Q. I am 44 years old.  I have a wrinkle-free face, with chubby cheeks, almond-shaped eyes and rosebud lips.  I am 5ft 2 inches tall with a size 16 dress size, short limbs, large bust and hips but with a definite waist. People often take me to be aged 28 – 30 years old.  While I am forever grateful to look youthful and do not want to look older, I would like some fashion, beauty and mind tips to help me appear womanly rather than girly. The words ‘cute’ and ‘doll’ have been used to describe my appearance throughout my whole life.  My over all ‘baby’ appearance results in people talking down to me.  Worse still, it sometimes results in people whom I have just met (male and female) thinking that they can touch me and being taken a back when I politely ask them not to do so.  I do not act like a little girl:  I am a strong, independent, intelligent woman with a wide array of interesting life experiences.  I am warm, reserved and modest whilst not putting myself down.  People who don’t know me think that I am soft and shy and are once again taken aback when they discover that I am neither.  Also, people often tell me that I have a beautiful, soft voice which I believe adds to my being perceived as soft.  I am currently in the process of emerging from a bad life experience and I am looking forward to starting afresh.  As part of my re-emergence I want to give a more accurate first impression of myself as a mature, capable woman without having to sacrifice other aspects of myself.  Can you help me?
A.  You sound gorgeous!  We are so sorry to hear you had a bad time but, from our own experience, we know that no pain no gain.  And it sounds as if you are on track to gain a lot.  We can’t really help with fashion or mind make-overs – although having said that if you look in our current book The Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible at the section called Love Your Life, you will find a distillation of our own philosophy.  As far as beauty goes, we think the best course is for you to go and trial some make-up makeovers at your nearest department store.  Most brands will offer free sessions, although sometimes these are contingent on buying some product.  We suggest Bobbi Brown, Armani, Clinique and Liz Earle: all of whom offer beautiful wearable looks.  But go for a stroll round a big store and you may see other brands that offer what you want. You don’t mention what your hair is like but that can make a difference too.  Why not talk to your stylist about some subtle (or not so subtle) tweaks to add a little more sophistication?  After you have attended to the beauty side, you can then embark on the fashion aspect.

And lastly, just set out to love and be loved, to enjoy all you have and give back to others.  We believe those truly are the biggest beautifiers of all.