Wise words

This month we speak to Ceril Campbell, Celebrity Stylist and Image Consultant, whose new book Discover the New You, reveals celebrity secrets on how to transform your life, and offers some great tips for our Wise Woman™ community

What inspired you to become a Celebrity Stylist and Image Consultant?

I started in fashion when I was 14 with a Saturday job (in a funky boutique called Mr Freedom on London's Kings Road, Chelsea) and over the years I've worked in virtually every aspect of the fashion industry - manufacturing and wholesale, buying and retail, marketing, PR and branding, trend-spotting, design, styling and personal image. My strength is relating to people and understanding their insecurities and how they feel about themselves. Looking good isn't just about what you put on the outside, it's about what's going on inside your head too. All advice I offer is achievable and realistic.

Is turning 50 a landmark event in a woman's life?

Turning 50 is an undeniable landmark in a woman's life. It tells you that half your life has gone, your children are grown up, you look in the mirror, you feel 20 but you're not. But Helen Mirren is a fabulous example of a woman proving that age is no barrier to looking sexy naturally. She's in her 60s and she looks amazing. She's an inspiration for women reaching that landmark age.

Can life begin again at 50?

Life can now begin again at 50 for many women. They find energy for adventure and a new life and lifestyle that earlier generations didn't have the opportunity to enjoy. It's likely to be the first time in years that your life is actually yours. You don't have to be there 24/7 for everyone else, it can now be all about you.

Do you have some words of wisdom for women in their fifties and above?

Age is just a number. Your age is all about how you feel in your head. Surround yourself with positive and energetic people with a young outlook. Who says you are too old to learn to ski or go dancing? Get out and enjoy life, take a risk.

What was the most important piece of advice your mother gave you?

My mother told me "As you make your bed so you lie in it" and over the years I've found this to be so true. I'm a big believer in karma and that what goes around comes around. The office junior today could easily be your boss tomorrow so best treat them well!

Is beauty more than skin deep?

Beauty absolutely comes from within. If you can exude confidence, radiance and positivity you will appear beautiful to others. The key is to believe in yourself and make the most of your assets and talents. Your appearance can reflect how you feel within. The more confident you feel about yourself, the better you will come across to others. Everyone can appear beautiful to others even if they are not. Cleopatra, it has recently been discovered was no great beauty, but apparently managed this illusion very successfully.

How can you achieve inner-confidence?

You have to have belief in yourself. To do that you need to learn about yourself, get rid of any demons of the past and look to the future. Over the years I've worked with many life coaches and holistic therapists and they've taught me many things. Quite often we don't see ourselves as others see us.

To help yourself understand your strengths and reasons for enjoying life, try the following: first, take time to list the 20 successes in your life that you're proud of - it doesn't matter how big or small those successes are - list them. Second, list 20 reasons why you are exceptional, a very powerful and thought-provoking word but it works! Finally, every morning on waking, take a few minutes to think about all the things you are grateful for. It's time well spent as you'll feel inspired and energised to face to the day.

Is it realistic to believe that anyone can change their life, or do you have to be a particular type of person to achieve the change you want?

Anybody can change their life, but you have to really want to do it. It has to come from within. And don't try to change everything all at the same time. One step at a time, and you'll succeed.

Making friends and starting over as a mature woman can be tricky. Old friends have disappeared, your children have grown up.

What tips would you give to women to widen their social circle and make new friends?

Start new hobbies and you can't help but meet new people. Women are fantastic at networking and making new friends, and they will always embrace people into their circle. You may say that you are boring and why should anyone want to know you, but you are interesting and unique in your own way, and everyone has something to offer others.

What puts a smile on your face?

My children - I have a son and a daughter, 20 and 22 respectively. And in my career - client transformations in self-belief, attitude and appearance - it's so rewarding when I feel that I have really changed someone's life, especially when they have suffered trauma, or breast cancer, severe scarring or body dismorphia.

Who is your inspiration?

Maybe Martha Stewart…. but I'm "encouraged" rather than "inspired" when I can see that something I've done has been successful if I'm honest! I am very creative and full of ideas that I am able to push to the furthest level within my own capabilities, but all creative people need the business visionary to partner with, to really make an idea fulfil its potential. Is there anyone out there?

Final words…

Lillie Langtry said: There isn't any woman who doesn't look every day and minute of her age. We can't be, nor look, younger than we are, but we can be well-preserved." I love this quote as I don't believe that "the cosmetic surgery quick-fix-culture" is the answer to looking fabulous - but conversely it's definitely not necessary to let yourself go once you reach a certain age.

My philosophy is that if you take care of yourself to your best ability, looking after your hair and skin, your teeth and nails, your bust and body-shape, with a sensible regime of diet, exercise and a simple, inexpensive but effective daily beauty routine -your face and body will reflect that care and attention…. just as a plant that is nurtured grows and blossoms.

Discover the New You by Ceril Campbell is available from www.amazon.co.uk. See www.cerilcampbell.com for more details. Price £7.99 - Publication date: January 2007 - ISBN: 9781840245516. Published by Summersdale.