Hamburg woman 'ambushed'

| 15 Feb 2012 | 08:44

Makeover contest winner says every woman deserves this treatment, By Jennifer Jean Miller Hamburg — “I am a 39-year-old single mother of one beautiful little girl, and I so need a makeover. I have never colored my hair and I just pulled out my first two gray hairs a few weeks ago and I don't know what to do. I desperately need help.” That's what Melissa Post wrote to “LIVE! with Regis & Kelly” in her application for the show's Rescue Me Ambush Makeover contest. Post said she had forgotten about her submission in May and never expected she would be chosen. She was extremely surprised when style expert Lawrence Zarian knocked on her door early on the morning of July 18. Post was one of five women selected from thousands of entries. The West Milford native, who moved to Hamburg in 2001, has recently started a new business, Truly Green House Cleaning, which specializes in eco-friendly housecleaning and consulting, and sought a new look to accompany her new business. She has sported the same hairstyle since high school and said, “I was a wreck about the haircut and hair color.” After Zarian filmed some segments with Post and daughter Jessica at home, a few days later, Post was whisked to Oscar Blandi Salon on New York’s Madison Avenue. The salon’s many employees, she said, were sympathetic about her fears, and offered chamomile and peppermint tea to help further quell her nerves about taking the plunge into a new style. They also served her a gourmet lunch. “We were there all day,” Post recalled of her pampering time with the other winners, who came from Connecticut, Ohio, North Dakota and North Carolina. “I think every woman should be treated that way once in a lifetime,” she added. The makeover Post's hair was cut and colored, and then highlighted three times until Zarian was satisfied. Her fingers were manicured, her toes pedicured and her eyebrows waxed and shaped. “We were treated like queens,” she said. Why did she wait so long to try something new with her 'do? “Most women just get into a rut, you get overly attached and you get comfortable with the same old style,” she explained. “My stylist has been trying to get me to cut my hair for years; with the makeover, I had no choice,” she laughed. Post said her local stylist loves her new cut and color and so does she. “It’s a lot easier to work with now and it looks and feels a lot healthier now. I would always fight with my hair before.” Her daughter Jessica, 8, said, “I loved her hair, I was so surprised they cut it that short.” On another day style expert Lawrence Zarian took Post on a personal shopping trip to Macy’s Herald Square. He chose nearly 30 dresses for her to try on and helped her pick out her outfit for the show. The final selection: an electric blue Adrianna Papell cocktail dress, Carlos open toe pumps and earrings and a bracelet by Monet. The debut On Thursday, June 28, a limousine pulled up to Post’s home and drove her and Jessica to the set of “LIVE! with Regis & Kelly.” Jessica sat in the audience with other family members, while her mother was primped for her appearance. Emmy Award winning makeup artist for the show, Michelle Champagne, applied Post's makeup before the Hamburg woman went on camera. Post said Champagne taught her tricks about makeup application, especially techniques for applying mascara. Her appearance on camera was quick, she said. Actress Julianne Moore, who was just on before Post, greeted her with a handshake as she was going on camera, and Moore was leaving the stage. The band 3 Doors Down also performed, but Post did not get to meet them, as she was already taken offstage to change out of her outfit. After her appearance, Post said she was swamped with positive feedback e-mails through Facebook from fellow friendly Sussex County residents she did not know. “You look so wonderful!” one wrote to her. “Thank you for making Sussex County look so good!” wrote another admirer.