Joanne Larby is one of Ireland’s leading MUAS, she’s also a Stylist, Curvy Model with Assets, Beauty Blogger and owner of The Make Up Fairy. She has worked in the industry for seven years from shoots to print and tv, to masterclasses and her own courses around the country. Voted one of the Top 6 people to watch around the world by Vogue Italia with a readership of over 100k per week on her blog.
As a model and beauty blogger you are constantly in the public eye and judged by your appearance, how do you deal with the pressure of having to look good all the time?
I think for me, beauty and fashion where always areas I adored; I love how you can be expressive and artistic with your appearance. For me, everyday is a new chance to explore my creativity and I find putting together ensembles and looks exciting. As a result I dress up for myself, not any man or fellow fashionista. Therefore, I take other peoples judgement lightly in that everyone has their own unique style so I don’t expect them to always love mine. I love social media interaction and enjoy seeing what outfits or make up looks my followers like or dislike; it’s all part of the fun. I also think it’s important to be real, have down time and days where your hair is thrown up and your make up non existent wearing comfy slouchy clothes. Being true to yourself and how you feel in that moment brings an element or relate-ability which is equally important.
You have just recently started your health and fitness journey, what advice would you offer women who are newbies to the gym?
For me, joining the gym was a way to force dedication upon myself. I’ve never been a member before and always went through spurts of working out through incorporating walking with personal training sessions before big events and group classes. I never saw exercise as a full on commitment to health and enjoyment until now. I did my research and found a gym that was close to me location wise to avoid excuses and also a gym that was renowned for equipment, cleanliness, space, great trainers and offered a wide variety of classes. The gym has to be an experience you look forward to not dread, if you feel the latter you simply won’t go. Another piece of advice is to write down your goals; whether they’re in three months, six or nine and have a clear vision of how you want to look and feel. Focusing on the scales and numbers was initially how I wanted to progress but I’ve since learned that body fat and inch loss, how I see myself post shower naked in front of the mirror and how fit into clothes is far more important. I also suggest taking regular progress pictures, anyone who follows me on Instagram will see me taking selfies in my gym clothes, post workout, when I notice new changes in my body and weekly definition results. These are a fantastic way to track and motivate your progress.
As a model, have you ever been asked to lose weight for a job?
By virtue of the fact I’m considered plus size (in the fashion category of modelling UK 12+) no I haven’t been asked to lose weight as I’m generally booked based on my curves. However, in the past I have worked on a TV Show where the stylist brought a selection of items for me a size too small. On the day, midst models that were much slimmer than me I felt extremely uncomfortable trying to squish into the garments, I felt overweight and generally down about my appearance and figure as if the situation and my size was my fault. I’ve since learnt that if a client books you they like your look, as a stylist it’s up to them to bring at least two size options in the case the model doesn’t fit due to skimpy material. After all, our agents always state our size and model card during a booking. It’s a fickle industry and highly superficial so you do have to learn to grow a thick skin and not take it personally.
What advice would you offer women to boost their self confidence in their own skin?
My basic motto is to remind yourself how short life is. In my opinion being the best version of yourself during the short time we have is the most important and competing only with yourself to drive your own personal goals forward. I am a hugely ambitious person but not competitive with others, I think this helps my confidence hugely because I don’t make unnecessary and ill educated comparisons with people who are not me. For example I can admire and adore a skinnier girls physique who is terrifically toned and slim in structure but know that my 5.10FT curvy stature will never ever be able to get down and maintain that shape. I’m also aware that celebrities have a team of artists behind them daily making them look fabulous for hours on end and a team of post editing artists who ensure they look amazing and air brushed in print. It’s very important to realise the difference between reality and perception in this industry.
What are your gym beauty essentials? What advice would you offer in terms of skin care after training?
When I go to the gym I don’t wear any make up bar filling in my brows because my own are very fair. I don’t like to sweat on top of make up as it’s bad for your pores and I also don’t feel the need to be done up working out. In my gym bag bar a towel, spare socks and a water bottle I carry some lip balm, deodorant and a body spray to freshen up post training. I also carry some Water Wipes which are like a baby wipe with no fragrance and due to the high water content stay extremely cold so are ideal as a post workout facial refresh. This also means your cleansing your skin straight away instead of allowing bacteria grow and result in breakouts. When I go home I shower and follow my usual routine of toner, moisturiser, and eye cream to keep my skin hydrated. Your diet and water intake will look after your skin for the most part but good hydration and care will cover the rest.
What keeps you motivated?
In one word myself. I’m my own worst critic and best friend, I push myself when I feel I’m slacking and I set new goals everyday whether they are small and seemingly insignificant tasks or new business ventures, I think it’s essential to have a concise idea of how you want your day to go. I’m extremely busy and work seven days a week so it’s often tough keeping everything afloat but I fear boredom and despise laziness so I make sure I’m being productive at all times. I love following fellow fashionistas and fitness blogs and social media networks because seeing a daily feed of fabulous motivated people has a knock on effect. If you don’t feel like going to the gym for example taking a look at your personal goal list or other people for inspiration gives you a fantastic kick.
Have you ever tried any radical diets and would you offer any advice to any women who have considered trying one?
In the past I’ve always cut carbs dramatically. I think it’s a common misconception when dieting especially if you’re reading magazines and quick fix pre bikini season diet fads on the internet. As a result my daily diet was drastically reduced resulting in hunger, dizziness, headaches and so on. I would lose lbs on the scales but give up after a few weeks and put all the weight and more back on. I firmly believe having seen the results I’m getting now that a healthy stable diet that includes all food groups combined with portion control, avoiding junk food and foods that offer you no nutrition mixed with regular exercise is the only secret you need to know. I also think weight training is so important and often avoided by women for fear of getting bigger. This is a huge misconception as weights are one of the best ways to see definitive results in your shape. There is no diet pill or quick fix that can beat lifelong hard work and dedication giving you slow and steady results.
Where is your favourite place to shop for workout clothes?
I love buying new workout clothes; they not only add an element of fashion to my fitness but make me feel good which in turn boosts my confidence working out and keeps my goals clear in my head. I love mixing up low and high end brands; I think Primark do some great workout gear if you’re on a budget but the majority of my gear is from Nike. Nike not only do amazing sports bras for all shapes and sizes in terms of support and colour range, they also do a variety of training gear that mix contemporary prints with neon colours and flattering shapes that make you look trimmer and more toned. If you’re going to invest in one expensive thing gym gear wise invest in high quality runners; you can’t afford to injure yourself during the likes of high intensity cardio because you’re wearing poor foot support.
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