Dr Zak Schabort, co-founder of Revenge Makeover SA and The Cosmetic and Dental Emporium

After five years of being divorced, Karen Wain, 50, from Milnerton decided to pick-up some of the scattered pieces of her life.
When her 20-year marriage ended, it left her devastated and downhearted. Her confidence and self-esteem took a major knock.

While trying to juggle her career and taking care of her children, Wain felt she had neglected herself. The "not so glamorous" image affected her confidence.

But thanks to the launch of an online reality make-over show, Revenge Makeover SA, by The Cosmetic and Dental Emporium, Wain’s self-esteem improved.

The show streams on Facebook and YouTube every Tuesday night and showcases contestants’ makeovers.

Wain was one of the first contestants in the five-part series.

Dr Zak Schabort, co-founder of Revenge Makeover SA and The Cosmetic and Dental Emporium, said: “After being in the dental industry for over 10 years and creating breathtaking smiles, the founders of the series felt it was time to offer their services to those less fortunate. We wanted to give someone the opportunity to have access to this incredible industry and to restore hope and faith in humanity.”

Schabort said both men and women had the opportunity to apply to enter this show but had to go through a selection process.

“They also had to write motivations why they should be selected.

"The final 10 were selected following interviews and consultations by the teams of doctors to determine who needed the makeover the most.

"Although men and woman entered, it just so happened that all five candidates were female,” he said.

Wain said: “I wanted a new smile and to banish my frown lines. For a long time, I couldn’t make eye contact with people and I couldn’t smile. Now, I want to be 50 and fabulous not 50 and grumpy.”

Wain said the makeover has given her a confidence boost and more inner self-appreciation.

“Before the makeover, I didn’t want to stand out and smile. It always felt like people were looking at my teeth. I didn’t want people to notice me and give me attention.

"But now, I walk into a room and make eye contact, because I know now if they smile at me I am going to smile right back.”

Wain said her makeover had included a dental structure repair, fixing her frown lines and sagging age lines around her nose and jaw.

“When I think about having these treatments, the change it makes to my appearance, it’s overwhelming. I had to look at myself twice because my makeover made me look so different. My smile lights up my face and my skin glows.”

She said the show had given her much more than a new smile and a new look.

“Now, I’m ready to go out there without any fear. I no longer want to live my life hidden away."

When asked about the popularity of such shows, Schabort said the show spoke for itself and it was doing well.

“This is the first of its kind in South Africa. Viewers tend to enjoy it when there's a radical transformation.”

Another contestant who underwent a transformation is Nonthando Ntsedwana from Khayelitsha.

Ntsedwana said her main aim had been to get her confidence back.

“Being a mother of two means that you have to juggle time a lot.

"At times it’s easy to just get caught up in our motherly duties and pay less attention to ourselves.”

She said even though she had known she needed to see a dentist to “sort out my smile”, she never went.

“Going to the dentist was a no-go area. My first experience was so bad so I didn’t want to go through the experience again.”

Little did she know that a trip to the dentist would change her whole life. Ntsedwana had dental implants because her broken teeth could not be restored.

She also had a treatment on her frown lines to relax them. She refined her nose to sharpen it up and lifted her cheek bones.

Now, Ntsedwana is happy with her fresh look. “I feel amazingly good about myself. I feel I can do anything and it’s a great feeling.

"But most of all, I know it’s very important to look after your skin, and taking care of yourself is vital."