When it comes to colour, style, and body proportions, Stacey Beatson is the master. Trudi Brewer chats to one of this countries top 'Life Stylists'.
Beatson in her Auckland home.
Over a decade ago hairdresser and makeup artist Stacey Beatson embarked on a career as a stylist after noticing a gap in the market. Carefully curating women's wardrobes, social engagements, and interiors she has perfected her skills and today is one of New Zealand's most respected 'life stylists'. Here she shares her philosophy on fashion, hair, beauty and body image from her Auckland home.
How did you become a personal stylist?
After working as a hairdresser and makeup artist, I thought I already had a good understanding of what works, regarding hair colour, styling, and makeup. However, I wanted to formalise my knowledge and train to become a stylist. Initially, I trained in New Zealand with Color Me Beautiful, and then put into practice what I had learnt for a year or so, before heading to Australia for extra training. I have also studied in America, and recently completed my fifth course of colour training with Rochele Hirsch. I have been working as a full-time personal stylist for ten years, and the majority of my clientele I have had since I first started my business. My company Stacey Beatson Stylist has evolved to be more about life styling rather than just personal styling. I style many facets of my client's lives, which makes perfect sense to me when you see how busy some of these people are.
Describe your clientele?
They are stylish, successful and intelligent individuals. They often have other specialised consultants such as gym instructors, nutritionists, interior designers, business strategists, etc. I am another of their experts, which help to make their lives organised and successful. However, there is lots of laughter and entertainment along the way. A large part of my appeal is my humor and my ability to laugh at myself and keep it real.
What's a typical working day for you?
There is no typical 'working day', which is the reason I love my career as a stylist. I work six days a week, up to ten hours a day. And each week is different. One day, I may be doing a fashion event, another day viewing ranges for the season ahead, and placing advanced orders for clients. Or work with clients on marketing for their websites. I often spend time assisting them in packing to get ready for travel. I create photographic combinations of outfits for easy reference and give advice on seasonal fashion, makeup and hair updates. A day or two a week maybe spent personal shopping, and often one or two days out of Auckland. So no two days are ever same.
Beatsons wardrobe is organised and colour coordinated.
What do you love most about your career?
It is incredibly rewarding, and it is very personally fulfilling seeing my clients living their dreams, fulfilling their ambitions, achieving what they wish to achieve. We all know the importance of appearance and first impressions, but we don’t often spend time analysing our life. How we currently look? And how we would like to look? That is what I do on behalf of my clients. I am always thinking about the message that their look is sending, and how it needs to evolve.
What do you believe makes great personal style?
It is a combination of things, based on an intimate knowledge of what makes you look and feel amazing. That gives them a certain sense of confidence and peace. When you know you look great; it is very liberating. I had a client tell me some time ago that she chose me based on my slightly messy look, that I was not perfect, and I was happy with that. I guess style to me is not contrived or over-orchestrated.
Beatson wears Gregory and Trelise Cooper.
How has your career influenced your style?
My personal style has evolved and become more polished and a little less eclectic since I first started my career. My style is always feminine and creative. In saying that I am just as happy at Ahipara in my board shorts and T-Shirt, as I am at a glam event. I do have a signature look that is easily recognizable, but it has softened over the years, and I am happy with where it is at right now.
What NZ fashion designers do you admire?
Gregory, Trelise Cooper, Ricochet, and Deadly Ponies. I also enjoy working with brands such as Kowtow, Helen Cherry, and for men, Working Style and Barkers. I work with lots of different fashion labels and boutiques, but these would be my favourites – both personally and professionally. As for shoes, Scarpa, and Mischief, both have a great selection of fashion footwear.
How do you stay looking so fit and trim?
I don’t think of myself as fit and trim – as I have been on a long journey of discovering to love and appreciate my body. I used to be very overweight up until the age of 30, so my life in the last 16 years has gone through some major changes including significant weight loss (around 40kg). In lots of ways, I think this gives me empathy and understanding if somebody is struggling with body image. One of the best things about my job is that I am moving around during the day – and I know that this helps to burn off calories. I love food, wine and have a sweet tooth, so I exercise each day to try and maintain this luscious figure.
What does beauty mean to you?
As a beauty lover, I am drawn to the beauty in everything I see. In nature, fashion, colour, texture, people, love and life and so beauty is not easily defined to me. If we are talking about beauty in an individual, it is often the whole essence of a person that makes them beautiful – from their energy to their eyes and heart. Sometimes in New Zealand people tone down their beauty and they like to make others feel more comfortable by not elevating themselves. I try to encourage my clients to be happy and confident in their individual beauty.
What is your ultimate skincare essential?
I love the sun and spend a lot of time sunbathing, swimming and surfing in summer, but I am careful, to always wear sunscreen. I supplement my summer tan with fake tan, and my absolute favourite is Clarins Delicious Self Tanning Cream.
What are your beauty basics?
Moisturizer with sunscreen, I use Ultraceuticals SPF30+ as I find this a great base under makeup. I also love to exfoliate and am currently using Dr.Le Winns Facial Polishing Gel. In the evenings, I cleanse and use L’Orèal Paris Skin Perfection and then apply L'Orèal Paris Age Perfect Extraordinary Facial Oil as a nightly moisturiser. After a busy day applying essential oils is ideal for relaxation.
What about makeup?
L’Orèal Paris True Match Foundation, and I often buy three at one time, because I would hate to be without it. I also cannot live without MAC Black Track, I would feel rather lost without my flick of liner. I like a matt finish to my makeup and use MAC Studio Fix. I have worn MAC Lipstick in Myth for years; it is a favourite, but recently I have become besotted with the Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolour – the longevity and matte finish is perfect.
You have always been a dark brunette, tell us about going lighter as you've got older?
The journey of going lighter with my hair colour has been an interesting one, shared with my hairdresser Belinda Robb from Biba Salon. I have quite a lot of grey, so my hair has been lightened gradually, using a freehand technique. It has been very successful, so many women have been interested in the process, and ow I feel about my new colour. Initially, I didn't feel like myself, it took some adjustment. I did soften my eye makeup with, MAC eyeshadow in Uninterrupted (it's a light tawny brown) and I use this as a wash over my darker eyeshadow and liner, it tones everything down. And I am wearing softer hues, like pink and denim with white.
What hair products do you rate?
I often say to my clients ‘your hair is your greatest accessory’, and I like to maintain the condition of my hair, by washing it only two or three times a week. Between shampoos, I use L'Orèal Professionnel Wild Stylers Next Day Hair. I use L’Oreal Hair Expertise Precious Oil Mist on the ends of my hair, and Pureology Silk Bodifier Mousse for getting volume and lift. I style my hair with a round brush or heated rollers; and always use L’Oreal Professionnel Techni-art Pli Thermo Fixing Spray, which is the most wonderful setting lotion, for fighting frizz by blocking humidity. For finishing. I use lots of Original Queenie Hairspray by O & M I always have two cans on the go. And, my life has been made so much better with the creation of hair dust – I use the Kevin Murphy Powder Puff.
Do you have a signature scent?
I have two, and they are both Estèe Lauder Youth Dew and Knowing. I have worn these for years. I was gifted a gorgeous scent by a client at Christmas from WORLD called Egypt by Eight & Bob, and I get lots of lovely compliments when I wear this fragrance.
How would your describe your home?
A place of love and warmth. It is eclectic, stylish, and feminine, with a relaxed, glamorous feel. My time in my home is very precious, and I treasure it.
What is your favourite room?
My favorite room is my deck – I love to be outdoors and would choose to sit on the deck rather than inside. I often take my laptop outside in summer to work.
What are your most treasured possessions?
That's a tricky one. I adore my Tom Ford handbag that I purchased in London a couple of years ago with close friends at Harrods. I also have a treasured pair of Dolce and Gabanna limited edition gold-plated sunglasses. And, I love my trainers, as my time spent out walking each day is precious. I am blessed, to have beautiful things but they cannot compare in any way to having wonderful relationships.
Photography by Keryn Sweeney