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Seriously Un-Cinderella Or Eight Essential Steps For Performing A Successful Make-Under

What is a woman to do when she wants to focus on her career, but she is thrown into the path of a handsome prince? Perform a make-under, of course. Just like Tamsin, the heroine in Annie West’s latest Harlequin Presents Extra, Protected by the Prince. Learn the author's eight essential steps for performing a make-under like Tamsin’s just in case you need to disguise yourself from your own playboy prince. 

We all like to know we look good. Makeovers are a treat and they do wonders for our mood, our confidence and attitude to life. 

So why bother with a make-under? Maybe if you’re incognito, in hiding, or trying to avoid someone. My recent heroine, Tamsin, wanted to be invisible, left alone to focus on the one thing that had never let her down: work. She’d been burned badly by an unscrupulous man who used her feelings for him and her naivety against her. So when she takes up a new position, overseeing the royal archives for a gorgeous, debonair prince with a reputation as a ladies’ man, the last thing she wants is to attract attention. 

I found myself doing a make-under for my heroine. Along the way I came up with some rules for making the worst of your assets. Feel free to use these if you want to avoid the attention of a handsome prince.

1) Find an unflattering hairstyle (I’ve found a few myself) and add years to your age. In Tamsin’s case it’s the scraped back look, not an elegant chignon or a fun, casual ponytail, but an old fashioned school marm bun. 

2) The wrong glasses make a huge difference. Find a pair the wrong shape for your face. You know, those ones that make your cheeks look bulgy or tinted ones that obscure your eyes. 

3) Color! We know which colors flatter and which leach us into looking pasty faced. For me personally, put me in beige and watch me disappear! Color can attract attention too. If you work with men in somber colors and you wear a canary yellow suit, expect all eyes on you! Anyone serious about a make-under should stick to those colors that look worst. If you can make them drab as well, you’ll fade into the background. 

4) Choose clothes that don’t quite fit and that hide your assets.

5) Eye contact. Avoid it at all costs. That’s linked to:

6) Discussing subjects you’re passionate about. Don’t! One of the things that gave Tamsin away was her enthusiasm for preserving and translating old books. Her excitement for a new discovery shone in her eyes, sounded in her voice and lit her whole face. Was it any wonder Prince Alaric started to wonder if the drab woman in his archive room was as dull and uninteresting as she first seemed when she glowed with enthusiasm over her favorite subject?

7) Never, never smile. If you’re worried, tense or angry your mouth tightens. Not an attractive look. But if you smile, it can transform you and reveal the passionate woman within.

8) Which leads me to the final do-not-break-rule. Do not kiss a handsome prince you’re starting falling for. Under no circumstances! It’s a dead give away – trust me!

If you have a chance to comment I’d appreciate any other suggestions for my list in case I need to use it again. On the other hand, if anyone has a favorite makeover story I’d love to know about it. 

- Annie West

See how Tamsin’s make-under turns out in this month’s Protected by the Prince, on shelves now!