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STYLE GUY: Enough is Enough


The Style Guy was a monthly column that appeared in Birmingham Magazine for nearly ten years.  It was written each month by Sanctuary owner and stylist Todd Cargo.


As a stylist I feel that it is my job to keep my clients on the right track when it comes to beauty and presenting one's best image. There are so many wonderful new techniques and procedures on the market today to keep us all looking healthier and happier and sometimes a little younger. I think I do a pretty good job of keeping my clients looking their best, but more and more when I am out in public I find myself passing by people who are looking more and more alike. More "done" and in desperate need of someone to place a mirror in their face and point out the cosmetic travesty of their appearance. Now I am all for opting to have some cosmetic enhancements if they actually enhance, but I'm here to tell you that some people out there--you know who you are-- are taking these options too far. The procedures available are never ending: Botox, Lipo, Collagen, Restylane, Lip plumping, butt lifting, boob enhancing, brow lifting, eye lid trimming, make-up tattooing...the list just goes on and on.

               Whenever I am out among the public and run across a person who has "over done" their face, I find myself feeling a little repulsed. It's painful to look at them because I know that they truly believe that they look better. Let's take for example the infamous Lisa Rinna lips. For years we all made fun of them because she took her beautiful face and turned it into a punch line with her lip enhancements. Finally she relented and had her lip implants removed. Another example of fish mouth is Taylor from "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills". She has exactly the same issue, and in my opinion, ruined her good looks with a needless lip augmentation. When she speaks it just looks odd, as if her lips have very little mobility. And anyone who watched "Dancing With the Stars" a few seasons ago remembers how weird the once-exquisite Priscilla Presley looked after having had injections of silly putty put into her face, leaving her looking more grotesque than young, like a clay-mation figure from a Tim Burton movie.  Women aren't the only ones though, Kenny Rogers is unrecognizable these days--although is there really anyone out there looking for him anyway? Mickey Rourke's another male example.   In his youth he was swarthy and smoldering. Now his skin resembles what plastic wrap looks like when pulled to tightly over a bowl. And that once-sexy stare now looks like he's having trouble seeing an eye chart on an optometrist's wall. 

               That being said, I understand why actors often go to cosmetic extremes; They live in a world that's based on their looks and that does not forgive aging. The irony is that often they are aging themselves even more by having too many enhancements. I've often noticed that a 40 year old with too many facelifts doesn't look 30--They look like a fifty year old who looks closer to 40 because she's had a face-lift. But it's not just celebrities, it's the rest of us too. Are we just mimicking what we see Hollywood doing? Why are we able to point out other people's cosmetic blunders but unable to gauge when enough is enough on our own faces? Originally cosmetic enhancements were meant to be subtle procedures to help keep us looking fresh and younger. Now it's become more about status. We want the world to know that we have enough money to have something done to us. This is exactly what it looks like too; The result isn't that you look younger,  it's that you look "done". We've lost sight of the point--which was to look better-- and now we just want to prove to the world that we are rich enough to have surgery and that we are savvy enough to seek it out. What ends up happening is that after a little tweaking, a pretty girl will become kind of beautiful--but she won't stop there. Eventually she'll keep going until she looks undeniably odd. Yes, I'm talking about you Heidi Montag.

               So what's the whole point of this? Am I saying that surgery is bad? No.   I am preaching moderation here people. Don't get "over done". Follow these few tips from a stylist who cares and you'll be just fine: Don't get a boob job unless you need to downsize or slightly lift and enhance. Too much boob will cause clothes to never hang right on you and will make you look cheap even in Chanel. I for one feel nostalgic for the small natural boobies of yester year. I miss hugging my female friends and feeling them instead of hugging an inflatable raft. Also most people do not need lip injections. If anyone ever asks you if you've injected your lips then you'll know it looks terrible, no matter what they might say. The only good lip job is one where we don't notice it. Otherwise you look like a fish-mouth or a duck-billed platypus. Never try to look younger than ten years ago. We all have to age and when you strive to stop aging in its tracks is when you begin to look grotesque and strange. Remember these final words, Never let your natural beauty become overshadowed by your surgeries (unless of course, you were never pretty to begin with). If someone points out that you've had some work done, then enough is enough!