AfterSTEP 2: BEAUTY
Norma's hair was so fried from flatironing and dyeing that certain sections had lost elasticity, leaving her curls flat. All that straightening wasn't just damaging Norma's hair—it was making her look severe and unapproachable. To get rid of those "dead" areas, hairstylist Gabriele Vigorelli took off several inches. Now Norma can play up her natural curl again.
After she gave Norma a more subtle, natural-looking auburn shade all over, colorist Sharon Dorram added a few blonde highlights around Norma's face to soften the color.
Norma is a single mom, so it's no surprise that her face was showing some fatigue (not a great selling point in a job interview). The right makeup will make her look livelier. A yellow-based concealer neutralizes the darkness under her eyes and the ruddiness in her cheeks. A little bit of black eyeliner and mascara brightened Norma's eyes.
"I feel so revitalized! And I think that will shine through in any interview."
STEP 3: FASHION
Norma's previous day-to-day wardrobe of khakis, awkward skirts, and casual, shapeless tops is dated. "I haven't been modern in I don't know how long," she says. "I'm confident in my skills, so the clothes are an afterthought."
It's a cinch:
"A belt defines your waist and ties the look together. Everybody needs a good one- to two-inch-wide belt with a simple buckle," says Adam.
O's creative director, Adam Glassman, recommends the 2010 version of a three-piece suit: a knit shell (J.Crew, $90), cardigan (Express, $50) and pencil skirt (Chadwicks, $40)—a modern alternative to a matchy-matchy blazer and skirt.
"This would work perfectly in my world," says Norma. "I could wear the separates in different ways after I get the job."
Earrings, La Vie Parisienne by Catherine Popesco. Belt, Lauren by Ralph Lauren. Ring, Verigold. Watch, Rado. Bracelet, Carolee Lux.
HIRE ONE OF OUR SEPTEMBER ISSUE CAREER WOMEN!
To reach Valerie, Tania, Britnee, or Norma about a possible job opportunity, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.