Real Girl Makeover: “I Went Blonde!”

Wendy Rodewald
Real girl makeover: "I Went Blonde!"

Photos: Ally Lindsay

Celebrities make changing hair colors look easy. One day they’re blonde, the next they’re brunette, no big deal. But we wanted to find out what it really takes to make a drastic switch, so when Jackie, our latest Real Girl Makeover subject, told us she was up for coloring her long, brown locks blonde, we couldn’t resist the challenge.

We headed with Jackie to O&M. nyc in New York’s Meatpacking District and placed her in the capable hands of Janelle Chaplin, O&M Creative Director, who chose a shade to flatter Jackie’s complexion. “Choosing a palette of blonde definitely depends on your skin tone,” Chaplin explained, “whether you’re cool or warm [determines] what type of blonde you can carry — beige, strawberry, or more ash.”

For Jackie, “We took her up as high as we could to a nice biscuit blonde, and then we illustrated the hair with lighter pieces and shadowed the hair with slightly deeper pieces.” Chaplin and her team made the whole effort look easy, but all those processes take time: Jackie’s super long hair took a little under five hours from start to finish. (Word to the wise: If you’re thinking of a similarly drastic makeover, block off your calendar.)

Jackie's hair makeover in progress

Photos: Ally Lindsay

The good news? Chaplin was able to pull off the makeover without damaging Jackie’s hair in the least. After coloring, “We did a three-step repair,” Chaplin explained, “exfoliate, cleanse and a treatment mask using our Seven Day Miracle [$34.95,], our intense mask.” Finally, she styled Jackie’s hair with “a very slight wave to give us a very brushed out, festival hair look.”

Jackie’s new hair color called for a makeup look that was just as bold. Make Up For Ever Managing Educator Jessie Powers chose a dark burgundy lip to serve as the focal point. “She has a really beautiful full mouth, so she can pull that dark color off,” said Powers, who used Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense 48 ($20,, a deep blackcurrant shade, layered over cherry red Aqua Lip Waterproof Lipliner Pencil ($19) in the center of the lip. Powers left the rest of the face minimal, with just a bit of cheek stain and lots of mascara.

Jackie's makeup in progress

Photo: Ally Lindsay

“I love my new blonde look,” Jackie said. “My face looks completely different, and now I can use different colors that did not look good before.”

“The only downside is that my boyfriend hates it, but he’ll have to get over it.”

Jackie's blonde hair makeover

Photo: Ally Lindsay

Photographer: Ally Lindsay
Hair: Janelle Chaplin for O&M
Makeup: Jessie Powers for Make Up For Ever
Salon: O&M. nyc, 55 Little West 12th Street, New York, NY, 212-255-2445

Read more: Real Girl Makeover: “I Went Ombré”