Ever stare at the mirror and think, Something’s just not working? The winners of this year’s Northern Virginia makeover giveaway did, and decided they were ready for a serious change. Read on to see what a glam squad did with them, and maybe pick up a few ideas for your next update along the way.
41 – Mother and Caregiver – Woodbridge
Hilary Itoh was just excited to be in a salon again. “I haven’t had my hair cut in over a year,” said Itoh, a mom of three who also cares for her own mother full-time. “This is a treat!” She put herself in the hands of the pros at Aesthetics Salon in Arlington. “I just told them to do whatever they want to do,” said Itoh. All she knew was, she needed a change. “I’m tired,” she said. “I don’t want to look tired.”
Hair stylist Doja started by gently removing as much as she safely could of the jet-black at-home dye that was in Itoh’s hair to cover grays. Instead, Doja wanted more of a “coppery brown” for Itoh’s locks. After a few hours of color correction, Doja blew out the hair, snipped off around four inches, and clipped in some lighter strands for highlights. To refresh Itoh’s face, makeup artist Marquia James filled in her eyebrows and swept highlighting shadow across her brow bones. Full lash strips made her eyes pop.
Itoh was surprised—and thrilled. “It was not what I was expecting at all,” she said afterward. Throughout the process, she hadn’t given the glam squad any direction or made any requests, preferring to be surprised. “I wanted it to be a true makeover, because what I was doing was not working. And I feel like a million bucks!”
41 – Mother – Fort Belvoir
Kristin Harris leaped at the chance to enter Northern Virginia magazine’s makeover giveaway. The stay-at-home mom of two boys, 9 and 6, is married to a military man who’s away on duty more often than not, so she juggles a lot. “I have to be Mom and Dad sometimes and still maintain everything else, including my sanity … I am also trying to process and heal from childhood trauma in my life and [the] PTSD that comes with that,” she wrote in her application. “I have lost myself in motherhood and everything else that comes with life and its hardships. I do very little for myself and would love to allow [myself] to be pampered for a day. I never want to complain about my life, because it teaches me so much and makes me who I am, but I would really truly love this. Just to take a break for just a day rather than in my dreams when I sleep at night.”
Turned out, it didn’t take much to transform Harris from mom to vixen. T.J. Ferrel, a stylist at Colour Bar Studio in McLean, chopped off six inches to make her fine, fragile hair look fuller and give her more volume (exactly what Harris wanted). Fully removing the at-home color Harris had been using for more than a year couldn’t be pulled off in just one salon visit, but Ferrel lightened her black hair as much as she could, then added highlights. Freelance makeup artist Anita Bahramy did “a fun smoky liner” in navy blue, smudged into gray eyeshadow. “Smoky is for everyone,” says Bahramy. Dusty mauve lips finished the glam look.
Harris was in love. “My hair looks so vibrant and healthy, and my eyes are just popping out,” she exclaimed. “What?! I feel like a whole new person.”
49 – Communications Officer – Arlington
The last time Glenn Gottselig set foot in a barber shop, it was before COVID struck. “After experimenting with the ‘ZZ Top’ look, I have been able to trim my beard a couple of times,” he wrote to us. “It seems uneven despite my attempts with beard oils, butter, combs, and other sorcery. It’s time for a new look, but I am a bit paralyzed—because I’ve gotten too comfortable with my current look. My office doesn’t plan to re-open until January, so I’m still rarely seen outside the confines of my close circle (who have all stopped commenting on my ‘COVID look’). It would be great to return to the office with a new, sharp look to kick off 2022 in the best possible way. Some kind of intervention may be needed!”
That intervention came in the form of Tania Ferrel, owner of Colour Bar Studio. After glazing his hair and beard to tone down some of the redness and camouflage a few patches of gray, she went to work with scissors, trimming Gottselig’s hair tight on the sides while leaving him a bit of length in back, along with some bangs.
To make him photo-ready, Bahramy smoothed Sisley “Instant Perfect” primer, which is both a pore-minimizer and anti-shine cream, across his face. “It’s hard to find one product that does both,” says Bahramy. “If I use it, I can get 12 hours out of my face.” After dotting on some concealer with arnica here and there, Bahramy swept bronzing gel across his cheekbones, dusted his entire visage with translucent powder, and lightly finished things off with bronzing powder.
Gottselig looked refreshed after spending a few hours in the chair. “At some point,” he said of his old look, “you kind of have to say goodbye.”
65 – Reator – Clifton
Many people might envy Trish Corvelli’s smooth, silvery-blonde mane and high cheekbones. But Corvelli herself doesn’t see it.
“I have always thought less of myself with regard to my looks,” wrote Trish Corvelli in her submission for Northern Virginia’s makeover giveaway. “So much so that my daughter has asked me not to ever talk about my looks to her children, because I did so much to her that she says it gave her body issues, and she doesn’t want that for my grandchildren … People tell me I look good all the time, but I truly find fault in everything about me. I envy those that look in the mirror and like what they see. To do that would be a miracle!”
At Colour Bar Studio, Ferrel set out to transform Corvelli, who did want to keep her hair color light. Since the Realtor had three tones in her hair at the back, first came a flurry of color—balayage, foil, and glazing to bring it all together. Ferrel trimmed a few inches to remove some of the weight of Corvelli’s hair, adding what she called “invisible layers,” or very subtle ones, because of how straight her mane was. Then it was time for a blow-out and a few playful curls.
Before her makeover, at least, Corvelli’s daily beauty routine was decidedly low-maintenance. “I do nothing,” she says. “I don’t blow-dry my hair, I don’t put makeup on. I just recently started putting on moisturizer—I never even did that.”
To mix things up without going overboard, Bahramy did a “neutral look with lots of impact,” including foundation, bronzing glow gel, coral blush, and a nude beige lip. Corvelli’s eyelids got a swipe of terra cotta shadow and a partial strip of false lashes for what Bahramy calls a “soft-glam” look.