Wardrobe Architect Week 8: Hair, Makeup and Beauty

For the Wardrobe Architect series this week (week 8) it’s all about hair and makeup.  The Colette post says:

“Hair and makeup are so transformative and powerful. Few other things can completely change the way you look the way hairstyle and beauty products can.”

1. What hair style has been most flattering and comfortable for you? How did it make you feel about yourself? Did it invoke any of the words you came up with in our core style exercise?

I’m now definitely a short hair person. I always had long hair when I was young (under 20), sometimes with a fringe and sometimes without. Then when I was probably about 22, I had a bob cut with a blunt fringe and I loved it. I kept it like that for quite a few years – basically until I moved to London and couldn’t afford haircuts! Then I grew it really long, then chopped it all off in one go into a pixie crop. I loved the drama of having it all cut off at once and I think the pixie crop is definitely the most ‘me’ cut I’ve found. I did briefly grow it out into a bob, then a long bob (and a disasterous moment where I grew out my fringe – I definitely would never not have some kind of fringe in the future!) then I cut it all off again! I’m actually thinking of having a slight change to the exact haircut I’ve had for the last couple of years as I’m a bit bored, but I might just go a little shorter all over for the Summer. Though I am tempted to grow it out a little and go for the full Vidal Sassoon Mary Quant.

2. How much makeup are you comfortable with? It could be no makeup, or a full face with contouring (and all that jazz I could never figure out). Or it could vary day to day.

It slightly varies from day to day, but I never wear foundation and I wouldn’t know where to start with contouring if I wanted to (though I love RuPaul’s Drag Race and would love to have the skills and make-up to do a full drag face!). Mostly what I wear daily is concealer under my eyes, – I’ve always had quite dark circles under my eyes, even as a kid – mascara and I fill in my eyebrows a little because I committed the cardinal eyebrow sin when I was young and didn’t know what I was doing and plucked hairs from the top of my brows, and I overplucked so now have a couple of gaps which I like to fill in. Some days I don’t bother with the mascara, but I do curl my eyelashes as they are quite long but very straight. If I’ve got a bit more time and want to make a bit more of an effort I’ll wear liquid eyeliner (it’s like a felt-tip pen) on my top eyelid. And most days I put a little blusher on to make myself look less pale and tired!

3. How does your makeup and hair reflect your personal style? What do you feel they say about you and your aesthetics?

I’d like to think my hair and make-up is fairly low maintenance, which is also how I like my clothes to feel. I like to be comfortable and once I’m dressed and my hair and make-up are done, I don’t want to have to think about it for the rest of the day. That is one of the great things about having short hair – once it’s dried (and I use a wax to make it less fluffy) then I can leave it alone for the rest of the day, and it doesn’t get in my face.

4. How much product do you want to own? Do you like collecting products, or would you rather just have a few essentials? How much bathroom clutter are you ok with?

I would rather have a few essentials. Since I don’t wear foundation or eye shadow really ever, I only have half a dozen products which I use daily. I do have quite a few nail varnishes, though I’ve got out of the habit of painting my nails, and that’s definitely the only thing I collect. I have one concealer that I use until it’s gone, one mascara, one blusher. I’m not particularly into make-up – and it’s expensive! – so it’s not something I’m interested in collected.

5. What requirements do you have for the products you buy? Do you stick with all natural products? Are there ingredients you avoid?

This question has made me really think. I buy Dr Organics shampoo, conditioner and shower gel and I make sure my make-up remover is free from as many chemicals as possibly, but I’ve never thought about my make-up. I will definitely look at this next time I’m looking to replace items.

6. What colors feel best near your face? How do they relate to the color palette you created?

One of the only colours (other than black for eye liner and mascara) that I wear is pink. I have a blusher which I wear most days to make me look less pale/ill. It’s pretty close to the colour my cheeks go when I’m hot, so I feel it looks okay. I’ve also got a couple of different shades of pink lipstick, but I don’t wear lipstick on a day-to-day basis as I feel overly made-up when I do.

7. What colors never look right near your face? What colors have you tried and given up on before?

Red looks terrible near my face, so I’m not a red lipstick person. I also think red lipstick makes my teeth look yellow. I haven’t really tried too many other colours, I’m not very adventurous with makeup.

8. How much time do you realistically want to spend getting ready in the morning?

Not very much time if I’m honest! I do get up 90 minutes before I have to leave for work, but almost 45 minutes of that time is me sitting and eating my breakfast and waking up. Often I only have 5 minutes to put on make-up, which is what more often than not dictates how much I wear!

9. What types of scents do you gravitate towards? Do you wear perfume? Other scented products? What do you feel the scents you like communicate about your personality?

I don’t wear perfume ever. I don’t know if that’s weird, but I’ve never worn it. I have been bought things in the past but I never really liked the way they smelled, so I never really wore them.

The post on the Colette blog suggests collecting some inspirational photos of hair and make-up, which I have done on my Wardrobe Architect Pinterest board.

This photo of Ginnifer Goodwin is definitely an inspiration for a slight tweak to my current hair cut. I like the shaved sides, but I have had that before and it wasn’t my favourite look!

I like all 3 of these pixie cuts, from Mia Farrow, Michelle Williams and Carey Mulligan. 60s crops are a bit shorter on the top than my current cut, so that might be an option for the Summer.

These 2 are more inspirational – the Mary Quant Vidal Sassoon is on the right. I would have to grow it out a little to get mine like this, and I fear it would be high maintenance, like my bob used to be because my hair isn’t quite straight. Also I love Tilda Swinton and wish I could have her hair.







18 months ago I had my hair cut off from this:

My long hair(This is from my sister’s hen party a couple of years ago, but my hair was the same when I had it cut)

To this:


And since I had it cut, I have had it shorter and then longer on the top but shaved at the back, and I’ve had some really good haircuts, but I’ve had more that have been terrible. I don’t earn a lot of money so I can’t afford to have it cut somewhere expensive and therefore, presumably, good. I had it cut today by the same girl who cut it last time – last time it was amazing, and I really liked the shape of it:

Not Christening HairThis me holding my adorable nephew at his non-Christening (we had a party but there was no religion) a couple of weeks ago.

And then today I ask for it a tiny bit shorter at the back and on the sides because I had to have it cut about 3 weeks after the last time and I end up with a short back and sides and I hate it.

I find it so annoying that we put our looks into the hands of people who act like they’ve listened to what you’ve asked for, but then do something completely different – and maybe it’s a British thing, or maybe by the time you don’t like what they’re doing, it’s too late – but I thank them, pay my money and say ‘it looks great’. Maybe I need to change my attitude, but does anyone else have the same problem? I love having short hair, but pretty much every time I have it trimmed, it’s awful for 2 weeks, then I like it for a week or so, then it gets too long and needs cutting again. I think I’m just going to grow it out, it’ll be much easier to explain ‘I want a bob’ than to explain what kind of crop I want.

Michelle Williams has long been my hair idol:

Michelle Williams 1
And she is currently growing out her hair – it’s now more of a bob – so maybe I should continue having her as my idol (if only I looked more like her!):

Michelle Williams 2
I know I should be philosophical about the whole bad hair cut thing, but I find it does matter, it’s not enough to say ‘oh, it’ll grow out’ because I feel unattractive and it’s not like I think I’m the most beautiful person in the world, but I don’t like looking like a less attractive version of myself than I know I can be (if that makes sense). Maybe that just makes me vain – I wouldn’t deny that I’m vain (e.g. I don’t like wearing my glasses if I know I’m meeting new people). I don’t want to go back to having my hair as long as in the first photo – those curls are the result of lots and lots of product and hours of curling it with tongs and it still dropped out – and I don’t think it suits me, but I don’t know what the solution is if I’m unhappy with my short hair when it’s cut but I don’t want it long again.

Sorry to rant, but I feel like my hair is a big part of my body image and how I feel I am putting myself out in the world. People always say that ‘normal people’ have body image issues because of models and actresses being so thin, and I think I feel almost permanently inadequate about my hair because it doesn’t look like some actress’s – an actress who probably has a hairdresser on staff, and certainly has hairdressers styling them for the red carpet. I used to want hair like Zooey Deschanel’s, but then I realised she has hairdressers and probably some hair pieces in there to make it look so thick. I can’t achieve what they can achieve, so I guess I need to stop trying. And find a better hairdresser who listens to what I want!