I learned several really valuable lessons from Jo Yarnall, the winner of our 2022 Show Us Your Isy B. contest. She’d never had a professional photoshoot before, but, despite being apprehensive she encouraged herself to step beyond her comfort zone and tried doing something she’d always wanted to do, and boy did she ever knock it out of the park! Read on to see Jo’s amazing Isy B. transformation.
One thing you should know about Jo (which delivered another big life lesson) is that she enters every competition she comes across, believing you’ve got to be in it to win it. As a result, she often does. That’s how she came to be the winner of the first annual Show Us Your Isy B. contest. Her prize? A professional makeover, photoshoot, and a piece from the Isy B collection. The rules of the contest were easy. All you had to do was take a photo of yourself wearing your Isy B. and tag us on your social media telling us why you love your Isy B.
Styling the shoot
Jo’s personality shone through on her competition entry making her our clear winner. In planning the photo shoot for Jo, I was struck by a sense of vintage in Jo’s look reminiscent of the beauties of the 1950s and 1960s. And so the theme of the photoshoot was born! We would play up her inner Marilyn Monroe and Bridgette Bardot.
I created and shared the mood board with Sonia @Stylebar and our photographer RC @filtrip360 who immediately understood and got into the vintage spirit. Thanks to Seascape Villas, we were able to use one of their stunning villas for our photoshoot.
The make-up and hair
Sonia worked her magic to recreate the 1960s vibe with a shell pink lip and a dark eye. For the first look, she reinvented a Bardot-esque messy beehive with loose curls which she then gradually loosened throughout the shoot to create at least 3 other fabulous looks.
I wanted a creative different point of view other than mine in the photos so I put Sonia on the hotspot by asking her to direct the shoot while I focused on helping Jo with her poses. Our photographer RC’s gentle encouragement helped to get the best out of Jo.
The result - Witness a transformed Jo in her Element
Spend a little time with Isy and Jo
Isy: As the winner of the contest you had to do a professional photoshoot wearing some Isy B. pieces. Have you done something similar before? And how did you feel about it?
Jo: When I entered, I don’t think I really thought about actually winning and how I would feel about it. I have never done anything like this before and always said a photo shoot is just not me. Once I found out I had won, the first thing I thought was; "How can I be photographed on the beach in swimwear?" My husband and friends encouraged me to go for it so I thought I would take myself out of my comfort zone and throw myself into it!
Isy: How did you feel when you first saw yourself in full makeup and in Isy B. in the first picture during the photoshoot?
Jo: I’m usually very protective over having my makeup done by somebody else so I had to really go with it, and I absolutely loved it. Different from how I usually wear makeup but it was absolutely perfect for this shoot.
Isy: What was the biggest challenge you faced during the photoshoot? And what did you enjoy the most about the experience?
Jo: I had not realised how many things I would be trying to do at once to get that shot. holding a posture, relaxing my shoulders, and trying to balance in the sand. I really enjoyed the chair pose and the walking along the beach into the camera. It really boosted my confidence, and even knowing many people were passing by didn’t put me off.
Isy: Did you learn anything new about yourself in the process? If so, tell us what.
Jo: Definitely! I learned that I don’t always need to be in control of everything. Putting my trust in you and your team and just going with it really paid off.
Isy: Having done the shoot, what advice would you give to someone who might be nervous or hesitant about participating in a contest like Show us your Isy B.?
Jo: My advice would be if someone is hesitant to ask themselves "What’s the worst that can happen?" Isy B and her team are amazing at what they do. It’s definitely worth a ‘shot’. You just never know, you may surprise yourself. Hats off to the models out there because it is hard work but yes, I would definitely do it again!
Isy: I loved the pictures you shared on your Instagram wearing the Butterfly kimono. How else do you think you might wear it and incorporate it into your personal style?
Jo: I have worn the kimono for work either with smart trousers or jeans, it really works as a dress up or dress down. My colleagues have been eyeing it up! I always used to wear dark colours but Isy B has reminded me how much I love bright vibrant colours. Definitely, the one-piece swimsuit and kimono are my favs.
Isy: For me, Isy B. is about helping women feel good, happy, and joyful. How do you relate to this in your life? What things do you do to make you feel great about yourself?
Jo: Couldn’t agree more. I like to be a positive person and kind toward others. Make-up is probably my thing (as superficial as it sounds). If I have a face on, I feel good. That said, I am not afraid to leave the house with no make-up. Taking care of myself, doing a detox a few times a year, and clean eating always helps.
Isy: What advice would you give women about feeling great about themselves?
Jo: Don’t take life too seriously. When you have hard times, just remember, it doesn’t last forever. Every woman finds fault with their body so you’re not alone. Don’t be afraid to push yourself even if it means you are out of your comfort zone.
I like the quote “Don’t be afraid to try something. It never hurts as bad as you think to fail. You seldom regret what you do. You regret what you didn’t do”
Isy: During the shoot, we talked a little bit about women over 40 and their attitude to ourselves, our bodies, how we look, what we wear, and how we might be kinder to ourselves. You said some very wise things. Is there a message that you would like to share with us that has inspired you in the past?
Jo: Yes, turning 43 this year, I’m starting to have conversations with women my age about our bodies and how it’s harder to lose weight or tone up that belly. We all have so many clothes in the wardrobe that we don’t wear because they feel tight and we plan to get back into them at some point. It can seem like a constant battle but when you break it down, every woman whether a size zero or not, has their own body battle in some kind of way so if we are all in the same boat, we are all going through the same struggles which means you are not alone. Wear bright colours, it shows off your personality and confidence.
We loved getting to know Jo and working with her for our first annual Show Us Your Isy B. Contest. This is why the contest means so much to us at Isy B.:
Because we love to see you in your Isy B. and love to change how you see yourself.
Because we’d like you to know how amazing and beautiful you are.
Because seeing you shine is transformative for all of us and it allows us to better imagine the possibility that we too can shine.
And because all of the above aligns with what gives us the most joy about Isy B.
We hope you’ll consider entering the contest when we do it again. Become an Isy B. insider for more inspirational content and fashion tips:
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