Celebrating 50!

If you are on Facebook, and depending on your interests, the chances that you belong to a group or two, is fairly likely.

Earlier this year, I joined the group UK Makeup Addicts. I wouldn’t exactly call myself a makeup addict, but prefer to keep an interest in, and an eye out on what people are doing with their new purchases in an industry now worth 4 billion a year in the UK.

UK makeup addicts have over 50,000 members and it is fair to say, the majority of the group are in their early twenties to thirties. Every now and again, someone the other side of forty will pop up, and it is these occasions that keep me going.

As a teenager, living in the rural countryside of South West England, the only makeup I could get my 1980’s hands on, was a range in the local Spar called Cover Girl, endorsed by US model Cheryl Tiegs. I loved the packaging with her expensive hair, perfect teeth and firm skin and in my naivety, I believed that if I bought the highly-perfumed compact powder and mascara, that I would (totes) look like her- Needless to say, It didn’t happen.

Makeup brands that were big in my time were Miners, Rimmel, Max Factor, Maybelline, Almay and Avon and like most teenagers, I experimented with makeup.

Photo Trude Bosence

I would constantly pick the wrong colour of foundation or powder. Starting off with deep orange, (with accompanying tide-marks) progressing to pale beige and eventually ending up with my perfect match. mortuary white. (not its specific name, but looking at old photos, I can only describe it as goth horror)

Meanwhile, my sister was being lavish with her pink miners cream blush and doing a fine impression of Ziggy Stardust. This along with her self-made mullet (she was at art school, so it was fine) was just about the icing on the cake.

I had no clue about skincare or the first thing about how to apply makeup. The only brushes I had at the time, came with the compacts and they disintegrated after a few uses.

The choice of products were minimal compared with today. On-line shopping, YouTube tutorials and celebrity make-up artists didn’t exist and high definition foundation was another 25 years off.

One afternoon while I was perusing through the makeup group, I saw a woman around my age pop up. Enter Trude Bosence. A vivacious 53 year old makeup artist, hair stylist, stylist and photographer from North Devon. Trude asked everyone what they thought of her photo and fingers on buzzers, I was straight in there with ‘you look great’ (which she did) and with a relief I can’t express, at seeing someone my age posting a photo of herself.

 

Trude Bosence

Within a short space of time Trude and I hit it off, and spontaneously agreed to do a photoshoot a week later.

As a former model, I know the pressures on the makeup artist, stylist and photographer and although photo shoots can be fun, they can also come with a few time constraints. There is no time left to get creative.

Doing a shoot with Trude would have none of these restrictions. For either of us. There was no agenda, goal, deadline, or pre-conceived ideas. This along with her super friendly and relaxed attitude would make it a load of fun!

Trude’s pink flamingo studio was ultimate. The main part of her studio was taken up with a selection of props, backdrops, and lighting equipment, while a well designed end section was her dedicated makeup bar. This says nothing for her incredibly well stocked rail of clothes (many are vintage) along with a good selection of shoes, wigs and accessories. A one-stop shop for a complete head-to-toe makeover!

Trude in her pink flamingo dressing room

As well as meeting and making a new friend in Trude, I watched us working together and it got me thinking about what 50 means to me.

Reaching 50 is definitely one of those milestones everyone talks about, but it is also far more than the sum of its parts.

Reaching 50 is about taking opportunities when they come, and not turning down invites. It is about being spontaneous and trusting in yourself and your instincts.

It is about not taking yourself, or anything too seriously, and laughing out loud as much as possible!

It is about only surrounding yourself with kind, positive and authentic people.

It is about saying yes when you mean yes, and no when your heart tells you no- No questions asked!

Reaching 50 is about owning and loving every part of who you are, and who you have become and about being unequivocably comfortable in your own skin.

Reaching 50 means you don’t need permission from anyone for the way you dress, look, walk or talk. You got this far didn’t you? so keep going!

Every now and again Trude and I would laugh loud and raucously in the shoot-

We’ll show them how its done”

Trude, I think we did it!

 

If you have lost your confidence, fizz, style and self, somewhere in the maze of life, then get in touch for a free consultation and discover how a colour analysis, wardrobe plan or personal shopping trip will help to boost your confidence and give you a fresh start. You will wish you had done it sooner!

Contact Trude Bosence for information on her photoshoots via her Facebook page.

Photo Trude Bosence

Photo Trude Bosence

Photo Trude Bosence

Photo Trude Bosence

 

Rachel and Trude- It’s a wrap!

On-Line Styling Session

Like a chef, I can’t imagine doing my work without a few key ingredients to hand.

For example, a successful colour analysis can’t be achieved without having a set of specially dyed fabrics. These tools, along with a keen eye and sense for the qualities in a person’s skin, eye and hair colour provide results that not only update an image, but can boost self confidence and esteem in both private life and in the work place.

Kris Atomic

To carry out a colour analysis or indeed any other image session, it is impossible to work without the key ingredient of them all. People.

Or is it?

Personally, the thought of working remotely even with today’s fast moving technology seems counter productive to what I do.

I love the privilege of working closely with people to create a result that very often, they say they wish they’d done years ago!

When it comes down to personal image, nothing is more personal, than actually talking about it.

With every new style session, an initial consultation is carried out to create a personally tailored map. Questions range from favourite colours and style challenges to discussing body shape. The information gathered is key to a successful outcome but should be handled with sensitivity and care.

Flaunter

Without exception, these questions can trigger various emotions and responses whether conciously, or not. Reactions can include anything from subtle eye movement to physical shifts in body language and changes in skin colour.

Without seeing someone in the flesh, It would be easy to miss out vital clues on how they are feeling as they are taken through the various stages of a personal image makeover to its final conclusion.

The thought then of conducting a style session over the phone and via Skype was the last thing on my mind, when I got an email to ask for just that.

Here I take up the challenge to see how it works!

Personal Profile

  • *Freya is a primary school teacher in her mid-thirties and is returning to teaching after looking after two young children. She needs an updated wardrobe to go with her new post.
  • Freya suffers from a condition known as hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) and colours up easily around the neckline and facial area, so it was vital that her clothing is comfortable and not restrictive. This meant as much natural fibre as possible as well as carefully selected styles that were away away from problem areas like the neckline and underarm area.

Choosing the right styles would not only help Freya to look cool, but help her feel cool and also disguise the process happening in the first place.

  • Freya needed more choice in tops and blouses. Experience in on-line shopping meant she spent more time returning clothes than keeping them.
  • She needed clothing that was easy to move around in whilst working with groups of active young children.
  • She wanted her style to be casual, without trying too hard and a look that reflected her age.

With each phone session I created a list of the items she was looking for to fit around her budget, size, fabric and colour etc. This would include an image of the clothing, the brand, size and the best online site selling the item. All she had to do was order them and try them on!

I also created a fashion/mood board to give Freya a visual picture of what her new wardrobe would look like and sent her a colour booklet so she could go shopping and match up her best colours.

Pete Bellis

Summary

Conducting the style sessions over the phone, allowed me to concentrate on every detail of Freya’s goals without distraction. As well as listening, I was able to do considerable note taking. Great for in filling in any gaps. (this could be perceived as rude with someone in front of me)

Dealing with personal issues was easier than I thought, and Freya felt comfortable and confident enough to tell me everything that was necessary to establish a clear working trust between us. Again, I think the phone session helped, and acted as a ‘safety barrier’

I enjoyed the on-line session and I can say it works and offers a good substitute especially if you live too far from the city, decent shops or you don’t have time to shop. However, it won’t ever replace being present and working through often personal stages of an image consultation (which can be a lot of fun working together!) this to me results in a more valuable and without doubt, a far more personal service.

Testimonial from Freya

I initially approached Rachel on recommendations from two friends who had been extremely happy with the services she had provided. Our initial consultation was via telephone and I felt immediately at ease talking to Rachel as she is so warm, friendly and has a genuine desire to help. After each conversation we had, Rachel provided a detailed summary of what we had discussed and she included links to recommended sites/products which she felt fitted my needs.Overall Rachel and I had several conversations either via telephone or Skype and she addressed each and every concern of mine with multiple suggestions and detailed responses.

The end result is that I have a colour palette which is tailored to me and I have a new confidence in myself and the way I look leaving me feeling ready to start work again!

*Not her real name

Shopping In London!

London is undoubtedly one of the best shopping capitals in the world. But with such a huge and varied choice on offer, it can be a jungle. So where do you begin?

At best, shopping can be overwhelming and even intimidating.How do you shop for things that echo your personal style, and leave you feeling confident and energised, not frustrated and exhausted?

buslondon

Coming Soon….!

I am creating a series of guided shopping trips for small groups of like minded people around London and will be your style coach, tour guide and personal shopper rolled into one!   rachel@rachel-moss.com or more information:


Pigs And Flamingos

Have you ever had one of those nightmares where you find yourself naked at a dinner party? Or wearing a clown outfit at a funeral? Self-consciousness, insecurity and embarrassment are such strong psychological forces that they regularly haunt our dreams.

But you can turn them around. Here’s my story.

Early on last year, I was booked to walk in a fashion show for a department store outside Munich. It was my first job for a new agency and also my first catwalk show in years.

As far as my runway CV went, mine was fairly thin. My experience – and comfort zone – lay more in fashion showrooms for wholesale fashion buyers, photographic work and modelling for TV shopping channels. Rather chillaxed, really, compared to hot footing it down the catwalk trying to keep cool and collected when really you’re sweating like a builder!

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My catwalk debut was moons ago, circa 1985. The Top Shop store show in Plymouth was a culmination of a six week modeling and deportment course, oh yes. I walked out heavily buttoned and shoulder padded to a thumping version of ‘Mack the knife’, my hair was sprayed to high heaven and I was shaking from head to toe with nerves.

Then came wedding shows in freezing marquees amongst prize winning cows and bulls, Laura Ashley events in (far too many) brushed cotton floral dresses, and a couple of Liz Claiborne shows that had more twists and turns than the aforementioned clown with his pants on fire.

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So, on that fatal winter’s day last year, I pulled on my grey wool dress, extreme thermal tights and five inch red sheepskin wedges to meet a couple of models I was going to be working with, at the local train station.

I spotted the girls immediately (and not only because they were the only ones up at 6am on a Saturday morning). They were tall. Really tall. Standing in their ballet flats, they came to the same height as me in my super wedges.

Something felt immediately wrong, but I let it pass in my early morning stupor. On arrival at the store, I met the remaining models (including two friendly and exuberant males). They greeted each other in high fives and air kisses, and politely said hello to me. It was clear that they had previously worked together and were furiously catching up.

Brilliant, all of them were the same towering height. Almost a head taller than me, way over six foot (1.90 metres). And insult to injury, the girls were one or two dress sizes smaller than me. Taller and smaller! Just my day.

I felt I had been set up (like Channel 4’s ‘Faking It’ series) where they take a wrestler and train them up to be a ballet dancer to compete in a final showdown. Judges get to decide who the fake is. Sometimes they guess, but often they don’t. But there’s no faking height and size in a live show. All I had was my ability to walk, smile and show the clothing to the best effect.

Looking up at the high domed ceiling of the department store, I willed anyone to hoist me up and out of the building. To that effect, I even rung my husband but he was busy. So I was stuck with five fashion shows and model colleagues twenty years younger.
One of the girls I travelled with, became my partner. We practiced to be in sync with one another (as much as I could with her longer stride) and created a series of routines, turns and walks that we could remember.

It was then that the woman in charge caught my eye, and saw the discrepancy of choice in her new model. I felt like a pink pig trying to learn synchronized swimming in a sea of long limbed flamingos.

 

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Rather than pretend NOT to see what was happening, I walked straight up to the boss.
‘Well, its obvious isn’t it?’ she said, crossly pointing at me up and down with her finger. ‘You are clearly not the height you said you were. You’re going to knock my whole show out. Everyone looks the same, EXCEPT YOU’, she bitched.

I went on to explain that, perhaps, there must have been some kind of mix up in the measurement conversions, even though she had already seen me in person. Smiling hard, I promised her that she wouldn’t be disappointed, which she already was, obviously.

We got ready in our first outfits, but to make things more challenging, we didn’t walk out onto a level catwalk, common in most shows but immediately down two steep flights of stairs onto the department floor. My calf muscles were like steel by the time we finished!

I kept in time with the music, twirling to our memorized routine. I also kept telling myself: keep smiling, keep walking, don’t look down and please, please don’t fall on your pink pig arse! Fortunately, I completed the shows without a hitch.

In the last show, I was calm enough to take a look at the largely female audience. How on earth would these women in the audience wear the clothes and styles on models with a dress size eight and the height of Olympic athletes?

It was an abruptly absurd and exhilaratingly comical vision. The models were definitely Haute Couture, the clientele, of course, were just your average women, somewhere between a height of 5 feet 4 (1.65 metres) and a dress size 14 (42). Don’t get me wrong, that’s exactly as it should be!

My main job as a style coach is to help create and refresh a personal image of an individual person, who, in all likelihood, is not a supermodel. To do this with lasting results, things must be done in an authentic way. A successful image transformation not only has to fit to the personality, character (and comfort zone) of the person but should highlight the best of their body shape and unique features regardless of age, shape or size.

image008I couldn’t see how a catwalk show like this could carry this important message across. It looked manipulative to say the least.

I thought of the customers trying on the clothes after the shows, and wondered if they thought they could look like the models once they bought the clothes. I also wondered, how many were disappointed with their reflection and walked away empty handed and dejected.

As I made my way back to Munich I thought of my sometimes conflicting jobs as style coach and model. One creates and improves an image of reality, of what we do look like. The other participates in creating an illusion of what people think they should look like.

By now, I know which aspect I prefer. I hope you do too.

If you would like to know how a style session can help you, please get in touch!

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!

Make Me Up Mr Ford!

I have wanted a Tom Ford makeover for a while now. I was after a glamorous ’50’s postcard look based on a lipstick I already had my eye on. I asked Nafsika, my lovely Italian consultant to do a makeup befitting the said lipstick, Wild Ginger. The colour is reminiscent of 1950’s Hawaii and I wanted to wear it, even if I couldn’t be there!

Tomfordcollage

Lipsticks have an instant transforming effect to the face. If you don’t want to go heavy on the eyes, then go for a punchy lipstick with a striking colour. You can look instantly made up with a lipstick. After the eyes, the lips are the second most expressive part of the face and people will concentrate on one or the other when talking, so make them count!

Nafsika applied everything to my face with brushes including facecream, highlighter and foundation. You can of course use sponges and fingers to apply these products. She probably couldn’t opt out from using the exquisite brushes made of horse hair, since the cost of a complete set could fly you to Hawaii and back and still give you change for dinoir!

There is no obligation to buy, but of course, you will be seduced by any number of the products used or on display. Since I already wanted to purchase the lipstick, there was no contest. So there!

Verdict: The makeup photographs well and that is what the brand is all about. Strong. confident. sexy. glamorous. It is not however a makeup where you could pick a pint of milk up without getting a few looks, but I loved how it made me feel.

Walking home, I am sure I could hear the sound of palm trees rustling in the breeze…

Products used: Foundation- Traceless foundation stick ’03 Fawn’ -Illuminating highlighter pen in ‘Dusk Bisque’ -Powder ‘Ivory Fawn’ -Eye shadow from an eye quad ‘Golden Mink‘ and ‘Cocoa Mirage‘ Eye -Defining pencil ‘06 Midnight‘ -Mascara Extreme Mascara -Bronzing powder, ‘Gold Dust‘ -Blush ‘Ravish‘ and Lipstick ‘Wild Ginger‘