The Times - 1991, July

A blast from the past.  Owner Wendy Solomon, highlighted in an article from July of 1991, early in her skin care and cosmetics career.

Image Maker
The Times, July 1991
By Janie Nafsinger

Consultant adds polish to the office look.  Image consultant Wendy Solomon gets right down to business.

Her client, Pat Hutchinson, wants some new, bolder makeup.  “It’s been the same for 10 or 15 years,” explains Hutchinson, a sales representative for Payroll 1 in Tigard.

Maybe some bolder jewelry, too – “I tend to be pretty conservative about accessories,” she tells Solomon.

Her hairstyle is fine; she got it cut just that morning into a short, wash-and-wear style that fits with her naturally curly brown hair and no-fuss lifestyle.

But the beige blouse and brown skirt that Hutchinson is wearing just aren’t her – she is really a “cool winter,” Solomon says, her skin tones better matched to navy and red than to tan (too sallow) and brown (draining).

And the clothing style?  Casual, simple lines suit Hutchinson’s figure type and personality – “you’re a classic,” Solomon determines.

If it’s a complete makeover Hutchinson wants, she’s come to the right place.  Solomon, a Tigard resident, helps career women and men achieve that “polished, professional” look that fashion magazines talk about.

Solomon offers head-to-toe advice, from hairstyles and cosmetics to colors and clothing styles.  She analyzes her client’s body type, helps choose colors, does makeup, advises hairstyles, organizes wardrobes, even shops for clothing and accessories for her clients.

She gives presentations to businesses on how appearance affects productivity, and offers makeovers to individuals and groups at private homes or in conference rooms.  Her clients include architectural firms and business colleges, entry-level office workers and executives.

“Image consulting is not just a fad,” says Solomon, a representative for BeautiControl Cosmetics, a Dallas, Texas-based company.

“Companies are finding it worthwhile to have image consultants come in and work with their employees on achieving a more professional appearance,” she says.  “We put it all together – cosmetics, clothes, hair.  We’re geared to the businesswoman.”

Solomon was an administrative assistant with Security Pacific Bank before she joined BeautiControl about three years ago after answering an advertisement.  Yes, she’s had a makeover, too, and she exhibits her “before and after” photographs as an example.

A petite blonde, Solomon wears her hair short and, because she is a “summer,” chooses soft pastels and whites as her wardrobe colors.  “But I like red, too”, she admits, so she accessorizes her white suite with a red scarf and jewelry.

Which brings up fashion rules, or lack thereof, according to Solomon.

“There’s always a list of dos and don’ts, but the list is always changing,” she notes.

“Rules are meant to be broken.  For example, I advise women to match their hosiery with their shoes or their hemline or both, but it can be mixed up.

“The key is taking a long look at yourself in the mirror before going anywhere.  What might work in one place might not work somewhere else.”

Solomon always takes into account her client’s wishes and personal tastes.  “What would you change about yourself if you could?” she asks Hutchinson, a Rock Creek-area resident whom she met through the chamber of commerce.

Hutchinson apparently has already thought about this.  “My figure and wrinkles,” she replies immediately.

“Boy, are we in luck – we can fix that,” Solomon says, grinning.

Those are common complaints of women, she adds.  “Obviously we can’t change the figure, but we can do things with clothes and makeup to hide and flatter.”

Hutchinson feels “fairly comfortable with her working wardrobe and the colors she usually wears.  “I like basic blue and white – I wore school uniforms for years,” she says, laughing.

There are other colors, too, that look good on Hutchinson, as Solomon shows, when she “drapes” her client with swatches of fabric in a dozen hues.

Orange?  “It makes your skin look sallow,” Solomon says, shaking her head.  Pure white?  Solomon smiles.  “See how it brightens your face?” she observes.  

Solomon does not charge a fee for her consultations, instead relying on sales of BeautiControl products.  But she also offers personal services, such as shopping and closet analysis, for a fee of $35 an hour.