Hello ladies, (and gentlemen if you are reading), todays blog is something slightly different to anything I have ever done before, and I hope you will enjoy it and that it gets you thinking.

Who are we talking about?

Shabana is the lady on topic today! This beautiful lady is 32 (I didn’t believe her either!) and works as a business development manager. Day to day she works in an office and has to wear smart clothes such as blazers, trousers etc. Shabana informed me that she has around 10 different blazers, and at least 3 of them are black! However, I did ask if there was an expectation for females to wear heels around the office, as I know this is still the case in many offices even in 2019. Yes, heels may look smart and elegant, but there are many reasons I personally believe women shouldn’t be forced to wear heels in an office:

  1. They are incredibly uncomfortable when worn for hours upon end
  2. Worn for eight hours a day, five days a week is going to cause permanent damage to the individuals' feet and posture
  3. Why do heels look any smarter than brogues or flat shoes?

Fortunately, Shabana did say that in her office it is NOT compulsory to wear heels, but she chooses to wear them because of her height (4ft 11”). She felt like if she was a lot taller, she would wear flats every day, which I completely understand from an office point of view.
Shabana is Muslim, and has several siblings, but she is the only sibling currently living at home. I went on to ask Shabana what she usually wears when she is out of work, to which she said she wears a mixture of Western and Asian clothing. A lot of her traditional Asian clothing is saved for the summer, nice weather or special events/occasions as the material is quite thin, so it’s perfect for warmer weather!
I got the chance to ask Shabana a few questions about her experience at La Femme

Where did you hear about La Femme?

"My sister booked me in for the makeover photoshoot as a birthday present"

Kiran mentioned you had previously had a photoshoot before, and you had a bad experience?! What happened?

 "I was told by the makeup artist (who is quite a famous bridal MUA) my eyebrows are not equal, my lips are not shaped and my hair is too thin. She was talking to her friend on the phone whilst I was sitting in the room, explaining my hair was too thin and she couldn't figure out what to do with it)
I felt incredibly insecure about myself after this experience."
In Shabana's words the whole day "was not a positive experience" I personally think it is perfectly acceptable to do your own eyebrows as we all know they are a very particular thing! I could never imagine in my wildest dreams a professional makeup artist making statements about their client, so to hear almost a horror story makes my heart sink. Shabana had never had a photoshoot before, as I presume most people probably haven't - it's not something you do everyday! For me, a makeover should be a completely uplifting and positive experience, feeling beautiful head to toe, being pampered like a Princess and then feel like a professional model! Not to come out the other end feeling deflated, self conscious and paranoid. Therefore, we were determined to turn around Shabana's bad experience into a positive one!

What were your expectations from the photoshoot?

"I mostly went with the flow as I was slightly nervous before coming in (due to my previous experience) but as soon as I spoke to Kiran (our lovely photographer) she put me at ease and I was excited!"

What does beauty mean to you?

"Being yourself, and making yourself feel better by the way you dress for yourself rather than focussing on other people's opinions."

What made you choose to wear the outfits that you brought along?

"I wanted something different, so the Western and traditional outfits worked perfectly. I also borrowed my sister's wedding dress... I just wanted to see how it felt to be dressed as a bride! (As I'm not married yet.)"

Me and Shabana spent a long time discussing traditional Asian and Western clothing as we felt like a mixture would suit her personality the best.  Shabana's favourite image is the one of her lying on her back in the black jumpsuit- even though it was a workout! A lot of people don't realise how hard it is getting into poses, even though they may look effortless. Our photographer Kiran was making her laugh by saying "just push your body up a little bit more, just a little bit more!"

Shabana explained how it was only right to go on a shopping spree before the shoot as she wanted a mixture of clothing, although it was a task and half trying to find the perfect jumpsuit because of her height! As Shabana mentioned earlier, her sister very kindly let her borrow her wedding dress for the photoshoot (this is the red outfit!) The jewellery is also her sisters from her wedding day - how stunning is it?! 

What kind of response did you receive from close friends and family before and after the shoot?

"Everyone loved the photos! I'd had comments saying I looked like a Bollywood actress in one of the images! I've got all of my images up on my wall in my room now, nicely displayed."



What did you think of your hair and makeup by Nat?

"I absolutely loved what Natalie did, she did a fabulous job on my hair and makeup and really made me feel beautiful whilst she was dolling me up. She is an amazing person!"

Did you enjoy your photoshoot with Kiran, and what was your highlight?

"Kiran is an awesome person- really bubbly and loving! She made me feel like it was a girls get together, just hanging out with the girls! Kiran made me feel so relaxed and we couldn't stop talking about anything and everything."

Shabana is completely right, Kiran is one of the most bubbly people I have ever met, and these three (Nat, Kiran and Shabana) got on like a house on fire! Shabana thought that there was a brilliant atmosphere throughout the studio and everyone she spoke to made her feel completely comfortable. She would 100% do it all over again.

Our lovely photographer Kiran:

What did you think of your viewing experience with Holly?

"I enjoyed looking at all the photos... it was hard to narrow them down as I thought all of them looked amazing. Holly was very supportive and gave her honest opinions whilst selecting the photos."

Would you recommend La Femme and Mackney Photography to friends and family?

"Most definitely, I have already told most of my friends about it and even got my sister to go for a photoshoot!"

Shabana has been shouting our name from the rooftops! As she mentioned above, her sister is already booked in with us, and Shabana herself would like to come back with her partner to get some gorgeous shots of them together. We can't say we blame her, but we are bias! 

So let's summarise Shabana's story - there is no such thing as traditional beauty. Everyone is beautiful no matter how they dress, wear their hair or if they choose to cover their hair. I absolutely adore Shabana's (sister's) wedding dress, and I know that I probably will never have the chance to wear something so beautiful, so it makes me so happy to see Shabana wearing it with pride. 

Beauty is not defined by how much skin you show or how long your legs are. It's who you are as a person, and I personally think Shabana is a perfect example. 

Which of Shabana's outifts is your favourite? 

I have loved writing this blog and I will be back very soon!