Thursday, April 15, 2010

Mom Makeover: The Road from Ho-Hum to Hawt

One of the best pieces of parenting advice I got from my mother involved mascara.

I've shared my opinions on mom jeans, Keds, denim jumpers and the like. I don't believe that being a mother is license to be a frump. We all take a few steps away from our dry clean only wardrobe once we have children, but it's not necessary to trade in fab for frump. Yet all too often, it happens. Like back fat. It just creeps up on you before you realize that everything in your closet has an elastic waistband. When we stop putting ourselves first, we plummet to stretchy pant hell.

I'm guilty as charged. To a certain extent.

I recently embarked on a journey with a few other women to do a Mom Makeover. Nothing extreme to walk the catwalk or sport a tiara. Just a simple makeover that's realistic for a mother who spends her time in car pool, at the park, or on a date. I was hoping to transform a couple moms who could go from "Park to Party" in a flash.

With the help of Jill, Joanna, Pam, and Amanda, we pulled it off for our first contestant on Park to Partay!

Meet Liz.

36-year old mother of a three-year old daughter and 5-month old infant son. Liz is tired. She's been feeling frumpy and is scrounging up the time and energy to hit the gym again. Her own sister in law even threatened to turn her over to What Not to Wear. Ouch! Liz knows there's a sprinkle of her former self sparkling in there somewhere.

We were there to help Liz regain her shimmer so she can put some shimmy back in her step.

Meet our makeover team.

Jill, owner of hairdos. Before Jill pulled out her scissors she talked to Liz to get a sense of her style, preferences, and lifestyle. Clearly Jill took the time to know the client first instead of treating her head as a canvas with license to chop. We've all been in a salon seat like that, right? Jill gave Liz a kicky little cut and even gave her options to wear her hair up or down. Options are good. Did I mention that Liz donated a whopping 11 inches of her mane to Locks of Love? I know how freeing it is to cut off all that hair. The key thing about the magic that Jill worked is that she kept Liz's hair maintenance free. After all, what mom wants to deal with a high maintenance hair style that involves multiple gooey products and various electrical devices? It's a wash and go cut that will grow out lovely, meaning Liz can look good while not swapping out style for sleep.

Joanna, makeup artist and owner of Look at Me Makeup. And I don't use the word artist lightly. Every girl dreams of the make up case Joanna was toting. Oh, the creams and powders and shadows and blushes and liners! Some of her go-to products to make us moms look more awake than we feel: mascara, concealer, blush, lip gloss, moisturizer! Also, maintain those brows, ladies. Like Jill, Joanna focused on making Liz's makeup regimen fast and easy. Wearing makeup doesn't have to be a 30-minute ordeal that requires paint brushes and spackling. I don't even own blush and I've never put a drop of foundation on my face in my life, yet I think I don't look half bad. Joanna gave Liz makeup tips that fit her lifestyle and schedule. The beauty is that she also gave Liz tips on how to turn the makeup amp up to 11 for date night. Va va va voom! Again, options are good.

Pam, owner of Dress. and fashionista extraordinaire. Pam is that rare blend of fashion and frugal. Pam's shop perches at the intersection of Quality Road, Style Boulevard, and Affordability Avenue. Dress. is a lovely little boutique that features consigned and new designer clothes, shoes, and handbags. And boy are the brands in there mouth watering! Pam, having the honor of being my most fashionable friend (who is blessed with lean long legs and a tiny waist...damn her), not only sells the clothes, she helps with personal styling too. She gave Liz so many fantastic options that it was nearly impossible to make a choice. Sometimes options aren't so good. ;-) The ticket was to find Liz an outfit that's comfortable, versatile, fun, and easy. Do you see a trend here? Perhaps the best testimonial is that I left Dress. with the most perfect little black dress, and our photographer bought three! Ooh la la.

Amanda of Amanda Olson Photography. She's one helluva talented photographer whom I'm going to hire to take my headshot for my book jacket one day. Amanda captured not only the activities of the day, but the spirit as well. Though she and I were in the same room, her eyes saw things mine did not. She really has a storytelling gift. Amanda's photos were simply glorious. There's nothing phony or diva about her, but she is a true artist. You have no idea how hard it was to select photos for this post. Every single shot rocked. I kid you not. I'd pepper my walls with Amanda's photos and spent a good hour just perusing her gallery on her site. Poor Amanda will now have to chase my two sons and a pesky dog to capture some family shots this fall. You can see more photos from our day here.

So the key is this: style and comfort are not mutually exclusive. We owe it to ourselves to put our best face on and our best foot forward. Clad in a touch of mascara and some swoon worthy shoes.

Motherhood is hot. Bring it.

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Mary said...

great story - and I will add to the Amanda Olson endorsement - she took the shot that I use for my twitter avatar (one day the book jacket...)

Anonymous said...

That story is one of my fantasies! I want to be made over!!!
How cool for her!

Unknown said...

Liz was in an aerobics class I taught at the gym the other day. Her haircut really is great - swingy and fun! She looked great and she was radiating confidence. She told me she had donated her hair, but I had no idea it was an almost foot-long ponytail!

Melissa (@adventuroo) said...

How awesome! She looks GREAT! With kids about the same age, I could probably due for a makeover too!

Sandra said...

she looks great! good job everyone.

The Mother said...

Hey, that's a grand idea.

When Stretch stops eating through my clothes budget with his two inch growth spurts, maybe I'll have some left over to pick out a new pair of black jeans and black tanks for me.

("Uniform" dressing,motherhood style.)

Liz said...

This is Liz - the Make-Over-EE. Oh, I had such a great time. I got a ton of compliments on my haircut, discovered the power of concealer, and have a great skirt I pull out whenever I can!

Thanks again!

Ellie said...

Liz! You look beautiful and man what a team behind you! Jill @ Hairdos was the right stylist for this job - she's awesome!

What a fabulous idea and LOVE the post!

Dawn said...

Liz, you look great. When I saw you at the library, your hair still looked so cute, so I can testify the style does not need professional help!

Unknown said...

Thanks For posting . Its Really nice . Keep update a more article.
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