Meet Your Sartorial Saviour
Imagine if you could nail all of your fashion and beauty shopping, in one hit, every time, with confidence? Here's how.
Hey, I know I’m very lucky to get the opportunity to try lots of new things in this job, so I can pass on the best of what I know; whether that’s a snoop around a new opening, putting a new brand to the test, or even (attempting) to learn a new skill. And sometimes I get to experience something that would never otherwise have come onto my radar.
This one definitely belongs in the latter category, because, let’s face it, who ever stops to consider that they could do with some wardrobe advice? And who then actually allows themselves the time to properly focus on it? Sometimes, the mere thought of logistically getting to the shops is enough to send me into a sweat and then the result is often a panic-buying situation, swiftly followed by ANOTHER sheepish visit to return half of my swag.
But here comes the revelation, people! This is exactly the kind of situation that warrants a session with Style Coach Rachel Moss. Why? Because it’ll save you SO much time, effort and money in the long run and, we could all do with more of that, right? Allow me to tell you more about my experience of this super-fun lifestyle hack that’s not just for celebrities…
THE BACK STORY
I’ve been feeling stuck in a bit of a style rut lately. I think it’s partly because life is so flipping busy these days, making it hard to dedicate any proper thinking time to what I’m going to wear each day. It could of course also be because I’m rapidly heading for a big birthday (*cough*); whatever, I’m definitely feeling a bit of a wardrobe crisis going on.
Looking back, I think it all began during pregnancy, when I became trapped in a bunch of maternity clothes that just didn’t feel ‘me’. Then came the nursing “uniform” days, also known as ‘The Breton Top’ phase – seriously, is it some kind of weird law that to breastfeed means to champion the stripes (I’m talking to you, Jojomamanbebe)?! And since then, I’ve struggled to regain my stride, often opting for practical over pretty.
So there’s my backstory – anyone care to join me?
Ahh, Rachel. Lovely, radiant, positive and gorgeous Rachel Moss, the best walking advert for a business if ever I met one. Rachel has her own back story which led her to Devon and into the world of coaching others to embrace their own individual sense of style. A former model, Rachel endured years of being told she was too fat, too thin, too tall, too short, even being weighed in front of clients who didn’t believe her vital stats (I mean, how demoralising?!). The crescendo moment came when, during a busy backstage moment at a fashion show, she heard the fashion seller screaming and pointing at her: ‘get out of that dress, you are killing my sale!’ Well.
Hard to imagine, isn’t it, but this stuff actually happens and it ate away at Rachel for years, eventually motivating her to use what she learned to help others. Passionate about making other women (and many men) feel good about what they wear and how they look, Rachel retrained and now brings all the tips of the trade, along with her own unique personal experiences to her sessions. On a side note, everybody should follow her social media feeds, because you’ll pick up heaps of free advice (you’re welcome).
Rachel offers several experiences and packages, all tailored towards arming you with all the info you need to look and feel your best. You can choose for her to come and perform a wardrobe detox, or even opt to go personal shopping with her (I’m now very tempted), but I was invited to experience a colour analysis and make-up session. WHAT BLIMMIN’ FUN!
These two go hand in hand, since the idea is to help you to figure out which are you most flattering colours – shades to wear close to your face, your upper body, or overall, as well as the best make-up colours to work with you skin tone, eye and hair colour. You may not think this is as important as, say, finding the clothing styles to suit your shape, but that, my friend, is where you’d be wrong, as I discovered. Colour is actually everything.
So what happens? You need to rock up bare-faced (shock, horror) and perch while Rachel works her magic. This is where I must throw some serious praise Rachel’s way, because it’s actually quite a raw and emotional thing for some women to do. Sitting in front of a mirror in harsh natural light, studying yourself up close for a good hour can be really hard to begin with. But Rachel has such a brilliant and intuitive way with clients – allowing her both to quickly suss out if there’s a lack of confidence going on and how she can practically help. She has a wonderfully empowering way of drawing you towards your best features, too, so while you may not be able to stop looking at your nose, or frown lines to begin with, it won’t last long. You’ll leave realising you actually have cheekbones, or an unusual eye shade. Money well spent, alone, I reckon.
For the duration, you get to sit and study, as Rachel darts around pitting different colour drapes against each other, figuring out the science. And there is a science to it – it’s incredible how one shade of blue can make you look a hundreds years old, whilst highlighting everything you’d prefer to hide, while another knocks years off you, smoothing out your complexion – and I’m not even exaggerating. Using what’s called the tonal method, she establishes your primary colours and by the end of your session, you’ll know the colours that are your friends, how to combine shades and how to use those colours to dress for different occasions. You can also choose to purchase your own personalised book of shades, for reference.
I discovered, thankfully, that I had a pretty good idea of what suits me already (no mega wardrobe purge necessary), but also realised how easy it is to slip up and get it very wrong (and, believe me, I’ve done that, too).
And, as if the experience of having a pro do your make-up isn’t lovely enough in itself, you get to learn loads of tips and tricks from Rachel as she goes along. You’ll leave clued up on how to fix your face in fifteen minutes, armed with advice on a few new essential beauty weapons to buy, desperate to have a go at recreating the look yourself.
THE MUDDY VERDICT
Honestly? I was amazed at what happened in the space of a couple of hours. I walked in, pale, frazzled and not entirely sure what to expect; I left wearing new make-up shades, my confidence lifted a notch or two and with so much new knowledge, feeling ready and excited for my next trip into battle at the shops. And, several weeks on, I’m more mindful about how I wear my make-up and what I choose to buy. Most excitingly, I’ve just gone through the dangerous summer sales and I haven’t bought a single ‘mistake’ purchase. Whereas before, I’d settle for (and justify) buying a top in a shade that I was unsure about because it was cheap, I’m much more decisive and my wardrobe (and husband) both thank me for it. Not that either of them would ever vocalise it.
It’s an easy recommendation from me, particularly as we’re heading into a new season. If you’re stuck in your own style rut, or can feel your self-confidence slowly ebbing away, for whatever reason, I strongly urge you to hang out with Rachel for a few hours. We all have to wear clothes (unless you want to get arrested, which would just be awkward); so why not indulge in some proper retail therapy?