WTF is Wellness is a special series that takes us alongside our Founder, Beryl, as she talks all things modern wellness with some of the most exciting and influential minds in the space. From CBD and cannabis to mind, body and lifestyle - let’s navigate this crazy world we live in one conversation at a time.
We are so excited to share our recent conversation with beloved beauty and lash guru, Jasmine Imani. With eyes closed, receiving the best lash lift in the business, Beryl chatted it up with Jasmine! From postnatal care to establishing her thriving business, Jasmine leans into wellness when she needs it the most - challenging the notion of what CBD and Cannabis can mean for a mother and modern professional.
Beryl: Ok - I can't see, so let's just jump in... What does wellness mean to you? Let’s start broad.
Jasmine: I don’t think about it because I grew up in a household of it. I grew up with a mom who was all holistic, natural. I wasn’t even allowed to eat the ketchup that was at school.
Beryl: Aww, you were that kid!
Jasmine: Yes! So I’m very happy people are becoming attuned to "wellness" finally. I think that wellness is the core of beauty – and a lot of people are skipping over that. Your insides totally dictate how you’re going to look on the outside.
Beryl: So obviously you’re into beauty – I’m sitting in your chair and you’re going to make me look gorgeous. But how did you even get here? What was the journey?
Jasmine: So after 15 years of fashion, I was bored after having my child. I say my child made me have the big “ah-ha” moment. I felt like fashion was just so wasteful – I saw too much junk and it was overwhelming.
Beryl: Right, I came from fashion too and I always say, ‘I was tired of convincing people they needed more stuff.’
Jasmine: Exactly! So I was sitting at my desk and all of a sudden I had a thought, ‘it would be amazing to do someone’s lashes. But shit, I don’t know how to do lashes. So, naturally I thought - ‘I’ll just take classes’ – because I was all about the side hustle. And then I realized you have to go to esthetician school - a full time thing! So I sat down and mapped it out - it just felt right. Fuck it, I’m going to quit and go to esthetician school. And I did just that, for four months, full time and it was the best time of my life. I feel like a new chapter started.
Beryl: Wow! So I need to know - what’s your philosophy on lashes? Lift vs. extension?
Jasmine: I think a lot of people are confused about what extensions can do. I’m pro-extension & pro-lift! I’ve been getting extensions for the last 15 years. It’s all about who’s lashing you, how they’re lashing you, and then it’s also are you taking care of your lashes – which a lot of people have no clue about. The lift – I really love - because it’s your natural lashes. Everyone that comes to see me, my first goal is to get each client's lashes to the best they can be – and we can always do extensions when you’re looking for a new look. But your natural lashes should be thriving.
Beryl: So right now, we’re doing a lift on me?
Jasmine: Yes – a keratin lash lift. A lot of people are lash perming – that is harmful, it dries them out and the substance is too harsh. There’s techniques to lifting – I don’t know a lot of people doing it yet, but it will get more and more popular.
Beryl: Sure, but that’s a good thing – competition validates the need and the opportunity.
Jasmine: Definitely. I’m happy I’m at the forefront – I want to keep it at a very high standard for people, because it’s your eyes!
Beryl: That’s one of the things that scared me the most! It’s my eyes!
Jasmine: And your lashes, your eyes, and your eyebrows frame your face and they can change your face drastically. So it’s really important to have them at their best.
A funny story – the first time I ever got a lash perm… I found this lady and she had rave reviews. And I went to her and got one done and my eyelashes curled to the back of my eyelids. But then I thought about it for a while – and I realized, ‘she doesn’t understand my hair texture.’ Of all the pictures I was looking at, no one looked at me. I think I was her first black girl.
It’s hair – you’ve got to know different people, different textures. A lot of time I ask people what nationality they are, so I can really know what kind of texture I’m dealing with to know how long to process them.
Beryl: Incredible. So let’s talk about CBD and Cannabis. Do you think of that as wellness?
Jasmine: Oh, for sure.
Beryl: Why do you think of it that way?
Jasmine: Because my mom connected it to her wellness. She’s the ‘supreme being’ of taking care of the body from the inside. She took like 20 supplements, she always had a glass of water with lemon in her hand, she didn’t wear make-up, she didn’t shave her legs – and her skin to this day, is still glorious.
And she always had a joint in her mouth! So I was like, ‘oh yea OK, these are all connected’. My mom was a single mom of two and she ran her own publicity business for over 30 years. So she was always in a high-stress place, but she was able to function and raise two daughters and keep us housed with food in the kitchen. And her business thrived.
Now being a mom, I realize, you lose your sanity every five minutes. And she had her weed to calm her soul. But she also ran a very profitable business while smoking her joints.
Beryl: Right, being a pro-cannabis or a cannabis consumer doesn’t mean the stereotype we’ve been trained to think it is.
Jasmine: Not at all – my mom was doing a lot, and she had the THC to calm her soul.
Beryl: Does your mom still smoke joints?
Jasmine: She does, but she does love CBD. She uses it on her body. She actually does pole now.
Beryl: You mean like pole dancing?
Jasmine: Yes! She’s over 50 and she can swing around a pole. She loves pole-fitness. She’s definitely stronger than me – she’s something else. But she definitely uses CBD all over her body – on her muscles, she bathes herself in CBD. She also enjoys microdosing.
Beryl: So at what point did cannabis become something that you do together?
Jasmine: I probably stayed away from cannabis for a very long time because of my mother, but she now sends me some packages with all the things to keep me sane.
Beryl: What about your sister?
Jasmine: She’s not into THC, but I know she uses CBD. For us – CBD is just a part of life. It's a beautiful ingredient in lotions, oil, even food. My mom showed us it works wonders on eczema.
Beryl: Right, it’s just an ingredient. Do you feel like being a mama has changed your relationship with wellness and cannabis?
Jasmine: Yes, so after baby, it probably took like a year and a half to two years to snap out of the fog. CBD helped - I was taking CBD in my coffee everyday at my desk.
Beryl: This is 3 years ago… you’re an early adopter. There are some people who are just learning about it.
Jasmine: It became a norm of my routine. And just being a mom, I’m forgetful. So I sometimes have to remind myself, bring your kit – bring the drops, bring the lotion, bring whatever, so you’re prepared for your day. Even when I get home, I go through phases where I like a glass of wine or I don’t want any wine. But CBD – taking a few drops in my mouth when I get in the door totally releases any tension that I’m holding onto.
Beryl: So what are your favorite CBD products?
Jasmine: Right now – those Calivolve Chocolates. They’re very relaxing – I get no after-feel of anything, just a complete relaxation. I always forget I ate it and then the next day I’m like, ‘that’s why I felt so good!’
Beryl: I also love that it tastes like chocolate.
Jasmine: They’re so good.
Beryl: So what other knowledge you have to drop on people – you’re my beauty guru.
Jasmine: I think people need to take their time and be patient. A lot of people don’t let things happen. So like skin care products – ‘Oh I tried it, I didn’t wake up shiny’… out the door. ‘I gave it a week’… out the door. You need to give things a month. Same with CBD – learning my micro-dosing system – it was probably a two-month process.
Beryl: Absolutely! And your body is always changing – you may need something different than learned a few months ago.
Jasmine: A lot of people don’t listen to their bodies. And I think that’s a big thing in beauty and wellness. You’re going to have your own experience, but you need to listen to your body. I can listen to my body and say, ‘this isn’t working today.’ But I might try it next week or next month; I revisit products all the time.
Beryl: I like to say, if we use the analogies with cannabis and CBD that we do in every other area, we would be so much better off. It’s not like, ‘take it once, life changes.’ For CBD – you’re not supposed to necessarily feel it – you’re just supposed to be the best version of you.
Jasmine: Exactly. My best CBD products are so subtle – like I said, I forget I even took something. But I get so relaxed and the tension I have in my neck is gone. It’s being patient and just listening. Same with skincare – I know now the products I use in the winter and products I use in the summer. Even then, I’ll throw something in the mix to try it out. It’s the same with CBD.
Beryl: Right, we sell a product that’s one of my favorites in the wintertime because it has Turmeric in it – so it just feels cozy. But it’s not my go-to in the summer.
Jasmine: And that goes even deeper. I love acupuncture and Eastern Medicine. Your organs, down to your spirit – they certain things during certain seasons because of where we are on the planet. It’s really all connected.
Beryl: When you actually stop to understand the thread, it’s pretty unbelievable.