What motivated you to start your blog “fresh lengths”?
I started my blog after graduating from University. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do job-wise but I knew I loved being creative and writing so blogging seemed a natural fit.
Many of your posts focus on your natural hair journey which is a big trend right now. Have you always embraced your natural beauty and vivacious curls?
Not at all. I started my blog with straight, relaxed hair and my hair was chemically treated from a very young age. It was only a couple of years ago that I started to want my hair natural and I gradually transitioned (grew my hair out). I wasn’t completely natural until May 2016.
What is the main change you’ve made in going more green?
The main ways I’ve tried to be more green or environmentally friendly is by always recycling packaging where possible, donating or giving away items rather than throwing away, using food waste to make compost or choosing to walk over getting public transport where possible.
Does it feel liberating to embrace your natural hair?
Yes it does as I’m not worrying about having to change my hair or ‘fix’ it in some way which is really freeing.
Do you use natural beauty products and are they important to you?
I prefer to use natural beauty products where I can. Weirdly when my hair was chemically-treated using natural products was more important to me – I think because I was worried about doing further damage to my hair.
What does the phrase “go natural” mean to you?
Using products or adopting a lifestyle that relies on what is found naturally, without anything added or manufactured with chemicals.
You’ve been a fan of dr.lipp for years. Why do you love the product and how do you use it?
I love the original balm which I use mostly on my lips but also dry areas of my skin – like knees and elbows. I recently realised you can also use the balm to apply makeup pigments and glitter!
What was your initial reaction when you discovered it was a “nipple balm for lips”?
I’ll admit the name made me giggle at first and I wondered if I’d got the wrong thing but realised if it was good for soothing the skin of nursing mothers it would be amazing for the lips.
Do you feel you’re constantly attached to social media because of your career and if so how do you detach from being glued to your phone 24/7?
Yes and I have to consciously ‘take a break’ from social media to prevent it taking over my life. This is much easier to do by turning off notifications (so you only see any new messages and likes when you’re using the app) and I try to limit myself by sticking to checking social media accounts at certain points in the day – in the morning, around lunch and in the evenings.
What is a quote or phrase that resonates with you and why?
I’ve always liked “work hard, stay humble”. Most of us can’t really achieve or excel in life without hard work and I think we can always learn from others – even those that are at the top of their game. I’ve always admired those that are not arrogant even with their successes.
Who are your beauty and fashion icons past or present?
I don’t know if I have any ‘icons’ exactly a lot of the women I admire are influencers like Aiyana Lewis, Alyssa Forever, Jalessa Moses, Cydnee Black – there are so many I couldn’t possibly mention them all!
You are an ASOS insider – what does that mean and how do you work with the brand?
I work freelance for ASOS creating content for my own ASOS-branded Instagram handle (@asos_Lesley) which I post on daily. My focus is beauty so I tend to share what makeup or skincare products I’m obsessed with and I like to mix it up with style looks and London shots too. The role is quite unrestrictive so I get to be very creative and I’ve become known for my stop-motion beauty videos. There are other parts to the role too – like photoshoots and creating videos in the studio in the office.
How would you describe your personal style?
Casual and comfortable – I like boyish, relaxed fits but mix it up with something girly to keep it feminine.
Who is the typical fresh lengths reader?
I have a really diverse readership but predominantly women aged 18-35 wanting to play with beauty and experiment with their natural hair.
What’s the cheekiest bit of fashion or beauty advice you’ve ever received?
It wasn’t exactly advice but when I had started blogging and posting on Instagram I went to a photoshoot for an online magazine. When I turned up at the shoot location makeup-free the girl who had organised the shoot asked “how old are you? You look 19 in person but in your photos you look much much older, probably because you’re covered in makeup”. I thought the comment was cheeky at the time as I didn’t think I wore that much makeup but by thinking about what she said she changed my whole approach. I now go for a more natural, fresh-faced look in general – I like to enhance rather than cover up.
What advice would you give to women wanting to take a leap of faith and leave their day jobs to focus on blogging full time?
Your passion for it has to be unwavering as in the beginning it can overtake your life a little and you do a lot of work without much or any financial reward in return. If you’re moving to full-time blogging you should be already making the kind of income to sustain your existing lifestyle, have savings and if possible a ‘side-hustle’ or back-up plan (like consulting, copywriting or creating content for brands separate to your blog etc) to keep things going if anything with the blog slows down.
If you could go back in time, what piece of advice would you give your younger self?
Not to worry so much. Things have a way of working themselves out once you make the decision to go for it and drive towards it.