of them how would you?
SNOOKI: Trashy, cheap, tacky, and now I’m classy-tacky.
New episodes of "Snooki & JWoww" return on Tuesday, March 12, at 10 p.m. on MTV.
Beauty Director: Marci Robin. Beauty Editor: Annie Kreighbaum. Producer: Olivia Hall. Photographer: Lee Clower. Photo Assistant: Christian Torres. Makeup: Matt Nigara. Hair: Danielle Priano.