Meet the 7 Years Younger Instant Makeovers Panelists

Mary Ellen Sanchez, 56.

mary ellen sanchez

Photo by: Shannon Greer

Newly an empty-nester, Mary Ellen—a mom of three kids who works full-time as the chairperson of a local school district’s special education program—decided it was time to make her outer appearance match the youthfulness she feels inside. “I want to look younger, because I feel younger,” she says. Tops on her wish list: An update to her hair, which has thinned out considerably over the last two decades. “I’m 56, so I don’t want to look 40. I just want to look healthier.” Here, the mini-makeovers that shaved years off her appearance:

  • A Youth-Boosting Haircut: “She has amazing bone structure!” says Saviano. To make her length work for her (not against her), he gave her a chin-grazing cut with soft layers around the face, which “made her look 10 years younger—like an instant facelift!”
  • Complexion-Brightening Color: Stephanie Brown, a colorist at Saviano’s salon, immediately noticed that Mary Ellen’s hair was all one tone. (It matched her skin, she said, which did nothing to brighten her face.) So after applying a single-process color to hide grays, Brown added heavy blonde highlights on top: “It gives the cut dimension, and now her eyes really pop.”

Mary Ellen’s Reaction: After going shorter and lighter than ever, she was thrilled she took a leap of faith. “It’s fantastic! The transformation is remarkable. The body in my hair and the lightness of the cut took years off my face.”

The Tip She’ll Take With Her: Mary Ellen used to iron her hair daily to deal with frizz and smooth out its texture, but Saviano taught her to blow-dry it with the proper brush, so that the extra heat (damage from which could be contributing to thinning) isn’t necessary.


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