Rajni Jacques

On motherhood, avocados, and the joy of makeup

My mom and my grandmother taught me about beauty. It was never about creams, it was never about not wanting to age. It was more about preserving what you have and just the simple things you can do every day to upkeep your skin. It's going to sound super, super corny, but it was always about “how beautiful you are inside is what will be projected outside”—how you treat people, how you move in the world… you can see it on your face. So, if you're rude, or a mean person, people will know it by looking at your face. Maybe that's just the Haitian superstitious aspect of my upbringing, but that was something that my grandmother and mother reiterated over and over again.

Growing up, I always thought avocados were for the hair and for the face. I had an aversion to eating them, because for me they were strictly something that you did for beauty, not ingested. I remember my mom first mixing avocado and egg, then washing my hair, and putting that in it, and then putting me under one of those salon-style hair dryers. I would have to stay for a good 40 minutes for the oil to seep into my hair. Then she’d take some of that oil and put it on my face. So, when I think of beauty, the visual that comes to my mind is an avocado.

"So, if you're rude, or a mean person, people will know it by looking at your face."

Rajni recommends

"I’m a huge fan of Cloud Paint. I'll put on a little mascara and do my brows [with Boy Brow], and then just put a little Cloud Paint on the temples of my cheeks, and it looks like I've done something, but I really haven't done much"

The way that I approach beauty now, after becoming a mom, is that I like my skin to look dewier. When I was pregnant, I guess my skin produced a lot of oil, and everyone was always like, “Oh my gosh, you look like you’re glowing.” And so I do like that feeling of having makeup on, but not really looking like I have makeup on.

"We all get caught up sometimes in the things we don't like about ourselves."

Every woman, especially after giving birth, has things she knocks herself for—this is not the way it used to be, etc.—and it’s easy to get really, really hard on yourself. One thing I get scared of is passing down bad habits when it comes to body image. We all get caught up sometimes in the things we don't like about ourselves. [My daughter] is so young, but she's a girl, and I'm trying to make a conscious decision not to speak about things that I'm not happy about when it comes to beauty in front of her. I'm excited to share all my thoughts about beauty with her in a positive light, but also knowing there are some things that you shouldn't share, because you don't want to put your own hang-ups on someone else.

I'm still learning how to work around that, too. I'm mostly a positive person. So, for me, after putting makeup on, it does give me a happy endorphin rush. You know what I mean? For one, I know I'm going somewhere. Probably without the kids [laughs].

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