Tag "Chiara Aprea"

My Aquatic Mermaid Shoot With Chiara Aprea!

I spend a lot of time on the blog talking about my love of fashion and showing you all the outfits that I have put together. When I first started this blog my aim was to show plus size women a variety of clothing styles available to them and hopefully give them some ideas and tips when styling their looks. Early on in my journey to confidence I played around with my look and it was through this experimentation that I discovered that we all have the ability to wear whatever we like and we can use fashion as a way to show our personality and have fun. As it stands I haven’t shared that many beauty looks on the blog because in truth, I haven’t had much of a chance to play around in that area.

There is one woman who knows my face better than most and is able to transform my image in a variety of ways. Chiara Aprea is real visionary and such a talent! So far most of my photo shoots have been with her. As a plus size model, photographer and makeup artist her skills are second to none. I love working with her because each experience is different to the last. When Chiara and I prepare to do a shoot we usually brainstorm over different themes and MUA styles. I had told Chiara quite some time ago that I really wanted to do a beauty shoot featuring fantasy mermaid makeup. Fast forward a few months and we had set a date to transform me into an aquatic mermaid with hints of the ice queen!



Having worked with Chiara twice before I knew I was going to be in for a fun and very creative day. Our first shoot together was a vintage boudoir theme with a series of different costume and hair changes. My makeup for this shoot remained the same but the different accessories, angles and looks made for a really varied set of photos. To see some of them check out my previous post about it here.

Second time around was a new experience for both myself and Chiara. She had wanted to start offering beauty shoots which focused on hair and makeup set to a specific theme. This time around she had approached me to do this with her. The idea was to transform me from the Mayah you are all familiar with to a technicolor geisha and dangerous dominatrix! I loved the idea as I thought this would be a challenge and a great way to play with makeup! Chiara thought that with my hair type and complexion I would be a great candidate to showcase some of her capabilites that people weren’t very familiar with. To see some of these images and hear about our day check out my previous post here.

So here we are, I’m back in the makeup chair and this time we both knew that the process of application would be quite lengthy. Firstly she started by painting my forehead in a blue and silver gradient. My eyes and hairline were perfectly lined and the plan was to have a similar finish on my lips. We then added sequins and glitter and finished off by adding tons of diamontes in a variety of sizes and shades of blue. We then straightened my hair, added extensions and sprayed the tips in white and silver hair paint. The colours we used didn’t show up hugely on my hair but they gave me a slight tint which actually worked really well in the pictures.

My aim was to tap into a really quiet sombre side of my personality and do my best not to smile. As quite a smiley person this was a challenge for me. The aim was for me to showcase all of my emotion through my eyes. We switched up the lighting throughout the shoot which gave my skin and makeup a really interesting hue throughout. When bright lights hit my eyes they tend to go from their usual dark brown to a bright chestnut colour, this happens to me in the sunshine too. I really love that in these pictures my eyes constantly look different and I have a variety of expressions from dark and moody to sweet and sultry. I absolutely love how these pictures came out and love the high fashion feel that they have. Once again I am in awe of Chiara’s work and her direction helped me pose for some beautiful images.

If you would like to see more of Chiara’s work check out her photography page on Facebook. You can also get information on how to book your own shoot. To check it out click here.

As I mentioned before Chiara is not only an amazing photographer and makeup artist she is also a successful plus size model and a gorgeous one at that! Check out her model page here.

Remember whatever you wear, feel fabulous in it and wear it with a smile!

My Beauty Shoot With Chiara Aprea

Some of you may remember a previous post I wrote about a photoshoot I did with my very talented friend Chiara Aprea. We did a boudoir themed shoot where I played around with many vintage looks and styles. Sweet and sultry, sexy and seductive, fun and silly… These were all different looks we tried out and I had an absolute blast throughout the whole process. Chiara seriously pushed me out of my comfort zone and I am so happy that she did because she made me see myself in a way that I hadn’t previously. I remember my whole time in front of the camera I was eager to learn new poses, try out new things and have fun with it. The entire time Chiara was encouraging, patient and a lot of fun to shoot with. Anyone thinking of trying out something like that you really should, even if no one else ever sees the pictures afterwards. I found the experience liberating, exciting and the end result was a very happy and confident Mayah!

To see some of the pictures click here for the previous post.

My Beauty Shoot With Chiara Aprea-Mayah1My Beauty Shoot With Chiara Aprea-Mayah2

Shortly after we wrapped up the first shoot and I had received some of the images, Chiara reached out to me about a new style package she was introducing. She wanted to do some photos totally based on the face with me as the person to launch it. The beauty package is all about detailed facial expressions and interesting hair and make up. I was seriously excited to hear about this as I tend to wear the same make up everyday and I thought it would be cool to play around more with my face and hair as opposed to my clothes. Chiara wanted to transform me into a modern day geisha and an angry dominatrix; as you can imagine neither of these styles were like anything I had previously tried out and I was excited and intrigued to see what she had in mind for me.

At first we started with my hair, luckily for me I had some extensions in because this was about to be the biggest hairstyle I had ever sported! A gigantic quiff was swept up in the front of my hair and accompanied by 2 backward fishtail plaits. One or 2 hair flowers were used with some real flowers inserted in places. Layers and layers of eye makeup was then applied to my face pinks, golds, yellows and of course some eyelash extensions. I was then treated to super bright pink lips and a delicate brow. The end result was me as a technicolor modern day geisha.

Selfie fun with Chiara before we started shooting look #1

I really loved these images when I first saw them. I had never even known I could look so nice in such a different character. Playing around with fans, parasols and fun poses is always fun but nothing beats seeing the end result. I had so much fun with this look that I knew changing into an angry dom with a totally different temperament might be somewhat of a challenge.

I had a total transformation and what’s more, I never even took off the make up from the geisha set. With a few additions and tweaks I went from sweet and earthly to a woman with attitude and a total bitch face! I have to say it was fun to be in both roles and I really liked the fact that the two looks were almost polar opposites.

Selfie fun with Chiara before we started shooting look #2

In the space of about 15-20 minutes I went from being a sweet geisha to a chick with way too much attitude.  My hair was swept up into a tight high pony tail restrained by a black scarf. A dark and metallic smokey eye was accompanied with black and white eye liner and framed with a sharp and squared brow. To finish off Chiara applied a deep purple colour to my lips.

Standing there covered in black pleather clothes and extreme makeup on I was told to just think of something that seriously makes me angry. Channelling my inner diva and going back to my years in the theatre seriously helped me here. Pretending to be raging mad isn’t as easy as you would think when you’re having such a fun time working with a friend. My aim was to concentrate on my expressions and I seriously hope that the angry bitchy look was achieved. I think I most definitely got it in some of the frames.

My Beauty Shoot With Chiara Aprea-Mayah3

I love working with Chiara each time brings with it a new experience and new challenges. The first shoot really made me push myself by being shot in my lingerie for many looks, a huge confidence boost. This time I had to really focus on my face which was something I hadn’t previously done when taking pictures of any kind.

I already have some ideas in mind for another beauty shoot and I’m very sure Chiara and I will collaborate again sometime in the near future. What can I say, I don’t know a single woman out there who doesn’t love playing dress up and experimenting with make up. I figure if I’m going to do it I may as well take some cool pictures and have something to look back on.

If any of you have considered doing a shoot of this kind and you live in the UK you really should drop Chiara a message and make your booking. She has a variety of different packages at amazing prices so don’t miss out if you’re thinking about it.

You can find her on Facebook here.

Faye Floral Doll Dress – A Collectif Clothing Review

One of the things I absolutely love to do is get myself all dolled up for a night on the town! When I first laid eyes on the gorgeous Faye Floral Doll Dress by Collectif I knew instantly that it had to be mine! When you have that amazing night out or date with that special someone circled in the diary; you want more than anything to look your absolute best. The ritual of getting ready is one that many women enjoy; for me I like to spend as little time as possible and have a simple but show stopping outfit that can do all the talking for me…
When I think of the fashion from the 1940s and 1950s one word springs to mind, glamour.
Beautiful stars like Marilyn Monroe, Bettie Davis, Greta Garbo, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Marlene Dietrich and many more had one thing in common. These women were some of the best dressed ladies out there! It is through their fashions and many others before them that we now have new variations of the style that was common place to them back in the day!
The Faye Dress by Collectif to me is a special piece. With the sweetheart detail that is surrounded by a cluster of flowers, tulle shoulders with dress overlay, and built in petticoats you simply cannot go wrong! There are so many black dresses out there that are beautiful, many of which need some added help in making them stand out amongst the rest. With many of my other dresses I find myself searching for Boleros, petticoats and belts to give them that extra something. When it came to wearing this dress the only addition I wanted to add to the look was a serious vintage hair style and so as you can see when I did my photoshoot with Chiara Aprea I opted for a major victory roll!
Hair and MUA and photography by Aprea Chiara

Styling by Chiara and myself.
Please do not copy or edit any images without permission from model and photographer.

 
 Now when it comes to the fit of the dress I will be honest, I had to size up twice in this dress and pick up a 3xl. The reason for this is that the tulle over the bust and shoulders has absolutely no stretch so if you do have a sizeable bust as I do, bare that in mind. I usually wear a 20 or 22 in Collectif clothing which in this dress would be a 1xl or 2xl. If you do have a smaller size bust then you may be able to wear your regular size. The skirt of the dress fit me perfectly in the 1xl but I simply needed the extra wiggle room in the bust area. In these pictures I am wearing an over bust corset but the dress does fit me perfectly without it, I simply wanted to enhance the curvature in my waist for the photographs. The body of the dress has plenty of room and the built in petticoat gives it that extra something that would be perfect for a dinner date or a night of swing dancing!
Stock Images Courtesy Of Collectif
I can’t wait to actually wear this one out and about as I feel so beautiful wearing it and I know I’m not the only one! The great news is that this dress is available in a range of sizes and is one of the first dresses that Collectif has introduced with a plus size range going all the way up to 4xl. The £115 dress may not be a cheap purchase but it really is worth the cost as the quality is amazing and the style is timeless! I was able to pick this one up in sale and in even better news, the plus sizes 1xl – 4xl are still on sale and reduced to an amazing £65!
Check out these reviews by the beautiful Georgina A.K.A Fuller Figure Fuller Bust and the lovely Sarah A.K.A Plus Size Proud 

My Boudoir Shoot With Chiara Aprea

One of the hardest things for any women out there to do is to look in the mirror and absolutely love what she sees! About a year and a half ago I pretty much hated myself physically. I would poke holes in my appearance, jump in with insults before others could and like many plus size people, I would hide away in black clothing hoping to blend into the background. I would do things to make myself feel better like get my hair done or my nails but I would still find fault with myself. Those who have known me for quite some time will know that I may be confident in my personality and with my talents but my image was the one area that had always taken a beating leaving me with limited self confidence.
When you spend years of you life listening to the comments of others and telling yourself that being big makes you ugly it can be hard to have any real level of self esteem. What changed for me was when I reached my mid twenties. I decided that I had spent more than enough time hating myself and that if I didn’t “pull myself together” I would spend way too much of my time beating my own confidence into the ground. I experimented with different styles of dress, playing around with fashion and make up and have now reached a place where I can look in the mirror and actually like what I see!
When I was at Plus London last year I met an amazing girl who not only is a stunning plus size model but amazing photographer! Chiara Aprea is fast making a name for herself specializing in plus size photography with an aim of building confidence in her clients. When I saw the gorgeous photoshoots she had done of some of my friends I thought you know what i’m gonna call her and try this out. I dropped her a message and we made plans to do a boudoir themed shoot…
I arrived at her home with a suitcase full of vintage inspired clothes and some lingerie. I was full of nerves but excited to get all dolled up for the shoot. Chiara worked on my hair and make-up and transformed me into a vintage sex kitten! We were soon ready to get snapping away and I went in with a mind set that even if I don’t like how I look in some of the shots, the experience would do me some good…

Hair and MUA and photography by 
Aprea Chiara
Styling by Chiara and myself.
Please do not copy or edit any images without permission from model and photographer.
As we first got started I was really nervous and self concious and Chiara convinced me that I looked good and that I had nothing to worry about. She directed the shoot giving me hints and tips on how to pose. We played around with different hair styles, clothes and backdrops, always fun for any girl who likes playing dress up! For me I found this experience extremely daring! I had posed in as little attire as a sheer sheet and my underwear, right the way up to a corset and cape with petticoats on. I started out as a shy woman doing something for a little fun and ended the day feeling revived, confident and fabulous! From start to finish Chiara made me feel comfortable, in control and beautiful. She would give me sneak peaks of some of the frames and in truth I looked one hundred percent better than I could possibly have anticipated!
Not only did it feel good to have a friend on the other side of the camera, I felt confident that she would be able to get the best out of me. As a plus size model herself with some beautiful photos I knew that she was able to capture me how I wanted. Looking back in hindsight I really believe that what had me nervous in the beginning were my former doubts trying to creep in!
When the shoot was done and we went to review the pictures I expected to pick out maybe 5 or 6 that I liked and I ended up wanting to purchase almost every single frame taken in the shoot! I had never thought I could look so good and I am so glad I did it! Putting myself in a new situation that was totally out of my comfort zone and pushing myself to try something new has given me new insight. You have to be willing to take more risks, you may love the end result!
Myself and the gorgeous Chiara after a fun day of shooting
If any of you have considered doing a shoot of this kind and you live in the UK you really should drop Chiara a message and book in your shoot! You will not be disappointed!
You can find her on facebook here.