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Salutations babes, I hope you're well. I have the day off today so decided to write a new post all about my passion project, By Jess D. Now, if you've been following me for a while, you'll know that I have been banging on about the release of my cosmetics line for what feels like an eternity. Let me tell you why it was delayed.. 2018 was an absolutely awful year for me where my depression was mad. On social media I was glowing, in reality, I was suffering and suffocating. I was living in a constant dark cloud, which meant that I couldn't be myself. Reasons being bad relationships, finances, two extremely toxic work-places, which forced me into full self-employment. Although the cloud was mostly dark I ultimately became enlightened, about what I wanted and my path. I haven't got it all figured out, but I will find my way and I regret nothing as it made me who I am today, as I type this post. I am scared to launch this brand, I want it to be a success. But I am also afraid of not being myself and taking what I deserve. I have something really special that can change my life and my loved ones, so I am taking the MASSIVE LEAP to make my dream a reality.



My challenging 2018 taught me to be resilient and to never give up on my dreams. I want to be a cosmetic entrepreneur and I will achieve it, but my mental and physical health needs to be my priority, which is why I spent time healing and learning about e-commerce and the cosmetics industry. The thought of success fills me with joy! Especially knowing that my brand can enhance a person's beauty. The products are affordable, high-quality and cruelty-free. I have spent nearly four years researching, saving and creating this brand and I want you all to join me.

By Jess D isn't just a brand it is a movement. I want you all to use makeup to enhance your inner beauty, be confident to stand out in the crowd and be unapologetic about it. As with all indie brands, I am starting out a small product, that being my lipsticks. I started off with velvet matte lipsticks, as I am a lipstick lover and it was a good product to start off with as most indie brands do this before expanding.

I want   need your support in order to make this a success. I have a website below and would love your feedback. I am social media and need you guys to be my personal cheerleaders, not alot of brand owners do this, but really the support of you guys will really help me accelerate. We're launching the website on 1st of July, where you can pre-order all lipsticks for as little as £16.99 each! All products will be sent by 31st of July once we get the first orders in.

If you are a make up lover please click the links below to support me! I hope to see you on this journey with me.


WEBSITE:

By Jess D- password -Jesspassword

Social




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Salutations babes? How are we? I'm back with another post which is all about side hustles and making money on the side. Please feel free to catch up on my previous post, if you missed it. 



I've recently been trying to educate myself on money and diversifying my income stream. Because I strongly believe that it's important to have different hobbies going on to keep you stimulated, not to mention it's always great to have a different way of making money other than one source, as a backup. God forbid, you lose the main way of making income, side hustles are a great way of mitigating that. Not to mention a great stress reliever too!

Now, what exactly is a side hustle? In the most simplest terms, a side hustle is a job, or way you use your skills to make money on the side. These jobs usually complement the main source of making income. For example, you may work 9-5, Monday and Friday and work on your side hustle on the weekends.

Ideally, these side hustles should be low maintenance and flexible to allow you to focus on both, but it depends.

Do you understand what a side hustle is now? Great..

Now how can you start a side hustle The best way is to utilise your skills and really understand what you're good at, what is going to be low maintenance and what you enjoy. There's no point in doing something you hate for money .

1) Freelancing:

This is my favourite side hustle. Before I went full time as a freelancer late last year, I would freelance with my services as a social media manager and influencer marketer for brands. As I've been in the industry for 8 years, I used my knowledge to help brands with their social. The key with freelancing is to understand your skills, who is most in need of your skills and then to promote your expertise to your personal nextwork , as well as your external network (LinkedIn) is fab for this. Use sites like Yunojuno, Fiverr, Upwork etc to advertise your freelance services or get ideas on what you can freelance in. Once you get into a momentum..it's a great income stream and you never know, you can become a Freelancer full time.

2) Sell something online: From eBay to Shopify. The easiest and fastest way to get a side hustle is good old selling.

I've made decent money selling my clothing on apps such as Depop, Mercari (r.i.p) and of course eBay. However, if you dream to be the next ASOS, you can also use e-commerce sites like Shopify to sell goods. I'm launching my own cosmetics line called www.byjessd.com, as a way to showcase my love for beauty and to make money online. I'll keep you posted on that. However, if you want to go the e-commerce route and sell bespoke goods and don't have the money you can gothe drop shipping route, where you don't have to invest in stock until you get a sale. Or get a small loan to purchase stock and other bits to get you started. Cash lady is an example of a site that offers online loans, which can help you get started with a side hustle. Just please make sure you take a small manageable loan that you can pay back!

3) Micro jobs- If you're looking for flexible one off jobs to get cash every now and again, then micro jobs are for you. They aren't usually highly skilled so anyone can do it, but that means the competition maybe high depending on the role. Not to mention they aren't very highly paid, but if you have patience and also want to build some skills you can try it out. A great app where you can get loads of micro jobs are airtasker. With this app, you can apply to do roles such as translation, graphic design, gardeningcleaning etc to open tasks people post on the app. You can also post tasks you need doing in your own life on the app. The best thing is, some of the tasks can be done from home!

So I hope I've inspired you to get a side hustle. Are you ready to get that extra money?
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Dating as a millennial is getting increasingly difficult! With social media and an abundance of choice, it's increasingly difficult to understand fantasy from reality. The good thing about social media and dating though is that it makes you realise that there really are an abundance of cool people who you can date and find a genuine connection thanks to dating apps.



Below are my top 5 tips for getting a date on dating apps.


1) Show your personality with your photos.


Let's face it, we're a shallow society and the pics are the first things we look at before even starting a conversation. Really think about what you want to convey. I'm extremely bubbly and smile a lot and put pics of me smiling. I try to have clear, good quality pics too. So guys can see me clearly. Try and not add your friends or family in your pics too! Nothing worse than a crush potentially thinking you're your mate and facing them instead. It's also good to showcase your hobbies too, maybe a holiday pic, going out (not drunk pics) etc. It all gives you material to chat about.




PHOTOGRAPHY:

2) Please fill your profile.


It doesn't need to be an essay and I can admit it can belong. But it doesn't have to be painful. I keep it simple, I say who I am, a city I'm from some interesting facts and what I'm looking for as I'm a straightforward type of woman. Try and be funny or show interests if humour ain't your thing. Now you can add your Spotify playlist to your profile and Instagram too! So if words aren't your strong suit then these elements can help.


3)  Be proactive and Respectful

A lot of people are afraid to make the first move. For me, if I want something I go and get it. That goes for dating too! If I see a fine man and he hasn't yet messaged I make the first move. It's a saturated market and I want to stand out!

It's always hard to start the first convo. But again I keep it simple, I usually look at a profile and ask questions about that. If the guy is into the same music as me, I start off by greeting him and then chatting about the artist. Then keep it casual and flow from there. If someone has a dead and empty profile, Hi works just as well.

Please don't be disrespectful! I can't tell you the awful things I've been asked on these apps. You'll get an instant block and your profile will be reported. So be nice yeah?

4) Wear red

No seriously, wearing the colour red really works. Not only is it a banging colour that looks amazing on most skin tones, but it also helps you stand out.
PHOTOGRAPHER
OUTFIT:
LIPSTICK:

5) Take it off the app


I don't live my life on dating apps and as a result, I can miss opportunities with great guys. So I always recommend getting that number and carrying on the conversation on WhatsApp instead. How do you do this, just say hey I don't really use this app much but I'd love to continue this conversation on WhatsApp. This works 9/10 for me.


And bonus tip, suggest the date within 1 week to two weeks of chatting. Be upfront and suggest something low keys like a meal and drinks. Also, meet in person!


I've been successful with getting dates with the above tips! Let me know how you get on!









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I am a bit of a biology geek. I love understanding how the body works, why we look the way we do, why we do the things we do. I always question, whether it is nature vs.nurture. One of the things I geek out about is DNA and ancestry results. I watch numerous videos on YouTube about DNA ancestry and I always wanted to take part. By fate, the team at Living DNA reached out to me last year asking to take part in a review. Thy gifted me a DNA test kit, in which I filmed the process on my Instagram stories. Just click DNA Results (the house icon). In a nutshell, the process was super easy.

 Using the Living DNA kit

Firstly, you're presented with a Living DNA  kit, with a swab, a specimen bag, instructions on how to use the kit, and your online profile information, to which you set up your account on Living DNA. So I swabbed my cheeks, placed my DNA in the bag and sent the kit away to be analysed.



The results
DNA works by you taking 50% of your DNA from your Mum and 50% from your Dad. To make you! Living DNA analyses the data in 3 ways, (autosomal, motherline and fatherline). However, if you're a female, you'll never know your fatherline from your DNA. Only males receive this, you'll need to get a close male relative to receive this.

  They track your ancestor's movements at several points in time between 80,000 to 150,000 years ago from the point modern humans migrated out of Africa to where they moved through several eras spanning thousands of years. How sick is that? Not to mention they go back 10 generations.

Sooo, without further ado... here are my results:

I am 93.1% African mostly West African, and 6.9% FRENCH.

Yorubaland- 84.5%
Here's what Living DNA say about this!

Centered around the Niger River Delta, the Yorubaland genetic cluster extends over the modern day regions of Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Cameroon, Ghana, and parts of Niger and Mali. From Ile-Ife to the Oyo Empire, this land has been home to an array of historical city-states and kingdoms, and the people that live here today have an incredibly rich regional heritage. In addition to the Yoruba people themselves, ethnic groups such as the Igbo of Nigeria and Akan and Gaa-Adangbe of Ghana fall into this cluster, with a high level of genetic similarity between the different peoples of this region.

So I am Ghanaian, with a dash of other countries lol.

Mandika- 6.5%
Here's what Living DNA say about this!

The Mandinka are found predominantly in the Gambia, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Guinea-Bissau, Niger, and Mauritania. Empires such as the Mali Empire and Songhai Empire were hotbeds of international trade and scholarship over a thousand years ago and were well known throughout the medieval world for their riches and powerful rulers.

East Africa- 2.1%
Here's what Living DNA say about this!

The expansion of the Bantu people across Africa started roughly 3000 years ago in West Africa, where a small group of people started to master how to grow crops and work iron. A hunter-gatherer lifestyle was exchanged for farming, leading to the growth of villages and towns, able to support a relatively high population density and the formation of increasingly powerful chieftains and kings. These new agriculturalists appear to have then spread out from their West African homeland across the continent - perhaps due to population pressures caused by their growth in numbers.

French- 2.1%
Here's what Living DNA say about this!

If you have French ancestry inferred that you didn’t expect: We have observed that mixtures of British and Italian ancestry can sometimes be partly mistaken for French. Other mixtures such as of Germanic and Spanish ancestry involving countries neighbouring France may behave similarly. These issues are because it is difficult to tell apart having mixed ancestry recently, compared to having French ancestry causing sharing of DNA with people from similar regions, a little further in the past. French ancestry is also similar to British ancestry for people who have ancestry from all over the UK.

So that's it, I know who I am.. genetically. I am encouraging all my friends and family to do this. Now I need to get my Dad to do it so I can work out our fatherline ancestry. 


Thanks Living DNA

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Hey and an introduction to Leesa Mattress:

Salutations babes. I am back with another review post, and this time it all about homeware, more specifically about my new mattress from Lessa. Leesa's mission is to help people sleep better. Pretty simple right? Many companies struggle to get the fundamentals right when creating a mattress and I have to say, with someone with back and posture problems ( blame years hunching over a laptop- I am a millennial sue me),  I have enjoyed sleeping on this mattress. Like drool on the pillow enjoyment! TMI? My bad, but if you are looking for a good night sleep find out why this mattress is for you. 



The key facts about Leesa Mattress

  • I was gifted the Single Mattress, from Leesa, as I have a single bed. (Sidenote, use my discount code IMLOOKWHATIGOT1 for £100 off).
  • The mattress is beautifully designed and engineered with three premium foams for cooling, body contouring and pressure-relieving core support.
  • The Mattress comes wrapped up flat, in a rectangle box. To set it up you position the mattress on your bed frame, cut away the plastic covering and the mattress inflates slowly. I wish I recorded it, but placing the mattress was so easy and high tech.
  • Leesa is ahead of the game, they donate one mattress for every ten they sell.





Why I love the Leesa Mattress:

The thing about Mattresses is you either get a hard, medium and soft mattress. Which tbh, is never good for your back! Specialist mattresses cost a bomb and that isn't something I can afford! At £399 for a mattress, I feel it is a great investment if you are struggling to have a good nights sleep. The only thing I wish is if the mattress would come in different colours or if you could upgrade the mattress if you upgrade from a single to a double for example.  Even though the mattress is soft, you can really feel that it is supporting your back. I used to overheat on my mattress, but the material is really cooling and doesn't cause irritation. I normally have lower back pain, with my old mattress but this has greatly reduced. I really like that you get a 100-night free trial to really test the mattress. All in all, I am enjoying the Leesa Mattress. Thanks guys!!!






Leesa Sleep Ltd have provided a product for review, and as such are a ‘sponsor’ of the content.

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Collaboration post with Hotels.com “The spending money was gifted by Hotels.com, but all views are my own.


Salutations babes! It's been a while, hasn't it? If you follow me on Instagram you'll know I've been busy shooting for many brands such as lotd, hidden fashion, and isawitfirst .
Summer is officially over! And I ended it on a high at Notting Hill Carnival. I love exploring London and especially Covent Garden. If you are looking to stay in Covent Garden, make sure you have a look at these hotels. However, Last week I explored Covent Garden to explore the hidden gems it had to offer with my girl Char.




Covent Garden is known for its markets, Street performers and an abundance of cute restaurants. Located on the Piccadilly line, the area is closely located to popular areas such as Leicester Square, which is literally 5 mins away.

Armed with my gal pal and meme dealer Char, we did what we both love to do eat brunch! Heading over to the coziest restaurant in Covent Garden for brunch, being the Ivy Market grill. It was my first time, but Char is a veteran and highly recommended it. We had all the trimmings!


I opted for two white hot chocolate drinks, which my tongue thanked me for, but my waistline does not. However, it was worth it. Next, I had the best chicken sandwich with fries literally ever. The service was top notch, and I even got a birthday crème Brulee for my 27th and 9-month birthday (my actual birthday is in November) but I needed cheering up after a difficult few weeks and I'm glad the guys were so cute to do this for me.






Next, we explored the famous Covent Garden market, before walking past amazing street performers. Again the markets were full of really unique goodies, so if you're looking for a gift to really mark that you've been to Covent Garden then please head over. We stopped just outside the Moomin store and I met the love of my life with my mini Moomin. Can I get an awe?





Working in the beauty industry has many perks, like getting to play with makeup and skin care goodies on the regular. However, I always have an itch to see the newest make up. Covent Garden is perfect if you're a make up junkie, with an abundance of stores. I headed over to Kiko to see the rest of the jelly jungle range. I had been gifted the lip glosses a few weeks back so I went in to see and buy a few more goodies. Then I headed back to the ordinary to get my coveted foundation. There are only a few in London with another opening in Westfield London.



We spent most of the day in the markets, so didn't get a chance to see Neal's Yard. But if you love to dance, check out Pineapple studio. I've been there before and the bar life is quite good too. Make sure to head up Cafe Pacifico for unusual but tasty cocktails.
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This is a collaboration with HS Hair Clinic

I love summer, I love the good vibes, the festivals. the music and the weather. With a lot of positives, and I mean there are a lot, there are a lot of negatives. Take, for example,  the unbreathable heat, the annoying sweating and the fact I am not on holiday until October. But most importantly, the weather conditions for my hair. As a Naturalista, I have a hair type of 4A, what this means is that my hair is kinky (soft) with tight curls. Black hair requires different hair protection techniques to our Caucasian and Asian counterparts. In a nutshell, our hair is naturally drier, so the lack of moisture this season means that we need to be extra careful with protecting our hair so that we maintain healthy, luscious locks. Here I let you know my healthy hair tips for summer.



Use a protective style- Braid it up.

Hot weather normally leads to muggy conditions, which leads to frizz and general gross hair. In order to protect your hair, I feel protective styles like braids are the best solution to hot weather. I am partial to crochet braids, box braids, Ghana braids and cornrows. Braids are my go-to on holiday or a staycation in the UK. The low manipulation for the weeks I have it in has always helped with my hair growth. Braids will protect your ends, which is crucial if you want to grow your hair out, and protect your hair breaking in the hot weather. 

I am currently rocking a hybrid between box braids ( underneath my hair) and cornrows at the upper part of my hair. Just like a relationship, braids are a commitment, and although they will allow you to be free without a second thought, you must choose your hairstylist with care. Always have a few weeks between your braids, otherwise, your hair will break. This is sadly what has happened to mine. You also need to make sure your stylist doesn't braid your hair too tight, repeated tight braids and back to back braids can lead to traction alopecia. A solution for this is to have a break from braids. If your hair is really damaged, you may need to look into something that can help with regrowing your hair.
FUE hair transplant is a treatment done at Harley Street Clinic. The team are dedicated to performing procedures to ensure that clients get the best hair transplant results.



Moisturise your hair

Just like a plant, Black hair is thirsty for moisture especially during the Summer. What I tend to do is my moisturise and seal routine. I moisturise my hair using a hair lotion and seal with an oil, whether it be argan oil, coconut oil, olive oil and castor oil. I try to do this daily. Now with shampoo and conditioner, I try to do this 1-2 week, alternating between a co-wash and conditioning shampoo. I am a great fan of Shea Moisture products as they include natural products that will enrich your hair. 


Wrap your hair

Whether you are taking a stroll on a summers day, going for a swim or going to bed. Sun rays on the hair are not the one. Try a hat or a head wrap for daily protection, they are very versatile an so good for the hair during this season. Please use a swimming cap on the hair if you love to take a dip in the pool. Chlorine is absolutely terrible to your hair and repeated abuse of it can really damage it. I know it isn't cute, but I'd rather have healthy hair than weak hair. When going to bed, always use a silk scarf or headwrap. This is an all-around tip, for all seasons. The barrier between the headwrap and your cotton cases will reduce the friction which can damage hair. 



So there you go, my tips for summer hair for black hair. What do you do to protect your hair?


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What a beautiful summer we're having! I can't believe the British summer is so beautiful at the moment. I love the fact that summer pushes me to be outside more and do more activities. I feel more productive, don't you? My sister and I are working on this major renovation of our home and having a 3 bedroom house are not easy to take care of, it requires a lot of upkeep. Especially the garden! This time we didn't need to worry about the garden so much as we were approached by fantastic services, who opted to clean up our front and back garden and plant flowers to take it to the next stage.

If you're not familiar with fantastic services, they are a one-stop shop for all home services! Let me tell you they are fantastic. After discussing the brief, two garden pros arrived at my home and weeded my back and front garden within an hour. The then proceeded to add weed treatment and dispose to of the rubbish.

Next was making my garden beautiful. The team asked if I wanted flowers and I was really excited as I wasn't expecting it, and I also had no clue of flowers to choose from. I just pointed to the floral dress I was wearing and left it to the pros to choose. The guys went above and beyond and brought in a huge amount of flowers, so colourful and unique. They planted them in a beautiful way to give my garden personality. I can't wait to see them bloom.


Thank you so much to the team at Fantastic Services for helping my garden to look pretty. As we're in a heatwave my garden is looking a bit dry, but hopefully, in a few weeks, you'll be able to see the full potential.

Please note that gardening, planting and clean up is was gifted to me for the review.
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Salutations babes, how are we? I have been very busy, with weddings and events. Not to mention, I spent last bank holiday at Supadupafly, rooftop sessions and it was live. More of those events for summer, please! Anyway, onto the review! I was gifted the new Shea Moisture and Argan Oil and Almond Milk range to test out. I am not a stranger to the range and actually love using the products. Most people do not realize, but I am natural underneath my wigs, weaves, and extensions. I have been since 2012, so I do not relax my hair. It hasn't been easy, but I love seeing my curls pop with great products.







Protective styles are important for me so you can see I am rocking this wig from Wiggit, the relaxed blowout. This synthetic wig is goals and emulates black hair when blown out! I'll do a full review on this later. Now, I chose the range based on my hair concerns. It is great for:


  • Fine
  • Frizzy
  • Wavy
  • Straight hair
Other than having thin to medium texture hair, my hair concerns don't completely align with the uses of this product, I just loved the smell and love the properties of almond milk and argan oil. Which is extremely nourishing for dry hair and helps to detangle. There is also Shea butter too, and Shea is always a winner for me. 





Just with my normal hair routine, I shampooed and conditioned and I felt my hair to be more nourished as I used the products. What I loved about the product is that the products were clean and contained no nasties, parabens, sulfates etc. The key ingredients will help me on my healthy hair routine, and hair journey. Yup, I am back on that again! I want to say a huge thanks to Shea Moisture team for the goodies. Have you tried these products before? 










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I admit it, I have travel envy. I always wondered how my friends and travel blogger peeps were able to whisk away to amazing locations so frequently! Surely it cost a lot, surely you used up all your annual leave? Well after research and actually speaking to my friends I realized it was more realistic than I thought. Below are my tips, that I gained.



Save and invest:

Pretty standard really, I'm not the best at saving to be honest, but having a nest egg for days you want to just book a flight is brilliant. What I have started doing is saving at least 20% of my salary each month. If you can't afford that try 10% or even 5% at first and see how that goes! Do a direct debit each month and you'll be growing before you know it.

Download apps like Monzo to monitor your spend and before you know it, you'll also be sipping Pina Coladas on a beach in Bali.




Hunt for the best deals:
I'm a woman that likes a good deal. What can I say, I love to live boujee on a budget.

I'm not going to go into so much detail about the places I look but you can find them here 

My faves have to be first choice and the tui brand for quickie package holiday deals, as well as my bae travel supermarket.



Borrow now, pay later:

We all need a break, and as such life gets in the way and you may not have enough to get away and you really need to. So you need a little financial help and a mini loan. Cash lady is a good example of this, As a specialist payday loan broker, their service is completely free of charge. They will not charge you anything at any point. Instead, they receive a fee from our lenders once they have successfully funded your loan.

Remember if you go this route, please choose something affordable and choose a realistic timescale to pay off your loan.

So there you go, work out the best option for yourself and enjoy!





sponsored post by Cash Lady 
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