georgia may jagger

Georgia May Jagger on building a business and why London will always be home

03 Nov 2023 | Updated on: 06 Nov 2023 |By Annie Lewis

As the model-turned-entrepreneur launches her new organic skincare brand, May Botanicals, she discusses why she’s so passionate about beauty, and how her parents’ work ethic has rubbed off on her

Georgia May Jagger is a London girl at heart. Despite dividing her time between the capital, Los Angeles and Europe – especially during fashion season – London, with its parks, Sunday lunches and even its inclement climate, has an undeniable pull on the model-entrepreneur. “I claim to miss the weather until I’ve been in London all winter, and then I miss LA,” she laughs. 

As we talk, the Californian morning sun is seeping through Jagger’s windows and bouncing off her wavy, blonde hair while much of the UK is sheltering from Storm Ciarán and dreading the winter darkness, which now sets in at 4pm. I tell her she’s not missing much in the capital today, to which she replies, “It’s getting to the point here that it’s a bit weird it’s still sunny.” I told you she was a London girl. 

Born in Richmond to world-famous parents, Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger and American supermodel Jerry Hall, Jagger is one of four children from the iconic couple, alongside siblings Elizabeth, James, and Gabriel. Given her parents’ illustrious high-profile careers, it would be easy to dismiss Jagger as yet another nepo baby – but, as we chat about her career, it becomes clear there’s a drive there that doesn’t come from being handed everything on a plate. 

She’s learned the importance of hard work, determination and passion from both of her parents, she says, and is not afraid to throw herself wholeheartedly into projects she loves. “My parents are very hard workers. My mum has done loads of different things; she’s had her own businesses, and has done theatre as well as modelling, and the same with my dad. They’re both very driven.” 

For the past five years, that passion has been channelled into May Botanicals: Jagger’s new organic skincare brand. She’s no stranger to the world of beauty – the model has been in and out of hair and makeup chairs since she was 14 and was famously the face of Rimmel London in 2009, with her signature gap-toothed smile adorning London’s red buses and Piccadilly Circus billboards for months. Even before this, the importance of a solid skincare regime was instilled in her by her mother from a young age, with Hall being famous for doing her own beauty looks for events and photoshoots. “We did this job the other day and the whole team were so impressed to see her do her own makeup, but she’s from this do-it-yourself era,” adds Jagger. 

Jagger has just spent the past two months in London launching the skincare line, which has been formulated, dermatologically-tested and designed with sensitive skin in mind. The range includes a hydrating cleanser, moisturiser, seaweed mask, spot solution and multi-purpose balm – and is clearly a labour of love. Jagger (and Hall, I should add) have been using these products for years, so what’s it like to unleash them on the public? “It’s crazy because I’ve worked so much on the formulations for several years, so it’s strange to see people actually using them. It’s exciting to get good feedback and I was very nervous about the launch.”

Nerves aside, Jagger is a natural interviewee, especially when talking about skincare. It’s clear she could talk for hours about formulations, organic ingredients, packaging and sustainability – so, what inspired this skincare range, and who is her biggest beauty inspiration? And did she ever feel pressure to find her niche given her parents’ stardom? 

Tell me about May Botanicals.

I’ve been working on it for about five years now and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. When I was younger, my sister and I were really into finding new organic products and I wanted to create something that was for everyone, especially those with sensitive skin, but had the luxurious packaging you don’t normally find with sensitive skin brands. I’ve worked on all the formulas with a company called Pebble and Co, so I’ve overseen it from start to finish and through trial and error.

Why the sensitive skin angle? Is that something personal to you?

Every time I would have breakouts and eczema flare-ups, I found it really difficult to find the right products to use. I was spending a lot of money on certain things and it often made my skin worse and would overcomplicate things.

It was personal but I felt like a lot of people felt the same. There were a lot of added fragrances that were unnecessary and then, when you were looking into very plain products, they were almost too medicinal. Organic products in general didn’t really have the same appeal in terms of something you wanted in a beauty item, so I really wanted to combine those two things.

Has skincare always been part of your life?

My mum was always trying different things, but she also has a ‘less is more’ approach. She used to use a lot of things from around the house, like walnut and almond oil for her body and hair, and make her own scrubs. My sister was also really obsessed with that and she was the one that got me into organic products.

It also became a little community between my friends where we’d all be asking what products we were using [and what worked]. It became this trial-and-error thing between all of us, and I just got more and more into it.

georgia may jagger
Tell me about your childhood and your aspirations when you were younger. Did you ever envisage being a model or launching your own brand?

I wanted to be a tightrope walker and a veterinarian when I was a child. But, in terms of modelling, I sort of fell into that by accident. I’d planned to do it a bit when I was younger and do a job here or there, as it was really important to me to stay in school. Because my mum’s a model, I’m very aware of how that can put a short time frame on things, so it was always important to me to have something else as a backup.

In terms of business, it’s always been something that interested me. Seven years ago, I invested in Bleach London, which was my first foray into this industry. I’m very much behind the scenes on that and I’m not the face of the brand, so that inspired me to set up my own business and do something I felt passionate about.

When you’re sitting in the makeup chair, are you very particular about what is put on your face?

I will try out everything. A big part of wanting to launch a skincare brand has been because my skin goes through a lot. I wear lots of different makeup, bleach my brows and eyelashes, and that inspired me to work on skincare as it was something I could do for myself after work when I really didn’t want to have makeup on.

Did you ever feel pressure to find your niche given your parents’ high-profile careers?

They’re both very driven, so I don’t think there was any pressure on me. If anything, they would’ve probably preferred me to be a lawyer, but I don’t think they mind as much now.

Do you feel like the modelling industry has changed a lot during your career?

I started 15 years ago so it’s definitely different, but as far as advice, I would say it’s always best to have a backup. I’m very fortunate that I’ve been working since I was a teenager. When I started, I thought it was only going to last a year and I feel very lucky to still be doing it in my 30s. Modelling is very seasonal and about the girl of the moment, so that’s why it’s always good to have a backup option.

Who’s your biggest beauty inspiration and why?

I loved Drew Barrymore in the Nineties and I’ve always been inspired by Old Hollywood actresses, which has always been part of my mum’s look as well. She always does her own makeup for everything. I can do it a little bit but she can do full glam on herself.

[My mum] is also someone who knows how to dress down and is always gardening in jeans. She shows how you don’t have to be full-on all of the time to also be glamorous, and that’s inspired me. You can have those days where you’re not dressed up or not wearing makeup.

I think there’s a lot of pressure on us to all be doing these really glam TikToks where we’re doing tons of contouring every day, and it gets a bit much. Nobody needs to do a full face every day.

Tell me about your career highlights.

Being on the cover of Vogue is a big highlight for me, but I also love doing collaborations with brands and getting to the point where I could design, like I did with Hudson jeans. That inspired me to be entrepreneurial.

Another highlight was starting Bleach London with Alex Brownsell, who’s the creative director and founder, my business partner and also my best friend. We worked together on one of my first ever shoots when I was 14 or 15 for iD magazine.

With the recent May shoot, I was able to do the creative direction, picked out the photographer and the set design. It was a really collaborative process with a lot of people in the industry and it was fun for me to be part of that. I was really involved and normally I’m the last part of the process, so it was interesting to see it from start to finish. That was definitely a highlight for me.

Was it quite refreshing putting your own steer on things with this project?

It’s been amazing. I think people assume I must have a say about how I look in photoshoots and they don’t understand that [I don’t]. Sometimes people ask your opinion and then sometimes it’s a separate creative [aspect].

What products do you use everyday?

I keep on saying different ones because I like them all. The superbalm is a multi-purpose balm which you can use on the go and it has sweet almond oil, shea butter and British beeswax. Part of the proceeds of that product, and several others, go to the WWF and that was really important to me.

I also love the cleanser as it’s hydrating but doesn’t leave residues to give you that clean feeling. It also has red clay in it and I’ve been using it for years. It was the one product that didn’t need many changes.

The kelp mask is 100 per cent kelp and biodegradable. I’d never seen anything like it before and I wanted to create a different sheet mask because they don’t always react the best to [my skin] and they can be wasteful if you’re using them every day. [With this mask], you’re literally putting seaweed on your face and it comes in two pieces so it fits well.

"I grew up in Richmond so I’m used to that and walking there is so much nicer as you can just walk around the whole city for several hours." 

Georgia May Jagger
Why did you focus on organic skincare?

I didn’t feel that, especially in the UK, there were enough products like this. There’s a lot of natural skincare but I really thought about this brand from start to finish in terms of its environmental aspect as well; our cartons are 100 per cent recycled card and the products are housed in glass.

The organic element was important because of how much your skin absorbs products, especially when you wear them every day. I found I got amazing results when I was using organic skincare products but they weren’t readily available. I never thought about the organic element being a huge talking point. I just thought of course it’s going to be organic!

What do you do to unwind?

When I’m travelling I often spend a lot of time by myself, so I always do the same skincare routine wherever I am to keep me grounded. It’s the one thing I can keep the same wherever I am. I love hot baths with Epsom salts, long walks, and yoga and stretching before bed. I take 20 minutes for myself every day and switch off from the outside world.

What do you miss when you’re away from London?

I really miss the parks and feeling like I’m more in nature than I do here [in LA] or other big cities. I grew up in Richmond so I’m used to that and walking there is so much nicer as you can just walk around the whole city for several hours.

I do miss being able to meet up and go for Sunday lunch at the pub. This makes me sound like a weird tourist but it’s definitely something I really miss. When I come back, I’m always like, “Who wants to come for a Sunday roast with me?”

I’m really into food and trying new places. I recently went to Trullo in Angel and it was delicious. I think it’s the best Italian food I’ve had in London. It’s already so busy so I can’t say anymore! There are so many nice pubs in Angel too, but I love north London, and east, and west – anywhere I can find.

What projects have you got lined up for 2024?

I really want to go to Japan next year, it’s something I’m manifesting. It’s one of my favourite places: I love the food and the people, and I find it very calming. It’s such a culture swap.


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