Susan said she desperately wanted a makeover because her teenage daughter told her she looked “old and frumpy.” When she arrived at my studio, Susan explained that years ago an image consultant had told her she was an Autumn, so she had lots of colors from this season in her closet, including teal, her favorite color.
This solved the mystery as to why her daughter thought this former model looked old and frumpy. Autumn colors are sometimes referred to as grunge colors, and they are quite drab, so few people can carry off these colors. I draped Susan with a teal-colored fabric, and she smiled and said she liked what she saw. However, when I covered the teal fabric with a bright royal blue one, Susan’s whole persona changed. In the teal, she looked tired, sad, and much older. The royal blue made her skin look luminous and youthful. It smoothed away furrows and made her beautiful turquoise eyes sparkle. Each time I draped Susan with an Autumn color, she looked “drab, frumpy, and older” but was transformed into “dynamic, pretty and younger” with brighter colors, like ruby.
Susan needed a change of makeup also, and I gave her a brighter lipstick to go with the ruby red pantsuit. Susan has full and beautifully-shaped lips that are perfect for brighter shades of lipstick like fuchsias and reds. As women get older, their lips sometimes get thinner, and as a result, most women are afraid of “bright” colors, not wanting to call attention to their lips. They often wear the popular brown-toned lipsticks. Sadly, those colors give a washed out and drab appearance. The best solution is to make the lips appear fuller by using a lip liner and extending the lips a full “pencil width”—particularly on the top lip, which tends to recede the most. Voila! Your lips will not only appear fuller, your whole face will brighten up.
Susan’s foundation was in the typical yellow-beige color that is touted by makeup companies as being the perfect color “to get rid of pink on the face.” The cosmetic industry prefers yellow-toned foundations over pink-toned ones, even though youthful skin usually has a dewy pink luminescent glow. I left Susan’s current makeup on one side and replaced it with new colors on the other side. Susan was amazed. “The new makeup looks luminous and nearly translucent,” she remarked, “and my old foundation looks thick and cakey and unnatural.” Susan already looked 10 years younger, thanks to youthful-looking skin and lips.
Next we talked about garments, including both color and style. Susan learned that her much-loved sweater sets not only gave her a matronly look, they were unflattering to her figure. She has a nice figure and needs to show it off in garments that fit well. And she particularly needs to ditch all the muted Autumn colors.
Susan’s hair had been cut in multi layers, and I see women of all ages with this carry-over from the old days of the shag. Dated hair ages women. I advised her to let it grow out a bit at the back and the front, and to sweep it back at the sides. I used my trusty ceramic flat iron to smooth out her hair so she could see how her hair would look when it’s not so choppy.
For the icing on the case, bold dramatic earrings in a door-knocker style were added, along with a dramatic pin. When Susan arrived, she wore tiny dangling earrings that were attractive, but barely noticeable. Accessories lend stature and give a finished look. Susan left the workshop with a big smile on her face and said she was headed for the mall to buy a few things in royal blue and fuchsia.
“I couldn’t believe it,” she reported later. “The sales staff in the shops fell all over themselves trying to help me. That has never happened before! And best of all, when I saw my daughter, she told me how beautiful I looked.”
Sandy Dumont is an internationally-known expert in the field of image and has produced numerous books, DVDs and boxed sets on the subject of image. She has presented workshops on three continents. Her upcoming Image Boot Camp for Women will be held March 12-13. Call for details. Contact her at 757-627-6669 or www.theimagearchitect.com if you would like a makeover in Tidewater Women.