Taking A Personal Day
By Heather Morse

We all know that when life gets hectic, it’s easy for our beauty routine to fall by the wayside. So it’s no surprise three women welcomed the opportunity to slow down for a day and learn how to refresh their looks from top SJ makeover stylists. They ended the day feeling inspired and ready to get back to their busy lives with fabulous new looks.

“After” photos shot on location at Katz JCC by David Michael Howarth


Tracey Geiger

After heart palpitations sent Eastampton’s Tracey Geiger to the hospital at the beginning of the year, the 34-year-old knew it was time for a lifestyle change. “I was overweight and speeding toward diabetes, heart disease – you name it, I was headed there,” says Geiger. “I want to be around to see my son grow up, but knew I wouldn’t if I didn’t make a dramatic change.”

Geiger has already managed to shed nearly 40 pounds since revamping her diet and making exercise a priority. She’s chronicling her weight-loss progress on her blog, Naked in the Hallway, which she describes as “a humorous journey from heavy to healthy. I want to walk into a room and feel like people are looking at me for my smile, not my weight. I still have a way to go until I reach my goal, but this makeover is a way to celebrate my progress and the new me.”

Geiger, who works from home as a tech support supervisor for a medical alarm company, says her beauty routine could also use an overhaul. “I sit in front of a computer for eight hours a day, so I usually just throw my hair in a ponytail. I would describe my look as ‘haggard housewife,’” she jokes.

To help Geiger mark the changes in her life, colorist Jamie Meltz applies a rich, chestnut-brown base color and then adds bright highlights. “She has naturally curly hair, so the highlights will make her curls pop,” explains Meltz.

Next, stylist Rob Wilgus decides to cut off nearly eight inches of Geiger’s hair. “I’m giving her long layers, which will give her hair more movement,” he says. “This cut also gives her more versatility. She can wear it curly or blow it out for a straight look easily now.”

Makeup artist Dana DeMarco polishes up Geiger’s revamped appearance by playing up her eyes. “She has gorgeous green eyes, so I’m using bronzy, gold colors to highlight them,” she says. “Since I’m making her eyes the focus of her face, I’m applying a sheer pink to her lips for just a touch of color and shine,” she says.


Tips from the Pros:

“Color should add dimension and accentuate the natural tones in your hair. When you work with those natural tones, it’s easier to maintain your color. Just be sure to keep your hair well moisturized between colorings.” – Jamie Meltz


“Long, short, curly, straight – right now, they’re all popular. The key is just finding and choosing a style that gives your hair lots of texture, movement and versatility.” – Rob Wilgus


“If you have combination skin, a makeup primer is key. It helps absorb oil and set your makeup so it continues to look great all day long. Just be sure to use a primer that has SPF so your skin is protected.” – Dana DeMarco


(thriv.) salon and spa, Cherry Hill

Colorist: Jamie Meltz
Stylist: Rob Wilgus
Makeup: Dana DeMarco


Claudia Krusch

Claudia Krusch is a mom, owns a foreign language school, maintains an online business directory for moms, provides translation services and oversees a team of writers who publish a dozen different SJ and Latino blogs, so it’s no wonder she doesn’t have much time for herself. “My life if extremely organized,” she explains. “What little free time I do have is also scheduled. If I don’t write it on the calendar, it doesn’t happen.”

Krusch’s demanding career also takes the Wenonah resident to conferences and seminars throughout the country, where she often speaks about her passion for helping children and adults learn a second language. She speaks four languages herself – her native Portuguese, Spanish, English and German – so she loves to see others explore different languages. “I spend about 25 hours a week teaching, mainly kids. When I know I’m going to be in the classroom, I usually just throw my hair up because the kids pull on it,” she says.

Since her career pulls her in so many different directions, 44-year-old Krusch says she’s lost focus of herself. “I’ve been doing the same beauty routine for so many years. I would like to change the way I look at my hair and makeup, especially as I’ve gotten older,” she says.

Lotus colorist Matt Blase first changes Krusch’s perspective by explaining how her old hair color has actually been doing more harm than good. “Claudia has naturally curly hair, and by continuing to lighten it over time, she’s actually been breaking down the integrity of the curls,” he says. “This makes the curls frizzy and puffy.”

To give her tired curls new life, he deepens her color to a “beautiful chocolate shade with creamy blonde highlights.” Once the color is completed, stylist Jewels Simko trims Krusch’s hair to further enhance her now bouncy curls. “By shaping around her face and doing some interior layering, it will give her volume without making her hair too poufy,” she says.

Lastly, makeup artist Sondra Martinovic cleaned up Krusch’s brows and used soft colors to even out and highlight her porcelain skin. “Full brows are popular right now, but the key is to keep them nicely shaped and trimmed,” says Martinovic. “Also, by adding a shimmery eye shadow under the brow bone, you soften the eyes.”


Tips from the Pros:

“Hair needs to be an accessory; it should enhance your look, not overwhelm it. Think of it being like a beautiful necklace you put on to complete your look. The right color will make your hair shiny, richer and more vibrant – which looks good no matter what you’re wearing.” – Matt Blase


“Styling curly hair requires a few different steps. I recommend using a towel to scrunch up the curls before defusing it because it helps shape the curls. You also need to use sufficient product to give the curls shape and hold. And as you’re defusing your hair, don’t touch it too much because you can make the curls frizzy and they’ll lose their bounce.” – Jewels Simko


“Makeup should help you feel like a better version of yourself, not someone different. Play up your strongest feature and make that your focal point. If you love your eyes, highlight them – but then do a more natural lip so the features aren’t competing with each other.” – Sondra Martinovic


Lotus Salon, Marlton

Colorist: Matt Blase
Stylist: Jewels Simko
Makeup: Sondra Martinovic


Jacquie McGinnis

For Medford Lakes single mom Jacquie McGinnis, life revolves around her kids. Between her 18-year-old son’s involvement with his school’s robotics team and her daughter’s sports and Girl Scout activities, she sheepishly admits, “I’ve been known not to take time for myself.”

It’s apparent that’s a bit of an understatement when 48-year-old Jacquie begins talking about the things she does for her two teens. Last year, she and her daughter traveled to Costa Rica with a Girl Scouts group, and she has put in more than a decade of her time as a school board member advocating kids with special needs, including her son, who has Asperger’s syndrome. “My son is heading off to college in the fall, which is so exciting,” she says. “Right now he and I are reviewing all the courses and deciding what classes he should take.”

Jacquie also works as a sales manager for a printing company, where she says she always goes out of her way to make clients happy. (In fact, she stopped by a customer’s office to drop off a proof in between her salon appointment and meeting our photographer for her “after” shots.)

She found a little free time in her schedule earlier this year, so naturally, she found another activity to fill it. “My boyfriend and I started taking ballroom dancing lessons. We’re just at the point where we’re having fun going out dancing and showing off our moves,” she says. “I’d love to be able to get dolled up when we go out, so some new beauty tips would be great.”

Stylist and colorist Lauren Carroll first set out to cover Jacquie’s gray roots. “I gave her a warm chestnut color to get rid of the mousy brown color and ashy highlights she had. The new shade really brings out the pretty olive tones in her skin,” says Carroll.

Knowing how busy Jacquie is, Carroll says she kept her cut simple. “I just took it up about an inch and gave her some soft layers to highlight her face,” she explains. “I didn’t want to do anything crazy because I want her to be able to recreate the salon look at home.”

After cleaning up Jacquie’s brows, makeup artist Christine Spira used a tinted moisturizer followed by a palette of soft peaches and pinks. “She already has an amazing skin tone, so I wanted that to shine through. I also framed her eyes to help open them up and make them sparkle,” says Spira.


Tips from the Pros:

“Sometimes less is more. It’s not necessary to have a dramatic hairstyle or color in order to look great. If you have a simple style and color you can maintain, you can always look put-together. And be sure to invest in the right tools to help you maintain your style and color. Never underestimate what a good round brush, hair dryer and products can do for your hair.” – Lauren Carroll


“As you age, it’s important to adjust your makeup accordingly. Heavy matte lipsticks and blushes make you look older. Swap them out for a nice cream blush and a sheer gloss. The subtle shine will make you look younger.” – Christine Spira


Rizzieri Salon and Spa, Marlton

Colorist/Stylist: Lauren Carroll
Eyebrows and Makeup: Christine Spira

May 2013
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