What’s Next With Twiggy Jalloh
The British Vogue beauty and lifestyle journalist, host of the ‘Take Ten With Twiggy’ podcast and 180 House member shares 27 of her favourite things
By Anish Patel
Under 27 member Twiggy Jalloh is a beauty journalist for British Vogue and the podcast host of Take Ten With Twiggy. From wellbeing to lifestyle, she uses her platform to tell unique beauty stories that shine a light on underrepresented communities, as well as to discuss her own experiences as a queer Black British-Sierra Leonean woman living in the UK.
When did you realise that you wanted to work in the beauty and wellness industry?
‘I didn’t have a lightbulb moment. I had a number of experiences that brought me closer to where I am now: working on my parents’ beauty stall when I was younger, and also at Lush cosmetics and with the beauty team at Refinery29. When it comes to wellness, I’ve always loved making people feel good about themselves, and it usually involves a cosmetic or sensorial experience of some sort.’
Your work often explores your heritage and experiences as a queer Black woman – why is it important to talk about this?
‘It’s important because it’s who I am. I’ve always found it so beguiling when people are unapologetically themselves – who don’t give a heck what others think about them, and put their culture, identity and lived experience into their work. It’s so beautiful to see. It has a certain energy and vibe that can’t be replicated. Exploring my heritage in my work also increases visibility, and hopefully creates even more opportunities for marginalised people. Being Black and queer is lit too, so I can’t honestly help but explore it in almost everything I do.’
How do you remain authentic in your industry?
‘By checking myself when I’m involuntarily code-switching or making myself palatable to others around me. Also, by being me at all times, honest, and not laughing at jokes that I don’t find funny. But also laughing out loud (I get my loud laugh from my mum) when I do find one funny.’
Do you think the beauty industry is becoming more inclusive?
‘Yes, it has as a whole, but we need more Black people in the C-suite. It’s all well and good having a lot of Black people in the office, but are they signing off the project? Are they deciding on budgets? Do they have the final say?’
Tell us about your work at Vogue. Is it a magazine you read growing up? How is it different now?
‘I don’t really remember seeing much content targeted towards Black women. I saw Naomi [Campbell] in there and maybe Iman, too – but the Black hair magazines they gave out with purchases in afro hair shops were usually my source of inspiration when it came to Black fashion, hair, and beauty. Unlike many people, I primarily bought Vogue to see the adverts and campaigns. It’s very different now. I see and work with talent who are Black, brown, disabled, queer, neurodiverse, and so on. It represents society a lot better than it used to.’
Below, Jalloh shares 27 of her favourite things:
Seven lesser-known facts about you
I love tarot and I’m learning to read cards.
I am neurodiverse and have ADHD.
I used to work on my parents’ beauty market stall.
Sometimes I listen to Bashment music to fall asleep.
I could sell fragrance and body scrubs to a brick wall.
I have dreams of creating audio erotica.
I love taking photographs of trees.
Six of your most valuable wellness tips
Try your very best to live in the present.
If you’re stressed, rest (without guilt) and try again.
Listen to my podcast Take Ten With Twiggy every Sunday to start your week in the right way.
Be authentic and true to who you really are.
When you’re feeling like trash, put some music on and dance. Just move and let loose.
Pray and let it all out.
Five go-to beauty products
The Glowcery Clean Greens Superfood Serum
Lashify Gossamer Lashes
Byredo Sundazed Eau de Parfum
UpCircle Coffee Body Scrub with Peppermint
Zelens Daily Defence Sunscreen SPF 30
Four of your favourite haunts in London
The Sexby Garden in Peckham Rye Park
Any party by the @wearereveur_ collective
Papa L’s Kitchen
Stork restaurant, Mayfair
Three women who inspire you
Ro Frimpong and Nana Duncan (from Two Twos podcast)
My mother, Isata Lahai-Jabaty
Two things you’d change about the future
The planet falling apart as a result of climate change.
Injustice towards underrepresented people continuing.