Just in time for the New Year, ESSENCE joined forces with the beauty industry's best makeup artists and hairstylists to give four honorable service women—Estacy Porter, Minnenne Barrett, Erica Butler, and Shakeera Wright—gorgeous makeovers.
2 of 9Gail Hadani
BEFORE: Minnenne Barrett, 25, Leavenworth, Kansas
"I like hair that's easily maintained. I've been natural for about a year."
3 of 9Gail Hadani
AFTER: Naturally Gorgeous
Hair: Colorist Rita Hazan opted for a rich chocolate brown with reddish tones: "You want color for drama, especially with short styles." Hairstylist Cristina B then snipped and shaped Minnenne's locks for a glam two-strand twist-out. Makeup:Shimmery lids and jewel-tone lips are perfect partners. When lips and eyes are the focal point, keep cheeks subtle.
4 of 9Gail Hadani
BEFORE: Estacy Porter, 36, New York
"I usually wear my hair pinned back in a ponytail—it has to be above my collar."
5 of 9Gail Hadani
AFTER: Long Locks
Hair: "I went for a deep color, which camouflaged Estacy's gray," says Hazan. Hairstylist Nelson Vercher then braided her hair, leaving some of her natural strands out, and added long extensions. He then cut layers and created large curls for maximum body. Makeup: Foundation is key when building a flawless face. Here Queen Collection All Day Formula does the trick.
6 of 9Gail Hadani
BEFORE: Erica Butler, 23, Atlanta
"I'm skeptical about wearing long nails because my fingers are really long. But they look so cool."
7 of 9Gail Hadani
AFTER: Straight Sass
Hair: "I went lighter to match Erica's skin color, and the highlights add character," says Hazan. To accentuate the new hue, Cristina B added layers and used a 1½-inch-barrel curling iron to create sexy waves. Makeup: A nude, matte face and layered gold shadow make a smoky eye pop. A nail with sparkle completes Erica's festive look. When sporting a lip color that's close to your skin tone, go for a gloss with shine.
8 of 9Gail Hadani
BEFORE: Shakeera Wright, 34, Augusta, GA
"With the new makeup and hair, I almost didn't recognize myself!"
9 of 9Gail Hadani
AFTER: Glammed Up
Hair: Hazan highlighted Shakeera's natural hair and Vercher added extensions that matched the new color. He then artfully flat-ironed and trimmed the extensions to achieve a magnificent mane. Makeup: A loose matte finishing powder brightens and controls shine while highlighting Shakeera's extra-long lashes and attention-grabbing berry-tone lips.
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