Behind the Scenes with Zoey Andrews | Mildura Intimate Photography
I’VE been a freelance writer for more than two years and a journalist for over three years prior to that.
But never have I struggled to write something as much as I have sitting down to write this about myself for Pure Beauty.
I guess most of us just aren’t used to talking about ourselves, maybe I’m a bit scared also about how honest I will be. I’m probably more uncomfortable with being the focus of something.
But here goes anyway.
My name is Zoey. I’m 34 and have a husband, Daniel, and two amazing children - Lucas (seven) and Bohdi (three).
My husband works away from home a lot so mostly it’s just the boys and I hanging out, navigating life together.
I can be bright and bubbly but can also be plagued by anxiety and doubtfulness. Sometimes I hide a lot behind a huge smile.
Compared to who I was, I’ve definitely conquered and continue to overcome some challenges, and coincidentally enough I have Pure Beauty to thank for that.
My first experience with Pure Beauty was just over a year ago now.
It finally happened with a lot of encouragement and persuading from my husband, to do something for me in hope I would see how others apparently see me.
A few years ago I experienced something that not only destroyed my self confidence but also my self worth.
Little did I know that Pure Beauty was what I had been waiting to stumble across and when I did it began my journey of recovery; my path to self confidence and self worth.
I’m not “fixed” by any stretch, it’s a continual process, but Pure Beauty opened my eyes to the good stuff about me and showed me the not so good parts of me are insignificant.
I remember driving to my consultation with Lauren before booking my experience.
I’d spent so long viewing photos that Lauren had captured of other beautiful ladies.
I remember being ashamed and embarrassed that, in my current mind, she was never going to be able to turn me into one of her works of art.
I told her this so many times during our chat - that although I believed she was a miracle worker, I was definitely beyond her help.
She didn’t bat an eyelid and knew better. Even if I didn’t.
Fast forward to my actual experience and I was a mess of doubt and nerves beforehand.
And then I stepped into the studio. Vee did my makeup and Mairee my hair. I loved both and I started to feel comfortable.
Being in front of the camera took some getting used to but Lauren’s energy and enthusiasm was infectious.
I left the experience feeling content and happy, promising myself that even if I didn’t love the photos I would remember how the experience made me feel.
In hindsight, I had no idea how those couple of hours that Saturday morning would change me.
Lauren flicked a sneak peak through to me that night. I was working doing media and publicity at Timmis Speedway for a Series my husband and I covered at the time.
I remember what I was wearing at the time. I remember where I was standing at the time.
I remember taking a while to come back down from the shock of what Lauren had captured and I remember not being very productive afterwards.
I couldn’t believe it was me. It clearly was. But wow.
At that moment I realised I didn’t care if my arms weren’t firm, I didn’t care I had a podgy stomach, I didn’t care that my thighs were wobbly. I had good bits and they far outweighed the insignificant bad.
That was my lightbulb moment and when I viewed the rest of the photos Lauren had taken at my shoot, I no longer cared anywhere near as much what others thought of me, I accepted myself - all of me.
I’ve now booked in my second experience with Lauren and I am so bloody excited. I cannot wait to push myself that little bit further and see the magic Lauren can create once again.
To be involved in Pure Beauty in the capacity of a blogger is exciting and a privilege to me.
Lauren has built a platform of inspiring and rocking women. You might just all not know how amazing you are yet.
That’s why I would love for each and every one of you to experience a Pure Beauty shoot.
You deserve it.
So that’s me and my Pure Beauty experience.
But who do I look up to, who inspires me?
It’ll probably come as no surprise to those that know me when I say my Mum - Lee.
Dedicated, giving, hard-working, loving, loyal, patient and strong is how I would describe her.
She’s everything I aspire to be in everything that matters in life.
In the public eye, there are two famous females who I look up to.
The first is New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
She’s awesome because she’s a boss! She runs a country, manages a family and takes it all her stride.
The second is Meghan Markle and I think we can all learn a bit from her.
How much criticism has she faced? How many people have tried to sabotage her fairytale?
And yet she’s made her own decisions and is living her own life, even if it is against the grain.
She’s brave and opinionated and not afraid to stand up for what she believes in.
I hope I can enlighten and entertain you through my blogs for Pure Beauty and if there is anything you would like featured, please don’t hesitate to let me know.
I’ll leave you with this inspiring quote, one of my favourites:
“And one day she discovered that she was fierce and strong, and full of fire and that not even she could hold herself back because her passion burned brighter than her fears.” - Mark Anthony
BDSM and bisexuality- Ellie's* story | Mildura Boudoir Photography
ELLIE* has always known she was bisexual. There was no real defining moment for the now 36-year-old.
"I never really came out and told anyone," the Mildura local said. "It was always just there."
"My friends just picked up on it when they witnessed some of my escapades when we went out. It just sort of filtered around from there."
"None of my family or friends were fussed about it."
Image source: Unsplash
While people have judged her over the years, Ellie said that was their own problem, as she isn't fussed by what others think.
She did, however, face challenges occasionally when in a heterosexual relationship.
"A couple of them thought that because I was bisexual, I'd instantly want to bring another girl into our relationship," Ellie said, explaining it led to some pretty intense disagreements.
"Also, while 99 percent of guys are respectful about it, there's that one percent who think bi females should act like they see in porn videos."
Image source: Unsplash
Now, Ellie only dates males - finding relationships with guys easier.
"I had a few relationships with girls when I was younger, but it was mainly just a mutual benefit thing with them," she said.
While bisexuality can even today still be met with judgement, Ellie said people have become more accepting of it in general over the years.
And she said she has the LGBTQI community to thank for some of the best times of her life.
"If you're curious about the same sex, there's no shame in finding someone to talk to," Ellie said. "It can be very confusing for some people for a lot of different reasons. Mallee Pride also has some great information."
Ellie said BDSM wasn't always about sex. It taught her different ways of getting pleasure without getting naked and having sex.
"The most important thing to remember about it", she said, "is there is nothing bad, dirty or wrong about it."
"I was involved in mainly bondage (shibari), discipline, domination and submission," Ellie said. "It all depended on who I was with at the time."
Despite enjoying BDSM, Ellie said not all sex went down that path.
"Some people just aren't keen on it, and there is nothing wrong with good old vanilla sex," she said.
"Both are as good as the other in my book."
For family reasons, Ellie is no longer a part of the BDSM scene, but said those who are interested in experimenting with BDSM should do their research, with plenty of resources out there.
"Don't be afraid to ask questions," she said.
"As for trying something, my first experience involved silk rope ties."
"Look for something that you are comfortable with, something that interests you."
While Ellie admits there is judgement on those that enjoy the BDSM lifestyle, she believes it is mostly because people are scared of what they don't know.
"I've had good and bad experiences with BDSM," she said. "The good far outweigh the bad."
* Not her real name.
Are you involved in an open relationship, sex industry or swinging scene? Are you part of the LGBTQI community?
We want to embrace and empower everyone through our Pure Beauty website, so if you think you have an interesting story to share that will assist us in breaking down the barriers, we want to hear from you.
Helping little people deal with big feelings | Mildura Intimate Boudoir Photography
Recently, I was chatting to my sister, who works in the mental health field, about some big emotions my seven year old was experiencing.
During the conversation she happened to mention Kids Helpline - a service I had definitely heard of before, but to be honest, thought things had to be pretty extreme to contact.
Appropriate local services can have a lengthy wait for appointments, and if you are like me, you’d like to see your little one’s mind put at ease sooner rather than later.
In our case, Kids Helpline certainly hasn’t replaced these services, but it is a good go to in the interim.
Chatting to other local mums since, it seems to be that when big things are troubling little minds, Kids Helpline really is an under used and untapped resource.
Kids Helpline was founded in 1991 and on the first day alone answered 3200 calls. By the end of that year, nine months later, their counsellors had taken 90,000 calls.
In 2018, after 27 years of service, eight million calls had been made to Kids Helpline, well and truly establishing its need within the country.
So what can Kids Helpline assist with?
Plenty of things.
But first let’s look into what Kids Helpline is and who it can help.
In Australia, Kids Helpline is the only free, confidential and private counselling service available 24/7 either online or by phone.
It assists those aged five to 25 years of age, although there is an associated service available to help parents.
There are so many big emotions our little ones feel, and it’s expected they might not know how to handle them all. After all, it’s something adults often still struggle with.
They might be feeling angry, anxious, lonely, sad, scared or stressed. This could be from something that has happened at home or school.
Maybe it’s body issues, bullying or cyberbullying, family or friendship issues, mental health or feeling unsafe.
Probably one of the biggest, most impressive things for me was that despite being apprehensive when first calling, the counsellor quickly made my son feel comfortable.
He was so comfortable that he came running out of his room mid conversation asking for paper and a pen as the counsellor told him her name so he could ask for her next time if he wanted.
And after a lengthy conversation with the counsellor you could see the positive result it had on him.
There are some things to encourage your child to, or if you are a young person calling, think about before you call, such as what problem are you hoping to discuss and what is your goal or outcome from the session.
While your call is confidential, Kids Helpline do have a Duty of Care, which means they might need to tell somebody if you or someone else are in danger of being significantly harmed or in a life threatening situation.
The Kids Helpline website can be accessed through https://kidshelpline.com.au/
Its layout is really easy to navigate and not only can you access counselling through the page, but it also provides plenty of advice and information about a range of topics that impact young people - from ADHD, feelings, respect and setting boundaries.
- Zoey Andrews
Dating disasters and Tinder tales | Mildura Boudoir Photography
... The guy who drank too much
I WAS living in another city and wasn’t driving. I got asked on a date by this guy, Brad*, who I had a major crush on for ages.
Date night rolled around and I got myself all dolled up for the evening and headed out, catching two different buses on about a 40 minute trip to where we were meeting.
We met up and Brad drove us into the city for dinner and knowing there were a few nice places around I was excited to see where he was taking me.
We ended up at the Tradies Club, which was okay, but not the most romantic of settings, and grabbed a drink and ordered tea.
Brad and I were having a good chat getting to know each other and I thought it was going well… until his phone rang.
It was his friend telling him there was a band playing at a bar around the corner we both frequented.
He proceeded to explain how much he really wanted to go and that he had forgotten it was on that night, and, of course, me being accommodating, I suggested he go thinking he was trying to blow me off.
He asked me if I’d like to go with him, as he wanted to introduce me to his friends, so I said yes and we cancelled our already cooking order.
We got to the bar and Brad said he would grab us some drinks and be back.
At this point I ran into some friends, thankfully, because Brad disappeared. I didn’t see him for the rest of the gig and despite sending him messages he didn’t reply.
When the band finished, my friends were leaving, so I followed them out the door and that’s when I saw him - drunk as a skunk, only vertical, thanks to being held up by two friends.
Unfortunately he saw me and called out: “Oh, let me take you home. I was meant to drive you home!”
“Yes, yes you were, but no thank-you,” I replied.
To which he said he would see me again, before throwing up everywhere.
I had to run to make it to the last bus out of the city, which I did, but I missed the connecting bus back home, so a friend rescued me at 12.30am.
Looking back, at least I got to see one of my favourite bands, unplanned, and truth be told, I probably had more fun with my friends then I would have had with him anyway.
... The guy that was too pushy
JUST before lockdown, I started seeing a guy.
One night we went out for drinks and he wanted to get a bit adventurous in public.
I’m not one for public displays, especially sex, so he decided to attempt to tease me to persuade me otherwise.
Instead I told him where to go and turned around to his little sister and started making out with her.
We got free drinks and he got kicked out of the bar.
... The guy that lied about his Dad dying
I WAS living four hours from Sydney when I met a guy from there, who was planning on moving to my town.
Harry* and I spent two weeks together with him mostly staying at my place before he had to go home.
He was lovely the entire time and even respected the fact I didn’t want to take our relationship to an intimate level until I got to know him better.
Harry returned home and we communicated daily. He had decided that he wanted to come back and he was going to look at houses when he did.
I liked a good road trip so offered, with my best friend, drive the four hours and pick him up.
We arrived and he wasn’t where he said he would be, so I called him.
He didn’t answer at first but called me back about half an hour later.
Apologising immensely he said he was at a friends farewell drinks at Kings Cross, but was good to go if we could come get him.
Being a Saturday night, Kings Cross was bedlam, and I really needed to pee so I drove around to find a McDonalds.
The toilet was downstairs in the dingiest, dodgiest looking stairwell but I needed to go.
Peeing away, a couple comes in and starts doing the deed in the cubicle next to me so I hopped the heck out of there and ran back to the car.
I called Harry to let him know I was at Kings Cross and messaged him, but once again got no response.
We decided we were going home, so I messaged him telling him and he called me back.
My friend, who is male, answered and blasted him for giving us the run around to which Harry told him he had received a phone call saying his Dad, who lived in New Zealand, had passed away unexpectedly.
Feeling terrible we asked if he still wanted a ride and he declined. Considering the circumstances, I said I would speak to him the next day.
As I said I would, I checked up on Harry and continued talking to him until I found out he was coming back to our town regularly to see and sleep with another girl while stringing me along.
I have since found out his Dad did not pass away but instead the night we drove to pick him up was the night he met the other girl from my town.
... The guy who moved out on me
WHEN I was 17 I met a guy online, who I, at the time, thought was an Emo dream boat.
He was two years older than me and we spoke for months before he asked if I would like to come and stay with him for a week and see how things went.
I gave mum his name and address (both my parents were police officers), he purchased me a bus ticket and I was on my way a few days later.
Everything was going so well, I met his friends and got along well with them all, including his roommate.
He even asked me to stay a week longer to see how our connection would go further and once again I agreed since I had no job or school to rush home for.
A few days later I had just got out of the shower, and there was a knock at his front door.
To my horror it was two officers my mum’s colleague had sent to make sure I was safe.
They absolutely berated the guy I was staying with while I watched on speechless in my towel.
It was only a day or two later, the guy decided he was moving back to his mum’s house and that I needed to find somewhere else to stay. He also wasn’t going to pay for my return trip, as previously agreed.
His housemate and their friend ended up taking me in at their new house temporarily before I moved more permanently in with another friend.
... The guy who was just rude
... The guy that sent the wrong message
I HAD been speaking to a guy through Tinder quite extensively for about a week. It was the weekend and he was going away.
We were chatting late into the night as he travelled and, although we had spoken about meeting up one day, we hadn’t made any concrete plans.
This night he seemed a bit wishy-washy with his responses, they were different from usual, but he was still very charming.
Imagine my surprise then when I got a message from him saying he was only a few minutes away and describing the “fun” we were going to have.
Confused, I firstly told him he didn’t know where I lived and secondly, that I thought he was away. Then it sunk in and I asked if that message was meant for another girl.
At least he had the decency to reply that it was!
We would love to share more of your dating disasters and Tinder tales. If you have a story to share please get in contact with Zoey Andrews.
In the Trenches - Women Can Do Anything! | Mildura Intimate Portraiture
“I think girls have more patience and maybe are not as confident so can be a bit more careful and slower in what they have to do,” Kelly said.
When it’s tools down Kelly is back to being a mum of two, with a step daughter as well so there is never a dull moment.
“But I wouldn’t have any other way,” she said.
Women on the Road - Breaking the Barriers | Mildura Intimate Portraiture
Mary Crump hasn’t always been an interstate truck driver, but she does wish she had gotten behind the wheel a lot earlier.
The 51-year-old from Red Cliffs drives two up with her partner Michael Wisneske picking up freight. It often takes her from Adelaide to Melbourne but sometimes she ventures to places like Griffith.
“I have been driving the truck for the last two and a half years,” Mary said.
“I was travelling for a year with my partner before I got my HC (Heavy Combination) license.”
Mary worked in aged care and disability for around 12 years before becoming a driver and began to be disheartened by seeing the people she cared for pass away.
Hurting her back was the push Mary needed to decide to leave those industries and spend more time with her partner on the road.
“My partner and I love the fact we can spend our time together and we have an awesome relationship, which makes it easier,” Mary said.
“I love meeting lots of different people and seeing some of our beautiful country.”
Mary and Michael have just purchased a brand new truck, a Scania R540, something that she thought they would never be able to do.
But with the highs come the lows, and Mary said she has encountered some rude male drivers along the way.
“On the whole most people have been very helpful and supportive,” she said.
“Also, because I'm only 5 foot 1 inch, it can be a challenge getting up and down the trailers but I'm lucky that hubby usually saves me the job.”
Although tough sometimes, Mary said she would definitely recommend truck driving to other females because it’s a good job and very rewarding.
As for what females could bring to the job that males might not; Mary said it was patience.
“I do believe women who drive trucks are more careful and wary on the road,” she added.
“It sounds weird but I've met a few other female drivers and they are so mindful of their surroundings and don't take the chances that some male drivers do.”
Mary hopes she will be able to keep trucking for another five years, before the two of them park it up and enjoy the rest of their lives together travelling.
“That's the only downside to the job,” she said.
“We don't seem to do much other than work but it works for us as we only have our fur baby and she comes with us every trip".
“If any other women out there think they want to give it a go, I say go for it!"
“It's actually a job that I wish I had gotten into sooner."
Women Can Do Anything - Outdoor Vibes | Mildura Boudoir Photography
GARDNER and landscaper, Neisha Nilsen loves getting her hands dirty.
From Renmark, the 25-year-old has been in the field since high school, although it now plays second fiddle to her main job - a barmaid.
When it comes to gardening and landscaping, Neisha does it all; mowing and whipper snipper-ing, laying turf and planting plants, pulling weeds and wheel barrowing dirt and gravel.
“I enjoy working in an environment females wouldn't ‘normally’ work in to show that we can do it,” Neisha said.
“The best thing about this job is feeling like I can accomplish just about anything, even in a male dominated environment.”
Neisha said sometimes, being female, she finds the opposite sex don’t value her opinion, but she has proven to a lot of people that she is capable.
“In saying that, I have developed a great sense of humour and have become ‘one of the boys’,” she added.
And when it comes to getting the job done, Neisha said females can often go that extra bit.
“I believe we females want to get a job done perfectly and have a tidy end result,” she said.
“We have an eye for detail.”
Asked if she would recommend gardening and landscaping to fellow females, Neisha didn’t have to think twice.
“Yes,” she said. “It's a great opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and show everyone that females can do it!”
Makayla Harrison is determined and driven and it’s because of this she is now doing what she
loves every day.
The 26-year-old is an A Grade industrial electrician, working in the water industry.
She’s been in the field for nearly eight years having completed a four year apprenticeship, spending a year on the tools and then transitioning into her current role as an electrical technical officer.
“Through my apprenticeship, I worked on motors, Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC), Variable Speed Drives (VSD), electrical equipment at water treatment plants and electrical equipment at wastewater treatment plants,” Makayla said.
“Currently I am an office based employee undertaking project management, electrical drafting, overseeing projects completed by local electrical contractors, designing switchboards and equipment and taking lead of projects from scoping to finalisation.”
Makayla grew up on a 40,000 acre sheep station in NSW. She moved to Mildura to go to school.
“Every chance I got I was back home at the farm helping Dad,” she said, “I just loved every bit of it.
“I knew I wanted to be hands on; I just couldn’t see myself in a shop or behind a desk.
“So that’s where it began - my passion was already behind me so from Year Nine in school, all I wanted to do was get into the workforce.
“School wasn't my strong point and I really didn't love it at all.”
Makayla did work experience every chance she got, including on Wednesdays and school holidays. She also did a Certificate Two in Electro-Technology while in high school.
It helped Makayla establish what she wanted to do in life and, after trying cabinet making, graphic design and hospitality she struck gold in the electrical field.
“My very first day was 41 degrees, pulling cables through trenches,” Makayla recalled.
“I was sick that day and everyone said to me this is the worst part of it and I was like if that’s the worst part, this is what I want to do!"
“I was so excited and absolutely loved every bit of it!”
Makayla spent every spare minute from then on working for different electricians, gaining valuable experience and knowledge.
“I did work with anyone I could, and every three to four months, I rang every electrician in the phone book to ask if they had anything".
“I dropped my resume in at every opportunity I could. It got to the point they all knew who I was when I rang!”
Finishing Year 12 Makayla’s perseverance finally paid off and she was offered two apprenticeships. She was ecstatic.
“I had people try and talk me out of a male dominated career but I am so thankful that I stuck to my heart and did it,” Makayla said.
“Designing a switchboard and seeing it built and on site working/pumping is an amazing achievement".
“It was such an amazing day when I became an A Grade electrician!"
“Through up and downs in my own life that extended my apprenticeship, it was a huge relief just that I followed my dreams and I did it!”
Makayla said she would absolutely recommend a career as an electrician to other females.
She was delighted to see her workplace employ another female electrician once she completed her apprenticeship.
“When I first started my apprenticeship it was so unheard of for a girl to be in a trade, but now there is more and more and I think it is just the best thing,” she said.
“Girls can do anything".
“We can all do anything we put our minds to".
“Don’t let people get you down or push you down; they will try and make it seem like you can’t do it - but if that’s what you want to do then you most definitely can!”
Breaking the Barriers - Women Can Do Anything! | Mildura Intimate Portraiture
JESS Smith is a diamond in the rough - literally.
Currently studying to be a diesel mechanic, Jess, who is from Broken Hill, has always had an interest in fixing things.
She recalls how it landed her in hot water as a child.
“I have always been interested in mechanics for as long as I can remember,” she said.
“I was always pulling apart everything I could get my hands on just to see how it worked."
“I remember I was about 10 or 11, and mum bought this brand new toaster home - but it was one of those fancy ones that made an unusual pattern on the toast when it was cooking."
“It wasn't even 24 hours old and I pulled it apart because I wanted to know how it did it."
“Little did I know the trouble I was in when mum found out.”
The 23-year-old got her introduction to mechanics about five years ago when she had to complete work experience as part of her school studies.
“You got a few things to choose from - things like beauty, construction, hospitality, mechanics or medical,” she said.
“I ended up choosing mechanics and did my work placement at Warrnambool Bus Lines as a mechanic/trade assistant."
“After the two weeks the boss was super happy at how I did things and what I knew, so ended up getting an apprenticeship out of it.”
Jess said she has always enjoyed working on her own cars because she had a passion to learn. She also wanted to prove that she’s not just a pretty face - she knows what she is doing as well.
“There is a lot I like about being a mechanic,” Jess said.
“Each job is different to the last, which is something I really enjoy because it’s not repetitive. Also the people you meet along the way is great."
“Everyone has different knowledge so there will always be someone around to help.”
Of course, being the minority in a male dominated field does have its negatives.
“My main hate, and I use that word strongly, is the amount of sexist people still out there - even in this day and age,” she said.
“As a female mechanic you will meet some people who will belittle you and talk down to you because you are a girl.”
There have even been people requesting Jess didn’t work on their vehicle because she is female and wouldn’t know what to do or make a mistake, but she’s had the last laugh at times, still carrying out the work.
“Ninety-nine percent of mechanics are male and one percent female, but my thoughts on that is that everyone needs to realise and understand that no job has to be gender specific,” she said.
“If you can put your mind to it, ask the right questions and are mentally prepared for the tasks anyone can be the right person for the job."
“There are still a lot of women out there who want to try these kinds of jobs but are afraid and my advice for them is to give it a go.”
While Jess said it’s best not to do any major mechanical repairs to your car if you don’t know what you are doing, there is maintenance you can carry out - and if you are unsure how to do these things, YouTube is always a good source to learn from.
“For me, servicing your car is pretty straight forward; eg lubrication top ups, oil changes as well as adding air to tyres or tyre rotations,” Jess said, “But not everyone knows how to do it."
“I know a lot of men and women who actually don't know the basics on how to do them but there are things you can do to inform yourself and learn how to do the basics."
“You could always get someone who knows how to do it to show you a couple of times and the first time you do it by yourself just get them to stand there and watch.”
She added that she thinks everyone should learn how to change a tyre.
“The worst thing I have come across is people of both genders being stuck in the middle of nowhere and not knowing how to change a tyre,” Jess said.
“Also learning how to tell if your engine is low on oil and radiator fluid - they are the two main things that are required to have a healthy engine."
“Checking your fluids is best to do in the morning before you go for a drive."
“Services are generally every 5000km to 15,000km depending on how old your car is.”
As for indicators that your car needs a trip to the mechanic - she said the following are things to look out for:
Jess said it is always best to get a qualified mechanic to look at your car if you are unsure, as even the smallest things can turn into something major.
“But women need to get out there and try these kinds of things,” she said. “Just because someone says you can't doesn’t mean you can't.
“If you sit there and live your life listening to people that are constantly telling you you can’t, you won't be good at these kinds of jobs to prove them wrong."
“Everyone can do it, it just takes a lot of experience, patience, studying and time, but if you put your mind to it, you will succeed.”
Meet the Boudie Babes - Vee Finocchiaro | Mildura Boudoir Photography
Vee Finocchiaro is a ball of infectious energy.
You only have to spend a short amount of time with Vee, or read through her encouraging and supportive posts on the Pure Beauty Facebook VIP group, to understand why Lauren decided to have her on her team.
When Vee describes herself as chatty, funny and outgoing, she is spot on.
She brings to the group an extra level of enthusiasm and positivity in her role as Elite Ambassador.
We caught up with Vee (and believe me, it was hard to catch her in one spot) to get an insight into what makes the 24 year old tick:
I’m Virginia or Vee as most people know … obviously!
I am Australian, part aboriginal, Italian and Scottish.
I love Halloween, Makeup, Harry Potter, Singing and many other things.
Pure Beauty: What is your role within our team?
Vee: My role in Pure Beauty is a few things really!
My full time role in Pure Beauty is continuing to empower myself, other women on and offline and other men, children and people in general.
My other roles in Pure Beauty are makeup artistry for the clients who come through Lauren’s door and to be an assistant to Lauren.
Pure Beauty: Talk me through your background in makeup?
Vee: My background and passion in makeup started around six or seven years ago but I have always admired winged liner - it is everything!
My bestie in high school (who is still one of my best friends) actually really got me into it. I learnt a lot from watching her and seeing what she used.
I began loving it after high school and I had a real passion for coloured lipstick. I bought a couple of bold pigmented colours that really stood out.
I basically just did winged liner and bold lips, then I started really showing an interest in becoming a MUA around 2017 and started taking on clients in 2018.
By 2019 I was working and taking on more than I ever imagined and a massive thanks needs to go to Lauren for helping kick starting my makeup career!
Pure Beauty: As a makeup artist, what do you want to achieve for clients before they have a session with Lauren?
Vee: What I aim to achieve with every client is comfort.
I love talking to them, seeing what they are interested in and what they have in their own mind.
I usually chat to them about their shoot, hoping it eases their nerves, then get excited about what we are about to do.
But generally just to get the ladies comfortable and excited!
Pure Beauty: To be involved in such an amazing concept, what does that mean to you?
Vee: It is so amazing because I get to empower myself and others.
I get to be part of a movement and it means everything.
I am able to encourage and pass on beautiful vibes and share my story and be part of others.
Pure Beauty: So be involved in something that is life-changing, how would you describe it?
Vee: It is truly inspirational
I am so honored I can be part of this life changing process.
It can be super confronting toward yourself, knowing how hard you can be on yourself and see what other women are like to themselves.
So seeing women grow and being able to tell them and show them how beautiful they are is just breathtaking and exciting.
Pure Beauty: What would you say your most memorable and powerful moment has been while being involved in Pure Beauty?
Vee: Being a part of an ambassadorship has been powerful in itself.
Every moment I have had with Lauren in Pure Beauty has been powerful and memorable but personally, my own recent photo shoot changed everything.
Pure Beauty: On that, we have chatted about being the scenes, when you aren’t the focus of Lauren’s camera. But what about when you are in-front of the lens - how would you describe how the session makes you feel?
Vee: It is so hard to explain everything you actually feel having your own shoot but here goes!
Everyone is their own worst enemy and critic so I recommend having a shoot more than anything!
Having a shoot made me feel like a beautiful confident woman, and it still does!
It made me emotional, happy and I laughed so much!
It made me feel the best I have ever felt. I now look in the mirror with a smile and I am so fucking happy!
Pure Beauty: What about seeing the absolute magic Lauren creates with her work?
Vee: Seeing the magic Lauren creates is so fucking beautiful!
That woman deserves awards; I tell you what!
It really is like magic, seeing these women walk out differently, or sometimes seeing them in a few weeks or months - they are different women!
Pure Beauty: You are an inspirational and strong woman yourself, but who is the most influential woman in your life and why?
Vee: My mumma!
She has always taught me to be true to myself, kind and honest.
My mum always told me that I was beautiful and to dress how I wanted, and she always said the right and empowering things.
My mum is also the strongest woman I know. I cannot praise that woman enough! She has influenced me in the best ways possible!
I love you Mumma x
Pure Beauty: What about in the public area, who do you look up to most?
Vee: Lauren is definitely one of the females I admire most.
She’s a beautiful woman, boss and friend!
Her work speaks for itself and she is an idol to myself and I am sure many others.
And my friends!
I look up to them because they are also kind hearted and empowering and seeing them strive for their dreams is inspiring as hell!
Here you will find my featured babes, #wearepurebeauty , as well as some tips for your boudoir shoot- from lingerie shopping to hair and makeup
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Mildura resident and Photographer, Lauren Southwell launched Pure Beauty in late June, 2018 & is committed to helping woman feel beautiful, sexy and empowered through the art of Boudoir Photography.