Hair & Beauty, and Dealing with Weight & Shape Issues: Enhance What You've Got and Be More You!
Hairstyles and Face ShapesEveryone's face and bone structure differs, and some people's faces fit into one of the following categories quite clearly, and yet for others it is harder to define. The advice below is a guide only, and ideal hairstyles depend on hair type and other factors as well as face shape.
Characterised by a slightly pointed and narrow chin, and a wider top half of the face, possibly with high cheekbones.
Consider: Hairstyles with a fringe down to (or past) the eyebrows if your forehead is more prominent. Also hairstyles which add some width to the jawline - such as a bobbed style, or inverted graduation.
Avoid: Hairstyles which cover the jawline (such as a short graduation) as they will accentuate the wider top half of the face.
Characterised by a short length from the top of the forehead to the base of the chin, a rounded chin and jawline.
Consider: Hairstyles which add length to the face, or limit the width. For a wider face, hairstyles which come on to the face at the sides may compliment you.
Avoid: Hairstyles with a fringe. A round face shape is usually short in length, but will look too short with a fringe, especially if you have a small forehead.
Characterised by an angular jawline and width at the jaw.
Consider: Hairstyles with a graduation which frames the face and softens and angular bone structures. This sort of style can really flatter a 'chiseled' look.
Avoid: A blunt angular fringe if you have a square-ish jawline. It may cause you to look quite severe.
Characterised by a much longer length than width and often a very slim jawline.
Consider: A fringe which reaches the eyebrows, to enhance the width of your face.
Avoid: A long style which either comes on to the face, or is one-length and covers your cheeks/cheekbones. This would enhance the length of your face further.
Characterised by a longer length than width, and no prominent widths at the jawline or otherwise.
There are no hairstyles which are specifically reccommended for an oval face shape, however a short graduation to frame the face might be flattering, or choppy layers might enhance your face shape.
Body Image & Dressing for Your Body ShapeSometimes we just have to accept our body shape!
If you're overweight you can lose weight, but if you have a wider or longer bone structure you can't lose bone! (E.g. having wider hips, or having long legs). Knowing what contributes to your body shape in terms of your weight and bone structure is vital for self-esteem and 'locus of control' (what you perceive you can and can't control).
Avoid: Mid-length skirts which hang from the hips. These are not really your friend because the length of the skirt is of course shorter than your legs, and your legs are already not particularly long as it is. This accentuates the lack of length and can create a 'dumpy' look. That said, if the skirt starts at the waist (higher up) and is A-line or puffy, it can be much more flattering.
Consider: Trousers and skirts starting from the waist. This creates length in the leg which is very flattering. Also tops with a cinched or narrow waist will create length in the lower half of the body. Heels can obviously add height but very high heels (especially chunky) can sometimes look overpowering on a very small frame, depending on the outfit of course.
Avoid: Straight-cut dresses and tops. These will enhance the straightness of your figure and it can look boyish, although it can look sporty and youthful. Tops and dresses with a narrowing at the ribs or above the waist can be quite unflattering to a modest bottom, and modest/narrow hips as they don't cling in the right areas. If you have a small frame try to avoid too much baggy clothing at once. If you have on a baggy hoodie for example it will look better with skinny jeans, not combats or boyfriend jeans. Too much baggy and you will look like you shrunk in the wash!
Consider: Tops and dresses with a narrowing at the waist. This will enhance the hips and compliment your narrow waist. Skinny jeans look good on skinny legs!
Being Very Curvy
Avoid: Leggings that are too tight - if you are overweight leggings can be unflattering unless you are quite toned. Leggings can however look very good on shapely legs. Try not to wear skirts or trousers which hang very high from the waist if you are big-busted - it can enhance and distort your top half. Stripes enhance sizes and roundness so avoid stripy tops unless you're comfortable with your curvy shape.
Consider: Dark colours will flatter you if you feel overweight but why should you stick to the shadows? Wear colours that compliment your skin tone and take the focus off any weight issues.
Baggy tops won't cling as much, and cardigans help to give you a little more fabric to play with, but again, why should you have to hide away?!
Weight Loss/Losing Weight
If you are trying to lose weight you must first accept what you cannot change, so you have a clear idea of what you can achieve. For example if you are lacking in height and have wider hips, your body shape will never be 'willowy' but it could be 'curvy,' petite' or 'shapely' - both have their pros and cons just like everything. You must think about which parts of your body will look different if you lose weight, and which parts will stay the same, or not change as easily. Learn to accept it and expect it, and build it into your weight loss plan.
It can help to buy some nice clothes in a size down, to give you motivation to fit into them, but make sure they aren't items you need to wear by a certain event or date as this may cause pressure and stress. Weight loss should be steady and not sudden, and it should be done by a mixtue of exercise and healthy eating, not obsessive bingeing and purging for example.
Skin Types and Skin Care
Oily skin often looks shiny, and is prone to spots due to the over-production of our natural oil 'sebum' by the sebaceous glands in our skin. The T-zone is very often the most oily area, even if you have generally dry skin (forehead and nose area). For oily skin or oily areas:
- Avoid too much washing. This sounds counter-intuitive, but the more you wash your face, the more your skin produces the oil you have just stripped away.
- Wash regularly no more than twice a day, and establish a routine.
- Don't use harsh products on your face - try to wash your face with just hot water, and use a gentle cleanser maybe once a day. Avoid any cleanser which leaves your face feeling tight or dry.
- Exfoliate gently once or twice a week.
- Use a light moisturiser for oily skin. If that still doesn't help, put your moisturiser on when you have a damp face (or hands when you rub it in). This will thin the moisturiser and leave less of it on your skin.
- Have a few days a week without any make-up. This lets your skin establish a natural balance without any interferance from greasy make-up, or make-up remover
- Don't touch your face with your hands throughout the day. The dirt and grime will clog pores and add to the problem.
- Wash hands thoroughly before washing face.
Dry skin is often flaky when rubbed, feels tight and can age faster due to the lack of lubrication from natural oils and the damage from movement and loss of elasticity. For dry skin or dry areas:
- Always moisturise. If face feels tight it is lacking moisture badly
- Don't over-moisturise. this will cause the skin to stop producing its own natural oils. (Once a day for daycream, and once in the evening for nightcream is ideal).
- Exfoliate twice a week, but be very gentle. Dry skin is more fragile.
- Eat more green leafy veg to make your skin produce more oil. Spinach is very effective.
- Use an oil-based moisturiser instead of a water one in wintry conditions which can dry skin out (so can central heating)
- Wash face regularly. Not too much, but keeping on top of it may stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum (natural oil). Twice a day is enough.
Eyebrow Shapes and Facial GroomingEyebrows must not be over-plucked! Don't underestimate the effect your eyebrows have on your face. Try not to pluck from the top of the brow, however the odd hair can be plucked if it will not create a bald area/patch or affect how the hairs around it will look. If you pluck from the top, the eyebrows can look stuck-on, and artificial. It is also impossible to keep a natural and consistent shape.
Eyebrows should arch naturally - follow the natural arch. They should start in line with the edges of the nostrils, but this is a guideline only. People have different shaped noses, so if in doubt don't over-pluck. Eyebrows should end in line with the outer corner of the eye (if you hold a straight line from the edge of the nostril to the outer edge of the eye).
Pluck from the top unless doing one-off hairs
Shave anywhere on the face (women)
Pluck a hair growing from a mole - cut it instead to avoid causing abnormal cells to form
Use products (especially perfumed) or warm water on the face after any facial waxing for 24 hours