FASHION & BEAUTY COLUMNIST NANCY BUCKLAND KIRK TELLS US WHAT SHE LEARNT ABOUT BEAUTY FOR ALL AGES DURING AN INFORMAL AFTERNOON WITH PATSY KENSIT.
I love lists. I have that same list we all have, featuring People I Would Most Like To Meet. I am lucky to have met a few of my favourites, but one has stood out as the person I just haven’t met yet: Patsy Kensit. So when the call came in from my favourite magazine, I couldn’t get there quick enough. Patsy was going to be at Marks and Spencer, Cheshire Oaks, giving a presentation about Studio 10 make-up. Would I like to go? Er, yes please.
My trusty friend Chris accompanied me. We first met as Saturday girls at Warehouse, back when it was the brainchild of Jeff Banks. Since then, she’s made fashion a bit more her passion and I’m more of a beauty fanatic. Our visit was preceded with many Whatsapp messages about what to wear. And even a few minutes before we got to sit down for an Audience With Patsy Kensit, we could feel a groundswell of women just like us, all wandering around, a bit directionless. It felt like a first day at school and we’d all turned up in uniform, but not sure if we were in the right building.
Patsy was joined by the Studio 10 team and their ace band of make-up artists. But before I talk make-up, I have to mention Patsy herself. I spent the first few minutes staring like someone who had been given the wrong prescription. Then when I got my act together I can only report that Patsy Kensit is even more beautiful than I could have imagined. We all sat up and took notice. She was definitely our Head Girl.
She told us she was nervous and had just had a hot flush, which she’d helped control with a dab of peppermint oil on the back of her neck. You could see us all mentally take notes. Then she talked candidly, and with huge warmth and humour, about the menopause, feeling invisible and how she felt that, as women over a certain age, we do get ignored in many ways by the fashion and beauty media, although times are definitely changing. It made me feel reassured. If a woman who has access to the kind of fashion and beauty prizes I can only dream about feels a bit out on a limb, it’s no wonder I stare in the mirror and wonder when I turned into my mother.
Studio 10 is a company she is personally involved with, and is the only range of its kind directly made for women over 35. There is no upper age limit. You just keep going for as long as you can get up every morning. Again, there is a really cheeky side to the brand, which its founder, Grace Fodor, calls Slap and Go! She has a point. It’s a seriously curated range, filled with products that have multiple uses, and is packed full of skincare ingredients, hyaluronic acid being my favourite.
Luckily, I was asked up on stage to get my complexion sorted out. The concept of a total makeover freaks most of us out, so the team got to work on eyes, and how to do lips. Even with all my knowledge I realised I had been getting it all wrong. After a quick concealer workout and application of Glow-Plexion Plumping Blush, I literally felt like a new woman. It’s definitely time to pack away my bronzer and heavy powders. Suddenly, the real, real housewives of Cheshire were deep in conversation and all joining in. My friend, Chris, suddenly turned into an everyday glamazon, courtesy of Brow Lift Perfecting Liner, Age Reverse Perfecting Lip Liner and Wake Up & Glow Lip/Cheek Flush.
Suddenly, we were all talking. Mums, grandmothers, daughters, sisters and friends were picking up tips and sharing our stories. We no longer felt invisible. We suddenly felt at home. Because choosing and wearing great make-up isn’t just the preserve of teenagers, although the fun certainly starts then, but somewhere along the line the joy of beauty shopping suddenly becomes a chore, and you stick to what you know, rather than what suits you now. With Studio 10, and the amazing beauty staff at Marks and Spencer, we got a warm welcome and a master class in how to wear age-defying products easily, right now.
I left with a spring in my step, and a bag full of goodies that I couldn’t wait to get home and try. It was like we had been to a beauty school just meant for us, and for a few hours we packed away our ordinary lives and to-do lists, and talked about mascara and the dreams we still hope for.
And what can I say about our Head Girl, Patsy Kensit? She may have been gifted with an extraordinary beauty but she also knows how to tell a tale. Her story about watching Elizabeth Taylor getting her make-up done on the set of The Blue Bird, back when Patsy was just six, had us on the edge of our seats. The legendary Taylor asked the MGM team every day to give her ‘glow’, and that was where the inspiration for Glow-Plexion came from.
“And by the way,” she said, tongue firmly in cheek. “The line works very well for bridal, and as you all know, I do love a wedding.”
Patsy Kensit is class act who, in my eyes, will be almost impossible to follow, and in Studio 10 I found a range where I get a little of her Hollywood magic, designed just for me, in a world where I suddenly feel visible again.
Studio 10 is available at www.marksandspencer.com
About the author: Nancy Buckland Kirk is a writer with a keen interest in fashion and beauty and a career which has spanned modelling, teaching and spreading the word about leading beauty brands.
Related feature: Here are Nancy’s skincare confessions!