Last week, I was lucky enough to attend a blogger session of one of the exclusive Style Masterclass classes held by the award winning image consultant and lovely lady herself, Jacqui Cooper. This was a brand new experience for me, as someone who tends to stick to the safe colours (in other words black all day errrday) I was a little apprehensive on how my perception was going to be switched around but I can tell you, Jacqui managed to open my mind and change the way I view myself. The entire workshop was incredibly insightful and inspiring and completely different from what I imagined; all in a positive way of course!
Ten minutes later than scheduled (still waiting on the day a taxi turns up at the time you pre-booked for) I arrived at one of my favourite places The Victoria Quarter, but this time I was guided up lots of stairs to the uber sophisticated management suite where I took a seat and helped myself to a biccy (
or two). There was only four of us present but that didn’t take away the fact I was eager to get started. After we’d been given a couple of handouts in preparation for noting down and informing us of Jacqui’s ‘be, see, feel the change’ motto, Jacqui then began by asking us a couple of simple but powerful questions; “where are you now?” and “where do you want to be?”. It’s crazy how easy you brush these sort of basic questions behind you in everyday life but when it comes down to actually having to think about, and discuss openly, your ventures, individuality and aims as a person, it’s surprisingly difficult. We were instructed to write down our three values and mark out of 10 how efficient you believe they are at this present time. Jacqui helped to prompt us and urged us to dig deeper into our individual thoughts and feelings and I eventually chose ‘stylish’, ‘influential’, and ‘confident’. Jacqui may have been a stranger but already I felt comfortable expressing myself as she provided an encouraging approach and passionate ball of energy.
We were sat down for a good hour or so, listening carefully to what Jacqui had to say, hearing her incredibly inspiring story of success and being shown through the power-point presentation she planned for us. The thing I loved the most about Jacqui was the attitude she had; she was strong and extremely skillful but she used her knowledge to help others feel good about themselves and always made you feel at ease with something you may be unfamiliar with (which I certainly was). That for me shows true dedication and willingness to strive.
One of the main objectives of the day was to find out our ‘style personality’ – what clothing you are most drawn to and tend to rely on, what styles represent you best, thus matching the expression of your spirit and character. With a quick questionaire, I soon discovered what I already knew but with an added savvy bonus. I scored equal on both Romantic and City Chic and I would certainly say that’s an accurate portrayal of my daily choices which meant once again, Jacqui was spot on. A romantic loves everything about dressing up and planning their wardrobe; clothes tend to be pretty and be based on admiration for bows, ruffles, lace, flounces, appliques and fringes. Whereas, a City Chic will enjoy clothes but not be fanatical about them, would tend to follow trends rather than high street fashion and adore the classic pieces, including the accessories you may have an urgency to splash out on. Mingle these together, along with some minimal loving and you have me down to a T. It also explains why anything made of lace, crochet or features some kind of tie or frill (Zara, I’m pinpointing you) is irresistible when out shopping. It was interesting to realise you do have an existing style suited for you. As I am quite fond of mixing and matching I’m often puzzled as to the certain fixed look I go for but I learnt that day that actually, I am pretty consistent.
Progressing on to the next (and my most favourite) part of the day, we used our new found expertise to portray a fresh image. We discussed colours, cuts, different skin tones, hair colour, eye colour and other distinctive features that often group us as people but make us discrete. As if by magic, just by the first glance Jacqui knew right away what would suit us and help us reach for that inner beauty and that’s where the practical exploring began.
Well, hello there extremely awful hat hair.
Feeling a little like an artist’s experiment, all three of us took it in turns to be tested with colour palettes and fabrics. Guiding us through each shade and tone, Jacqui made sure we saw for ourselves in the large mirror facing us just what works best for our face shape and skin tone. As seriously considering what suits me as I open my wardrobe on a morning is something I admittedly don’t do, it was fascinating to find out what certain colours do compliment me and I’ve certainly taken that with me when currently browsing. I’ve never really thought in depth about my choices before but just that one session has taught me it does make a difference. Jacqui does have personal colour palettes you can carry with you when shopping but just from memory I am able to now walk into a shop and know exactly what I am reaching for and recognize in the long run, my previous picks do conform with the future, more appraised picks. I’m not saying I’m going to completely ditch the black (never gonna happen, soz) but noticing how shadowy it can make you, I’m bearing that in mind. I have a habit of just chucking on clothes without second thought but with the support of Jacqui, I am saving time and money by investing.
With fashion comes glam and with glam comes a variety of makeup and designs. I certainly wasn’t expecting an additional side to the fashion but we were given it and I was so thrilled as figuring out which products, colours and tones enhance my natural complexion is something I often struggle with. Once again, Jacqui used her wizardry touch to identify the shades that will make our face pop and to my surprise, it was the softer, more muted tones that magnify and highlight my features. When I say magnify, I MEAN magnify. The transformation of adding some pink blush for that rosy appearance and wiping off my dark nude lipstick swapping it for a neutral rose gloss was amazing. My complexion instantly brightened and I was soon to realise I’ve been drowning my face with my beloved browns. It’s strange how the picture you painted that you thought was correct wasn’t actually all that good for you and that actually looks stunning on someone else who was also unaware of the distinctiveness between the human race. Diversity is great. That’s another change I’ve interpreted since I visited Jacqui’s masterclass, my intention for spring/summer is now to stay with the subtle and slowly but surely reel myself away from the Kylie Jenner lipstick hype.
Finally, to round off a plethora of general happiness and art, there was a short body shape lesson. On what could be a sensitive subject, Jacqui knew the right path to take when explaining how dressing for your proportion can make you ooze with confidence. She understood what mattered and that everyone is unique and even picked out clothes she thought would look remarkable on you.
Everything about the whole experience was fun and enthralling with a great end result. Jacqui kept it professional but made it personal to you. The ethic delivered was completely to the point and her non-judging kind advice meant I was able to gain plenty of style wisdom which had a huge impact on the way I do and will carry on to develop my persona. The atmosphere was calming, relaxing and really refreshing as the outlook began to grow positively. Jacqui gave us a challenge with the direct probing but pushed us to believe in what we want. She said only you are in charge of your own image. If there were NO RULES, and if NO ONE judged you, what changes would you make, how would you choose to dress? Do you love it? Does it flatter you? Then go for it! I couldn’t recommend the Style Masterclass enough. For someone like me who’s otherwise clueless, it’s interesting to get to know what’s hiding beneath the surface of your ordinary self. I went from a 5/10 to a 10/10 in a matter of hours. Thank you so much to Jacqui, and for Jess for inviting me along!
Have you ever had a similar experience?
P.S. don’t forget, there’s just 16 days left of my NARS giveaway.