Brenda Shankey is one of Northern Ireland’s best loved hair stylists and businesswomen.
With a career spanning over 17 years and a coveted Business Woman of the Year Award to her name, outgoing Brenda has several strings to her bow. In addition to owning and managing the successful Jason Shankey hairdressing chain alongside her former husband Jason, as well as mindfulness classes, Brenda is also mum to two children, Lauren and Will.
Speaking to the News Letter recently, Brenda explained what inspired her to write Be Fabulous, a book which outlines how to practice mindful living day to day. Brenda gives classes on mindfulness and has also recently written about mindfulness for children. The 45-year-old Londonderry businesswoman credits this therapeutic approach with helping her through her recent divorce and the loss of her sister Erin to alcoholism in 2016.
“I started to practice mindfulness because I was that hyper, busy person,” Brenda said. “I was a workaholic and I became full of anxiety and panic and fear. I was so stressed out. I knew my mind was overactive and that I needed to bring it under control.
“I was searching for that peace inside.”
Glamorous Brenda sat down to answer our makeup bag challenge, explaining how she maintains her look despite her many commitments, “My ‘every day’ beauty and makeup routine is not fussy. I’ve got a daily routine of washing my face with a soap wash and facecloth, but I have oily skin so I don’t moisturise.
“In terms of products, I like Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation because it doesn’t move all day! I also love Benefit Blusher, Bronzer and Highlighter.
“I swear by Lancôme Mascara and I use Rimmel Liquid Eyeliner, Lip Pencil and any nude lip gloss.”
But Brenda is happy to mix up her brands, explaining, “I just recently purchased Primark makeup and I love the Matte Powder from Poundland.
“So I’ve got a bit of a mixed bag really,” she laughs.
“I change my makeup seasonly,” Brenda adds, “I definitely wear more makeup in the winter, whereas I love having a tan and not needing makeup in the summer - except a bit on the eyes and a lip gloss.” Brenda adds she is such a fan of the Primark range that it was the most recent beauty item she has purchased, “I bought one of everything to try it and it’s a fab range! But if I had to choose just one ‘go-to’ beauty or makeup item it would be eye liner, usually in black, and of course waterproof mascara. I change my makeup look for an important event or big night out - I love to add glitter and drama on a night out and bright red lips too. I still love trying new colours and being adventurous, as at day time I’m usually too busy so it’s a similar look.”