My favorite days are in fashion are when I GLAM4GOOD. To be able to GLAM4GOOD on The Queen Latifah Show for American hero Cory Webster? Well, that makes it one of my best days ever!!
I've been in the fashion and beauty industry for the last twenty years and I love every aspect of my career, but when I started to use my passion for fashion to make a difference and pamper people in need, my life's purpose became clear. When I asked myself if all of the magazine covers, celebrities and ad campaigns I had styled had really done anything to truly help the world, the answer was NO! So, I started my organization GLAM4GOOD to give life-changing makeovers to people that deserved them most. There is tremendous joy and balance that comes from being of service. I love using beauty to ignite self-esteem and bring joy. Fashion can be a glamorous armor! When we feel good about how we look, we feel empowered and that confidence can often help us deal with the difficult things life throws our way!
After sixteen years of service to the Army, retired officer and former Blackhawk pilot, Cory Webster was ready to, as she says, "reclaim her womanhood.” This inspiring woman and true hero was in a slump and it was an honor to be asked by Queen Latifah to pamper her with GLAM4GOOD. What Cory needed and deserved was a head-to-toe makeover to boost her confidence, camouflage a recent weight gain and create a new look and wardrobe for a her life out of the Army. Cory wanted to look powerful but finally get a chance to also look feminine and sexy too! We headed to Lane Bryant to find the perfect look for Cory's upcoming job interviews, but one that could also work for a date night too.
The Fashion Makeover
Cory told me she'd been “living in sweats" since she retired from the Army and was not feeling her best. She is also a single mom and really wanted to start dating again, but was in a funk because of her weight gain. I wanted to show Cory that she could feel beautiful, celebrate her curves and look sexy even though she had gained weight. The key to looking your best (even when you don't feel it) is learning how disguise what you want to hide and show off what you love about your body! Cory has gorgeous legs and "sisters" so we decided to pick an outfit that would show those assets off!! Cory's problem area was her tummy so we decided to disguise that. Here are the four things I did with Cory to create a slimmer, more shapely silhouette which helped her feel more confident to show off her curves in an elegant way and say bye-bye to those sweats!
- The Shapewear Tummy Tuck!
Shapewear is more comfortable and sexier than ever before and can really help you create an hourglass silhouette even when you don't have one!! Cory had never used shapewear before and it was so fun to see her reaction when she looked in the mirror and saw what a difference it made. Cory needed something to smooth and suck in her stomach and act as an instant tummy tuck. I used a high-waisted body shaper to accentuate Cory's waist.
- Peplum Power!
Peplums are not only fashionable, they're great figure-fixers! We picked a top and skirt ensemble that had a peplum to draw the eye away from Cory's stomach and help us disguise her trouble area.
- Put a Belt on It!
There are so many great belts out there that are inexpensive and can be used to update any outfit you already have in your closet. A wider belt can also help you create more of an hourglass silhouette and I suggest you use it more empire style (high on the waist) like I did with Cory, over her peplum. Here's a chic belt with stretch like the one I used on Cory.
- Get the Fit Just Right!
Cory was wearing baggy clothes since she retired from the Army because she was feeling a bit heavier. When you have curves, wearing baggy clothes often makes you look large than you are!! I suggest you wear something that is not too loose or too tight. Curves look their best with clothes what fit just right. When we got Cory into a skirt and top that fit her perfectly, she instantly felt slimmer and more confident to show off the curves she was hiding!
The Beauty Makeover
After Cory and I found the perfect outfit at Lane Bryant, it was time to update her beauty routine and help her create a hair and makeup regime that would make her look and feel her best without being too complicated! Before the show, we met with the GLAM4GOOD hair and makeup team I brought together for Cory, my talented friends, Julianne Kaye and Gilbert Muniz. Cory could not even wear a dab of lip-gloss in the Army and as a single, working Mom we knew we had to keep it simple and create a glamorous look she could easily do at home!
Here are the three tips you can try too that makeup artist Julianne Kaye did to give Cory her gorgeous new look.
- Brow Happy
The first thing Julianne noticed was that the shape of Cory's brows gave her a furrowed and unhappy look. They were really heavy above the inner corners so she plucked some hairs to even them out in to a nice boomerang shape. The eyebrows frame the face so it's really important to make sure they're well groomed.
- Lash It Up
Cory has beautiful eyes, so Julianne really wanted to play them up. She curled her lashes with an eyelash curler that Cory could find at any drug store and that really opened up her baby blues!
- Use a Two-in-One
Julianne used Stila Convertible Color on Cory's cheeks and lips (even her eyes)! Cory has her hands full with two kids, so Julianne wanted to show her how she could use one multi-tasking product that was cost effective and time saving.
The Hair Makeover
Hairstylist Gilbert Muniz updated Cory's look by giving her square layers that framed her face to create some bone structure and body. He also gave her some sexy side bangs and tousled her hair to give her a little sass and pop. Here's how you can achieve this look at home:
- Turn Up the Volume
Right out of the shower with clean, wet hair apply a volumnizing spray all over, then blow-dry as usual. For extra volume, turn your head upside-down and blow dry from the roots to get a little lift where it counts the most. Don't straighten your hair as you dry it. A little bit of texture will help your hair hold this style.
- Dry and Curl
After your hair is dry, brush it out and part your hair wherever you want. Make sure your hair is completely dry—if there's any dampness left behind, it won't hold the waves. Next, it's time to set that twist and add a bit of bounce. Grab sections of your hair with one hand, and grab a hot, medium-sized curling iron or rod with the other. Without opening the clamp, wrap the twisted strands around the barrel of the curling iron, hold them in place for five to ten seconds.
- Time to Tousle
Spray away to hold the curl but then feel free to brush through the curls with your fingers and have fun. Herbal Essences came out with a new collection called 'Tousle Me Softly you can get at any drugstore that helps achieve the sexy loose tousled look Gilbert did on Cory.
Cory loved her GLAM4GOOD experience on The Queen Latifah Show and told me after the show that it was the first time she realized she could be a "strong, smart, beautiful, and sharply dressed woman." Yes you can Cory, YES YOU CAN!!!
* I would also like to thank Hello Kitty for the amazing gifts Queen Latifah and I gave Cory's beautiful daughters.
About the Author: Mary Alice Stephenson is a world-rekown style & beauty expert, philanthropist, Mom and the founder of GLAM4GOOD. Mary Alice has served as fashion director, editor and stylist for the top fashion magazines in the industry including Vogue, Allure, Marie Claire, O Magazine, Seventeen and Harper’s Bazaar and has styled Hollywood’s biggest stars. She's a consultant to the world’s most influential brands and has been featured as a fashion commentator for shows like The Doctor Oz Show, The Katie Show, Rachel Ray, Good Morning America, The Today Show, Wendy Williams, Steve Harvey and Oprah.
But it is her work using fashion to impower, bolster self-esteem and inspire that Mary Alice is most proud of. She currently serves as the National Fashion Ambassador for the Make-A-Wish Foundation where she has granted countless fashion related wishes for young girls struggling with life-threatening illnesses over the last ten years. She is an ambassador for Freearts NYC, and in 2011 created STYLE4HEROES with the The Bob Woodruff Foundation to pamper wounded warriors and their caretakers. In 2012, Mary Alice launched GLAM4GOOD a social movement and brand that gives life changing makeovers, dramatic giveaways and inspiring, transformative fashion adventures to every day heroes.