These four daughters adored everything about their moms — except their hair and makeup choices. So we gave them pretty new looks (with lots of makeover magic from makeup artist Laura Geller, hairstylist Edward Tricomi, and colorist Joel Warren).
"My mom is so beautiful, but she doesn't always take the time to look her absolute best," said Holly. "She'll blow-dry her hair but won't smooth it out, or she'll get color and then won't keep it up." The mission: to take Donna Bernesser, 52, that elusive extra mile with more flattering makeup, an updated cut, and an easy solution for smoothing her unruly tresses.
Donna (after) with her daughter Holly
Makeup: Donna's biggest beauty beef: "My dark circles make me look so tired." Dabbing concealer (slightly lighter than Donna's skin tone) not just under her eyes, but in the inner corners, too, did the trick. A touch of pearlescent brown eyeliner also helped brighten her eyes. For a swift, final allover lift, Geller applied rosy blush and berry-hued lip gloss.
Hair: Warren first covered Donna's stubborn grays with a rich, chocolate-brown base, then added walnut-colored highlights for pretty, subtle contrast. "I've never had highlights, but I love this sun-kissed look -- it's like I've been on vacation," she says. In Tricomi's hands, her "too one-length, too square" cut became a sleek, face-framing bob; a flat iron banished her frizzies. "I've never seen my mom's hair so silky," says Holly. "She looks gorgeous -- and so chic!"
"Chapstick and a bun" -- that's the beauty routine busy, 43-year-old Nilma Perez swore by. That's also precisely what her daughter wanted to change.
Topping her wish list was a new 'do. "My mom cuts her own hair," Giselle groaned. "I would love her to get a flattering, easy style so she'll actually keep it up. A little lipstick would be great, too."
Nilma (after) with daughter Giselle
Makeup: Geller's goal was to create a streamlined (but still pretty) regimen for Nilma. To complement her deep skin tones, Geller chose blue-based shades of plum, eggplant, and fuchsia for her eyes and cheeks. Mauve lip gloss added pizzazz to her pout, but goes on fast, like her basic balm. And to resurrect overplucked brows, Geller faked fullness with short strokes of a brown eyebrow pencil. The best part? Her new look takes just minutes.
Hair: Her luxuriant long locks were a pain to style (hence the bun), so Tricomi chopped off four inches and added layers to thin the thickness. To punch up her dark color -- and show off those new layers -- Warren wove in subtle caramel highlights. "I love it," says Nilma. "It feels lighter and much more manageable." Giselle was similarly smitten: "I want my hair exactly like hers now!"
"I dye my hair with whatever I find on sale," Michele Spinner, 50, laughed. But her daughter wasn't as amused with Mom's anything-goes outlook.
"Her color is flat, and the style is a little helmetlike," said Dawn, who also wished her mom would retire her old standbys: blue eyeliner and neutral lipstick. "My mom is young and cool -- I want her to have a look to match."
Michele (after) with daughter Dawn
Makeup: Michele's eye issue isn't the typical midlife mom's dark circles. "She is actually light-skinned there, which reads as puffiness," said Geller. The solution: a bronzy concealer. On Michele's lids, Geller bypassed the old favorite shade for a more flattering, contrasting color. For her blue eyes, that meant copper eye shadow -- which also played up her new haircolor. And on her lips? A bright, smile-enhancing coral lipstick.
Hair: "Michele's color was very monotone; that's a common coloring pitfall for do-it-yourselfers," says Warren. The fix: highlights and lowlights to boost dimension. Tricomi then "catapulted her out of the soccer mom zone" by adding random, spiky layers that modernized her blunt cut without sacrificing length. A pinch of pomade brought out the perfectly imperfect, flippy new style.
"I want her to be Sophia Loren for a day!" said Erica of mom Lesley Whelan, 58, a lifelong fan of the stylish star. "It would be great to bring a bit of that glamour, which she so loves, into her everyday life." And as Mom will ring in her 40th wedding anniversary this year, Erica felt it was time to dial up the drama. The goals: accentuated eyes and less ho-hum hair.
Lesley (after) with daughter Erica
Makeup: To complement Lesley's bold new haircolor, Geller opted for jewel-tone shadows -- emerald, gold, and terra-cotta -- all stunning on redheads. Black liquid eyeliner, angled slightly upward at the corners, gave her eyes a quick lift, and false lashes provided extra special-occasion oomph. Finally, Geller brightened her fair skin with apricot blush and a peach lip gloss. "I was always so nervous about playing up my eyes, but I love the results," says Lesley. "I feel updated and fresh -- like I'm no longer stuck in 1970."
Hair: "The minute I saw Lesley, I knew she could pull off red hair," says Warren. "What could be more glamorous?" He chose a red-brown shade, which instantly warmed up her bland strands (and her skin tone); Tricomi then softened her harsh blunt cut, adding feminine, face-framing layers.