An afternoon of Grace & Style

I grew up with a very practical Mum – loving, caring, hardworking, realistic, no frills. I don’t really remember her as someone who would wear a lot of make-up or jewellery. She was a school cleaner for most of my childhood so she spent most of the time in ‘serviceable’ (her words) clothes.

I guess one of the impacts* for me was that I’ve never been confident wearing make-up or ‘stylin’ up’. I’ve tried over the years but I’ve always struggled to feel comfortable in contexts where dressing up was / is required. I’ve also never been particularly experimental or adventurous with make-up, hair (I could count on 1 hand the number of times I’ve had my hair coloured), and clothes.

At nearly 50 I feel like I’m finally beginning to be okay with my body and face in the world. One of the things I’ve never really been on top of is make-up. Last year I decided to go and see a professional make-up artist. I spend a few hours with Leah Svanberg from Grace & Style and Dottie & Ez make-up. While there are literally thousands of make-up tutorials on YouTube, I really just wanted a sensible professional to give me a set of rules I could follow with little fuss. I’m still my mother’s daughter – practical.

At that first appointment, I told Leah I wanted guidance and advice on what looked okay, was quick and easy to achieve each morning, and fitted my life and professional needs. And she did. For the past year I’ve been following Leah’s suggestions and have been using her Dottie & Ez products ever since.

Today however, I attended an “eye” refresher class and it was great.

I know it’s absurd. Make-up is absurd. It’s one of those things that I both hate and (now) kind of enjoy.

Leah’s teaching style is simple and sensible, appropriate for all styles and ages. Her products suit my price range and needs. Since using her I’ve managed to gradually build 2 separate make-up bags – one for the office and one for home. Leah was happy to sell me the small containers so I could decant my full-pot of eye shadow, foundation, and blush, rather than having to buy 2nd tubs.

I highly recommend Leah, particularly to my fellow South East Queensland professionals and business owners. She can come up with solutions for personal presentation that don’t take hours to achieve. She also does make-up for photographic shoots if you’re in need of a new LinkedIn or PR shot.

I just wish some of these expenses were tax deductible. I would use 90% of make-up for business and not personal. But unfairly it’s one of those gendered financial costs. But if you’re going to pay it, Leah’s service and products are good value.

* I’m not sure it was an impact of Mum’s style on me. Both my sisters have cool styles, so it may honestly just be me, and have bugger all to do with Mum. (Sorry Mum).

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