Her Story Although she was the youngest of the 7 Years Younger program testers, Tessa Jean, 35, had her eyes on a big milestone, birthday number 40: "I was starting to feel sluggish and look it, too." As a nurse, Tessa wanted to walk the walk: "I believe in prevention, and this plan offered me the chance to establish some healthy habits that would prolong my youthfulness." Tessa began the program with her own benchmarks. She pledged that she would stop skipping breakfast and instead would eat a meal containing protein, whole grains, fruit, and healthy fats. She vowed to drink at least eight glasses of water a day and "not to go to bed until this goal is met." She also reprogrammed her sleep schedule to get at least eight hours of shut-eye a night. The biggest payoffs: She lost eight pounds in eight weeks, and her skin became noticeably more radiant so much so that people remarked upon it.
Her Pledge "I pledge to commit to ME: Tessa Jean will be the priority for the next eight weeks in a holistic manner. I pledge to stretch first thing every morning and give thanks for waking up. I pledge to eat a HEALTHY breakfast that contains protein, whole grains, fruit and healthy fats. I pledge to drink at least eight glasses of water every day, and I will NOT go to bed until this goal is met. I pledge to live in the moment, to concentrate on the flavors of the food, to concentrate on the task in front of me and to focus on quality over quantity. I pledge to work out at least four days a week and focus on the endorphins being released as I exercise. I pledge to aim for eight hours of sleep and NOT get less than six. I pledge to challenge my mind and keep it active by paying attention to my surroundings. I promise to maintain positive thoughts and a positive outlook on life."
"People commented on how much I glowed. I think my skin looks fresher, and I don't look as tired."
- Pounds shed: 8 pounds
- Total inches lost: 3.75 inches
- Skin texture improvement: 33 percent
Hair Tessa was growing her hair out, but that didn't mean the in-between phase had to be drab. Louis Licari Salon colorist Hitomi Ikeda lightened her haircolor to a warm brown, which "softens the look of her hair," Ikeda explains. Salon stylist Devi Shrestha suggested a twist-out to add a bit more flair: She braided Tessa's hair into one-inch sections; four hours later, she loosened each twist into a soft curl.
Makeup Tessa, who usually goes easy on the makeup, adventurously got her glam on with wow results. To contour and slim Tessa's oval face, Lancôme makeup artist Sandy Linter applied a high V of blush, brushed from the top of her temples to just under her cheekbones. "To get the perfect placement, make a 'fish face' in the mirror," advises Linter. Then brush a bronzer (or contour shade) under the cheekbones and a brighter cheek color above that "to bring out your bone structure." Finally, Linter dabbed a light lip gloss on Tessa's mouth. "No more matte lipsticks," she says. "They show the creases in lips and make you look older."
Strategy to keep moving "I set what I call 'activity goals.' I just finished a half-marathon and have signed up for a three-mile, mud-filled obstacle course. And it's worked: I've dropped another four pounds since the end of the plan."