By BRENNA GRITEMAN
Kim Kogan returned this week from a whirlwind trip to Los Angeles that she can only describe as “life changing.”
And she’s got the blond hair to prove it.
The 38-year-old Findlay woman was chosen from a pool of applicants to undergo a makeover courtesy of the Hallmark Channel’s “Home and Family” talk show. The episode was taped Monday on the show’s real working home on the Universal Studios lot and aired Tuesday morning. By the time she got off the plane in Detroit later that day, “I had 33 text messages and a gazillion Facebook messages,” Kogan said Wednesday.
Friends and family will have to get accustomed to the newly styled version of Kogan, who says, “I’ve never had blond hair before” but is “absolutely” planning to keep it that way.
Those close to Kogan, though, have seen her go through a far more dramatic transformation over the past year. At the urging of her doctors in Findlay and at the Cleveland Clinic, Kogan has lost nearly 100 pounds since August 2016, dropping from a size 20 to a size 6. Learning how to style herself after that drastic weight loss was a huge part of why Kogan applied for the professional makeover.
“It’s a brand new size, and a brand new style,” fashion expert Lawrence Zarian says before unveiling the newly made over Kogan on the “Home and Family” show.
The Hallmark Channel recently put out a call to its “Hearties,” so-called fans of the network’s original series titled “When Calls the Heart,” to share why they should be chosen for the makeover. In her 100-word-or-less application, Kogan explained how the resilient women on the TV show encouraged her to remain strong through her own chronic health problems and her subsequent weight loss journey. Hers was chosen from hundreds of letters received from all over the country.
She says Zarian, a well-known Hollywood lifestyle and fashion expert, was the first person she met after she and her husband, Marc, were flown free of charge to Los Angeles. Zarian took Kogan shopping at Macy’s, where she ultimately picked out a dark floral A-line dress made by Betsey Johnson, paired with strappy stacked heels by Steve Madden. With the help of Zarian during the wardrobing process, Kogan tried on many styles of clothing that she formerly would have avoided. She’s since ordered one of the dresses she tried on that day online.
“It gave me so much self-confidence,” she said of shopping with and receiving tips from a fashion expert. And in the process, she learned she can “rock” high heels.
The next day, on the set of “Home and Family,” producers hid every mirror from her view as the “glam squad” bleached and straightened her naturally brown curly hair and put in extensions to make it appear longer. Her first glimpse of her new look was on camera, where Kogan was clearly thrilled with the result.
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