Dressing like a professional doesn’t mean you have to immediately forgo your personal style just try to find an office-friendly balance between the two. One woman looking to professionally present herself is Gabrielle Cohen. Although Gabrielle is a successful account supervisor with Nancy J. Friedman Public Relations, her style was hitting just below the mark for projecting a businesswoman persona of her caliber. StyleCaster called upon Bloomingdale’s, the hair stylists of Pipino Salon and makeup artist Brandalyn Fulton of FACE Atelier to help pump up and polish Gabrielle’s look for a chic, professional makeover.
Prior to her makeover with StyleCaster, Gabrielle preferred to keep her hair routinely simple and streamlined. She kept her naturally curly but fine hair tamed with chemical straightening and by keeping it at a uniform length.
Salon owner and hair stylist Ric Pipino of Pipino Salon explains, “People think that with fine hair there’s not much you can do with it that it just hangs there and is flat and with long layers it’s just going to be flatter. That’s not the case. Long layers can actually get some movement and more body in the hair.”
To update Gabrielle’s hairstyle, Pipino chose to soften her look by trimming her bangs and adding flattering layers and angles around her face. Not only did the layers add texture to Gabrielle’s smooth hair, but colorist Jean Marc Choffel suggested incorporating some highlights which help to visually create body and texture.
While Gabrielle normally shies away from makeup, her clear skin allows her to get away with nixing the heavy foundations and products. “Every day I mix my Mario Badescu moisturizer with Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer. I always wear blush or bronzer either from Fresh or NARS. That’s about it! For special occasions I will wear mascara.”
In keeping with Gabrielle’s low maintenance approach to beauty, makeup artist Brandalyn Fulton of FACE Atelier used minimal but defining makeup on her skin. Fulton opted to brighten the PR girl’s face by enhancing her tan complexion with a dusting of bronzer over her cheek bones and adding a pop of color over her cheeks.
Finally, to keep the look polished and feminine, Fulton applied a light liner around Gabrielle’s eyes. The cheek color combined with the soft eyeliner opened up Gabrielle’s face for a more energized look. To keep eye makeup in tact like Gabrielle’s, Fulton recommends Makeup For Ever Aqua Eyes in black or M.A.C Cosmetics Technakohl liner in graphblack for waterproof (and sweat-proof) eye liners.
Gabrielle’s self-described style is, “Relaxed and preppy with a flare of color.” To style herself quick and easily, Gabrielle typically chooses dresses for an instant outfit. “I tend to wear relatively preppy clothing and love dresses 75 percent of my wardrobe is dresses.” StyleCaster’s creative director, Emily Finkbinder, didn’t want to deviate too far from Gabrielle’s style but boosted her look with more structure and professional dress options.
For Gabrielle’s final look, Emily went for a modern twist on work attire with a Nanette Lepore “Casino Royale” stretch wool slouchy dress ($398, available at Bloomingdale’s). This dress provides the same professionalism that a pant suit would without feeling dated or inappropriate for Gabrielle’s age.
While the dress is inspired by a traditionally masculine blazer, the belt and feminine draping of the skirt softens the overall look. “I chose the Nanette Lepore dress for Gaby because I wanted her look to complement her high-powered and sophisticated career,” explained Emily.” I wanted her to have something that she could wear to a business meeting and feel like she’s in control, yet still feminine at the same time. I think the deeper neckline is the perfect way to balance out the double breasted bodice to create that feel.”
The Final Look:
“Casino Royale” stretch wool slouchy dress by Nanette Lepore ($398, available at Bloomingdale’s); Silver spiked “Cosima” necklace by Dannijo ($595); Black pumps by L.A.M.B. ($249, available at Bloomingdale’s)
In the final reveal, Gabrielle looks phenomenal and has a new level of polish. Although there weren’t major changes needed in Gabrielle’s personal style or beauty routine, it goes to show that just a few small tweaks like the addition of highlights, eyeliner and a work-appropriate dress can make a major improvement to one’s overall appearance. What was Gabrielle’s favorite part of the day? “Definitely trying on clothing at Bloomingdale’s. I felt so special! It was like trying on wedding dresses but with much less pressure!” Gabrielle jokes.
Think your look needs a little more polish? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org to nominate yourself for the next StyleCaster makeover!