North Walsham’s Ellie has got the edge when it comes to sixth form

Leaving the confines of high school for college can seem a little daunting. There are more students, harder classes and new rules, but the plus point is that you no longer have to wear a uniform.

However, wearing your own clothes can throw you into a quandary; what should you wear? Should you wear jeans and a T-shirt, go for a more on-trend look, or adopt the non-conformist look of an emo or goth. It's a dilemma that makes you wish that you still had a uniform so that at least you know what to wear every day – well almost.

Ellie Mitchell from North Walsham is about to embark on her first term at Paston College. Like many 16-year-olds she has mixed emotions about her first day, but her main concern is over her appearance.

This is not just down to vanity. In her early teens Ellie developed an abscess on her tooth which became so large that it started to grow into her face. The resulting operations have left a zig-zag scar on her jaw, and although this is not as noticeable as Ellie believes, the experience has left her anxious about her face and appearance.

'I would love a look that boosts my confidence and maybe for once I'd feel pretty,' says Ellie. 'People joke that my scar looks a bit like Harry Potter's but my scar is all I can think about. All I can think about when someone mentions my face is 'scar'. I just want to be able to look in the mirror and not focus on my scar.'

Ellie has creative inspirations for her future. Studying photography and performing arts at college she wants to become a fashion photographer and is already working with models and makeup artists creating her own fashion shoots.

Says Ellie: 'I want a look that makes me look a bit more grown-up and away from a school girl image, but obviously a look that isn't too mature!'

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To help Ellie get a look that is trendy and more in keeping with her artistic new self, Debenhams personal shopper Sue pulls a few different looks from the new autumn and winter collections. Dresses feature highly, but Ellie already has a number of dresses and is looking for a different look.

The autumn boy/girl look is perfect for Ellie. Inspired by fashion icon Alexa Chung and from Ellie's love of music, wearing trousers rolled up with a pair of quirky show boots, a polka dot blouse layered with a fitted blazer gives her a smart yet young look that is perfect for her new life at college.

Says Sue: 'Shoe boots and a blazer is a great way of bringing in a smarter edge to the traditional trouser and top look. This look is ideal for college and just by changing the shoes for a pair of platforms and the blouse for a black top the look can be taken into the evening.'


Ellie is fed up of her mousey-brown hair. Having dressed up like Lady Gaga and experimenting with dip-dye pink and blue hair dyes she longs to get her tresses looking brighter and bolder but with a natural look.

Saks hairstylist Reagan is on hand to give Ellie a new look. Says Reagan: 'Ellie wants a more golden tone to her hair so I'm going to put two blonde shades through her hair to create a natural looking golden colour. For the cut I'm going to keep the length but trim off the ends and add a few layers to give more movement to her style. Adding a full fringe will also draw attention away from her scar by giving her face a focal point.'


To complete Ellie's new preppy look Debenhams Bare Minerals makeup consultant Jaclyn shows Ellie how she can create a natural makeup look.

Get Ellie's look...

For the base: After cleansing and moisturising your skin apply a skin primer over your face as this will give a base for your foundation and will make your makeup stay in place for longer. Jaclyn used Bare Minerals Prime Time.

Choose your foundation carefully making sure that the shade matches your natural skin tone. This will avoid the tell-tale tide marks along your jaw line.

Use a concealer to cover any dark circles under the eyes and any blemishes so that your face looks flawless and is one even colour.

Add colour to your face using a bronzer and apply with a brush in the figure '3' from your forehead down and round towards your cheekbones and down and round over your chin. Jaclyn used Bare Minerals Warmth.

Finish your base with a brush of loose powder which will set your makeup. Jaclyn used Bare Minerals Mineral Veil.

For the eyes: Choose two eye shadow colours, one light and one dark. Jaclyn used gold and a grey. Apply the lighter colour eyeshadow, in this case the gold, across your eye lids from the lash line to the crease. Apply the darker shade, in this case the grey, as eyeliner along the lash line making the line slightly thicker. Finish the eyes with a coat of black mascara.

For the cheeks: Keep your cheeks looking naturally flushed by using a peach blusher on your cheeks from the middle of your cheekbone in line with the pupil of your eye along your cheekbone to your hair line and blend.

For the lips: A lip gloss will give a sheer, natural look to your lips. Use a pink shade in a similar colour to you lips to create definition and shine.

The verdict:

Says Ellie: 'I feel like a girl! My makeup makes me look pretty and I love my new fringe. The makeup and my new hair colour brings colour into my otherwise pale face. I love the outfit it makes me look grown-up but it gives me an edgy style that I love. I can't wait to start Sixth Form College now!'