Her haircut:
Valerie has kept her hair short—"wash and air-dry," she says—in recent years because it has started to thin. Adding thickness and length with a clip-on piece and extensions will have a gorgeous, vibrant effect. (Valerie was also fitted with a wig, from Extensions Plus, for easier maintenance.) Brow-grazing bangs make the final look modern yet classic—a great combination for staying competitive in any industry.

Her haircolor:
Valerie's current at-home dye job had oxidized into a brassy red that doesn't do her complexion any favors. Dorram dyed the extensions, hairpiece, and wig a richer chocolate brown, adding sandy highlights to frame Valerie's face.

Her makeup:
Valerie's makeup used to be too colorful—even her foundation had a reddish tinge to it. Guyton evened out Valerie's skin tone with a caramel-colored foundation. After blending brown and gold shimmery shadows over her lids, he lined them only on top to give her eyes a lift. A pink gloss on her mouth looks natural and still stylish.

"This is a revelation. I actually look as full of life as I feel."


The challenge:
Valerie's field calls for a suit; her difficulty, says Adam, is that she requires different sizes in a skirt, jacket, and pants. "The key for Valerie is a jacket over a dress. It's easier to shop for, and glides right over a thicker midsection."

Arm candy:
A muted metallic satchel functions like a neutral with any outfit. And it's big enough for Valerie's laptop and files, without overwhelming her.

In the red:
A pop of color is always welcome in the office (you don't want to go unnoticed in business meetings). This warm red works beautifully with Valerie's skin tone and her new haircolor.

Long and lean:
"This belted A-line sheath (Marina Rinaldi, $695) with vertical seams and neutral pumps (Ann Taylor) work together to elongate Valerie's frame," says Adam.

Jacket required:
A shapely, untrendy tweed blazer (Marina Rinaldi, $465) works with pants and skirts, blacks and neutrals, and looks right year after year.

The verdict:
"Basics give you a lot more versatility," says Valerie. "This is a savvier look than I'm used to."

Earrings, Miriam Haskell. Bag, MaxMara. Cuffs, Heather Benjamin.

Next: Where they are now!


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