We’re all about holistic beauty and wellbeing and we love hearing about how other people are managing there’s and finding out all about their favourite products and practices- you know …the things that enable them to be their best selves…

Here’s our brand new My Beauty and Wellbeing feature with Belinda Burton. Belinda Burton is a north London-based photographer specialising in empowering portraits and boudoir photography of women. She is an internationally published and multi-award-winning photographer and a professional makeup artist.

Let’s talk a little bit about your relationship with your own wellbeing… what has your journey been like?

I started work in Sydney, where Australians were great believers in work life balance. When I moved to Hong Kong and later to London though, my work life balance changed. There were much more stress and higher expectations of the work force. My stress level was sky high before I left the corporate world. I wouldn’t say I looked after my wellbeing as well as I would have liked to. Though I always exercised regularly and ate healthily, back then I recharged mostly through holidays and travel. Being away was the main way I switched off. I loved to treat myself to trips to the spa during my holidays too as that helped me to relax.

You’re a huge advocate for a balanced lifestyle to improve your wellbeing: how does this look to you?

It certainly looks better now that I am an entrepreneur! Don’t get me wrong, running a business can be all consuming too, but we can set priorities in ways we prefer. I factor in time to consciously take myself away from work, whether it be to a yoga session, a coffee chat or a regular massage. I can also work on my laptop on a garden table on a sunny day for that Vitamin D intake if I want to!

Having a child too helps me to balance my lifestyle – inevitably I spend a lot of time in the park and get plenty of fresh air!

Can you share any personal experiences where you’ve seen the transformative power of makeup and photography in boosting someone’s confidence and overall wellbeing?belinda

I see that often. A lot of us lack confidence in how we look, whether in person or in photos. My mantra is that if done right, most people can be well represented in photos.

As my photography niche is female portraits, makeup is an important element. Great photography is about capturing light and shadows and maximising their impact, and it’s the same with makeup! Apart from smoothing skin tone and adding colours, makeup enhances facial contours. Having trained as a professional makeup artist, I have found that my two skill sets – photography and makeup – are highly complementary of each other. Accordingly, makeover services is included as part of my core portrait photography services.

When I work with my clients, I can see their faces light up immediately after their makeup session. That is the first part of their confidence boost. Their confidence further picks up seeing some photos on the back of my camera throughout the shoot. They start to get a sense of what is feasible and what the resulting photographs will look like.

A boost in confidence, like this, certainly impacts on our overall wellbeing, both in the short term and in the long term. The rise in our dopamine level makes us feel good about ourselves and that makes us feel more invincible!

Beauty and wellness standards often evolve over time. How do you navigate the balance between staying current with trends while also promoting individuality and self-expression?

Interesting that you ask that. While beauty standard changes, I encourage my clients to embrace who they are and to see beauty in a timeless manner.

To start off with, I always encourage clients to go for a natural-looking makeover which enhances their look, rather than go for the most fashionable look. As a result, their photographic portraits do not look dated over time.

Of course, some of my clients may choose to be ‘on trend’ e.g. by varying their eyebrow shape, or by having a specific hair style or treatment in advance of the photoshoot. In those situations, then my makeover and photography is very much about complimenting their chosen looks.

From your experience, what are some of the biggest wellbeing challenges that women in particular need to overcome?

For us as women, it’s always about finding time. Women tend to multitask, wear many hats, and are primary caregivers. Often we forget about looking after ourselves while we are so busy looking after others. Finding time for ourselves, and to prioritise our own wellbeing, I think it the biggest challenge.

Wow Beauty is committed to encouraging self-care, through the alignment of mind, body and spirit: what are some of your non-negotiable self-care rituals?

They would be my weekly gym exercises and yoga practices, monthly massages, and catch-up with friends! I count time with friends a self-care routine because as women we feel better simply by sharing experiences and emotions verbally.

What changes would you like to see in the beauty  & /or wellness industry over the next year or so?

Beauty products and treatments aside, I genuinely believe in ‘we are what we eat’. I think there is still lots that can be done to promote the awareness about the link between food and wellness.

Inner confidence and a strong sense of well-being is something that you’re passionate about – with what you’ve learnt what would you share with a room of 20 year old women to support their journey?

I think the younger generation are more aware of the importance of work life balance than my generation ever was, and my friends with older children would confirm this. They generally have more resources and greater exposure to self-care solutions. However, on the other hand, I do believe that gen Z often fall prey to social media and are more aware of, and concerned with, their self-image. This can negatively influence their emotional wellbeing and result in self-doubt.

I would advise the roomful of 20-year-olds that social media only portrays snapshots of people’s lives and is not necessarily representative of who we are. Be present and be appreciative of who we are as individuals. Also, we should live our lives for ourselves, not for the cameras.. I know it may sound contradictory as advice coming from a photographer!

Personally I use my camera phone much less than an average person – I would rather create beautiful and meaningful images using my professional cameras; images that WOW and which become a legacy to leave behind.