Not feeling beautiful?
There’s the partner, a demanding job, a family with children, grocery shopping, Foxtel IQ, the gym, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and a whole procession of other obligations that are keeping women on their (weary) toes.
Ever since the shocking statistics were released from Baileys Make The Time Report last year, women have been aware of the fact that their lives have become an endless procession of obligations. Australian women juggle five to six different roles daily, 78 per cent of women with young children (under 11) say they do not have enough time to do what they want, 68 per cent of all women say they do not have enough time to do what they want, and 81 per cent of Australian women would like to make a change to their life.
With this in mind is it any wonder that our social lives are diminishing? What about our own self-esteem? How much time do you spend on making yourself feel beautiful? Nutrimetics revealed in their inaugural Beauty Lab Report, conducted by McCrindle Research, that Aussie women spend on average 24 minutes a day on beauty.
Now we are certainly not saying that beauty is only skin deep, or that beauty should be the be all and end all of your morning rituals, but there is no denying that when a woman looks good, she feels good – right?
With that thought in mind I paid a visit to Simona Janek, hair and makeup artist and photographer for gm photographic’s Portrait Couture.
NOT SO READY FOR MY CLOSE-UP
After a week of gruelling deadlines, a million social obligations, sleep deprivation and an obligatory break-out or two, it is safe to say I did not feel beautiful. Making my way to Janek’s studio in Leichhardt, with my five outfit options in tow, I kept thinking ‘how on earth is she going to make this look good!?’
As I would soon find out, Janek is in the business of making beautiful. “I am a wife, a mum to twin girls, a professional makeup artist and photographer,” she says. “I combine my hair and makeup with a contemporary style of natural light and boutique photography that is simple, elegant and modern.”
With 16 years of experience as a professional hair and makeup artist, her work has graced editorial (Rolling Stone, Black & White, Modern Wedding), weddings, celeb portraiture (Rose Byrne), TV commercials and music videos (Deni Hynes, Kasey Chambers... ).
She has also spent many years in front of the camera as a professional model. She now combines her skills and offers clients a high-end portraiture experience.
Although it may seem that Janek has the experience and a portfolio to concentrate solely on dolling celebrity faces, she enjoys transforming everyday women. “I love the transformation factor and what it does to their self-esteem and how much they love and appreciate that experience,” she says.
To the sounds of Miles Davies, Janek and her assistant begin their (gruelling) task of making me pretty. The hair is styled and scrunched to give a little appealing bed-headedness, the lashes are layered, eyes are smoked, lips and cheeks are given the tiniest tweak of colour. Ta-da! With a spritz of hairspray and a touch of gloss I am officially ready for my close-up.
Janek’s studio is perfectly situated to be gently drenched in rays of natural light streaming from the window. There I stand like an awkward lump of log wondering what next, where, how? Janek smiles as she reassures me: “Most women get self-conscious and don’t really know what to do,” she says. “I don’t leave them out there to fumble their way through and hope for a good shot.”
She begins coaxing my figure into a flattering pose – hands on hips, a slight incline to the right, chin forward, a little smile in the eyes. “I help them by showing them how to pose, right down to the finger tips,” Janek says. “This makes them feel more confident in front of the camera and allows them to relax, which then lets me capture their personality and the essence of them.”
Before you know it, I am beaming to the camera, leaning on walls, draping my legs over chairs – I feel like confidence personified.
Janek doesn’t show you images during the shoot, as I am sure she enjoys the shriek of surprise that leaps from the throats of many a happy client. Which is exactly what happened when I received my shots. There was a confident, stylish, woman staring back at me from the computer screen. Is that really me!? If only I had Janek’s lighting following me through life, it could possibly solve all my problems, well maybe not mortgage bills, but feeling that I was able to look confident made me feel confident – and that, if anything, is beautiful.
Want to feel beautiful again? Visit www.gmphotographics.com.au