Pioneers Of Beauty – Barry Mero

Here is the latest post in my Pioneers Of Beauty series looking at people who have shaped the beauty industry as we know it. Today’s beauty pioneer, Barry Mero, is not exactly a household name. Chances are, you have probably never even heard of him. But you have probably heard of the London based cosmetics company that bears his name – Barry M. One of my favourite budget (and cruelty free) beauty brands, Barry M are famed for their multicoloured, sparkly and reasonably priced products. When I first came across Barry M products, I honestly thought that Barry Manilow had his own makeup line. But no, the Barry M behind the company isn’t Mr. Manilow, it’s Barry Mero. Barry began his career in beauty by selling cosmetics and hair products on a market stall near his home in east London. He had an entrepreneurial spirit from a young age and quickly spotted a gap in the beauty market – colourful, trend led makeup in keeping with the outrageous goth, punk and new romantic fashions of the 80’s. 

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Barry M’s famous Dazzle Dust

And so in 1982, the Barry M brand was born. The first products in the Barry M range were the famous Nail Paints. Barry introduced cruelty free, quality nail polishes in bright, vivid colours that were like nothing else available at the time, all at very affordable prices. I absolutely love them and own way too many colours to count. Finely milled nail glitters, crackle effect and black nail polishes are just some of the innovative products that he has bought to the world of beauty. Far from being an obscure, cult brand, Barry M count Angelina Jolie, Geri Halliwell and Victoria Beckham as fans. Barry M has evolved from a small, niche brand selling colourful nail polishes to a fully fledged cosmetics company offering a full range of makeup including lip glosses, eyeshadows and foundations. 

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Still a best seller… Black Nail Paint

A true innovator, Barry definitely deserves his place on my list as a Pioneer Of Beauty. 

Until next time, stay beautiful x 

Barefaced Chic

Wearing no makeup is a big deal to a lot of women. Going out with no makeup is to many, unthinkable. In fact, I even know some women whose husbands or boyfriends have never even seen their face with no makeup. They get up at the crack of dawn to put their face on before they are seen devoid of their beloved makeup products. A few years ago there was a big social media campaign for Cancer Research that involved posting a no makeup selfie. Again, this was seen as a huge deal for some women and many people I know actually refused to participate as they couldn’t bear people seeing them without makeup. The fact the whole campaign was marketed as a ‘challenge’ speaks volumes. Makeup provides many women with that extra confidence boost that they may feel they need and to ‘disguise’ what they don’t like. None of us are perfect and most of us have aspects of our face that we consider ‘flaws’. 

There are things that I don’t like about my face – my freckled skin, blonde brows and lashes, slightly asymmetrical features and thin lips. However, despite the things that I consider flaws, I look for the beauty in my face. I love the colour of my hair and eyes, the bone structure of my face and the fact that my skin is smooth and clear. I’ve even learned to love my slightly crooked teeth (I feel they give my face uniqueness and character). Rather than seeing an unmade-up face as unattractive or worse still, ugly, I see them as blank canvases. Makeup is an art form – the products are the medium and the face is the canvas. Makeup is not to be used as a mask, it should be used to accentuate the natural beauty that is already there. As much as I love wearing makeup, I don’t think it should be used as a crutch to hide what you don’t like on the outside. It’s a cliche but true beauty starts from within. And don’t forget that makeup can only do so much, you still have to work with what you’ve got. 

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I am comfortable with my makeup free face

I feel it’s time more women learned to love themselves without makeup. And it’s important too that men don’t make women feel as though they are not attractive without makeup. Men don’t realise that all too often when they are complimenting a woman on her beauty, they are in fact complimenting her on her makeup. When was the last time a glamour model or a stripper did her job without a full face of makeup? Some of the most ‘beautiful’ women out there have skilled makeup artists or are highly skilled themselves at applying makeup. It gives a false idea of beauty. All this I feel puts pressure on women to constantly be made-up. And to me, that’s not cool. So no matter how you look without makeup, whether you feel confident or not, I would encourage you to fall in love with your makeup free face. Look for the features you love rather than concentrating on those that you don’t. Despite my love of makeup and how it makes me feel and look, I’m still comfortable with my makeup free face. And you should be too. And even if you’re not – make sure you take it off at night, sleeping in it isn’t good for your skin. In fact sleeping in makeup can make your skin age up to seven times faster! Another reason to go barefaced!  

Until next time, stay beautiful x 

Pioneers Of Beauty – Barbara Daly

This is the first post in a series entitled ‘Pioneers Of Beauty’. This series will look at people who have shaped the beauty world as we know it. The artists and innovators who have made a lasting impact on the cosmetics industry and have changed the way we view makeup and indeed, ourselves. My first ‘beauty pioneer’ is British makeup artist Barbara Daly. Even if you have never heard of her before, most of you will be familiar with her work. She was the makeup artist for the Stanley Kubrick films ‘The Shining’ and ‘A Clockwork Orange’ and has inspired countless Halloween makeup looks since!

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Barbara Daly’s infamous work on the film ‘A Clockwork Orange’

Barbara began her career as a makeup artist in the 1960’s working on TV shows for the BBC before embarking upon a career as a freelancer. She has worked with numerous well known photographers such as Helmut Newton, David Bailey and Lord Snowdon and was the makeup artist behind some of the most iconic Vogue covers of the 1970’s and 80’s. She was also called upon to be the makeup artist for one of the most famous and photographed weddings in history – Princess Diana’s. Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was also a client of Barbara’s.

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Barbara Daly’s highest profile commission – Princess Diana’s wedding day

If you live in the UK, Barbara has a self titled range of makeup available from Tesco. From the outlandish style of ‘A Clockwork Orange’ through to smokey eyes and the fashionable ‘no makeup’ makeup look, Barbara Daly’s influence can be felt to this day throughout the world of makeup artistry. There are many well known makeup artists these days such as Bobbi Brown, Jemma Kidd, Jeffree Star and countless others. But Barbara truly paved the way for makeup artists to become ‘stars’ in their own right. A true pioneer of beauty. 

Until next time, stay beautiful x 

Must Have Hair Accessories For Every Woman

Many of us have a ‘signature’ hairstyle, one which we have been sporting for years, maybe even decades. And some of us wear that hairstyle in the exact same way, day in, day out. Well what if you fancy a change? Maybe nothing as drastic as a radically different haircut but just ways of making it look a little bit different. This is where hair accessories come in. Every woman should have a variety of accessories on standby for when you want to add a little bit extra to your hair. I have compiled a list of popular hair accessories which I think every woman should own, whether your hair is long, short or somewhere in between.

Alice bands – These aren’t just for little girls. Practical as well as stylish, they are great for when you want to wear your hair down but kept away from your face. They are available in lots of different sizes, styles and colours and can compliment the rest of your outfit whether dressed up or casual. Popular for many years now, Alice bands are often associated with the ‘Sloane Ranger’ look – a velvet Alice band teamed with pearl earrings. But don’t let that put you off.

Kirby grips (Bobby pins) – When found on carpets and under beds, these have been puzzling men as to what they actually are for decades. In the right hands, kirby grips can be used to transform hair into beautifully sculpted creations. Personally, I hate them. I find them fiddly to use, they don’t stay in place after I’ve put them in and I end up pulling out hairs when I remove them. But…so many other girls find them easy to use and create all manner of beautiful, innovative styles with them. So if you haven’t tried them, see if you are more skillful with them than I am.

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My hair on my wedding day, a French twist created using kirby grips. Not by me I must add, this is the work of my hairdresser Hayley Gage

Claw clips – Ah now these are much more like it. Just snap in and go. No frills, simple to use, these are a must for every woman.

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The classic claw clip

Fascinators – Faintly ridiculous for everyday use but a must have for a wedding or a day at the races. When choosing a fascinator, consider your hair colour and face shape as well as your outfit. If your outfit is relatively plain, fascinators can be used to add a burst of colour, especially when matched with shoes.

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Wearing a fascinator at my brother’s wedding

Hair bows – I quite like these. They snap in easy (always a good thing), they come in lots of colours and styles and are a nice little touch to compliment the rest of your outfit. Black and polka dot ones are my favourite

Snap clips – These are handy for controlling lumpy bits of hair or nasty flyaways. The only problem with them is they are pretty damn ugly. No matter what colour you buy them in, they just never seem to look nice in my opinion. They are cheap and practical though so I still think they deserve a place on the list.

Hair flowers – Like hair bows, a strategically placed flower (or flowers) is a pretty way to jazz up your look.

Elastics – Ah where would we be without the good ol’ hair elastic? Make sure you always keep a plentiful supply of these, preferably ones without metal as they are less likely to damage your hair.

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Hair elastics, an everyday essential

Head chains – I have included head chains in the list as I’m seeing more people wearing these now. They’re not something which I would personally wear, I tried one on once and to say it didn’t suit me is putting it mildly. But if you have the style and confidence to wear one and pull it off – good on you!

Headbands – I like fabric headbands for all the same reasons that I like Alice bands. What I don’t like however is the way they always end up pinging off my head. Usually at inappropriate moments. Maybe it’s just the ones that I’ve tried or perhaps it’s just me.

Headscarves – Like head chains, I think these take a certain panache to pull off well. But if you are one of those women that can, they can look seriously cool.

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Nicely coordinating scarf, lips and nails

Mini claw clips – The miniature version of the ever popular claw clip. I don’t see people wearing these as often but I find them a useful, easy alternative to kirby grips for a variety of hairstyles.

Scrunchies – Yes, scrunchies. I would actually like to see these make a comeback. I like them as they are softer than many other hair ties and less likely to damage your hair. They were all the rage back in the 90’s but they seem to have fallen out of favour in recent years. I have noticed gymnasts have been wearing them a lot lately though so maybe with the forthcoming Olympics in Rio, maybe we will see a scrunchie revival. I hope so.

Barrettes (hair clasps) – Easy to use and available in so many different colours, materials and styles, these are the classic, go to accessory for many women who want to inject a bit of sparkle to their hair.

Tiara – A very formal hair accessory, unless you are royalty, most women will only have the opportunity to properly wear a tiara on your wedding day. If you are choosing one to wear, make sure it compliments the rest of your jewellery and doesn’t clash. Consider your hairstyle carefully and make sure the ends of the band of your tiara are covered. There is no excuse to wear the naff, plastic tiaras ever. Even if it is your birthday or hen do, don’t do it. They look cheap and common and I’m sure that you are neither.

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Coordinating jewellery with a tiara

Bun ring – It has taken me almost thirty years but I finally know how to use one. I find them fiddly but I think a pretty ballerina style bun looks chic and elegant so I think it is worth the time it takes to master.

So there you go. Have a rummage around and see how many of these you are missing 🙂