I think I look like I don't care about myself," said Holly Larson, staring at her reflection.
The 33-year-old mother of five has not always had it easy where her sense of style is concerned. Up until four years ago, Larson belonged to a church group where cutting hair, wearing makeup or donning pants was highly
"I think I'm kind of lost," said Larson, who explained that because of her past, she had never learned how to dress stylishly or which hairstyle
would frame her face best.
When she learned she had won Living North's makeover contest, she was justifiably excited. With the help of Lillians of Duluth and Pure salon, Larson's look was transformed.
Larson lives on a farm and owns rental properties so she doesn't often dress to the nines (or even the eights). Her daily uniform consists
of a sweatshirt and a pair of jeans. When choosing a look for her, Katie DeGrio of Lillians made certain to keep Holly's active lifestyle in
DeGrio ditched the jeans and opted for a knee-length, patterned dress that was at once form-flattering and functional. DeGrio said the dress would be perfect for an evening out when belted at the waist and worn with heels. For a more casual look, DeGrio suggested pairing the dress with leggings and sandals.
"You can take (the dress) into fall with the coloring by putting a cardigan over it," said DeGrio. "She'll be able to be a mom and still look
trendy and fashionable while being comfortable."
To polish the look, a pair of brown heels, a necklace that mimicked the embellishments attached to the bottom of the dress and a metallic bag were added.
Larson initially wasn't certain of the gray-and-brown color combination but was quickly won over when she viewed the complete look. "I like the colors but I normally wouldn't try it out," she said. "I would have just picked a brown purse."
"That's something we always say at Lillians," added DeGrio. "You just have to try it and get out of the box a little. You never know what will work."
HAIR AND MAKEUP:
"I would like to be able to have a hairstyle," said Larson, "and not just wear a ponytail every day."
Being the mother of five, Larson said she usually spends only three minutes
doing her hair on any given morning. "If I have to go to my kids' school or
something, I will do a little something because I don't want to embarrass them," she said with a smile.
Dereck Williams, manager of Pure salon, assessed Larson's hair with a calculating eye. "Rarely would I ever leave someone's hair this
length," said Williams of Larson's shouldergrazing, honey brown tresses. "Hair that's long doesn't accentuate anything. Hair is meant to bring out your features and your personality," said Williams.
First, Williams applied a base color slightly deeper and richer than Larson's natural shade. Next, he broke up the color with highlights in
the same shade, but slightly lighter. Highlights with a pop of red color brought together the final, multi-dimensional hair color.
For the cut, Williams opted for a chin-length, face framing bob with bangs.
"She does have a high forehead so she needs some type of bangs," said Williams.
Sarah Erickson, stylist and makeup artist at Pure, finished off the makeover by showing Larson an easy skin care regime and makeup process.
Larson has very sensitive skin so Erickson's first step was to cleanse the
face with a calming cleanser. Exfoliation, followed by a quick brow wax created a clean canvas for makeup.
"Always exfoliate," said Erickson. "Always. Always. It takes the top dead
layer of skin so the new layer can come out."
Erickson counseled Larson to look for water content over alcohol when
choosing an exfoliant.
Next, Erickson mixed lotion with a foundation in the shade of Larson's skintone.
"Foundation mixed with lotion is good because it doesn't get as heavy," said Erickson.
She then brushed Larson's face with a matte mineral powder.
"As you get older, you want to deal with matte rather than sparkly," said
Erickson, adding that sparkly makeup increases the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, rather than disguising them.
Erickson shared her tip for creating soft, natural looking eyes. Instead of
using eyeliner, Erickson applied navy blue eyeshadow along the lashline and
directly beneath the eye. She then layered earthtones with a hint of red into crease of the eye and highlighted the brow with a white eyeshadow. Blush applied to the apples of the cheeks and gloss smeared quickly on the lips completed Larson's makeover.
Tears came to Larson's eyes as she looked into the mirror for her reveal.
"It's pretty much exactly what I was hoping for," she said. "I feel like I finally have a sense of style."
Tank top: ..............$12