Walking into the Love Island villa back in 2019 seems like a lifetime away for 26 years-old Jourdan Riane. “I’m grateful for the experience but I’ve come along way,” she says with a dimple perfect smile. She might not have found love on the island, but she’s definitely found success. In true influencer style she’s landed a slew of mega brand deals. The most recent is a signing to Cantu: “I genuinely use their products on my hair. There’s too many to mention.” (Don’t worry, we nail it down later in the conversation).
As a former model appearing in Vogue Italia and Elle, Jourdan isn’t a new player to the politics of fame. She’s managed to stay grounded and humble – “Thanks to my mum” – and survived bouts of depression after appearing in the whirlwind reality show simply because of her strong network. ”My family and best friend pulled me through. It’s important to have the right energy around you to shield you from the negativity.”
Today, Jourdan uses her platform to express her natural creativity (have you seen her epic fashion reels?), as well as guide young women on the vastitudes to womanhood. “I have a YouTube channel that is just about educating young girls on topics they aren’t necessarily taught by their mums.” With so much on her radar and much more on the horizon, we were super excited to get Jourdan on set to play dress up and just vibe.
We’re thrilled to have you on the front of this month’s issue. How does it feel to land your first front cover?
I’m so excited I almost can’t put it into words. I’ve been modelling since the age of seven and always dreamed of being on a magazine cover or huge billboard, so it feels good that the hard work has finally paid off. Plus, working with a team of dope black creatives made it even more special.
You’re wearing the new big beautiful hair clip-ins, which have a natural curl pattern. Is there a texture you prefer?
OMG I change my hair all the time so it’s really hard to narrow it down to one. I’ve come to appreciate the beauty of tightly coiled curls because modelling has had me bleaching and cutting my hair so many times. And it’s not because I had to conform to a beauty standard, I just didn’t want to be known as the girl with one look. It’s showing the world, ‘hey guess what, I can wear my hair long today and short tomorrow.’ Getting the opportunity to shoot a massive afro and wearing curls again reminds me how this OG style never goes out of fashion. There’s something liberating about wearing your hair big, full and free.
You switch up your hair a lot. What’s your must-do for keeping your natural hair healthy?
For keeping your natural hair healthy overnight conditioning is a must. Whether it’s braided, weaved or straightened, I do this without fail every three weeks. I’m convinced this has saved the hair on my head. Sometimes I do DIY treatments like using the protein from eggs and wrapping my hair in clingfilm so it soaks in. Another must-do of mine is leaving my hair out for a minimum of four days to let it breathe before restyling.
What’s your favourite decade for fashion?
Definitely the late nineties and early noughties – it’s so timeless. You had singers like Aaliyah, TLC and Missy Elliott who could bridge natural feminine beauty with a masculine energy, yet somehow still be seductive with it – I really like that.
What’s your take on instagram and snapchat filters?
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t fan but I champion the natural look more. It’s important not to become reliant on them because if you find you’re unhappy with how you look without a filter, that’s where the problem kicks in. Surround yourself with people who remind you that you’re a whole vibe. Practice posting things without editing or using filters as well. This helped me when I started taking morning selfies with absolutely no make-up on. I had to learn how to embrace my face with a little blemish here and there.
What does your usual morning and night-time skincare routine entail?
Depending what I’ve done the night before, I like to double cleanse in the morning. I either do a scrub or a deep cleanse. I’ve replaced my moisturiser with a serum to control my oil levels and I always wear an SPF without fail, especially on days when I don’t wear make-up.
You’re an advocate for vagina steaming - what do you love about it?
I’m so big on women’s health. I have a YouTube channel educating young girls on women-related issues they might not have been necessarily taught in schools or told by their mums. With vagina steaming, I know it’s not for everyone. I would never tell people to do it as it’s something everyone needs to check to see if they’re able to. But it works for me and I like the idea of getting rid of toxins.
OnlyFans is becoming a huge industry among influencers. What’s your opinion on it and would you ever try it?
I wouldn’t do it. But it’s not because there’s anything wrong with it - I applaud the fact people have found alternative ways to feel comfortable using their bodies. What I don’t like is the minority has ruined it for the majority. Because you can post whatever you want and there’s no restrictions, people automatically assume OnlyFans is for sexual content even if it’s not the case. My branding comes first and because the stigma attached to it so bad, I won’t go there.
How did you handle being thrust into the limelight following Love Island?
I hated it. I fell into a deep depression and I was in the worst mental space I’ve ever been in my life. It was a very dark space. I’m grateful for the opportunity, but if I had to do it again I wouldn’t for the sake of my mental health. Yes they offer counselling but it wasn’t mandatory. So what ends up happening is you tell yourself you’re OK when actually you’re not.
How do you think Love Island could help its contestants’ mental well-being?
In reality the problem isn’t the lack of support from ITV, it’s the way the public treats you. The reason contestants have unfortunately taken their lives is never just because of Love Island - it’s how they’re treated afterwards away from the cameras. The editing alters people’s true personality and the viewing public believe what they see. If it was live some of the characters that come off as the ‘baddies’ might be seen differently if viewers saw everything. The editing heightens the negativity and persuades the audience to hate them, which is why the two go hand-in-hand.
How did you get into a better head space?
It took time but I’ve adopted a carefree attitude by detaching myself emotionally from what people think of me – especially those I don’t know. Having my family and best friend around helped a lot. There were times they would run my social media account so I could take an emotional break and recharge. I can’t stress the importance of having your loved ones around you enough, because in reality having a super-large following can be very lonely for some.
Hair: Outre Big Beautiful Hair Clip-in, from £20.49 using Cantu
Fashion: Dumebei Daydream Babydoll Blue Dress, £600
Accessories: Tiana Jewel Guardian Angel Pink Agate Gemstone Ring Gold, £78
CREDITS: Photography by Femelle Studios; Retouching by Monica Chamorro; Hair by Dionne Smith; Make-Up by Joy Adenuga; Styling by Denise Brown