Karina Irby is a true inspiration. Not because she has a Kardashian-esque body with a booty that gives the peach emoji a run for its money. Nor because she knows how to take a damn fine Insti shot that has seen her gain over 1.2 million followers across the three social media accounts she runs. But because at 27 years old, Karina has managed to turn an $800 loan from her Dad into not one, but two global business empires. Not bad going for a beach-loving gal from the Gold Coast.
Founding cheeky-cut swimwear line Moana Bikini in 2011 after suffering from the swimwear butt droop all too often, Karina then went on to launch Bikini Body Burn in 2015 with her trainer Simon McDermott – creating guides that help educate girls on how to build lean muscle and eat a nutritionally-balanced diet (perky backside slaps all round).
But business pursuits aside, we also wanted to know a little more about what makes Karina tick. What’s happening behind the feed. Grabbing her aside for our latest Fast 50, we chat to Karina about everything from hiit cardio sessions to online trolls…
1. Best beauty product of all time? Kencay Body Moisturiser – seriously, I can’t live without it. It’s not even a beauty product, really, but I have suffered from eczema my entire life and it’s the only moisturising product that provides relief and cures any flare-ups. It’s a lifesaver!
2. Beauty products you can’t live without? Kencay Body Moisturiser, Kryolan Makeup, and Rationale skincare
3. Hair “done” or messy? Messy!
4. Makeup or no makeup? Makeup
5. Favourite fragrance? Narciso Rodriguez
6. Favourite item of clothing? Active wear. Aside from bikinis, I live in my active wear!
7. Favourite fashion brand? Well, aside from Moana 😉 I seem to love everything that Stussy creates lately. I’m a streetwear girl, definitely, versus luxury brands
8. Sneakers or heels? Is that even a question!? Sneakers!
9. Gym or exercising outdoors? Both. I like to mix it up. When I live in such a beautiful location (Currumbin, Gold Coast), it’s hard to ignore the outside opportunities! But there are some certain things that can only be achieved in the gym…
10. Yoga or running? Both are great for different reasons. If I had to pick, probably running. But if I really had to pick… I would say a mix of intense resistance training in the gym and hiit cardio
11. Healthy eating or treating yourself? Both. Treats make the healthy eating worthwhile
12. Can you cook? I sure can! I love it
13. Favourite food? Home-made Indian
14. Favourite drink? Water. How exciting, right?! I don’t drink alcohol and I’m not a huge fan of fizzy, carbonated drinks. I am pretty partial to a chocolate milkshake though!
15. Best place to eat out? I love Japanese food. Mermaid Beach’s Etsu Izakaya is, by far, my favourite
16. Happiest moment? Watching my father walk again
17. Saddest moment? Losing my puppy (best friend!)
18. Instagram or Snapchat? Instagram
19. Blog or YouTube? YouTube
20. iPhone or camera? iPhone
21. Type of camera? I like to film my personal video/YouTube on on my Canon G7X. I usually point-and-shoot stills with my iPhone, they’re hard to beat these days! However, if I am travelling and want to take ‘real’ imagery, I use Canon and currently use an 80D.
22. Facetune or untouched? Untouched
23. Lightroom or VSCO? VSCO
24. Favourite filter? It all depends on the lighting and colour in the image.
25. Favourite way to edit pics? VSCO
26. 9-5 job or full-time influencer? I don’t consider my ‘influence’ a full-time job, and don’t really foresee that ever happening. The only reason I have any ‘influence’ is from my actual full-time job, my businesses – Moana Bikini and Bikini Body Burn. Unlike a lot of others, these businesses came first, before my social media following, and I treat them with the care and love they deserve – 24/7!
27. How did you first get your start in Instablogging? It all started from personally uploading images of myself in my new Moana Bikini designs
28. How much time goes into a normal picture found on your Instagram account? Oh gosh, probably not as much as it should! If I have taken the image already and it’s on my phone waiting… probably only a minute to edit and caption! If I have to go and create some content, obviously quite a bit longer. But I am getting pretty good at reminding myself to capture moments throughout my day to ensure that I have content to fall back on. I try and keep anything I post natural, unforced and largely unplanned. I feel like the people that follow me can see through anything forced or faked
29. What’s your top Instagram tip? Be yourself!
30. Who takes your pics? My partner, Ryan.
31. Career highlight since being an influencer? Helping change how people see ‘beauty’
32. Career lowlight since being an influencer? Online trolls putting other people down in my captions
33. Best campaign you’ve ever worked on? My personal Moana Bikini Campaign in Bora Bora
34. The best gift you’ve ever received as an influencer? I am a pretty big fan of my regular boxes of Protein World goodies! However, a trip to the Maldives is hard to beat!
35. Last thing you googled? Comfortable soft seating – Moana Bikini is about to move into a brand new HQ 🙂
36. Favourite film? That’s a very tough question! It would be a tie between ‘Whiplash’, ‘Step Brothers’ and ‘Castaway’
37. Favourite book? ‘Green Eggs and Ham’
38. Favourite song? Right now… ‘I don’t f&#k with you’ – Big Sean
39. Favourite band? I don’t know if I have a favourite band!? That’s so hard to whittle down. We listen to a lot of old-school playlists in the Moana office. Queen, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones… I’m more of a classic rock girl with a bit of new-school hip-hop thrown in for good measure: Big Sean, Kendrick, Kanye, Joey Bada$$
40. Living in the city or living by the beach? By the beach! Always and forever!
41. Favourite travel destination? Hawaii – I can’t get enough of it
42. Going out clubbing or quiet dinner with friends? Dinner with friends, always. I’m definitely not a ‘clubber’
43. Partner or single? Partner… and I couldn’t be happier
44. Siblings? Zero – I’m an only child
45. What city are you currently living in? Currumbin, Gold Coast. I actually just bought my first house in this amazing suburb and I love it so much!
46. Celebrity crush? Zac Efron
47. Pets? Three! My cockatiel Charlie and my two chihuahuas, Billie and Barnie
48. Top five Instagram accounts to follow? @moana_bikini, @bikini.body.burn, @loganpaul, @lelepons, @stef_fit
49. Favourite quote you live by? “Do what makes you happy”
50. Top career tip? If you want and believe in something hard enough, you can make it happen.