Monthly Archives

February 2013

Mum’s the word

27th February 2013

With the big reveal of Kate’s baby bump (or molehill), IVF in the headlines, and Mother’s Day just around the corner, Mums are clearly where it’s at.  I see a huge range of people for colour analysis,style consultations and make-up lessons, from business women looking to progress their careers to hen party groups wanting an afternoon of fun – and motherhood is something many of them have in common.

I see lots of Mums with young children and it’s great to see them enjoy some ‘me time’.  They come because they’ve lost confidence, lost sight of themselves, need to start thinking about a work wardrobe or are not sure how to dress for their shape, which often changes after pregnancy.  The ultimate job satisfaction for me is to watch someone like this who arrives feeling worn out and lacklustre leave with a spring in their step after I’ve helped them to discover  how to look younger, healthier and less tired than they feel by wearing the shapes, trends, colours and make-up that suit them.

I also see many Mum and daughter duos – from  the awkward  teenager with a despairing Mum wanting to steer her away from black, to the step-mother (or step-mother to be) trying to bond with her step-daughter, to the more mature lady treating her elderly mother.  Whatever the situation between them, a few hours spent together doing something positive and uplifting like this seems to work wonders for their relationship. And while as a professional I try to take a tactful approach, having a pair so comfortable together that they don’t mind ‘saying it how it is’ can be very helpful!

So a colour, style or make up consultation makes a fabulous Mother’s Day (birthday, Christmas, Valentine’s) gift – it’s a fun, relaxing, pampering experience that will benefit the recipient for years.  To celebrate Mother’s Day I am offering a free lipstick in your (or your mum’s) colour with every colour analysis, style consultation or make-up lesson voucher bought by 10th March.  If you would like to find out more, do contact me – I’d love to hear from you.

My only regret is that I can’t offer my own Mum the gift of a consultation – she has her own image consultancy, Style Potential, in the New Forest.  My Mum and I trained together two years ago and I must say this in itself was a lovely mother/daughter bonding experience.  It was also a bit of a revelation –  I discovered she takes a ‘relaxed’ approach towards learning, and breezed seemingly effortlessly through the process while I was left feeling like the class swot when trying to compare homework notes with her on our daily commute – “what homework?” was her usual response!  Despite our different approaches Mum and I share a huge passion (my long-suffering husband and dad would say obsession) for our new-found careers and we were surprised and delighted to be crowned joint ‘Best Newcomers’ by Colour Me Beautiful in 2011.

Seeing red

6th February 2013

As Valentine’s Day approaches, there’s one colour dominating the high street and fashion pages, and last week one of my Colour Me Beautiful colleagues was on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour discussing ‘daring to wear it’ – red.   Consider the media frenzy around Nigella’s ‘wiggle dress’ and the first lady’s inauguration ball dress  and we’re left in no doubt that this is the colour to be seen in this season.

This craze for crimson has triggered a traumatic memory for me.  Flicking through the fashion pages one day last year I spotted an article on the latest ‘new black’, the journalist boldly stating:

Everyone can wear red, so put that in your pipe and smoke it, Colour Me Beautiful consultants!

Well! (It’s impossible to convey in writing the outrage and injury I’m breathing into this word).   My indignation does not stem from ‘anyone can wear red’, but from the assumption that CMB consultants would refute this.  A year on and I’ve missed the boat for writing to the journalist but the thought of the article is still enough to make me…see red (sorry).

So to set the record straight: in terms of personal colouring anyone can look great in red.  What’s more, wearing it can be of great benefit – researchers in Germany found that sports competitors who wear red score an average of 10% more in any competition than if they were in another colour.  It is thought this is because it inspires confidence in the wearer and is perceived by others as dominant.  So if you want to wear it, go for it, but there are two key things we Colour Me Beautiful consultants recommend you keep in mind:

1. Choose the right red

Different combinations of hair colour, eye colour and skin tone suit different shades of red.  It’s all about creating a look that balances with your colouring:

  • Those with a muted, light or delicate look glow in a subtle raspberry or geranium.
  • Those with strong, dramatic colouring are gorgeous in bold pillar-box red.
  • Those with golden undertones to their hair and skin are ravishing in orange-toned watermelon and tomato.
  • Those with grey or ashy tones to their hair are radiant in blue-toned (yes, really!) ruby.

If you’re not sure which category you fall into, consider a colour analysis to ensure that the red you choose is not wearing you!

2. Work with your style personality

In our society red has many associations – positive (love, passion, confidence and energy) and negative (danger, aggression and promiscuity). Either way, you won’t go unnoticed when wearing it – and not everyone wants to be noticed.  What we feel comfortable in and how we put our look together is all down to style personality (a key issue I focus on in style consultations) which is determined by an individual’s culture, upbringing, lifestyle, budget, age and level of confidence.

If your style personality is all about making a statement, try one of this season’s fabulous quirky print jackets!  Or if you prefer a more understated look, try making a nod to the trend with a red accessory – a belt, bangle, handbag, brooch or shoes.

And if wearing red’s really not your thing then forget clothes and accessories and embrace this season’s hottest colour in cake form – delicious red velvet, as modelled by my sister at The Tea Cup, Richmond.