This issue’s makeover participant has made a big transformation, not only in her appearance but also in how she feels.
After making changes in her life, Malissa Ancell lost more than 50 pounds in the past year-and-a-half. It changed her body, as well as her outlook, completely.
Described by her sister as having horrible fashion sense, Malissa is completely unsure of her style or clothing sizes when we meet at CrossIron Mills. However, when I ask what her inspiration for the makeover clothes could be, she knows immediately. She likes the character played by Reese Witherspoon in the movie Sweet Home Alabama. She prefers the ease of plaid shirts and jeans but still wants to look soft, feminine and stylish.
The first stop on our shopping trip is Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th at CrossIron Mills. It’s newly opened and stocked with fabulous designer jeans and great brands that you can’t find elsewhere. We pick out a pair of Rag & Bone skinny jeans with a modern wash and a yellow fade that could be compared to patina on metal. The skinny jean is an ideal fit for Malissa with her small, feminine frame so I add a Denim & Supply Ralph Lauren blouse. It has the same type of antique quality in the fabric and that country-girl look. Finished off with Vince Camuto black booties, her first look is complete.
The last item we find at Saks Off 5th is some Steve Madden black leather runners that I am dying to build an outfit around, especially given that Malissa runs after kids all day.
That perfect outfit starts with a search for the ideal plaid shirt. I explain to Malissa that I believe the plaid top for a woman still needs to have feminine lines and colours – it can never be too masculine. I like blues, burgundies and reds but nothing too bold in colour or too boxy in cut; otherwise, you can look like you borrowed your grandfather’s shirt. We find a beautiful blue-and-black plaid at Forever 21. It’s perfect because it will easily go with denim but is still soft and shapely.
Next, we move on to Winners where we top the shirt with a cute bomber-style, quilted black jacket and faded boyfriend jeans by Guess. All together with the black runners, Malissa is a chic mom, ready to run!
A makeover wouldn’t be complete without a great date-night or girls-night-out look. At Winners we find a great sweater dress in the cold-shoulder trend and these fabulous black-suede, peep-toe booties complete with ties and tassels around the ankle. The booties scream designer but are really a fraction of the cost.
Off to hair and makeup! Wendy Bates-Wiebe at The Hair Lounge gives Malissa a trim to keep split-ends at bay. She then adds some amazing blonde highlights in varying tones. The blonde gives Malissa a refreshed look and she loves the change. On the day of the shoot, Wendy styles Malissa with the perfect country-girl curl.
Makeup artist Sarika Mehta offers this advice to Malissa while prepping her for the shoot: “There are no rules when it comes to beauty. To make your foundation last use a good primer to your skin, then mix two shades of blush together and apply to the cheeks before your foundation for a glow that looks like it’s coming from beneath the skin.”
A big thank-you to The Hair Lounge, Sarika Mehta and CrossIron Mills for making this makeover great!
Seline Badel-Wong is a personal stylist at thefashion-fix.com.