"I Need a Makeover!"
Rita Cheng: Gave Birth Against the Odds
Doctors told Rita Cheng her irregular periods meant she'd have trouble conceiving. So she and husband Eric Tran were thrilled to become pregnant in 2006. Then Rita miscarried & and went into an emotional tailspin. "I felt like a failure; I cried about everything," she says. The marriage suffered: "We weren't communicating; we felt alienated from each other." When things hadn't improved a year later, they did talk — about divorce. But right around then, Rita read Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love, and was inspired by its message of self-reinvention. The couple's relationship improved, and they took a cross-country road trip. Somewhere between New Jersey and Yellowstone National Park, they conceived; son Reilly was born last June. What's more, this former project manager has since launched her own photography business, turning a passion into a career. "I've made a huge transformation," Rita says. "This makeover is the finishing touch."
Rita Cheng: Hair
Rita, who looks younger than her 32 years, needed a more grown-up 'do. The angled bob, with longer sides and a feathered top -- no more center part -- filled the bill. Plus, "its downward diagonal accentuates Rita's graceful profile," says hairstylist Ted Gibson. To brighten her complexion, colorist Jason Backe slightly lightened Rita's hair and added face-framing highlights.
Rita Cheng: Makeup
If, like Rita, you're not used to wearing much makeup, don't be afraid of color, says makeup artist Sandy Linter. Rita's eyes open up with dark mauve pencil along the upper lashline, a paler mauve at the crease, and plum mascara -- a flattering swap for black. If you're short on time, let your best features shine through, says Linter. "Rita's eyes are so expressive -- she can skip the mascara. And with her near-flawless skin, she can swap foundation for a tinted moisturizer."
Rita Cheng: Fashion
Since Reilly's arrival last summer, Rita's been in a jeans-and-a-tee rut. But now she wants to impress potential clients, so it's time to step up her image. "I dress for comfort, but I can't look like a slob," she says.
Rita Cheng: After the Makeover
This outfit does the trick: A gauzy tunic is as easy as a tee, and the breezy silhouette skims the belly and hips (what new mom doesn't want that?). Skinny white jeans are a polished version of the usual blues.
Rita Cheng: After the Makeover
Pro tip: Wear lip color that complements, rather than exactly matches, your clothes
Anne Marchetti: Beat Breast Cancer
In November 2010, Anne Marchetti underwent a lumpectomy after a breast cancer diagnosis. She took it in stride; after all, her mother, now 94, had survived the disease. But two weeks later, when all her test reports were in, she learned she'd need a mastectomy, and her spirits plummeted. Summoning reserves of inner strength, she focused on a goal: to host her son, daughter, and three grandchildren at her home on Christmas Eve. It worked; the second surgery was a success, and she was surrounded by her family for the holidays. "It really brought back the meaning of Christmas for me," says Anne, who fortunately didn't need follow-up chemo or radiation. While this fourth grade teacher hopes to be done with doctors soon, at press time she was still in the breast-reconstruction process and feeling self-conscious about her appearance. John, her husband of 40 years, is devoted — but not the best fashion consultant right now: "I'll try on six tops and ask how I look," she says, laughing, "and he'll respond, 'Not too bad' every time."
Anne Marchetti: Hair
The goal: to take the focus off her bustline -- and a cap of shiny, healthy red hair helps to do just that. First, a clarifying shampoo with lightener removed the vestiges of at-home dye. Next, a single-process permanent color--L'Oreal Professionnel's INOA, which is ammonia- and stink-free — created her classy-not-brassy shade (while also banishing grays). To give more lift to Anne's tapered, feathery cut, Gibson sprayed her hair with a heat protector, wound tiny sections around a small-barrel curling iron, then fluffed.
Anne Marchetti: Makeup
Anne is a late convert to sun protection, and her skin shows it. "Don't try to cover spots and discoloration with foundation. You'll end up looking like you're wearing a mask," says Linter. She applied foundation sparingly by patting it on with a foundation brush, and dotted concealer on Anne's broken capillaries. For an instant eye lift, brow specialist Sania Vucetaj moved the peak of Anne's arch out past her pupil, and Linter extended a brown-black liner slightly beyond Anne's lids and angled it upward.
Anne Marchetti: Fashion
Though she'd heard the post-op advice to cover up with loose, printed tops, that wasn't Anne's style. "I like fitted, solid-color clothes," she said, noting that she needed a great dress for some summer weddings she'd be attending.