Real Life

My extreme makeover!

A devastating split inspired Rosie Winitana to go from mundane mum to brunette beauty. When Rosie Winitana’s husband dumped her for another woman after 28 years of marriage, she refused to wallow in self-pity. Instead, the Auckland mum-of-two decided to give herself an amazing makeover that has left her virtually unrecognisable. Two years after the heartbreaking split – and without any help from cosmetic surgeons – Rosie (49) has transformed herself from a dumpy housewife into a dazzling diva.

The boring bobbed brown hairstyle has gone, along with several unwanted kilos, while the nana-style flat shoes, stretch pants and bulge-disguising baggy tops have been turfed from her wardrobe. The new Rosie is slim and sexy in high heels and slinky dresses, with long black locks that wouldn’t be out of place on a Hollywood red carpet.

Changing herself into the woman she always wanted to be has been part of the healing for Rosie, who used to run a kindergarten with her former husband. When he dumped her out of the blue for a lover, a stunned and shattered Rosie suddenly found herself alone with their two children, Stefanie (22) and Ayrton (19), nursing a badly broken heart and with no idea what to do with her life. “I didn’t know it was coming.

I thought everything was fi ne and we were both happy, but I was so wrong,” she admits. oarriage had given Rosie financial stability but the sudden break-up left her unsure about what to do next, while struggling to cope with the pressures of single parenthood. “All of a sudden, I felt like I was the child and Stefanie and Ayrton were the parents. I relied on them for support and to get me up in the morning,” she says. “I was bitter and felt like a failure. But I had to let go of that – it was making me ill.” Rosie decided that the way to get her life on track was to completely remake who she was – physically and emotionally. Determined to make a career for herself, she followed her interest in real estate by becoming an office administrator for a property company. The physical changes began within weeks of the separation when Stefanie treated her mum to hair extensions. Natural dark-brown extensions were bound to Rosie’s own bobbed hair in a process that took two-and-a-half hours. When she finally walked out of the salon, Rosie was well on the way to getting the exotic look she had loved for so long.

over the next few weeks, Stefanie took Rosie, who had dropped from a size 12 to a size 8, on shopping sprees for clothes. “I bought short feminine dresses in bright cheerful colours – greens, blues and yellows – and everything that would show off my new figure,” she says. oanicures, good skincare and vibrant makeup are all now part of Rosie’s usual beauty regime and she couldn’t be happier with her vibrant new look. “After a separation, you need to take a long, hard look in the mirror at the person staring back at you. When I did that, I knew I wanted to change her. It was my chance to really discover myself,” she explains. Rosie, who was used to spending quiet nights at home with her husband, also took the brave step of going out to bars – something she wouldn’t have dreamed of doing as a married woman.

She even began going out with her daughter at weekends, having fun with groups of much younger people and coming home in the early hours of the morning. “I used to love staying at home with my partner, but I realised I had sacrificed part of myself in the relationship. Now, I do things for me,” says Rosie. It was Stefanie’s bright idea to get her mum out on the town, something she feels has been an important part of the healing process. “I knew I had to pick oum up off the couch and throw her into the deep end. We do everything together now – we’re just so similar,” she smiles. Rosie laughs when she recalls the evening she went out with a male friend, aged in his mid-twenties and they were mistaken for a couple. “old friends often hardly recognise me and some people say I look 10 years younger.” But after a flurry of partying, Rosie has now found a balance between staying home and socialising. “I loved going out and meeting new people, but I wasn’t going to pretend I was Stefanie’s age. “When I look at old photos now, I feel really frustrated. I can’t believe that I used to wear all that dull stuff.

But I haven’t thrown it away because it’s my reminder – don’t ever go there again.” Rosie says it’s not as hard as you’d think to maintain her new look. She believes the extreme makeover was simply her way of surviving one of the worst periods of her life. “What I went through was hell and to suddenly be standing on my own two feet wasn’t easy. I think you’ve just got to do whatever it takes to feel happy and to feel a bit of excitement.”

Related stories


Get The Australian Woman’s Weekly NZ home delivered!  

Subscribe and save up to 38% on a magazine subscription.