Mentor makeover

Sept. 1, 2011
2010 RDH Mentor of the Year –Pamela Myers – gets a makeover!
2010 RDH Mentor of the Year –Pamela Myers – gets a makeover!

by Janice Hurley-Trailor, The Image Expert

Pamela Myers lives by the rule that it’s better to give than to receive. That’s why receiving a VIP image day in
beforeScottsdale, Ariz., was a real turn of events for her. I had read about her award as the 2010 Mentor of the Year from RDH magazine and Philips Sonicare, and I was in awe of her positive spin on such a challenging path, working as a hygienist in the prison system for 25 years. She is a mentor and an inspiration, and it was a pleasure to treat her to some of her own gracious giving.

Pam flew in from Huntsville, Texas, and we hit the ground running with clothes shopping, shoe shopping, and pamper appointments for a new hairstyle, eyebrow shaping, and makeup. It was a 12-hour day, lasting well into the night, complete with a photo shoot to top off the whole experience. I wanted her to end the day with a current professional photo.

As a hygiene professional, you deserve to project on the outside the very best of what you have on the inside. This not only benefits you but others around you. If you are interested, you can duplicate the same process we used with Pam for yourself. We took five specific steps to achieve Pam’s beautiful, current results. Take a minute to learn about these suggestions, and see how you might apply these ideas in your own life.

Step one: analyze your face shape

The shape of your face dictates which hairstyle options will be best for you. The ideal face shape is an oval.

Enlarge a digital photo of yourself with your hair pulled back entirely off your face. Take some tracing paper and lay it on top of your photo and draw your facial outline. Your face shape might be an oval, a heart, a square, or a long or round shape. The goal is to use your haircut and style to create the appearance of an oval.

Bangs or no bangs? Again, the shape of your face will determine your best options. Take your fingers from one hand and hold them together flat against your forehead. If the height of your forehead is three fingers or more, then bangs or partial bangs might well be your friend. Pam started off with full bangs. Her new hairstyle softens her wide forehead and shows off her beautiful eyes with a shorter, more feathered bang.

We wanted to narrow the bottom half of her face – again to create the illusion of an oval – so we gave her width at eye level and shortened her hair to bring more attention to her eyes.

As we get older, our faces (like everything else) show the effects of gravity, so wearing hair below your chin can be tricky. The general rule of thumb is that the shorter a women wears her hair, the more confident she will appear to others. You might also consider shortening your hair if it doesn’t look healthy and shiny.

We also gave Pam fullness and height in the crown and pulled the cut in tight and close to her neck to contribute to an oval shape, and even give the appearance of a longer neck.

This hairstyle, besides looking very sassy and current, is flattering to the shape of Pam’s face. Try these tips for yourself and see if your current haircut and style are working for you.

Step two: consider color

Your skin tone will determine the most flattering hair color for you. One common mistake is matching your hair to your skin too closely. It’s harder to look good as a blonde as you get older and your skin tone changes. The lighter your hair color, the harder it is for your hair to appear healthy. My general rule of thumb is that the shorter the hair, the more you can play with stronger hair colors and contrasts. We used a strong base color on Pam, and added highlights and lowlights for more contrast and depth.

Step three: analyze your body shape

This important step requires that you examine yourself in clothes tight enough to analyze your body proportions. I have all my clients, whether they’re coming to a workshop or a one-on-one consultation, send me head-to-toe photos from the front, back, and side. There are no bad bodies or proportions; you just have to learn how to dress the proportions you have!

10 rules for achieving your most flattering outcome

  • Men, your goal is to create a V shape from shoulders to waist.
  • A man’s suit or sports jacket size is determined by the chest size first, and then by height and
    proportions. They come in short, regular, tall, athletic, and portly cuts.
  • Women, your goal is to create an hourglass figure.
  • Women 5’ 4" or shorter, no matter what your weight, should shop in the Petite section.
  • For both men and women, try to create the illusion that your legs are as long as possible.
  • Darker colors make that area of your body look smaller.
  • Lighter colors, shiny materials, or wide horizontal stripes make an area appear larger.
  • When trying on a jacket, fit the shoulders first.
  • Be careful with pants. They are the least forgiving when you gain or lose weight. Proper fitting pants fit smoothly across the rear for both men and women.
  • Double-check the length of your pants. If you wear shoes with different heel heights, you’ll want to have pants of varying lengths as well.
  • Step four: find shoes that are both flattering and comfortable

    Shoes are like teeth, I think. We notice other people’s more than we notice our own. Most of my clients have shoe comfort challenges, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for boring or old school.

    The most common mistake I see men make is wearing a shoe too casual for the rest of their attire. With a suit, wear a shoe with at least five eyelets and a hard sole.

    Pam’s recent foot surgery made finding comfortable shoes our biggest challenge for the day, but that’s all it was – a temporary obstacle. Better to spend more time trying on shoes, seeking greater comfort, than to settle for a square-toed black leather box of a shoe, thinking that’s your only choice. Pam was surprised to discover a soft leather shoe with a bit of a heel was her most comfortable option.

    Step five: eyebrows and makeup

    Did you know that women who wear makeup earn an average of 18% more for the same job than women who don’t wear makeup? This point struck home when I spoke to two contrasting audiences in one day, each with about 100 participants. I spent the morning with a nonprofit agency for job seekers, and the afternoon with a group of investment managers. For the most part, the unemployed women were not wearing makeup and the female financial planners were ALL wearing it, and wearing it well.

    An important gift to yourself is to let a professional do your makeup, watch what the expert does, and ask questions. This is also true in shaping your eyebrows. For most women, that means putting your eyebrows on each morning with powder or pencil.

    Putting it together

    Recently, I received a beautiful thank you card from Pam, and I smiled widely as she described her experience:

    "I will never be the same person after I have spent time with you. What we accomplished changed my life and my self-confidence as a woman. When I got off the plane, my husband and daughter didn’t initially recognize me, and the next day at church was full of compliment after compliment. Thank you for your generosity and kindness."

    Given all that Pam has given to others over the years and continues to do daily, her day in Scottsdale is just a small example of "What goes around, comes around." It took a small team of experts to accomplish everything we did in a single day, and we loved doing it. Every one of us was delighted to play our small part in making this beautiful woman feel pampered and celebrated. Thank YOU, Pam!

    Janice Hurley-Trailor, BS, is a Dentistry’s Image Expert. Contact her at

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