Ibiza living

Balearic beauty – Jessie May Young

For this busy hair and make-up artist, island life is all about family values, a naturally bohemian style and making memories.

Gently hustling her gorgeous brood of three perfectly-mannered children around the gardens of Agroturismo Atzaro – the cherished location where she was married in 2012 – Jessie May Young doesn’t appear old enough to be a mother.

Her youthful looks plus the amazingly close bond she has with each child makes them appear to be best friends as much as family. Family values are extremely important to the British-born hair and make-up artist, who first came to the island at the age of 17 with a group of girlfriends. Not long after, she met and fell in love with husband Luke and the couple continued to visit the white isle for weekends away, summer holidays and special occasions over the years. “It’s always been our special place,” she explains, with their 2012 nuptials as the icing on the cake. Soon after, the family were looking to escape the hectic London life to spend more time together. The choice was quite obvious really. “We came to check out the schools, then brought the kids over for a holiday in October,” Jessie says of the decision to relocate. “At the end of the week everyone had a piece of paper and had to make a tick or a cross. We got four ticks – Albie was little so he didn’t really understand – so it was a real family decision. Everyone had to want to do it or we wouldn’t do it at all.” Today, the family are living the Ibiza dream. “The kids are outside from the moment they wake up. Everyone’s so happy.” Daily life for Jessie is predominantly about family – from busy mornings getting ready before the school run, followed by managing her hair and make-up business, launching a new collaboration and pop-up with Net-A-Porter, working on shoots, styling Ibiza brides or creating content for her new blog, Bohemian Bond – a title that sums up Jessie and her family in a nutshell. “The blog kind of came about by accident,” says Jessie, who has been a hair and make-up artist all her adult life. “The first six months here were a whirlwind – finding a place to live, organising the kids in school, with activities, making big lifestyle changes. Then all of a sudden I realised I needed to do something for myself too.” Feeling a little bit rusty on the make-up brushes after a few months away from the job, she decided to do some test shoots on newfound island friends – who all happened to be working mums – to showcase her work. The theme was obvious, and the blog was born. Jessie describes her own natural boho style as quite relaxed, never too overdone and usually thrown together in ten minutes, depending on her mood of the day. “I feel like I can be more me here in Ibiza,” she says. “You can wear a maxi dress and have a bikini underneath on the school run – no one looks at you thinking, ‘what has she come as today?’” She admits to also being a control freak when it comes to styling her family.

“I’ve realised I dress them like us!” she laughs. “The girls are always in a lot of black, a lot of lace, a lot of crochet – though lately Maisie’s been developing her own style so I’m going to have to let her go soon. And even Albie, I dress him in my husband’s style. When I’m away, I’ll call Luke in a panic asking what they’re wearing!” In the afternoons, both parents are on the school run, ferrying the kids back and forth from their respective activities before they all reunite at 6pm for dinner at home. “That’s one of the only things I’ve kept from London life,” she says, inspired by her own family’s traditions. “I like us to sit down together as a family and have one big meal together! We talk about the best and worst parts of the day, everyone gets to have their opinions on how to handle things, and the kids can really open up to us.” For family lunches, they’ll frequent laidback places like La Paloma, Jockey Club and Babylon Beach and sunsets are a favourite activity, with Experimental Beach Ibiza the location of choice. “I’m obsessed with sunsets, and I’ve passed that onto the kids too,” Jessie says. “Even in the winter we’ll still go and watch sunset, with a blanket and hot chocolate. The next thing we want to do is watch is a sunrise.” Beach days too allow for more quality time together. “We love Aguas Blancas,” Jessie says. “The chiringuito there is so chilled and we can all happily do our own thing, but still be together. Albie will be surfing, Maisie can be rock climbing and Betsy thinks she’s a mermaid!” With a well-thumbed book presenting the island’s 80 beaches, the family are also making it their mission to explore each and every one. Time spent together as a family is obviously cherished, but Jessie and Luke also understand the importance of nurturing each child’s individuality. “We let the kids choose things once a month they’d like to do with us,” Jessie says. “With Maisie we’ve had a ‘date night’ at Bambuddha with mocktails, Albie chose fishing at Talamanca and Betsy and I explored Dalt Vila with backpacks, hot chocolate and her camera.” For Jessie and Luke as a couple, alone time is more about setting aside time for ‘date day’ rather than ‘date night’. “At least once a week, we’ll go to Atzaro for a spa day or just to read books or we’ll have a nice beach day. Though when we can go for a night out, we enjoy dinner and drinks with friends or the cinema night at Amante!” “Our original plan was to stay here for 18 months,” says Jessie, when asked if the island felt like a permanent home now. “But I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re still here in 10 years saying, ‘Oh we’re not staying, it’s just an adventure’. We’ll see what happens – right now, it’s all about making memories.” Photography by Sofia Gomez Fonzo Hair & make-up by Jessie May Young