Great look is shaping up for Amy from Norwich
Earlier this year Amy Dickerson from Norwich was homeless. Now that she is getting her life back on track she needs help with her look. Emma Harrowing reports.
Sitting in the newly-revamped fashion advisory room at John Lewis tentatively holding her boyfriend's hand, 17-year-old Amy Dickerson looks like any other teenage girl.
As she playfully jokes with her boyfriend Matty, she talks about her desire to look effortlessly stylish and how she wants to learn to dress to suit her shape so that she feels confident in her looks.
She has all the worries of a typical teenager. She wants to look trendy and as stylish as her favourite celebrities she sees on TV and in magazines, but she is unsure what styles will suit her.
As she sits in the comfy armchair talking about her style it's hard to believe that just over nine months ago Amy was living rough on the streets.
Says Amy: 'I was finding it tough living at home and after an argument I decided to leave. I didn't know where to go and so for about four nights I slept in the subway at the top of St Stephen's with just a rucksack full of my belongings.
'It was cold, scary and tough and for a while I didn't know what was going to happen to me. The nights were especially scary.
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'Luckily I was found by the YMCA. They took me in and found me a place to stay with a local foster family.
'I lived with them for a while, but their house rules were really restrictive. I had a curfew at night and I wasn't allowed any visitors. If Matty came to see me he would have to stand outside the door.
'The people were nice but I felt trapped again.'
Amy now lives with her boyfriend and his family in Norwich and is looking for a job.
'I'm starting to get my life back together,' says Amy. 'I get on really well with Matty's parents and we have our own room. Eventually though, Matty and I will get a place of our own.'
Amy wrote to Life Matters as she needs helping finding clothes that fit her shapely size 14 body. She also wants to ditch her obsession with jeans.
'I can never find clothes that I like and want to wear and so I stick to my usual style of jeans, trainers and a T-shirt. I am fed up with looking the same everyday and would really like to get out of this style, but I don't know where to start. My fashion is a disaster!'
John Lewis fashion advisor Ruth is on hand to offer Amy some styling advice to help her get a casual look that is an alternative to jeans.
Ruth says: 'Amy is on a tight budget, however sometimes investing in a piece of clothing that fits you perfectly rather than spending smaller amounts on clothing that doesn't is more cost-effective as you will get more wear out of a piece of clothing that you feel confident in.
'Amy has a curvy hour-glass figure so she should look for clothes that emphasise her waist, such as a dress with a belt or ruching around the middle or a pair of high-waisted trousers.
'Amy is slightly large on top so scoop and V-necks will flatter her,' she explains.
Ruth chose an outfit which follows the sports luxe trend and works well with Amy's love of casual sport clothes.
Teaming a pair of easy-to-wear leggings with a longline fitted tunic jumper, hugs Amy's curves and the scoop neck flatters her top half.
Amy's look is accessorised with a pair of faux fur and leather ankle boots and a red scarf which gives the outfit a splash of colour.
Fashion rules dictate that horizontal stripes should be avoided if you what to look slimmer, but as in Amy's case some fashion rules can be broken as the wide stripes actually make Amy's five-foot frame look taller and streamlined.
The result is a smart-casual look that gives Amy the style that she craves.
Amy has experimented with the colour of her hair over the years and is not afraid of trying something new. Saks hairstylist Danielle is on hand to offer some advice.
'Amy doesn't want to go too short with her style so a graduated bob style is the perfect cut to tidy up her ends while still maintaining some length round her face.
'The addition of a sweeping fringe will suit Amy's round face shape.
'For the colour I'm going to stick to warm tones rather than flat colours as this will complement Amy's complexion. Putting a warm brown colour through her hair as the base with sections of caramel through the front of her hair will add interest and movement. Putting lighter pieces next to her face will complement her skin tone and will give her face a glow.'
Amy wants to go for a glamorous make-up look to contrast with her new sports luxe look, Bare Escentuals consultant Jaclyn at John Lewis helps Amy achieve her desired look.
Get Amy's look
For the base
After cleansing and moisturising use a foundation primer as a base for your make-up. This will make your make-up last longer. For your foundation pick a shade that matches your skin tone to prevent any tell-tale tied marks. Next take a concealer and cover any blemishes, dark circles and redness to create a flawless look.
For the eyes
Use a gold shimmer and a black eye shadow and a black eye pencil to create Amy's look. First take the eye pencil and draw a line along the top lash line keeping close to the lashes. Then use a eye liner brush to apply a line of black eye shadow just above the eye-liner line. Apply the gold eye shadow over the lid and finish the eyes with mascara.
For the cheeks
Add colour to your face using the Bare Escentuals Warmth powder on your forehead, cheeks and chin. Next take a dusky pink blush and brush on to the apples of your cheeks.
For the lips
Use a deep red lip gloss to give your look an edgy finish.
Says Amy: 'My look has completely changed and yet it is still in keeping with my relaxed style. The tunic and leggings combo is just as easy to wear as jeans. In fact I have some leggings and tunics in my wardrobe but I never wear them – I will definitely be digging them out tonight!
'My makeover has shown me what shapes suit my body shape and has given me the confidenceto look and feel stylish.'