Inside an office and in the conference room, the professional makeup artists dumped out their tools; brushes, sponges, eyelash curlers and color palettes. Cosmetics covered the surfaces, all needed to provide an authentic experience to the dozens of girls who signed up for the first-ever Beauty Day at Pace Center for Girls in Pinellas Park on Wednesday.
With locations throughout the state, Pace provides a free prevention program for high school and middle school-aged girls considered at-risk, which combines academics with social services. “At risk of something but also on the edge of greatness,” said Heidi Hugh, development manager at Pace Pinellas. Most students complete the program in about two years, transferring back to a traditional school or graduating, depending on their age.
When Booze and Boutiques decided to donate the proceeds of their annual boutique crawl in downtown St. Petersburg to Pace Pinellas, it inspired an idea in partnership with Niki Serafyn of Serafyn Salon in Largo. “The idea was to pamper the girls for a day,” said Brittni Lynch, president of Booze and Boutiques. They recruited volunteer makeup artists, collected donations of beauty products for take-home goody bags, catered a pizza lunch and arranged a glamour shot by a professional photographer.
Girls were sent to the makeshift beauty salons in small groups. The makeup artists asked for their preferences — some knew what they liked, others gave the beauticians creative control. “I don’t want to look like a ghost,” said Imani, 14, giggling as she grabbed a seat in the conference room. Other girls, used to wearing makeup, knew what they wanted from their final look. “Makeup is a way to express yourself,” said Melanie, an 18-year-old moving on to St. Petersburg College for a nursing degree. She wanted her look to communicate her personality. “I am creative and I’m willing to work around everything I do.”
After their makeovers, a photographer took each girl’s portrait before leading them to the cafeteria, where an array of cosmetic and hair products were available. The girls could choose two to add to their goody bag, already containing some gifts.
Groups of girls, some done up with lipstick and lashes, others yet to have their turn, sat down together to chat and have pizza.
“I do love this idea,” said Lynch. “I would love doing it for Pace every year.”
“Absolutely,” added Serafyn. “I’m down.”
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