abby amanuel before and after

Photo: Lorenzo Agius

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The Fantasy: Urban Sophisticate
Abby Amanuel, 36

Abby, a freelance writer, sees style in black-and-white. And sometimes gray. "I never wear color," she admits. "Neutrals are safe." So is a cropped haircut. Abby has never had hair that falls below her chin, and has always wondered how it would feel to have soft waves swinging around her shoulders.

"These colors brought me to life!"

The Hair Makeover
Ken uses two rows of clip-in extensions to add more than a foot of luscious length to Abby's hair. He creates a few big curls with a large-barrel curling iron, combing them out with his fingers for a tousled effect. Ken also gives Abby brow-grazing bangs (100 percent hers). "Even without extensions, they'll add sophistication and softness to her look," he says.

The Fashion Follow-Through
With long, silky curls as an accessory, Abby is ready for vibrant clothes. Her color infusion begins with a fit-and-flare cobalt dress with black insets—the darker shade and flattering shape make it less intimidating for her to wear. "I'm so inspired to try more color now," she says. And if she misses her minimalist safety net? "I'll do colorful shoes instead of a full outfit."

The Makeup Update
Colorful clothing doesn't preclude colorful makeup—just keep the shades on your face sheer. Two great examples: the light, glossy, orangey red on Abby's lips and the transparent rosy tint on her cheeks.

Dress, Diane von Furstenberg, $398; Earrings, Kelly Wearstler, $295; Horn bangle, $295; Asha by Adam. Green and blue bangle, $20, and blue and black bangle, $30; Shoes, Manolo Blahnik, $795, Barneys New York; 212-826-8900.