A Snapshot In The Life Of….
Yvette Gray is a Makeup and Hair Artist; Beauty Writer; Makeup and Grooming Presenter and Coach. Her passion for the fashion, beauty and grooming industries were evident from a very young age and now extends to over 23 years experience. In 1995 she shifted her focus from the catwalk to Makeup, Hair and Grooming and since then, her versatility, enthusiasm and down to earth nature have led to her being highly regarded and sought after, with clients across Australia and overseas. You can visit Yvette’s website here and connect with her on Facebook here.
I am so thrilled to have Yvette featured this week! Yvette & I go way back – she’s known me since I was 16yrs old :-). Yvette was my booker when I was a model at Vivien’s Model Management many moons ago. Even though there is 8 years between us, we formed a firm friendship from the get-go. Yvette is one of the most beautiful souls I have ever encountered and I feel very blessed to have her in my life. I’m also very excited to be working with her soon, as Yvette is going to be the leading makeup & hair artist on my soon to be released program, The Model Shoot Project…for the everyday woman.
Tell us three things about yourself
- When I was 18 years old I told my Mum that I was going to win a car. When I was 27 years old, I won a limited edition, convertible Barina. This showed me the power of the mind.
- Every day, usually several times a day, I have ‘verifications’– random double occurrences that show me that everything is perfect and as it should be. My synchronicity.
- I am training to run my first half marathon with my beautiful hubby in May. Can’t wait!
What’s been the biggest health challenge you’ve overcome and what did you learn from this experience?
To be honest – there have been two.
The first was overcoming Bulimarexia, which I battled for well over a decade. I was trying so hard to be ‘perfect’ and live up to who and what I thought I was supposed to be but obviously felt so out of control of who I was. Eventually it led me to listen to my true self and to treat myself like I would, my best friend. We can be so insanely hard on ourselves, yet be the best of friends to another. This is something I say when someone is telling me about how inadequate they are feeling or about a mistake that they have made – I ask them “what would you say to your best friend if it was them telling you what you are telling me right now?” It can often be a ‘light bulb’ moment.
The second has been happening over the past few years. It started with a bad case of hives that would not go away and then I lost my sense of smell (which also affects your taste) as well as terrible bloating, bad digestion and unexplained weight gain that I could not shift. After seeing naturopaths, my doctor, an ear nose and throat specialist, an allergy specialist and having de-sensitisation treatment for allergies, I finally went to see a nutritionist and food intolerance expert. It was evident to her that my body had become very intolerant to both wheat (the bloating, digestive issues and immovable weight gain) and dairy (the sinus issues). I have recently removed both from my diet completely and lost 5 kilos (and the boating) in just 4 days!! I have SO much more energy and my sense of smell has come back – WITHOUT using the steroid nasal spray that I was using daily for well over a year! Healing your body with nutrition is so under-rated!! So many people suffer from food intolerances without realising it.
What’s your top tip for getting your day off to a good start?
I start every morning with a cup of green tea with juice from a quarter of a lemon and half a teaspoon of organic honey and unless I have to get up extremely early (as my job often requires) I like to lie in bed upon waking and think about all of the things that I am grateful for. It gets my day off to a very peaceful and happy start!
Your brekky usually consists of…
I mix it up a lot. If I go running I like to just have my green tea first and then as soon as I get home I have a Juice Plus ‘Complete’ shake. It is full of natural plant based proteins, vitamins and minerals and tastes delicious! Other mornings I will have fresh fruit or a super food, wheat free, seed, berry mix cereal with almond milk and others I will have eggs with spinach or smoked salmon; or rye toast with avocado, tomato and goats or sheep’s milk cheese. I try to listen to what my body wants.
Which foods do you eat to nourish your body and give you vitality?
Mum brought us up to be very healthy eaters and so I try to eat very cleanly – loads of fresh fish, organic, free-range chicken with lots of fresh veggies and home made salads – quinoa, watermelon and my baby spinach salad with pure lemon juice dressing. I eat rye bread occasionally and when I eat pasta – which is not very often – I eat corn pasta, which I found in the gluten free section of the supermarket. It tastes amazing and is 100% natural! To snack on I eat raw nuts and fruit and I love to make Kale chips. Everyone that I have made them for so far has loved them!
Why is fitness an important part of your life?
I feel like exercise is a HUGE part of who I am – and always has been. As a kid I danced, played netball and did little athletics; was always in the school athletics squad and rode my bike to school (and to dance classes a lot of the time!) It keeps me feeling young; my energy levels up; my blood flowing and gives me ‘me time’ that is kind of like a meditation for me. It also enables me to eat whatever I want basically – and I love my food!
What is your current exercise routine?
I go running most mornings and vary the distance and speed to keep my body guessing. I also do Pilates with my physiotherapist once a week – my hubby and I go together and it is just our instructor and us, which is fab! Every now and then I like to go for a walk just to slow down and ‘smell the roses’ – usually with a friend, my sister or hubby so we get to chat at the same time, which you can’t do a lot of when you are running. I have been meaning to get to the pool to do some laps as well but I haven’t been for ages – it is just too easy to put my running shoes on and head straight out the door. I also have a very cool cruiser bike so occasionally go riding with my hubby.
Describe what motivated you to choose your current business or career path?
I have always had a passion for fashion, creativity and helping others and so it came about very organically. I guess you could say that it is in my blood – my Grandma was a beauty therapist and seamstress; one of my sisters’ is a hairdresser and the other is a teacher; 2 of my Aunties are hairdressers; and my Mum is so creative in the kitchen and with fine handicrafts. I actually started styling girls hair at school and showing them how to do it when I was in grade 6 (and charging them for it!). Then I began modelling just before my 17th birthday and after a while I fell in to the makeup and hair side of things after working with a photographer that really wanted to get in to fashion, I found myself saying to her “I have got heaps of friends that are models– so let’s offer them free portfolio shoots and show the agency what we can do!” So that is what we did and the rest, as they say, is history.
What business or career challenge have you overcome and what piece of advice would you like to pass on to others?
I got distracted not long after I began my makeup and hair career and accepted a full time job as a model booker for a national model agency. Don’t get me wrong – it was an amazing job and I wouldn’t change it for the world as it helped make me who I am today but it did mean that when I left I had to ‘start again’ so to speak. I had also moved back home to Perth from QLD where I began my makeup and hair career so what this also meant was that I felt like I had lost my identity and had to ‘re-educate’ the people in the industry that knew me as a model booker and get them to think of me as a makeup and hair artist. It took a few years but now I am extremely happy with how it has all worked out. I was actually really lucky to have connected so well with the people in the industry so I had already established those relationships. My advice to others would simply be to believe in yourself and others will too; be patient and don’t compare your career to another’s – there is enough to go around for all of us.
Your favourite book or movie of all time is…
Straight away 2 books come to mind – ‘The Art Of Makeup’ by the amazing Kevyn Aucoin (bless his beautiful soul) – his first book inspired me so much at the start of my makeup career – I have all 4 of them now and they are my pride and joy! The other is Louise Hay’s ‘You Can Heal Your Life’ because when I was very ill with bulimarexia it taught me that I could ‘talk back’ to the negative thoughts in my head and actually control my thinking. I know so many people that it has helped in some form or another – Louise Hay is an angel on earth!
Do you have a recipe that you’d like to share with us?
Yes! My Baby Spinach Salad – YUMMO! It is so clean and goes with everything as a side dish or you can add to it (tuna, sardines, chicken, smoked salmon, egg etc) and make a meal out of it. It also keeps very well in the fridge because the lemon juice helps to stop it from spoiling
Put I bag Baby Spinach – 140-160g in a large salad bowl
Add 1/3 Continental cucumber, sliced
Add 8-10 Baby Roma or cherry tomatoes cut in halves or quarters
Add ½ an Avocado sliced lengthways
Add 50g Feta (I use goats or sheep’s milk feta) cut and crumbled
Add 4 or 5 dried Turkish figs – sliced thinly
Add 1 large handful of raw cashews
Juice a whole lemon and poor over
Toss to combine.
I eat this a LOT. It is super quick, easy and versatile. Amounts can of course be varied for single serves. Enjoy!
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