Sunday, 7 August 2011

My Style

I’ve avoided doing outfit posts like this in the past, as I’m not that comfortable in front of the camera (I never know whether to smile or not, or what to do with my arms). However, I’ve recently started taking photos of my favourite outfits so I can pull together a sort of style file -  It’s a great way of experimenting and developing your own style and is something I do regularly with my clients but never really put the time aside to do for myself.

My style totally depends on my mood, but generally swings between girly-grunge and rock-chick sass. I can’t get enough leopard print, so this regularly features in my outfits. When I have the time, I love to rummage around in vintage shops and charity shops collecting unique pieces to add to my wardrobe.

I’ve changed my shopping habits in the last few years and now only buy items that I know will mix and match brilliantly, I also try to wear as many of the items in my wardrobe as possible (so you’ll probably see a few repeats). I don’t think my style is particularly unique or fabulous, but my posts encourage you to try something a little different, or even better, to share your ideas and inspire me, then it’s been worth it!

So, here's my first outfit  post...


I mentioned my obsession for all things leopard print and I think this outfit just proves that.  I guess my Spaniel Hendrix was fed up waiting for me to take him for a walk, as decided to get involved.

Shirt – Zara
Jeans – J Brand
Shoes (that desperately need replacing) – Dune
  Necklace – Tina Lilienthal

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Let me introduce you to the fabulous Charley B!

I met Charley at Melanie Giles’s hair salon in Bath, she was so enthusiastic and passionate about what she does and, so good at it, that I thought we just had to try and work together.  Since then, we’ve been scheming and have some great things in the pipe lines...watch this space!

 Make-up artistry has always been Charley’s passion as she watched her mother, former head of make-up at Glyndebourne Opera House work backstage. The creativity and buzz of her mother’s job fascinated her.

Charley went on to train at The Glauca Rossi School of Make-up in London followed by The London College of Fashion which giving her the skills and confidence to work in the Fashion Industry.  She then went on to work on magazines such as Good House Keeping, Red and Grazia building a reputation for creating fresh and modern looks.
One of her regular clients is DUO boot’s which has taken Charley to the South of France, Spain and most recently Norway to create fashionable make-up looks for their advertising campaigns.

When she is not shooting her focus is on Bridal and Teaching women how to apply their own make-up.

Charley’s philosophy is that make-up is fun and creative. After all if you make a mistake with make-up you can amend it, if you buy the wrong shade of lipstick you can mix it with another to make it work. This enjoyment of make-up is something that Charley encourages with every one of her clients.
Me: I love styling myself and putting different outfits together but my make-up tends to be an afterthought.  What advice would you have to encourage me to try and be more experimental with my makeup?

Charley: It’s so easy for women to get into a routine with their make-up. It’s becomes like skincare, cleanse, tone, moisturise and go. I suggest that when you look at your wardrobe for a revamp, get your make-up bag and all of your make-up dotted around the house and review this too. Ask yourself some questions: Do I use this? Does it suit me? And more importantly, how long have I had this? Piece by piece detox your make-up bag. Take a picture of yourself without your make-up on. Do your make-up as you usually would from your newly detoxed make-up bag and take another picture, outside in broad daylight. Now compare the pictures. Be honest, what is really working for you and what isn’t. Is your foundation making you skin look enlivened and fresh? If not, get rid of it. Just like I imagine the wrong underwear kills a great outfit, the wrong foundation can let all your make-up down. Once you’ve whittled you make-up down to few bit’s (if any) you think really work for you have a play, and learn the techniques that suite you. The great thing about make-up is you can take it off! So just have fun with it! Soon you’ll know what suites you and have the room and new found confidence to be more experimental.

Me: I have my favourite make-up ‘staples’ – my Bobbi Brown bronzer and my eyelash curlers.  What are yours, and what should every woman have in their make-up bag?

Charley: Oh, this is a tough one. Well, for me my make-up ‘staples’ are changing all of the time but at the moment again another Bobbi Brown number with her Shimmer brick in ‘Bronze’. I use this on my cheekbones for a highlight, my eye lids, dellocatage and pretty much anywhere I want that post holiday ‘glow’. I am never without Vaseline, I mix it with lipstick to custom make my own tinted lip balm, I smudge it over eye liner for a wet look smokey eye for gig-going, cheekbones for a bit of a glow, it is a multi use product I am never without.

A couple of staples I believe would be universally useful in a woman’s make-up bag would be a liquid highlighter and a multi use lip and cheek colour. My favourites and staples in my professional kit are NARS Illuminator in ‘Super Orgasm’. This is a product once added to high points of the face or mixed with foundation adds a pretty glow to lack lustre skin, perfect after a late night.

My second one would be Stilla’s Convertible Colour for lips and cheeks. This is the perfect product to reach for when you’re pushed for time but is also a great one for day to day. All you need is tinted moisturiser, Black mascara and this product on lips and cheeks and you’re ready out the door looking fresh and fabulous in no more than five minutes.

Me: I’ve recently come back from holiday where I found it too hot for my normal makeup routine...my make-up slid right off and didn’t match my skin tone once I’d tanned.  What do you recommend for those of us off to hotter climes this year?

Basically you want to avoid products with a powder or creamy texture as they will sweat off. Look for waxy, non greasy and preferably water resistant products. With your base skip foundation all together and just use concealer. I recommend Laura Merciers Secret camouflage. This product is waxy in texture so very long lasting in hotter climates. You also mix it yourself to suit your skin tone so perfect for holidays. Use it to even out your skin tone and that’s your skin done. For eyes skip eye shadow because it will just slide off. Instead use a wax based waterproof liner, I love MAC’s, and lashings of waterproof mascara my favourite being Maxfactors false lash effect waterproof formula. Finish the look with a lip and cheek stain. I am never without Becca’s Beach Tint for a water resistant pop of colour that is designed to withstand the demands of the beach.

Me: My make-up is normally quite natural looking but on my wedding day I wanted my look to be stronger without feeling like I was looking at someone else in the mirror. I must admit, this was hard to achieve...I probably needed someone like you there on the day!  What’s the most important advice you can give to any bride to be, when they’re deciding on their make-up for the big day? 

Charley: Although it sounds cliché the most important thing is to be yourself. Weddings give women strange ideas for their make-up because the pressure is laid on thick to impress. Some brides sit in front of me and say “I want really smokey eyes” or “I want red lips!” when the most they wear day to day is sunscreen, mascara and lip gloss! I know you want to impress the numbers on your wedding day but believe me if you go too far out of your comfort zone you will feel uncomfortable.
Wedding make-up for me is all about making the skin look amazing and then I work on the rest depending on the brides style and the style of their dress. When choosing idea’s for your wedding make-up by all means experiment. For example if your dress has a 1950’s style to it look at going for a Red Lipstick, stain or a Liquid line but try it first. See if you like it, see how people react, take photographs! Don’t just jump in head first, have a play, look through magazines so when you sit down with your make-up artist you have a really good idea of what you want.

Me: Do you have a style icon that influences your own style?
Charley: It’s a bit of a cliché but, Kate Moss. I love the simplicity of her style she oozes off duty model with everything she wears and it looks like her second skin, so comfortable yet stylish, and that is the style I go for with my make-up as well.
Me: Where do you get your inspiration from when you’re working with your clients?

Charley: It depends on the job. If I’m shooting it will be pictures from backstage at fashion shows, prints, textures and colours. If it’s Bridal or my Lessons my inspiration comes from the client sitting in front of me. Every time a woman sits in my make-up chair she tells me everything she hates about herself and usually those things are the first things I actually really like about them. I look at their great features, who they are the way they dress and turn that into a look that works for them.

Me: When I’m helping clients to build their perfect wardrobe, I stress the importance of investing in staple pieces – items of clothing that they’re going to wear again and again.  In your opinion, are there any items of make-up that are well worth investing a little more in?  And what can you get away with spending less on?

Charley: First investment, your skin. Take care of it, watch it and give it what it needs. This is less about skin care products and more about your health.  You need to spend money on your base products more than anything because if you get that wrong it lets the whole look down. I find the one product that women are spending the most on, they should be spending the least amount of money on, and that’s mascara. You should change it every 3 months so it makes sense to spend less and the best mascaras I have used are high street brands my favourites being Maxfactors False Lash Effect and Mabylines Great Lash.

Me: The most common mistake I come across when I’m working is women buying an item of clothing because it looked great on their friend.  In your opinion, what’s the most common mistake women make when choosing make-up, and how can it be avoided?

That’s actually quite a common mistake with make-up as well. A woman will buy a lipstick because it looked great on their friend when it’s completely the wrong shade for her.  The most common mistake is too many women settle for products that don’t work well enough for them. Part of my make-up lesson is to go through my clients make-up bag with them. Time and time again they will have a product which is the wrong colour or formula for them and when I ask them if they like it “it’s okay” is the response. If it doesn’t work for you, don’t use it. If it’s not exactly right for you, don’t buy it. When I buy an item of clothing I have to absolutely love it and it has to fit like a dream the same goes for my make-up.
Me: Shopping for clothes and styling is second nature to me, but shopping for make-up is another matter entirely!  The huge choice is so overwhelming and a little confusing that I never step outside my comfort zone.  What advice can you give to others like me who want to experiment a little more?

Charley: I do a lot of my make-up shopping both for myself and my professional kit, online. It takes away the pressure. You can also narrow it down to product, brand, and colour, whatever you are looking for and then you can check it out online for reviews before you buy it. The only things you never shop online for are Base products.
Look for make-up styles you would like to try from a celebrity look, in a magazine, or in a film that you think may suit you. Get a few bit’s online to re-create the look, look up how to do it maybe even try an online tutorial and just give it a go. Make-up is fun, it’s creative and most importantly it comes off so go ahead and experiment.

Me: I love the trend for 50’s style make-up – the strong cat eye style liner as modelled by Lilly Allen on the front cover of Elle magazine this month.  Is this easy to do and can anyone carry it off?

Charley: The great thing about this look is yes, it can be adjusted to suit everybody. However it does take practice to get it right. My recommendation is to go for a Gel liner like MAC’s “Black Track” for a strong look or “Dip Down” an Expresso brown for softer take on the look.  If you are working on more of a budget try Maybellines new Gel Liner, although it only comes in black it’s great quality and the brush is fabulous! Try using a more precise brush like Bobbi Browns ultra fine eye liner brush or you may work better with an angled brush such as MAC’s 266 Small angle.

First look straight ahead in the mirror and draw on the outer flicks. The Flick should start from the outer corner of your eye and be in line with the end point of your eye brow in angle. The flicks length should be no longer than the halfway point between the outer corner of your eye and the end point of your eyebrow. Once you have got the flicks even on both sides complete line from the inner corner of your eye along the lash line to the end of the flick.  The thickness of the line depends on how much lid space you have to work with. If you have a larger lid space you can play around with the thickness if you haven’t keep it skinny enough so you can see equal amounts of lid and liner.

Me: I tend to stay loyal to one make-up brand, is this a good idea, or is it better to mix things up a little?
Charley B: It’s nice to see the same brand in your make-up bag because it all goes together and you feel you can trust the brand. However, different brands will be better for different things and you are seriously missing out if you don’t look elsewhere. Also you could be really over spending on something you could find to be better on the high street.
However if something really works for you, stick to it because it is hard to find products like that. But if something could be better but you keep re-purchasing because it’s a brand you trust you need to get out there and play the field a bit because something fabulous and possibly cheaper could be waiting for you.

Well, I’m all inspired to go and experiment with my make-up and I’m sure you are too!
For more make-up tips or booking enquiries you can contact Charley via e-mail  charleybrunskill@aol.com

Charley on shoot in Norway.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Jumpsuits

I’ve always given jumpsuits a wide birth. It’s not that I’ve never liked them, truth be told, I’ve always secretly fancied wearing one. They look so effortless and carefree. The reason I’ve stayed away from jumpsuits is because I thought they’d do absolutely nothing for my pear shape and whilst I like the look on others, I wasn’t sure I could pull it off.

So When Rachel Nott the editor of Folio magazine asked to write about how to work a jumpsuit, the challenge was set. I thought I’d never find one to flatter me, so I spent an afternoon hunting down the perfect all-in-one. The choice is immense and you’ll be relieved to hear they’re a far cry from the original eighties styles. Think fifties glamour and seventies boho instead. Eventually I found this simple, wide leg style that skims my hips and highlights my waist (something all pear shapes MUST do). My voyage into the world of jumpsuits had begun.

In one afternoon, I’d gone from avoiding jumpsuits, to wanting another. Are you persuaded yet? Go on, trust me, there’s a style out there for everyone. Team with gladiator flats and a scarf for day. Or dress up with chunky heels and statement earrings for an alternative to your LBD. Give them a chance, you never know, it might just become one of your summer staples, it has mine!

This is how I've worn mine...
Jumpsuit and hoop earrings from French Connection
Leopard print belt from Oasis
Wooden shoes from Russell and Bromley



Sandals from Gap
Scarf from H&M
Sunglasses from Sunglasses Hut.

Look out for my feature in this months Folio Magazine