MEET MONICA BARNETT

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The Daily Pamp had the pleasure of interviewing the sassy and charming founder of Blueprint for Style, Monica Barnett. Read on to discover what her site is about, her skin care regime (she’s a skin care lover!), what’s in her makeup bag at the moment and much more…

Hi Monica! Tell us a little about yourself and your site, Blueprint for Style.

I’m a fairly laid-back, but (undercover) intense when I’m dealing with Blueprint for Style, the brand, and it’s furtherance. I’m very chillax about most other things. I’m a bit of a homebody so all of my PR/marketing/friends constantly remind me to “get out more”. That said, when I’m out I am there to have fun so if it’s drinks with the ladies, movie night, a vision board session, etc, I’m likely making everyone laugh!

How did you get the idea for creating the site?

The site was started almost as an afterthought and it’s been through a few iterations at this point. My general style ethos is simple and classic with a touch of edge and pop so when I look at the iterations of the site and where I want to take it going forward, I knock myself in the head because if I had just remained true to my style personality, I would not have wasted so much time. I wanted the site to be a vehicle for me to share what I saw as essential to style.

Helping someone discover their distinct style must be feel great. Do you any particularly gratifying stories to share?

Too many stories to mention (and a few tidbits in the book) but I wake up and LOVE what I do. The idea of helping individuals feel good about themselves is like sunshine. My saying on my business card is “When you look good, you feel good; and when you feel good, it changes the game.” What I do when I help people think about what looks best for them and represents them more authentically is make them feel good about themselves – WINNING! The best story whether working with individuals or lecturing major corporations is that “light” that goes on when someone sees what I’ve been talking about and gets it, and is ready to internalize it.

A big congratulations on the release of your book, Without Saying a Word! What is it about?

Thank you so much- it was a lengthy but fun journey, and now the real work starts: to share it with EVERYONE! So the book is a style guide for the professional woman (I define what that means in the book), so she understands not only how I view style, but also the most essential elements she needs to consider at any age to develop a true sense of style. The book doesn’t advocate big spending or being thrifty, but focuses on understanding yourself, your goals, your lifestyle, and being intentional about how you use ALL of the resources that are available to you.

Take us through the process of writing your first book.

Whew….mine was fairly uncomplicated. I started by writing down things that were on my mind. I added all of the fun advice I gave to my clients and early summer, I decided I was going to pull the trigger. So I started putting aside time every weekday morning to write. I didn’t cut anything but just penned my thoughts as they came to me. By early fall, I stopped writing on the advice of a client and friend and focused on what “story” I wanted to share. It came together quite nicely. I’m actually re-reading it now and aside from some spelling errors (ugh!), I think it’s truly a great compilation of insight and advice!

Style doesn’t only relate to your clothing – beauty is a major component of it too! If we looked in your makeup bag right now, what would we find?

Lots of people automatically put fashion and beauty together, and for me they are very different. First, fashion is different than style, and style is a more all-encompassing concept for me. Style is the selectivity of elements that come together to create an image and there’s no way you can see someone and not see their face! A chapter in the book focuses on skincare because I believe you need a beautiful canvas on which to paint (aka makeup).

My makeup bag is very light. I have three glosses, two different hand creams, NARS Multiple, eye drops, Aleve, and plaque removers (I’ve become slightly neurotic about my smile including using Crest Whitestrips religiously every week!). I just scheduled a makeup bag makeover session with my girlfriend so we can do some purging and add a few new fab items, so stay tuned!!

Do you have a must-have beauty product that you can’t live without?

I can’t say everything is a must-have beauty product, huh? LOL. I would say there are two must-haves for me: eyelashes and lip color. I get lashes put on every so often because they just make the face pop, and at some stage, lip color just adds a bit of finish at a minimum. I am also not opposed to permanent makeup and strongly considering doing my brows because i have like ZERO facial hair!

We know you adour skin care – so do we! What are your skin care necessities?

Skin care necessities depend on who you’re talking to, but I notice the difference in my face when I’m not hydrated and when I don’t moisturize properly. Even if you don’t like the concept of oil because you think it’ll make your face look too oily, do it at night or on the weekends. Plus African-American women, on the whole, have been graced with one leg-up because of our melanin and I don’t take that lightly.

What’s your skin regime like?

It’s quite simple: I wash, use my Clarisonic maybe once or twice per week, do a mud mask twice a week while I’m in the shower (to avoid complicating my life), and then everything else is outside the shower. I use a serum followed by eye cream, a vitamin C serum, a few dabs of argan oil (if it’s cold outside), and then a moisturizer. Since I don’t wear foundation, I can usually roll out and add my lip color en route! I do mix up my moisturizers every so often, but more so my skin doesn’t get to used to one. And there’s this one serum by Natura Bisse that costs like $400, and I use it some sparingly because I’m not ready to re-up for another one….lol

I like to believe I’m low maintenance….

Who are your beauty icons?

My mom, Iman, Julia Roberts, Christy Turlington — they all have glowing skin and look great for their age and lifestyle!