Monday 23 October 2017

Here's what happened when I got a Rose of Tralee makeover

Kirsty Blake Knox pictured with her
Kirsty Blake Knox pictured with her "Rose of Tralee" style make up and hair do, with Abu Dhabi Rose Dearbhladh Walsh, at the Rose of Tralee festival in Tralee. Picture Credit : Frank McGrath
Kirsty Blake Knox pictured getting her "Rose of Tralee" style makeup and hair do. Photo: Frank McGrath
Kirsty Blake Knox pictured with her Rose of Tralee style makeup and hair do, at the festival in Tralee. Picture Credit: Frank McGrath
Kirsty Blake Knox pictured with her Rose of Tralee style makeup and hair do, at the festival in Tralee. Picture Credit: Frank McGrath
Kirsty's usual glam look, as seen at the 2015 VIP Style Awards
Kirsty Blake Knox pictured with her Rose of Tralee style makeup and hair do, at the festival in Tralee. Picture Credit: Frank McGrath
Kirsty Blake Knox pictured with her Rose of Tralee style makeup and hair do, at the festival in Tralee. Picture Credit: Frank McGrath
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

Is there anything more crushing than being told you do not possess Rose of Tralee hair?

"It's hasn't got the length or the thickness," I'm told sitting in front of a mirror.

"We'll do what we can, but it won't be a bun and it won't be an up-do."

I am getting a traditional Rose of Tralee make over. And I'm very excited, I've never been the Rose of Tralee type - I swear too much and I can't play the harp.

Kirsty Blake Knox pictured getting her
Kirsty Blake Knox pictured getting her "Rose of Tralee" style makeup and hair do. Photo: Frank McGrath

In the name of investigative journalism, however, I am willing to see if I can at least look the part.

I am surrounded by Roses who are in the middle of hair and make up transformations.

According to the official Rose of Tralee beauty team, Sean Taaffe, there are rules to getting the classic Rose of Tralee look.

Like snowflakes, no two roses can have the same hair.

Kirsty Blake Knox pictured with her Rose of Tralee style makeup and hair do, at the festival in Tralee. Picture Credit: Frank McGrath
Kirsty Blake Knox pictured with her Rose of Tralee style makeup and hair do, at the festival in Tralee. Picture Credit: Frank McGrath

There can be no shimmer whatsoever, lots of contouring, a strong lip and a good brow.

False eyelashes are solely reserved for the Roses who are on stage. Roses' skin must look dewy and fresh faced, their hair tends to be structured. Very structured. With an awful lot of hairspray.

"The higher the hair, the closer to heaven," the North Carolina Rose Maigan Kennedy tells me.

But I have fallen at the first hurdle. I have fine, flyaway hair which makes it very difficult to style.

Kirsty Blake Knox pictured with her Rose of Tralee style makeup and hair do, at the festival in Tralee. Picture Credit: Frank McGrath
Kirsty Blake Knox pictured with her Rose of Tralee style makeup and hair do, at the festival in Tralee. Picture Credit: Frank McGrath

Instead we will braid the front, back comb the life out of the back and hope for a miracle.

Hairdresser Louise O'Sullivan is working her magic on my do, frantically combing spraying and pulling pieces of stray hair into place. After lots of frizz and spray we are set.

Then it's over to make up. Ella Boureau is painting my face and tells me how everything needs to be high definition.

"So the cameras pick it up, you can't have the natural look on stage in The Dome," they say.

Kirsty's usual glam look, as seen at the 2015 VIP Style Awards
Kirsty's usual glam look, as seen at the 2015 VIP Style Awards

After looking at the results I decide I'm definitely not a Rose, but perhaps in the dim lights of the Dome I can pretend I am.

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