Genese Jamilah, Founder, I Dont Do Clubs

“I am Genese Jamilah, I’m from Stone Mountain, Georgia and I am the founder of I Don’t Do Clubs.

I wash my face every day, but I don’t wear makeup every day. I usually only wear makeup when I go to events. So if I don’t have an event to go to, I don’t put anything on my face. If I have dry spots, I might use some Eucerin in the winter. But for the most part, I don’t wear makeup.

For big events, I’ll go get my makeup done at a MAC counter. But since I have so many events that I go to now (about three every week), I usually just do my own makeup because going to the MAC counter can get kind of expensive.

I wouldn’t consider myself a beauty girl. Not at all. If I didn’t take so many pictures, I wouldn’t wear any makeup at all. I feel like it’s a bit of a hassle.

What I noticed when I first moved up here from Georgia was that everyone in New York is kind of slim. They take their fitness kind of seriously. In Georgia, not so much. In New York, there are moms that are in better shape than women my age! Up here, everyone goes to the gym, everyone really cares. I don’t even know if it’s just a suburbs thing, though. I think New York is just on a different level than everyone else.

But, as an entrepreneur, I think I’ve figured out what works for me. But it isn’t effortless. I plan out every outfit. If I don’t have an event to go to you’ll probably just catch me in a shirt, jeans and ballerina flats. But, as I Don’t Do Clubs grew and more people wanted to take pictures of me, I became more conscious of my day-to-day wear.

Growing up, my mom was always very presentable but she didn’t care about makeup. She has a really pretty face, but she doesn’t really wear makeup. I think she did when I was younger; I remember seeing Fashion Fair around. But that’s just not her thing. So I think that’s why I wasn’t really into it either. I got my hair done twice as a child. I didn’t go to the salons. She did my own hair and my own perms. I remember the first time I went to a salon; I think I might have been a sophomore in high school. The first time I got color was right before I went to college. I didn’t really get into makeup and beauty until I got up here [New York].

I really like bareMinerals; I pretty much like all of their products. Outside of that, I’m not too big on any products. I use a lot of MAC, like their blushes and eye shadows. But day-to-day, I don’t do eye shadow. I guess bareMinerals is my favorite.

I honestly never thought about how much I see myself, as a black woman, in the world and in media. In my house, we always had Essence and EBONY magazines. My parents are very pro-black; my whole family is. So I never really had color or beauty issues. I always thought black people were pretty. I like that I see a lot of natural hair black women in media now. I think that’s a good change. And I like that everyone is not light skin. I think that seeing more dark skin and natural haired women in media is a good thing for young black women and children to see.

If I wasn’t running I Don’t Do Clubs, I think I would probably have a doggie hotel. I really like animals. I really like dogs and I wanted to be a veterinarian my entire childhood until I was a sophomore when my first dog died. She died in her sleep and it was just a lot for me. Later, our other dog Spice had to be put down, and I just didn’t think I could handle that every day. But I also wasn’t that good in science, so I thought maybe I should just have a pet and continue to run I Don’t Do Clubs [laughs].”