Michelle Shih

Photo: Greg Kessler

Simply Chic
Michelle Shih, 41
Director of Digital Editions and Lifestyle

You might never guess that Michelle is one of the most low-maintenance women we know. Before this shoot, she had the same below-the-shoulders, air-dried hairstyle for ten years; her makeup routine consisted of concealer. Hairstylist Ken Paves, who oversaw all these sensational new looks, chopped her hair a couple of inches above her shoulders, angling it shorter in the back and longer along her jawline. While her hair was still damp, he scrunched a mousse through it, and voilà: soft, sophisticated waves. To enhance Michelle's short, straight lashes, we sent her to get extensions from lash specialist Soul Lee at Kiehl's Spa 1851 in New York City. (Michelle gave up on mascara in her 20s because it always smudged.) With long, fluttery fringe in place (the lashes last for about three weeks), all it took was navy liquid liner and mauve lipstick for Michelle's makeup to look chic.

Michelle says: "Finally! A modern—but easy—hairstyle. And these gorgeous lashes have inspired me to give mascara another try."

Gown, Z Spoke, $650, zappos.com
Erin Miller

Photo: Greg Kessler

Grown-Up Polish
Erin Miller, 24
Advertising Assistant

Erin is serious about her career and wants to appear more professional. "Everyone always tells me I look like I'm 16," she says. Ken's solution: chopping off more than a foot of hair to create a swingy bob, angled slightly longer in the front. "A structured hairstyle will make Erin look more sophisticated and bring out the angles in her face," he says. Ken also dyed Erin's hair a darker version of her original brown (Erin may have a baby face, but she also has a lot of grays—and has been dyeing her hair regularly at home). A khaki eyeliner and bronze shadow bring out her brilliant blue eyes, and a sheer tangerine lipstick adds a playful but chic pop of color.

Erin says: "I'm so glad I put myself in Ken's hands. The response to my new cut has been overwhelming."

Dress, Jenni Kayne, $650, Hampden Clothing, Charleston, SC, 843-724-6373. Ring, Alexis Bittar, $195, alexisbittar.com. Shoes, Jimmy Choo, $595, jimmychoo.com.
Jose Fernandez

Photo: Greg Kessler

Dapper Gent
Jose Fernandez, 41
Deputy Art Director

Jose has great hair—thick, glossy, luxurious. It was wasted in his previous style, though—often pulled back in a samurai bun. Ken created a short, but not conservative, look with layers that tuck behind the ears. After spraying dry shampoo for volume on Jose's roots, Ken raked his hair back to create height on top. Mr. Bee, head barber at Frank's Chop Shop in New York City, trimmed Jose's beard before Ken dyed the grays.

Jose says: "I look like a more stylish version of my old self. I've never felt so pulled together in my life."

Shirt, Thomas Pink, $160, thomaspink.com. Jeans, James Jeans, $180, jamesjeans.us. Watch, Tag Heuer, $4,800, 610-491-8801.
Catherine DiBenedetto

Photo: Greg Kessler

Hollywood Elegance
Catherine DiBendetto, 33
Articles Editor

A haircolor virgin, Catherine has long considered the possibility of going blonder. Ken had other ideas. A rich copper red enlivens her complexion rather than washing her out; with big Velcro rollers, Ken created body and smooth waves. The warmth of Catherine's new haircolor should be balanced with cool makeup shades—for her, a mushroom eyeshadow, tawny blush, and gorgeous raspberry lip gloss.

Catherine says: "I never change my look because I'm afraid to make the wrong beauty move. But this standout hair feels so right.

Dress, C&T Costello Tagliapietra, $298, barneys.com. Ring, Alexis Bittar, $245, alexisbittar.com. Shoes, Casadei, $720, by request at casadei.com.
Courtney Kumpf and Lynn Andriani

Photo: Greg Kessler

Sensuous Earth Mothers
Courtney Kumpf (left), 35
Advertising Account Director

Lynn Andriani, 35
Food Editor, Oprah.com

Ken didn't make any dramatic hairstyle changes to Courtney and Lynn. "They have enough change on the horizon," he says. He just enhanced their color—blonder highlights to brighten Courtney's long, thick hair, and honey highlights to define Lynn's lush curls. (Ken concentrated the color on the ends so the women wouldn't have to worry about noticeable roots and night feedings in eight weeks.) Clip-in extensions gave both women extra length that beautifully balances their curvy silhouettes. And with pregnancy glow in full effect, Courtney and Lynn can keep their makeup simple: bright pink blush (blended with a sponge for a sheer wash), smoky gray eyeliner, and shimmery honey lip gloss.

Courtney says: "I'm a working mother of 2.5—but right now I feel like a celebrity."

Lynn says: "I usually try to subdue my curls. This look inspires me to play them up instead."

From left: Dress, Vanessa Knox, $315, vanessaknox.com. Earrings, Lisa Stewart, $80, lisastewartonline.com. Bracelets, Charmed Circle, $150, charmedcircle.com and Alexis Bittar, $215, alexisbittar.com. Dress, BCBG Max Azria, $198, apeainthepod.com. Earrings, Kevia, $315, Fragments, 212-334-9588. Ring, Renata de Dalmas, $350, Fragments, 212-334-9588. Shoes, Giuseppe Zanotti Design, $650, 212-650-0455.
Maureen Mooney

Photo: Greg Kessler

Corporate Class
Maureen Mooney, 44
Associate Publisher

With a toddler and a full-time job, Maureen needs a convenient hairstyle. "But it shouldn't look convenient—the way her former chin-length style did," says Ken. A few more inches of length add flattering softness around Maureen's jawline and neck, and long, side-swept bangs are elegant even when she simply pulls her hair into a low ponytail. (Ken gave Maureen the clip-in hairpiece she's wearing above to use while she grows out her hair.) A rich auburn haircolor adds brightness to Maureen's blue eyes. So does a simple chocolate brown eyeliner— which makeup artist Leanne Hirsh traced along Maureen's upper lashline before applying mascara and a berry lipstick.

Maureen says: "I feel like I had the most amazing night's sleep and woke up a new woman."

Dress, Michael Kors, $1,395, 866-709-5677. Earrings, Alexis Bittar, $225, alexisbittar.com.
Crystal Martin

Photo: Greg Kessler

Rock Goddess
Crystal Martin, 31
Assistant Editor

By lightening Crystal's haircolor to a rich honey, Ken brought out the golden tones in her complexion. Then he painted on caramel highlights to give more dimension to her soft, springy curls. For an edgy vibe, he used a hair pick to add volume at her roots, being careful not to ruffle the curls at the ends. A rich wine lip gloss and bronze eyeshadow make a statement without looking too severe.

Crystal says: "I usually wear my hair loose, but not truly big. I love the drama of making it even fuller."

Dress, Rachel Gilbert, $1,599, rachelgilbert.com. Earrings, Mima Casa de Diseño, $2,500, 787-764-6804. Ring, Renata de Dalmas, $355, fragments.com.
Karla Gonzalez

Photo: Greg Kessler

Super Sophisticates
Karla Gonzalez (left), 38
Executive Assistant to the Editor In Chief

Lauren Leighton (right), 34
Executive Sales Assistant

Karla and Lauren assist the head honchos at O (editor in chief Susan Casey and publisher Jill Seelig). They can handle pressure behind their desks...but in front of the mirror, both freeze up. Ken's hair prescription for Karla: a major chop—eight inches off the bottom and soft layers around her face. The result is a softer, lighter style that doesn't make her feel too exposed. To neutralize the red tones in Karla's complexion, Ken lightened her base color a couple of shades and added caramel highlights. Her makeup was just as illuminating: golden highlighter on the tops of her cheekbones, a copper eye pencil, and a shimmery rose lip gloss. Karla also got some help from dermatologist David Colbert, MD. Lauren was nudged out of her comfort zone with blunt-cut bangs. "They give her a sleek hairstyle without going to an extreme," says Ken. With clip-in hair extensions and a little teasing at the crown of her head, Lauren morphed into a modern Brigitte Bardot (complete with softly winged black eyeliner and pale pink lipstick).

Karla says: "Now I look as beautiful and confident as I feel."

Lauren says: "I hardly recognize my glamorous reflection."

From left: Dress, Jones New York, $134, Lord & Taylor, 800-348-6940. Ring, Shop Design Spark, $25, shopdesignspark.com. Top, Tory Burch, $425, toryburch.com. Skirt, Diane von Furstenberg, $225, Bergdorf Goodman, 888-774-2424. Bangles, Alexis Bittar, $110 each, alexisbittar.com.
Alicia Bridgewater

Photo: Greg Kessler

Effortless Glamour
Alicia Bridgewater, 36
Bookings Editor

Alicia usually wears her hair straight or in long braids. Ken wanted to show her the gorgeous potential of her natural curls. When her hair was damp, he coated it with a softening mixture of silicone shine serum and deep conditioner. Once it had air-dried, he used a half-inch curling iron to smooth Alicia's curls into shiny, springy spirals that frame her stunning eyes. Leanne continued the eye-opening effect with a navy eyeliner smudged onto Alicia's upper lids. A sheer berry lipstick topped with clear gloss is glamorous but not fussy.

Alicia says: "I was hesitant to even try this curly style, but Ken made me feel comfortable about experimenting with a new look."

Dress, Escada Sport, $475, Lord & Taylor, 800-348-6940. Earrings, Flying Lizard Design, $95, Crush Boutique, 617-720-0010. Bracelets, Alexis Bittar, $245 and $225 each, alexisbittar.com. Shoes, Giuseppe Zanotti Design, $650, 212-650-0455.

Next: Ken Paves Hairstyling Ideas
colbert products

Skin Savers
Karla and Maureen were both unhappy about the lines on their foreheads, and Karla had been struggling with acne since adolescence and rosacea for the past few years. We sent them to dermatologist David Colbert, MD, for an assist.

He used microdermabrasion and light chemical peels to smooth the overall texture of their skin, and Botox to soften their frown lines. With Restylane (a hyaluronic acid filler), Colbert added a little volume to Maureen's cheeks and enhanced Karla's lips. On Karla, he also used a V-beam laser to erase the broken blood vessels caused in part by rosacea. Colbert gave Karla prescriptions for an oral antibiotic (to help clear her acne) and the topical solution Metrogel (to calm her rosacea).

At home, both women started using Colbert MD Intensify Facial Discs two to three times a week to exfoliate their skin and Colbert MD Heal & Soothe cream at night to keep it soft. The results of the treatments have been nothing short of life-changing. "I used to hate applying makeup because I didn't want to look at my skin," says Karla. "Now I actually enjoy the process." And Maureen e-mailed us recently with big news: "I just got carded!"

Next: O staffers get a bra makeover