Wendy please tell our readers about your early days, what was it like when you first got started modelling?
“I was born in 1961 in Manchester and had a very happy normal childhood. As I reached teenage years I started to fantasise about what I would really love to do as a career. I always loved the smell and feel of big department stores with their perfectly made up staff on the make-up and perfumery, but at 13 I walked with my head down all the time, no confidence, and felt I would never be able to scrub up like those beautiful people. I still used to pore over the fashion magazines and wonder what it must be like to involve myself in the fashion industry but only as a make-up artist or stylist perhaps. To my surprise at 14 I was spotted by a Manchester model agency who asked if I would like to attend a grooming and deportment class. We were encouraged not to wear make-up, not do anything fancy with our hair and we were watched closely for weight gain. All that was required was a pair of court shoes for catwalk practice. As I approached 15 it was noticed that I was still very skinny and at 5ft 7in I was tall enough for the agency to place me on their books as a fashion and beauty model. It was then that I was taught hair and make-up skills, and how to dress for “go sees”. This is what they called visiting photographers, magazines and ad agencies with your portfolio.”
What has been your most lucrative work?
“Modelling certainly has its challenges and one job I did with Lord Snowden for BT involved me sitting on a shooting stick in a bikini for six hours whilst also looking relaxed on the telephone. I was supposed to be in the nude but nude rates weren’t being paid so the agency was insistent I kept my clothes on. Lord Snowden thought I was very prudish for not stripping off as it would have saved having to touch out my bikini later! My modelling career gave me opportunities to travel, the highlights being spending time with the Massai Tribe in Africa on Safari one week to being on Mombassa beach the next.
What was your daily routine when you were modelling?
“There were many trips abroad where getting up at 5 or 6 in the morning were the norm in order to be ready for first light. Quite often there was no shooting after 10 in the morning once the sun was too high but work would start again at 5 or 6 in the evening. Modelling looks glamorous but travelling, loneliness and lack of sleep can be testing.”
How do you feel now that you are growing older?
“As we go through life we have differing pressures to deal with. I think remaining fit healthy and looking good requires self-awareness, assertion and maintaining a balance and regime that works for you. What I need now is so different to what I needed 20 years ago.”
What work do you do now?
“I have had to develop the quality of compassion towards myself to survive the loss of my father last year and in order to best look after my mum now. I have had to take a serious look at what I can realistically achieved in any working week; that means I get the job done but also address my own needs and the needs of those who I love and who need me. This has led me to consider reducing my hours at work.”
What is your daily routine for a healthy life style?
“Instead of going to classes or the gym I now walk and practice Yoga...this suits me better now. It’s more flexible for me. Then there is the obvious, decent sleep, drinking plenty of water and eating well...I like to cook things from raw or have fresh salads. I avoid processed food and like to know where my food is coming from. That’s why I like to shop locally in Todmorden if i can rather than at big supermarkets.”
What is your daily beauty routine?
“In terms of my appearance now, keeping active and eating well combined with a regular skin regime, careful application of make-up (I find “little is more” as i get older) and good quality hair care is the key. Regular visits to Stone Hair Art and having their professionals advise me on how to look after my hair between visits, has become an essential part of my routine.
How important is your hair to you?
“Looking after my hair remains a priority to me.”
What is your favourite hairstyle of all time?
“The one I have now really, I love the combination of colourful hues and tints, its so cutting edge, yet it’s still a fresh, energetic style. It seems to suite me no matter how active or how sophisticated my day may be. When I look in the mirror, my hair makes me feel like I’m having fun in my life.”
What do you expect from your hairstylist?
“Time aside just for me, it helps me feel good about myself and gives me a confidence boost. I have no doubt that this improves health in a way that no visit to the GP could. Walking into the salon you immediately feel important due to the professionalism of the staff and the ‘second to none’ customer care. This is the result of having a mentor such as Loucas, who has so many years of experience and listens to his clients. Every client is special there and the staff understand how important ‘time out’ and ‘me time’ is to people today, especially in the times of stress we all encounter as we go through our lives.”
How do you manage in this recession?
“We all have to be more careful with our budget in these times of recession but looking after my hair remains a priority to me.”