Rosemary Mac Cabe

Hemlines, heels and haute couture – your daily dose

Confidence courtesy of Gillette Venus . . .

On Friday, I was lucky enough to take a sneaky overnight trip to London courtesy of Gillette’s new Venus Embrace razor, for their new promotion, Get Close. The idea behind the promotion is that the new razor – which I …

Mon, Jun 14, 2010, 09:29


On Friday, I was lucky enough to take a sneaky overnight trip to London courtesy of Gillette’s new Venus Embrace razor, for their new promotion, Get Close.

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The idea behind the promotion is that the new razor – which I have yet to try, and will report back – gets so close to your skin that you will then have the confidence to be a leading lady. So far, so PR (and don’t get me started on confidence and looks as being intrinsically linked). It was a pretty nifty promotion, though; Dirty Dancing-themed cocktails with Tina Earnshaw, the make-up artist you might recognise from the Max Factor ads of the 1990s, and Mel Churcher, an acting and vocal coach, who were on hand to answer questions about make-up, confidence and making the most of yourself.

I asked Tina a few questions about make-up; the mistakes we’re making and how to rectify them. Without a shadow of a doubt, she said, “most people are wearing the wrong shade of foundation; you should be wearing the same shade as, or a shade lighter than, your own skin tone”. She then went on to compliment my foundation (phew!) which, incidentally, is the much underappreciated DoubleWear Light by Estée Lauder (perfect for oily skins, but very drying on combination or dry – you have been warned).

She said that her favourite look of the moment is “a very nude face, very basic, with a strong red lip and black eyeliner . . . but that’s not to say there’s no make-up there. There’s plenty of make-up there, it’s just done in a very natural way.” So what foundations does she rate? Perhaps unsurprisingly, and not particularly relevant to most of us, she rates La Prairie foundation. But otherwise, she says: “Mineral foundations are wonderful, and really easy to apply if you get the right colour. Plus, they can give good coverage if you build them up.”

Mascaras? “Maybelline Great Lash, without a doubt. Lancome and Clinique do great mascaras, but I always end up going back to Maybelline.”

And then the tricky issue: tampering with advertisements. At first, Tina was on the fence about it: “Photoshop is alright, I suppose, it’s okay . . . and false lashes can look good if they’re applied well.” But when I asked her if she didn’t think it was a bit misleading to the consumer, she took a moment and then said, “you know, you’re right – it is misleading, and it’s a bit mean”. From the mouths of make-up artists to the stars, then . . .

For Mel’s part, I wasn’t quite sure how relevant an acting coach would be to the business of confidence – but she soon put me straight, telling me how confidence is the most apparent thing about anyone, and how a bit of a boost can make a huge difference both in how you perceive yourself and in how others perceive you.

Her top tips? “Breathe in a relaxed way. Wrong breathing can result in stage fright, which anyone can suffer from, even if you’re not on the stage,” she said. “Be comfortable; use your posture; allow yourself to stand still, and don’t let your nerves fold you in.”

A gem: “Everyone’s waiting to be found out, even on-screen goddesses; we all have the same fears.”

My favourite tip from Mel was a kind of exercise she told me about to give yourself confidence. “Imagine the you, you want to be. Imagine how she looks, how she feels, how she stands. Imagine her standing in front of you in a bubble, with her back to you. Really visualise it. Then take a deep breath and step into that bubble; be that version of yourself.” It might sound corny, but from my limited experience of drama lessons, visualisation exercises really work – and confidence makes such a difference to everyone.

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