Our founder, Yasmin, sat down with good friend and fellow entrepreneur, Jessica Aggrey of Aggrey Jewellery.
Designing and crafting jewellery since 1992, Jessica’s inspiration comes from her passion for jewels and gems and her love of fashion, art, antiquity and nature. Jessica is also a stylist, global traveller, mother to 3, including twins and an advocate of living life to the fullest. We love everything she creates and Yasmin has been wearing Aggrey Jewellery since it’s inception.
How does your day usually start?
Always with a few mouthfuls of water!
I wake up around 6 am with the wet nose of my 6 month old puppy giving me a nudge. I feed him, splash my face with water and brush my teeth. I take my morning dose of The Beauty Chef’s Collagen Inner Beauty Boost. I then have a 20 minute yoga stretch if time allows before taking the puppy for a 35 to 40 minute walk around the neighbourhood and some of its parks.
I return to shower and dress for the day.
Then I make a bowl of plain rolled oats for breakfast. I’m ready to begin my day.
When did you discover natural beauty products?
A part of my childhood was spent in Ghana where Shea Butter was used to moisturise our skin. I knew it grew in a nut from a tree. As a teenager I had an oily complexion and used all the standard available 'on the shelf' products that would leave my skin stripped of oil only to make things worse. It was probably in a magazine that I read about the benefits of oats, honey, coffee and other kitchen items to help my inflamed skin. My sisters and I tried all kinds of masks prepared in the kitchen.
It’s only been in the last decade or so that I have become more educated around the harms of chemicals in makeup and skincare and seek clean beauty products that can replace former favourites.
Why is using natural, clean beauty products important to you?
As I approach menopause I’m aware that my body has already absorbed its share of toxins. I look for every opportunity to opt for cleaner beauty products and make better, more informed choices about what goes into my skin. The technological advances in the clean beauty space provide so many great options that work, it seems foolish and risky not too.
Can you share any wellness or beauty hacks with us?
I often underestimate the restorative power of an afternoon nap. When anxiety mounts I simply lie down, set an alarm for 35-1hr, if time allows and drift off, waking, I can continue on my way feeling in control.
What are your rituals to unplug?
Going for a 3-6 km run a couple of times a week really helps earth me.
Some visualisation and meditation also helps to put things into perspective. Taking a walk with a friend in nature is a wonderful unplug.
How do you feel about ageing gracefully?
I would be lying if I said I didn’t spend time looking in the mirror aghast at my changing appearance. When I remind myself that I am no longer in my 30’s and the face staring at me is almost half a century, it becomes easier to accept. I’m not adverse to non-invasive procedures perhaps in the future, but I do know that keeping fit, eating well, sleeping and being kind make ageing look a lot better.
What’s the one new clean beauty product you can’t live without?
It would have to be the Ere Perez Oat Milk Foundation in mocca. It spreads so well and leaves a dewy glow and it doesn’t clog my pores.
Describe your morning skincare routine?
Before I walk the dog I will simply splash my face and brush my teeth. Once I have showered I use a flannel on my face, pat dry and apply my Ao Skincare Peak Strength AM serum. Some days I will then apply a light moisturiser with a sunblock.
How do you stay fit?
I have frenetic bursts where I run distances. About three times a week I make time for a morning yoga stretch. Rain, hail or shine the dog needs walking so one of the incidental benefits is I maintain a level of fitness even if I slip behind on the yoga or running.
If we could travel right now, where on the planet would you go and why?
I would head to Ghana, the country of my birth. Though I haven’t lived there for decades I feel very much at home. There is a creative pulse there, that is infectious. It’s at once an emerging metropolis and a laid back place in time, steeped in culture and a rich and influential history. The temperature suits me and I love the feeling of being surrounded by people that resemble me.
What is your classic uniform?
My uniform is black! I opt for pieces that are trans-seasonal and layered. Almost everything I have goes together. I know the silhouettes that work well for me and I tend to replace them with similar items as needed. I use accessories like my jewellery to add contrast and a sense of occasion when it’s asked for.
Shop Jessica’s favourite Biddy + May products: