This morning, as I was leaving the Today show, I found myself sharing an elevator with Mika Brzezinski. I didn't recognize her and I watch her every day on MSNBC's Morning Joe. I am one of her biggest fans. This woman has it all -- she is smart, is witty, has a great sense of humor, and is gorgeous. Her TV makeup was wiped clean. Her hair was a little less coiffed. She was dressed in more casual attire. She was obviously off for the weekend and looked years younger. In today's lingo, you would say she looked "smoking hot." By the way, I totally choked -- I didn't say "hello" or even give her a polite smile. I acted like a teenage boy with a crush. Ugh! Then the proverbial light went off in my head. Seeing the small changes that had made Mika look more beautiful made me realize something very important. When most people think of doing makeovers, they think of making monumental changes. They instantly think of making brown hair blond or red, long hair short, or visa versa via extensions, or making curly hair pin-straight.
Dramatic haircuts and a completely new makeup palette are fun, but you only should have a few of these in your lifetime. Guess what? Small changes can make big differences in the way you look and they are often more flattering and wearable. Every now and then it's important to shake things up and go for a major change. But usually, constant fine-tuning is more rewarding and effective than repeated radical changes. It is also less invasive to the hair.
Tips to Making Small Changes
• The smallest haircut change can make a huge difference in your overall look. You can go from frumpy to fabulous with a few simple snips of the scissors. The right haircut can redefine your facial structure, accent or diminish a jaw line, hide a high forehead with bangs, give a narrow face width, or take away jowls. Literally, a trim can change your look from tired and droopy to looking alert and vital.
• Hair color and cut look best when they work together. The smallest change of color can give any haircut a new look. The color change doesn't have to be an all-over change. It can be something as simple as making your hairline or the top layer of your hair a half shade lighter. It can be something as easy as trying on a darker and richer semi-permanent color. This simple change can give your hair an entirely different look and will slowly wear away with each shampoo. What's wrong with having fun with your hair color? We were raised to believe the color we pick was our color forever. Now we know the color we pick is for right now. A change, especially a small one, is easy to make, is gentle on your hair, and can make you look prettier in about 30 minutes. I like to think of hair color as makeup. Something as minimal as a new lipstick shade can give you an entirely new look. So can the slightest change in your hair color formula.
• Speaking of makeup, there is no easier way to make a quick change in the way you look than trying something new. The slightest change of blush, eye shadow, or eye liner can create the illusion of a whole new you. There is absolutely no reason why you can't have more than a few looks in your makeup bag. Mix new colors together. Think a little out of the box. Remember! A makeup change doesn't mean you have to look like you work at a makeup counter and you're wearing the entire new palette. This is always a bad idea. Less is more. You can instantly erase years by using less makeup and a softer palette. Keep in mind, the great thing about makeup is that it washes off! If you don't like the way it looks, it can disappear in minutes to become merely a bad memory.
I know you are all wondering how to know if your hair should be snipped or if it should be darker or lighter, curlier or straighter. This is the time to see a professional. The hardest person to see is yourself. The advantage of asking a professional for advice is that they look at you with a trained eye. The changes that should be made are obvious to them. Find someone you trust and start a dialogue. The results will become obvious.
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