The Biggest Loser Contestants Get a Makeover!

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Photo: Trae Patton/NBC

After 15 weeks of sweaty hard workouts and adjusting their diets, the seven remaining contestants on The Biggest Loser: Couples finally reach the highly anticipated makeover episode, airing Tuesday night on NBC at 8 p.m. ET.

Helping them along their way are Project Runway mentor Tim Gunn and salon savior Tabatha Coffey. “People say clothes don’t matter, but yes, they do,” Gunn tells PEOPLE. “There was a lot of disbelief about even fitting in the clothes, but it’s only fun for me when I know they get it and are really happy with it.”

Case in point: Helen Phillips, 47, (seen getting her hair blown out) used to walk right past the evening wear section in department stores, couldn’t even recall the last time she got dressed up. But having lost 88 lbs., she was able to pour herself into a purple gown. “I was overwhelmed,” Phillips tells PEOPLE, “because I haven’t purchased a dress in over 10 years. I looked at myself in the mirror and said, ‘I made this happen.’ I hope this is inspiring to women my age.” The men, for their part, are equally psyched about their transformations. Filipe Fa, 26, came in with very curly and seemingly tough to style hair. “It was way too overgrown,” Coffey says, “so I cut it and then I did an anti-curl to soften the texture of his hair.” “I totally put my 100 percent trust in Tabatha,” admits Fa. “It’s a new look for me and I’m loving it.”

But these hair and fashion tricks work for everyone, say Gunn and Coffey, who shared four tips with PEOPLE.com readers:

Remember the Three Principles: According to Gunn, “There are three keys to getting it right, and I subscribe to this no matter what shape or gender: silhouette, proportion and fit. That’s what it’s about.” Everything else, from never wearing stripes to always wearing black are myths, he says.

Don’t Wait to Do Your Do: “Your hair is an accessory and a reflection of the whole person,” says Coffey, “so if you are in the process of losing weight, then there are different parts of your face you will want to bring out as they emerge, so keep changing and reinventing your hair.”

Always Try Before You Buy: “Where women and men make a mistake are with clothes that are too big,” says Gunn. “They look sloppy. They look like they are hiding. I don’t want hiding behind baggy clothes!”

Consider a Color Change: The best way to make a transformation is to change up washed-out hair color, says Coffey, who turned Laura Denoux, 24, from a pale blonde to a feisty redhead. “I wanted to get them to look at themselves as a new person, and get rid of that old person. I hope they could look at themselves in a new light.” –Cynthia Wang

Trae Patton/NBC

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