We're continuing our Bleu Woman Interview Series with style and beauty maven Jas Yvonne. You've seen her giving us the beauty scoop on her Youtube channel and style inspiration on her instagram. We are excited to get her thoughts on staying creative and what wellness practices keeps her grounded while solo traveling. Get into our interview below.
NB: We appreciate all of the work you put into sharing what you know about beauty and fashion. Outside of expressing yourself through vibrant and beautiful style and helping us incorporate sustainable luxury in our lives, who is Jas Yvonne?
JY: I think that a lot of women primarily define themselves according to the roles and purposes that we serve in other people’s lives －sister, daughter, friend, etc.－and I am all of those. However, at my core, I am just a woman approaching her thirties who is trying to figure out life one day at a time, all the while enjoying herself along the way. A superrr simple description, eh?
NB: What piqued your interest in starting your lifestyle, fashion, and beauty vlog/ Youtube channel?
JY: I’ve always had my own unique perspective when it comes to fashion, even when following trends, and I spent years defining my own personal style.
However, I was always afraid to put myself out there as any kind of ‘expert’ in the fashion and beauty spaces, so I spent years on the sidelines. The pandemic made me really evaluate what was holding me back, and once I worked through my fears and perfectionism, I decided to finally push forward with content creation. I officially introduced myself as a content creator on Instagram on December 10, 2020. It’s been an amazing journey so far with a lot of lessons and connections!
NB: How would you describe your style? Who or what are your influences?
JY: I have always been fascinated by the artistic expression of the women in my family. Black women are hands down my favorite people on the face of the planet. The cultural contributions that we have made GLOBALLY cannot be matched. To add, I would always borrow Teen Vogue, American Vogue and InStyle Magazine from the local library and would admire the styling in the editorial campaigns. So, I would say that my style is influenced by both Black women and luxury/high fashion. If I had to categorize my style, I would describe it as ‘edgy classic’ or ‘classic with a twist.’ I am drawn to classic items that have a lil something special. For example, I LOVE white button downs, but to make them my own, I will sometimes wear them wrinkled and half tucked. I’ve worn men’s shirts as oversized dresses. I also love wearing very simple outfits, but then amping them up with very bold, unique accessories. One accessory that I am super excited about is the Yaito Paisley Knot Bag that I just bought. I think it’ll be a great conversation starter. I am very introverted, so I make connections with people through my fashion choices.
NB: You recently shared that you are into arranging florals as a hobby. How has this hobby helped you? Did you discover anything new about yourself?
JY: Floral arrangement is a hobby that I am not very good at! However, the hobby has really helped me to wrestle with my perfectionism. It taught me that you don’t have to be good at every single thing in life in order to enjoy yourself. It also made me realize that it is perfectly ok to not want to monetize every single interest you have. Style, beauty, and lifestyle content creation on both Instagram and YouTube are more than enough work for me at the moment! All in all, floral arrangements has really helped me to step back and to have a little something for myself in the way of self-care.
NB: What has been your favorite place to travel to? Why?
JY: My favorite place on earth is Mexico City. Old San Juan, Puerto Rico is a close second. When I travel I like to experience the culture of a particular place through its food. Mexico has a very rich cultural heritage that is undeniably resilient. You can see both pre and post-colonial influences in Mexican cuisine and I find that incredibly fascinating. Moreover, Frida Kahlo is my favorite artist, and visiting La Casa Azul (The Blue House) was the highlight of my trip. This is the home where she spent most of her formative years and it has since been converted into a museum. I did a lot of history projects on Frida Kahlo in school and so it was amazing to be in the presence of her original artwork! I would love to go back, but next time I would love to share the experience with friends.
NB: You’ve also shared that you traveled heavy solo pre-pandemic? What is the most enjoyable to you when it comes to solo travel? Any advice for other women interested in solo travel?
JY: Yes! I have been an avid solo traveler since 2016. I typically take at least one solo trip per year. Traveling solo has been a great way for me to exercise self-love and self-care. I am forced to really get to know myself and really learn what I like without the influence of others, which is why I think ALL women should take at least one solo trip in their lifetimes. My biggest piece of advice when it comes to solo travel is to JUST DO IT! Work through your fears, and give yourself grace because you are stepping out of your comfort zone. A lot of people are understandably concerned about safety; however, I have very rarely felt unsafe during my trips. I pay very close attention to my surroundings, eat dinner when the sun is still up (this works for places outside of Spain. In Spain, they eat dinner at like 10 PM!), and limit my alcohol consumption. Another hack that I’ve used is to travel to places where I speak the language fluently. I am fluent in Spanish, which means that I’ve been able to travel to Chile, Argentina, Spain, and Mexico without language barriers.
NB: Is there a resort or hotel that you would highly recommend from one of your travels?
JY: I’m actually not big on resorts or hotels because I find that staying in the neighborhoods in which the locals live gives me a much more intimate experience with the city that I am visiting. I typically will do research on the major neighborhoods in any given city, pick the neighborhood that matches my vibe the most (small and artsy with a lot of restaurants, independent shops, and bars), and then pick an AirBnB that is the best fit for my preferences and is close enough to the activities that I want to do while I’m in town. One feature that I do look for in an Airbnb is a balcony. I love eating pastries and drinking tea while overlooking the city!
NB: What wellness practices do you incorporate into your daily routine?
JY: I try my absolute best to get a good night’s rest. I’m realizing more and more that there's nothing on the internet that I can’t catch up on the next day, so the FOMO is just in my head. I put my phone underneath my pillow so that I can’t see it lighting up. I do have a high-pressure 9-5 job that requires a lot of attention, so in order to manage my stress levels, I take walks during the day, drink caffeine-free tea and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. If I’m low energy, I will listen to my body and will take a nap if I need to. Working remotely means that I have the flexibility to work earlier or later in the day if I need to. My favorite way to decompress after a long day at work is to do my full skincare routine which consists of cleansing, serums, moisturizer, and a hydrating or exfoliating mask as needed. I NEVER EVER skip my skincare routine even if I’m tired and my skin thanks me for it! And last but not least, I’d like to highlight therapy. Although I’m not going to therapy on a daily basis, the strategies that I have learned from my therapist over the past 2 years have been VITAL to my overall wellness. I would encourage everyone who is able to access therapy services to take advantage of them. You don’t have to be diagnosed with a specific disorder to go to therapy. Sometimes it’s just great to have someone to talk to.