It’s been such an exciting week. I was invited onto RTE Today to have a makeover! I didn’t want to be 50 and frumpy and I never know what to do with my hair, I hardly ever wear make up and when it comes to fashion I’m a disaster. So RTE came to the rescue!
I was invited to Cork where they film the show and was so lucky to stay overnight in the beautiful Imperial Hotel. I’ve always wanted to go to Cork and although it was only a brief visit I enjoyed every minute of it. I got a quick look around the English Market and a few of the shops but I’d love to go back to Cork and explore the city properly. I have to say the people are just so helpful and friendly and I love the accent.
I arrived at the RTE studios which was just a five minute walk from the hotel, although it took me about twenty minutes because I got lost – obviously! I was put at ease immediately by Jessica who I had been speaking to earlier in the week. She’s just such a lovely person, she introduced me to the crew who I loved – there’s a great, friendly atmosphere it was impossible to feel nervous there.
Sharon from Debenhams had a whole rail of clothes waiting for me. They were mostly dresses but a couple of pairs of trousers and tops. I tried them all on and was thrilled to be given spanx to wear too! Thank goodness they were comfortable, not like my so called ‘magic’ knickers which don’t work anyway. I was worried about wearing a dress and I really don’t like my legs but Sharon had some really decent tights for me so you couldn’t see my veins – phew. After much deliberation I went for a Julien MacDonald dress, I loved that it was fitted, I was amazed that I didn’t look like the hippo that I always imagine myself to be. Sharon had a shrug for me as the dress was sleeveless and I don’t like my bingo wings, she also had a clutch bag and the most fabulous red stilettos. It was wonderful having Sharon on hand to advise me of what suited me and my figure. She was telling me that Debenhams have a personal shopper on hand to give customers advice and there’s no charge for the service and no obligation to buy either, so fair play Debenhams, what a shame we don’t have one in Sligo.
I had to go back into my own clothes to meet Daithi O’Se and film the ‘before’ part of the show. Before the filming began Daithi was chatting away and singing, it was such a relaxed atmosphere. He was asking me different things and I had to mention about my Grandad robbing a church in Cork, so when we went on air he mentioned that. I was morto! I’d been hoping to mention the Havin’ a Laugh coffee mornings but I didn’t get a chance. I was happy with how I came across though, I didn’t cringe watching myself back, I didn’t realise I had a lisp though!
Then I was whisked off to the make-up room to be pampered. Clint was my make-up man and he was fabulous! Just such a lovely guy, he had me in fits laughing with his dance moves. I was a bit worried that whoever was going to do my make-up would turn me into an Oompa Loompa so this was a running joke. I didn’t have to worry though as Clint uses Nude By Nature Mineral Make-Up which is 100% natural. Clint believes that make-up should enhance your features, not overpower them. Nude By Nature is an Australian brand made with all natural ingredients, there are no chemicals or any nasties in the products and they aren’t tested on animals. They smell gorgeous too! I’ve had make-up done before where I’m felt like my skin was clogged and I was orange so this was an absolute joy to be made-over by Clint, with the shades chosen for my skin tone, and to not feel like I was caked in foundation.
As my face was being looked after by Clint my hair was being cut by Pam from Sobe Brown. She was such a quick worker, in a matter of minutes the majority of my hair was on the floor. She gave me a zig-zag hair cut that would be nice and managable and she worked wonders with my unruly hair. She used a big barrel brush when she was blow-drying it and a curling tongs so it wouldn’t be straight. There wasn’t time for my hair to be coloured but Pam suggested a few caramel highlights to break up the dark, I wish I lived nearer to Cork because I’d go to her to get it done.
Midway through the makeover it was time to go on air again so the viewers could see what the team were doing. This time Maura was chatting to us, I didn’t really say much at this bit because I was being pampered 🙂 Off we went again for Clint and Pam to work their magic, I felt like Katniss in The Hunger Games and Clint reminded me of Cinna. All I needed was to burst into flames during the big reveal!
Sharon helped me get into my outfit when my hair and make-up was done and off I went to show the nation my new look. I had to walk down a few steps and I was terrified that I was going to fall down them but thankfully I didn’t! I’m delighted with the new look, although I have been compared to Colleen Nolan – an older version 😉 I’m really quite surprised by how I look, it’s nothing like I imagined. The dress is from the Star Collection by Julien MacDonald, the red shoes are by Faith (I love them!) All the clothes came from Debenhams and I was just thrilled when they told me I can keep them! Daithi then came on to give me all the make-up that was used!! I was over the moon. The show came to an end, I was a spanner because I thought the cameras were off and I was going on about my three thousand chins, hence the daft faces I was pulling.
I hugged everyone and thanked them so much for such a wonderful time. It really was a fantastic day and everyone was just so kind to me. It was a massive boost to my confidence to be able to go on TV and not be nervous in the slightest, when I think back to this time last year I was jumping at the slightest little thing. So thank you so much to RTE for giving me such a wonderful opportunity, I’ll never forget it.
So glad you enjoyed Cork! I didn’t realise that the show was filmed down here at all! If you’re coming back down at some stage and want any recommendations just get in touch! PS. You’re stunning!
Thanks so much, I have to admit I missed all the things I wanted to see in Cork because I can’t use google maps properly! Anyway I hope to get back soon.
You look amazing! Such a nice fresh look. Loved the video. You are so comfortable in front of the camera. I’m so happy you had the opportunity to do this.
Hi, Val. You look absolutely gorgeous – I love the make-up. And you have a fabulous figure – show it off more often!!!
Congratulations, Val – you are a natural and the makeover was fab!
Love the new look
Love what they did with your hair! Sounds like an incredible once in a lifetime experience.
It sounds like you had such an incredible and amazing experience. I’m so happy for you, you are so deserving of all and this and more. I also want to explore Cork for a few days while I’m there. You are a natural on camera, well done!!!
I can relate to your surprise at learning you have a lisp! I have a slight one and never knew till a friend mentioned it in passing! So strange.
Very nice to watch and hear you in motion.