Annette Lipscomb, a Raleigh mother of two daughters and customer service rep at Xerox in Cary, is tired of putting her needs on the back burner. She used to wear lipstick and dress up, but over the years, she let that slide. “It’s a new year and I want a new look,” she told me in an email. “My children are now grown, and I’m a grandmother, and it’s my time now to shine. Please if you can, perform this miracle for me, because it’s time for a change.” No magic wand required, Annette.
Before, style on hold: Lipscomb put minimal time into this outfit, and this frumpy look doesn’t do her vibrant personality justice. The T-shirt is past its prime, stretched out and baggy. The pants don’t fit well, and the shoes are masculine. A makeup-free face and no-style hairdo don’t honor her femininity. We can do much better.
Hair and makeup: In a first for Refresh Your Style, extensions were the star of the hair makeover as Lipscomb’s short ponytail morphed into a kicky bob. Gia Peebles applied a relaxer to Lipscomb’s hair, washed and dried it. She created a part from ear to ear and used adhesive to bond a weft of hair extensions at the part. Lipscomb’s hair covers the extension so it blends in. Trimming the ends and flat-ironing polished the bob. Lipscomb can maintain the style by wrapping her hair at night, and it will last about two weeks before the adhesive starts to loosen, Peebles said. Makeup artist Jacquie Verbal used foundation, contouring and cheek color that complemented Lipscomb’s skin, then applied shadows and liner that focused attention on her eyes. A rose-brown lipstick and burgundy gloss showcase one of her assets.
After, trendy top and jeans: This casual outfit shows Lipscomb can look modern and wear runway-ready fashion. Black doesn’t suit every complexion, but the texture of this faux leather top with stretch nylon sleeves complements the cool tones of Lipscomb’s skin. A trendy graphic print, three-quarter-sleeve cardigan elongates her torso. Dark-wash jeans and Lipscomb’s own ballet flats continue the vibe. Supporting players are standouts: royal blue satchel handbag, acrylic chain-link statement necklace, black and white chain-link bracelet and drop earrings.
After, rocking the on-trend dress: A form-fitting, but not tight, dress shows off Lipscomb’s figure. Bold stripes on the bodice make this sheath stylish, and the sleeves make it age-appropriate and suitable for cool weather. A bra and shapewear briefs support everything underneath. Black tights and black pumps (stylist’s own) continue the line. Accessories put Lipscomb’s spin on the look: chunky gold and black statement necklace, lavender clip-on earrings, blue cuff bracelet.
The reaction: Kudos to Antoine Wilson, district manager for Ashley Stewart store, who arranged for Lipscomb to get all the clothes and accessories, nearly $400 worth, for free. Kathyann Mustafa and at her staff at the Northgate store treated Lipscomb so well she cried when she found out about the gift. Peebles at Aura pampered Lipscomb during the free hair and makeup session, which happened on Lipscomb’s birthday. “I’ve been wanting something like this for so long,” Lipscomb said, wiping her eyes. “You just don’t know how happy you’ve made me. You have no idea.”