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How To Give Yourself A Make Over

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There often comes a time when we decide that we need a change of image. It may be because of the breakdown of a long-term relationship, a career change, or just because we want to introduce the feel-good factor back into our lives. To begin: take the cross-gender mirror test – and be honest. Whether you are male or female, take all your clothes off and stand in front of a full-length mirror. What do you see?
Are you overweight? We all put on a little bit as we get older and our metabolism changes but if there’s a mass of flab and sagging extremities, ask yourself whether you’d fancy you, if you were a wo/man? Is it a result of over-indulgence and a lack of self-control; or do you need to face up to dealing with health problems? Make a doctor’s appointment and get yourself checked out – then start looking at ways to rid yourself of the excess pounds. Take up swimming, walking or running (see How To Start Running) and start to feel better about yourself, especially if you’re meeting a new circle of friends.
Does your hairstyle need attention? A change of hairstyle can do wonders for low self-esteem and can, in some circumstances, alter the whole way we feel about ourselves and life in general. Women, in particular recognise the importance of the drastic new hairstyle when life is at a low point – so go mad and do something about it. The long hair v. 40-plus arguments always cite the glamorous celebrities, but we must accept that they have the finances to ensure they keep looking good – the rest of us aren’t so fortunate. Long hair can be extremely ageing, for both men and women on the wrong side of 45. So whether it’s a drastic new cut or colour, go for something different – unkempt hair does nothing for anyone.
Is your personal hygiene up to standard? This isn’t a question of do you smell? It’s more a general assessment of whether you still pay attention to keeping hands and fingernails looking nice. Do you regularly remove body hair and keep your underwear in good repair?
Is your personal appearance outdated? Women should be realistic about wearing skirts too short for their age. There are quite a number of ‘ladies of a certain age’ who still enjoy wearing ‘tarty-trotters’, i.e. 4-inch stiletto heels, because they feel smarter when going somewhere special, but the combination of short skirts and high heels, however, is best left to the 20-30-somethings, with elegance being the province of the older woman. Alternatively, are you still clinging to the Earth Mother regalia, or squeezing yourself into straight-leg jeans and black leather as the Big 50 looms closer? Is your age or shape conducive to wearing skimpy tops and shorts to the supermarket?
Men should consider whether their beard makes them look much older than their true age? Perhaps a re-styling would make a tremendous change to your appearance. Although the tide is beginning to turn and men are being seen more and more out in the shopping malls, older males are not always known for their sartorial elegance. Is it time for you to abandon the ‘medallion man’ image in favour of something smarter? Remember that an out-dated appearance gives the impression of someone clinging onto lost youth.
So now is the time to opt for a total reinvention of yourself and head for Weightwatchers, or the local gym and start to shed those excess pounds. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice – experienced fitness professionals will be able to help with the best diet or training programme for your age, build or state of health.
Do change your hairstyle and if you’ve been a devotee of Gothic black, it may be the right time to consider a change of colour, too. Invest in one of the monthly style magazines aimed at the hairdressing fraternity (or borrow from a hairdressing chum) that gives modern styles for every length of hair for both men and women.
Review your wardrobe with a critical eye. Look at the adverts in the weekend colour supplements and see what’s in fashion among the celebrities in your age group. Remember that they spend £££s on personal shoppers and trainers, but you can copy ideas that have cost them a fortune. You don’t have to throw everything away, just team up different items and jazz them up with colourful accessories.
When you have money to spare, have a look at the designer clothes on sale on e-Bay. For a fraction of the cost of a new coat, you can buy a whole outfit that has hardly been worn (including shoes and handbag), and if you haven’t paid full price for it, then you won’t be so paranoid about wearing designer clothes every day – it all helps contribute to the change of image
Metabolism can also alter the smell of favourite perfumes, colognes, etc., so make sure that you’re not clinging to an overpowering fragrance that, combined with the natural acids in your skin, may suggest paint stripper. A new perfume or cologne can be almost as satisfying as a new hairstyle, but choose wisely.
A personal make over doesn’t need the resources of Trinny and Susannah or Gok Wan but we can learn from their experiments. The gimmick for their shows is to make the less than perfect figure appear fashionable – and helps to avoid the mutton dressed as lamb look.
Weightwatchers for both men and women can help you to lose weight online if there are no meetings in your area.
Make up also needs to be toned down as we get older, so ask your local beauty representatives for help – and maybe get some free samples.
Don’t be conned into wearing something that doesn’t suit you just because it’s in fashion!


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