Christopher Hopkins and stylist Tamara from Homewood work on Nancy Martinez. | Jaime Angio/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 10, 2013 6:08AM
Work it, girls.
Women these days like to look smart, work smart and most importantly, be smart.
And that was theme Saturday afternoon at Orland Square mall for Western International University’s Day 1 of the two-day, seven-city Start Smart event, featuring nationally known style and beauty expert, Christopher Hopkins, also known as, “The Makeover Guy.”
“In today’s economy and tough marketplace looking your best opens doors for you,” Hopkins said. “People make the wrong judgment. My whole philosophy is when your inside is brought to your outer image, then you’re beautiful and people know who you are.”
Hopkins, who has appeared on The Today Show, Oprah and HGTV, was on hand Saturday giving consultations and working with local stylists in giving women makeovers, tips and advice. Hopkins said that first impressions really are, everything.
“Classic, alluring, dramatic, casual. We try and appropriate that and explain to them how they can do their hair and makeup to reflect that,” said Hopkins.
Mary Harrison, 63, of Waukesha, Wis., came to Orland Square for a purpose.
“I came out to see The Makeover Guy,” she said. “I follow him on Facebook, his blogs and his makeovers he has on YouTube and I was just hoping to meet him.”
Hopkins, who works with women 40 and up, is very appealing to Harrison.
“He is very good at what he does,” she said. “He makes over women and does great styles on them. And the look in the professional setting is very important. You don’t want to be inappropriate, you don’t want to wear something that the 20-year-olds are wearing, so you want something that will fit your authority and make you feel good about yourself.”
Kathleen Warner, 27, of Chicago, is a Western International University scholarship recipient as part of its Go Smart program. Warner is majoring in business administration.
“We’re trying to figure out what kind of style you have, and so they figured out I’m a classic romantic style and they just showed me some tips on contouring my face and doing my makeup,” she said. “The first thing people notice about you is how you present yourself. I think people take you more seriously if you take your look more seriously.”
Nancy Martinez, 17, of Burbank, loved what Hopkins came up with.
“I learned some new ways and techniques to do your hair and makeup,” she said. “I learned how to wrap your hair around the wand and different techniques on how to put on your mascara and eye shadow, lip gloss and filling in your eyebrows.”
Brittany McCleodone, 18, of Chicago, wants Hopkins to “live in her world.”
“Oh, my God, I learned about eyebrows,” McCleodone said. “My eyebrows are really thin, he took a little brush, came over and curled it up on the top, brush it over to the side, now my eyebrows look fabulous.”
Debbie McKean, VP of alumni and career services at Western International University said education is all about bettering oneself.
“Another thing that happens when you go back to school is feeling more confident,” McKean said. “We know that in today’s tough economy first impressions are everything. So, as you’re gaining your confidence, you have a minute to make an impression.”