I am feeling very lucky as I find myself struggling to pack for my two weeks of winter sun in Egypt. I have been cast as Leah, a woman on honeymoon, in the first of five short films shot by Realm Pictures as part of their Underwater Realm project. Eek how exciting this all is but …Eek…what to pack, what to pack! I am already WELL aware that I will be the only member of the cast and crew giving this so much thought. However, I want to feel comfortable, look good and fit in around Egypt so I feel it deserves some of my attention.
First off, what to wear to the airport and on the plane. This is particularly tricky in winter as I don’t want to freeze this side or boil on the other. So I opt for a casual blue dress, teaming it with a thin cardigan and throwing my leather jacket over the top, both of which can be removed once I’ve arrived. I also threw on some tights which can be removed and wore flats that worked for both bare leg and tights! Problemo solved.
Secondly, I hate strap marks from the sun at the best of times, but being filmed meant it was all the more important I didn’t get any. I got myself onto ASOS and thanks to it now being winter here, picked up some very nice bargains on strapless bikinis in their winter sale…Oh hell yeah!
Next I wanted to make sure I had clothes that covered my legs and chest should we go anywhere that this would offend. Again, the winter sales came through for me and I got myself three lovely maxi dresses from French Connection, ASOS and Vero Moda that worked like a charm and looked stylish. I also threw in some wide-leg floral trousers I got in River Island as they are cool to walk around in and look feminine and stylish too.
As a way to accessorize, I packed a few pretty headscarves as they look good and for practicality…they keep my hair off my face!
Check out what I got up to over there in the blog dedicated to our week of filming!
I’ve never been much of a makeup junkie. I love creams and lotions that make my skin feel and look great but I have always felt makeup has threatened that skin-feel-good-feeling. I also never learnt how to apply it properly. What foundation suits my skin tone? How do I and why would I use a lip liner? How do I get the eyeliner to go on straight?! As you can probably tell, I am a little hopeless. As I’ve aged though, I’ve experimented with a few things and makeup artists at shoots have kindly offered advice and answered my questions.
However, I can’t help but feel the natural look works best. I’m not saying not to wear makeup, just that less is often more. To achieve it is easy and the low maintenance of the look makes it desirable to anyone with a busy life!
First off, find a good foundation that you love and stick to it. Go around all the makeup stands in Boots or Selfridges talking to sales teams, trying the makeup and seeing what feels best to you. My only sweeping foundation statement is: it needs to be light-weight. Anything that sits too heavily on the skin will not only look like a mask of makeup but it will clog up your pours and stop your skin from breathing. Foundation needs to be yellowy in tone to help conceal imperfections and even out your skin tone. You’ll know you’ve found the right one when it seems to just disappear into your skin upon application.
Secondly, apply eye makeup that is earthy in tone. Browns, beige, gold or plum for shadows and brown or charcoal gray for liner. I also prefer a brown mascara because it makes your lashes look your own, not false. Of course, you could always skip right to applying mascara if you want to keep the makeup really light. However, I think at least a bit of liner helps your eyes to pop.
Thirdly, put a small amount of blush on the highest part of your cheekbone. To choose a blush colour that is natural, find one that is the colour of your skin after you exercise!
It is up to you if you want to bother with lipstick or gloss but to achieve the look below, I just applied a nude lip with a bit of Vaseline over the top.
Simples! All in all it should take no more than 5 minutes of your time and you’ll look fresh, alert and natural.
When I get ready each day, I have a few little rituals I rarely don’t do. There is the daily all body moisturise, cleanser,toner and facial moisturise, the GHD styling of my hair, application of eyeliner and mascara and…oh of course, the putting on of clothes!
It is impossible to leave the house without doing all of these things and they are now second nature to me, I have become so speedy at all of them, I’m usually ready before the men in the house. However, one thing I am also religious about is wearing matching underwear. I used to think I did this for the effect it had on my boyfriend, but when we broke up, I remained in this routine. I tried not to, but felt less attractive somehow, less comfortable.
I also can’t stand when people can see my underwear through my clothes. In few circumstances, this is fashionable and acceptable but more often than not, it just looks a little…cheap. I have spoken to lots of women about this and they all tend to agree that having a bra-strap on show or patterned bras showing through thin t-shirts is something they feel embarrassed and frustrated by. Sigh…
So how do we solve it? Well here is a list of Do’s and Don’t that should help!
1. Find out your correct size. There is nothing more uncomfortable or more unflattering than an ill-fitting bra. Any decent underwear shop provide this service free of charge and it takes less than 1 minute so there are no excuses!
2. Get a range of styles. This allows you to have a bra for all of your outfits and means you can make the most of your assets. For instance: the balconette bra looks great wearing a low cut sundress but shows up under t-shirts and looks less flattering than a full-cup bra.
3. Get a range of colours. If you are wearing Black and have a white bra on underneath, the chances are the whole room knows. Black under red rarely works and white under white never works…make sure you purchase a nude set too! I could go on but I think you get the point, you need to cover all your bases!
4. As sexy as they are NOT – T-shirt bras are handy as hell. Get a black, a white and a nude and knickers for each. These are great on those days you feel you need comfort over style. They also never show up under blouses/t-shirts/tanks etc.
5. Found a set of underwear you love? Buy more than 1 of the bottom. When I shop, I try to purchase at least 2 of the bottom, often they vary them and offer a thong, or a pant, or a french knicker. It means the set lasts longer and the bra can be worn more than once each week! You own less underwear this way but it allows you to always match.
6. Get a great strapless. It is a lot more attractive under tank-tops and strappy-tops and means the eye is directed to the right place…not to your bra straps.
7. Feel Sexy!
1. Spend lots of money on underwear you don’t know will fit. Make sure you always try Bras on in store.
2. Have straps on show when you don’t need to. It is never the way forward. Got a low cut back on a dress or top…there are brilliant solutions to this problem out there! Don’t settle.
3. Wash bras too often in the machine or in really hot water. Often just a rinse in the sink will do it. They last so much longer this way!
4. Let a man tell you what’s sexy. You decide and you stick to it. Wearing the right underwear makes a real difference to how your clothes sit on you and how you feel about yourself. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean its not the most important part of your outfit…
…A Pashmina of course! I honestly can’t put enough weight behind the power that the Pashmina holds. For a start, its stylish, but pushing that aside, it’s many practical uses make it a wardrobe essential in my eyes. Here’s a few things I use mine for…
1. Well first off…it is a scarf so…I use it for that.
2. It makes a plain outfit that bit more interesting. Jeans and a blazer isn’t exactly super exciting but throw on a bright Pashmina and we have something a little extra.
3. They add a touch of sophistication to any cocktail dress. It is a cheap yet effective tactic.
4. In turn, they help to take the edge off of the chill on a night out.
5. They work wonderfully as a blanket when on a cold plane – and lets face it, planes are always freezing!
6. Heading to the beach? Throw one around you!
7. I like to use mine as a blanket too on those days when I have an impromptu picnic!
If they aren’t seven reasons to make sure you go out a buy one I don’t know what are!
So another year has rolled around and I find myself in a situation I’d not planned for. I work in an office in Mayfair for a start (not exactly the actors dream!), I’ve also recently had my heart broken and I live in a fairly dodgy part of London. All of these factors and a few more minor ones were really getting me down. I wanted to start feeling good about myself again. I wanted to at least take control of one part of my life. So, being a totally girlie girl and never needing too much of a push to go shopping, I thought I’d take my control of my appearance. I didn’t want to “reinvent” my style, but I did want to feel like I was starting over. New Year, New Chapter…New Wardrobe! I started going over the things I loved about my “look” and I also looked at the stuff I always left hanging in my wardrobe and never wore.
I started to see that I had different “types” of clothing i.e. The Festival Look, The Rocker Look, The Garden Party Look and as much as I liked these clothes, I wondered what my wardrobe really said about who I am? I came to the conclusion it said…”I have no idea!”
So I started where, in my opinion, we all should… Looking at myself naked in a full length mirror. I went over in my mind what I liked about my body, what I couldn’t stand about it, what I should accentuate and what I should really cover up. I found this actually really uplifting because all I’d usually focus on was, what wasn’t right when I looked in the mirror. I know it is pretty typical to just focus on the negatives and all to easy to do too. However, finding those things that I do quite like allowed me to feel good about my body. THIS massive and very vital piece of the puzzle meant I had confidence to go shopping knowing what I wanted to show off, knowing what I wanted to hide and having a far higher hit rate in the changing room!
Next was to look at the clothes I always reached for, my feel good clothing. Why did they make me feel good? What colours do I favour? What cut do I typically chose? I also thought about women I admire and how they dress, what do I like about their clothing? How do they put together an outfit? Would that suit me?
If one good thing has come from working in an office, its the money that I get for it! My disposable income isn’t massive but if I pinch pennies in other places, I could afford to get myself some new clothing that says so much more about me. So, I hit the shops of London in search of my ideal outfits. I wasn’t totally clueless as to what I was after but I was trying my best to be open to new trends and clothing I wouldn’t typically put myself in. I really recommend this. It really forces you to focus in on what you like to wear and what you don’t, you see yourself in things you’d usually avoid but actually end up suiting and you have a lot of fun in the process!
I also recommend shopping alone, it gives you more freedom to search the aisles and the opinion you have of the clothing is yours alone. I was always talked into buying things I wasn’t sure of and sure enough, never wore! It is OK to ask someone what they think, but remember, people don’t want to hurt your feelings and will be careful, which isn’t always helpful.
Also, follow your heart. If you like something on yourself that’s a little more “out there” and “daring”…do it. And do it with confidence. What is most important is how you feel in the clothes you are wearing.
I’m pretty thrilled about my purchases and I really feel I’m starting to express who I am through my clothes…but more about that throughout my next blog updates…
Let me know how you got on!