Marley Kornowa, 17
Maureen Kornowa, 46
Marley quickly learns one supermodel gambit: Hold out for your favorite photographer, in this case Nigel Barker ("I watch Top Model religiously," she says). Diagnosed with stage 3 metastatic melanoma 17 months ago, she's matter-of-fact about the side effects of her cancer treatments ("It's good they layered my hair for fullness, 'cause it's so thin from the meds") and candid about her high heels: "These shoes really hurt!" But she loves the way her dress, a short, luminous navy blue Camille La Vie sheath ($120), shows off her legs: "It makes me feel more confident."
"Since the diagnosis, all this—the makeup and primping—has become so unimportant," says her mother, Maureen, executive director of a local charity in Buford, Georgia. As her own makeover begins, Maureen admits, "You do feel better taking care of others when you take care of yourself." Once her beauty renewal is complete—soft, dewy-looking makeup; a sexy layered cut from stylist Oscar Blandi—Maureen makes a showstopping entrance in a beaded Naeem Khan poncho dress. "The fun part is that I'd never have picked this off the rack," she says. "I feel like a million bucks—not bad for a 46-year-old mama!"
"This is the first time they're getting their inner girl back," says stylist Mary Alice Stephenson.