Maya Jama is the youngest person ever to have hosted the MOBOs, has her own BBC Radio One show, boasts a devoted Instagram following and is half of one of music’s favorite couples, thanks to her three-year relationship with Stormzy. Now, she is adding a beauty campaign to her CV, appearing alongside Jourdan Dunn in Maybelline’s Fit Me foundation campaign, which celebrates the expansion of the range to include 35 different shades. Here, Jama talks homemade hair masks, which sheet mask to wear on a plane and the importance of diversity in beauty.
On diversity in beauty
I didn’t wear foundation for ages, like in school when all my friends started, because I couldn’t find the right shades and also couldn’t afford the super expensive brands. So having Maybelline’s Fit Me foundation in shops at that time would have been a lifesaver. I think [diversity in beauty] is much better now in general, but for this foundation to have 35 shades is really great, there’s one for everyone. And it’s affordable and a really good foundation that covers what you need to cover and lasts all day. There are so many different shades of human, and so there should be different shades of foundation too, right? And it’s a great price point. My audience is all young girls, so if I’m part of a campaign it needs to be something they can afford and be a part of.
In the morning I use the Kiehl’s Cucumber Herbal Conditioning Cleanser, every day. Then I usually use Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream or sometimes I just use a Nivea cream. Like a standard one from Boots that I think does the job perfectly. At night I will use the same face wash as I do in the morning, then Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate or sometimes coconut oil, which isn’t great for the pores, but if you need the moisture… Also at the minute I have a breakout from drinking sugary drinks – I thought this drink was full of vitamins but it turns out it has like 60 grams of sugar – and I’ve been using raw apple cider vinegar. Stinks, but it feels proper powerful.
I’ll wear the Fit Me foundation in shade 320, some concealer and then usually an eyeliner flick – I use Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Eyeliner. It’s like a pen so you can just draw it on, it’s very easy to apply. I’m quite basic in terms of make-up on a day-to-day basis. To switch it up at night I’ll add a lip. It transforms your whole look – you can be wearing a plain outfit and then a strong lip completely changes the vibe. I’ll usually go for red or like a brownish shade. I like a strong highlight too, at night you can proper whack it on and be a glowing goddess.
My hair is actually curly, like loose big waves, so I straighten it a lot. I try to do hair masks to combat the damage, and I do a homemade one that’s olive oil with an egg cracked into it and manuka honey. Put it in the microwave for about 30 seconds so it gets warm, paste it all over your hair, put a plastic bag over it and tie it tight, then the humidity in there helps it sink in. After a couple of hours – or sleep in it if you can though it gets a bit messy – you can wash it off and your hair is super shiny. I don’t know where I picked it up but I’ve been doing it since school, maybe once a month. Your hair does stink a bit, so wash it twice. Then I use Aussie Three Minute Miracle about once a week too.
On travel beauty
I’m on planes quite a lot so I’ll definitely wear a sheet mask and then heavy night creams – just moisture, moisture, moisture and drink loads of water at the same time, basically. I really like Charlotte Tilbury’s Instant Magic Facial Dry Sheet Face Mask. It makes you look so funny. The good thing about it for travel is that you can go straight to sleep and it won’t move because it has ear hooks.
On working with Maybelline
It’s so exciting to be part of this Maybelline campaign. And it has been so much fun! I went to New York Fashion Week with them and DJ-ed at the Maybelline party. It was my first New York Fashion Week actually, so that was a big deal. It was amazing. It’s like being in a film, everyone hailing cabs in massive heels. Very Sex And The City. We shot the campaign in London, it was a cool day. All the girls were super lovely – I’m friends with Jourdan anyway and I think she’s an incredible woman. It was good vibes, there was music and we were getting our model on.
I dance around the house a lot of the time. I turn on the radio as soon as I get up and then dance. If I’m feeling sluggish I’ll dance around with weights, and also I have ankle weights that I wear sometimes. I’m quite an active person anyway, running from job to job. Otherwise I’m a sit-up and squat girl, and I use the leg machines at the gym – I’m trying to strengthen my legs at the moment because I don’t walk that much as I’m in and out of cars and I don’t have stairs in my house. I don’t have much time to go to classes but I’m trying to get organized and go to the gym at 5am like those healthy people.
On her beauty address book
I like getting facials at Carnaby Laser Clinic in Greenwich. I get a hydration facial and then she does a bit of laser. I had my first peel the other day too which was good, but you do need a little downtime afterwards so it’s not great if you’re on camera the next day. I get my hair cut at Ego Hair in Queen’s Park – I used to live in Queen’s Park so I’ve bene going there for ages. And then for massages I’ve been using Urban Massage, where they come to your home, which is great because you don’t have to travel. I think it’s fantastic.
Now more than ever as women we have a bigger voice than we ever had and we have a platform, whether it’s through television or online or wherever. There’s still a long way to go, but I think the change is coming and it’s empowering to be a woman today and have a platform to push things you believe in. I have a love/hate relationship with social media because on the one hand it completely benefits your career – you’ve got a voice, you can say what you want and have control – but at the same time there’s all this other stuff that comes with it. But I feel like my generation have all grown up with this knowledge that we can change things if we really want to. We are the consumers, we’re the ones going out and protesting. It’s exciting.