MAKEOVER: Illness robbed me of my confidence

Emma HarrowingIf you think that wearing black will make you look slimmer and hide your imperfections think again. Black can make you look tired, older and bigger. Reader and black addict Sophie York finds out how wearing colours that suit her can improve her appearance.Emma Harrowing

If you think that wearing black will make you look slimmer and hide your imperfections think again. Black can make you look tired, older and bigger. Reader Sophie York has an illness that has made her skin acne ridden, her eyes look tired and swollen and her weight fluctuate. EMMA HARROWING shows her how wearing colour can make her skin look radiant and how the shape of the outfit can flatter her figure.

'I used to be the pretty one with all the confidence in the world. Now I have a disease that I feel has robbed me of my looks,' says 23 year old Sophie York from Long Stratton.

Sophie was diagnosed with Graves' disease at the end of last year. The condition means that Sophie has an overactive thyroid gland, which makes her feel tired, have sensitivity to heat, causes her to perspire and makes her hands tremor.

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'Graves' disease has also made one of my eyes to swell whenever I am stressed or nervous. My skin has also suffered as I have acne on my face,' says Sophie.

'I have no confidence and I am very self conscious so I always wear black as I think that this hides my body.'

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The verdict

We took Sophie out of her black clothes and replaced them with clothes in greys, beiges and khakis; colours that she should wear as her neutral colours rather than always opting for black. Wearing the colours that suit your skin tone will reduce the appearance of any flaws.

Sophie wears: Grey jeggings, �30, Warehouse; tunic top, �55, raffia style shirt, �75 and long beige cardigan, �89, all Sandwich; green scarf, �27, East; bead necklace, �20, John Lewis; bag, �55, French Connection; Britney peep toe sling back pale pink shoes, �60, John Lewis.

For Sophie's hair Marie Davison at Max Giammello cut Sophie's hair to shoulder length and added a side fringe. Changing her hair colour to a warmer shade of brunette and adding a few golden highlights will help make Sophie look less tired.

For makeup Sophie's acne-prone skin was cleansed, toned and moisturised and given a flawless look with a touch of Lanc�me's Tente Idole silky mineral base foundation. As she is conscience of her swollen eye black waterproof eye liner was applied to the top and bottom lash line to help narrow the eyes.

Sophie says: 'At the beginning of the day I could barely look at myself in the mirror, I looked awful. Now after having style advice I look a lot better and I don't mind looking at myself in the mirror.

'My hair looks and feels in great condition and my skin looks better after having a makeover.

'I have never worn jeggings, but they are so comfortable to wear that I think I might invest in a pair. In fact I need to go on a big shopping spree and buy some new clothes in colours that suit me and not black!'

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