Helping Julie get her sparkle back with a fun-filled pampering treat
They say that life begins at 40, but for Julie Readhead, it was the start of a painful downturn. Even on her landmark birthday, she was unable to celebrate, suffering with crippling pain.
"Julie's health has not been good over the past few months," her mum, Pearl Ashbridge, said.
Julie was diagnosed with multiple gallstones and had an emergency gall bladder operation in July.
But that has not stopped the mum-of-four from suffering from pains that can strike at any time.
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It is hard work looking after her youngest, Kameron, five, when she is regularly in and out of hospital.
"Julie is a lovely, kind person who would do anything for anyone," said her mum.
"She feels very low and has lost her sparkle.
"I hope you will consider her for a makeover and help me put that sparkle back."
We felt that the single mum spent enough of her time worrying about Jessica, 21, Sophie, 19, Matthew, 15, and young Kameron, and that she should get a day to herself.
We treated her to a Femail makeover at Outfit in Kingston Retail Park then at Colour Lounge in Carr Lane.
Jeanette McConnell, sales adviser at Outfit, said: "Julie was looking for something to go out in, she hadn't been out in a while because she doesn't get much time to herself.
"She loved the blue shoes so we had to fit the rest of the outfit around those and she hadn't had a pair of jeans in years.
"She said she wasn't a dress person but she tried it on and she ended up spending over the budget because she wanted that, too."
Kelley Meyerhoff, stylist at Colour Lounge, said: "When Julie came into the salon, she had been previously colouring her hair at home and, due to colour build-up, it had started going quite dull.
"So, we decided to brighten it up with a vibrant red tint.
"With the cut, we didn't take much off as Julie wanted to keep the length.
"We just added some texture and made the fringe thicker."
Stacey France, who did the make-up at Colour Lounge, said: "For today's makeover, we went for a brown smoky eye, as that's the look that Julie normally wears.
"Starting with the eyes, I lightened the whole eye area with a concealer as that creates a blank canvas.
"Then a light cream shadow was applied all over and a bronze colour was then applied to the lid and socket line, then a dark brown on the outer corner of the eye, shading and blending.
"Followed by eyeliner and mascara, a tinted moisturiser was used on skin, plus a blusher and bronzer.
"A rose-coloured gloss was then applied to lips to finish the look."
Pair of black diamante shoes, £10; pair of cobalt blue heels, £29.50; pair of black tights, £8; Dorothy Perkins bootcut jeans, £15; Dorothy Perkins blue blouse, £25; Wallis black and white sleeveless dress, £35; Wallis black shrug, £10; all from Outfit in Kingston Retail Park, HU1 2DZ.
Colour Lounge is in Carr Lane, Hull, HU1 3RQ. Call 01482 227755 for appointments.
Julie was over the moon with the results.
"Jeanette in Outfit was smashing. I usually hate shopping but she made it so much fun," Julie says.
"She picked up things I'd never have picked."
"We had a really good laugh.
"I always have my hair red but I wanted it a bit brighter and the Colour Lounge stylist gave me more layers. I love it."
Julie, who works as a PA, took her daughter, Jessica, and mum, Pearl, on the day and they even paid extra towards her outfit.
"We're going to go out for a meal next weekend and put them to good use," says Julie.
"My mum said, 'You've got your sparkle back'.
"Her and my daughter had tears in their eyes."