Western Mail, 10th April 2010
As Denise Van Outen admits she hates the thought of her husband looking at her and thinking, “What did I marry?”, WM’s Emily Woodrow asks two Welsh women, have their standards slipped since you tied the knot? YES, says Dianne Evans, head of the wills and probate department at Cardiff-based Wendy Hopkins Family Law Practice, 56

I’ve been happily married for 26 years, and I’m happy to admit I’ve let things slip in terms of my appearance. I take pride in how I look, but I’m not a heavy make-up wearer.

I went through a Dusty Springfield phase in the ’60s where I would coat myself in products, but more often than not it would get washed off by my father.

I’m comfortable wearing minimal amounts of make-up and my husband is happy with it because he knows it makes me more comfortable. People say to me, “Don’t you moisturise?”, but I’ve come from a soap and water generation.

Some of my friends own seven mascaras, but I simply wouldn’t know how to cope with that. I have one small make-up bag with a mascara and a lip gloss in it, and that’s even less than it used to contain before I was married.

If I’m not working, I won’t go near make-up and I won’t even take it on holiday with me. My husband David is so used to seeing me devoid of anything, I’m not sure he’d even notice if I put any on. I’m so comfortable around him I don’t need to make an effort. I know he loves me as I am, warts and all.

I can fall out of bed at 7am and if I’m going to the beach to walk the dog I won’t bother showering until I get back – if I brush my hair I’m doing well.

I’ve even been known to wear pyjama bottoms under my waterproofs when it’s really cold.

In my opinion it’s more important to get out there and see what the day has to offer rather than sitting in and making up your face.

I like to think if there were any problems David would tell me. If I completely went down hill and stopped washing, the first thing he would say to me is, “You need a wash.”

As you get older, your priorities slip and for me, my appearance is bottom of the list. It’s nice to have time to myself, but I was happy to put that on a back-burner in order to bring up our children. There are times when you think, “Do I take them to their ice skating lesson or shall I sit in the bath and shave my legs?”, but for me there’s no contest.

When I have free time I just want to get out in the fresh air. Going out and seeing wildlife is my life, not deciding what colour eye shadow to put on.

It never fails to amaze me when people say they won’t come downstairs without their face on. I couldn’t bear the fact I’d have to spend an hour in the morning getting ready, that time would be wasted for me. My worst nightmare would be a makeover.

I guess it all boils down to that age old question: does beauty come from within or is it painted on?

I accept there’s a lot of pressure for people to look good, but personally, I live my life by the phrase, “This is me, take me as I am.”

Why should we be embarrassed for being who we are? I think we should praise people for being au naturel. I run around during the week so the weekends are my time to chill out and that involves no make-up and pure comfort.