Jessica Desjardins: Beautezine Founder and Director

We at Love Hair are inspired by women who hustle, profiling our ideal muses in the fashion and beauty space. These are women who take charge of their life, who inspire us to challenge ourselves and break the rules. 

This week, we’re delving into one of our favorite topics of discussion—femme-preneurship with Jessica Desjardins. Founder and creative director of Beautezine, the blog-azine has evolved into one of Canada's top beauty destinations, consisting of weekly reviews, product guides, industry news, video tutorials and giveaways. Recognized for its sleek and high quality content, Beautezine is featured in various digital and print publications, winning the 2016 P&G Award for Best Blog. Beauty and brains, Jessica ever so stylishly manages the roles of editor, researcher, graphic & web designer, photographer and makeup artist. Take notes as Jessica shares with us the start of her courageous pursuit in the industry and what she’s learned along the way.

Jessica Desjardins

LH: How did you get the idea or what motivated you to start Beautezine? 

JD: I started Beautezine when I was studying Health Science at the University of Ottawa in 2011. I have always been a huge beauty junkie and loved talking about products, but I didn’t have many friends in my program that shared the same passion. I was following a few beauty blogs at the time (there weren’t that many back then!) and decided that I should start my own. It started out as a creative outlet to share my passion, but within about a year I decided to quit my job, put off medical school and give it a shot full time. I’m happy I made that decision, because sixyears later, I’m still doing it and it’s the best job I could possibly imagine.

LH: What was Beautezine's first "OMG" moment?

JD: Getting invited on my first press trip (which was to a beautiful resort in Florida) was a pretty big “OMG” moment for me, but I also remember many of the little victories along the way. They might seem small now but they meant so much to me back then—like receiving my first press sample from one of my favorite brands or getting invited to a cool event.

LH: When did you know you’d succeeded in carving out your own career path? 

JD: When I quit my job, I wasn’t making enough money yet to support myself and pay my bills (I had just moved into my own apartment a few months before). I was terrified, but I gave myself 3 months to make it happen and I managed to do it. For about a year after that, I kept thinking I was just lucky and I wouldn’t be able to keep it up, but I still managed to make it happen. I realized that fear of uncertainty never totally goes away, but I now trust myself enough to know I’ll always make it happen.

LH: What are the most challenging things about your career? 

JD: I think the hardest part is the one that is faced internally—dealing with uncertainty—especially in such a rapidly-evolving industry. It’s difficult to accept and plan your life around not knowing what you’ll be doing in 5 years, 2 years or even 1 year from now. I also find that it can be overwhelming sometimes to keep up, especially with the influence of social media and the immediacy of everything at once. 

LH: What has been your most memorable learning experience? 

JD: Hiring my first employee was definitely a strong learning experience. I didn’t have a business background so I had to learn a lot about working with other people. I learned what I wanted, what I didn’t want and ultimately what I needed in order to help my business grow. 

Jessica Desjardins

LH: What are any of your current favorite or least favorite hair trends?

JD: I’m LOVING the latest hair trends I’ve been seeing (so much better than the “Snookie Poof” we were all doing when I was in school).  Braids are always fun—and practical—and the modern ones are all about texture, volume and a bit of imperfection. We’re really embracing natural texture and an effortless look right now, so I’m all for that.

LH: What’s your ultimate go-to 'hustle' hairstyle on a busy work day? (a look you can achieve in 5 mins when you G2G!) 

JD: I usually try to shampoo and blow-dry my hair in the evening so I can save time getting ready in the morning. My go-to style would be quickly adding some soft waves with a flat iron to get some texture and movement, or if I’m running around and want my hair out of my face, I’ll pull it into a sleek low bun with a deep side part.

LH: What do you wish you’d known before you embarked on this career?

JD: I wish I would have known how important video content would become. I liked creating videos, but it was never my main focus and I didn’t do them too often. Fast forward a few years and video is the more in-demand than any other media and still growing in popularity. I wish I would have put more of an emphasis on video content a long time ago, but at least I can learn from that going forward.

LH: What advice do you have for a newbie in this industry? 

JD: Find your niche, whatever that may be, and do it with passion. The digital media industry has become so saturated, it can be hard to get noticed these days, but it is not impossible. Do something unique to stand out and produce high quality content and people will absolutely follow. If you want to do it as a business, be prepared to put a lot of hard work and time into it before you see any sort of return, too.

We hope we’ve left you inspired. Jessica’s hustle reminds us that it’s never too late to be who you want to be. Set goals, take risks and you will reap the rewards. 

Written Dolled by Sosa, @dolledbysosa.