After ditching sneakers for stilettos, this entrepreneur reveals a stunning new look

Jaclyn Locke Author: Julia McEwen and Andrea Karr


After ditching sneakers for stilettos, this entrepreneur reveals a stunning new look

After years of high stress and long hours building her business, Julie Ruchlemer had let her personal image unravel. Instead of presenting herself as professional and engaging, she was wearing her sneakers and hiding her figure following weight gain. After recently celebrating her 37th birthday, Julie decided it was time to embrace her new figure and place in life. "What I wear now is not a true reflection of who I am," she says. "I buy temporary clothes that fit, without focusing on what gives me confidence or what makes me feel attractive. I'd like to be able to make myself the priority again."

Julie's old makeup routine consisted of mascara, blush and a swipe of lipstick or a dab of gloss. Plutino Group makeup artist Sheri Stroh shook up Julie's beauty game by accentuating her beautiful brown eyes with a dusting of gold eyeshadow and loads of mascara to play up her thick lashes. "I gave Julie a dramatic eye while keeping the look fresh, so I didn't use eyeliner," says Stroh. Glowing skin, thanks to some strategically placed bronzer, was paired with an audacious red lip in a contemporary matte finish.

After two years as a blonde, Julie was ready to return to her roots. "The blond washes her our a bit," says Schwarzkopf Professional's Paul Pereira. "Chocolate brown would be amazing with her skin tone." He chose a rich, dark base, then added slightly lighter highlights at the part and around Julie's face to add dimension. Since Julie likes the length of her hair and often wears it up, Pereira snipped only a few inches, then added layers for extra volume up top. To further enhance volume, Pereira combed mousse into Julie's dry hair, then used a curling iron on her locks, pinning each section to set. After about 20 minutes, he released the curls, tousling them with his fingers. A mist of flexible hairspray finished the look.

A skin treatment at Spa My Blend by Clarins in Toronto revealed that Julie was overexfoliating to fight blemishes and excess oil. By scrubbing too much, Julie was drying out her skin, which triggered even more sebum production, explains Regine Perron, Clarins Division boutique and spa development director. Julie also cleansed only with makeup wipes, which don't remove all traces of makeup and can be harsh on the skin if used daily. Perron recommended that Julie exfoliate just twice a week and use a gentle foaming cleanser for combination skin morning and night. She also suggested a mattifying lotion with soothing ingredients to calm irriation and curb oil production.


M.A.C. Cosmetics Lipstick in Ruby Woo, $20, Essence The Gel Nail Polish in Black is Back, $3, Clarins Hydra-Matte Lotion, $45, Osis+ Grip Extreme Hold Mousse, $19,

Strugging with how to dress her new figure, Julie regularly defaulted to hiding everything with large, dark drapey jackets. Cynthia Florek, style expert for Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga, Ont., wanted to create an outfit that would celebrate Julie's body and make her feel confident and sexy. She advised Julie to avoid big, heavy items that add too much bulk—and coverage. "What you want to do it create a shape and pick one feature and play it up," says Florek. She paired a dramatic crimson blouse with a crisscross front and a gold-toned necklace to put the focus on Julie's face and bustline. A lace-embellished knit cardigan was added for some coverage, while vegan-leather leggings and statement shoes added edginess.

"People at the office keep saying how different I am—how much more attentive I am to my style. I have started shopping again and em enjoying putting makeup on in the morning because with this new hair, I just light up."

Read more:
7 red fashion picks to jump-start your wardrobe
How to wear red
Journalist Wency gets a major makeover

This article originally appeared in the February 2016 issue of Canadian Living Magazine.
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After ditching sneakers for stilettos, this entrepreneur reveals a stunning new look