Molly Seals' kindergarten class notices every itty-bitty detail.
Once, the 25-year-old came in to teach her Prairie Lane Elementary School students and didn't wear mascara. No hesitation from the kids.
"You look tired today," one said. So imagine their expression when Seals came to class on Feb. 4, her hair chopped off at her shoulder, dyed a gradually melting blonde, with a full $180 makeover.
Every few months, Seals goes back to Creative Hair Design Salon and Spa near 120th and Pacific Streets for a new look. Her former sorority sister, 23-year-old Amber Jackson, is a cosmetologist and makeup artist there. And for almost four hours on this winter Wednesday, she overhauled Molly's look.
"She's like my guinea pig," Jackson said. "This is teetering on the edge. It's stuff we've done before, but it's a mixture of things we haven't done together."
Seals was bored with her old look. She usually opts for a darker color then flips to the other end of the spectrum, leaning on Jackson and Pinterest for fresh ideas.
Cutting off 3 inches before doing anything else allows the cosmetologist to identify which areas to highlight and fine-tune.
A darker base color applied to roots helps add a sense of warmth that complements her skin tone and eye color. It also gives the illusion of thicker, more voluminous hair toward the top and back of her head.
By taking an extra inch of hair off the back and creating a shorter length underneath, the longer hair on top is able to extend past and naturally curl underneath.
A primer evens out any discoloration and any facial lines. It's followed with a liquid foundation, matching her skin tone, and powder for full coverage.
The transition from darker roots to brighter ends serves to guide observers' eyes to a particular facial feature by drawing focus to the angle and texture of the cut.
Neutral colors help create a safe, everyday look, but adding a bit of brown and purple color in the corners accents her green eyes and helps them pop. Mascara and a deep brown eyeliner finish it off.
A pink shade of blush helps accent her natural pink undertone. Then, contouring her cheeks underneath with bronzer helps define her natural cheekbones.
The light pink natural lipstick isn't too flashy, but it helps finish off the everyday look. Liner helps it stick in place.
Hair is cut shorter in the back and is left progressively longer toward the front. For someone with wider cheekbones, this creates a natural line of sight down the face to the chin, making the face appear longer.
Just like the angling, bright highlights on the ends of hair can serve to guide others' eyes down the jawline, making the face seem longer. This highlighting process is called balayage, which can create a softer version of the popular ombre look.
VIDEO: MAKEOVER STEP-BY-STEP
Amber Jackson proves that a cosmetologist can get a lot done with shears, some tin foil and four hours. Omaha.com/Living
This time around, Jackson said they were going for a "sun-kissed, beachy" look. More important, Seals wanted something that "makes me look like I'm not 16."
She got her wish. After a long night in the chair with foils, underneath a heater and in front of a mirror, she started to see the final result. Now she sees an even closer resemblance to her doppelganger — friends tell her she looks a bit like TV star Kaley Cuoco.
Of course, that's not what her kindergartners said.
"Wow, your hair is very short," they told her the next day. "If they would have cut off any more, you wouldn't have any!"