Okanagan Woman editor, TJ Wallis, gets a lot of letters. Compliments about the magazine, insights to articles, maybe the odd offering of (constructive) criticism, but on April 10, 2013, a letter came across her computer unlike any before…
Patti Crichton penned a plea to Okanagan Woman editorial: “I’d like to plan a makeover day and I am hopeful to acquire sponsors.”According to Patti—a youthful 75—she and her equally vivacious best friend, Dot Steenwyck, 79, were in dire need of some TLC of the beauty kind.
“How nice would it be to perhaps have our hair done, new outfits, and a special evening out on the town…” she suggested.
Both ladies have limited vision. Patti lost an eye to cancer; Dot only sees peripherally due to a degenerative disease. Such challenges might stop some in their tracks but these ladies are always on the move.Patti still drives, often picking up Dot for outings. “My son always jokes, ‘You’ve got four eyes in the car and only one can see!’” Dot says, laughing. They volunteer, go to “geriacting” classes, water aerobics and the gym, out for gelato—oh, and they do love their wine!
“How can you not, living in the Okanagan?” Patti asks. Friends for the past ten years, the pair first met as volunteers at the Rotary Center for the Arts.
“I was new in town,” Patti explains. “Dot got me involved in the Lioness and we began going to the theater together. She just kind of took over,” Patti laughs.“
Oh!” Dot waves her hand, dismissing her friend. “She’s the instigator.”
Indeed. While reading Okanagan Woman Magazine at the dentist’s office (surely the best part of that appointment), Patti was struck with inspiration: indulge her desire to keep up with beauty trends and maybe treat her best friend to the same.
“I would like to plan something very special for dear Dot,” Patti wrote. “Will you please help me in my efforts?”
How could TJ refuse?
First Stop: Kelowna Toyota
The folks at Kelowna Toyota want the team from Okanagan Woman—Gemma Wallis, Marketing Executive extraordinaire, myself, and most importantly, our honored guests—winners of our first makeover contest, Patti and Dot—to travel in style. Sales manager, Steve White, ushers Gemma and I into a shiny, sassy, red RAV4 and off we zoom to collect the ladies. Let’s just say when Patti and Dot see the car’s modern exterior, and then settle into the “equally advanced and energetic interior that includes more standard features than ever before,” they’re delighted with our drive.
Best Face Forward with Femme Fatale
What’s a makeover without makeup? Linda Lylick’s Femme Fatale Beauty Lounge beckons with a beautiful, custom décor she designed herself, but it’s her talents—wizard with a makeup wand—that keep her clients coming back. Offering eyelash extensions, custom colour spray tanning, nail enhancements and airbrush makeup, Linda strives to bring out the stunning in every woman.
Dot prefers subtle and is thrilled with the way Linda applies a light but lasting touch of airbrush makeup. Fresh and fun, airbrushing delivers flawless coverage, providing more even, brighter tones to match individuals’ skin. Designed to hide flaws like scars, fine lines, and hyper-pigmentation, airbrushing lasts for hours. Love those Hollywood smoky eyes? Linda can do them, too, and no surprise—Patti is in.
“Let’s go dramatic!” she grins. The end result: Two lovely ladies who look like rejuvenated, chic versions of themselves.
What to Wear by Silhouette Fashion Boutique
Before we leave the Beauty Lounge, both ladies change into their smashing new ensembles, generously provided by Silhouette Fashion Boutique in Armstrong.
Dot looks dazzling in her embellished t-shirt by Papa Fashions and fitted crop pants by TruLuxe. “This is my outfit,” she proudly says, showing off her new duds. “It’s not as fancy as Patti’s because I’m not a dolly bird,” she quips. “Not true!” Patti pipes up. “Dot’s got some bling on her butt!”
Dot laughs. “Yes, on my top, too.” In fact, even on her shoes, as she slips into bejeweled flip-flops from Grandco.
Patti is pretty in a darling white, sleeveless dress with matching, mini cardigan by Miss Nikky. Crystal flip-flops complete her look.
Golden Girls Guide to Gorgeous
70-Something Friends Learn Beauty is Timeless
on Dream Makeover Day
Story by Shannon Linden
Photos by Wendy McAlpine
Onto Adventures in Hair
Up next, new hairdo’s, of course!Owner and stylist of Adventures in Hair, Wendy Young, laughs when Dot tells her, “Anything goes! I feel like a witch!”
“She needs shine but her skin tone is perfect for her naturally greying hair,” Young comments, shaping Dot’s locks into a more modern do. Showing Dot the versatility her new cut offers—she can wear it forward, to the side, a couple of pieces down—Wendy grabs some styling product and says, “But today we’re going to wear it sassy and spiky! It’s hair with attitude!”
Patti is up next.
“An asymmetrical cut is going to give her the pizazz she needs,” Wendy says. “It’s going to suit the shape of her face and camouflage a little thinning that’s growing back in. Then we’re going to enrich the colour with a mahogany brown in organic colouring. Very few salons are using this, but it’s much better for the hair.”
For the crowning finish, Wendy adds some highlights that bring sparkle to Patti’s face.
Time to Stop and Sip the Roses
All this beauty treatment is making us thirsty. Everyone is thrilled when our next stop is the House of Rose Winery in East Kelowna. Celebrating their 20th anniversary, the winery offers a wonderful, intimate experience with free wine tastings and friendly staff.
Visitors can take in the peaceful setting in the winery’s picnic area or wander through the vineyard, admiring the ripening grapes that will soon be pressed into sumptuous sips. Refreshed, we leave with bottles of bounty, including Grapes with Benefits, a summer white and award winning Hot Flash, “a red that celebrates that wild and wonderful phase of life.
Delicious Dining at Okanagan Golf Club
Neither Patti nor Dot golf, but the Okanagan Golf Club happily obliges the ladies’ love of good food.
Sarazen’s Restaurant and the Player’s Lounge and Grille feature local ingredients prepared with West Coast flair. On such a fine day, Patti and Dot are seated outside on the patio, where they sip wine and savor fine food in a beautiful setting. Before we leave the friends to dine, Gemma smiles slyly, letting it slip that one more surprise is yet to come.
Ending the Soiree in Style with Kelowna Enchanted Limo
What’s more decadent than first class luxurious transportation?
"You should've seen the look on Dot's son's face!" Pattie gushes, remembering their regal ride in an Enchanted Limo generously donated by Pooja Shandil. "Younger people just don't think us old gals can have a good time. We do prove them wrong!"
"What a marvelous, astounding, exciting day! We can’t thank you all enough for this Golden Opportunity for two Golden Girls."