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after makeover image

Visually Impress

Are you a presenter? Speaker? Speechmaker?

You’re got the content? Check. Rehearsed the delivery? Check. But is your visual presentation supporting you? Whether you’re delivering a speech at a wedding or a keynote address at a company conference, we have a few tips on presenting yourself to ensure you don’t distract your audience with ‘visual noise’.

Let your presentation shine… NOT your nose, forehead or the parts where hair once grew.  It’s hard to look confident and credible when you’re glowing like a beacon. A light dusting with translucent powder works wonders.

The Ghost that speaks… are your features disappearing? Remember, what has impact in the mirror, maybe bland at a distance or under certain lighting.  Eyebrows which enhance facial expression, often need greater definition; your face may require shading to look 3D. Lipsticks on women need to be darker or brighter, and eye makeup more pronounced, especially if you’re wearing glasses. Both genders: wear non-reflective lenses.

I’m planning a ‘sickie’… does what you’re wearing near your face suit your skin tone? Unflattering shades will give your skin a greenish or greyish tinge.  Learn what suits you by getting professional colour advice.

Where are you? Is your outfit merging with the stage background or wall colour? Know in advance the colour of the background, and make sure you can be seen! Conversely, do not let your clothing speak louder than you! Once it’s on, you can’t just turn the volume down on a garment that’s upstaging you. First Impressions Image offers specific advice and training to speakers, presenters and entertainers on all aspects of their visual presentation.

Firstly, decide on a realistic budget for your most visible professional overhead – your business wardrobe. Buy basics like suits, jackets, pants (women: + skirts) that are very good quality – so that they last and look good wear after wear –  thus making it possible to build a wardrobe that works.

There is nothing worse than ill-fitting clothing. If the shoulder / hip / neck areas fit well – then with minimal alteration the wearer can get the fit perfect by using a recommended tailor / alteration centre for hems, sleeves and side seams.

Add inexpensive fashion items like business tops &/or shirts in new season colours, as well as fun yet appropriate jewellery pieces (Men: incl. cuff-links) to create interest and allow for self expression.

Always ensure that hair, shoes, jewellery items and shirts or tops are impeccably maintained and up-to-date.  These support otherwise ‘aging’ business basics that are scheduled to be ‘retired’ soon.

Get assistance if unsure about what works for you – engage the services of a respected image consultant.  They are worth their weight in gold.
If you’re wondering if it is worth the cost – try this… Add up the cost of all the clothes in your wardrobe you don’t wear (for whatever reason). NOW do you think it worth it?
Just a thought….!

french style

The Art Of French Dressing

No – this is not an article on how to make French dressing for salads.  Perhaps the title of this article should be “The Art Of Dressing – French-style”.  But all that aside, I whole-heartedly agree with the ten tips that were offered for dressing ‘French-style’.  They’re listed below and as Chantal Blanchet, owner of Chantal B fashion store in Sydney says ..  “Consider yourself a work of art. The secret to exuding the charm and confidence of the French women is attitude; the clothes are just there to help.”

Top Ten Tips for Dressing French-Style

1. Dress well every day and buy one or two key items of the best quality you can afford each season. Go for classics such as a tailored jacket, a Breton boat-neck navy-and-white striped T-shirt, a classic shift, shirt dress or linen trousers.
2. Mix affordable fashion trends with investment pieces – a casual T-shirt with a classic trench is effortlessly French.
3. Invest in a few signature pieces of jewellery, such as a string of pearls or earrings, an oversized bangle or a cuff, to give your outfit a French edge.
4. Buy quality shoes; French women never wear cheap shoes. Every French wardrobe requires classic ballet flats.
5. Wear a beautiful (silk) scarf all year to make like a Parisian. Or tie one on your handbag.
6. Adopt a sense of dress-ups. French women are not afraid to be daring with clashing colours, accessories and vintage pieces (a la Vanessa Paradis pictured).
7. Embrace your age: French women see growing older as a privilege that means you can dress as you like.
8. Wear beautiful, comfortable underwear, always. French, naturally.
9. Organise your wardrobe efficiently and take photographs of different outfits that can be mixed and matched.
10. Good grooming is essential. Style your hair (try a Tautou up-do), always wear lipstick and take Coco Chanel’s lead and never leave the house without fragrance.
Well stated Chantal..bravo!

(Article from smh by Natasha Silva-Jelly)

applying lipstick

How to apply lipstick to make it last

Second only to your eyes, your mouth is the central focus for communication.  Lipstick is all about directing attention to the face, and in business  – that’s where it should be.

Make-up in the business world has only two purposes:  to make you look healthier and more vibrant, and to accentuate your best features.  It is not about glamour or seduction.  It should be remembered that the context is business – after hours is your affair.

When make-up is well applied, it enhances a woman’s professional image considerably.  It says:  polished, well groomed,  and attention to detail.

Consistency is just as important.  Even if make-up is applied well, if a woman is inconsistent with its use on a day to day basis, it suggests that she is indifferent, frivolous, and unstable.

Choosing the correct colour

Lip colour is the finishing touch to your make-up and should compliment your skin tone – and the clothes you wear (assuming they are also the correct best colours for you).  If you are not sure, check in with a colour consultant to be sure.  The session could also rescue you from the eternal black syndrome.  If you are not in the habit of wearing lipstick, start with a more natural tone.

To get great looking lips, you need a lip pencil in a natural colour or similar shade to your lipstick and a lip brush to apply the colour.

The seven-step lipstick cure

Step 1: When applying your foundation, also apply over your lips, blot with a tissue and allow a moment to dry.

Step 2: Dust lightly with face powder

Step 3: Outline line your lips with the lip pencil starting with the cupids bow (the V in the centre top lip).

Step 4: Fill in entire lip area lightly with the lip pencil all over your lips before applying your lipstick.  It helps your lipstick last much longer.

Step 5: Work the lipstick colour into your lip brush and apply, avoiding the lip-liner.

Step 6: Blot off excess lip colour with a tissue. This helps to ‘hold’ the colour and prevent smearing.

Step 7: Re-apply lipstick to achieve a gloss finish if you prefer this look.

And for those who have very thin lips, outline your lips just outside the natural line with the lip pencil.  Use a brighter shade or a rich gloss to make lips appear fuller.

For those who wish to play down very full lips, pencil the lip-line just inside the natural lip line.  Avoid glosses and very bright colours, and blot off any extra sheen.

Voila – there you have it!

The 7 Deadly Sins of Style

The Seven Deadly Sins of Work-Style

1. Hazardous Hair

Don’t jeopardise your chances of stepping into a better job by having hair that looks as if you have just climbed out of bed.  There are three types of hair:  chic (short, cleverly cut)  classic (simple cut, above shoulder-line), and “I’ve Got Hair” (shoulder-line and longer).  If you’ve got it – then tame those tresses by using simple unfussy hair accessories.  Forget towering overpowering hair,  nasty scrunchies and those huge hair clamps for work.  Out-of-control hair could well be shouting “out-of-control” YOU.

2. Excess Baggage

I call it ‘visual noise’ – anything that is loud, and over-done.
Clothes that speak louder than you do are clothes that could kill your chances for being taken seriously.   Don’t let them up-stage you – tone them down.
Too much make-up,  you look like a clown.  The world wants to see YOU, not make-up that obscures  you.  Keep makeup simple and natural for the workplace.  And if you are still applying your makeup the same way  you did at your senior formal – get an update now!
Too much jewellery is another example of excess baggage.  Who needs to look like the Reserve Bank!   It should be discreet, elegant and exude quality.
Too much colour.  Some women look as if a flock of parakeets just landed on their bodies.  Women do have many colours which are appropriate ‘neutrals’  in the work-place  ie navy, black, deep cherry, aubergine, camel, charcoal and mid and light grey etc.   Keep your outfits simple, find out what your best neutrals are for your suiting. Contrast them with one other colour to suit your complexion.
(Remember black does not suit everyone.)

3. Over-Exposure

In the corporate business world, bare arms, low necklines, bare legs, toe cleavage spells career suicide.  In other industries, the rules are more relaxed but still beware – do you really want people to focus on an area 9″ below your chin?   ‘Titty-tops’   and anything strappy or stringy gets the thumbs down.

4. Swingers

For those full-figures ‘Reubenesk” females, don’t go without a well fitted bra.  Be a knock-out, not ‘knocked-out!   Harness those ‘puppies’ by selecting the best support bras at one of the specialty lingerie boutiques who have staff to fit you properly.   When traffic hopping through a line of stationary cars just as the lights turn green, avoid managing the brief-bag, lunch-bag AND unwieldy anatomy.

5. Neglected Nails

Obvious nail polish that is chipped and cracked.  Yucko.  You professional image has just gone to the wall.   For business, a natural shade or plain polish on short, trimmed nails says, smart, professional,  efficient and organised.

6. Frowzy Fit

Clothes that are ill-fitting make you look immature, and ordinary.  And a panty-line showing though your clothing………….aaaaAAAAGH!  Your business clothes should fit comfortably and hang properly without stress lines, gaping pockets or open pleats.   Cut out the size tag and go up a size for comfort – then have a good tailor adjust your jacket and skirt where you need to.

7. Faulty Footwork

You will sabotage yourself if you wear cheap shoes, white shoes – regardless what you paid for them, and shoes that are ill-kept.  The term ‘down-at-heel’ says it all.    Put your best foot forward and wear a stylish elegant shoe with a mid-high heel.