In this series, I interview women who boost other women's confidence. They share their personal stories, top tips, and talk really honestly about what makes them feel great.
Here's Camilla Kirk-Reynolds, Make Up Artist and founder of CKR Make Up, who tells me she's been fascinated with make-up since she was 5 years old...
I'm a Make Up and Hair Artist who specialises in Eyelash Extensions.
I started doing Bridal Make Up when I was 16 working in The Body Shop, I then went on to work for MAC before I did my proper Make Up and Hair Training for Film, TV, Theatre, Bridal and Fashion.
I wanted to be a make up artist since I was 5. It all stemmed from having my face painted when I was 3 years old. The sensation of the soft brushes against my skin was one of the most relaxing sensations I had experienced at that age. At 5 I saved up and bought my first kiddies Make Up Set, that I think my sister still has somewhere. Then from then on everything in my life was geared towards becoming a make up artist.
"To be honest, the first time I did my own eyelash extensions
it gave me heaps of confidence!"
There are lots of sides to my job that I enjoy. The best is making people happy. It's amazing how making someone look good in their own skin, and not like trying to make them look like someone else, can have such a huge impact on their happiness.
When working with Brides (more so than with actresses) it's really nice to see the, sometimes very emotional, impact you have on them when they see themselves in the mirror for the first time once their hair and make up is done. To see how special and beautiful they feel in that split second when they first see themselves, and are amazed by their appearance and that the fact that they really do look that good!
I also enjoy creating beautiful hair styles on women particularly who have what is considered fine or thin/thinning hair and showing them that with a few tricks of the trade and a little bit of know how, they can make it look like that have incredible locks that only few are blessed with at birth!
When I do set of Eyelash Extensions, I love it when women are wowed by the fact they really can look that good with no make up on! Knowing that the next day they will wake up looking incredible without having to do anything whilst not looking false or made-up.
I also really enjoy doing men's make up. As they are so surprised when they see themselves as just looking like they have amazing skin, brows, face shape, rather than a face caked with make up.
100% I notice women's confidence changing. With what I do it tends to be instant. When women are happy with the way their face looks they become much happier in general.
When I complete a Bride you tend to get a big smile when they look at themselves, sometimes you get tears, sometimes they're speechless but they are always happy with the way that they look and due to that they become much more relaxed and happy on the outside. With Brides you notice they are happier to pose for photos, they are more relaxed about the way they look, and they SMILE more.
"If you believe you look amazing ...
it's because the make up artist had an
amazing canvas to start with"
With Eyelash Extensions you notice the confidence difference straight away. Generally with Eyelash Extensions, clients tend to use the word "WOW" when they first see themselves. This is mainly because it's such a bespoke service that you cannot show your client a photo of how it will be, it's totally personal to the individual.
It's also because the lashes look so natural yet are still an enhancement to their own lashes and can really make their eyes pop. It's the fact that they know they look really good without having to do anything.
I have been told by many women with Eyelash Extensions that the lashes "are their secret weapon" and that they "could never be without their lashes" because it's the one thing they do for themselves beauty-wise, because it makes them feel so good.
Also clients tell me that they wear less if not no make up at all now, as they feel so much better about how they look; they feel they don't need as much. They also say that they feel they look younger, sexier, fresher, more 'lifted' and less likely to need Botox etc.
Yes, with with Eyelash Extensions. I can tell by the fact that when I see my client with less make up on because they feel they don't need as much now. I'd say that is the biggest sign that they feel more confident: wearing less make because they feel they look great.
Also, when clients feel more confident they smile more, and they look me in the eye more, and don't make apologies for their appearance in any way (like most clients do before I apply make-up).
Confidence comes from knowledge. If you are concerned about your appearance and can't afford to have a make up artist do your make up on a regular basis, organise a lesson for yourself on how to apply make up.
Either take time to watch a you tube video or go along to a make up counter, or through a professional make up artist. A professional make up artist doesn't perform some sort of magic, and they've had a huge amount of practice.
At the end of the day if you believe you look amazing after what they have done it is because the make up artist had an amazing canvas to start with! It is not impossible to look a way you want to without their skills. You just need to practice. Or get some eyelash extensions ;)! BUT find someone who will work within your lash safely and keep it looking natural. There is nothing worse than fake-looking bad eyelash extensions.
"If you want to be a glamour puss for a night, do it
and don't be ashamed or apologise for it!"
To be honest the first time I ever did my own eyelash extensions it gave me heaps of confidence! Because I'm blonde I think I have little piggy eyes without mascara on, and so lashes are my thing!
So to wake up in the morning and have lovey dark, long, curly natural looking lashes, that everyone thought were real, without having to put any effort in was great! To get out of the shower and look pretty fab even if I looked like a drowned rat was also a refreshing change!
On myself I love a tan. I'm always much more body confident with one. Also, I personally don't wear a lot of make up, so when I do, I need to be careful. I once went to party where I felt I looked great, but I obviously felt uncomfortable because I spent the night telling everyone "I don't normally wear this much make up". In hindsight, they didn't know me from Adam, so I could have got away with it, plus it was a bloody good make up that I'd done.
I learnt from that: to use make up as and how you want to. If you want to be a glamour puss for a night, do it and don't be ashamed or apologise for it. If you want to try a flicked eyeliner or a different eyeshadow go for it, just do it to the best of your ability to make sure you look as great as possible. Embrace it and if you want to use it as a mask if you want to bring out your alter ego ;) !
Not only does Camilla work with Brides, Royalty and A-list Celebrities, her energy and passion is infectious. She has also been formally recognised (with 2 awards!) as one of the best make-up artists in the world specialising in eye-lash extensions. Go Camilla!
Jess Baker, founder of MIMI More Than Skincare, is Chartered Psychologist and Confidence Coach. She's fascinated with the relationship between our appearance and our confidence: jessbaker.co.uk