It's no coincidence that during my phone interview with beauty influencer Jackie Aina, she was in the middle of a full-on glam session. "I’m literally doing my makeup right now," she laughs. And while she wasn't doing so for her usual blowout beauty bash or star-studded press trip, I quickly found out that Jackie Aina's beauty routine hasn't slowed a bit during quarantine. In fact, it's ramped up — and her 3.4 million YouTube subscribers are loving every second of it.
The 32-year-old bride-to-be is indulging in more rigorous at-home beauty treatments, DIY hairstyles, and daring makeup looks, proving that she isn't missing a beat when it comes maintaining a bit of normalcy during social distancing. However, it helps to have her fiancé Denis Asamoah by her side, assisting in the planning process for their California wedding, and keeping her spirits up as plans for their upcoming nuptials suffer some major blows.
But in typical Aina fashion, she's staying positive, optimistic, and as she describes, "realistic." Ahead, check out how her already in-depth beauty routine has grown, what love is like these days, and how she's revamping her original wedding plans.
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On Her Intensified Quarantine Beauty Routine
"I’m already pretty much a beauty fanatic and it’s nothing for me to spend 30 to 45 minutes on skincare and two hours on makeup," Aina, who collaborates with brands like Anastasia Beverly Hills, tells TZR. "Now, I have more time to do that so I’m finding that I’m trying more products, experimenting with new techniques, and becoming more self sufficient." Recently, she even became her own skincare expert, trying her hand at an at-home peel per the advice of an aesthetician friend. "Under normal circumstances I would never do one," she says. "But it was a very mild peel so it wasn’t too rigorous or too intense. Of course, I put a ton of research into how to use the product properly because I don’t want to come out of this with worse skin than I started with. I peeled a little bit but it wasn’t too intense."
And while the Aina we're used to is almost always wearing a wig, the tedious task of daily application and removal is something that Aina is taking a break from. Instead, she's taking care of her natural hair and protecting her curls with box braids that she did herself. "As much as I love wigs, they’re hard to maintain," she says. "You’re dealing with gluing your wigs on your hairline and after awhile it just gets redundant and annoying so I just decided to give wigs a break for the time being."
On Getting It Right The Second Time Around
While Aina is beaming with excitement about her nuptials to Asamoah, she's much more dedicated to building a healthy marriage outside of the celebration. "This is my second chance at being married," Aina says. "So I don’t really have the same desire to have this super perfect wedding that other brides might have. Reason being, I’ve found to cherish the idea of having a beautiful marriage rather than a perfect wedding. I'm focused on making sure we’re not at each other’s throats during this process so I'm no bridezilla, I’m actually very realistic."
And considering Aina's life is at no shortage of fabulous, over-the-top events, it makes sense that she's not freaking out like many other soon-to-be brides. "This is not going to be my first time being this dressed up or being at an event of this fashion," she says. "Because of that, I’m not going into this like, 'This has to happen.' In any event there are boundaries, and there are limitations, you literally can’t have everything your way, and I don't expect to."
How COVID-19 Has Impacted Her Wedding Plans
The Knot's recent cover star finds herself making some serious adjustments to her wedding plans amidst the global pandemic. Like most brides, her original wedding date is pushed back, and travel plans came to a halt. "We were initially considering doing one of the ceremonies abroad because my fiancé’s family is from the United Kingdom and they’re Ghanaian," she says of their originally-planned traditional African ceremony. "We were considering either doing it somewhere in Europe or in Ghana, but unfortunately because of the current uncertainty people are just putting off additional traveling." She also notes that the expense to fly to Ghana, rather than having attendees fly to Los Angeles has also played a role. "We had to consider the location," she says. "Surprisingly, it's cheaper to fly to Los Angeles than to Africa."
On Letting Someone Else Do Her Makeup For Her Wedding
While Aina won't reveal exactly which lucky makeup artist she has in mind, she will in fact be relying on the expertise of someone else to make her wedding look special. But even with her own expertise, she doesn't plan on micromanaging while in the makeup chair. "As someone with a makeup artist background, I know what clients do that make the job harder," she says. "So whoever I trust, I'll just sit back and let them do their job."
As for the exact look she wants, don't expect something extravagant or out of the ordinary. "It will probably be a very similar look to what I would consider an everyday glam for me," she says. "Something soft, definitely incorporating pink." As for the lips, the makeup lover wants to try something a little bit out of the ordinary for a wedding look. "I love gloss, so I’m going to have to make a decision the day of because I obviously don’t want gloss all over my husband’s face," she jokes. "It’s going to be really annoying to have to wipe it off his face every five seconds."