Learn from irreverent blogger and beauty influencer Jennifer Quisenberry
These days, it can be hard to find uplifting content on the internet (thank god it’s November). Luckily there are bloggers like the Awesome Muse, who work to spread positive, inspiring articles and ideas. We commiserated with the writer slash dog-lover on her approach to beauty (hint: confidence and Vaseline).
Here’s what we found out:
What made you decide to start your blog? Was it an epiphany, like lightening? Or a slow process, a hobby that turned into something more?
The Awesome Muse is actually my fourth blog. I’ve been a writer all my life, and writing has always been an important part of who I am. I wanted to create an online space where anyone can come to find content that is positive. There is so much negativity out there, and I firmly believe that you become what you consume. If you are consuming primarily negative content, it can impact so many areas of your life. I wanted to help counter that with an online magazine that publishes articles that have an uplifting message, are helpful, or simply introduce you to something new and well, awesome.
Who or what are your greatest influences and inspirations?
I am really drawn to very powerful women. Women who didn’t let anyone or anything stand in their way of achieving their dream. Women who are completely, authentically, themselves. Madonna and Bette Midler always come to mind when I’m thinking about women who embody this ideal.
What does beauty mean to you?
Happiness and confidence. All of the beauty products in the world try to create an outward manifestation of our true beauty that comes from within.
Walk us through your beauty routine. How do you care for your hair?
My hair is naturally wavy, coarse and dry. It also has a tendency to get frizzy. I need moisturizing products that don’t weigh my hair down so that I can still have some volume, but that also nourish my curls.
I wash my hair every other or third day depending on the season with moisturizing shampoo and conditioners. Once every two weeks I do a deep conditioning treatment. I also use a leave in conditioner, a serum and an anti-frizz spray. I sometimes also use a volumizing product or hairspray. Sometimes I need a wax that’s a bit thicker to help me control all of the whispies around my face when they are growing and short.
Do you use natural beauty products?
I do. I wouldn’t say that I use natural beauty products exclusively, but I’ve recently started learning about how different ingredients impact our bodies. While they may do wonders for my hairstyle, they may not be doing wonders for other parts of my body. So I have been experimenting with trying products that are natural or have fewer unhealthy ingredients like parabens and sulfates.
What is the single most important thing you do for yourself on a daily basis?
For me, I need a period of time to be surrounded by silence each day. I find that my lifestyle can be a too hectic and chaotic at times, and it is important for me to turn everything off for a period of time each day to ground myself.
Describe your perfect morning.
My perfect morning is simply being at home with my husband and dogs, enjoying some quiet time outside on a cool morning with a great cup of coffee.
Do you have any beauty secrets, either DIY or otherwise, that were taught to you by your mother, grandmother or family elder?
My grandmother always looked about 20 years younger than she actually was. Her secret? Vaseline!!! It’s hard to imagine using Vaseline as a moisturizer these days, but she used it religiously every night before bed and always had such beautiful skin. My takeaway from that is not so much about the product but about the practice. Cleansing and hydrating your skin every night prior to bed helps to keep the wrinkles away.
How do you sanctify the world around you? What do you do to give back to your community or the wider world/ environment or cause?
In a broader sense, I’m trying to do that with The Awesome Muse by giving people a place to turn to for positive, uplifting, and helpful content. But I’m active within my community. I serve on the board for a non-profit that helps youth and veterans through the arts, I volunteer for an animal rescue, and I am a member of a women’s group that helps women in need in our local community. I believe that each of us can make a difference.
How was your experience with T’zikal? Which products did you enjoy the most?
I've been using T'zikal for a little over a month now and am loving it. Whenever I wash and condition my hair, it feels like I've just treated my hair to a hot oil treatment, but without the mess or the fuss. My hair feels so soft and silky, which for me is great because my hair is normally very course. My hair's texture is really improving. I can't wait to see how it feels after using it longer!
As to the styling products, I am in love with the wax! I wear my hair up and in braids a lot. With naturally wavy hair, I have a lot of little curly whispies around my face that can really make a halo if not under control. I just rub a little wax between my fingers and voila! My whispies are under control! And I also like that I only need to use a teensy, tiny bit of it to do what I need. I even took it with me on vacation to Las Vegas recently, and the wax held up so well in the humidity.