For the November 2008 issue, O convinced the stars of The Real Housewives of Orange County to get New York City makeovers. Beauty director Val Monroe (left, with housewife Tamra Barney) thought she was on set to report on the transformations, but a surprise ambush, complete with clip-on hair extensions, forced her to get one of her own.
At 8 a.m., she showed up fresh-faced for what would become a 15-hour shoot. "I spend less than five minutes in the morning [getting ready]," says Val. "The Housewives spend one to one and a half hours. I couldn't get myself up early enough to put on that much makeup."
The Transformation Begins
Hairstylist Ken Paves used extensions and an army of curling irons to give Val the O.C. look. "I actually did my hair like that," Val confesses. "In my 20s."
Val, Is That You?
"You expect some young, well, tramp to turn around, don't you?" Val says. "Nope, it's me! And this is Adam's favorite picture." The dress that turned Val into a Housewives look-alike actually belongs to one of the show's stars, Gretchen Rossi.
The Fake Housewives of Orange County
"As an act of solidarity, [fashion editor] Sean put on wig for me," Val says. "He was constantly happy. He really raised the energy on set." He did not, however, try on a dress.
The New Val
"I'm almost 30 years older than Gretchen, and I'm wearing her dress," Val says. "But when I was able to see what I looked like, that's how I responded."
"You can see how comfortable Gretchen is in her own clothes," Val says. "This was fun, but I couldn't do it every day!"