Mary Ann Malloy lost twenty pounds and decided it was time to get an image change to match her newfound figure. She plans to lose another twenty pounds, but she’s already off to a good start.
Mary Ann is a principal engineer in a major federally-funded research and development corporation. She was interested in a makeover because she thought she was at a crossroads in her life and in her career. “I needed to change on the outside, but I never suspected I would also change so much on the inside after a makeover,” she said. “It actually gave me laser-sharp direction to move in.”
Because of subtle red highlights in her hair, Mary Ann was drawn to colors that usually appeal to redheads, such as her lime green shell and orange scarf. “I didn’t bring any clothes to the session,” she explained, “because they’re all too big and I’m sure none of them are right for me anyway.”
She was probably right. Lime green and orange turned out to be her worst colors. She looks better in their polar opposites, violet and emerald green or royal or peacock blue.
Mary Ann discovered that her black suit was great, but that she needed to wear makeup and accessories with black to bring out its most positive characteristics: “big city” panache and high authority without intimidation. Lipstick made an immediate and dramatic difference because it truly made her face the focal point. As always, the right foundation and blusher color gave uniform color to Mary Ann’s face and made her skin look more youthful and natural. Bolder earrings also bring out the best in “big city” black.
The most impactful change was with Mary Ann’s hair. I used my ceramic flat iron to re-shape it into a more flattering line. Her hair was like most of the clients I see. It was layered too much, so it appeared choppy. Her bangs were non-descript, so that’s where I began first. Once they were “updated” I smoothed out her hair so it looked as if it were one length and not so choppy. I suggested she begin growing her hair to one length along the sides and back so that she could ultimately get a hairdo that was sophisticated but not difficult to maintain. I sent her photos to show to her hairdresser.
Mary Ann sent me an email and said, “I was very empowered and energized by your boot camp. I immediately decimated my old wardrobe, salvaged what I could, and bought a few new key pieces to get going in the right direction. I work each day on applying the principles of wardrobe, hair, and makeup you conveyed. It is a process! But I have continued to get positive feedback, and I sense an attitude shift both in myself and in others towards me.”
Her email continued: “In addition to ‘repackaging’ myself, I worked on reformatting my resume, and consequently I am now in the running for a technical executive leadership position within my current corporation that would be a great career move for me. I’ve made it through three rounds of interviews and have been summoned to the corporate headquarters to meet the corporate leaders under whom this role falls…so this means I have made the short list! It seems there’s no limit to where a makeover can lead!”
Mary Ann discovered a truth I’ve seen over and over: when you change on the outside, people treat you differently, and then you change dramatically on the inside. In a phone conversation one day, she said, “The people I saw every day at work took me for granted. Once I made the image changes, as I came in contact with new people, they took me seriously. It didn’t take long for my old associates to see me as a ‘wow’ person who had all these great ideas and tremendous energy. I also saw myself with different eyes.”
You can make a new “first impression” if you make truly powerful changes with your image. Dramatic changes are normally scary, and Mary Ann admitted that having four other women in the two-day Image Boot Camp she attended made it easier. “We had a chance to go home and let things settle in before moving on to the next step the following day,” she said. “And it was great seeing the other women going through the same ‘turmoil’ I was! We all cheered each other on.”
Sandy Dumont is an internationally known image consultant residing in Hampton Roads. For more information about her Image Boot Camps, contact her at 757.627.6669 or visit theimagearchitect.com.