YBOR CITY — With her photo shoot just an hour away, Josey surveyed the landscape of rosemary mint shampoos, automatic massage chairs and shelves of nail polish. Cautiously, she stretched out her fingers.
"Do you want glitter?" asked manicurist Mariel Fritscher. "Or is glitter too much?"
No, a little glitter was fine. Josey, 11, liked the idea of an unexpected spark.
That spark is just what Josey and 10 other foster children got Tuesday when they received makeovers at the upscale Tribeca ColorSalon in Ybor.
The new hairdos, nails and makeup came just before their afternoon photo shoot for the Children's Board Heart Gallery of Tampa Bay, a traveling exhibit of foster children who need permanent homes.
Salon owner Brandon Wagner said he hoped the makeover would be a positive experience the children will remember. "It gives them something they've never had a chance to do before," he said.
The salon, which also has a location on Kennedy Boulevard, also has teamed up with the Heart Gallery for a monthlong "Love is in the Hair" fundraiser. Clients at the salons can make a donation in the name of their stylist.
On Tuesday, stylists focused on the children. Some acted a bit shy amid all the pampering.
Josey's 10-year-old brother, Jicarri, finished with a shampoo then stood on the legs of his sister's chair, hovering over her shoulder as she got her nails done.
"You got makeup on?" he asked her in a whisper. Josey nodded, her eyes fixed on her nails, which were now deep purple, dabbed with green stripes.
Over in another corner of the room, Shyanne, 15, had just put on an edgy black dress — fitted, with lace arms — that complemented her black hair and new, sideswept bangs.
A makeup artist rubbed tinted moisturizer on her face. "I've never gotten my makeup done by other people," Shyanne said.
The makeup artist pulled out a glittery blush and promised to make the girl shimmer.
Shyanne smiled. "Just go for it."
Jodie Tillman can be reached at email@example.com or (813) 226-3374.