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Shortland Street's power players

As Shortland Street heats up, the female staff get sassy.

By Catherine Milford

It may be winter, but it doesn’t get much hotter than Monday’s feature-length episode of Shortland Street. Actresses Frankie Adams, Kerry-Lee Dewing, Sally Martin, Amelia Reid and Amy Usherwood are taking sultry to a new level on the show – but are just as sizzling off-screen, with one critic telling Sally she was, “hotter than [Mad Men’s] January Jones”. The Weekly caught up with the five stars, as they channelled their inner 1960s personas, to find out what makes them feel sexy, strong and independent.

Does what you wear affect how you behave?

Kerry-Lee: It certainly affects how you’re perceived. Although I don’t think I’m super-gorgeous, I certainly have to prove I’m not a stereotypical blonde bimbo. [My character] Kylie is all about pretty dresses and ditzy behaviour, which is completely not my style – it really annoys me. Sometimes I wish I could dress up in a paper bag and see what happens, see if people still appreciate me for who I am – which is more than the sum of my exterior.

Amelia: I don’t think you are what you wear, but feeling good about yourself definitely brings out inner confidence. If you know you look good, it radiates. It doesn’t have to be high-fashion or expensive – it just needs to be something you love. What you put on the outside, shows on the inside.

Sally: Without a doubt. I’m not a naturally “out there” person, but I have a coat I’ve been baby-sitting for my sister for 12 years now – she knows she’s not getting it back! The tailoring means I physically sit differently when it’s on, and I always get complimented. I feel stronger inside when I’m wearing it.

What makes you feel personally empowered?

Frankie: Listening to music. I love The Beatles and Bob Marley, because they remind me of my late father, and that gives me strength. Being in the open air also helps – a good bush walk can change my whole attitude.

Sally: When I’m doing photo-shoots like this, dressing up in costume. I’m not a natural model, and find having my photo taken as me, rather than my on-screen character, quite difficult. It’s nice to dress up a bit and pretend you’re someone else. And red lipstick – I only recently learned that the age- old saying, “Every woman should own a good red lipstick”, is absolutely true. I’m not much of a lippy wearer, but it works every time when I want a lift. In red lippy, you can be in your fat pants and still look good!

Kerry-Lee: Achieving something. I’m very results-driven – whether it’s getting my degree, or setting myself a goal at the gym, succeeding in a task I’ve set myself makes me strong. I tend not to rely much on other people – maybe it’s because I’m an only child, but I’ve always been very self-driven.

Are you a fan of Mad Men?

Amelia: I love it. The women have such sass, even though back in the 1960s they were seen as a “lesser” version of men. Women knew how to use their sexuality – they had so much power, because they knew how to use what they had.

Who’s your go-to when you need a boost?

Sally: Sos (Amelia’s nickname). She is my first port of call. She is such a bright person to be around, has a great outlook, and is a really good listener. She can also articulate advice really well – she knows how to make me see ways around issues that I hadn’t thought of. She’s the only person I know that I can be around as myself, 100%.

Amy: I recently met someone who has completely changed my outlook – it really shocked me. He goes out of his way to be thoughtful and kind, and treats me with a respect I’ve never come across before. It was like a light bulb going off –
I realised there are good people in this world, and I shouldn’t give too much energy to those who don’t treat me well.

Frankie: My mum. When I was a teenager, we didn’t get on at all. As I’ve got older, I’ve realised she’s usually right about most things. I feel bad that I was ever mean to my mum, because it’s only recently that I’ve realised she’s actually a person, not just a mum, and the sacrifices she has made for me are huge.

What have you learned about yourself?

Amy: I’m learning to be more honest around people, which makes me feel stronger personally. As a kid I was always keen to please, but as I’m getting older, I’m learning that everyone makes mistakes, and if you learn from them, you’ll be a lot happier.

Kerry-Lee: To be honest, I don’t often have crises of confidence – I don’t think I’m very aware of those emotions. If something happens that I need to deal with, I tend to have a good cry, get it out of my system, then turn around and just get on with it.

Get the look - Sally Martin (Nicole)

Tracey Nelson is the hair and make-up artist who created Sally’s look.

With Sally, we wanted to create a make-up look similar to the character Joan on Mad Men.

I started by using MAC Fix + on her clean face. I then used a lid primer on Sally’s eyes which helps the colour of the eye shadow to stand out. I applied MAC Phloof on the brow and lid area which gives us the nice light eye look reminiscent of that era. From then, I used a soft pink in the socket (MAX Glimpse of Flesh) then MAC Satin Taupe, a browny/purple tone in the outer corner and half way along the bottom of the lash line.

Next, was a black liquid eye liner all along the top lash area and flicking out slightly at the outer corner of that 60’s flick we all love. I then curled Sally’s top lashes and applied mascara, then false lashes and another coat of mascara. Mascara was applied to the bottom lashes, but only lightly.

I then cleaned the eye area under the bottom lash line to make sure there wasn’t any colour drop. No 35 Select Foundation was applied and a light dusting of powder to give a matt look that was a fashion in those times. I used a dab of concealer under her eyes to highlight that area.

MAC Dainty Blush was applied on the cheek area and lastly a nice bright pink lip in MAC Pink Noveau as bright lips were a strong trend in those days.

Kerry-Lee Dewing (Kylie)

Ambika Venkatiah is the hair and make-up artist who created Kerry-Lee’s look.

For the base I created flawless skin by using MAC fix fluid foundation which is a semi-matte finish. Concealing under eyes, nose and chin with MAC studio finish concealer added to the quality of the finish.

To create a matte smokey eye, I used a MAC vanilla eye shadow as the base colour, applying it all over the lid. For the second colour I used Mac Kid eye shadow in the contour line and MAC charcoal eye shadow to deepen the socket. The combo of these colours gives you a fantastic brown-toned smokey eye.

Liquid eyeliner was then applied to the lash line, flicking out at the corner edge of the eye which gives you the classic ‘60’s flic’/ The best product to achieve the look is MAC Blacktrack liquid eyeliner. Lastly, for the eyes, I applied loads of black mascara and then false lashes . Define brows by using MAC lingering eye pencil to add shape and depth.

To contour the face, and as a blusher, I used a mineral powder in medium dark to the cheeks and temples. This sculpted and added colour to the face.

To finish this beautifully defined look, I lastly applied a bold lip colour called Impassioned by MAC, teamed with a plum lipliner.

Catherine Milford. Photos: Caren Davis • hair, make-up & styling: Jules Armishaw. • Kerry-lee wears Dotti blue dress, Portmans necklace. Amelia wears black betty’s vintage dress, Dotti earrings, Portmans necklace, Aphrika shoes. Amy wears Black Betty’s Vintage Dress, Dotti earrings, Aphrika shoes, Diva bracelet. Frankie wears Trelise Cooper dress, Ezibuy shoes, Diva hair clip. Sally wears Dotti dress, Trelise cooper overcoat, Dotti earrings.

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