By Shakaila Forbes-Bell
Last Wednesday, I alongside Psychology of Fashion contributor Nicola Mouskis braved the cold and headed down to Covent Garden in Central London for the Elle UK edit for fashion and beauty. We were welcomed by the sultry sounds of Elle’s ridiculously stylish DJ, surrounded by stunning images of Elle Magazine covers (featuring hidden codes with treats for app subscribers) and were handed healthy sized glasses of champagne. Naturally, I had to assure myself that I wasn’t dead, that this wasn’t heaven and that I had to get my butt over to the NARS counter to sign up for a consultation before all the slots were gone.
We managed to get our names down on the list but before we could drown ourselves in makeup we were honoured to listen to a trend talk led by Elle’s Executive Beauty Director Kirsty Dale and Beauty Director Sophie Beresiner.
As is the norm these days, Beresiner’s entry into the magazine world was atypical. She pursued a career in television before finding her feet in the form of work experience at former teen publication ELLE Girl. And before all of that, she earned her degree in Philosophy! The number one question I get asked by Psychologyoffashion.co.uk readers is “how can I turn my psychology degree into a fashion career?” Well, take it from Beresiner, who states that a related degree is no longer a requisite for entry into the fashion, beauty and media industry. When hiring new talent, she looks for “something different, something that makes you stand out” and for people who show “an interest for the whole media landscape” - words that gave hope to the young professionals in the room, myself included.
And the advice did not stop there. When discussing the competitive nature of the beauty industry Beresiner advises:
don’t think too much about what people should be saying about these products or what everyone else is doing. There are so many bloggers out there that you shouldn’t be worrying about competing with all of that, just think about what you would want from a piece of beauty writing.
Beresiner made of point of clarifying that she is not a make-up artist. So, rather than coming from the viewpoint of a technical professional, she approaches every product as a consumer - a sentiment which I found to be extremely refreshing.
If you’re just starting out in the beauty blogging or vlogging world Beresiner suggests that “having a passion for beauty products just from the viewpoint that you like to wear them is already a great start, cultivate something that’s just different and friendly and accessible around it”
And of course, we got the inside track on next seasons beauty trends: Dewy complexions, Glitter Lips and Alcohol Proof skin.
After the talk, I grabbed a super quick chat with Beresiner where we discussed fashion psychology and the staying power of the contouring craze.
Me giggling over lipsticks at NARS and Nicola & I showing off the fruits of our make-overs
Next, I was called for my consultation with NARS where, much to my surprise, the make-up artists praised me for my (super rushed) highlight that I recently purchased from MAC. I discussed my interest in experimenting with new lipstick shades and I was pointed in the direction of their Velvet Lip Glide in the shade: Area. I must say, it worked! A hybrid of lipstick and gloss, with a highly pigmented colour…what more could you ask for?
I bumped into my former boss Isabelle Perry the Global PR & Marketing Officer at Lulu Guinness where I interned late last year. Lulu Guinness were supplying sweet treats for the event courtesy of their own fashionably festive cookie decorating station.
Lulu Guinness' cookie decorating station and me catching up with Global PR & Marketing Officer Isabelle Perry
Remembering my vow to lose a few pounds before the new year I opted instead to admire from afar and received an amazing hand massage at the Kiehl’s booth. My consultant used the Creme de Corps Soy Milk & Honey Whipped Body Butter and afterwards my skin was so soft and smelled so delicious I suddenly regretted missing out on my Lulu cookie.
But alas, my misery was soon relieved when we received our goodie bags containing Label.m hair products, NARS’ Orgasm blusher, Clinique mascara, Lulu Guinness Vaseline and Miller Harris perfume. Not too shabby for a wintry Wednesday evening in November.
Shakaila Forbes-Bell is the owner and creator of The Psychology of Fashion blog. Find out more about her journey here.