You may recognize Rajni from her work behind the camera styling shoots for Teen Vogue and Allure, or from her work in front of the camera—she was one of the faces of Glossier’s Gen G campaign (with her adorable son Diego). For Glossier’s latest campaign, the team brought Rajni back, along with several others from our community, to tell their beauty stories. Because we know that beauty isn’t just about products or a routine, but about the way it makes you feel and the people it connects you to. Read their stories here, and read Rajni’s below.
"My mom and grandmother taught me about beauty. It was never about creams, and it was never about not wanting to age. It was more about preserving what you have, and the simple things you can do every day to upkeep your skin. It's going to sound super, super corny, but it was always the idea that how beautiful you are inside will be projected outside—how you treat people, and 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 always something that my grandmother and mother reiterated over and over again.
Growing up, I always thought avocados were for the hair and face. I had an aversion to eating them, because for me they were strictly for beauty. I remember my mom mixing avocado and egg, and then washing my hair, and putting that [mixture] in it. Then she would put me under one of those salon style hair dryers, and I would have to stay for a good 40 minutes for the oil to seep in. What [my mom] would do next is 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.
[Motherhood] changed my approach to beauty when it came to hair because [pregnancy] changed my hair. How lush it would get, and then how, after breastfeeding, it would start to break off in certain spots, because you don't have those nutrients pumping through your body like you used to. It's crazy. Still to this day it's, 'Oh my God when is it fully going to grow back?'
[My daughter] is so young, but she's a girl, and I'm making a conscious decision not to speak about the things I'm not happy about in front of her.
The way I approach beauty now, after becoming a mom, is that I like my skin to look dewier. I think it's just because when I was pregnant my skin produced a lot of oil, and so 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.
I make sure that I'm still very independent from my kids, that I still have a life outside of them. I make it a point to do things for myself, to have dinners at my friends', go out with my husband. I find it more important to figure out who I am now, because I think you can get lost in being a mom, and being a caregiver. Obviously those things are all great, and I have two kids, and that's what I wanted, but I didn't want to lose myself to just being relegated as someone's mom.
[For] any woman, and especially after giving birth, there are things that you just knock on yourself for—this is not the way it used to be, etc.,—and you get really, really hard on yourself. I'm still learning how to work around that. But, 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].
As they grow, there will be certain things I’ll start to tell them about how you work beauty into your life. One thing I get scared of is passing down bad habits when it comes to beauty, 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 making a conscious decision not to speak about the things I'm not happy about in front of her. I'm excited to share all my thoughts about beauty with them in a positive light, but I also know there are some things you shouldn't share, because you don't want to put your own hangups on someone else."
—as told to ITG
Rajni Jacques photographed by Campbell Addy in Brooklyn in June, 2019.