Jeana, Tamra and Lauri, before their makeovers

Photo: Robert Trachtenberg

When you think of Orange County, California, reality television fans might imagine a town full of blonde, beautiful women who tend to wear their heels high and their skirts short. If you're one of the millions who's watched Bravo's hit show The Real Housewives of Orange County, the image isn't far off.

On the show, cameras take viewers behind the gates of some of Southern California's most exclusive neighborhoods and inside the lives of the women who live there. These housewives personify O.C. chic—they are tan, trim and four out of five are blonde. Whether they're at the office or out with the girls, the wives' favorite looks are form-fitting, revealing and sparkly.

Oprah has enlisted her beauty team to take the stars of the show—Jeana, Tamra, Lauri, Vicky and the newest housewife, Gretchen—and tone down their overtly sexy looks. With the help of Adam Glassman, the creative director of O, The Oprah Magazine; Valerie Monroe, O's beauty director; celebrity stylist Jill Swid; hairstylist to the stars Ken Paves; makeup artist Mally Roncal; and eyebrow expert Eliza Petrescu, the women get head-to-toe makeunders.
Jeana, before

First up is Jeana, a mother of three and successful real estate agent. This former actress and Playboy centerfold stands out as the only brunette of the bunch.

Before Oprah's beauty team got a hold of Jeana, she showed off her best assets in a red silk dress with a plunging neckline. Jeana says her real estate career has helped bring her shopping to a new level.

Though Adam says all the housewives look great, he wants to make subtle changes to their everyday attire. "There is a fine line between sexy and over-the-top," he says. "I think everyone really has to sort of be careful of that. So what we did with these ladies is subtle little changes—things that everyone can do in their wardrobe."
Jeana, after

After meeting with the beauty team, Jeana's exposed neckline disappears behind a black turtleneck sweater. The conservative top is paired with a leopard-print pencil skirt and patent leather Prada boots, giving the look some sex appeal.

"A pencil skirt makes your legs look incredible," Adam says. "It's great for office or great for going out."

The best part? Jeana's Michael Kors skirt rings in at just $89.
Tamra, before

Tamra, a woman who calls herself "the hottest housewife in Orange County," says she's a true California girl…from the tips of her blond hair to the bottom of her Jimmy Choos.

This wife and mother of four arrived at the studio in a hot pink halter top, fitted jeans and metallic heels. What changes did the stylists have in store for Tamra?
Tamra, after

Jill describes Tamra's new look as "cool sexy." In a leather motorcycle jacket, muted sequin top and dark jeans, this California girl could blend in on the streets of London or New York.

When deciding what pieces to add to your wardrobe, Jill says every woman should invest in two pairs of jeans—a hemmed pair to wear with flats and a longer pair to wear with heels. Jill also recommends a stretch jean.

"I think most women out there, if you're thin or a little bit heavier, you need a stretch jean," she says. "It feels comfortable, and it looks better on you."

If you think sequins are reserved for evenings…think again. "A little bit of shine actually brightens up your face," Adam says.
Lauri, before

During Season 3 of The Real Housewives of Orange County, fans watched as Lauri, a mother of three, married George, her wealthy prince charming. She may have landed the man of her dreams, but that hasn't changed Lauri's style.

This newlywed can still be seen wearing short dresses, sparkles and towering stilettos.
Lauri, after

You may think a short dress is the best way to accentuate long legs, but Adam says a high-waisted trouser can make your legs look like they go on forever. Lauri's Ralph Lauren pants give her a sexy, tailored look.

A purple blouse adds a sultry twist to her professional attire. "The real hit of femininity and sexy is a ruffled blouse," Adam says.

Lauri says she loves her sophisticated makeunder. "I feel classy with that subtle sexiness," she says.
Vicky, before

Over the past few years, Vicky says she's gone from being an average housewife to a top insurance agent living in one of the most affluent areas of California.

Fans of the show know Vicky as a protective mother of two college students, Michael and Briana, and a small-business owner. Vicky is also known for her expensive taste, designer shoes and form-fitting outfits.
Vicky, after

A Burberry trench, black fishnets and Jimmy Choo pumps transform Vicky into a subtly sexy businesswoman.

Jill says Vicky's coat adds an iconic touch. "The trench coat has been around forever," she says. "It's very Parisian chic."

Underneath, Vicky's wearing a flattering '50s-style dress. "We kind of put a modern touch by adding a fishnet stocking to make it unexpected," Jill says.

Vicky says these classic pieces make her feel powerful. "I feel 'Wall Street,'" she says. "I don't know if I'd wear it back in California, but it's great for Chicago [or] New York. I mean, I love it."

Adam says to forget the fashion dos and don'ts your mother taught you—it doesn't matter if your coat is shorter than your hemline. "The rules don't exist like that anymore," he says. "We are breaking them."
Gretchen, before

Like the rest of the Real Housewives women, Gretchen, the latest addition to the cast, loves to wear bright colors and clothes that show a little skin.

On Season 4, fans became more familiar with Gretchen's West Coast style, but now, she's getting input from a few opinionated fashion editors.
Gretchen, after

When choosing an outfit for Gretchen, Jill says she was drawn to an oversize "boyfriend" sweater. This look can be worn multiple ways. If you want to accentuate a small waist, cinch in the sweater with a belt or let the top hang loose over a fitted skirt.

"It's a kind of easy sexy. It's a comfortable sexy," Adam says. "It's not a restricted one or one that you have to feel like you're in sausage casing necessarily. And it's playing with proportion. If you're going to do something looser on top, you can wear something a little more fitted on bottom."

The experts also say you don't have to wear heels to look hot. "A flat boot makes everyone look good," Jill says. "You don't need a heel with a miniskirt."

Throughout the transformation process, Valerie says the beauty team's goal was to reflect each woman's personality with her clothes. "They all have the same kind of homogeneous, Orange County look, which was very over-the-top sexy, and we wanted to give them their own kind of look," she says. "They've got a unique sexiness now, and authenticity and uniqueness is really sexy."

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