Question asked by: 
Viv, Manchester
Date asked: 
May 2014

Since chemo, I don’t think I look right. I can’t put my finger on it but I’ve changed. I just don’t feel like the same person. Trouble is I’m broke and the family budget is stretched to breaking point. Do you have any bright ideas about alternative ways of a DIY make over, without spending too much?

How can I give myself a makeover on a budget?
Buy a bright lipstick.
Response by Sophie Beresiner

Ah, this sounds like one of two things.

Firstly, you’re not looking at your old self in the mirror, you’re looking at the new, let down, not very well, probably depressed at times, and sadder, version of you. The reason you appear to have changed is because you have changed – because of what you’ve been through. It’s impossible for this not to show on your face.

The first thing is to try and look at the positives. Trust me, there will always be something, whether it’s bringing your family closer, appreciating life more, meeting someone new or anything else you can come up with. You’ll be surprised how much a change in attitude will help with a makeover.

Other than that I find the biggest, easiest and most image-altering trick is bright lipstick.

I will never stop expounding the virtues of colour pop lips for mood boosting, face lifting and confidence building. It adds radiance and warmth to your whole face. Even if you feel self-conscious, just go with it. It will take one admiring glance (even if it’s from you appraising yourself in a reflective shop window) and you’ll be hooked.

I also recommend skin-brightening moisturiser (or just add some highlighter to your normal moisturiser) to cheat a radiant glow.

If you want something more drastic go for either an exciting haircut, or wig change (which could also be a simple cut or colour, depending on the wig). If you don’t have a wig, check out the amazing, inexpensive real hair options available at American Dream Extensions. These wigs are truly fantastic. I have three!