04/11/2011 01:58 pm ET Updated Jun 11, 2011

Tara Tara Tara

I just finished this week's "Ambush Makeover" on the Today Show.  On my way to the airport, I noticed the new billboards for the third series of United States of Tara. I love this show. It is a comedy-drama series created by Diablo Cody that follows the life of Tara, brilliantly played by Toni Collette. Tara is a suburban wife and mother who has been diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder. Under duress, she transforms into different personalities. She has three other distinct personalities and glimpses of many others pop up from time to time. Each personality is unique and distinct. This is obviously due to the hugely talented Toni Collette and the writers of the show, but the hair and makeup team are also key to the development of each personality.
Tara is the most attractive when she is not in a state of duress. In her "normal" state, she is a happily married woman with a great husband and two colorful teenage children. She then transforms into three different looks and personalities. One is a wild promiscuous teenager named "T," another, the quintessential 1950's housewife Alice, and the third, a macho male Vietnam vet called Buck.

As I was driving by the billboards, they reinforced how change in appearance helped to create the look of each character and how each was perceived. It also made me realize that our general appearance speaks volumes about all of us. This is similar to what I do every Friday on "Ambush Makeover." It is my goal to find the hidden beauty and glamor of the person to be made over.

The world does initially judge you by your personal presentation. This is especially  important in today's world -- it has never been more crucial to be at your best. Competition is stiff on the professional and personal fronts. There is no room for beauty faux pas. We must always do our best to present our better self. Here are some tips to always look your best. 
  1. Start with a good HAIRCUT. A good haircut is one that suits your hair's texture and complements your face shape. It should be versatile and easy to manage. In theory, from any one haircut, you should be able to create many looks. Each should give you instant style and tone.
  2. Never underestimate the power of HAIR COLOR. It can change your appearance from drab to dynamic. Hair color is the easiest and quickest way create a look, erase years and look your most beautiful. Not all color changes have to be dramatic. In fact, the best changes are often those that enhance your natural hair color. Hair color often fades and becomes drab and dull. Sometimes it only need to be refreshed. Other times, hair color does need more brightness and lightness to literally create the illusion of a innate inner glow. This can happen simply by painting a few strokes of subtly lighter color around your face or adding warmth to your color.
  3. MAKEUP can turn an ordinary day into an extraordinary one. Like hair color, a little can make an immense difference in your appearance. A touch of color on the lips can make you look vivacious -- even on a day you feel a bit spent.  Place a dash of your face base all over and don't forget to apply to your lips! It will make lip gloss/stick/stain last longer and it will help to give your skin the illusion of a flawless look. This will help to make you look your most beautiful and vital.

I am not suggesting or encouraging the ever-changing chameleon that Tara is on United States of Tara, but we do all have the ability to present our best persona with a little bit of effort. Experiment with your looks to make sure you are making the most of your natural assets. Remember, small changes are often all that are necessary to make big differences in our appearance. Making the slightest effort is all it takes to create a new you.