To some people, appearances are everything; that seemingly wasn’t the case with Stacy Collins and Brandon Helms, though. Stuck in their ways, the pair wore only comfortable clothing and had an obsession with camouflage gear. However, with their wedding slowly approaching, the soon-to-be bride and groom decided that they needed to smarten up their looks. And, with the help of the Rachael Ray show, their wish became a reality.
Stacy and Brandon appeared on Rachael Ray in early 2017, perhaps hoping that the show could work its magic on them. The newly engaged couple, from Mount Pleasant, North Carolina, had been together for nearly seven years; with their wedding planned for spring 2018, though, the pair had decided that their somewhat shabby appearances needed a dramatic overhaul.
Indeed, Stacy and Brandon seemed to favor function over fashion when it came to their clothing. They had an active lifestyle, after all, and so needed to dress accordingly. “Every day, we’re out,” Brandon explained on the show. “We’re outside doing sports – whether it be hunting, fishing… Anywhere we can get a place to stay at, we have fun doing it. We dress just plain.”
The couple’s physical appearances, meanwhile, seemed to reflect their apparently easygoing vibes. Brandon, for instance, sported a long, scruffy, ginger beard – something that Stacy wasn’t altogether sure of. “I can’t say that I don’t like the beard,” she confessed, “but, then again, I can’t say that I love the beard. It’s his face: if he wants to bundle [the beard] up, he can. It is what it is.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, though, Brandon was definitely more of a fan of his facial fuzz. “I like it,” he said.
And Stacy also had a signature look. Her hair, for instance, while full of amazing curls, was mostly worn pulled back and well away from her face. The bride-to-be would explain why she wanted to shake things up, however. “I don’t feel like I look bad,” she told the show. “I feel like I look just ‘blah,’ and I want to feel pretty and look pretty.”
Ahead of their transformations, then, the couple met with host Rachael Ray and makeover specialist Kyan Douglas to discuss their current looks and what could be done to update them. And in the process, Stacy would admit that she hadn’t worn a dress since her prom in 2004. Rachael subsequently explained to the audience, “I don’t think people, if you’re up in the country or something, feel comfortable getting too dressed up.”
Then the host addressed the couple’s forthcoming big day, telling the studio audience that Stacy and Brandon were “coming to a new stage in their lives.” A stage too far, perhaps, for one very distinctive part of Brandon’s face. “How do we think the beard thing is going to go?” Rachael ventured. “Are you going to maybe… think about… consider trimming that a bit?” As Stacy looked on apprehensively, though, Brandon said, “Oh yeah, I think it would be a good change.”
Kyan, meanwhile, also desperately wanted to tackle Stacy’s hair. “It is so beautiful and it can be hard to manage,” the stylist said. He added, however, “But I think we can find a way to really create a haircut for you that really works with this, so you can have it down and not have to have it up all the time. Because that texture is gorgeous!”
So, in the hands of Kyan and a team of dedicated helpers, Stacy and Brandon prepared for their transformations. The whole time the couple were being primped and preened, though, they were both kept away from the mirror and each other. Alongside Rachael, then, the first the two would see of their new looks would be during the show’s big reveal.
Then after a quick reminder of how the pair used to look, the doors slid open. And, stood back to back and holding hands, the couple went on to slowly turn to face each other. Upon seeing the new Brandon, though, Stacy’s eyes widened; she would also mouth, “Oh my God!” What’s more, when the camera cut to Rachael, it was clear that the host was dumbfounded at the couple’s radical new appearances, too.
Indeed, Stacy and Brandon’s amazing makeovers had quite literally brought Rachael to her knees; the host crouched down, her hands to her face in astonishment. After a period of seemingly stunned silence, however, Rachael finally exclaimed, “Your bride is stunning! Oh my God, you’re going to make me cry, you two… Oh my God, they’re so beautiful!”
Having thus far only seen each other, though, it was now time for the lovebirds to clap eyes on their new selves. And after being instructed to turn around and look into the mirror, neither Stacy nor Brandon could believe their eyes. At least, their shocked facial expressions and cries of “What!” and, “Oh my God!” suggest that was the case.
But how had the team accomplished these amazing makeovers? Well, in Stacy’s case, they had unearthed the stunning beauty beneath the baggy sweatshirts. That included dealing with her hair, too, as Kyan would explain on the show. “[Stacy] obviously has a ton of curl, she didn’t know what to do with it,” he said. “She always put it up. So, we really wanted to embrace her natural texture.”
Kyan then explained what the expert hairdressers had done to achieve this look. “If you have really curly hair, it’s really all about the layering,” he added. “Have your stylist cut your hair dry. Don’t use a razor, [but] point cut with scissors. This way, you can really see the shape emerge as you’re cutting.” Kyan went on, “Sometimes you just use a little bit of color to accentuate your cut, and that’s exactly what we did today.”
Next, the stylist moved on to Stacy’s clothing and “killer figure.” Kyan declared, “If you have a curvy figure, do not be afraid to show your legs a little bit, to show your cleavage a little bit. We have a tendency to want to hide ourselves if we have a little bit of curve. Do not do it!” And Rachael certainly seemed to approve of Stacy’s new outfit, telling her, “You look so beautiful!”
Brandon, too, displayed new wardrobe choices: Kyan had taken him out of his loose threads and dressed him instead in a blue plaid shirt and gray jacket. And while the slim, fitted gear definitely complemented Brandon’s lean physique, Kyan had also ensured that the new garments suited Brandon’s hair color and skin tone, too. The stylist pointed out, “You can balance your coloring with your clothing.”
The biggest change in Brandon’s appearance, however, was the beard – or, rather, the lack of one. Kyan would tell Rachael, “I had Richie the barber backstage with me because [Brandon] was giving me a little bit of pushback about the beard.” In the end, though, Brandon seemingly allowed his facial hair to be trimmed down considerably.
But, regardless of how proud Kyan and the makeover team were of their work, the real question was whether the couple themselves liked their new looks. And, to that end, Rachael asked, “Guys, at the end of the day, we want you to be happy. Do you like the way you look?” Brandon replied, “I love it, I love it.” Stacy, meanwhile, could only manage a stunned, “Yes!”
But Rachael’s kindness did not end with her complimenting the couple. She also had a special treat in store: one that would allow Stacy and Brandon to show off their makeovers. “You and your family, you go out to dinner any place you like and it’s on Auntie Rach tonight,” she said.
And that wasn’t all, either, as the host had one last surprise for the soon-to-be newlyweds. Directing Kyan to retrieve a gift, she explained, “We wanted to get our happy couple not just a new look, but we wanted to get their registry started.” She presented them, then, with a $2,500 gift card from Bed, Bath and Beyond. And once again Stacy was speechless, her mouth wide with shock – so it was down to Rachael to fill the silence. “Can’t have a happier ending than that,” the host laughed.