For my weekly body positivity post (read last week’s HERE) I’ve had a chat to a very good friend of mine who is not only an amazing Make Up Artist, but she also helps out an amazing charity called BODY. Here’s what we got up to when we caught up for a chat!
Hi Sali! Now we’ve been friends for years, but the readers won’t know anything about you – introduce yourself to the body posi babes out there!
Hello hello! I’m Sali, I’m a make-up artist based in Nottingham. I’ve lived here about 9 years and have been doing make-up for about seven. I started when a friend of mine started modelling, so I’d do her make-up for photoshoots (and nights out!) and then when the pictures were posted online I had people getting in touch with me to do their make-up for photoshoots. All a bit crazy really but a beautifully organic way of setting up business! These days, I do mostly bridal work but I also do fashion and beauty photo-shoots, special occasion makeovers, I am one half of makeover photo-shoot business Flashes and Lashes and I do one-to-one make-up lessons.
So you do a lot of work with a charity called BODY– tell us all about them!
From their site – “BODY is a national charitable organisation that actively celebrates individuality and strives to cure those with body disorders such as Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). We believe in ‘Being One Distinguished You’ because we are ALL unique and we are ALL beautiful.”
BODY started in 2011 when CEO and founder, Lauren Benton was diagnosed with BDD. She didn’t know where to go or how to get help, and found there was no charity out there so looked at getting one set up. And so she did! BODY now treat over 4000 people and have clinics in Derby, London and Birmingham with others opening across the country in the next few years. Not getting any funding is really difficult for them, and there’s a core group of actual superhumans running the charity so all these people get the treatment, help and emotional support they need to get better.
Sounds like an amazing organisation! So how did you get involved with BODY?
So I got involved with BODY at the beginning of the year as a part of a new year’s resolution to devote more time to a charity. I’ve known Lauren the CEO for a few years, and her personality is just infectious and warming. She’s enigmatic, kind and a bloody hard worker. I approached her to help out with the charity a day or so each month thinking I’d do some cleaning at their Derby HQ but she said she didn’t want me for that! Instead, she set me a pretty big challenge (still a bit top secret!) and got me involved in some social media plugging, blog writing and befriending.
Befriending is SUCH a big part of BODY while they look after so many clients, so I’m assigned a client or two to look after. We talk through email a couple of times a week and I just check in with them, ask how their week has been, what they’ve got coming up that they are looking forward to or they are anxious about. We talk about anything really! It’s just about being there for someone, which I think I’m pretty good at doing.
BODY do a lot of work with people who suffer with BDD (Body Dysmorphic Disorder). Tell us a bit about what BDD is.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a disorder that makes sufferers believe that one’s own appearance is unusually defective or “ugly” and should be hidden or fixed. It’s referred to as ‘imagined ugliness’, where someone becomes so hung up over their body image that it starts to have a negative effect on their entire life. It can range from continual extreme thoughts about corrective surgery, to being completely housebound. BDD affects men and women equally and is close friends with some nasty disorders, such as manic depression and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and it hangs around with its mates, Anorexia and Bulimia; both eating disorders and serious mental health conditions.
A big passion of mine is body positivity, and I know you are also really passionate about it too. Have you got any tips you can give to the fellow babes out there who are on their own journeys to loving their body?
I’ve been a plus size since as long as I can remember and my interest in fashion/celebrity is slim to none; no pun intended 😉 I’m all about positive reinforcement and making logical choices. You need to be kind to yourself, and big yourself up. There is NO-ONE else that is better at being you than you, so why shouldn’t you celebrate yourself? Tips for body confidence from me would be to smile and laugh more, pay compliments, TAKE compliments, be honest whilst diplomatic, don’t take shit from people and think of your posture. How you stand, sit and hold yourself will have an affect both on your physical presence, your mental well-being and how you’re perceived. Confidence can be faked until it’s learnt 😉
Thanks for that, hopefully those that are reading this will find them super helpful on their journey too. Now you’re also a professional Make Up Artist – how does this work around the work you do for BODY? Do you draw on any experiences from this when you write for them?
I don’t know if I draw on my experience on being a make-up artist but my clients and colleagues will all tell you that I’m honest, sometimes blunt but entirely passionate. If I don’t like something I’ll say so, explain why and suggest something else. I won’t ever shoot someone’s idea down entirely (unless justified, yanno?), I’ll just suggest other things that I think may be suitable or would benefit. I’m vocal in my actions and feelings. For that you can read “gobby” 😉
Being a Make Up Artist, I bet you have tonnes of tips for how to get the perfect face of make-up, but what I want to know is what tips (if any!) can you give to any girls who are interested in becoming a Make Up Artist?
Anyone who wants to be a make-up artist really needs to work hard. Watch tutorials, don’t be afraid to copy when you’re practising, do some collaborative shoots with other start-up businesses and research what you like about other make-up artists and products. Don’t stick to one brand either, there’s so many out there; really try anything you can get your hands on. I also researched a lot about photographers and fashion designers, exploring my creative side really helped me develop my skills. There’s also plenty of college courses and specialist short courses you can take from established make-up brands that are great fun and wonderful to learn from the experience of established make-up artists.
Thanks Sali! It’s been amazing talking to you. Do you have any social media or blog recommendations for us?
You can find me on Facebook and Instagram professionally, and more personally on Twitter. Being friends with Alix Fox, I’ve recently been introduced to The DeBrief; a site she regularly writes for about sex and relationships. Everyone should read her article about lube! http://www.thedebrief.co.uk/
And finally, tell us how we can get in touch with BODY and how we can book you to enhance our natural beauty with your amazing make up skills!
BODY: bodycharity.co.uk – national support, if you need some just drop them an email. Equally, if you want to offer support or a donation they’d be incredibly grateful.
MsMoo: msmoomakeup.com – Nottingham based but happy to travel around the country for weddings. I’ve a city centre studio in Hockley, Nottingham where Flashes and Lashes is run from and where I do my make-up lessons. Drop me a line!
Thanks for talking to me Sali, you’re a babe as always! <3
What do you think girls? If you want to know more, just leave a comment below or use my Contact Me form!