A mother and daughter duo from Falconer have a new look thanks to NBC's "Today Show."
In October, Nancy Jones and Kirsten Boardman traveled to New York City for a family vacation, and on their first day there they ended up on national television.
One of the first stops on their trip was to Rockefeller Plaza for the "Today Show" because they are fans, and Boardman wanted to meet Al Roker. It was Jones' 70th birthday, so the two made signs to hold up. To their surprise, Louis Licari, hair colorist; and Jill Martin, fashion expert; selected the two to be featured in a "Plaza Ambush Makeovers" segment with hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb.
"To get to the city for my mother's birthday, my brother flew on a plane, my husband and I drove and my mother took the train, so we took planes, trains and automobiles," said Boardman. "It was very early in the morning, so we weren't looking our best. My mother had lost her luggage on the train, so she had no makeup. They approached us to ask us if we wanted 'Plaza Ambush Makeovers,' and we didn't know what it was all about, but we volunteered anyway. We didn't know we were going to be on television."
After agreeing to appear on the show, Licari informed the two that they had no say in the makeover. Their hair would be cut and colored; their clothes would be chosen for them. They wouldn't be able to see themselves until they appeared on air.
"That was our first clue that we'd be on television, so I wasn't sure we wanted to do it," said Boardman. "But, my son Alex said, 'Mom, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity; you have to do it.'"
In the studio, Martin interviewed Jones about Boardman, and then interviewed Boardman about Jones. After that, the two entered the wardrobe area where they tried on several outfits. Then came the haircut and style with Arsen Gurgov, and coloring with Licari.
"It was very strange because normally a woman thinks quite a bit about her hair," said Boardman. "I especially didn't want my hair cut really short, so they kept reassuring us that it would be fine. I was lucky with the fact that he didn't majorly cut my hair so that I didn't have major shock."
Licari described Boardman's hair as a perfect example of how a series of small changes can change one's whole look.
Jones was a little unsure about getting her hair colored because she had it gray for the last 30 years.
"It was a big change for me," said Jones. "I liked my gray hair and had always received compliments on it. Even Licari said I had great gray hair. So, really what a shock it was to have it colored. I've had a lot of positive comments saying that I look a lot younger. It's neat to have a change, and my husband loves it."
Their new looks were being worked on by stylists up until the very last moment before they came on stage to reveal them to their family. Jones' husband, Merwin; Boardman's husband, Randy, and her sons Alex, Zachary and Adam were all waiting with blindfolds. Boardman was the first to walk out on stage, and before she even got to see what she looked like, the family removed their blindfolds.
Randy's response was, "You were beautiful before, but you look beautiful now too. You're just gorgeous; I love it. Your smile - it says everything."
Jones came out on stage next, looked into the mirror and said, "Is that me?"
Merwin's response to the change was, "I'm afraid to take her to my coffee group because these guys who are a little older than I am will attack her."
Both Jones and Boardman have continued to wear their hair the way it was colored and styled for the show. Licari provided them with the color formula, so they were able to bring it to their local stylists to keep their hair looking fresh. Boardman has her hair done by Amber Feldt of Panache Salon in Jamestown, and Jones' is done by Marcie Madonia of Marcel's Salon in Jamestown. They also got to keep the dresses they wore for the segment. They haven't found a second use for the dresses yet, but they think a Christmas party will be the perfect opportunity.
"If every woman could have the experience of being made up by experts, we would all look like Kathie Lee," said Jones. "So, I don't think a woman should judge what people look like on television as what everyone should look like."
"The experience itself was so unique for our whole family," said Boardman. "It made a difference in my life by making me think a little bit more about myself. I have three children, and I'm very busy with their lives, so sometimes I can get so caught up in what their needs are that I forget about myself. I think it helped me redirect that to spruce things up for myself. I look at things a little differently and value myself differently now."
To view the "Plaza Ambush Makeovers" segment of NBC's "Today Show," visit video.today.msnbc.msn.com/today/49288302.