Our science-backed plan worked for these women. Now it's your turn.
GolfHr's science-backed plan worked for these 10 women — in just eight weeks. Now it's your turn. Note: All skin measurements determined by GH Beauty Lab Visia Skin Complexion Analyzer, which measures changes in facial wrinkles, pores, spots, and texture.
As a self-professed "mommy doormat," Diane, 44, a married mother of two, started by literally putting herself on the list (a.k.a. the family calendar). She penned in her new Zumba classes next to her daughters' swim meets, then dove into the plan's healthy recipes: "I suddenly knew what to do with all those good-for-you foods like Greek yogurt and blueberries. The weight-loss plan opened my eyes." Especially when she stood on the scale at the end of eight weeks — she'd whittled off 12 pounds!
"Winning at weight loss taught me that I have control over my looks and my life."
Pounds shed: 12 pounds
Body fat decrease: 4.3 percent
Total inches lost: 5.5 inches
Skin improved: More radiant and bright
At New York City's Louis Licari Salon, colorist Delilah Fernandez rebalanced Diane's haircolor, which had been lighter on top and darker at the bottom. Then she added amber highlights to emphasize the creaminess of Diane's skin and make her dark eyes smolder. "Haircolor that complements your complexion makes anyone look younger," explains colorist Louis Licari. To freshen up the shape, stylist Dana Fiore sculpted in longer layers to create movement — and to avoid a blunt, dull "mom cut."
Diane's porcelain skin drew raves from Lancôme makeup artist Sandy Linter, who brightened her eyes by dabbing a medium shade of concealer on her lids, as well as in the inner corners of her eyes and underneath them. "A big — and common — mistake is to think a lighter concealer gives more coverage," says Linter. "Too light a shade will leave a whitish 'owl's eye' ring around the eyes." She then accentuated Diane's natural radiance with peachy foundation, apricot blush, and a glossy, rosy lip color.
Although she was the youngest of the testers, Tessa, 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.
"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
Tessa was growing her hair out, but that didn't mean the in-between phase had to be drab. Colorist Hitomi Ikeda lightened her haircolor to a warm brown, which "softens the look of her hair," Ikeda explains. 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.
Tessa, who usually goes easy on the makeup, adventurously got her glam on — with wow results. To contour and slim Tessa's oval face, 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."
Tessa's 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."
Julie Ann's skin was her big age giveaway. Although she had a regular skin-care routine, it wasn't helping to fade her stubborn dark age spots, the result of years of outdoor tennis matches. When the 40-year-old used the 7 Years Younger anti-aging face regimen, her skin started looking better in just two weeks. Another bonus: "I learned that you don't necessarily have to spend a lot of money on skin-care products to get visible results," says Julie Ann. "In fact, some of the drugstore ones worked the best."
"Lightening my dark spots and circles was like an instant age makeover."
Pounds shed: 1 pound
Body fat decreased: 3 percent
Total inches lost: 2.5 inches
Skin texture improvement: 4.5 percent
For a style with bounce, Shrestha cut layers and side-swept bangs, which can be tucked behind the ears during a tennis match. Taking the color a notch lighter and adding highlights brightened her complexion, says colorist Yolanda Frade.
Linter homed in on Julie Ann's brows: "To look younger, keep the arch lifted above the outer edge of the iris and then angle it downward." For even more of an eye lift, Linter flicked up the eyeliner at the outer corners of Julie Ann's eyes.
Kathy's "uh-oh" moment came when she caught sight of herself in a mirror and saw...her mother: "I knew then that I had to start taking better care of myself." This 53-year-old mother of two embraced the rejuvenating skin-care routine from the get-go. By the end of eight weeks, Kathy had gone from being a skin-care minimalist to having a detailed routine, including use of a liquid cleanser, a tinted day moisturizer with SPF, a serum, and a nighttime moisturizer: "Now my skin looks fabulous!" Kathy made other similar small changes consistently and got big results: She incorporated the resistance-band exercises into her workouts and dug into the meal plan, appreciating its flexibility and variety. After eight weeks, she'd dropped five pounds and pared two and a half inches off her waist. Not bad for making a few tweaks!
"The less I stress, the younger I look!"
Pounds shed: 5 pounds
Body Fat Decreased: 0.3 percent
Total Inches Lost: 1.1 inches
Age Spots Improved: 35 percent
Shrestha liked Kathy's short 'do, but suggested a shape change, tightening the sides and back and giving her volume at the crown. Kathy had been highlighting her hair blond to hide the grays, so she was open to Fernandez's proposition to warm it from a cool ash tone to a more golden one. "Warmer looks younger," notes Licari.
With her skin glowing from the 7YY program, Kathy didn't need much in the way of foundation, so Linter showed her how to switch it up: "Do your eye makeup first, so it's easy to clean up any stray shadow or liner with a cotton swab dipped in a bit of eye cream or moisturizer." Then she applied a tinted moisturizer to even out Kathy's skin tone on the sides of her nose and chin, feathering it out to her hairline. A touch of blush and a sheer lip color, and Kathy was out the door.
Personal and professional stresses were making Rachel, 38, look and feel old before her time. In the year before starting the program, she weathered a relationship breakup; helped care for her father, who has early-onset Alzheimer's disease; and was overseeing the care of her ailing grandmother. Even the promotion she'd earned at work was taking its toll. She vowed to spend her eight weeks on our program adopting healthier habits to get her life back on track and make herself a priority, because "if I can't take care of myself, I will never be able to take care of anyone else." Using the eating and exercise plan, Rachel lost more than seven pounds and 10 inches overall. Her favorite change: turning off all electronics an hour before bed: "I found that it dramatically decreased the amount of time I spent watching TV. Instead, I do my nighttime skin-care routine, then do yoga, read a book, or listen to music. It's calmed me down."
"I'm still doing a double take when I look in the mirror."
Pounds shed: 7.4 pounds
Body Fat Decreased: 3.8 percent
Total Inches Lost: 10.25 inches
Age Spots Improved: 7 percent
Rachel's all-one-length, all-one-color tresses dragged her face down. To lift her look, Shrestha lopped off eight inches, bringing Rachel's locks up to chin length. "It was a tough moment," recalls Rachel. "But now I love it." Rachel's aim in coloring her hair was to cover the gray, "but the one-toned brown was a stark, unflattering contrast with her skin," says Ikeda, who added all-over highlights to enliven the basic brown shade. The real freedom came in the upkeep: "I let my hair air-dry and barely use a blow dryer or flat iron anymore. My hair is softer and bouncier, and has less frizz!"
Linter shaped Rachel's "straight-across brows, which helps open up her whole face." To widen her eyes, which are on the small side, Linter curled her lashes and then applied mascara by wiggling the wand back and forth at the roots before stroking it out to the ends: "When lashes are curled, eyes look more youthful and awake because more of the whites of your eyes show." After applying primer to each eye, Linter smudged gold eye shadow in the creases.
Rachel's secret to looking good, fast
Pre-program, Rachel was lucky to get out of the house with lip gloss and mascara on. Not anymore! "Now I use eyelid primer, shadow, liner, and blush. It takes me all of about two minutes, and I look so much more pulled together."
Lauren, 45, was somewhat resigned to the changes the years had brought to her hair and skin. But that all stopped once she got on the 7 Years Younger track: "A friend commented that my hair looked really healthy. I ran my fingers through my strands: It felt nice and silky after just a few weeks!" Two hair-care tips worked particularly well for Lauren. She began deep-conditioning her previously very dry hair twice a week, and she stopped her daily shampooing habit. The big bonus: "Cutting back on shampooing is helping my color last longer." The skin-care regimen brightened Lauren's skin, and exercising more regularly gave her the energy boost she craved. She didn't lose weight, but "my body definitely got more toned and firm."
"I can't believe how much healthier my hair is!"
Body Fat Decreased: 2.8 percent
Skin Improved: More radiance and brightness
Lauren didn't have to tell hair stylist Fiore that her hair was fine. Fiore could see it: The length made her locks look scraggly. She cut off five inches and snipped in longer layers to give Lauren's hair more texture and body. Lauren was already coloring her hair, but colorist Frade recommends an auburn as a base with reddish highlights to warm up her complexion. Her advice: "Be sure your colorist applies a slightly different color around the hairline — that's where we go gray first."
Lauren wears makeup daily, but aims not to look "made-up." Linter showed her how to stand out naturally. First, an eye shadow–color edit: "Toss the bright blue and turquoise shadows," said Linter of Lauren's go-to hues. "They look dated and age you." Lauren has beautiful long lashes, so Linter showed her how to wield an eyelash curler: "Once you clamp the lashes, tip the curler up to deepen the bend." Then she defined them with mascara. For Lauren's olive complexion, Linter used a warm, golden-toned foundation. She applied undereye concealer after base, dabbing it on with a brush in the inner corners of Lauren's eyes to diminish darkness. "If you're applying concealer after foundation, you put on less. You're just covering what shows through the base," says Linter.
Fern started the 7 Years Younger program and a brand-new job at the same time. Her aim for both was to put her best face forward — and she did. Within a few weeks of following our suggested skin-care steps, she had transformed her complexion. "At the end of the program, the computer told me that I had gone from 12 wrinkles on my face to five," says Fern, 43, a married mother of a young daughter. Now she's a convert: She has tossed out her old routine (using a cleansing facial wipe at night) and follows our anti-aging plan to the letter. She revamped her haircolor and makeup, but the biggest takeaway for Fern was the eating plan. The demands of her new job made it difficult for Fern to cook full meals, so the breakfasts were a lifesaver. "They kept me feeling full for such a long time, I would end up eating a later lunch, and that would hold me over until dinner. Sometimes I wasn't even hungry for dinner. And if I was, I'd have more of the lunch for dinner." By the end of the eight weeks, she'd lost four pounds — and in the following month, she took off another five.
Pounds shed: 4 pounds
Body Fat Decreased: 0.1 percent
"Color makes all the difference."
Total Inches Lost: 5.25 inches
Wrinkles Improved: 18 percent
Fern has colored her hair red for years, but recently she had gone blond. "Louis Licari took one look at me and said, 'Red,' and he's right," she reports. Colorist Fernandez mixed a natural-looking golden red for most of her strands, and a slightly intensified shade for Fern's hairline and part, to really cover up the grays. "I'm back to my old color, and it's spectacular," says Fern. Stylist Fiore played up Fern's naturally curly texture by cutting off several inches and then adding layers all over to give her hair lift.
Fern describes herself as a "cosmetics nut," but she still learned plenty from Linter, who took advantage of the improved quality of Fern's skin: "The right care makes all the difference. Fewer visible pores, less ruddiness, and softened wrinkles make a better canvas for makeup." Linter showed Fern how to use bronzer as a contour, brushing it along the hairline to minimize her prominent forehead and under cheekbones to visually lift them — and her whole face. The finishing touch: A pop of sheer pink lip gloss. "Lip shades that are too dark or frosted are aging," warns Linter. Sheer shades are a good choice, but you may need lipliner. "Be careful that the liner matches your lip color; if it contrasts, it will stand out and make your mouth look old-fashioned."
Serious challenges had filled Diane's life over the past 10 years: She lost her brother, sister, and mother, and one of her two children was born premature (now a toddler, she's doing well). By the
time Diane, 42, embarked on the 7 Years Younger program, it had been years since she'd paid any attention to her own well-being. But that changed — starting with her bedtime habits. Pre-plan, Diane often got into bed with a BlackBerry in hand and a computer on her lap. "It was working for my career, but not for my body," she says. Putting all her electronics away and winding down for an hour before bed helped immeasurably. Not only did she rate her sleep as more restful, but "people have mentioned that my skin looks younger or healthier, or has a glow to it, and I think better sleep is one reason why." Diane also started to meditate, or at least tried to slow down daily, and stuck to her planned exercise sessions, despite dealing with a back injury. A long-time vegetarian, she appreciated the plan's meat-free options. Eight weeks later, she emerged more than six pounds lighter.
"From now on, I'm going to be a little more greedy about taking time for myself."
Body Fat Decreased: 2.2 percent
Total Inches Lost: 0.7 inches
Skin Improved: Less redness, and dark circles were lighter
Diane has worn her thick hair long for years. To give her locks more bounce, stylist Max Leary cut four inches off, so they would just brush her collarbone. "I needed to lose five pounds somehow!" quipped Diane. Longer layers now give her thick hair more movement, and side-swept bangs flatter and frame her face. Diane is a natural blond, so colorist Ikeda merely brightened her hair with highlights, focusing on the pieces around Diane's face to enhance her complexion.
Linter loved Diane's classic face shape and coloring and decided to give her a more glamorous look for everyday. "I usually recommend a lighter eyelid, but with her blond locks and fair skin, Diane can handle a smoldering gray color scheme." She penciled on a charcoal liner, then applied powder over it, blending the two to give Diane's eyes depth. Diane loves Linter's tip for lining her lower lashes: "Don't try drawing a line. Instead, dot color with a pencil along the lashline, then smudge." To cover up the redness from Diane's rosacea, Linter advised using a cream foundation. She finished the look by brushing a bronzer on Diane's cheekbones, under her jaw, and along either side of her throat to create subtle definition.
Fresh start? Check. Weight loss? Double check. A modern, more sophisticated look? Triple check! A widow of two years, Bernadette, 54, was ready to make these changes — and more. In just eight weeks, she lost nearly 14 inches, developed smarter eating habits, became an exercise convert, and began to emerge from her shell. "I had been using my treadmill as a laundry basket," she confessed. But when she began the 7 Years Younger program, something clicked: "Because you break the exercise into intervals, it doesn't get boring." Bernadette found out firsthand the fountain-of-youth effects of exercise. She lost more than six pounds and trimmed a whopping 10.25 inches off her waist!
"Walking on my treadmill is turning my life around."
Pounds shed: 6.4 pounds
Body Fat Decreased: 0.7 percent
Total Inches Lost: 13.75 inches
Age Spots Improved: 23 percent
Bernadette has sported the same bob for over 20 years. She calls it "classic," but Louis Licari called it "stuck in middle age." Stylist Leary updated her look, giving her cut more definition and a stronger shape, angling her new 'do along her jawline and shortening the back to expose her neck. Also out-of-date: her harsh blond highlights. Colorist Ikeda eliminated them and warmed up her shade so it flattered her complexion. Highlights in the same color family, placed around her face, also helped warm her skin tone.
Bernadette's eyes are her strongest feature, so not surprisingly Linter played them up with dark liner along both top and bottom lashes. Then she topped the line with teal: "A colored liner is a subtler way to add drama to the eyes than a colored shadow," she says. Next, she curled Bernadette's lashes to "droop-proof" her eyes. To warm Bernadette's skin, Linter recommended a golden-toned base and concealer.
A single mother of two, Laura approached our program philosophically. "I wanted to figure out what I could do to feel both attractive and comfortable with myself as I got older, but I also thought about what I accept about aging and what I reject," says the 50-year-old. "I reject the idea that I can't have some wrinkles." She dove right into the anti-aging activities, starting with skin care and makeup. She'd always preferred her face au naturel, but "I actually got into the habit of putting on mascara and lipstick," she says. "It definitely makes a difference." Mostly, Laura tried to eat healthy and exercise, but when life got too busy, it became a challenge. She loved the flexibility of the 7 Years Younger program: "It lets you weave exercise into a busy life, which makes a lot of sense," she says. Laura still goes to the gym, but the plan's walking exercises and strength-training workouts helped her trim off nearly five inches.
"Taking care of myself really reinvigorated my looks."
Body Fat Decreased: 1.2 percent
Total Inches Lost: 4.75 inches
Skin Improved: Firmer
Stylist Leary liked the length of Laura's hair, but moved her away from the boxy bob to a piece-y, more mussed style. "Hair that moves and is soft looks younger," she says. She also added side-swept bangs, to further soften Laura's looks. Laura had been coloring her hair to cover the gray, but the shade was too dark and stark, according to colorist Frade, who chose a redder base shade, instead, then finished with slightly lighter face-framing highlights. "It looks more natural," she notes.
Laura can stick to a simple routine but amp it up by adding blush, says Linter. "A cream blush gives skin a dewy glow. Blend it in so you can't see where it stops and where it begins — so it looks like it is coming from within." Linter lined Laura's eyes with a light brown powder shadow, then topped it with a darker pencil. The combination of two colors looks more natural, as "using just one shade can look stark," says Linter. Finally, a dusting of bronzer on Laura's cheekbones, nose, and collarbone rejuvenated her face without being heavy-handed.
7 Years Younger is GolfHr's science-based program to turn back the clock — in eight short weeks.
Begin with the one-week Jumpstart Plan to see results fast. Then, get in-depth yet doable skin-care, hair, makeup, nutrition, fitness, and stress-reduction plans from the full 7-week program.
Throughout the 416-page book, you'll find answers to common questions, insights from our testers, and tips from both the staff at GH and the scientists at the GolfHr Research Institute, who know what really works. Order exclusively at .