Secrets uncovered: confidence-boosting and beauty tips

Woman drinking water
H2O happiness: there are many health and beauty benefits linked to drinking water Credit: Getty

Every woman has a little trick that makes her feel better about herself inside and out. We asked women in the public eye, experts and readers to share theirs…

“I've stopped dying my hair and the grey is coming through now. I'm loving it, but it's prone to frizz so I have a simple trick. I twist my hair into ringlets after it is washed, then let it dry naturally. It keeps my curls smooth for days.”
Vanda James, 57, Telegraph reader

“Helen Hand, who has been doing my make-up for a long time, taught me that as you get older not to use black mascara and eyeliner, but very dark brown or charcoal grey instead. It’s much kinder. With hair too, black or really dark hair can start to look harsh as your skin changes colour and texture with age – I’ve enjoyed experimenting with mine since I turned 50. It’s small changes that can make all the difference.”
Lorraine Kelly, 55, TV presenter

“When I see children skipping to the playgroup near me it always reminds me of this trick. Try to take six steps with a spring in your toes. This immediately stops you looking down, makes you straighten up and also lifts your mood.”
Pam Horton, 77, Telegraph reader

“I have curly hair and it easily goes into a frizz. To avoid this I never use a hairdryer; instead I wrap my hair in a turban straight after I've washed it and then let it dry naturally. I've also just bought a silk pillowcase to help eliminate frizz, too.”
Patricia Carswell, 47,

Stay focused: change your mood with deep breathing Credit: Simon Songhurst

“To calm my nerves before a presentation, I’ll do the ‘power pose’ (with my arms stretched upwards and look up), I’ll breathe deeply (to put me into a relaxed state) and say in my mind ‘calm, cool, confident’. It always works.”
Miriam Akhtar, 51, psychologist

“My mum’s advice to me was to drink lots of water, look after my teeth and do the things I love. Doing what I love makes me smile, and smiling makes me look and feel beautiful.”
Meraid Griffin, 49, Telegraph reader

“When I was 12 the woman who I used to call Auntie Mary, my mother’s best friend, opened a beauty salon. She taught my mother and me to always moisturise upwards and never drag your skin down. My grandmother also used to cook nettles and make me drink the water that they’d been cooked in, and said that would give me great skin. I’m not sure if that one works.”
Dame Jenni Murray, 65, broadcaster

“Vaseline is so versatile. It can be used as a make-up remover, moisturiser, lip balm and eyelash conditioner. I also put it on the back of my heels when wearing new shoes to stop blisters. My grandmother taught me that when I was a little girl.”
Fiona Foskett, 49, Telegraph reader

“My approach now to skincare is that less is more. I use natural products and love jojoba oil for my skin. It gives it a lovely dewy base, without being too heavy. I use a few drops every morning and night.”
Rachel Milford, 50, Telegraph reader

“My paternal grandmother lived well into her nineties and always had beautiful, unridged nails, because she rubbed olive oil into them regularly to make them shiny and strong. Now, through writing, I've learnt a lot more about the power of olive oil so I know how effective it is.”
Susan Saunders, 48, TV producer and cookery writer

Beauty secret: smile and let brightness beam from your face Credit: Simon Songhurst

“My beauty trick is smiling, because it completely changes the way your face hangs and puts a kind of sunshine into your eyes that people respond to.”
Caryn Franklin, 56, Fashion editor and stylist

“I love my curly, grey hair in its natural state. I never have it longer than shoulder length because I feel that as one gets older, long hair drags one’s face down. I often wear it up with a scarf , which I learnt from my great aunt – a vibrant redhead with curls piled up on top of her head à la the Forties and Fifties.”
Bridget Sojourner, 77

“I have always been the worst at drinking water. It’s so boring! But I’d always read so much about the benefits – not getting headaches, feeling more alert, fresher skin. So I’ve just started drinking three litres a day, and I feel so much better for it.”
Dame Kelly Holmes, 45, athlete and mentor

"After seeing Laura Fantacci from the Wearing It Today blog in the perfect shade of orange-red lipstick – Mac’s Lady Danger – I’ve adopted this as my go-to shade for grey winter days. I keep the rest of my make-up minimal and put a slick on before leaving the house. It never fails to cheer me up a rainy day.”
Amanda Start, 46, blogger at

“I have a lot of scars from breast cancer surgery but I’ve stopped using the creams that supposedly help them fade. The scars are part of me and each one is a chapter in the story of my road to recovery.”
Robyn Lait, 45, Telegraph reader

“I don’t use heat-styling tools anymore – apart from a hairdryer. I went crazy with crimping irons and backcombing when I was younger and practically destroyed my hair. Now that I’m older I take more care. I tend to let my hair dry mostly naturally and then give it a very quick blast with the hairdryer.”
Alyson Walsh, 51, blogger at

Great hair at any age

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• Tweet your beauty tips or advice for embracing later life to @DoveUK with the hashtag #YouthfulVitality and help rewrite the rules around ageing