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Callista Gingrich's Dramatic Beauty Evolution (PHOTOS)

The Huffington Post     First Posted: 12/20/2011 4:52 pm   Updated: 12/20/2011 10:03 pm

When it comes to rapid, drastic beauty evolutions, Callista Gingrich takes the cake.

Newt Gingrich's wife came onto the political scene when she married Newt in 2000, transitioning overnight from mistress to political wife. But the beauty transformation was not so quick -- for a while, Callista maintained her softly styled hair and her basic makeup, remaining as approachable and average as a political wife in the limelight can be.

Then somewhere along the line, things changed. Just today Meghan McCain sounded off on Callista's reputation, saying, "I think the fact that she was a third wife and a mistress and is coming off somewhat icy and [her] reputation of being somewhat controversial within their campaign is doing damage."

"Icy" is definitely the most appropriate adjective to describe Callista, when it comes to both her persona and style. Sometime between early 2009 and the end of 2010, Callista's appearance hardened. The hair went from soft and wavy to helmet smooth, the lipstick got darker and more defined, and her face seemed to get... well, pointier is the only word we can think of.

Now Callista's look is hyper-groomed, from her line-free skin to her platinum blonde 'do -- too groomed, according to some. Robin Givhan sounded off on Gingrich's airbrushed appearance, critiquing the unrelatable look:

Mrs. Gingrich's grooming is distractingly impeccable. In an era of relaxed dress codes and wash-and-go hair, her style is painstakingly starched from head to toe. If she were to slouch, she just might crack.

Givhan has a point -- Callista's tresses are anything but "wash-and-go." An enterprising reporter for Slate tried the helmet hair on for size and found that it takes four hours in a salon chair to achieve.

The problem is that you can tell. As Givhan aptly points out, "In contemporary fashion, as well as in politics, style is supposed to look effortless. When effort is apparent, it is damning."

Check out Callista's dramatic beauty evolution from the early 2000s to today -- do you think her high-maintenance look hurts her (and her husband's) political appeal?

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