Honest, Practical, Style Advice

Parties, presents and photos…

christmas-belle-28It’s that time of year when our stress levels go up and our ‘to do’ lists get progressively longer…Christmas, the season of goodwill and merriment can easily make you feel overwhelmed when trying to cope with your day to day responsibilities and all the other tasks that may start to mount up this time of year…and then you meet a smug friend who’s already finished her Christmas shopping and written the Christmas cards!! Well let me tell you, they are not ‘normal’!


Parties, presents and photos – let me give you a few ideas:

Parties – does that make you excited or dread the thought of what to wear? Do you go for black and sparkle, which is currently dominating the shops or something subtler like velvet or silk? Well, the same guidelines apply – dress for you body shape!

If you have curves you want your fabric to flow over them and not be too structured or too loose and if your bodyline is straighter avoid anything too floaty or frilly.

And a little bit of blusher and lippy can go a long way to enhance your features. However, if your skin is more mature stick with matt eye shadow, avoiding sparkle and shine.

If you know that black doesn’t really work for you any more, think about navy, plum, burgundy or forest green. (Selection from Phase 8)

  phase8navyblousondress phase8plum 230198693_1





Or a few other alternatives from Zara

Presents – it’s ok if you know what present you need to buy for someone but what if you don’t, where do you start? How often have you received a present and it’s just not you? The colour, shape or style is wrong…so put yourself in that person’s shoes. For example, if you’re thinking of buying a scarf, consider the persons colouring – what colour are their eyes and hair? If they have little contrast in their features avoid strong colours, go for something more subtle. If on the other hand, they have contrast in their features (i.e. between their hair, eyes and skin-tone) you can be more adventurous and opt for a bolder colour.

Photos – the camera is always around more at Christmas time and I bet a lot of you shy away from the lens? Cue Catherine O’Donnell… do you remember that I mentioned my photo shoot with her last month? Well, these are her top tips to looking your best and getting the most out of your own photos this Christmas:

1. Dress to impress! Dress for the camera; wear something you are comfortable in but preferably something fitted. Fitted clothes generally always look better in pictures of women.

2. Glow for it… If you’re more comfortable when you have a little more colour maybe give yourself a luxury body scrub on Christmas eve and apply some of your favourite fake-tan, you’ll be sporting that little extra glow come Christmas day!

3. Be a Selfie Queen: If you’re taking a selfie – angle the camera from above, it’s always more flattering to be shot from a slightly higher angle!

4. Strike a pose: a little hand on a hip slightly higher up on your waist than you might usually place it actually acts to elongate your legs, add to this a side on glance at the camera and you’ll be working an instantly flattering pose. 

5. Lights, camera, action… Set your camera up on a tripod & get the whole family in on the action maybe do this while your having your Christmas dinner or opening presents – capturing something genuine but including yourself in the action will make a picture to remember.

6. Click: When you are the one taking pictures – look for genuine expression – capture your little ones (or grand children) opening their prezzies or dressing the fireplace on Christmas eve. These little moments really will be the ones to treasure!

7. Bring your pictures to life: after all the excitement is over and you’ve filled your festive boots to the brim, remember to print those precious memories you’ve made – they will make wonderful keepsakes for years to come!

So, if you love portraits, capturing memories and moments, and are a little stuck as to what to get a loved one this Christmas or indeed what to ask Santa for yourself…

Catherine O’Donnell specialises in creating beautiful portrait art with a natural lifestyle feel and offers photo shoots for families, children and women. She also offers tutorials.

Just mention ‘Lesley Clarke Christmas’ to receive an exclusive 10% discount on gift vouchers purchased this December.  

Or if you like you could get a combined Style Session and photo shoot!  


Photo by Catherine O’Donnell, Jewellery by Piccadilly Lily


As always, get in touch if I can help in anyway!


© Copyright Lesley Clarke 2017