For a couple of months now, still in a bid to discover myself I have been looking into doing a more professional makeover and a photoshoot. After a bit of research I went for Girls are Us situated in Bristol, run by Jenny Wave, a qualified make-up artist.
As she offers both make up lessons or a makeover and photoshoot I was unsure which option to go for. I really need some more help with doing make up but the chance to have a proper makeover to see what was possible was too big to miss and I definitely wanted photos of the day so with a quick conversation with Jenny we went for the latter option. I figured if all went well I could book lessons in the future.
As this was my first time I had no idea what to expect and I admit to being nervous. Jenny however was very friendly and as we chatted over a cup of tea I felt my nervousness quickly dissipating. She was very good at putting me at ease. Jenny is really friendly with a good sense of humour. The tea wasn’t bad either. She gave me a quick tour and then allowed me some time to change into some of the clothes she has. After choosing a nice dress and a pair of shows I fell in love with, and that she was lucky to get back at the end, I was ready. A complement from Jenny on my choice of style really boosted my confidence.
With this done Jenny began on the make-up. This was understandingly a long process which much more time and effort going into it then I had ever done myself. Jenny explained the different processes as she went on. At times there was moments where I had to stay still, something I was very bad at but Jenny has plenty of patience. The worse part was when she had to apply the eyeliner. I have never been able to do this bit myself and am very sensitive around that area. All the time I was sat there I was not allowed to look in the mirror. This was left until the very end.
The result was a bit of a shock as well as amazing. I had an image in my mind on how I look after doing my own makeup. What I saw in that mirror was a completely different person. I was totally lost for words and it was a moment I’ll never forget.
After this it was time for the photoshoot. That was a lot of fun. Jenny has a room set up for this complete with backdrop and lighting. Several shots were taking from different angles. I also, under direction, was able to try and different poses with Jenny being able to give me tips on what works and what doesn’t. Time flew by with a costume and wig change during the shoot. It just didn’t seem like two hours had really past. We had a quick look at the photos at the end of the session, after I had changed back to my own clothes, and I was pleased with the results. To have more time for photos I elected to travel home without removing the makeup. That in itself was a nervous but freeing experience. It’s not the first time I’ve driven in full make up but not that early in the day and in busy traffic.
All in all it was not only fun but very eye opening and certainly something I was glad I went through with despite my nervousness. I picked up a lot of tips as well as learnt more about myself. It is an experience I would recommend to anyone thinking about it and I would certainly recommend Jenny.
A few tips then for anyone thinking of booking a session with Jenny.
1) Communication. Make sure she knows what you are after so that the session can be tailored to suit your needs.
2) Enjoyment. You are going to get out what you put in. You’re paying for this time so use it. So remember to enjoy yourself.
3) Deodorant. Use some or take some with you. Jenny does have some on hand but you may prefer your own. It gets warm during the makeover and Jenny has to work very close to you.
4) Anticipation. Definitely don’t be tempted to take a sneak peek during the make-up session. That reveal at the end is an amazing experience by itself.
5) Above all preparation. Make sure you are ready for this. Being clean shaven on the morning of the session is a must. As is taking a memory stick with you in order for Jenny to send you the photos (luckily I had one spare in the car) Taking your own clothes is allowed so make sure you take anything you wish to wear if you have an outfit in mind.
So after all this did I find what I was looking for? Not quite. As amazing a job Jenny did when I looked in the mirror it didn’t feel like me. I think however this was more down to the wigs, when I wore my short red wig home I felt more like me. But I do want to go back again. I still want the lessons and I do want another photoshoot now I know what to expect. If Jenny is willing I’d love to try out an eighties style look and maybe a bit more on the drag side.