Sprightly 78-year-old Ann Collins was overjoyed when she won a makeover with a professional stylist and make-up artist after taking part in the Damart style advice Facebook competition.
Ann wanted advice on how she could dress smartly for everyday but be comfortable at the same time. And that question won her a two night stay in a boutique hotel in Manchester, as well as a day of being pampered with her hair and make-up being done by make-up artist Collette Casey who can be found making up the celebrities who often grace the red carpet and choosing outfits with the help of stylist Julie Dickson who styles many well-known clothing brands including Damart for photoshoots and journalist Look Books.
Ann, who lives in Exeter, said: “I couldn’t believe it when I won, it was wonderful. We had such a lovely couple of days and the makeover day was fabulous. Julie showed me how to wear outfits I would never have thought of choosing. The jeggings were a revelation, they felt so comfortable and yet looked really smart and she introduced so many colours which really lifted the outfits – I would never have thought of an orange coat, but I love it!”
Once her outfits were picked, Ann relaxed while Collette gave her a professional make-over. Ann said: “I must admit I shed a tear when she revealed the new me in the mirror. The lovely clothes, my hair and my beautiful make-up, I felt fantastic. It was such a treat.”
Ann then had her photograph taken by a professional photography before joining her son and the other winner, Sue, and her daughter for a celebratory champagne afternoon tea in the hotel.
Stylist Julie said: “It was lovely helping Ann choose outfits which I knew she would like once she tried them on. Damart jeggings are great for the older woman because they don’t cling, rather they look more like a jean but with all the comfort of leggings. I think we totally converted Ann who was looking at them in all the different colours.
“I was also able to suggest to Ann that she try some smaller sizes which actually fit her much better. So many of us pick a size and then always buy in that size, it’s much better to regularly check you’re wearing the right size. Again, I know that as people get older they often don’t want to be wearing clothes that could be too tight or look clingly which would make them feel uncomfortable but Damart designs all its pieces with this in mind. It really does focus on the older woman.”
Before she retired, Ann worked and a Youth and Community Worker. When her husband, Charles, died in 1998, she felt quite lost for a couple of years until at the age of 63 she decided to take a job as a rep for a travel company in working Portugal for a few years. She said: “I loved it, it was great fun.”
Ann was a volunteer for the Samaritans for many years and currently volunteers at her local GP surgery. She feels it is important to keep physically and mentally active, going for daily walks by the Quay in Exeter with her partner Peter.
“With Julie’s help, I feel quite excited about going out in my new outfits and seeing the comments I will get. It’s made me feel more adventurous and confident in how I look. I feel like a million dollars and that’s a great feeling.”