In Makeover Diaries, women tell the stories of their real-life beauty transformations. This week, Leslie Wyatt, a freelance writer and mom of six from rural Missouri, decided that turning 50 was the perfect excuse to update a long-neglected style.
There I was, happily married, and frankly, not trying to keep up with contemporary fashions. I was just too busy to care, philosophically opposed to trying to look like everyone else, and my rural Missouri community was itself years behind in the fashion world. I drifted along with my closet full of jumpers, long skirts, and nondescript pants, not exactly happy with my look, but more focused on my to-do list.
But as gray hairs began to appear and my kids grew up, I would look at myself in the mirror and sigh. I didn't like what I saw. Didn't like it much at all. Then I turned 50, and realized it was time to do something. I wanted - I needed - a different style. I wanted to look like myself, only better.
First, the hair. Being an "I-am-who-I-am" type of person, I just couldn't see dyeing the gray. But with a little web research on my hair type - natural curl with a tendency to frizz - and a few pictures, I headed to Fantasy Cuts of Clinton, Missouri, for a shorter, layered cut. This freed up some curl, and stopped my hair from lying like a board down the back of my head. I walked out feeling well on my way to a new look.
Next, I reclaimed makeup. During the back-to-nature 80's, I'd tossed my Mary Kay and never glanced back. But I was ready to try again. I didn't want to disguise who I was, but I my lips were pale, my eyes seemed like they'd retreated and my nose looked pink. So I visited Bare Escentuals in the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, and returned home armed with BareMinerals brand "Fairly Light" foundation powder, a container of "Warmth" for a bit of color on my cheekbones, and a set of brushes to apply them. Finances being on the tight side, I opted for "Blushed Wines" ColorStay eyeshadow from Revlon, "Rose Velvet" Super Lustrous Creme Lipstick, again from Revlon, and HelthyVolume black-brown mascara from Neutrogena, all found at my local Wal-Mart.
At last, it was time to target my wardrobe, and I have to credit my husband with the idea that launched me. "Hey," he said casually. "I'll bet those shorter skirts with leggings would look cute on you." I hadn't exposed my knees under a skirt since high school! But the idea took root, and before long, I was back in Wal-Mart gathering cropped skirts in denim, twill, and corduroy; tanks for layering; and tights both cropped and long. They would form the beginnings of my new look.
The result? An updated style to which I've added my own flair. It reflects how good I feel about myself and my life: I've got a lot yet to live, kids still to keep up with, and an active writing career to follow. For better or worse, some people relate to me differently now, treating me with more respect, though I definitely enjoy hearing my 25-year-old daughter say, "I hope I look as good as you do when I'm 50!" And most of all, I love looking in the mirror and being able to smile at what I see.
Got a makeover story you'd like to share? Visit Seed.com to find out how you can contribute.