The makeover in the 1989 movie Moonstruck is my favorite of all time. Beautiful Cher manages to look frowsy with her bits of grey hair and unremarkable clothes until she dashes into a salon and dress store, later appearing at the opera transformed. I watched the movie again recently to get a peek at the iconic Moonstruck lipstick, a deep blackened red. The next morning Cinderella Cher attempts to turn back into a pumpkin, putting up her raven locks and stepping back into her sweats. Too late. No matter what she wears from now on she will be forever transformed.
I couldn’t help but sigh with the beauty of it all. Nothing satisfies quite like a glorious makeover. But this art form lost its allure to me with the coming of the drastic Extreme Makeover, the humiliation in What Not To Wear and the transformations on daytime television that clearly would be impossible to maintain.
In the introduction to Growing More Beautiful I write, “Makeover shows may be fun to watch, but there is no more nourishment available from them than what you get from a fat free cookie. The sugar buzz is there, but nothing is offered to sustain you.” But with the thrill of my new custom makeup line I’ve rediscovered the fun of taking before-and-after photos, and I see how much others enjoy them too. It’s exciting to see what a big change the perfect lipstick can make or the enhancement beautiful foundation can provide.
I do all kinds of makeovers. I makeover closets and ill-fitting jeans. Dreary or harsh colors are replaced with ones that light up the wearer. Hair cut and color, shoes, eyeglasses — all need regular updating. Every time we enhance an aspect of our appearance we are giving ourselves a mini-makeover. A second opinion, especially from an expert, helps you move beyond what is familiar.
As you travel through your life you are evolving, whether you are conscious of it or not. Changes to your appearance allow you to stay in step with your own personal transformations. Everything from necklines to shoes needs updating not because styles change, but because you do. The haircut that worked for me in Hawaii didn’t fit here in California, and it took me months to figure out why and what would work better. I pinned up sections of my hair and looked at my face in the mirror from all angles. I decided to try an asymmetric cut, something I had been resisting, hoping it would reveal more of my face in a way that would look flattering with my new glasses. Voila, makeover!
A makeover doesn’t have to be big to make a dramatic difference, and you don’t need to do it all at once. Or, if the time is right for a major change, you can update your wardrobe and make a big splash. Ongoing dissatisfaction can be the motivation, and pay close attention to any messages that your best beauty days are behind you. Wrong! Don’t settle for fading away when there are so many solutions available.
It’s encouraging to share photos of real women that have not been retouched, and see what a big difference a little change can make. I love being a cosmetic artist for that reason. Who am I kidding, I love it all from earrings to eyebrows. It’s the thrill of matchmaking, creating a match between who you are now and your current self-expression.
You can also makeover your attitude. You can decide grey hair is ageless and glasses are a fashion accessory. Phyllis was convinced she doesn’t photograph well, but when she saw the quick snaps I took below she said, “Maybe I do like myself in photos.”
I’ll be posting more photos on my Facebook page as I take them. It’s good to know that change is a given and anything is possible.