Knock, knock. Who’s there?

Competition winner Jasmine Hawley’s makeover was so radical even her family didn’t recognise her

COME ON, admit it, don’t you sometimes flick through glossy magazines and think ’I can look like that’, or ’ I could have been a fashion model’. Trust me. though, having worked in the fashion industry for more years than I care to remember, it’s not as easy as it looks.

It takes a lot of dedication and discipline to keep yourself looking wonderful and fresh for photo shoots all day. You may argue that there is the airbrush and that everyone has the potential, and you may be right — but we mere mortals don’t all have the time and energy after a hard day at work or with kids to pamper ourselves as much as these girls. After all they do ’do it’ for a living Y

Last month I gave the chance to my readers (guys as well) to enter a ’complete make-over’ competition, and I was overwhelmed by the response. Everyone who entered got the questions right, so the old-fashioned tradition of picking the winner from a hat (in this case the editor=s ’biscuit tin’) was performed and the lucky girl was Jasmine Hawley of Nicosia.

I called Jasmine to give her the news and I knew straight away from her infectious giggle that she=d be fun to work with. Although I also have to tell you that she actually wanted to pass the gift over to a friend as she was too nervous to do it. If you ask her if it was all worth it now, thought, I think you’ll find that she would do the whole thing all over again, and again and again Y

There=s another thing I have to say before I go on and tell you about Jasmine=s two days of pampering. Chris Hawley (her husband) called me without Jasmine=s knowledge before the actual day and offered to pay for all the clothes (as an early Christmas pressie). I was supposed to be ’borrowing’ the clothes for the photo shoot (all husbands take note!). The plot thickens Y. I was not to tell her about the clothing being hers until the evening of the shopping trip! All very cloak and dagger, but great fun.

I was to be Jasmine=s fashion stylist/adviser and personal shopper, Toni and Guy was to do her hair, Ilia G the make-up, and we had professional photographer Colin Campbell to do the photo shoot. A team fit for the likes of Kate Moss any day.

So with cash in hand, (I had met Jasmine=s husband in secret the day before) I set out to meet her for the first time for coffee at Pralina. I really didn’t know what to expect, but I was pleased with what I saw. She=s full of life and laughter, and I knew she would be easy to work with.

After a bit of a chat about her wardrobe and lifestyle. We set off to do what most women love doing Y shopping until we drop!

I knew what would suit Jasmine straight away. Her hourglass figure would suit both the smart sexy 1950s Hollywood look and the casual combination of jean jacket and intricate beaded skirts. It wasn’t difficult to decide which shops would cater to this: both British companies (they also tend to do generous sizes and good tailoring at an affordable price). So we went for Oasis and French Connection, both of which were in walking distance from each other.

One of the biggest challenges for a personal shopper is to get as many outfits as possible from a capsule wardrobe. All the basic knitwear, a tweed shift dress, a pair of tailored tweed pants and a gorgeous black choker we bought from Oasis. After a lot of giggles and undressing we stopped off for another coffee break (shopping is hard work).

Over the road to French Connection for a basic fitted jean jacket, a chunky hand-knitted cardi (for [dirty] weekend breaks), a must-have LBD, a couple of kimono wrap tops, and three beautiful dressy embroidered skirts. All of which could be dressed up and toned down with the basic knitwear.

The cherry on the icing was a pair of mocha-coloured knee-high patent boots (very sexy)to finish the whole look off. Sorted. Jasmin had a wardrobe to take her through to day and night and weekends. She left looking chuffed and excited, ready for her big make-over the next day — and she didn’t even know that the clothes were hers yet!

I met Jasmine at 9am the next day at Toni and Guy where we all had a quick coffee. I let her relax while I had a quick consultation in the other room with Lucy (hair stylist) and Magalie (hair colourist). We had all decided that Jasmine=s longer previous look didn=t make the most of her delicate features, so Lucy was going to go for a much shorter, softer look with more layers and a shorter fringe.

Magalie agreed that Jasmine=s previous colour made her look pale and a little washed out, so with this in mind she chose a warm chocolate brown as a base colour with a few highlights throughout the top that would warm up her skin tones.

Back downstairs to start work. While the girls started on Jasmine=s hair I had another in-depth consultation with London-based freelance make-up artist Ilia G to talk about Jasmine=s make-up.

Jasmine has a good skin with a tendancy to be a little on the sensitive side and very delicate features. We agreed on a mixture of warm brown eye shadow and black eyeliner for her light hazel eyes, which are her best feature and a sepia-toned sort of red/brown for her lips.

Her yellow/orange toned make-up base balanced out any uneveness and a touch of powder took away any shine for the camera — a much heavier look than she would use during the day, but the right type of make-up for the camera.

In between haircut, colour, coffee and sandwiches, I watched for Jasmine=s reaction. She was on cloud nine. What a difference! It was now 4pm, and she was ready for the finale. A quick change into a long jersey dress, a jean jacket to accentuate her waist and her black choker. Jasmine was ready to Rock and Roll.

Colin and I chatted about the type of look we wanted to achieve with the lighting, and after a few test polaroids and a few relaxed poses, Jasmine overwhelmed him with her natural relationship with the camera — we had a supermodel on our hands!
As every shot was taken Jasmine became yet more confident, relaxed and full of smiles right to the end. She was an absolute pleasure to work with.

Ambrosia at TheStyleCouncil
41 Kolokotronis Street
Ayios Dhometios
Tel: 22-772773
[email protected]

HAIR: Toni and Guy
26 B & C Stassicratous Street
Nicosia 1065
Tel: 22-672515

MAKE-UP: Ilia G for Toni and Guy

PHOTOGRAPHY: Colin Campbell
Tel: 99-352063