Is your work­ing wardrobe stuck in a style rut? Pro­fes­sional help of­fers in­sider in­for­ma­tion on how to dress for suc­cess. Ac­cen­tu­ate the pos­i­tive, writes ALANNA GAL­LAGHER

Fashion Magazine - - In­dex -

“We all have to get dressed for work ev­ery day, and it’s im­por­tant to look good. The idea is to try and in­still a sense of en­joy­ment in the ex­pe­ri­ence,” says fash­ion stylist Sonya Len­non, one of the­women be­hind The Lux­ury Work­shop, a “holy trin­ity” of pro­fes­sional hair, make-up and cloth­ing skills, united un­der one groove to give pro­fes­sional women groom­ing lessons.

The cor­po­rate en­ter­tain­ment idea was set up to help en­cour­age well­be­ing and con­fi­dence among work­ing women.

“Women tend to dress safely and func­tion­ally through­out their work­ing lives. We spend five long days out of seven work­ing. It’s a long time to hate the way you look. It’s im­por­tant to im­prove your sense of self-worth,” she says.

“Men have golf and foot­ball matches to bond and net­work. In con­trast women, if they’re not big sports fans, have very few con­nec­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties. Fe­males tend to fo­cus on the neg­a­tive, which can cre­ate a lack of con­fi­dence. Ir­ish women need to ac­cen­tu­ate the pos­i­tive, which can be very dif­fi­cult to do on your own,” says Len­non.

Lux­ury Work­shop of­fers hair, make-up and cloth­ing se­crets to the unini­ti­ated. To­gether, Len­non, make-up artist Mary Bru­ton and hair stylist Zara Cox, are a trio with ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence in the busi­ness. The in­for­ma­tion they have ac­cu­mu­lated is, says Len­non, some­thing that they have taken very much for granted.

For Bru­ton, the sim­plest way to change your look is to start body brush­ing. “It jump­starts the lymph sys­tem in the morn­ing, ex­fo­li­ates and in­vig­o­rates and dis­penses with the need for ex­fo­lia­tors and other ex­pen­sive ac­cou­trements. It helps elim­i­nate cel­lulite.”

“Hair too is re­ally im­por­tant,” says Cox. “It’s on your head ev­ery sin­gle day, yet it’s usu­ally the poor re­la­tion com­pared to what we might spend on clothes and makeup. Ev­ery­one has bad hair days.

“You need to de­velop a main­te­nance pro­gramme for it, one that works with your life­style. I’d pre­fer to talk to my clients about their hair than their hol­i­days,” says the for­mer artis­tic di­rec­tor of Toni and Guy.

At a re­cent event, or­gan­ised by Bank of Scot­land, the trio man­aged to phys­i­cally al­ter the way a dozen women looked on the spot.

“One woman hadn’t worn high heels since she got married to a short man 24 years ago. She had one of the best pair of legs I’d ever seen yet she’d done a Nicole Kid­man on it,” says Len­non.

“It’s a bit of craic but at the same time ev­ery­one in at­ten­dance went home armed with the abil­ity to see past their own pi­geon-hol­ing and take that im­por­tant first step out from their style cell.

“It’s the hu­man­i­tar­ian end of fash­ion’s stick. In­stead of us­ing it to beat your­self with, we in­vig­o­rate in­di­vid­u­als with a new sense of their net worth.”

Pho­to­graph: Ai­dan Craw­ley

Left to right: make-up artist Mary Bru­ton, hair stylist Sonya Len­non and stylist Zara Cox pic­tured in the Dy­lan Ho­tel.

NAME: Mary Bru­ton EX­PER­TISE: Make-up

NAME: Zara Cox EX­PER­TISE: Hair

NAME: Sonya Len­non EX­PER­TISE: Clothes

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