A Professional Stylist's Summer Tips: An Interview
We all have our go-to looks. Our 15- minute morning makeup routines. Our tried-and-true lipstick shades. But, just like we wouldn’t want to eat the same boring sandwich every day, there’s something to be said for stepping outside of our fashion comfort zone. Whether it’s trying that new sushi restaurant, or going for an extra-bright shade of eyeshadow, change is a good thing! And change is what gives life its spice.
This summer’s Wild Side Collection is all about being bolder than we ever have before. Bright, exaggerated colors with shiny metallic tones and interesting textures are over-the-top and out of this world. We know it’s scary. We know! That is why we reached out to our friend Gina who has been a makeup artist for a wide range of projects, including the Netflix Original Series House of Cards. She also brings Ten Thousand Villages’ accessories to life by finding the perfect makeup for the models—who show off our fair trade fashions on our website, emails, store signs and more. If there’s anyone who can help us step out of our routine and into a fun new look, it’s Gina. We are so excited to try her advice for this new collection of fair trade jewelry and accessories:
TTV: How long have you been a stylist?
G: Over 20 years.
TTV: What are some styling projects that you are especially proud of?
G: I am very proud of a few films where I was a department head and able to make creative decisions. On the film Step Up, I was able to create makeup looks for the lead characters and on Blair Witch II, I was able to do some cool special effects! I am also very proud when I can make everyday/non-actor women feel great and more confident. I am proud to be able to work with any company that helps others, and Ten Thousand Villages is most definitely at the top of that list!
TTV: How did you first get into styling?
G: My best subject in school was always art. When I was about 25 my dad got me an interview with a producer on a TV show that was shooting in Baltimore, and the rest is history!
TTV: What do you love most about your job?
G: I love that every job is different. For instance, I could work with an NBA or NFL star, a college professor, a 12 year old girl getting her first headshots, an Oscar winning actor, a presidential candidate, a mother of the bride, and Katy Perry’s back up dancers, all in the same month… I LOVE the variety! (I have, of course, done all of those things.)
TTV: What are some first-step tips for styling?
G: I research most jobs beforehand, some more than others. And sometimes, if I have the freedom, that goes out the window and it’s totally organic, based on what I am feeling. If I am told I will be doing a noted person that I am not familiar with, I will look at as many photos I can find of them to get an idea of how they like to appear in public, and I always ask a few question to everyone in my chair before I even touch them. If I know that someone is aiming for a certain look, I will look on many sites ahead of time… With the internet, I look all over the place. I follow hundreds of designers, makeup lines and artists, hair stylists, fashion pages and models on social media. I also subscribe to a few print magazines and newspapers each month.
TTV: How do you think of style differently based on the season?
G: Summer is less layers, flowy comfortable soft fabrics for clothes in lighters colors and lots of white, lots of woven fibers for accessories (and of course denim). Winter is all about textures: fake furs, heavy layers and more black and gray. Spring and fall are both layer seasons because the temperatures vary so much through the day, so scarfs are great, just in lighter weights.
TTV: Can you elaborate on summer styles?
G: Denim is the best fabric ever because it spans all seasons—nothing says “carefree summer” like a pair of cutoffs! Summer makeup tends to be sheerer, and lots of hats for sun protection. I particularly love brass jewelry pieces for summer because brass is so warm and just feels like the summer sun. And all of the colorful pieces are spot-on summertime trends!
TTV: What advice can you give someone hoping to step out of their style “comfort zone”?
G: If your comfort zone means the same looks you’ve been choosing for the past 3-4 seasons, it’s time for a change! Inspiration is everywhere. You don’t need a major transformation necessarily, just start with one or two new pieces. Choose pieces that speak to you and always dress for yourself; don’t worry what anyone else thinks! If you feel you are in a rut, spend some time looking online, or window shopping. There really are no rules, so just get out there and try some things on- change is good!
TTV: What specific makeup tips do you have for accessories that incorporate many different colors?
G: There are truly NO rules for makeup and there are several ways you can approach colorful accessories. One way to show off really bright pieces would be to choose one of the colors in the piece (say blue), and do a wash of color over the eyelids, not too opaque, more of a water-colored effect, and a bright lip in another (pink or orange), but in a stain or balm form, as heavy lipstick doesn’t feel as appropriate in hotter months. Another approach is leave the color to the accessories, and keep the makeup to earth tones, but the color is a bit more fun and fresh… just keep it on the sheer side.
Summer is a time to let loose and be free! So let go of your inhibitions, and step into the wild side.