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I look horrific. please share easy cheats and sneaky corner-cutting to looking nice

(98 Posts)
thatswhatimtalkingbout Sun 09-Mar-14 22:31:18

I need to lose about 3 stone. I also need to exercise, get more sleep, eat better, drink less, and get a decent hair cut, sort out some niggling long term health things, etc.

While I work on all this (or the bits I can do - I kind of can't see how to be much less knackered in the short / medium term) what can I do to fake it till I make it?

I have fair skin which looks grey at the moment; ginger hair; stocky / curvy size 14 (need to be a lot slimmer at my height and build); basically look baggy and grey and worn out. I don't know anything about make up but wear foundation, blusher and mascara at least every day. My glasses are old and probably don't suit me; I don't have time for a contact lens fitting. I am 42.

Please share your great cheats.

Flangeofmingetown Sun 09-Mar-14 22:50:23

Start with clothes that fit you now for the figure you have and that make you feel great. So honestly assess your figure and work out what are your best points and those that you would rather downplay.Store away all the tight/unsuitable/unworn and general wardrobe clogging stuff.

Draw up a list of what is actually missing from your wardrobe and then settle on a colour scheme that suits you and that is interchangeable, so something like four great colours. Add other colours in shoes, necklaces and scarfs etc but stick to four basic colours for your wardrobe core.

Sort out hair. Something low maintenance. Then hit Superdrug Mua and buy lots of different make-up to find out what works now for you.

RonaldMcDonald Sun 09-Mar-14 23:13:05


Dunno what height you are but a size 14 is about the same as most of the UK
I could blather on about the real problem being something to do with a life stage but I'd better not. Are you actually looking grey or are you feeling a bit grey?

So...I think eyebrows make a world of difference. Get them tinted and threaded/plucked/waxed whatever

You already wear slap so haste thee to Pinterest or YouTube and look at some shading and highlighting tutorials for your face
Practise them and you too can look like Megan Fox

Buy a lipstick/liner slightly more intense than your lip shade...wear the life out of it

Wear a nice cream blush

Always have kickass painted nails and carry a hand cream

Wear an SPF all the time face and hands

cafecito Mon 10-Mar-14 01:24:30

1. EYEBROWS (get them threaded, maybe tinted)

2. see above

3. see above

4. exfoliate skin

5. moisturise face

6. maybe wear some subtle eyeliner with mascara

7. hair cut

8. body contouring tights

9. repeat (1)

kickassangel Mon 10-Mar-14 01:37:56

Make getting enough sleep a big priority in life.
Most people look mainly at hair an face so get yourself happy with them

Walk as much as possible.
Clothes that fit well.


K8Middleton Mon 10-Mar-14 02:17:31

Good quality, well fitting bra.

Stand up straight with head held high. Slumping just makes everything worse so fake some confidence.


Get your teeth whitened

Get hair cut

Eye brows - I agree with everyone else but if you have horrible specs that will be more pressing.

Swap the time and money spent drinking to time spent doing some exercise or maintainance. YouTube has loads of exercise videos for yoga or pilates and other fitness instruction. Give yourself a manicure or DIY facial.

Walnut8 Mon 10-Mar-14 02:31:38

The big thing that stood out for me was the glasses bit. Wearing glasses always makes me feel a bit dowdy (even with my nerdy wannabe hipster ones grin) but I am so shortsighted I have to wear them or wear contacts (or laser surgery but still saving for that!). If you go for new glasses, you can get fitted for contacts at the same time. At least try them!!!! Nothing lost if they dont work for you. Most places give you a free pair to try out, at least while they are sorting what sort work for you. It wont take long, do it on your lunch break or in 20 min on a saturday morning.

futterbingers Mon 10-Mar-14 02:32:30

Origins Vitazing is a tinted moisturiser but it only comes in one shade which seems to suit everyone. It comes out of the tube white but once its on, it makes my skin look like 'mine but better'. Then a bit of concealer on my eyelids as they are a bit discoloured, and plenty of black mascara to open up my eyes, then a bit of colour through my brows. No scary caterpillars, just a bit of definition. Then a tinted lip balm and I'm good to go.
Like you say, get a good haircut; follow Flange's advice re wardrobe; decide what your style is going to be - sporty, smart casual, fitted or whatever - and get rid of anything you know will never be worn, no matter how expensive/gorgeous/new it is. Try to drink a few glasses of water every day. If your skin is actually a bit grey, it will help with that.
If you decide to get new specs, go when you've had your hair done, dress nicely, wear makeup - you will be more inclined to choose frames carefully.
Lastly, be kind to yourself. Grab any opportunity to snooze but also get fresh air, and sunlight on your skin. If you like perfume, make a point of spritzing a bit on every morning, I find it reminds me that I'm feminine and I need that reminder sometimes!

thatswhatimtalkingbout Mon 10-Mar-14 09:34:30

Brilliant, thanks for all the help on this. I am going to have to ask some very silly rookie questions though.

Eyebrows - mine are very fair. I do look better I think when they are a bit pencilled in but it has to be balanced by full eyes and the works generally or it looks as if someone has just been drawing on my face. Am I paranoid? Can I get away with darkening eyebrows on a more day to day basis? Is pencil the way to do it?

Similarly - eye liner - what actual thing should I be using to do this?

I don't really need to lose 3 stone STAT. If I lost one I'd be a lot happier. If I lost 3 I would be the same weight I was when I was 20 so that is a bit of an aspiration.

It's true about the sleep being really important. I have a 2 year old who is massively playing up at night and it is really wearing me down. I feel guilty about it because I think it is some kind of separation anxiety to do with my long hours at work. I think I need to knock all this dicking about at night on the head though.

Thanks for helping, I have crystallised my thoughts a lot, here are my immediate priorities:

good glasses / new disposable lenses
drinking water and walking.
no booze
new make-up
working on dd's sleep (and by extension mine)

I don't want to get new clothes as I reckon I could lose a stone in a month or two with some focus and then I will look a lot better in the stuff I have.

Except - control tights. yes, thanks for reminding me of those

ProjectGainsborough Mon 10-Mar-14 09:41:28

Up your fruit and veg content. Apparently, the carotenoids give your skin a glow!

And...don't laugh, but I read Cameron Diaz's 'Body' book recently and it has made a huge difference to the way I eat. It's basically sensible nutrional advice, none of it earth shattering, but it's written in a way that just clicked with me. Might be worth a squiz.

thatswhatimtalkingbout Mon 10-Mar-14 09:56:19

Thanks Project - are you able to give a bit more of an overview of that book?

Bramshott Mon 10-Mar-14 10:03:36

A nice chunky necklace is my instant perk-up thing - distracts attention away from everything else!

K8Middleton Mon 10-Mar-14 10:06:47

Go to a Shavata brow bar if you can. They do some fabulous brow products and they will be very keen to show you how they work because they want to sell them to you! It's not cheap for a one off brow shape at £11 and is cheaper if you buy a block of treatments but they will give you great brows and are consistently good. They will show you how to pencil in your brows with tiny, tiny strokes and will probably give you a pencil with a 'dawn' end and a 'dusk' end. Dawn is lighter and suitable for fair brows.

For eye liner get one with a smudger on the end. Then you can do fool proof smokey, day and evening looks. Estée Lauder do a variety of colours that are good for day wear and Bobbi Brown have recently launched some more soft kohl-ish types that are good for night. Both will let you try before you buy on the counters and you can check out online tutorials - look up Sali Hughes and Bobbi Brown. Avoid Laura Mercier tutorials because they are for serious make up artists rather than complete amateurs.

thatswhatimtalkingbout Mon 10-Mar-14 10:07:30

Thanks Bramshott - I often see that advice on here - can you link to some good ones?
I'm a bit unconvinced I'm afraid. I am short and squat and I think bright chunky stuff all around my neck and face can get a bit, I don't know, Marjorie Dawes, or Pauline from League of Gentlemen. For me. Maybe I am looking at the wrong things. Maybe I don't know how to wear them.

thatswhatimtalkingbout Mon 10-Mar-14 10:09:23

K8middleton, that all sounds great. I don't mind spending a bit of money to learn.... presumably there are ways of penny pinching later (actually I do find with actual make-up it lasts for absolutely ever - I have never ever used anything up except foundation I think - so some posh eye stuff will be an investment)

thatswhatimtalkingbout Mon 10-Mar-14 10:11:43

teeth whitening. Gulp. That would make a massive difference to me. Is it scary? I have really sensitive teeth. What happens?

K8Middleton Mon 10-Mar-14 10:13:46

Gosh yes eyeliner lasts forever! My Estée Lauder brown eye pencil with smudger gets used every day and it's at least one, if not two years old. It cost £16.

Kaluki Mon 10-Mar-14 10:21:47

I love L'Oreal Nude Magique anti-fatigue cream
You only need a tiny dollop and your skin looks better instantly.
How about a new hairdo? I recently had a fringe cut in and that made such a difference.
And yes contour tights and Bridget Jones knickers are wonderful!!

HelloBoys Mon 10-Mar-14 10:28:16

Make time for a contact lens fitting (evenings, weekends) IF that's what you want.

Blush always makes me feel awake.

Eyeliner - find a colour to suit your eyes.

Nude eyeliner inside rims (Rimmel) - great tip and wakes them up.

Mascara also helps me.

Bramshott Mon 10-Mar-14 10:31:37

Necklaces - I quite like long ones, and have a few like this one from white stuff

Or something shorter but chunky like this one from Laura Ashley

ProjectGainsborough Mon 10-Mar-14 10:39:26

The Body book is divided into 3 sections thats . Off the top of my head...

Food - so stuff like what proportion of carbs, fat and protein you should have, why it's a bad idea to ignore hunger.

Exercise - benefits, acquiring the discipline to keep going.

Mind - how to get out of mental traps that you spring for yourself and motivational stuff.

As I say, none of it is a massive surprise, but it's all in one place and the enthusiasm is contagious (rather than annoying). Worked for me.

AndTwoBits Mon 10-Mar-14 11:11:21

I too am a pale red head. I wear factor 25 on my face every single day in the winter and factor 50 the rest of the time. La roche posay one is nice and matte. I wear dove build up tanner on my face every second or third night to get that snow whiteness off my face. Just enough to put a bit of colour back into my face! I would recommend these two things for sure. And totally agree with the groomed and tinted eyebrows.

AndTwoBits Mon 10-Mar-14 11:12:49

I dye my pale eyebrows with coloursport dark brown dye. I get a month out of them before they need redoing.

thatswhatimtalkingbout Mon 10-Mar-14 11:18:49

OMG, AndTwoBits, you dye your eyebrows and you are a redhead? So brave! How did you know it would be ok when you did it the first time?
Do you do it yourself or have it done?
I don't suppose you could post a photo? (so cheeky)

If I had the guts I reckon having eyebrows could change my life. Seeing as even the pencil scares me I am a bit nervous of dye though.

Ubik1 Mon 10-Mar-14 11:20:43

I'm approaching 40 and am 5ft 2ins and size 10/12 - which is large for me as I am quite a small build.

I do alot of nightshift so am constantly sleep deprived. When you are tired it's easy to slip into bad eating habits - a bit of chocolate at 4pm to get you through, a nice carby tea as a comfort before bedtime.

I've made time for regular yoga which has improved my figure and I am now making a conscious effort to eat lots of fruit and veg. Running is also on the list...but haven't quite got round to it yet.

Am also doing 5:2 although for me it's hard to fit around shift work.

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