Costessey mum gets a glamorous new look

Tara Dunthorne nominated her mum Denise for a Life Matters makeover after ill-health made her put on weight and lose her confidence, writes EMMA HARROWING

Wearing a Fuchsia pink top and white cropped trouser, 55 year old Denise Dunthorne from Costessey looks pretty stylish as she talks about how her confidence in the way she looks has taken a downward turn since she had a heart attack two years ago.

As she speaks about her scare, how she has given up smoking in order to improve her health and how a problem with her thyroid has made her put on weight around her middle, she absentmindedly tugs on her baggy pink top.

Her daughter Tara wrote to Life Matters to nominate her mum for a makeover.

'After all that my mum has been through I want to show her how she can look and feel glamorous,' says Tara.

'She only ever wears baggy tops and trousers. It would be great to see her looking glam in a dress to show her how she can still look great even though her ill health has made her put on weight.

'I know that if someone shows her what shapes she can wear, what colour and style suits her hair and having a makeup session she will feel good about herself again.'

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Tara is right. Just by making a few tweaks here and there you can look and feel stylish.


The first step is to make sure that the colour and shape of your clothes flatter your figure and skin tone. Denise's warm colouring suits brighter colours and incorporating a red into her new look will not only give her look a boost it is also a colour that is fashionable for autumn so she can take this look into next season.

Denise has a petite frame with narrow shoulders, slim legs and a small waist but because she is conscience of her tummy Denise hides her figure under baggy clothes.

Debenhams personal shopper Helen is on hand to offer some style advice:

'By accentuating her shoulders, waist and legs with a shift dress, Denise immediately looks slimmer and elegant. The ruche effect around the waist of the dress cleverly hides her tummy and the all over pattern draws the eye away from this area.

'Wearing clothes that will highlight your good points will instantly give you a body boost as all eyes will be on these areas and not on the parts of your body you dislike.'


When your hair starts to turn grey, many women, like Denise opt for going blonde in order to win the battle with grey hairs. Having not had her hair cut or coloured for nearly a year, Denise's grey roots are showing making her hair look lank and ageing her complexion.

Saks hair stylist Danielle restyles and colours Denise's hair to bring it back to life.

Says Danielle: 'Just because you start to get grey hairs doesn't necessarily mean that you have to go blonde. The secret to looking good is to have a colour and cut that suits your natural skin tone and face shape. For Denise her warm colouring suits a warm mid brown shade, by putting a few highlights underneath the top section around her crown will make her hair look naturally sun kissed. This multi-tonal look is perfect for making hair look natural – a good way to make you instantly look younger.'

For the cut Danielle keeps the length but cuts into the thickness of the hair to accentuate Denise's natural wave and to create movement.


'I used to wear makeup all the time and loved making my eye lashes look thicker by creating a Twiggy-style look,' says Denise. 'These days my eye lashes are thinning and so I can't create a looks I once did.'

There are many makeup products that can bring back the fullness of your lashes if you find that they are starting to fall out or look thinner. Estee Lauder consultant Rachel in Debenhams shows Denise how she can make the most of her eyes.

Says Rachel: 'The key to creating a natural looking lash is to use a lash primer before you apply your mascara. The primer will make your lashes look thicker and it makes it easier to apply mascara.

'Volume mascaras also help as these are tailored to make your lashes look fuller. Another trick is to use a dark brown eye shadow as eyeliner along your top and bottom lash lines as this will give the illusion that your lashes are thicker. Use an eye liner brush to apply the eye shadow so that you get a neat line close to the lash line.'

Create Denise's look

For the base

After cleansing, toning and moisturising the skin choose a foundation that matches your skin colour exactly so that you don't get any marks along your jaw line.

Use a concealer to cover up any dark areas such as around your nose and under your eyes, and any redness or blemishes. This will create a flawless base for you to create your look.

For the eyes

Use an eye palette (Rachel used the Estee Lauder five colour palette in Surreal Skies) to create a natural looking eye.

First apply the cream eye shadow over you eye lid from lash to crease and then apply the mid brown shade over the top gently blending the top colours together.

Next take the darker shade eye shadow and apply it as eyeliner with an eyeliner brush (as Rachel describes above).

Finish the eyes with a coat of eye lash primer and a volume enhancing mascara.

For the cheeks

Create a natural glow to your face using a bronzing powder. Apply bronzer using a big brush taking the colour down your face from the forehead down to your cheekbones and down towards your chin creating the figure 3. Finish with a brush of bronzer down your nose.

For the lips

As Denise has red in her dress, red lipstick is the only way to go. If you are scared of wearing red lipstick wear a red lip gloss instead as this will give your lips a more subtle look.

The verdict

Says Denise: 'I look completely different! I wasn't too sure about wearing a fitted dress at first especially as I have a big stomach, but this dress really does look good.

'The best part of my makeover has to be my hair, it looks and feels good and I love the colour and how I can now wear my hair wavy instead of having to straighten it. I always thought that I had to go blonde as soon as I started to turn grey, so it's good to know that I can be a brunette if I want.

'It was strange having a day that was all about me, but I thoroughly enjoyed it!'

Says Denise's daughter Tara: 'I think mum looks great! I'm glad that someone else has told her that she can wear more fitted clothes that show off her figure rather than having to hide away under baggy clothes. Her tummy looks a lot smaller, in fact you cannot even tell that she has go a big tummy anymore. Her new look makes her look as glamorous as she is.'