“It was a really hard time.” Jennifer Hawkins speaks about her mother’s cancer diagnosis this year.

Image: Getty

2015 has been a busy year for Jennifer Hawkins. She’s hosted another season of Australia’s Next Top Model, has seen her tanning range JBronze go from strength to strength and has even launched her own brand of tequila with husband Jake Wall.

But it hasn’t been all rosy, with the model’s mum Gail undergoing cancer surgery on the day Hawkins was due to walk the Myer runway.

At the launch of her JBronze Kickstarter Campaign, we spoke to the 31-year-old entrepreneur about 2015.

Your mum underwent cancer surgery earlier this year, how did it feel to have to go through that at a particularly busy work time?

“I won’t lie, it was a hard time, it was a really hard time. At that time it was almost like a blessing because it [work] was a distraction almost from what was happening with mum and at the end you get through it and you’re like ‘How did I do that?’. Luckily I have a really good family base.”

What do you think is the secret to a successful relationship like yours?

“Keeping it fresh by always doing new and exciting things together. Travelling also – we love travelling together, having nights out together, going for dinners, laughter. And after work, switching your phone off, I think that’s key. And not talking about business all the time, that’s important.”

You’re one of Australia’s entrepreneur success stories, what’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from starting your own business?

“I think it’s about managing your time, having a schedule for each week and having amazing people around you who are experts in their field. You’ve also got to show respect to your team – always, those are definitely the key things. And having fun – that’s the whole point!”

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We’ve noticed many women, including you, who are married and haven’t had children yet get quizzed by people about why they don’t have kids.

“It’s OK because I think that whether you’re in the industry or not you get asked, it’s a natural progression I guess. But I think it’s such a huge decision that you have to do when it’s right for you, so it doesn’t even pop into my head if people ask me, I just go ‘That’s alright, they’re just curious.'”(Post continues after gallery.)

Obviously with your work, hair and makeup is often done for you – what’s your at-home routine like?

“I love getting my hair and makeup done! I think it’s nice to keep it minimal for your skin, because when you have a busy period your skin is almost crying out to get makeup off it, so I tend to leave makeup off. Sometimes if I go out I put illumiser on my cheekbones, and I love mascara because I’m blonde so otherwise I have no lashes. I think if you’re going out for dinner it’s really lovely to wear a pop lip – last night at Nobu I went for pink.

I think it’s about keeping your skin as clear as possible and that can be hard for women when you’re wearing makeup all the time.”

What are the two budget beauty items you’re obsessed with at the moment?

“I would say JBronze shimmer ($24.95) because it is budget, but it’s an amazing, beautiful premium product and gives you a gorgeous summer glow whether you wear it on your collar bones, decollatage, tip of your nose – people always comment when I’ve got that on. Also, I have to say the JBronze mitt ($12.95) because you can use any tan from the range and it’s so smooth and the application mitt makes it fail-safe, I would say.”

Image: supplied.

You've got a window of just five minutes to exercise - what do you do?

"Just five minutes? Sit ups. If I only have five, it would sit ups or push ups on the wall, but I never just leave five minutes, I make time to work out, whether I get up at 4:30 or 5am, I don't mind. I mean I do mind at the time - but you've got to do it."

What's your trick to staying healthy over the Christmas period?

"Just exercising and eating well. You need to give yourself a little bit of a vice every now and then, so just eat what you like over Christmas but if you have something coming up early January, just keep that in mind and curb sweets I would say."

What's your motto for 2016?

"I've got so much work going on and that's in place, so my goal is to have a bit more time to travel and be spontaneous. Say yes to social functions, socialise a bit more, that would be my goal."

What's your best tip for getting a #coatofconfidence with your tan?

"Definitely exfoliate! Using an exfoliation mitt is key because you start with a clean canvas. Failsafe - application mitt. Everyone who uses it even if they're not used to tanning, they don't get streaks or marks around your hands. But I guess also trial the medium mousse and work your way up to darker mousses or creams or sprays."

What's your motto for 2016?

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