‘‘The best money I’ve ever invested!”

Take a look at an excerpt of actor John Pirkis’s blog: Diary of a Failed actor- John highlights how his experience with me on a style and personal shopping trip gives him confidence and direction in both his personal and working life.

Do you want to see how a shopping trip can make you feel on top of the world?

Get in touch for a consultation: rachel@rachel-moss.com

A Step By Step Guide To Personal Shopping

When people ask me what I do for a living, I try to sum it up as concisely as possible. From the What image would you like to project conversation to the full menu. Wardrobe PlanningColour Analysis Makeup and Personal Shopping
From the menu, It is the personal shopping that still leaves people the most puzzled. To clear things up, this newsletter will come in two parts: The guide to personal shopping and the guide to wardrobe planning. 

Being a style coach is about listening and building trust. It is creating an arena that is comfortable, inspiring and motivating. The results are a personal style that is relevant, authentic and highly successful in a social and professional context.

I would like to thank two people who have inspired me to create this newsletter (and whose testimonials you can read at the end)

KAREN  Travels between Munich and New York with her career as an opera singer. She came to me looking for more colour and to move away from her New York black. Being a few inches shorter than the average German woman, Karen wanted to find a European chic and for things to fit her height and shape. Read how her shopping trip went below.

JOHN  A long time friend and actor, continues to reap the benefits from his wardrobe, colour analysis and personal shopping sessions. Being colour blind, we had to build a strong wardrobe in identifiable colours, tones and styles to help him secure acting roles.The investment continues to pay off and allows him to feel on top of his game. Read more about his experience below.

collageblueyellow

 

 PERSONAL SHOPPING IS FOR EVERYONE ELSE!

Having spoken to various groups of people over the years, I have come to realise that although many have heard of personal shopping, they think it’s not something for them but rather for everyone else. It can seem intimidating or out of reach. It’s what rich people do or bored hollywood housewives, right?

Wrong!

The people who use a personal shopper, use one from all kinds of reasons, backgrounds, cultures, ages, shapes, sizes and budgets. (and no, not just actors and opera singers!)
It is why talking to people, and creating workshops are important. They help bring the subject closer to the audience, making it more attainable and less intimidating.

You dont need money to look good, but you do need to know how to use the right tricks and techniques that apply to you and everything that is unique about you.

WHO USES A PERSONAL SHOPPER?

Take for example business professionals. They need to project an image that matches their role and responsibility in the company they represent. How they look and what they say should be unequivocal and create an impact before a word is even spoken. When it comes to climbing the career ladder, details matter and people do notice. 

Actors need to create a strong first impression. New York based John Pirkis has often seconds to gain the confidence of potential investors when he goes up for a new role. Dressing the part requires attention to detail.The suit John wears is from one of our shopping trips and continues to earn him praise in castings. His blog: ‘Diary of a Failed Actor’ describes perfectly the highs and lows of his profession.

Photograph of John Pirkis by Dan Harwood Stamper

 SOCIAL-There are social reasons. Someone may have lost their confidence (and their way) from a separation or divorce.They want to bring back some of the style they once had and start dating again. A session with a style coach can help them find a more relevant image while giving them the confidence and motivation to make a fresh start.

FAMILY-There are those who have raised a family and are looking to return to work or start a new career. This means bringing an image up to date and in line with other job applicants and is also an opportunity to turn a new page.
Personal shoppers are booked for birthdays, anniversaries and as leaving presents and gift vouchers are a popular choice.

gift

COPY CAT- It is no good copying a look in a magazine if it doesn’t translate to your body shape or the person you are. We all know that models don’t represent the majority of womens’ body shapes (or mens for that matter) but copying them can take out the hard work for us.

It takes time to develop a style and find something that you are comfortable with.
Being in a neutral, non-judgemental position allows me to speed up the process!
ON THE STREET- Surveys say that women dominate 65% of the global market. When it comes to retail shopping, It is evident there are still huge gaps in the market. Often I see women (and men) walking around stores in an effort and a daze trying to find something to wear. Help is either minimal or intrusive and not much in between.They exit the store minutes later, only to repeat the process somewhere else.

The experience is nil and the frustration is high.

collageps

STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO SHOPPING

  • MEETING UP- To begin with there is an informal but focused consultation to discuss specific desires and goals. Meeting in person works two ways. It allows me to get a clear idea of bodyshape, height and natural colouring, aswell as the persons character and personality. It also helps build a level of trust and establish a friendly working relationship.
  • LOOK BOOK- Having a photograph to work with beforehand, allows me to prepare a few images I think are suitable (like a look-book) for the person I am working with. This helps establish a focus for ideas and drums up excitement. Together we discuss style, shape, colour, fabric, accessories and anything else that is important
  • RESEARCH-Before a shopping trip, research has to be carried out. This is an important aspect for a successful shop and the focus of everything I know about that person so far. From where to find the right length pair of pants, skirt, dress, jacket, collar type, material, tailoring, colour, pattern, accessories and so on. This also applies to skin care and makeup

collagemohrmann

  • SHOPPING DATE-The big date has arrived and what we’ve been waiting for! When trying on clothes, I advise people to come wearing (easy to get in and out of) clothing. To bring heels if trying on dresses and business shoes if trying on suits. Clothes that are hampered with buckles and buttons will only slow down the process!

 

  • SUCCESS- Of the clothes I select, 99% of them are bought and successfully integrated into the wardrobe. The selected items not only double the outfit choices but work with existing pieces and new alike. Guided shopping can seriously breaks old habits because they are intensive one-to-one style workouts and a time of real focus. Many people report that they not only save money on future trips but are able to shop in half their normal time.

 

  • SELF AWARENESS- Finally, these sessions are a reminder that is important to highlight the best of ourselves for ourselves. Unique aspects that over time have been forgotten or buried under the layers of life.They are about bringing those positive aspects to the surface by recognising what we have got, not what we haven’t. Knowing how to reflect these qualities increases confidence, self-esteem, self-awareness and is always an inspiration to others.
sip

See what Karen and John had to say!

Rachel is fantastic – she is smart, talented, genuinely positive and amazingly tactful.   I am a typical New York “everything in black” girl, and also a good 6 inches shorter than the average German woman.The lovely european chic-casual style has been a mystery to me since I moved here. I had pretty much given up on ever finding clothes in Germany when I went to Rachel for help

She has a brilliant eye for colour and form, and after our initial consultation, even before we went shopping, she had me thinking differently about how to dress and what to put together.She has the patience of a saint – I had extremely vague answers to her questions about my personal style, since “black” has been my answer to everything for years.The shopping experience was amazing.  

I generally give up after one hour, but two and a half hours with Rachel passed in the blink of an eye.Not only did I end up with some beautiful clothes in lovely colours, but we also got some fantastic things in black that actually fit me.

Rachel very tactfully explained to me how to mix and match to achieve the look I wanted, and much to my delight, I can apply her advice to both my old and my new clothes.My “What Not To Wear” moments have dramatically decreased and miraculously, my mother, my husband, and my garment-district friends all love my new clothes!If you want assistance, advice or even just a ray of sunshine in your wardrobe, I highly recommend consulting Rachel for any and all of your fashion needs.

 

John
Rachel, I cannot thank you enough for the extraordinary results you have achieved for me! Not only restyling my wardrobe, but also taking the dread I had of shopping for clothes. Being colour blind just added to my problem.
Your patience, calm energy and passion for the task in hand made the event and effortless joy and education.
I feel confident to venture out on a shopping trip of my own and even look forward to it.
Thank you again.

 ‘‘People will stare. Make it worth their while” Harry Winston

Step By Step Guide To Wardrobe Planning

collagevistawoman

There is no getting away from it. My work is personal. In order to get to the heart of someones style, I have to get to the heart of their wardrobe. This means sifting through items that no longer measure up. (literally) ultimately clothes that stay, should fit into two categories. They should Fit and they should Feel Good (lets call it FFG!)

COLOURS- should compliment the natural tones of skin, eyes and hair and styles should match body shape, frame and personality.

DRESS UP-Many people dress older or younger than they really are, or in clothes that are larger or smaller than their true size.

REASONS-Over time, we can lose sight of ourselves. Styles we once looked good in, no longer fit and the colours we used to love, no longer make us feel or look as good. There are clothes handed down by well meaning friends or relatives which don’t fit (they don’t have the FFG!) and why in the end, they get discarded.

They were bought with someone else in mind. certainly not for you and not for your body shape or character. Whether you are selecting your own clothes or given them, try them on first. If they don’t have the FFG factor then please don’t feel obliged to take them or buy them!

love

SHOPPING-With relatives can prove tricky. In the heat of the moment, outfits are bought that you wouldn’t otherwise see yourself in but you oblige (because they bought something too) It’s not something you would have chosen, and most likely will be worn once.Well meaning relatives can play dress up in things they think you will look good in.This also comes with obvious problems. Then there are just plain old habits of buying the same styles in the same colours like, forever!

GRACEFULLY AGEING- Take my mum for example. She used to apply the Mary Quant style eye makeup that was standard in the 70’s. She even painted in her lower lashes. She looked amazing. By the 80’s though she adopted different methods in both makeup and dress. This didn’t diminish from her style but only increased it. With each decade she made small changes that bought her up to date.These changes were subtle but transformative. Now in her early 70’s she is as stylish (and as beautiful) as ever.

It is so important to try things on and see why they don’t work on a particular body shape and to get into the habit of looking in the mirror!

collagemohrmann

 STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO WARDROBE PLANNING

  • Firstly, an informal consultation is arranged to establish specific desires, goals and problem areas. Whether you want to create a formal business look, a change of style or to add a few key pieces. An appointment is made to visit your home and your wardrobe!
  •  Clothes are tried on to establish what should stay and what should go. This is based on Items that no longer fit the body shape, personality or lifestyle, aswell as colours that no longer flatter the natural colouring of hair, skin and eyes and finally clothes that are old and worn out. Where there are any gaps, a shopping list is made of the necessary items to complete the wardrobe.
  • Once the wardrobe is de-cluttered and organised, the next step is to mix and recycle the remaining clothes back in. Planning a wardrobe is not about spending money on new clothes but knowing how to breathe new life back into what you already have. Mixing suit jackets with jeans, and skirts with vintage tops and jackets. Utilising hats, belts, scarves and other accessories to maximum effect.
  •  By the end of a wardrobe session, you will have gained awareness for styles that fit your body shape and personality creating your unique look. You will find shopping and choosing individual pieces easier and faster and will have the confidence that the pieces you do pick will sit comfortably into your wardrobe. This is the true meaning of finding your style!

We often stop wearing things that dont make us feel good without knowing why-you already have the answer-Trust your instinct!

If you would like to see what a wardrobe session can do for you, please get in touch for an informal and friendly chat: rachel@rachel-moss.com

collagepugs

Emotional Fitness!

The shelves are already groaning under the weight of books and magazines on Bikini diets (as I write, it is 152 days until summer) with regimes on how to get rid of winter fat and tips on losing those winter blues.

Personally, I don’t weigh myself. I know what my ideal weight is and the things that are bad for me. The majority of the time, I avoid the type of foods which tighten my waistline and make me feel sluggish. They’re the ones loaded in sugar and saturated fat. They send me into a helter skelter of low blood sugar shakes and yawns like I haven’t slept for a week. Not nice.

 

sarahchimp

Sarah Danning from Physically Fabulous

There is no doubt that keeping fit is the way to a better quality of life. It makes everything easier. Health, well being, increased confidence and getting dressed without turning yourself inside out. But what about an ideal emotional fitness?

Being emotionally fit doesn’t lend itself to the packaging on glossy magazines. ‘Are you strong in the head, as well as in the bed?’ they just wouldnt sell and are the reserve of bookshops in the self-help section. Sorting yourself out emotionally is too much like hard work and besides, it can wait can’t it?

Our internal dialogue sabotages possible changes with reasons why things should stay as they are. ‘It’s my fault that I’m always messing up’  ‘I’m lucky to have anyone at my age, so I shouldn’t complain’  or ‘I’ll get round to it when Spring comes’. As the poet Edward Young said ‘procrastination is the thief of time’

It’s easier to go on a diet than change a job that leaves you feeling undermined. simpler than standing up for yourself in a friendship that leaves you empty or un-appreciated and certainly easier than confronting a relationship that no longer reflects your basic values.

sarahdanning

They say people don’t really change until they’ve suffered enough. It’s probably true. I like to think of emotional fitness as a yearly stock take of oneself. A chance to make a few adjustments and press the refresh button. Being introspective is not easy, but it allows you to become aware of your place in the world and of those you love. If you don’t rate yourself highly others won’t either. This applies to everything, from work, relationships, friendships, goals and anything else of value in life.

Minor changes can make a major impact-

Acceptance- Its cliche but learning to love who you are goes hand in hand with confidence. People love to be around others who are comfortable in their own skin.

Honesty- If you can be honest to yourself and your journey in life you will be able to help others when it matters. If your attitude remains unchanged, don’t expect the outcome to be any different.

Responsibility- You have a responsibility to have the best that life has to offer. That also means taking it on the chin when you’ve messed up. whatever. whenever. whoever. Say sorry. move on.

No is a complete sentence- The world will not cave in if you disagree, have your own opinion (or first argument!) It will however, give you a greater sense of control in life.

Inspiration-You may not be aware of it, but someone is already inspired by who you are and what you are. Be proud of your achievements and of your failures. big or small and share your story when the time is right.

Now, I must find my bikinis..

New Look

Lia Edwards is a Munich based portrait photographer originally from the UK. She discovered her passion for photography in 2001 while living in Sydney Australia. Read more about Lia’s work here.

Luckily for the rest of us, Lia moved to Munich in 2011. We met shortly after at a creative group meet up. She showed me a copy of a beautiful retro style photo she had taken, and I was hooked.

liavintage Kopie

Lia was the perfect choice for me to update my photos for a model agency in Munich and we have worked together on several occasions. (see photos below)

This year we created a further collaboration with our styling and photography packages. If you want the full works from makeup, wardrobe, styling and photography then talk to us for a consultation.

What makes a good photograph?

One of the most important things when you are being photographed, is to feel relaxed. We have approximately forty three muscles in our face and use the large majority of them when we laugh (even more when we frown) If you are tense, it will show in your face and body and no amount of editing will hide the fact.

Plan your photo shoot with your photographer around a day when you know you have time to get ready and have little stress as possible. Book baby sitters if you need to and think how you want to look and what you are going to wear.

Whether it is a romantic couple shoot, family gathering or head shots. Choose your clothes with care. If you are in a family portrait, think about a theme. Wearing bold colours on a dull day can create vibrant happy portraits (Lia will discuss this with you)

If they are portraits, your photos need to be something you are happy with looking at for a long time. If they are for business, an actor or model they need to get you noticed and working for you from the get go.

20141011-09(watermarked)The shot above was spotted by Mrs Robinson agency.

Even if you are experienced at having your photos taken, the first few frames of a shoot are usually a good warm-up exercise and an opportunity to get to know each other and break the ice.

As the session continues, you will feel less self-conscious. It will be these photos that you look at and share the most because they will reflect you at your most natural and relaxed.

20141011-04(watermarked)

Hair and Make-up

For natural photographs, it is best to stick to your usual hairstyle and not to try anything too radical. The same goes for makeup. If you don’t usually wear much make-up, its best to avoid hitting the makeup counter at the last minute for a look that you wouldn’t normally go for. The chances are, you will not be happy and the makeup (which is invariably applied under bad store lighting) will not transfer well to natural daylight or studio shots.

If you need help with how to apply makeup and want to discuss a LOOK that flatters your natural colouring and features contact me!

20141011-06(watermarked)

What makes a good photographer?

The job of a photographer is not always easy. communicator, director, stylist, (sometimes gymnast!) being able to encourage and coax and give a few concise orders in order to get the best shot and a happy customer.

Ultimately, their job is to bring out something special in your personality and character and find a way of capturing it. Good results are based on creating confidence, trust, communication and having fun working together in order to achieve the same goal.

20141011-02(watermarked)

Memorable photography is an alchemy of everything coming together. Photographer, subject, lighting, chance moments and a desire to be part of a creative process.

Lia knows how to do this, while her returning customers and word-of-mouth serve as testament.

Note: To achieve my quick change looks, I used: 1 black dress, grey skirt, red cardigan, white blouse, blue jacket, high heels, sunglasses & a magazine.

Do You Know Your Body Shape?

Many of us aren’t truly aware of our body type or how to make the most of our best features.

What is certain, is that we are used to disliking certain body parts verbatim, and hiding them away. Well listen up (this includes you guys!) because things are going to change!

We shop for different reasons. Out of boredom, emotional reasons, habitual, inspiration and because we love it! If not well managed, shopping can be stressful and fraught with (too) many choices, indecisions, and wasted time and if you go with the wrong person, nerves can get frayed!

Step out of your closet and learn to wear your favourite and fail-safe styles with confidence! Whether you need to dress for the office, an interview, a social gathering or simply to up-date your look.

Make sure the clothes you spend your hard earned money on work for you, not against you. At the very least, your clothing choices should fit well and make you feel great.

Wearing the right styles can make you feel confident and in control. They can give you presence, authority and allow you to stand out for the right reasons, giving you an edge and advantage over others. The opposite is also true. The wrong styles can be ageing, confusing and make you look bigger than you really are and who wants that?

Keep the focus on your best features and believe me, no one will be looking at any of your percieved flaws!

Grazynawindow

I have covered the five main body shapes here. You could be one, or a combination of several. Check the shape that corresponds mostly to your own and add another if you need to in order to find your best styles.

Failing that, book a session with me, that will change the way you Shop Forever!

Whether you lose or gain weight your bone structure will stay the same but It is the COMBINATION of all these factors that gives you the body shape you have.

As humans we are attracted to balance which just so happens to be the key to good dressing. Look at your body in the mirror (yes, you!) and see it as two equal parts. Find a balance to your dressing with the correct styles and find ones that work for you.

With the pear shape directly below, you can see that this shape is bottom heavy. Wear jackets and tops with structure, interest and detail to balance out the look and draw the attention upwards and away from the lower half. Now, choose your main shape and go from there- Any questions, just mail me!

TRIANGLE or PEAR SHAPE

SHAPE: You are SMALLER on the top than the bottom with narrow shoulders and a smaller bust.
KEY to YOUR dressing style is to draw attention to the top half & balance it with the lower highlighting the shoulders, neckline and face.
STYLES to look for: Structured jackets, textured & chunky knitwear, gilets over tops, fitted shirts, dresses with a fitted waist, wide straps & capped sleeves. Necklaces to keep the focus on the upper body. Wide legged Trousers that flow from the waist

INVERTED TRIANGLE or VASE SHAPE

SHAPE:You are BIGGER on the top than the bottom with broader shoulders & slim legs.
KEY to YOUR dressing style is to draw attention to your lower half & balance it up with the top, highlighting your great legs!
STYLES to look for: Asymetric tops, halter necklines,soft jersey tops and dresses with scooped or V-necklines, A-line or flared skirts, softly structured jackets & coats. Slim line trousers or jeans

APPLE SHAPE

SHAPE: Your TUMMY is larger than your bust giving focus to the middle part of your body.
KEY to YOUR dressing style is to draw the attention away from your middle to your neckline, arms & face.
STYLES to look for: Good underwear is KEY for the apple! prints & colour of one colour group in empire line or strapless; tops that are fitted at the waist, belted dresses, box pleat skirt, V-neck tops. Tailored trousers for a smooth bodyshape.

HOURGLASS SHAPE
SHAPE: Your SHOULDERS and  HIPS are of equal measure with a defined waistline.This is one of the easiest bodyshapes to dress.
KEY to YOUR dressing style is to emphasise the silhouette, waistline & elongate the body.
STYLES to look for: Wrap dresses & shirts, deep V-neck cardigans, scooped neck tops, fitted jackets, tailored coats, pencil skirt or A-line and tailored trousers

RECTANGLE or H SHAPE

SHAPE: You have a  STRAIGHT ‘ruler’ shape where shoulder and hip are the same width with slim arms and legs.

KEY to YOUR dressing style is to create curves & break up your straight frame & emphasise your waist!
STYLES to look for: Tops with detail, sweetheart & ruffled necklines, bias cut skirts and dresses in colour, texture and pattern. Capri pants and skinny jeans

 

Boo hoo!

I have to be honest. I am not usually a fan of on-line shopping. With the exception of my most favourite on-line store Top Vintage I don’t surf for clothes!

There are reasons for this. I can’t feel the fabric, I can’t get to grips with the colour, I can’t see the cut and shape, and I can’t have it straight away! Alongside that if you dont like it or it doesn’t fit then you’ve got to trek to the post office, wait in line and send it back. b o r i n g!

At least if you buy it from a shop with people in it, you can return it and at the same time have a perusal for a replacement (which invariably, has new stock since you were last there) It’s a win win, I say!

I think the peplum is a bit vintage and a bit 80’s.They are good for shapes like mine. hour glass and curvy. They offer a nice distraction around the hips while giving the illusion of a smaller waist.

boohoo

So, I thought why not check the internet. I put ‘peplum’ into the search box and up popped a company called boohoo from Manchester in the UK. They had many items with peplum. all I had to do was start looking. From skinny night club tops, to tiny features on the back of jackets. I wanted the full peplum treatment. No excuses.

The dress I landed on had 5 stars alongside it and the reviews were quite impressive.(and very useful) Women from very small to larger sizes were wearing this dress and feeling great in it.They were getting compliments too which was nice to read.

The dress definitely fit the description in terms of fit and colour and the fabric was supportive.So supportive, it was like putting on a wetsuit (do your hair first!) Once on though, it did the trick and made me feel quite fabulous!

I really like Boohoo for their no nonsense prices.Trouble shooting enough customer issues out the window have made it almost impossible not to buy something (or return it) and the garments are manufactured in the UK which is a plus.

This is when on-line shopping gets clever. It offers things you won’t see on the high street and is always better value for money. (cutting out the middle man also means they don’t have to pay extortionate shop rates) Getting a few compliments along the way for something that cost the price of a bunch of flowers is not bad either.

Thanks to the bunch at boohoo!

From Devon With Love!

Casa Magnolia is one of those gem like shops you sometimes hear people talking about, like it nearly belongs to them. Well this one is mine!

I try to visit whenever I stay with Mum in Devon. The shop is nestled in the beautiful town of Chagford on the edge of Dartmoor, South West England

We usually decide beforehand whether we are going to go in or not because once past the threshold, it’s nigh on impossible to walk away empty handed. If we decide not to go in, we take necessary precautions to avoid the danger zone and go in search of cake!

Shopping doesn’t always have to be about spending money though. On the contrary. It can also provide a valuable source of inspiration and ideas that fuel creativity in general and it is more than OK to window-shop and walk away.

photo 1

So what makes this shop stand out from the rest? To start with they have fabulous collections. Oska, Terry Macey, NYDJ, Clemente, Lily & Me, Quernstone and Joseph Ribkoff to name just a few. Having an experienced eye and always on the lookout for new labels keeps things current, interesting and buzzing.

Then there are the accessories. Supreme bags designed by Tissa Fontaneda create an entrance and you wonder, are they rubber or leather? (The answer is leather) Jewellery from Florence, bags from Argentina and hand crafted belts and boots from England.

Then there is the service. The dream team consists of Pam (the owner) Vikky and Adam. Any one of them will be waiting with a beaming smile and welcome. Creating an atmosphere and service that is friendly, genuine and relaxed. Combine this with passion and experience and you get a winning combination. Not something in my experience that everyone in retail understands. It goes some way to explain their loyal following of present and new customers alike.

On a recent visit, my eye was drawn to some gorgeous knitwear (shown) from the Serbian label IVKOA collection of high class knitted womens’ fashion and accessories. Ivko combine craftsmanship with state of the art technology. One look at the website will explain their motif handwritten emotions! you will get lost in their dream-like films.

Mum treated me to the cardigan which put a massive smile on my face (also shown) The cardigan does its (100% wool) job by perking up, and putting life into an otherwise dull outfit.

Visiting this shop reminds me that England (as the saying goes) is indeed ”a nation of shopkeepers” for that (and countless other things) it is always good to go back.

Now, where’s that cake!

The Invisible Woman

Looking in front of a mirror can be an uncomfortable prospect for some. It can leave us feeling exposed and revealed for longer than we feel comfortable.

If this is you then a couple of hours of in front of one, will most likely not be on your bucket list!

Recently, a good friend of mine asked me to give her mum who was visiting from the UK a session of colour analysis and makeup.

I had already met Marie on previous visits and I knew she felt a little apprehensive about getting her colours done. It was more so with the make-up as she wore very little, and had a tendency to hide behind her fringe.

As it turned out, Marie enjoyed her sessions enough to inspire me to create this post!

MarieH (webres)Marie- Photograph by Lia Edwards

Having explained the colour analysis. (I use the tonal method) Marie became rapidly absorbed in the process. We discovered a palette of colours that flattered her complexion. Those that picked out her blue eyes and ones that added warmth to the tones in her hair. The mirror became an accessory (not the enemy) and guided her to new possibilities until she started to think about what she had in her wardrobe.

marieblogPhotographs & Styling-Rachel Moss

 

Marie’s shopping habits were based around price and colour. If you get use out of what you buy (no matter what) then the job is done. If however, you rack up a wardrobe of unworn items with the tags still hanging off and things you can’t return. the experience is not only lost, but becomes a costly habit that only tends to repeat itself.

Marie seldom wore her sale items but didn’t always know why. Her instinct was already giving her the answer- Use it next time you go shopping and if nothing else, think about how things can fit in with the rest of your wardrobe.

When it comes to colour, don’t just look at the colour, but take in the whole of your image. hold the colour next to your face and see what it does to your hair, skin and eyes.The right colour can enhance your natural colouring, lift your complexion and energize you in many ways.

 MAKE-UP

”make-up should be a part of you, not apart from you!”

RachelmakeoverMake up and styling for a shoot-Photograph by Lia Edwards

 

Women often tell me they would like to know how to use makeup but don’t know where to begin so they default back to the no- makeup look!

This section covers what I did for Marie who wanted a natural look. Please get in touch if you want to know how colour and makeup can help you.

Like the best clothing and colours, makeup should enhance your natural features and colouring. Ideally and in all cases, you should not see the makeup before the person or be staring quizzically into their face wondering what on earth they have done to their eyebrows!

There should be a harmony in the makeup you apply and the look you want to achieve. At best, makeup allows you to feel in control, confident, beautiful, empowered and sexy. It is a tool that if you know how to use, can make a difference to the way you feel and the way you are perceived.

At worst, it can be distracting, ageing, confusing (and sometimes unintentionally, funny) It can also send out negative signals.

bloon (2)

METHODS

Marie’s skin type was a combination of an oily T-zone (nose, chin and forehead) and normal. She had open pores and a reddish complexion.

aven2

  1. Before applying foundation, I had to take the redness down on her skin. Avene Antirougeurs Jour is a hydrating emulsion that helps reduce redness and the sensation of heat on the skin. It also contains a small amount of green pigment to help diffuse any redness. It is light to wear and contains an SPF 20.
  2. For the foundation, I mixed a combination of two colours together to get the right shade. (Estee Lauder’s Fresco and Mac’s face and body foundation in C7) I Worked with a combination of brush and sponge to create a smooth finish and blend around the corners of her nose and mouth, making sure there were no hard lines.

The smooth foundation and even base really set the stage for Marie’s beautiful blue eyes to stand out!

3. Marie’s eyelashes and eyebrows were naturally dark but she was losing colour and definition. I used a sculpting eyebrow pencil by Chanel (colour 60) to fill in the gaps with light feathery strokes. This gave natural definition framing her eyes and face.

4. I filled in the eye area with a stone shadow from Mac and a soft highligher just beneath the brow bone and applied some mascara.

5. Having created an even skin tone, I needed to put some colour back into her face. With a large blusher brush I used Mac’s (Melba) powder blush gently dusting it on the apple of her cheeks to add a warm glow.

I will finish the post by including an extract of the testimonial Marie wrote  after her sessions. It’s something to remember that everyone one of us has the ability to inspire others’ regardless of age, shape, sex or size. Making the most of what we have got, rather than what we don’t is one of the best places to start!

”I felt like a new woman and couldn’t stop smiling all day. My daughter commented on how natural the make-up was and how great I looked. I would highly recommend the experience to my friends because it has really improved my confidence and made me feel so much happier in myself. I might be in my Sixties, but I still feel 25 inside and I don’t want to be invisible! ”

MarieBEFOREMarieH (webres)

Behind the Scenes

It was a great end to the month of July, working with Munich based portrait Photographer Lia Edwards on a styling and photographic session for a new client. 

A few weeks before the shoot, Margareta checked in for a wardrobe session with me. As owner of MMH life coaching, Margareta wanted a more International look to reflect her business.

First off, we established anything outdated in Margareta’s wardrobe and got rid of things that no longer fit or were tired and worn. At the same time, I looked for the best cut and colours to complement her figure and natural colouring.

Next, we set a date for Personal Shopping. A list of key items was created in order to fill out any gaps in the wardrobe. Margareta had fun discovering selected pieces that added volume, as well as value to her existing wardrobe.

Liabehindthescenes

All that remained, was for hair and makeup and to get ready for the shoot!

As a model on clothing and photographic shoots I have first hand the experience on what is needed for getting the best results. In this work, the devil is (always) in the detail!

Having personally booked Lia for a photoshoot of my own, I was struck by the energy and quality of her work- It seemed a natural step for us to collaborate!

If you are looking to re-brand your business; update your website or simply for a fresh new look! Talk to us today and experience a professional but fun photo shoot with photos that everyone will be talking about!

Think Pink

I love contrasting colours- Here is a study in pink and black with a twist of orange!Grazynapinkwindow Working on Grazyna’s windows in her gorgeous boutique To Be A Woman in Munich always gives me the opportunity to experiment with colour. Since she always has so much, it is like being in a candy store!

I like to be as spontaneous as possible when window dressing, and try not think too much about the end result but rather ‘go with the flow’ Sometimes ideas can take a little time to come to fruition and other occasions they are quick!

Over the next few weeks, I will be bringing you some of my favourite contrasting colours including some more unusual colour ‘flavours’ so watch this space for more!

If you want to know which shade of pink would suit you, then get in touch and book a colour analysis with me today!

Out Of The Blue!

It is usually my job to pick out clothing for others’ on personal shopping trips around Munich. It’s nice for a change when the tables are turned. This usually happens when I go shopping with my Mum. We were walking around the beautiful seaside town of Sidmouth in Devon, England when we decided to take a look inside M&Co.

M&Co (formely Mackays) was established in Scotland fifty years ago and has grown to become one of the largest privately owned fashion clothing retailers in the UK and has over 300 stores including franchises in Dubai, Bulgaria and Malta.

When you walk into the store, it is easy to understand the success of this family fashion empire.The layout is generous and you can actually move clothing to look at it, rather than it being jammed in so tight, you feel like a wrestler (trying not to wrestle) Lighting is ambient but you can still see the colours for what they really are. The music is neither too loud or  piped elevator music (as my Dad liked to call it) and the staff are great. BUT the best thing about M&Co is their pricing. It’s brilliantly budget or (in a French accent) budget!

M&Co3

Take this dress. It already has (as they say in the business) hanger appeal, which makes it easier to imagine how it might look on and a quick turnaround for the retailer. Scouting around shops before personal shopping trips, It was clear to see how the store mixed good basics with embellished pieces perfectly.The website is really good for this too.

Mum took one look at the dress and said ‘It’s Christian Dior’s New Look dress of the 1950’s. It’s charming Rache’ With that, I had to try it on!

The dress feels light on and does have a designer feel about it. I thought It might feel a bit too girly with all the lace, but it doesn’t due to the midnight blue and the elegant cut. There is just enough netting underneath the dress to push it out without making me feel like a music box dancer. The hint of lilac lining beneath the bodice gives it something extra and even the grosgrain belt (which I normally discard) adds to the look. The price of the dress was 59 (GBP) but was reduced further to 40. Of course, I had to get it!

Fashion doesn’t need to be expensive to be beautiful!

 

Take a look at M&Co here.

From Italy With Love

It may seem counterintuitive to go into a knitwear shop when it is close to 30 degrees outside, but it is exactly what I did when I saw the shop window of La Luna Nuova in the beautiful town of Montalcino in Italy on a recent break with my husband.

Since I was in holiday mode and switched-off, I didn’t think to take a photo of weaver, Chiara Franceschetti working at her beautiful wooden loom in the shop. She does not seem to have a website and the only link I found on her work was on facebook (see above)

knitwear

Initially, I only intended to look around and was more than happy to take in all the colours and styles on offer. After some thought (and a little encouragement from my husband!) I found myself being dressed and pinned into various butter soft knitwear. After some deliberating, I decided on this vibrant pink wrap top.

Chiara informed us that she uses mainly alpaca and cashmere or a mix of both. The colours were gorgeous and the shop was bursting with pistachio, red, cornflower blue, yellows, black and purple. From wraps, coats, shawls and capes.

What made the visit to this shop truly unique, was to see stunning artisan craftsmanship at work, with the products being made right in front of you. Something rare and special in these days of mass production.

If you are visiting Montalcino, pop into La Luna Nuova to see an artist at work:

La Luna Nuova. Chiara Franceschetti, Viale Mazzini 31, 53024 Montalcino (Siena) Italy.

French Fancy

The month of May in Munich didn’t get me dancing around in dresses yet, and we are already into June- What is going on people!

It’s been pretty cold and windy here, so I have kept things colourful but warm and have been spotted wearing a coat I bought in the lovely market town of Tavistock, Devon in England. Daretobdifferent is a friendly family run boutique buzzing with atomsphere (and customers) and stocked with some known, and not so known labels.(check out their website for updates) Eva Tralala (yes, really) is a French label specializing in quirky but very wearable pieces.

evatralala

In Munich this coat seems to have the power to stop ladies in the street. They ask me where I got it from and if they can touch it!  As I am talking, I realize I am fiddling with the wool bobbles inside the pockets. It came with two huge safety pins, so I can wrap the coat as I see fit.

It is very often the smaller towns that hold the greatest gems. Next time you are shopping, think of going off the main street and away from the mass produced fashion, and start exploring independent shops. At the same time you are supporting local and often family run business. A big plus in my book!

One For The Men!

Men, you don’t have to go around wearing the same old safe, blue, and black. Ok, so you probably can’t go to work wearing red jeans unless you have an open minded boss, work from home or (more likely) an advertising company. Then of course you will need them for your creative play zones. On weekends however, you can wear whatever takes your fancy!

PAmens2Let your personality shine using colour and accessories. If you are not confident with colour, then start from the bottom up. I love these desert boots with blue rims between the soles. Or throw a colourful scarf against a dark jacket. The devil as they say, is in the detail!

Hats are another way to show some style and will give an illusion of height. Kaufhof department store in Munich has a fantastic selection of mens hats and accessories.

Start experimenting or book me for a personal shopping workout to show you how!