Cook Up a New Look!
After conquering the Olympics of food holidays, Thanksgiving, our T-Day team deserved a reward. We called in Gretta Monahan, Rach's buddy and the author of the new book, Style and the Successful Girl. Behold the results, and score great tips of your own!
The Big Reveal
Associate Food Editor Alexa Weibel (left), Deputy Food Editor Nina Elder (center) and Food Features Editor Gabriella Gershenson (right) worked tirelessly on dozens of recipes to perfect this year's Thanksgiving issue.
In with the Old!
Lex has a few style trademarks -- platinum hair, black eyeliner, bright lipstick and vintage hipsterwear -- and if anyone can rock them, she can. Still, she welcomed Gretta's help: "I'd love to stay true to my look and feel more pulled together." So as with all the women, Gretta aimed not to redo Lex but to refine her signature style and "put an exclamation point on it."
Step 1: Fresh Crop
Once Lex realized she had the requisite 10 inches to donate to Locks of Love, the nonprofit organization that gives hairpieces to children in need, she decided to go for the gusto. A swingin' extra-long bob was the result. As for the color, "Lex's complexion and features are so rich and beautiful, I wanted her hair to help lighten them up," Gretta says. "Adding a bit of sunniness with the sporadic golden highlights did the trick, and now she looks like she's just back from a fab getaway."
Step 2: Finer Liner
Lex's usual heavy liquid liner works for her -- right up until it starts smudging (occupational hazard when you're in and out of a steamy test kitchen). So Gretta used the tip of a smear-resistant liner pen for a cleaner look. And though Lex's beloved pink lipsticks are fun, "the red we chose is more sophisticated," Gretta says.
Step 3: Retropolitan Design
"This outfit honors Lex's vintage-chic vibe but looks professional enough for work," Gretta says. The key to wearing something fairly form-fitting to the office without the TMI factor? One of Gretta's wardrobe "gotta-haves": a bra that lifts, smooths and "keeps secrets from popping up at the wrong place and time." The One Fabulous Fit Tailored T-shirt Bra by Maidenform ($34, kohls.com) is just the workhorse you want, she says: "It makes you feel great in whatever top or dress you're wearing."
Steal the Look
Draw a smudge-resistant line with L'Oréal Paris The Blackbuster by Infallible ($9, at drugstores). Try Sephora Collection Rouge Shine in 34 ($12, sephora.com) for a classic red lipstick and gloss in one.
Blingy Baby Steps
A poster child for the low-maintenance league, Nina pretty much lives in dresses- one piece and you're done. Occasionally she adds a subtle accessory or swipe of lip color, but she wouldn't mind shaking things up: "I'm open to some change, as long as I can still pull my hair into a ponytail and my husband can recognize me."
Step 1: Get Rich Quick
To add a little sumthin'-sumthin' to Nina's already pretty hair, Gretta trimmed the ends and warmed up the color: "I added very subtle golden-brown pinpoint highlights so her hair would look richer and more reflective, then I used a glaze for extra depth and shine." Next came a few loose waves -- thanks to pin curls and a blow-dryer -- for a bit of easy glam.
Step 2: Arch Support
Brows were a focal point: "To help frame Nina's face and highlight her amazing smile, we added brow definition with a few light, upward strokes of shadow," Gretta says. Anyone can use this trick with a shade that mimics your natural brow color. "Even if you apply nothing else to your face, you'll look wide awake and well-groomed."
Step 3: Tower of Bauble
"It's not that I dislike accessories, I'm just not sure what's right for me," Nina says. Gretta's answer? Go big. "I showed Nina how to work with bold pieces -- you can pile on a few when you're wearing a monochromatic dress -- and how to not fear sparkle." As Gretta writes in her book, "Nothing elevates what you wear and your mood more than bling."
Steal the Look
If you want to introduce volume and waves to stick-straight hair, as Gretta did to Nina's you need some invisible scaffolding: Try a pre-blow-dry misting of Suave Professionals Volumizing Root Boost Spray ($3, soap.com). Post-styling, a touch of Toni&Guy Hair Meet Wardrobe Classic Shine Serum ($15 at Target) adds extra wattage and wow factor.
Boho Goes Big-Time
Gabriella's tastes lean a bit Euro -- from stripy French sailor tops to wedged Spanish espadrilles. "I basically try to channel those effortlessly chic French girls," she says, "but I've always stuck to the more casual, bohemian side of the spectrum." Gretta helped Gabriella explore the elegant side -- without veering into buttoned-up, stuffy territory.
Step 1: Curly Cues
"I wanted to show Gabriella that she didn't have to go straight -- as curly girls typically do -- to change up her look," Gretta says. "You can take curl patterns from small and tight to bigger and looser by smoothing hair out with a blow-dryer, then using a wide-barrel iron on it." Tres chic!
Step 2: Get Even
Gabriella loves a natural makeup look. "So I started with a color-correcting cream to smooth things out and moisturize without the heaviness of layering lotion and foundation," Gretta says. "Then I gave her a smoky brown eye instead of the traditional charcoal one. Anybody can make this adjustment to downplay the drama of a smoky eye." Next? A bit of setting powder for a flawless finish.
Step 3: Fancy Pants
Basically the pretty big sister of an old-world silk tie, these shiny, jacquard-print pants were perfect for Gabriella. "They're definitely Euro, with a lot of personality," says Gretta, "but at the same time 100 percent grown-up -- especially with a silky blouse."
Steal the Look
For a clean canvas that makes features pop, smooth on Alba Botanica Even Advanced CC Cream ($14.50 at Target). Rimmel London Blush in Santa Rose ($5, at drugstores) gives cheeks a peachy glow so they look gorgeous without calling too much attention to themselves.
That's a Wrap
Gretta's work is (spectacularly) done here! Once everyone toasted to makeover success, there may have been a little trip to the MGM Grand's casino. Because really, if ever these ladies were on a hot streak ...