Category Archives: Colour Analysis

Did you know that the fashion industry is one of the largest polluters on the planet, second only to the oil industry? That sounds bizarre but when you think about the water pollution, water consumption, waste accumulation, microfibres, chemicals, carbon emissions, soil degradation and rainforest destruction involved in producing textiles – the fashion world has a lot to answer for.

And as consumers we can be just as much to blame. The ‘fast fashion’ habit – where you might buy a cheap top for a night out only to have it fall apart after a couple of washes so you throw it away – only exacerbates the problem.

What is “Sustainable Fashion”?

“Sustainable fashion” is a bit of a catch-all phrase for the growing movement within the industry towards a more environmentally conscious approach to design and production.

The industry is doing its bit to clean up their act by developing processes that are kinder to the environment and to the people involved in production. And you canfind designerswho focus on sustainability and fair trade, but you do need to hunt for them. I think it will be a while yet before sustainable fashion goes mainstream.

how can you be sustainable with your clothes

So what can we as consumers do in the meantime?

summer holiday suitcase
How many times has this happened to you? You come back from a wonderful holiday in the sun with a great tan, your phone full of photos and videos, totally chilled – and a suitcase full of clothes only half of which have been worn? Okay so the laundry load may be lighter, but how frustrating is it to realise that there was no need to pack it all in the first place? Think of all the space you could have saved for souvenirs!

In the past I’ve fallen into this trap just as often as the next sun-seeker, and these days I have the double challenge of packing for my young son too. I often find my suitcase filling up with hisbooks, toys, inflatable crocodile and snorkelling gear. Add enough sun screen to sink a battle ship and you can begin to understand why I’ve now been forced to hone my holiday packing skills into a fine art.

It seems that we’re required to travel light these days. Airlines have put increasing restrictions on checked-in baggage weights and the volume of liquids you can carry with you are severely limited, so we can’t sneak things like cosmetics or toiletries into our hand luggage. They don’t make it easy for us girls, do they?

Over the years I’ve learned the hard way how to pack smart so now I’m sharing my top tips with you. My experience as a personal stylist has taught me how a simple holiday capsule wardrobe and just the right accessories can see me from beach to bar and beyond without breaking into a sweat.

Tip #1:Put everything you want to take out on your bed. Then put half of it back. That sounds a bit drastic but it forces you to focus. Be ruthless – you always wear less than you think you will!

redlipstick, cmbmakeup
And if that woman happens to be wearing red lipstick, then she is saying “I’m a woman in control”!

As a styling and makeup consultant I regularly get asked for tips on wearing red lipstick. Usually this is because while most ladies would love to be able to wear red lipstick when they feel like it, they don’t know how to go about finding the right one.

So why wear red lipstick?

The colour red has so many meanings – danger, stop, energy, strength, power, passion, desire, love – and all those meanings practically scream the same message:-

Look at this! Pay attention! Don’t look away!

Red lips are a definitive and perennial staple of women’s beauty regimes for a very good reason. It’s the look that symbolises “classic” beauty. Think of all those iconic women whose signature look is red lipstick – everyone from Marilyn Monroe and Jean Harlow to the current stars of stage and screen like Taylor Swift and Scarlett Johansson. There isn’t one that doesn’t reach for a slick of red lipstick when they want to make a statement. It’s just one of the ways they portray their undeniable feminine power and self-possession.

When I see a woman wearing red lipstick I immediately think “this woman is confident and in total control”. Red lipstick is a source of strength. When you put it on you immediately feel more poised, more self-assured and empowered. It draws attention to your mouth and – subsequently – the words that come out of it. Red lipstick is all about asserting yourself. I often reach for a slick of red lips on days when I need a boost, it’s my own personal mood changer.

Why are some people scared of wearing red lipstick?

One of the best things about being a personal image consultant – apart from meeting my lovely clients of course – is that a couple of times a year I get to preview the upcoming fashion trends. I go to catwalk shows with my Colour Me Beautiful colleagues, try out the latest wardrobe styles, accessories and make-up, get up close and personal with gorgeous new merchandise and compare notes with other expert personal stylists.  I love my job!

But while I’d love to tell you that I’m hanging out with models, deisgners or even shopping all day, what I’m actually doing is studying the trends. The core part of my job is to pick out the key looks and translate them into what works for ordinary people, like you and me, taking into consideration our colouring, shape, style personality and lifestyle.

So let’s start with the colours for the AW ‘17 season

There’s lots of talk of the “big” colours for this year, with red being at the top of every designer’s list. Actually, it’s not just at the top of the list: it’s standing in four-inch stiletto heels, pinning the rest of the list down, adding another coat of lippy and shouting “Look at meeeee!”

Red is a great colour, anyone can wear it, and personally I love a bit of red to brighten up an outfit, even if it’s just some red lipstick. It can lift me up, boost my confidence and send me out into the world with a big, self-assured smile.

But I realise red isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Some women just don’t feel right in red and if this is you then there’s no need to feel left out or let down. Because standing next to Red, holding her jacket and egging her on is…… (drum roll) …. Navy!