Hair today, gone tomorrow.
The second episode of "The Bachelor" saw the dismissal of two contestants with notable hair -- one good and one very bad.
But before we talk about who got booted from Season 16, let's back it up to the beginning of the episode and take our weekly look at what Ben Flajnik's women wore.
Last week's premiere episode was all about dressing up. The women made their first impressions in all sorts of sequins and satin, bronzer and jewels. This week, the woman began by boarding an airplane to Sonoma. Cue the airplane clothes: tanks, tees, leggings and a cute scarf worn by one of my favorites, Lindzi. In a sea of basic plane gear, her scarf, white tee and cropped jeans stood out as stylish without trying too hard.
The relaxed vibe continues once the women arrive in Bachelor Ben's hometown of Sonoma (get used to hearing that word, people -- this episode comes off like a promotional video made by the Sonoma visitors bureau). When the women first catch a glimpse of Ben in his element, they like what they see. Emily notes, "Ben looks so good in his dressed-down, Sonoma-fied self." I totally agree.
But it's date night, so Ben puts on something nicer for a night out with Kacie B. The Southern brunette was one of my fashion faves last week, hitting a high note in a sexy yet tasteful gray sequined dress.
For her low-key date she wears a white and navy striped sweater, cutoff shorts and tall caramel-colored leather boots. I'm not a fan of the shorts-and-boots look for myself, but a sweetheart like Kacie makes it work.
A one-on-one usually brings out the fashion best in both the Bachelor and his date. Not so the group dates, where the women try to steal focus from each other any way they can -- including flashy fashion and beauty statements.
On the group date, the women participate in some wholesome community theater with a crew of local Sonoma kids. The children are cute but tough, making each women audition on stage in front of the whole group. That meant Blakely, the former Hooters waitress with a penchant for strong lipstick and blingy jewelry, had to jump around in a suuuuper low-cut romper that was certainly not intended for children's eyes.
As Samantha put it, "We've got lots of jugs." Needless to say, she's not the biggest Blakely fan.
Neither are we, particularly in the style department. The sexy garment, paired with meticulously done hair and makeup, was too much for daytime. But there were some women who got it just right, looking casual yet pretty in an understated, down-to-earth way. They included Samantha and Jenna, each in white shorts; Nicki in a brown maxi dress; and Jennifer, who bravely chose a red shirt to match her deep red hair.
After donning some wacky costumes (in a twist of poetic justice, busty Blakely was given the frumpiest costume of all: a head-to-toe gingerbread man costume), the girls reapplied their bronzer and hit the pool with Ben.
An important note: "The Bachelor"'s ubiquitous pool parties can be treacherous sartorial ground for contestants. Too many accessories look silly with a bikini; wearing too much makeup just looks ridiculous when it washes off in the water (revealing one's unbronzed, unrouged skin -- the horror!); and a too-intricate hair style simply looks inappropriate while lounging in a towel. But you can't look like a slob, either.
Thankfully, most of the women did OK. Notable mentions include Jennifer, wearing her red tresses in a soft side-pony; Emily, who is always wearing just the right amount of makeup (i.e. not too much); and Jaclyn, who picks a pretty white lace blouse perfect for a summer night.
Unfortunately, there were some women who stumbled on the typical Pool Party style obstacles. Blakely, of course, went all out with layers of makeup and necklaces. And Jamie, whose outfit I liked last week, wore a chunky, shiny necklace with her aqua bikini. Too much, girl. Just too much.
All in all, however, nothing too egregious. I was so pleasantly surprised -- and my mood only got better when I saw Courtney head out on her one-on-one date (the second of the episode) with Ben. Say what you will about her mean girl attitude, but Courtney has got fabulous personal style that doubles as a tactical advantage.
When we first saw her this episode, greeting Ben at the house, she was wearing a loose, 3/4 sleeve purple plaid top and no makeup. The outfit send the message that she's confident in her natural beauty (as Ben first said when he met her, "That is a pretty girl...") and doesn't need to wear layers of jewelry and makeup to stand out.
Along the same lines, Courtney picked an unfussy date outfit: short shorts, a beige ribbed sweater layered under a loose denim button-down and a pair of brown leather boots (not unlike those Kacie B. picked for her first date earlier in the episode). Her hair, as usual, was simply parted in the middle and left loose and if she was wearing any makeup, I couldn't detect it.
In other words, she hit it out of the park.
Ben clearly agreed, as he was impressed with how beautiful yet down-to-earth Courtney turned out to be. That's what a well thought-out outfit can do, ladies!
And Courtney stuck to her sartorial guns for the rose ceremony, wearing a demure, 3/4 sleeve white lace shift. Jennifer, Samantha, Nicki and Rachel all had the same idea, wearing understated and flattering dresses.
But for some women, otherwise lovely outfits were interrupted by poor beauty choices. Elyse, as always, was coated in self-tanner from head to toe. Monica's taupe number was ruined by an excess of dark lipstick. And Lindzi looked cute in a fluttery pink frock but coated her face in a bad blush-bronzer combo.
Surprisingly, Blakely was nearly saved by an awesome lipstick shade -- alas, it wasn't enough to distract from her giant crystal earrings and too-tight black sequin minidress.
But none of those errors were enough to send the women home. In the end, skinny-tied Ben said "so long" to two women:
Good bye Shawn and your poorly dyed highlights/lowlights!
Good bye Jenna and your fabulous ombre tips!
One of you will be missed.
Courtney is breaking out as my (and Ben's, apparently) favorite this season, closely followed by Kacie, Jennifer and, yes, even overly bronzed Lindzi. Who did you think stood out style-wise in Episode 2?