Gwyneth Beaton is a very attractive woman by any standards. She has been in the mortgage banking business for 25 years and wanted a makeover in order to be taken more seriously. At times she felt dismissed and occasionally thought she was taken advantage of.
I told Gwyneth that the reason people dismissed her was because of the wimpy pastels she wore consistently. “The darker the color, the higher the authority,” I explained. “Pastels convey little to no authority.”
“But I was told by an image consultant a number of years ago that I need to wear pastels, like this baby pink jacket” she replied. She was also advised to wear pearls. Gwyneth admitted that her closet was filled with hodgy-podgy pastels.
“A friend of mine tried to talk me out of buying a pastel pink sweater a year ago,” she recalls, “but I bought it anyway. I think I wore it twice, and then I gave it away. I’d like to discover the colors that make me look good, but also the ones that make me feel good about myself. My friend was a client of yours, so I guess she knew what she was talking about,” Gwyneth sighed. “I wish I had listened to her.”
“The truth is,” I reassured her, “most people choose colors from the ‘heart and soul’ and not from the mirror, so it’s literally impossible to argue successfully with a person about the colors they habitually wear. And it’s even more difficult when you’ve been told by an “expert” that you look your best in pastels. It’s no wonder you ignored your friend’s advice. Let’s discover for once and for all the colors that make you feel like a million and look absolutely fabulous.”
After the color analysis, Gwyneth saw for herself that pastels washed her out and also made her hair and eyes look dull. Once she saw how beautiful she looked in bold colors like royal blue and fuchsia, she was excited about discovering more colors that made her look and feel good.
When Gwyneth tried on the magenta jacket, she remarked that she would never have chosen a color that bold. One look in the mirror, however, and she beamed with delight. “This is who I want to be; a confident woman who exudes power but isn’t overbearing; a woman who commands respect. I’m tired of being a Plain Jane executive,” she exclaimed.
Once we discovered Gwyneth’s correct color category, it was time to look at makeup. “I don’t wear lipstick,” she explained, “and only a little bit of mineral powder on my face.”
We began with a very light application of foundation that matched her skin perfectly. It made her truly good skin look even better, and the result was youthful skin that didn’t look made up. She liked it because foundation had always seemed so thick and heavy to her before, which was why she opted for powder. A gentle dusting of pink blusher gave her an even more feminine and youthful look.
Next she tried a soft fuchsia lipstick that gave a subtle touch of color. She was okay with that. However, she needed a deeper shade with the magenta suit, and once she saw how it brightened up her entire face, especially her eyes, she changed her attitude about “bright lipstick.”
Most women are afraid of lipstick because they’ve never given it a chance. The truth is, lipstick ensures that the face always remains the focal point. When the face is a sea of beige, our eyes wander. Lipstick literally keeps our attention on the eyes and even makes them glisten. Gwyneth couldn’t believe what the magenta lipstick did for her turquoise eyes. “They look much brighter now,” she said in amazement.
The finishing touch was tweaking her hair a little. Her hair was healthy and attractive, but I recommended she change the part from the middle to a side part. She has a natural cowlick that she was trying to avoid, but it actually turned out to be a blessing, since it enabled me to sweep the hair away from her beautiful face. Her old hairdo made her face look slightly rectangular. Once I smoothed her hair out with a flat iron and brought it away from her face, everything changed. Her face was framed and brought out by her hair, instead of being overwhelmed by it. I recommended she ask her hairdresser to even out the length a bit, since her old hairstyle was long in the front and much shorter in the back. This style is ever popular, but it often gives a droopy effect to the face, as Gwyneth discovered.
Most people constantly improve their skills, but they don’t think of improving their image. There’s nothing nicer than looking in the mirror, seeing the “new you,” and beaming from ear to ear. When you change your image, you can actually change your life because you leave the house each day with a whole new attitude about yourself!
Sandy Dumont is an internationally-known image consultant with 30 years’ experience. Contact her at www.theimagearchitect.com or 757.627.6669.