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A Beauty Minute with Jazmin Alvarez

4 months ago by

Meet Jazmin! She is the founder and chief curator of Pretty Well Beauty, a black-owned clean beauty curation website launched in 2019. Alvarez curates a diverse product offering that adheres to the strictest standards of clean and sustainability practices. Diversity is at the heart of Pretty Well Beauty’s mission which seeks to reclaim wellness and clean beauty to be accessible and approachable. We caught up with Jazmin this week to ask about — yep — all things beauty!

What is your morning beauty routine?

I start with a very gentle cleansing since I’m not waking up to dirty skin, I want to make sure I use something just to refresh and remove the products I sept in. Then I tone, I never skip toner as it’s literally my most favorite step in my routine and important to balance the pH of the skin after using tap water. After that I will apply a serum depending on what my skin needs. Right now I’m using a Vitamin C serum which is really lightweight and absorbs quickly into my skin. I’m prone to hyper-pigmentation so this keeps that in check. I let that sit for 5-10 minutes before applying an aloe based moisturizer. I spend several minutes massaging this moisturizer onto my skin not only because it feels amazing but just to get the blood flowing and increase absorption and circulation. I work from home so I don’t use SPF when I’m just staying inside but if I know I need to go out, then I will finish my routine with an SPF, otherwise I’m done. I’ve learned over the years, less is more for your daily routine. If I need it, I will include a gua sha into my routine using a facial oil instead of the moisturizer.

What products to keep in your bag throughout the day?

No surprise here but always a toner that I can mist, especially during the colder seasons. I like to stay hydrated and fresh as much as possible. Also I always have at least 2 lip balms. I have one in every bag and every corner of my apt like a crazy person hahaha! My lips can get so dry otherwise so I must have something with me always. Hand sanitizer is always with me especially now during COVID and hand creams year round are essential for me. I’m not the type to touch up my makeup throughout the day. What goes on in the morning (which is very little) is what I keep on during the day. I don’t reapply anything, not even lipstick.

What is your evening beauty routine?

My evening routine is very similar to my morning routine except that twice a week I will include deep exfoliation and masks. I do this on Wednesdays and Sundays since they are the 2 days that are spaced the furthest apart. So on these days, I break out facial steamer and I will steam my face while cleansing. After cleansing, and still steaming, I use an exfoliator and I probably go a bit over board with it but my skin can handle a lot so I steam and exfoliate for probably 5 minutes honestly. After I rinse the exfoliator, I mix up a mask depending on what mood my skin is in. If I had some break outs I use something with clay and I like to mix with another honey based mask and some toner essence, I never use water to mix my powder masks just because I want to make sure I keep my skin’s pH balanced. If my skin is thriving and doesn’t really need anything, I’ll usually just do a gentle hydrating mask. Something super simple just to maintain hydration and balance. After I rinse that off, I use my toner, serum and moisturizer. I don’t use any eye creams as I have never seen any benefits personally. Once per week I introduce microdermabrasion with this machine I’ve had for about 2 or 3 years. It’s the same quality as the one my facialist used on me when I used to see her. So now I just do that myself at home. Then I wrap my hair up in a satin scarf to protect my curls from drying out and getting tangled. Then the final step is a swipe of lip balm.

A Beauty Minute with Jazmin Alvarez

What did you learn about wellness and beauty from your family?

Literally everything I’ve learned stemmed from my family and cultural upbringing. We used to make our own beauty products with ingredients from the kitchen like oatmeal, milk, banana face masks and mayonnaise mixed with eggs and olive oil for our hair. To me is was super fun and a great way to bond with my mom and my aunt. I also learned that less is more and that for every ailment, there is a food equivalent you can eat instead of a medicine. I was never given things like NyQuil or other OTC drugs when I got sick. My mom would make me a hot beverage with things like ginger, lemon, honey, and any other herbal ingredients we had at home. It was also what was most affordable for us. We didn’t have a lot of money so making our own things were also done out of necessity. These practices carried me thought out my life and still into practice today as it was just ingrained in me. I never buy medicine ( I rarely get sick too). Also when it comes to hair, I was told to always focus on the health of my hair and not just the style. My mom was a hair stylist who was known to have magical hands. She had clients who would fly in just to see her and she focused on the integrity of the hair and never on the style because she believes that if you have healthy hair, it’s going to look amazing regardless of the style, length or texture.

What is your definition of beauty?

I believe beauty is an inside job and so feeling comfortable in my own skin is what has literally forced me to see my own beauty. I don’t subscribe to societies typical standard of beauty and believe that it always comes from within. How we talk to ourselves and treat ourselves and others become a reflection of how we view ourselves and how others view you too. It’s so important to understand that beauty has nothing to do with the skin we’re in and everything to do with who we are at our core. As someone who worked in the fashion industry for well over a decade, I have met some of the most physically beautiful people in the world who at times used their exterior beauty as currency which completely shifted the way they appeared. Beauty really is only skin deep and I truly believe that it’s what on the inside that matter’s much more.

When do you feel the most beautiful?

When I’m in love, after an amazing workout, and when I feel super happy and excited!

Why were you spurred to found Pretty Well Beauty, a site that prioritizes the democratization and diversification of clean beauty?

I was a frustrated consumer plain and simple. Shopping for clean beauty was a major pain point for me due to the lack of transparency, and inclusivity. I did not feel welcome or part of a narrative in which was my life. I felt there needed to be a shift and a new voice for people who might look something like me. The lack of representation in a space dominated by non POC who are benefitting from the very people they have appropriated and excluded didn’t sit well with me. I felt that I had a unique POV, position and passion to do things better for those who wanted a more seamless and authentic experience when shopping for clean beauty and wellness. The timing was right and I took the leap of faith and what I have discovered is that there are still so many people who felt and still feel exactly the same way as I did, including even some Non-POC. I also didn’t like the fact that clean beauty is positioned as something that is unaffordable and therefore unattainable. It was important for me to make sure that people from various financial means could find something at PWB to build a routine and not be relegated to being able to just pick one thing. Price inclusivity is very important to me for that reason which is why you’ll find items at 3 price points (entry level, moderate and premium). When I think of inclusivity, that doesn’t mean that I’m focusing on just POC, I want anyone who wants a more holistic approach to their well-being to be able to use PWB as resource they can rely on and trust.

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