Classic Tips from Belinda Barnard
Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel
With autumn leaves on the ground and the smell of pumpkin spice latte in the air, it’s time to think of fall fashions. Even in laid-back SoCal – where no one dresses formally or needs winter coats – it’s still nice to pull off a little style.
So, SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel went to a fashion expert to get some style tips – our friend Belinda Barnard, a former high-fashion model with photo credits in Glamour and other top fashion magazines.
Barnard, a competitive swimmer who grew up in Tacoma, Washington, and studied and worked in Seattle, started modeling at thirteen and was represented by the prestigious Wilhelmina talent agency.
She worked with some of the world’s leading photographers, including the highly respected Jim Hadley and internationally-known Billy Pegram.
She also did something almost unheard of in the youth-obsessed fashion industry – maintain a successful modeling career for 30 years.
The secret to Barnard’s success is something we all can do – developing her own look. Rather than trying to copy others or going with the “flavor of the month” styles, she was herself, unique and one-of-a-kind. That made photographers and designers want to work with her.
“I always tried to add my own twist to a look,” Barnard told SurfWriter Girls. “A ‘Belinda twist’ that made the fashions stand out. It could be a hat, a flower in my hair or an accessory. A look or stance that caught people’s eyes.”
What’s your style? Beachy? Casual? Button-downed? Punk? Glam?
Harper’s Bazaar agrees that it’s up to you, whether it’s retro chic or heavy metal. Style is personal. It’s nice to have so many choices.
Whatever yours is, with California’s sun, surf and salty breezes taking a toll on everyone’s skin, SurfWriter Girls know skin care is critical. Talking to Barnard about this, we were surprised to learn what her favorite skin care product is. Nothing upscale or fancy, it’s Oil of Olay. “The glycerin in the cream keeps the moisture in your skin,” Barnard explained.
“And always keep it simple,” Barnard advises. “Think of Grace Kelly. She was always elegant without appearing to try. One time she went to the Oscars with just one simple necklace as her accessory, while most of the other actresses were covered in jewels.”
Throughout Barnard’s modeling days she was always open to new opportunities. This includes representing Neiman Marcus as its Essence of Giving Model. Barnard also helped other models build their careers, giving them tips and advice. And, when she wasn’t modeling, she explored other creative careers. As a theatrical makeup artist for the Long Beach Civic Light Opera Youth Conservatory and the Courts Manager for the John Wayne Tennis Club in Newport Beach.
Helping others has been a common thread throughout her life, dating back to her college days when she majored in pre-med. Now, after many detours along the way, Barnard has come full circle and returned to the medical field as a physician’s assistant, helping patients prepare for and recover from surgery.
Belinda Barnard is living proof that true beauty is internal more than external. And, when you have your own style, fashion is ageless…especially when you add a “twist of Belinda.”
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