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It’s been awhile since you last heard from me. Some of you are new subscribers and this is the first email from me. Some of you have been fans and friends and family for many years.

I write to you today to tell you of some exciting news. In September Robert and I will be opening the new “MAKEOVERGUY Minneapolis,” the first Image Development Studio of it’s kind.

Yes, we will still be doing hair and makeup. But more than that we will provide a place for the many makeovers that are coming in from all over the country and the world. A place located in the historic neighborhood of St. Anthony West along the Mississipi River.

The neighborhood was established in 1849 as the Village of St. Anthony Falls. These falls were seen in 1680 by Father Louis Hennepin, a Jesuit credited as the first European to explore the area that is now Minneapolis.

We will be located where Hennepin Avenue and Main Street intersect. The address is 43 SE Main St, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55414. Our new phone number is 612 377 2711.

There are always many questions that arrive during a transition to something new. I have been keeping a video blog that explains the process as it has been happening since last March. I think you may find it informative and entertaining.  

Where we will be EXACTLY from August 1st until we open in September is yet to be determined. But we will be somewhere and we will let you know when we know.

Please feel free to call us at 612 377 2711. The red princess telephone is sitting on our kitchen counter and when we can run to it we will answer. If you leave a message, Robert will return your call. And, of course, you can just leave one of the many wonderful encouraging messages from all over the world we have been receiving. We can always use the boost of confidence that gives us.

If you are coming to us after September 1st, I would reccomend staying at the Nicollet Island Inn. It is a short walk across the Mississippi, less than 3 blocks from MAKEOVERGUY Minneapolis. The area is very special. And a very special experience we are now able to give you on many levels.

Stay tuned. Subscribe to our Youtube channel. Join the fun on Facebook. It is through this social media we are able to keep you informed in real time as to what is happening and what you can expect.

Thank you all for being our peeps. We love you!

Your Makeover Guy,



Curly Hair Conundrum? How to Style Curly Hair

Dear Christopher,

I have read your book front to back!  I am very interested in how I can use my naturally curly/wavy hair to my advantage. I currently have grown my hair to one inch below my shoulders. There is a bit of layering that breaks about an inch from my hairline in the back.  I have an oval face. I have tried several (many) different kinds of product to create a loose curl, the back hangs in ringlets, with the front around my face being a little straighter. It has been a hit or miss, with the miss days being worn up.I am beginning to think that I need a different cut to create the look I want.  I am very open to change and I have had many different hairstyles over the years. I am currently 50 years old, not over weight with good skin.

Sabrina Gatewood


Hi Sabrina,

Fortunately curly hair has taken over for stick straight and you can use that to your advantage but there are many types of curly hair, and different answers for each.

Hair Types

The most important thing to remember for curly hair is to avoid shampoo. I know we are from the era where we shampooed every day and it’s a tough adjustment. Still, you can wet it every day to reactivate the curl and products used, and you can use conditioner in place of shampoo.

On wet hair blot with your towel and don’t rub. Use products such as an oil, support gel, and/or curl control cream. I like to mix them. Moroccan Oil has some popular products. There are many catering to curly hair, and the products I choose are often based on that. What works for one curly girl doesn’t for the next, so I am usually experimenting based on that when I have curl in my chair. The curly girls in the salon shampoo from once a week to once a month. (Dry shampoo works in between).

After applying your products come them through then take a duck bill clip and lift the hair at the top and crown to allow it to dry up and off the scalp for more lift on top. Arrange your curls by supporting gently and allow to air dry. Any movement with air will encourage the hair to “frizz.” Basically create a wet set arranging your curls to a style you’d like to see when dry. You can even create pin-curls in areas that don’t seem to have as much oomph. This is often the top, temples and sides.

Scrunch as it dries moving it very little until it is dry. Just to support the coiling as it is drying. When COMPLETELY dry, take a little of your oil and rub it into your hands, then scrunch it into your hair. You can use a tail comb to pick it out, or fingers. Tousle at the roots only to shake the curls and allow them to tumble. Depending on your curl type you can use a hairspray to give more definition and support. There are many, I find good luck with the Moroccan Oil strong hold.

If your hair tends to get flat on top, you may need to back comb just at the scalp and lift the back combed areas with a lifter.

If this is too messy a look for your curl type or personal style, it is at this point that you can take random pieces and control with a curling iron. Even if you have very fine hair, it is still better to let it dry this way rather than pulling out all the natural curl, then trying to put it back in with a curling iron.

I hope this helps. Like everything in the beauty business there is no catch all tips. Each is different, but figuring out your OWN ritual is a continual process as our hair continues to change. I think I’m going to bring back frozenorange juice cans and pink tape. That works too!


Solutions For Thinning Hair in Women

Women with Hair LossMore than 20 million women in
the United States alone suffer from some form of “female pattern baldness.” Consequently, a big question in my chair is, “How can I make my hair appear fuller?” It’s likely, if you want volume (or height), you are going to have to lift your arms above your shoulders and spend sometime creating it. Some time is not an hour. Some time is 10 to 20 minutes.

When hair starts to thin, we often cannot rely on a good haircut alone. Hairdressers can’t just cut “height” in to your hair. To
make thinning hair look thicker it takes us both working together.

The most common cause of thinning hair in women is hereditary hair loss, or
androgenetic alopecia. In fact, 95 percent of all hair thinning in
women can be put down to hereditary hair loss. Few women have heard
about this condition and even fewer realize that this may be the cause
of their hair loss.

The word ‘alopecia’ is used to describe types
of significant hair loss. Androgenetic alopecia describes hair loss
that is caused by androgens, which are hormones present in everyone,
man or woman. Hormone changes affect many things, including hereditary
hair loss. Specifically, it is your genetic sensitivity to the male
hormone testosterone that is the key. The testosterone is converted to
a more potent hormone called dihydrotestosterone, which causes
sensitive hairs and follicles to become smaller.

Why Hair Thins Out

Normally, each of your hairs grows for two to seven years, takes a three-month
“rest,” and then falls out to make room for new hair. But if you have a
genetic predisposition to thinning locks, your hair follicles may
become more sensitive to the male hormone testosterone sometime in your
twenties or thirties, or even in your teens. (It’s not that you produce
more testosterone than other women; the hormone just affects you
differently.) Over time, your follicles shrink and can produce only
finer, shorter, weaker hairs, or none at all. In some women, the
process accelerates at menopause, when natural estrogen levels decline.

This is why you may notice short hairs that never seem to grow, particularly
around the hairline and center part. You know the “little fuzzies” that
you see at the top of your head. A reason why adding layers and texture
helps create the illusion that those fuzzies are supposed to be there,
rather than oddly shorter than the rest of the hair.

What Can Be Done for Thinning Hair?

The three common methods for treating hair loss are medical, surgical, and
cosmetic. Medically, the topical drug minoxidil is used to stop hair
follicles from shrinking in about 60 percent of the women who try
rubbing it into their scalps twice a day. About two-thirds of those
women will also see some regrowth within eight months, although the new
hair is usually much finer than the old.

Medical therapy is more effective at stopping the progression of hair loss than regrowing
already lost hair, but a lucky percentage of patients may see some
significant regrowth. Minoxidil is available without a prescription,
but you must use it continually for the rest of your life to maintain
any new hair growth. Hair loss will begin again within a few months
after minoxidil treatment is stopped. Some women find that the solution
causes itching or headaches.

Minoxidil is the only drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for female-pattern
hair loss. Finasteride, a prescription pill that functions by
moderating testosterone levels, seems to work only in men. It is not
safe for women.

Hair restoration surgery is another option for
women, although it works best if you happen to be thinning out
primarily on top, as men do. A surgeon removes hair from a denser area
on your head and transplants the follicles individually to wherever you
need them most. Surgical treatment has progressed dramatically over the
past 10 years, and now the most advanced surgical technique is
follicular unit transplantation, which consists of replacing lost hair
with microscopically obtained, tiny, natural-looking units of only one
to three hairs each. It is so natural that, when done properly, even
delicate areas such as eyebrows and eyelashes can be recreated. You can
expect to pay between $4,000 and $30,000 over time.

Finally, cosmetic enhancement is the use of products such as thickener,
concealer, and techniques that create the illusion that your hair is
thicker than it actually is. As you read further you will discover the
most effective cosmetic treatments available today.

 Need volume? Here is what works.

•   Back-combing: No, it doesn’t damage your hair. No, it won’t look like
a beehive if you do it right. Learn how. It will always and forever
give you control over that split in the crown.

•    Styling products like mousse are often best applied just to the scalp and root area.

•   Blow dry your hair in every direction with tension (pulling hair
strongly away from the scalp with a brush or your fingers) with heat at
the scalp, and voila, Volume! Bending “upside down” will help, but only
if you also use tension with a brush or your fingers so the hair dries
pulled 90 degrees from the scalp.

•    Volumizing products do temporarily plump the hair shaft. You get more volume. More tangles,
but more volume. They can also weigh certain fine hair types down.

•   Velcro rollers: On dry hair: set, spray with hairspray, heat with the
blow dryer, allow to cool. Poof! Volume. Back comb for more.

•   Curlers: Rollers, magnetic rollers, rags, bendies, anything you wrap
wet hair around and allow to form to that shape will add volume through
wave or curl.

•    Hot rollers: Always make sure the ends are neatly wrapped to avoid “fish hooks.”

•   Curling iron: Start at the base of the hair, over direct up and away
from the direction your are rolling for lift at the scalp, roll then up
and close the clamp slightly to click the hair through, heat, release,
allow to cool before styling.

•   Round Brush utilizes the same
concept as Velcro rollers. The more you heat and lift the hair at the
scalp and allow to cool before removing the brush, the more volume

Creating Illusion Through Shadow

One of the simplest but least used techniques for creating the illusion you
have thicker hair is to fill in the hairline or scalp area with scalp
shader. Like brows with brow color and lashes with liner, your hair
will look thicker when you conceal the scalp with color that matches
your hair.

There are several scalp shaders on the market. Check
out which offers several options for scalp
concealment. My favorite is Dermatch. Simply apply the shadow-like
powder to thinning areas and voila – the illusion of thicker hair. This
is particularly effective at hairline, temples, hair part, and that
nasty split in the crown. Also great for men.

For more information and solutions check out the American Hair Loss Association’s Website. 

Five Spring 2012 Trends and How To Wear Them

Every year the new spring fashion trends tempt us with the possible. But, hopefully those of us with a little experience do not once again (and we’ve all done it) fall in love with the “it” only to realize “it” isn’t a fit. With any trend, ask your self: Does it flatter my body type, my style, and my age?

Here’s my take on just 5 of Spring’s top trends.

1. Color Blocking.

Diagonal color blockiing can be slenderizing, but pleats that pull accentuate flaws.

I love bright colors. But remember bright colors advance, expand and draw attention wherever it is placed. Put it on the parts of your body you wish to advance, expand and draw attention. Contrasting color blocking must  balance proportions for the most figure flattery. Vertical and diagonal color blocking is more slenderizing, horizontal and round color blocking the least. Colored separates can be worn with any variety of whites grays and beige for the more sophisticated fashion personalities and those of us … with the “patina of wisdom and experience”.






2. Big Head to Toe Patterns:

Can visually add pounds
Large round designs add pouds.

Iffy, unless the pattern is small to medium. The bigger the pattern the bigger you’ll look. If you carry some junk in the trunk (and you don’t want people to stare at it as it walks away) place no pattern there. And of course, remember that round adds pounds. Any round patterns, (big polka dots, paisley, blobs, or big round flowers) will add visible pounds to your figure.







3. The Peplum.

Best worn on balanced figures, the peplum helps creates curves and adds fullness. Definitely an avoid for thick waists. A peplum can flatter and conceal depending on it’s hem, texture and colort. It can give the buttless some booty. It can make a “boy body” appear more feminine. It will tell the world if you have a very short or very long waist.

Not all peplums are created equally, but this one draws attention to a short waist and adds midriff heft.











4. Unexpected Nails.

Crafty glittered nails are often best left to the pre-teen crowd.

For daily wear, I use the guideline that if you wouldn’t wear it on your lips, then don’t wear it on your nails. Extreme trend colors, patterns and textures are best meticulously applied on young, beautiful hands and feet and should coordinate with the whole look.

Let’s break it down.







Young, beautiful hands.

Like young and beautiful bodies, young, beautiful nails have the most leeway with extreme trend. If you have aging or unattractive hands or feet, why i draw attention to them? Neon and Easter Egg colors are often best left for prepubescent experimentation.

Effective on young hands when harmonized with the entire looo.










B. Meticulous Application.

Any flaws screams “HERE I AM! with extreme polish. Chips, cracks, mis-shapen, nails or painted cuticles instantly take the look from trendy to trashy.

Natural, Nude and Neutral Nails complement any hand or any outfit.










C. Coordination with your look.

If your theme is nautical, bright sunny beachy colors make sense. Glitter, black, cement, chartreuse? No. If your theme is innovative rebel, a soft oval shaped pink doesn’t work. In a soft feminine summer dress, a chunky checker board pattern is confusing. Festively glittered nails can defeat your authority and should be reserved festive occasions.

Bottom line? The further from natural in nail shape, texture, or color the bigger risk of lowering your fashion I.Q.

5. Pleated Skirts.

Long flowy pleats are feminine and flattering.
Very short pleats flatter the very young and slim.

Pleats are meant to fall closed, perpendicular to the floor. The should never pull or burst open. You may need to go up a size if you have any prominent bulges such as a protruding abdomen or saddle bags.

Thigh stitched pleats lengthen your torso, hip stitched pleats help lengthen a short waist. Unstiched pleats elongate shorter legs.

An over blouse, jacket, or sweater hem looks best landing where the pleats begin.



An Out of the Rut Makeover by Christopher Hopkins, Makeover Guy

Marion and Bev had gotten into a rut. Both trying to reach a goal of weight loss and better health, they decided a trip to reVamp! salonspa in Minneapolis was what would jump start their comeback.

Top stylists Joelle Hicks and Audrey Mullenmaster along with makeup artists Kami Kleven and Amy Goulet helped create the final looks.

Bucket List Makeover Update!

Many of you asked if I had heard how Lynn, who came to visit me for a haircut because I was on her “bucket list” as she was waiting for a lung transplant at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.  Here’s her husband’s latest response:

Today is Lynn’s 16th day in critical care, three times the average, after a record setting 13.5 hour surgery for her double lung transplant.  I’m pleased to share with all of you, a dramatic (and most welcome) turn upward.  In the last 48 hours she has exhibited extraordinary improvement, i.e. off the ventilator, taking most medications orally through a gastric tube, able to sit in a chair for several hours a day, take ice chips and small sips of water, and at last, able to speak with us.  

Her voice is still weak, quite raspy, and her swallowing reflex has been compromised by the lengthy intubation (imagine swallowing a garden hose and having it stuck for two weeks), however, every hour shows continuous improvement.  The light at the end of the tunnel is shining, ignited by all of you, for your continued concern and support.  Saying ‘thank you’ seems shamefully inadequate.  But I choose to do it…thank you all very much.

Without resorting to the myriad details in the treatment, today will be the day to prepare her for placement into a “step-down unit” room, which, paradoxically is a step-up.  It could be as early as tomorrow.  Please recognize that she is still a sick puppy, a distance from implementing solid foods and the necessary physical re-hab which promises to be lengthy.  At best, it may be two weeks or more before she is released from this Rochester Hilton.

Among her first remarks that we could understand:

“I think we should sell my mother’s silver service”  Huh? Where did that come from ?  You’re laying here half-dead and you’re thinking about silverware ???

“How long have I been here ?”  Nice to hear, indicative that she has little memory of the ordeal, much like the pain of childbirth.

“I’m sorry I put you through this”     Okay, you’re excused, but I’d do it again in a minute.

I did have to tell Lynn that her Uncle Dwight, age 95 y/o, died yesterday, and that we lost our old gullwing pal, George ‘Pinky’ Winther, who died in his sleep at the Homestead in Hot Springs, VA. last week doing what he loved most….playing with cars.

However, on a happy note, son Michael and his family, after a six year hiatus in northwestern Ireland, have been repatriated this week to Chandler, AZ.  It’s a long way from Yeats country to Joe Arapaio’s Maricopa county, but we are happy to have them back.  Grandson Niall had his first day in his new elementary school yesterday, without incident (except for his mother’s tears).

I will be glad to read any e-mails sent to Lynn.  For those of you who insist on subsidizing the future success of the greeting card cabal, the formal address for the next two weeks:

 Janet Lynn Spiher
 Mary Brigh floor 6E
St Mary’s Hospital
1216 Second Street  SW

 Rochester, MN  55900

Please recall, NO flowers (real or artificial), no balloons, no candy, no troupes of serenading Amish girls singing Amazing Grace, and no checks.

I’ll get back in several weeks, maybe with photos and less dialogue.



Here’s the video if you missed it the first time:


A Mother and Daughter In Law Makeover by Christopher Hopkins, Makeover Guy

Patti and Agnes (72) drove in from Wisconsin for a mother daughter makeover. Agnes wanted maintenance free and natural, Patti wanted professional and updated. Though not dramatic changes, I think the end results are appropriate and fresh. Kelly Marciniak created a natural brown with highlights for both women and Sarah Remer and Kami Kleven did the makeup.

Makeover My Mom! By Christopher Hopkins, Makeover Guy

Beverly flew in from Mississippi with her daughter for a makeover. It’s difficult to describe true loveliness, but Beverly has it. She was lovely before, but lovely and in living color afterward. You could just feel her spirit lift into flight after this makeover. Joelle Hicks from reVamp! salonspa in Minneapolis did the haircolor, and Kami Kleven did the makeup.