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The stresses and strains of life can take their toll on your looks, but one Life Matters reader believes that the pressure of the last six years has had a negative impact on her looks and her confidence. By Emma Harrowing
The sudden death of a loved one and the subsequent battle to carry on with your life can take a toll on your confidence. When Tanya Lawrence's partner died in 2005, her grief and her determination to still be there for her three children, twins now aged 11 and a three-year-old daughter, resulted in her losing five stone. But she feels that the weight loss and stress has taken its toll on her face.
'I am 37 years old but I feel I look more like 57,' says Tanya from Norwich. 'It would be great to start feeling better about the way I look, especially as I have lost so much weight. But since the death of my partner I don't have any confidence in myself anymore.
'I love my children but my time is taken up with looking after them and I don't have time to look after myself.'
Finding out how you can make the best of yourself by wearing clothes that flatter your shape, having a hair style that softens your face and emphasising your facial features by learning how to apply makeup, can go a long way in helping you feel more confident in yourself. And so Life Matters treated Tanya to a makeover day at Jarrolds.
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As regular Life Matters readers will know, the independent department store is a great place to go if you need a bit of a pick-me-up. The newly revamped beauty hall has a wealth of makeup counters where you can get advice on how to apply your makeup, the SkinSpa where you can get help caring for your skin and the new treatment rooms where you can have a facial or a massage. Then of course you can get advice on what to wear from the personal shopper and have your hair revamped in the Regis salon on the second floor.
In fact as Tanya found out, you can get a complete makeover in just a few hours.
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It's time to get Tanya out of her comfort zone when it comes to what she wears. A pair of jeans and a baggy top may be practical wear for playing with her children, but if she wants to feel special there are many other outfits that will be comfortable to wear and look stylish.
'Tanya is a classic pear shape and so an empire line maxi dress would flatter her shape as the dress goes in under the bust and skims the hips,' says Jarrolds' personal shopper Alex.
'Tanya has always wanted to wear a maxi but feels that she is too short at five feet three inches to wear one. However, a maxi can make you appear taller especially if you wear one with a pair of wedge or block heels.'
The maxi dress Alex chooses for Tanya is made from a jersey material which is easy to wear in the daytime and perfect for dressing up for a night out. Teaming the maxi with a denim jacket gives the look a laid back style.
Although Tanya thinks her hair is lacking in style, the naturally sun bleached ends and darker roots are in fact a fashion statement for this summer as dip-dye colour becomes a hot trend.
'I love Tanya's natural colour,' says Regis hair stylist Dale. 'Therefore I just want to enhance her current style and accentuate her sun kissed colour.
'The length really suits Tanya's face shape and so I am going to just trim the ends and then cut into the thickness of her hair to break up the colour and make her hair feel lighter ready for summer.'
By taking the weight out of her hair, Tanya's natural wave is enhanced. Dale improves the texture of Tanya's hair by roughly blow drying her hair and then creating loose tousled waves using straighteners and a round brush.
Tanya is a stranger to makeup, but as she feels that her face ages her, makeup can help her enhance her best features and disguise the bits she doesn't like. The key is to keep makeup looking as natural as possible on the areas that you want to disguise and tailor your makeup look to suit you.
To teach Tanya how she can develop a makeup routine to make her look and feel better, Estee Lauder consultant Debbie gave her a makeup masterclass.
Says Debbie: 'Tanya is conscience of her skin. It's prone to redness, has dry spots and can suffer from outbreaks. A good cleansing and moisturising regime will help her improve the condition of her skin, but makeup can also help give a quick fix to problem skin.
'The secret to good makeup is the base. Keep it looking natural by wearing a foundation that matches the tone of your skin and add colour by using a bronzer or blusher.'
Get Tanya's look
For the base:
Before applying a foundation, Estee Lauder's Doublewear concealer was mixed with the Advance Repair eye cream, this was applied around the eye area and across the eyelids to brighten the eyes. Next the Smoothing Matt Base primer was applied over the face to help moisturise the skin and act as a base for the foundation.
After finding a foundation that suits Tanya's skin colour and type, the foundation was mixed with Estee Lauder's Advanced Night Repair Serum, which helps hydrate and create a flawless finish.
For the cheeks
To bring colour back into Tanya's face a pink cream blusher was applied to the top of the cheekbones and blended in. Then a pink powder blusher was applied to the apples of the cheeks and blended upwards and outwards into the cream blusher to create a natural flush.
For the eyes
Tanya likes the popular smoky eye look but cannot create the look on herself. To create a smoky eye, first use eyeliner to define your eyes. Debbie used a plum coloured pencil eyeliner along the top lash line and along the bottom lash line from the outer corner of the eye to mid way.
Next choose three colour eye shadows – a light shade, mid shade and dark shade. Debbie used the Artic Nights quad eye palette which is made up of purple shades.
Apply the light eye shadow over the entire eye lid right up to the brow bone. Debbie used the cream colour shade from the palette.
Next apply the dark colour eye shadow using an eyeliner brush along the top lash line and half way along the eye lid crease creating a C shape on the outer eyelid. Blend gently with a brush.
Finally apply the mid shade eye shadow to the centre of the eyelid. Blend with a brush. Complete the eyes with a coat of mascara.
For the lips
It's a well-known rule that if you apply heavy makeup to your eyes you should keep your lips natural, and vice versa. As Tanya had smoky eyes her lips were kept neutral with a soft pink gloss.
Says Tanya: 'The whole experience was quite overwhelming as I'm not used to being the centre of attention, yet the niceness of all those involved in my makeover day made me feel really comfortable.
'I cannot believe how glamorous I look. I've always wanted to wear a maxi dress and now I know I can! My hair and makeup makes me definitely look like more of a 'yummy mummy'; my children are not going to recognise me.
'Since my makeover day I have shopped for clothes that suit my shape and are different to the styles I usually go for. I've bought a maxi dress and some snakeskin print wedges. Both items I would have looked at and longed to wear before but didn't have the confidence to wear them – until now.'
Photographer: Antony Kelly
Special thanks to: The personal shopping service in Jarrolds, which is free to use and can be booked by calling 01603 660661. Regis hair salon, which can be found on the second floor in Jarrolds call 01603 628608 and Estee Lauder which can be found in the beauty hall on the ground floor.