Norwich women are doing it for themselves

Money maybe tight this year but that doesn't mean you cannot treat yourself to a new look. EMMA HARROWING shows you how you can give yourself a DIY makeover to help beat the winter blues.

A new hairdo could cost around �40-�120, a new outfit �200, a makeover with a top beauty brand �25, advice from an image consultant between �50 and �90 for colour and style advice, and a pampering treatment at a beauty salon or spa from �25. Total cost around �460. The results? Well, they could be priceless.

For those that don't have the cash to flash on a new look, there are ways in which you can still revamp your look and get that fuzzy buzz you get when you feel pampered from head to toe and you have a brand new outfit to boot. It's called the DIY makeover.

Forget home hair dyes, trying to cut your fringe with a pair of nail scissors or trying to make your own clothes when you haven't got a clue how to use a needle or thread. This is about making what money you do have to spend on yourself count – making your money go further in the quest to reveal a while new you.

And there are many tricks and tips you can use to primp, preen and polish your look. Here's the Life Matters' guide to the new DIY makeover.


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There are a few basic rules when it comes to styling yourself. Learn these rules by heart and break the ones you can if you want to get an edgier look.

Rule 1: Don't hide – accentuate. Forget trying to disguise a big tummy, hips, bust or thighs under baggy clothes; wearing bigger clothes will make you look bigger. Instead highlight the parts of your body you do like to draw the eye away from the parts you don't. If you have a slim waist – emphasise it with a belt or a three quarter sleeve jacket (the line of the sleeve will draw attention to your waist). If you have long legs wear a midi skirt or show off your legs with a 1960s style mini or skinny jeans. If you have an ample clevage wear scoop or V-neck tops to frame your assets.

Rule 2: Be a colour queen. Wear colours that make your skin look brighter and healthier. Colour analysis is a highly technical process but the basic rule is that if you have a cool skin tone (your skin has a pink hue) blues, emerald greens, fuchsia pinks, burgundy or cherry reds and whites are among the colours that suit you. If you have a warm skin tone (your skin has a yellow hue) teal, lime green, salmon pink, orange-red and creams are part of the colour spectrum for you.

Rule 3: Think of your lifestyle. Wearing a colour block bodycon dress with skyscraper heels just because it is 'on-trend' when you are a busy mum of two will not feel comfortable. Instead get the colour-pop look by teaming a pair of coloured jeans with a clashing coloured top or add a brightly coloured belt or pair of pumps to your look. Whatever your lifestyle you can wear the last trends, just tailor them to make you feel comfortable.

These three basic rules are a good start in making sure that your wardrobe in full of clothes you love to wear. It is also a great way of getting rid of the pieces that don't meet your criteria. Decluttering makes it easier to pull a style together each morning and it encourages you to shop for pieces that are missing from your wardrobe rather than waste money by buying the same items.

Of course, you can make money out of good quality, unwanted clothes. There are online auctions where people can bid for your clobber or you can take high end high street and designer pieces into the City College Norwich Retail Skills Academy shop, Ego in Chapelfield, who will sell your items for a cut of the profits. All profits made go back into education, so you will be helping others while you boost your bank balance.

Regular Life Matters readers will also know that many shops in Norwich offer free fashion advice services.

Debenhams, Jarrold, John Lewis, House of Fraser and, if you prefer to shop local, Vanilla on Ipswich Road all offer a free fashion advice service so you can get advice on what colours and shapes suit you so that you can make shopping for an outfit easier.


You can give your hair a new style with minimum effort – all it takes is a little practice.

Waves and curls are big news on the hair front this year so learning how to create curls and waves with your hair straighteners will enable you to create different looks.

To create a basic curl, take a section of hair (the thicker the section the more looser the curl), and clamp your hair straighteners down near the root. Pull the straighteners through the section of hair towards the tip and as you do turn your hand 90 degrees to create a curl. Repeat on sections over your hair and then using your fingers comb through the curls to create a natural wave.

Once you have mastered this technique you can create different styles from tight curls to tousled hair. You can also try this vintage inspired victory roll look created by Rachel at Hooloovoo on Pottergate.

1. Pin half of your hair up on top of your head and start curling and waving the back section using straighteners.

2. Divide the top section of your hair in half creating a centre parting, leaving a small front section loose. Take one section and backcomb an inch from the root. Twist the hair under to form a victory roll on one side of your head and pin into place. Spray with hairspray.

3. Repeat step 2 with the other section of hair on the other side of your head so that you end up with two victory rolls.

4. Take the front section and create an S curl by slowly running the straighteners from root to tip turning the straighteners up and then down as you pull them through your hair.

5. Run your fingers through the curls.


Many of you say that you do not have time to put on make-up in the morning, but a simple routine that will take you from plain Jane to polished in about five minutes could be just the pick-me-up you need to look and feel great.

1. Cleanse and moisturise your skin. Make sure your eyebrows are in good shape.

2. Find a foundation that matches your skin tone. Many of the beauty counters in Norwich offer free advice to find you the right foundation shade to suit your skin. This is important if you want to create a natural flawless look.

3. Apply your foundation to the centre of your face and blend outwards to give the best even coverage. 4. Cover any dark circles, blemishes or spots with concealer.

5. Add a touch of colour to your face my using a natural pink blush.

Apply to the apples of your cheeks with a brush and blend upwards and outwards along your cheekbone to your hairline.

6. Wake up your eyes by putting a neutral colour eye shadow over your eyelid up to the crease line.

7. Define your eyes by applying brown or black eyeliner along the top lash line making sure you keep as close to your lash line as you can. Finish your eyes with a coat of mascara on the top and bottom.

8. Keep lips neutral with a touch of lip balm of apply a natural pink lipstick or gloss to give a polished look.

Find out how you can improve your skin for 2012 by creating your own face mask thanks to by Norwich skin specialist Louise Thomas-Minns of the U and Your Skin Lounge on Bridewell Alley. Discover the recipe here on Life Matters online by clicking on the link at the top right of this page.