From boardroom to bar stool…and beyond

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In previous posts, I’ve talked about how important outer branding can be in communicating your personal brand. This includes outer representations of our brand, such as our presence, personal impact, personal style and personal appearance. Part of our personal appearance involves grooming, which includes taking care of skin, hair and make-up. Things like uncared for skin, a tired complexion or careless make-up are often the first to get noticed.

Photo: Pixabay

In this post, our guest blogger is Rachel Barclay, a professionally trained makeup artist and hairstylist who helps clients create the best version of themselves through the power of makeup. Here, Rachel shares a guide of quick tips to have you glowing all the way to the boardroom, bar, buzz session and beyond.

Here’s Rachel:

Having been a city professional in a previous career, stepping up in front of sales teams, boards of directors and large audiences was routine and it was always important for me to face my audience looking on-brand from head to toe! However, time was in limited supply and usually a quick dash to the ladies to brighten up the makeup, or neaten the hair was just about all I could manage.

Now a professional makeup artist and hairstylist, I love to share my tips, tricks and experience on how to conquer the looking glass and look on-brand, every day, quickly and efficiently!

Moisturiser, primer & beyond. I can’t emphasise enough the importance of moisturising your skin in the morning before any makeup regime. I opt for a vitamin
based cream full of antioxidants which will fight the toxins of the city, street and wine bar well into the late night. Rub your moisturiser all over your face and neck paying special attention to problem areas such as dry patches or oily zones.  Also, a primer is a must if you want your makeup to last. I love one that gives you a radiant glow and creates a smooth base for your makeup. If you have particularly oily areas then make sure you definitely apply primer to these areas as it can mattify the skin and prevent shine.  I love smashbox Photo Finish as it gives a gorgeous soft-focus finish and has such a smooth texture. Put a little product onto your fingers and rub into the skin, remembering to concentrate on any problem areas as this will help your makeup look fabulous all day

If you haven’t already got one, you’ve got to get a BB Cream. This magic little balm is a quick fix for instant, radiant and flawless skin.  This is a one-product-does-all, usually containing ingredients which
hydrate (Hyaluronic acid), protect from UVA/UVB (SPF) and can mimic the texture of perfect flawless skin. You can apply this straight from the tube with your hands and apply it all over the face, even under the eyes and eyelids with no brushes or sponges required. If it takes you more than 30 seconds I’d be amazed. My favourite go to is L’Oréal Glam Nude BB Cream. A universal skin perfector with an SPF 20. I love the way this cream comes out silvery in colour, but when applied to your face it instantly adjusts to your skin tone, giving you radiant, nude skin with a flawless complexion. One small application will have you glowing, but this product can be built up for a fuller coverage without looking heavily done. It comes in light to medium and medium to dark, which is better for darker skin tones or suntanned skin. I never leave home without it on or in my makeup bag!

If using a foundation, I’d apply this with a beauty blending sponge which you wet first, squeeze out and dab on your foundation, it’s so quick, easy to blend and doesn’t pick up too much product as it has already expanded due to the water, leaving you with a smooth, glowing face.

Pop on a little eye primer, with your finger, onto your lids, which will keep any shadow or powder in place all day and into your night. Then just add a little concealer to under the eye area, be careful to press the product in gently with a finger instead of sweeping it across the under eye, as this will just move the product around and we want it to stay put and be pressed into the skin to conceal.

I frequently get asked why it is so important to set foundation and concealer with powder and the answer is that foundations and concealers are dewy and won’t stay put without setting them. I always use a translucent powder as it has no colour pigment in it, so it won’t change the colour of your foundation or concealer. I prefer loose powder but for ease and tidiness a pressed translucent powder works wonders and is easy to transport. Never over powder, remember your setting your makeup base not creating another layer!! Use a brush to apply and make sure you tap off any excess powder then gently dust over the face, not forgetting the eye area as well.

Bronzer, a perfect for adding radiance and warmth to your skin or enhancing your natural tan and can even be used as contour. It should be applied to where your face naturally catches the sun; I always shake off the brush once I’ve applied it to these areas
and then cover the rest of my face to warm it up. So, brush some bronzer onto your cheeks, over your nose and above your temples up into your hairline for that warm, sun-kissed look. I also brush a very small amount in to the socket bone of the eye to enhance the shape of the eye. I’ve been using the same make for years and whilst I’ve tried many other brands, all of which have been great, I keep going back to my trusted favourite Clinique True Bronze. This is a pressed powder with a hint of sparkle but it’s so small you won’t look glittery. It warms me up so naturally and I am constantly complimented on my skin and how healthy it looks. It is long wearing, oil free and can be built up for the desired level of bronze!

Apply a very small amount of blush just to the apples of the cheeks to warm the skin and add radiance to where we would naturally blush. Again, take care to shake off any excess powder as you don’t want to look like a cherry, and you also don’t want any fall out of the product onto other areas of your face. Place the brush onto the apples of your cheeks and make small circular movements moving back very slightly to the cheekbone but don’t take the colour up the cheekbone, this has been warmed already by the bronzer. Build up the colour to a level that you are happy with, but don’t overdo it.

Eyeliner. If there’s one thing that brightens even the most tired eyes then it’s a black waterline pencil from Urban Decay. Their 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil in the colour Rail is amazing. It glides on effortlessly and I put it on the top tear line which gives the illusion of really thick lashes, frames the eye and creates the appearance of bigger, wider eyes. This eyeliner is long lasting, as the name suggests, and is waterproof, so no smudging or running. Lift up your eyelid so you can see clearly the tear line of your upper eye and gently apply in soft sweeping movements from the outside corner over to just where your eyelashes finish on the inner corner. This may take a bit of practice and I use an optical zoom mirror, but once you’ve got the hang of it, it really does make a difference.

. This little tube of joy always makes me happy. Mascara has that ability to change your look and therefore your mood and how others see you. It opens up tired eyes,
thickens the sparsest of lashes and lengthens and lifts where needed. Hold the brush parallel with your eyes and get it as close to the root as possible, then make little zig-zag movements, which will transfer the product from the brush to eyelash. Now pull the brush up the lash and pull slightly to the outside edge of the eye which will give the illusion of a wider eye. If you already have lovely wide eyes, then just pull the brush upwards towards the lid/socket bone, to lengthen and thicken. I am in love with Lancôme’s mascara range and have been a fan since I was fifteen. My go to in their range is Hypnose Doll Eyes in So Black. It extends and lifts the lashes, coating them evenly and widening your eyes for that doll like look. This mascara can be layered to give an even fuller lash and is beautiful with a glittery smoky eye or just worn naturally with a bit of bronzer for a healthy, wide eyed glow.

With a slick of your favourite lip gloss or even just a gorgeous, shiny lip salve, you’re ready to leave for the office, but not before packing a few vital products that will take you from the boardroom to the bar stool.

At the end of the day you will need to tweak your foundation as it will have faded and worn away a little. I love a cream-to-powderfoundation which can be applied with a dry beauty blender much the same as you would your foundation or it can be applied with a blending brushing in circular movements over the areas required. This is just touching up, taking away shine and giving a little more coverage where needed.

Pack a cream eyeshadow stick or two in different shades. I just love these sticks, they are so versatile and go on effortlessly. Literally draw this onto the lids of your eyes (don’t worry if it is not neat) and with an eye blending brush blend it across the lid or if you prefer use your finger to move the product around. This won’t be as neat but is simple to do and very quick! Put a little of this stick under the eye too and with your brush blend it a little to the outside corner. With a pencil eyeliner, draw a line across the top of your lashes, starting just where your lashes start on the inside corner and bring it over to the outside edge and beyond if you want a wing. Don’t worry about the neatness as you’re going to blend this out to merge into the cream stick colour using your eye blending brush. Blend in circular movements from the inside to outside blurring it into the cream colour, this gives a lovely, smudgy, gentle smokey eye look. Run the eyeliner under the eye from about just over halfway out to meet the corner of top lid and blend it out with your brush. Add some more Mascara to thicken and lengthen up those lashes and add a little bit of powder highlighter to the cheekbone. Take a blusher brush and gently sweep upwards toward the temple, avoiding the under-eye area as you want to avoid getting the highlighter into any of the creases.

Haircare. Sometimes during the day your hair can become limp and lifeless and may need a little prepping, conditioning and some extra volume, but you don’t have time to go to the salon as your next meeting is in 10 minutes, or you’re due at the restaurant or bar. For those occasions, I just love Philip Kingsley One More Day Dry Shampoo. It is so gentle on the scalp with soothing ingredients. It doesn’t weigh down the hair either, like some other brands, but will still give the lift and volume you need for that salon look. Try and section out your hair and spray the root but be careful not to over spray as this can leave it looking dull and heavy. Just little bursts are enough. Style your hair normally and off you go!


Rachel Barclay is a professionally trained makeup artist and hairstylist who will help create the best version of you through the power of makeup. She specialises in one to one or small group lessons and also has a wealth of experience on the red carpet, special occasions, weddings, proms and photo shoots.

If you would like to use her for any of her services or would like more information about any of the products she uses, please contact her at You can also follower her on Facebook, Twitter,  and Instagram.

Rachel says: “With me you will have a wonderful all round experience, becoming the best version of you. It will be a holistic journey; first and foremost, I will listen, I will hold your hand and lead you to have the confidence to ‘make up’ yourself whilst having the best of fun!”


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