North Norwich mum wants to look good while she loses weight

Life Matters reader Michelle Sadd is over the moon after giving birth to a healthy baby girl but now she is struggling to shift the weight she has put on during pregnancy. Emma Harrowing helps her get a new look that will make her feel stylish while she tries to lose weight.

Your weight can flucuate throughout your life and never more so than when you have a baby. Once you have given birth the weight you put on around your middle during pregnancy can be difficult to lose.

Of course exercise and eating a healthy diet will help you get back into shape in the long term, but how can you look and feel stylish while you lose excess weight?

This was the question posed by Life Matters reader Michelle Sadd from north Norwich. The 24-year-old used to be a slim size 12 before she became pregnant but after giving birth to her daughter a mere 20 months ago she has grown to a size 14 to 16.

Says Michelle: 'When I was slimmer I never really worried about what I wore as I always felt okay in my clothes. Since putting on weight I haven't got a clue what suits my shape and I often feel disheartened when I go shopping. I just want to boost my confidence with a new look and learn how to look stylish while I am trying to lose my baby weight.'

Michelle will get back her shape over time so how can she dress to make her look and feel stylish in the interim?

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The clothes

Michelle wants a look that will be perfect for summer. Used to wearing tops and trousers or jeans, Michelle has been considering wearing a maxi dress but doesn't think that this style will suit her.

John Lewis fashion advisor Julia has helped many new mums get a new stylish image. Says Julia: 'Michelle is a pear shape so she is smaller on her top than her bottom. An empire line dress suits this body shape the best as the dress is fitted on top but then falls away under the bust line skimming the tummy, hips and thighs. Michelle has small shoulders so a strapless maxi will suit her. Revealing flesh on her slimmer parts will also draw attention away from the parts of her body she doesn't like.

'As she is conscience of her tummy a patterned dress can hide the lumps and bumps she wants to hide.'

To give Michelle a smoother figure Julia recommends that she try a pair of tummy and thigh slimming pants. Julia also recommends that Michelle has a bra fit since she han't had one since she has given birth.

Says Julia: 'Wearing the right underwear for the outfit you are wearing is a key to looking stylish. There are many different tummy and thigh slimming pants available and all help you look slimmer and will prevent any unsightly knicker lines showing through your dress.

'Wearing a correct fitting bra is important for your health and it can instantly make you look slimmer. Therefore it's important to get measured often.'

Julia teamed the maxi dress with some chunky jewellery and a pair of wedges, the perfect accessories to make anyone feel stylish.

The hair

To go with Michelle's new boho look, Saks hair stylist Danielle gave Michelles tresses some much-needed TLC with a new cut and colour.

Says Danielle: 'Michelle dyed her hair red at home about a month ago. Red is a difficult colour to lift out of the hair but it is possible to give Michelle a glossy summer look by taking her back to her natural dark brown and adding a few highlights.

'For the cut I am going to give Michelle's long bob a new shape, graduating the back so that it sits into her neck and adding choppy layers through the thickness. Michelle has naturally wavy hair so this cut will enable her to just wash and leave her hair to form a gentle wave or she can straighten her hair for a sleek look.'

The makeup

To complete Michelle's look Lancome makeup artist Sarah at John Lewis showed Michelle how she can get a natural flawless look that will make her skin look bright and fresh.

Get Michelle's look

For the base

After cleansing, toning and moisturing the skin. Sarah used Lancome Douceur Wipe Off Milk, Lancome Douceur Tonique and Lancome Hydra Zen day cream, followed by Lancome Genifique serum.

Apply a foundation that suits your skin type and matches you skin tone. Sarah used Lancome's new Teint Miracle foundation that gives a bare skin effect.

Cover any blemishes and dark circles under the eyes with concealer in a shade slightly lighter than your foundation. Sarah used Lancome's new Teint Miracle Corrector.

For the eyes

To create a natural eye use a eye shadow quad containing neutral colours such as brown, creams and pinks. Sarah used Lancome F20 Chic quad.

Apply the lighter shade across the eye lids up to the brow bone.

Next use one of the mid shades and apply across the eyelid from the lash line to the crease.

Finally take the dark colour and apply to the outer edge of the eyelid blending gently into the eyelid.

Finish the eyes with a coat of mascara. Sarah used Lancome's new Hynose Doll Eyes.

For the cheeks

Use a peachy shade blush to bring a bit of colour to your face. Apply with a brush to the apples of your cheeks and blend upwards and outwards towards the hairline. Sarah used Lancome Blush Subtil Classic and Highlighter.

For the lips

Keep lips looking neutral but well defined with a brown lip gloss. Sarah used Lancome Juicy Tubes in Toffee.

The verdict

Says Michelle: 'I never thought that I would look good in a dress, especially one that is strapless, but this dress is gorgeous and it is so comfy to wear.

'I have been wearing flat shoes while I have been pregnant and haven't get dared to get back into my heels, but these wedges are the perfect compromise. They are even comfortable to walk in, perfect for when I am running around after my daughter!

'My hair is great! Danielle showed me how I can leave my hair wavy or straighten it to give me two dif ferent looks. The fact that I can just wash and leave my hair and it still looks great is fantastic especially as having a baby means that I don't have too much time for myself.

'I don't usually wear makeup unless I am going out in the evening, but the look Sarah has created looks so natural and really brings out my features and makes my skin look refreshed and flawless.'