Two years ago my personal style was itching for a change. I bought clothes in new shapes, styles and colors, yet something still felt off. My new clothes weren’t connecting with the person I saw in the mirror. Then it hit me. It was my hair. I had long blonde hair that was pretty, but it didn’t feel like me anymore. I asked my stylist to cut it off.
I cried, but not because I had just watched 12 inches of my hair fall to the floor. I felt that I was letting go of the old me and welcoming a new look.
My short new pixie cut dramatically changed my personal style and my self-confidence. Finally I looked like the person I know I am. My personal style from the top of my head to my toes connected and finally made sense to me.
In my profession as a Personal Style Coach this life experience taught me just how much impact hair and also makeup can be in the journey to finding personal style. You can change what you wear but if your hair and makeup aren’t dialed in, your look may feel incomplete.
To further prove the point, I recently took three women on a hair and makeup makeover journey. They all had a good sense of fashion but I wanted to show how a change in their hair and makeup could make a big difference.
We met up at Tiger Tiger Salon on North Williams Avenue in Portland where Alex James and Viri Cervates greeted us. After their hair redos, the women met makeup artist and instructor Kelli Thomsen, who taught them the right skin care and makeup techniques to fit their personal and lifestyle needs. Here are their stories:
Dana Via (60s)
Dana and I recently worked together on her wardrobe. We worked to find pieces that reflected her creative and fun personality and complemented her figure. But we agreed her transformation was not yet complete. She needed a new hair do and a refresher course on makeup for a mature woman.
Dana’s ‘must have’ was a low maintenance hair style — a wash and dry style that looked effortlessly stylish. Alex also wanted to brighten Dana’s hair and give her fine strands some texture Alex brought the length up all around to compliment Dana’s neckline. To add interest Alex left one side a little shorter and angled the bob to just past Dana’s jaw on the other side for a subtle asymmetrical angle.
In Kelli’s chair, Dana wanted to learn how to “have eyebrows again.” Over the years, Dana found that her eyebrows had simply disappeared. Kelli taught her to use an angled brush with powder on her brows followed by a gel for a natural brow look. “Brows are suppose to be sisters, not twins” Kelli stated when explaining how to find the right arch for each eyebrow relative to the eye.
A week after her makeover Dana was glowing. to find her still glowing. “I am madly in love with my new look,” she said. “I am a confident person by nature, but as we age we tend to get overlooked by youth. My new look makes me more contemporary in this youth-oriented world, and I enjoy the feeling of inclusion when I am out and about at all the trendy places in town.”
Meghan Zonich (39)
Meghan’s ‘must have’ was to be able to pull her hair back during workouts. Other than that, she was up for anything.
As a busy mother of two and a business owner, Meghan needed a look that would take her from running the kids around to their various activities to hosting events for her business, Northwest Distilleries.
Meghan’s stylist, Viri suggested sombre process, which is like the trendy ombre but more subtle. She tinted Meghan’s hair a red tone and blended the ends to a soft blonde. She cut Meghan’s hair to her collarbone so there was less visual weight but still could be pulledt back. Soft bangs were added to frame Meghan’s beautiful eyes.
With Kelli, Meghan wanted to learn how to cover up her sunspots without feeling made up. Kelli gave Meghan some great tips on how to layer sunscreen under her makeup to prevent any further sun damage. She also showed Meghan how and where to add highlighter to brighten up her skin and looke refreshed but natural.
Meghan says her new look “feels fresh and current, on trend without being trendy. The new look makes me feel young and hip, even adding a bit of a swagger to my step.” It “brings out my eyes which are one of my favorite assets. Between the cut and color Viri gave me and the makeup tricks Kelli taught me, my eyes are popping, and I love it!”
Haley Stinton (21)
Haley, a student at the University of Oregon, came to the salon ready for anything. Her “must have’ for her hair was to “feel fierce,” so Alex transformed Haley’s hair from dark brown to a beautiful shade of red to complement Haley’s green eyes. Alex shortened her bangs and squared off Haley’s existing long bob to a short and sassy style that frames Haley’s eyes and highlights her cheekbones.
Haley learned to be more confident about contouring her makeup. “Kelli showed me ways to make it look more natural so I can contour for my everyday look,” she said. Kelli also had tips for foundation and concealer, such as mixing mineral powder with Evian spray to make higher coverage.
A week later Haley loves her new “fierce” look. “My new haircut makes me feel really great. Red is always something I wanted to do. Having it cut and colored this way accentuates the things I like about myself, like my eyes and high cheekbones. I definitely feel more confident. Having a new look hair-wise has kept me from getting lazy because I want my clothes to look as good as my hair and makeup do.”