573 Magazine is passionate about finding, supporting, and (when we get an opportunity) giving special recognition to the amazing businesses, beautiful natural sites, and the extraordinary people in our area. One 573 Magazine tradition that has always been near and dear to my heart is for someone very special who's on all our minds this time of year, Mom.
...a chance to honor the unsung heroes of society...
Among the many ways that 573 Magazine gives back to the community, the 573 Mommy Makeover is something that gives us a chance to honor the unsung heroes of society, and the true leaders on the front line of everyday life, our Moms! Being a mother myself, I have a deep appreciation for this wonderful gesture, and am always honored to be a part of bestowing one of the 573’s most marvelous matrons with a day of pampering, respite, and the adornment she so greatly deserves.
With the Big Makeover Day being so close to Mother's Day, this Mommy Makeover really does feel like the ultimate one. We honor our contest winner, while thinking of our own mothers, and how we might honor them. Though we have the Mommy Makeover as often as we're able, it still only happens maybe every other year, so don’t wait until there’s a big contest, or major holiday to start honoring the woman who gave you the gift of life! Show her your love and appreciation today, in those subtle little ways she cherishes. Making treasures out of the tiny moments that slip quickly by, but mean so much, and end up creating her most precious fond and lasting memories.
Of course, slightly grander gestures every once in while can make some pretty amazing lasting memories as well, and thanks to our awesome 573 Mommy Makeover Sponsors this year, we were able to do just that with the biggest prize package we’ve ever had to offer our area Mommies! The Mother of all Mommy Makeovers included a premiere treatment package from Show Me Younger Medical Aesthetics, a full body massage from Massage & Skin Works, a full make-over with hair, make-up, and the works from Salon de Charles, a rockin' new outfit from Dress 2 Impress, a romantic dinner for 2 at J-Street Brew Co's 5 Year Anniversary Beer Pairing Event, and an overnight stay at the Urban Lofts Air B&B.
Kourtnie Rawlins, our newest Mommy Makeover Mommy, began her treatments at Show Me Younger almost immediately after being announced the winner. Read all about Kourtnie's backstory and her first treatments here!
After multiple treatments, and weeks of excited anticipation to see the outcome of Kourtnie’s physical transformation, we had finally arrived to the moment of truth...the big Mommy Makeover Day!
"The transformation was everything I could have dreamed for..." -Kourtnie
We met Kourtnie over at Show Me Younger, first thing in the morning, to see her for the first time since her initial treatments, and hear about the amazing work Dr. Olivero and Show Me Younger did to achieve these awesome results.
"The transformation was everything I could have dreamed for. The scars from my acne and from when I was a baby have been removed...vaporized off my face! It was amazing to actually see the results first hand!"
We could see the difference right away! Fuller lips, a balanced skin tone, even her facial scarring had disappeared! She looked thinner, younger, healthier, and had an amazingly bright glow, but even more surprising than her awesome appearance was the story of her journey to get there. While finding her inner beauty to bring it back to the surface, Kourtnie found so much more than she expected...a new home.
"Dr. Olivero is so passionate and loves to educate not just his employees but his clients also. This helped me when I joined the Show Me Younger team." -Kourtnie
During her visits, Kourtnie learned a lot about Medical Aesthetics and the technology behind it, but more importantly, she got to know the warm and friendly staff behind the magic of Show Me Younger and a fondness grew between them. After a couple visits to Farmington’s premiere Medical Aesthetic Treatment Facility, Kourtnie was offered a full time job! From working odd hours as a cashier at a local gas station, struggling to make ends meet - to becoming a key player for a team of Medical Aesthetics Professionals; complete with salary, insurance, and the other epic benefits that comes with working at Show Me Younger. A Cinderella story within a Cinderella story, Kourtnie not only changed her looks, but her stars as well, as she found a whole new career, a whole new future, and a whole new Kourtnie.
"I'm so happy and thankful to have such a great work environment. It really is the ideal place to work! Dr. Olivero is the boss everyone dreams of having! So I really am thankful to work with Dr. Olivero!" -Kourtnie
After hearing all about her experience with Show Me Younger, we accompanied Kourtnie to Massage and Skin Works on Doctors Dr. in Farmington to get her checked in for her full body massage appointment. Once the paperwork was filled out, we made sure Kourtnie was settled, and left her to enjoy her hour, confident that she was in the best of hands!
“The massage at Massage and Skin Works was amazing for my first experience.” -Kourtnie
We were surprised to learn later on that this was Kourtnie’s very first professional massage, but that only made the day sweeter.
“Yes, that was my first massage ever, professional massage, and she did great! My first massage ever was like heaven! I mean the massage table was heated! That was a game changer! Haha. Not freezing. Warm, getting a massage, the music very relaxing. It was a great first experience and I believe she has me hooked! The massage therapist really showed she cared and asked what areas needed the most attention. Since I'm a mother and I play softball I asked her to work on my lower back and my shoulders also. She did amazing and worked out all my kinks in my back! I feel amazing, and I’m not sore! I really thought I would be, but I just feel incredible..." -Kourtnie
Kourtnie’s next stop was Salon de Charles on Columbia St. in Farmington. If you’ve not yet treated yourself to a visit at this palace of pamper, you simply must, but be sure to call ASAP, they book up fast!
Upon entering the doors at Salon de Charles you’re surrounded by a wonderful fragrance. Light, floral, with a subtle hint of sweet like vanilla, a potluck of the different scents escaping the top brand products being used in the room.
With multiple work stations set up in one of the most elegant and interesting ways I’ve ever seen in a local salon, the very sight of this uniquely designed and elaborately decorated lay-out took my very breath away. Being someone who’s visited a multitude of salons across the country and is still highly impressed, I could only imagine what our small-town Cinderella might be thinking. After all, a place this decadent can be a little intimidating if it’s not something you normally patron.
...right at home...
As a small group of girls waiting for their friend moved toward the front, my concern for Kourtnie quickly faded. Making her way to the wash station, with a glass of red wine in hand, Kourtnie looked right at home, as she joked and chatted and laughed with owner, proprietor, and super talented stylist, Chuck Carron, and his staff who were completely taken with Kourtnie’s funny and friendly midwestern charm.
“Last time I got my hair done was like 2012. One of my friends was doing their hairdressing when we had the hairdressing school down here, and she needed a model, so I went and modeled for her, and haven’t done my hair since. Haha!” -Kourtnie
She laughed out loud. Clearly having a ball, and enjoying the fun of having a whole room full of beauty experts fussing over her and hanging on her every word, Kourtnie smiled with a look of total peace and joy as she tilted her head back to have the product rinsed.
Realizing that his star client’s audience had grown a little, Chuck looked up and smiled so big, you could see it underneath his funny mustache mask. “Hey guys!..,” he greeted us warmly, “Come on in and make yourselves at home!”
We squeezed in to get a closer look at what was happening with Kourtnie’s hair. Noticing our brief inspection, Chuck illuminated us, giving us a quick update and a summary of the makeover plan.
“We did some baby-light highlights on her, and next we’re going to layer her up, and make her look like a Victoria’s Secret model! Hahaha!” He chuckled with a teasing grin at Kourtnie, who blushed just slightly after his comment. “We’re gonna keep the length,” he continued, “and just do some soft layering in there, giving it just a very natural kind of look. It lightens up the load a little bit too, so it gives it a little bit of extra volume. And then Niccy is gonna do make-up on her, and then she’ll be ready!”
Chuck wrapped Kourtnie’s hair in a big terry cloth turban and walked her back over to his styling station. He combed through her hair, and began trimming as we asked Kourtnie about her salon experience.
So, how has your day at the salon been so far?
“It’s been awesome.” Kourtnie said, taking a sip of her wine, “I love it. Mr. Charles has been doing awesome. For not being in a salon for a while, he welcomed me back real nicely!” They both laughed, and I noticed a sincere look of appreciation, a brief but strong moment that subtly passed between them. A shared memory that would be cherished.
Then Chuck quickly went to work, as Niccy wheeled up her make-up station and started on Kourtnie’s foundation and contouring. Looking like a glamorous diva backstage with a full beauty crew, Kourtnie relaxed and soaked in the pampering and undivided attention she was receiving.
Knowing that today was her first ever massage, and how long it had been since her hair had been done professionally, I became curious as to when her last makeover was, or if she’d ever had one.
So, when’s the last time you had your make-up done?
“Um…” she looked up as if trying to pull a memory from far away. “...probably prom? Highschool? Graduation maybe? You know, the typical eye-liner and a little mascara and I’m good. I don’t do a lot of fussin’ and I don’t get dressed up a lot. Last time I was in a dress was prom. And that didn’t last long cause, you know, it was prom…” Laughter echoed throughout the salon.
Chuck moved around to the back of the chair and clicked his FIT styling wand in the air a couple times.
“Alright, fair warning if you curl this, there better be a lot of product to hold it cause this hair don’t like to curl.” Kourtnie laughed.
Chuck grinned, clicked his flat iron 2 more times and said confidently,
“Honey. This is God’s gift to hair.”
After a few more stories and a whole lot of laughs, the room grew quiet, as a happy peace fell over all of us, radiating from Kourtnie. The team began to wind down in their work, wrapping up their final touches as Kourtnie sat serenely with eyes closed and a gentle smile.
How do you feel?
“Like a movie star.” Kourtnie breathed softly. She smiled contentedly, and then opened her eyes to peek at her reflection. Her smile grew and it made the whole place seem even brighter. Behind her, outside, a thick soft white flurry of snow started to swirl around a statue of a Greek goddess and a small sapling with tiny pink blossoms.
A natural yet very surprising thing of beauty that seemed to be both out of place, yet somehow completely belong and even brighten the scenery all at the same time. Mother Nature’s own transformation, from a dark and drizzly spring morning, to a chilly but breathtakingly-beautiful living springtime snow-globe immediately commanded the attention and awe of everyone in the room. It was surreal, but fitting, as it perfectly paralleled Kourtnie’s own rare, surprising, and enchanting nature.
"Salon de Charles knocked this out of the park! I mean seriously, it was awesome. I got a cup of wine before Charles asked me what we was envisioning. He was amazing, I felt like I have been going to this salon for years, but it was my first time! He took into consideration
that I love the length of my hair! He did some highlights for a t shape and really brought out the red in my hair! Can't hide this red hair! HaHa! Charles did a great job helping me relax and have a good time with the girls! We had some good laughs while Charles was getting my hair fixed up! He made me feel like the Victoria secret models with their long flowing hair! I would highly recommend Salon de Charles for anyone needing a hair stylist! Charles and his makeup artist, Niccy did a great job! It was like out of a dream!" -Kourtnie
Kourtnie said her goodbyes to her new found friends, and we escorted her down the street to an awesome little resale boutique called Dress 2 Impress.
Aptly named, Dress 2 Impress is the most popular upscale resale store in Farmington, Missouri. With a helpful and friendly staff, trending fashions from top brands, ridiculously low prices, and a priority mission to give back to the community in several unique and very supportive ways, Dress 2 Impress certainly lives up to its name.
We met up with Dress 2 Impress stylist and personal shopping companion, Tonya. Trending with Tonya is a new service provided free at Dress 2 Impress, and we were happy to be some of the first clients to Trend with Tonya, something I highly recommend to anyone who wants to feel famous and get the royal treatment without having to pay a king-size fee.
Swirling around the store like the small blizzard outside the large front windows, Tonya
bustled around, quickly grabbing multiple outfit options from the racks and bringing them to Kourtnie for inspection. Looking at some of them raised up in front of the mirror, Kourtnie turned her head and crinkled up her nose trying to picture it, but looking a little disheartened.
“Sometimes the weirdest ones are the cutest ones,” Tonya said encouragingly, “you really gotta put it on to know for sure.”
Kourtnie nodded and took the dresses back to a dressing room. Following behind, Toyna asked, “What’s your date wearing?”
“I don’t know...” Kourtnie replied from behind the privacy curtain. “I told him he better dress up. I got enough going on today, I ain’t wastin’ my time worryin’ about him, he’s grown.” Tonya giggled at the blunt yet charmingly candid response. Honest yet painfully humorous, I think most women can relate to Kourtnie’s words of wisdom, at least a little. I know I felt that. Lol.
"Tonya made shopping fun! Typically I don't like to shop because I don't have enough time. Tonya had a great eye for outfits and whipped this outfit out in no time at all! She had a vision and I personally think she killed it! I was worried about getting into a dress, but Tonya did amazing, and had/made the outfit in mind that screamed my name! I loved it and was happy Tonya had that fashion eye!" -Kourtnie
Noticing the late hour, I gave our Cinderella a quick reminder on what time her reservation was, and the 573 team jetted down to Perryville to make sure all accommodations were ready for the 573 guests of honor.
...charm, comfort, and amazing hospitality...
The Urban Lofts in Downtown Perryville has all the sophistication of a Park Avenue penthouse with the charm, comfort, and amazing hospitality that can only be found in small-town America.
Literally steps away from multiple eateries, and must-try destinations including, but not limited to, J-Street Brewery, Mary Jane Burgers & Brew, Cheesecake Ninja, Villainous Grounds, and The Man Cave, The Urban Lofts are a cozy and convenient way to have a nice inexpensive getaway and experience all that the area has to offer.
...our happy couple would be very comfortable...
We checked in and got the room codes. Our guests would be staying in room 2, the same room my own family stayed in during the 573 Film Festival. I knew our happy couple would be very comfortable here. As we set up to take some pictures of the room, I glanced in at the big white fluffy bed looking like a low hanging cloud, and reminisced about what must have been the best sleep I’ve ever had.
A sudden ding on my phone snapped me out of my nice fluffy daydream as a text came through from Kourtnie:
[ I'm here! ]
As Kourtnie wondered through the door, and started looking around, her whole face lit up radiating with a sweet soft surrender to her bright and ever broadening grin as she strolled throughout the loft gazing with euphoric awe at her new home for the night. We couldn’t help but stop what we were doing and just watch her, hypnotized by her joy, her excitement, and the stunning beauty that stood before us.
"Urban lofts is the most beautiful and gorgeous air bnb! It was quiet which made it such a relaxing night with my fiancé!" - Kourtnie
We took a few good “After” pics of Kourtnie with her rockin' new look, and headed downstairs to the “Back Alley” which is what the legendary, Mary Jane, lovingly has dubbed the long hallway that runs the length of the building behind all of the businesses on Mary Jane Row. Going from the side street entrance all the way to Mary Jane Burgers & Brew, this nice little not-so-secret passage makes for a safe and convenient way to travel back and forth between multiple awesome Eat. Drink. & Be Mary. venues. A feature that Kourtnie and her fiancé, Joey, were quite grateful for, because now they could really relax and fully enjoy themselves at the J-Street BrewCo Beer Pairing Dinner, worry free.
And really, how convenient for such an unusually cold spring day!
Once they entered J-Street Brew Co, our happy couple were escorted to a couch and table on a private platform that sets in the large front window. With a beautiful view of the snow circling the pretty spring blossoms of the little trees lining the block, and dancing with the twinkle lights that float above Jackson Street, zigzagging back and forth between the buildings of Downtown Perryville, our couple couldn't help but stare in wonderment at the strange, yet beautiful sight. As they continued watching the snowy spring scene, they began to slowly melt into each other, their hearts warming, and their gaze softening. A magically romantic moment you could tell they would never forget.
A friendly server brought our couple the first beer of the pairing event. “Here is your Welcome Beer. It’s our Lavender Basil Saison.” She said, as she placed the couple’s beer in front of them along with a menu card detailing each course of dinner and their pairing beers.
Leaving the couple to enjoy the rest of their evening, we ventured over to the open kitchen to chat with Executive Chef Matt Ruesler, to see what else he had in store.
“The first course is the Tacos Al Pastor, with hand-made tortillas, pickled pineapple and feta cheese served with a Pineapple Wheat Beer.” Matt explained, “I’m working on the tortillas right now. It’s my first time making them so be sure to let me know what you think!”
Matt, the tortillas were perfect. Très magnifique!