I saw the announcement on Monday. Carol Tuttle was hosting a live event at her Dressing Your Truth (DYT) store, and she was going to choose one lucky person to receive a complete makeover.
I had always wanted a makeover. I watched talk shows that took dowdy women and turned them into gorgeous, confident women. I discovered What Not to Wear and found out it wasn’t mean at all — instead, Stacey and Clinton showed women how to dress their bodies in a flattering way that brought out their beauty and quieted their insecurities.
I’d always wanted that.
So, when Carol made her announcement, I really, really wanted that makeover.
Except, it wasn’t just about the outfits for me.
I discovered DYT about five months ago. It resonated with me immediately. I identified myself as a Type 4 (I’ll post more about the types in depth later). I was sure I was a Type 4. I was introverted. I was intellectual. I was black and white in my thinking. I liked my solitude, and I liked order. Then, there were aspects of Type 4 that I felt I had been suppressing, such as speaking my mind, being bold, and allowing myself to put my own needs ahead of others sometimes (OK, that’s not specifically a Type 4 thing). I felt the DYT gave me permission to be myself.
I believed that getting a makeover would confirm my type and complete my transformation. I strongly felt like it would be a big next step in my emotional healing.
Throughout the week, I struggled. I knew it would mean overexerting myself, even if I weren’t chosen. This kind of thing is like the lottery. Other people win; I don’t. I heard the voice of my grandfather. You are nothing. They’ll never even notice you.
But you’ll never know unless you try, I thought.
On Friday, I chose an outfit that I hoped would scream, “I need a makeover!” but still looked put together. I wore jeans and a simple black sweater with a silver necklace. I didn’t wear any makeup. My sister Lauri picked me up and took me to the store. We browsed and waited for Carol. There were about 30 of us hoping to be chosen. Then, Carol came in and began to make her rounds saying hi to everyone.
“So, what type have you chosen?” she asked me.
“Oh. OK. Well, I have to make sure I get to everyone.”
And then she was gone.
I was crestfallen. I had a chance to make an impression, and I blew it. My grandfather was right. Carol didn’t seem to see me at all.
Then, Lauri called me over. She was talking to Jaleah, one of Carol’s assistants who would be helping her make the decision. Jaleah asked me about my story. I told her about my Lyme disease and how I had found DYT and how it had changed my life. She was really nice, and then she moved on to talk to some of the other women.
Carol, Jaleah, and Anna K (the other assistant) went the other room to consult. They came back out, and Carol announced that it had been an anonymous decision.
“Jaleah, go get our makeover winner!” she said.
Jaleah came right over to me. I burst into tears as she gave me a hug. My heart was singing, and I was so dang excited. God was making good things happen. To me.
Then, Carol dropped a bombshell.
“One of the reasons I think you’re not getting better is because I think you mistyped yourself,” she said. Say what? The one thing I was certain of walking into that store was that I was a Type 4.
“No, you’re not a Type 4. You’re a Type 3, a rich and dynamic woman.”
But, but, but…I’m an introvert, not an extrovert!
However, she pointed out the lines and angles in my face and the asymmetry in my smile. She noted how I put my hands on my hips and cock my head to one side. As difficult as it was to admit, she was right. The body doesn’t lie.
They whisked me away. It was better than I could have ever imagined.
The entire staff was courteous, kind, and gentle with me. Tim, Carol’s creative director, asked if I needed anything. When I admitted I hadn’t eaten anything that day, he brought me three kinds of nuts because he wasn’t sure if I wanted salted, unsalted, or with fruit. Then, he cut me up a fresh apple. He also brought me a water bottle because my nerves gave me cotton mouth. Finally, at around noon, Anna K asked if they could get lunch for me and Lauri. I was too nervous to eat anymore, but they bought us both salads anyway.
Then came the makeover. First, I had my hair done. Nicole, the stylist, was the sweetest woman. She colored, cut and styled my hair. I was blown away by the amount of curls she was able to tease out of my hair. It was really big hair. And that was all my own natural curl.
Next, Anna K did my makeup. She explained the techniques she used as she did them. I discovered that the colors in the Type 3 palette were those that I had used prior to DYT — natural browns, soft neutrals, and a wine color for the lips.
Finally, Anna K showed me to the bathroom to change and handed me the clothes that I was going to wear. Really, I still wasn’t convinced I was a Type 3. However, when I put on those clothes, I melted. They were beautiful. They felt natural. They felt like home.
Once I was ready, Carol called me onto the stage for my big reveal. There were lots of “ooohhs,” and “aaahhs.” She showed my before picture…and said that the black had made me look ten years older than I really was. (Jee, thanks.) But then, she revealed my true age, and everyone thought I now looked a good ten years younger than I really am.
Anna K told the audience that the purpose behind her choice of makeup for me was to allow the real me to be seen. Then, Carol said, “It’s safe to be seen.”
I teared up again.
“That speaks to you,” she said, and I nodded. “That needs to be your affirmation. It is safe to be seen. It is safe to be heard. It is safe to be me.”
I bobbed my head, nodding, agreeing with her, but inside, I was screaming, “NO! It’s not! It never has been and it never will be!” But I was too happy and too grateful and too excited to say anything that would ruin the moment. I had wanted this. I had created this. This must be exactly what I need.
Finally, Carol announced that they were gifting me the gorgeous outfit that I was wearing.
So, now I’m the woman with the makeover! I’m the one with my beauty — the true me — revealed, with the insecurities quieted, with the gift of confidence given. And I am so very, very grateful to Carol Tuttle and all her wonderful staff at DYT.
(You can see the full makeover on Carol Tuttle’s Facebook page. Episode 19 Part 1 is the before; Part 2 is the live Q&A; Part 3 is the reveal.)