Christine Zimmer didn’t realize it until after her makeover, but her outside look wasn’t keeping up with her inner positive attitude and zest for life.
A team of Lawrence professionals took Zimmer, 50, a Eudora resident who runs His Hands Clothing Closet, from jeans, hoodie and, as she describes it, “shaggy dog” hair to color, a touch of sparkle and a chic-but-sensible coif.
“I felt like they captured the person I really am, and brought that forward,” she says. “It was really kind of life changing.”
Zimmer’s makeover came compliments of Ditto Resale Boutique, which donates extra clothes — such as the ones they don’t buy but sellers leave anyway — to Zimmer’s nonprofit thrift store. Staff recognized her as an overly busy woman who seemed to help everyone but herself.
In the months since her makeover, Zimmer admits, she doesn’t dress herself up every day. But she says, she has more confidence and know-how to pull it off when she needs to.
Maybe you don’t have a head-to-toe makeover scheduled anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try out a new, better look.
We talked to local fashion and beauty experts to get ideas for easy small changes that make a big impact.
Pam Biemick, owner and esthetician/makeup artist, Amazing Skin and Makeup, 710 Massachusetts St. (inside Spectator’s)
Two letters: BB.
One of the biggest and best new evolutions in the cosmetic world is “BB cream,” Biemick says. BB — short for beauty balm — is a moisturizer, primer and broad-spectrum sunscreen in one. The one-stop balm isn’t just for special occasions, she says — it’s good for every day and every age.
Applied before makeup, beauty balm is designed to even out skin tone, plump and fill fine lines to improve skin texture and shield against sun damage. So the product not only improves the look of your complexion for the day, it helps moisturize and protect skin to help keep it healthy long-term.
A number of companies make similar products, including Biemick’s makeup line, which she sells at Amazing Skin and Makeup.
• When it comes to makeup, consider cutting back a bit. As women mature, less is usually more, Biemick says. This doesn’t mean you don’t get to have fun with, say, a heavy eyeliner trend, but consider varying the thickness to keep your look age-appropriate.
• Lastly, she says, “lipstick is always an easy move.” Try a new color to quickly change your look, transition between seasons, or just to have a little fun.
Aubree Miller, hairstylist, Salon Lucca, 3727 W. Sixth St.
If your hairstyle is stuck in a rut, try resolving to set aside a couple extra minutes to fix it a different way each day for, say, a week, Miller suggests. Try accessorizing with scarves or headbands, switching your ponytail from simple to sleek, or adding a little braid on the side — all ways to change your look with no appointments, scissors or dye.
• If you want a bigger change, “bangs will change your blah hairstyle into something cute and trendy,” Miller says. But, she cautions, bangs aren’t for everyone. Work with your stylist to figure out a better solution if your hair type — or cowlicks — aren’t compatible with that look you pulled out of the magazine.
• Adding even a little volume is another surefire way to make a drab hairstyle look, well, like an actual style. We’re not talking a sky-high “Snooki pouf,” Miller says; more like using a round brush to volumize while smoothing frizz or gently teasing hair at its roots.
Sherry Brown, lead optician, Crandon and Crandon Optometrists, 1019 Massachusetts St.
Instead of taking the glasses off, try making a statement by putting on different — we’re talking cuter — ones.
“Color is always a great way to change up your look, and then the different shapes,” Brown says. “Right now the cat-eye look is coming back — that and the big, chunky frames.”
Rules like “round faces need square frames” and so on have gone by the wayside. Anymore, Brown says, she encourages customers to try on lots of different pairs and pick glasses they feel confident in. A pair of chic designer glasses is usually more affordable than, say, a handbag by the same designer.
“We like to call them eye candy,” Brown says. “It’s a great accessory.”
• Of course, taking off those dated or out-of-fashion glasses is another easy way to make a big difference in your look. In addition to contact lenses, many designers now make rimless glasses that are small and lightweight — almost like you’re not wearing any.
• While they’re not exactly au naturel, colored contact lenses are a dramatic one-step look-changer. Brown recalls one dark-haired, dark-eyed patient who went bold with blue contacts and also a pair of Elizabeth Taylor-esque violet ones.
“It just completely changed her look,” Brown says.
Maria Martin, employee, Ditto Resale Boutique, 4000 W. Sixth St.
Color — don’t be afraid of it. Especially now, when the holidays are over and the weather is cold and dreary, color can be a great pick-me-up for your mood and your look, Martin says.
It’s easy to introduce, if not through a staple article of clothing, then through layers like a sweater or a scarf.
As an example, Martin points to a long-sleeved gray knit dress topped with a chunky pink cardigan. Neutral gray is a great background for almost any color, she says, and adding a pop of color can give it a whole new look or help transition a dark piece into spring.
For many people, color is more face-flattering than dark neutrals, too.
“It brightens you up,” Martin says.
• Accessorizing with jewelry makes it easy to sparkle. Dig into what you have and try out multiple necklaces at once or wrap a long necklace around your wrist as a bracelet.
“Play with your jewelry,” Martin says. “I think every woman has jewelry at home she hasn’t worn in five years.”
• Finally, think “transition.” Wear pieces you haven’t tried together before. Toning down a sparkly holiday skirt with boots and a denim jacket, for example, helps you get more mileage — and a fun look — out of a piece that might just sit in the closet.
“When you do that,” Martin says, “you’ve just created yourself a whole other outfit.”
Features reporter Sara Shepherd can be reached at 832-7187. Follow her at Twitter.com/KCSSara.