Rachael

1. If you wear makeup, why do you wear makeup and how often do you wear makeup?

I guess I just think I look better with make up on. I don't wear much just a little bit of mascara usually.

2. What made you want to participate in this portrait series?

I thought the photographs that I had initially seen were great. We all rush about presenting perfect images of ourselves or not bothering with any images (usually just taking pictures of kids/beautiful trees!) It just seemed like a great opportunity  to stop and reflect on who I am now. 

3. Is being completely makeup free something that makes you feel in any way uncomfortable?

Not really. Sometimes I feel uncomfortable with the way I look but it's more to do with how I'm feeling rather than the make up I have on my face.

4. Are there specific factors (positive or negative) that have influenced how you feel about how you look?

I was brought up not really bothering about the way I looked. my friends at school were interested in lots of other things and it was just never an issue. I have changed shape since having two children and that has changed the way I dress. I used to find it easy now I have to think about it a bit more.

5. If there was one piece of advice for the future you could give your younger self, what would it be?

Don't compare yourself to other people too much. Sometimes it appears like people know what they're doing or they seem very successful. It's not always the case. Have faith in what you doing.

6. When have you felt most empowered in your life?

I used to work with a great team in a small school The school encouraged me to fundraise for a charity that I went with to spend five weeks in Malawi to develop school planning in a small village. I was completely by myself and only a few people spoke English. This was a massive challenge but I thought if I can survive this I can do anything.

7. Is there a woman fictional or real that you admire? Why?

I admire women who are themselves. My Mum and my sister are strong women. They have a lot on their plates and they keep going. I admire them because they cope with illness in their lives and realise that what is important is our health. Everything else can wait...

8. What quality do you most admire in yourself?

I have a sense of humor and I'm honest...maybe a bit too much sometimes!

9. Is there an achievement you are particularly proud of? Why?

My partner started his own business nearly 3 years ago now. I really feel that I've achieved by just keeping it together at home. It's not been easy. We've not had much money and we've not had much time together. Family illness, a new business, new flat, two c sections, two happy children and a wonderful partner...I just feel like I'm achieving daily just staying sane!

10. In daily life what are the pressures you feel most exposed to specifically as a woman?

At the moment I am at home with my two children who are two and four. Though I find this very rewarding there are occasions when I feel like life is passing me by. My partner works long hours and Saturdays and I feel a bit overwhelmed. Trying to work at not losing 'me'.