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RestyleMe – Interactive Makeovers

Forget all the style gurus giving makeovers on TV, RestyleMe has an active community posting photos and giving feedback and critique on the way people dress and present themselves. I couldn’t believe this would be done seriously when I started, as people can anonymously look at your photo and rate everything from your physical features to the way you do your hair, dress, choose glasses, put on makeup and add accessories. They do this by giving a thumbs-up or thumbs-down to each category in a menu, or they can click on parts of the photo to give a negative or positive response. There’s also a box to fill in extra comments and advice.

To take part in all this you have to comment on one photo at a time to be able to browse more, so it does oblige you to take an active part, although you don’t have to post your own photo. Contrary to my expectations the feedback really was helpful, and after giving your thumbs up and down votes you can see the photos with green and red dots on the parts viewers suggest keeping the same or changing, plus all the comments.

RestyleMe also has a community-building side to it as you can add friends and keep an eye on their changing looks. Each member can keep adding photos with various ways of presenting themselves. I have to admit, it was a lot of fun and highly recommended. The age range is good, it’s international, and it covers all styles from casual to professional.

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SuddenlyDarling

l_01019ba7f8564bc693103f2bfdbcc80cWhat are teenage girls wearing? This is a question teenagers themselves, and their parents, really want to know the answer to. The SuddenlyDarling website gives all the answers, mostly presented by charming girl-next-door and 16-year-old model Katelyn Rose. The outfits presented really are attractive and reflect the latest fashions I see on teenagers in London every day. The unique point about SuddenlyDarling is that it aims to promote a positive self image in girls and young women and to put clothes together in a way that isn’t too provocative and inappropriate for teenagers.

The website is beautifully put together and it has clearly taken a great deal of professional work to back up the input from teenage Katelyn. It reads like the sort of teenage magazine parents will remember as their main source of information on keeping up with trends when they were younger. Of course, a website can present far more than a print publication could. Visitors can see the outfit Katelynn is wearing each day, plus a selection of the latest clothes for each season. This then links to a breakdown of where to find economical versions of each item of clothing.

Although Katelynn is the very likeable main face of SuddenlyDarling, her friends also appear in a variety of outfits to show good choices for varying hair colours and body shapes. The nice thing about the site is that they aren’t all impossibly beautiful, but look lovely and sound cheery with their advice which is presented in videos as well as text and photos. Make-up, hair, clothes, questions and answers – it’s all here. Although there’s a commercial feel to many parts of it, with specific products and shops mentioned, there are also tips on how to use household products to make your own cosmetics, and a variety of shops for teenagers on a budget.

It would be good to see a section for teenage boys, and also more of a racial mix with tips for different skin colours and hair types. Apart from that the website comes across as suitable for all teenagers, and the inclusion of the word ‘modesty’ on the logo would fit in with a variety of cultures. The About Us page points out that KateLyn is Christian and that the website is associated with CastFam Productions, which has a goal to ‘utilize the power of entertainment to make a positive, moral impact in the lives of today’s youth.’ This doesn’t come across too blatantly in the website, which just feels like an enjoyable teenage online magazine, and it could appeal in a much more multicultural way with some tweaks.

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