About me

Franglaise MummyHi, I'm Sophie, a francophile Brit, living in London after 12 years on the French Riviera, wife to a Frenchman, mum to two half-English/half-French daughters. A former language teacher, marketing/PR professional and bilingual PA, I now split my time between running my Franglaise childcare business and writing this blog. I write about my life which covers all sorts of parenting and lifestyle shizzle, usually with a Franglaise take.
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PostHeaderIcon How not to look like a knackered mummy

You know that feeling, you’ve not had enough sleep, you can feel it, but worse, when you look in the mirror it’s written all over your face. You go on the school run, or drag yourself into work, and every time you get a glimpse of yourself you shudder at how colourless your face is, and how ill and drained you look. Sound familiar?

I am lucky enough to have children that sleep pretty well, but I still feel when I look in the mirror that I look tired and haggard. I just assumed this was my lot forever, that having small children and getting older had just ruined me and that I would never look fresh-faced again.

But I am delighted to say that I had a life-changing (I kid you not!) experience at the weekend which has turned all of the above on its head. For those of you who regularly read this blog, you may remember me wearing a dress to my brother’s wedding that made me feel incredible about myself (you can read that story here). This is the dress:

The incredible dress

The incredible dress

It was coral. A colour I would never have worn. In a million years. But it was loaned to me for the wedding, and I didn’t get a say in the colour. Off the back of that a friend recommended I get my colours done. I have to admit I laughed it off first of all. I didn’t see the point, and all I could think of was Bridget Jones’ mum talking about getting her colours done. It just wasn’t “me”.

My friend put me in contact with the lady who did her colours and urged me to go and see her, telling me it made the biggest difference to her. Then I got an email from the colours lady, saying she had a group session on a Saturday morning when I was free, and Hubs was around to look after the kids. So I agreed to go and get my colours done.

I was a bit embarrassed about telling people, for some reason it felt very vain and selfish.

Well, if only I’d known. It was incredible! Who knew that what colour you wear can change how your face looks?! When I think of how much women waste on expensive creams to make their skin glow, to then wear the wrong colour which then robs their face of any life.

After an initial chat with Helen, the colour consultant, I was sat down in front of a mirror and different colour “scarves” were put around my neck to see if I could see which ones worked for me, and which ones didn’t. Up to this point I was still very “whatever” about the whole thing. And suddenly I got what it was all about.

As Helen replaced one colour by another it was literally breath-taking to see how the state of my face changed. One time I actually watched the colour drain from my face as one coloured scarf was exchanged for a different colour. I was wearing no make-up, it was the morning, I wasn’t exactly looking my best, but there were some colours that made my eyes pop and gave my skin a glow that I only get from sunny holidays.

And I was sold.

First of all I discovered that I had yellow-toned skin (as against blue), which meant I was either Autumn or Spring (as against Winter or Summer). Then after more detailed colour comparisons – using scarves and the mirror again – I discovered I was Autumn, and I was presented with the colours that I “should” be wearing:

The colours I should wear as an Autumn.

The colours I should wear as an Autumn.

By the time this photo was taken I had had my new make-up chosen for me, based on me being an autumn – so here I am wearing blusher and lipstick which I never really wear, hence my strange facial expression. Now I know you can still see I’ve got bags under my eyes, but I look a million times better than I did upon arrival!

So it turns out that my colours are browns, mustards, olive greens, russets, corals….and it just so happens that my wardrobe is mostly filled with blacks, greys and fuschia pinks….none of which do anything for me. I had this overwhelming feeling of “if only I’d done this 20 years ago”.

Obviously there is no obligation to go home and throw all your clothes out to spend a fortune on new ones. However when I got home all I could see were my black, grey and pink clothes, and suddenly they just looked wrong, wrong, wrong. So I had a blitz. I now have 3/4 of my wardrobe set to one side, which I will eBay/give to charity after 6 months if I can manage without it in that time. Funnily enough the 1/4 that is left all goes together, as the colours are all in my Autumn range, so getting dressed is so much easier now.

You take away a wallet with your 36 colours in it, so you can check existing and future clothes against “your” shades. Although I think you quickly get an eye for it as I have noticed as I go through my belongings.

There were two other shockers – jewellery and make-up. Silver/white gold/platinum jewellery and white pearls only work for blue-toned skins, so my jewellery should only be gold and cream pearls as I am yellow-toned, and wearing the wrong ones will just look cheap sadly.

As for make-up, we were encouraged to “package ourselves beautifully wrapped-up, like Christmas presents”, and to apply lipstick and blusher as essentials. Well if you ever see me on the school run you know that I don’t do make-up most days, and when I do wear make-up it tends to be BB cream, concealer, mascara and lip gloss, so the idea of blusher and lipstick was a very foreign one. On top of that we were told that every season gets its own red lipstick.

I have always wanted to wear red lipstick, but every time I have put some on I look like a little girl playing with Mummy’s make-up, so I never wear it. Well it turns out it was because I was wearing the wrong red.

The shock I had when I put on “my” red lipstick was indescribable – my eyes literally popped out! They are a kind of greeny colour which can look very wishy-washy if I’m not careful, but with this lipstick and these colours on me I suddenly had these amazing green eyes, that looked – quite frankly – gorgeous!

So yes, it was life-changing. And yes, I would recommend it to every single female that I know. Whether you are interested in your appearance or not. I cannot begin to explain the new confidence in myself that I have now. And that’s without any new clothes so far. I aim to take L and C to have this done at some point too as it can be done at any age – your season and your colours don’t change from baby to old age.

It is hard to realise that old favourites are wrong for you, but it is worth it when you see how great you look with clothes you had previously discarded to the back of your wardrobe.

Interestingly since I had this done on Saturday I have had 4 compliments on the school run (over 3 days), and Hubs (who was very sceptical about it) can’t get over the change in me. I had a proper test of me in my new colours a couple of days ago, as I was on a night out at the pub with some of the mummies from our road.

Me in my new autumn colours

Me in my new autumn colours

Here I am with my red lippy on! The jeans are not part of my colours, but I’ve asked Father Christmas for some coloured jeans and in the meantime jeans are my go-to.

I honestly cannot recommend this enough. Get your colours done. ASAP. Don’t spend money on a new outfit – spend that money on finding out which colours work for you, and then go shopping for them. I am not normally speechless, but I was lost for words when I saw the change in myself, so go for it and take your blinkers off too.

My colour consultation was done by House of Colour and they have consultants everywhere, but if you are anywhere near southwest London then I totally recommend Helen White from House of Colour who did my transformation.

Disclosure: Helen White from House of Colour provided my colour consultation free of charge in exchange for this honest blog review. As usual all words and opinions are my own. A colour consultation like this costs around £100-150, which is quite expensive but it is totally worth it for the knowledge you take away with you. They also do style consultations, and can help with make-up and accessories as well as offering personal shopping services.

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22 Responses to “How not to look like a knackered mummy”

  • Jenny, a Summer says:

    Well I think I might be the friend in question and can I just say how amazingly healthy you have looked this week – no mean feat in the run up to Christmas. I am so glad you went with it and are pleased with the results. As someone who has a fairly limited interest in fashion and not much time for shopping, I can honestly say it has revolutionised how I view both. I’ve done the style day too, so now know what colours and styles work for me and therefore find shopping a joy – I don’t bother with anything in the wrong colours and can be fairly confident what shapes and styles to try on and which ones to leave on the rails. I too wish I had done it years ago – it would have influenced my wedding colours for one and there would not have been bridesmaids head to toe in gold!!!

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      Yes, you are the friend! And I’m so glad you pushed me to do it, if only I’d done it years ago!!

  • hurrahforgin says:

    You look lovely! This is really interesting i’m pretty sure i wear all the wrong colours! x
    hurrahforgin recently posted…Say NO To Body Scrubs This Christmas!My Profile

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      Thank you. Do it, do it, do it! I was pretty certain I “knew” my colours, what an eye opener! If there is one thing to invest in, this is it!

  • Jo Moir says:

    What a great review! I had my colours done for my 18th birthday (30 years ago!) and it’s been such a power for good in my life that I trained to become an image consultant myself four years ago. I still get the buzz with every client when they ‘get it’. It’s that moment of realisation that one colour lifts their complexion and another exaggerates lines and blemishes. A tip I use is, hold a colour up to your face and look in the mirror – if your eyes are drawn to the colour then it may be wrong for you. If however you look at your eyes with the colour as a compliment then it’s right for you.

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      Thanks! And what a great tip, I’ve tried it out and it works a treat!

  • Jenny says:

    I had my colours done years ago and have forgotten it all – this has persuaded me to have it done again. Well worth it to knock a few years off!

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      House of Colour gave me a wallet with my colours in it, so I can just use that whenever I’m not sure, it’s fab!

  • Wow you look amazing. I definitely want to have this done now!
    Sharon – PigletinFrance recently posted…Speaking Toddler FranglaisMy Profile

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      You should, it’s revolutionary! And I’m not overly interested in appearances, but it’s changed my whole outlook.

  • I have a friend who did this a few years ago and she still raves about it! She always looks fabulous :) It’s amazing how different colours can do this… so intriguing! xx

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      I can’t recommend it enough – it’s changed my life! It’s mad the difference a colour can make.

  • Honest Mum says:

    You look stunning lady and this has made me want to see someone too! I recently bought a coral Topshop coat and everyone keeps telling me how fab it looks! Merry Christmas too darling xx
    Honest Mum recently posted…Our Very Merry Christmas!My Profile

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      Thank you lovely :-) Do it, do it! I have zero regrets about it – it’s fascinating and well worth it. If the coral looks good maybe you’re an Autumn like me too….Hope you guys had a lovely xmas xx

  • Gcroft says:

    You look lovely! The reference to Bridget Jones’ mum made me chuckle, I remember that scene and it is something I think my mum would make me do too :-)
    Gcroft recently posted…Happy New YearMy Profile

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      Thanks! I’m glad someone else got the Bridget Jones reference ;-) I’m the one trying to get my mum to do it now.

  • Ah, yes, I’ve seen these, they do look really interesting. So fab that it’s made such a huge difference for you :-)
    The Reading Residence recently posted…Silent Sunday & Week 1 #Project52My Profile

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      I can’t recommend it enough – even a month on I’m loving the difference it’s made. Just what you need in the winter!

  • I LOVE how you look with the red lipstick! You should SO carry on wearing it. I had always poo-pooed the idea of colour consultations but this is making me think again. I think I might be an Autumn too as I’m always drawn to those colours…. watch this space! (P.S. Are you doing Brit Mums this year?)
    Michelle @ Bod for tea recently posted…Silent SundayMy Profile

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      Thanks lovely. Although it does feel very strange getting a glimpse of myself in the mirror with red lipstick on, it feels so grown-up! Do get your colours done, it’s one of the best things I did in 2013 (a great “me” thing too). I have my BritMums ticket – look forward to seeing you there! Yay :-)

  • Alison Perry says:

    Ahh my mum had this done back in the early 90s and she STILL swears by what she was told. I am quite tempted to get it done myself now – that coral dress does look fab on you.
    Alison Perry recently posted…10 Questions My Daughter Asked During Disney On IceMy Profile

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      It really is a fantastic thing to do, I would never have bought coral for myself and the boost wearing that dress gave me was incredible. Thanks for the compliment :-)

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