The Gift of Beauty

If there’s anything any experienced Make-Up Artist (MUA) will tell you of “What it’s like” to be a makeup artist, is the incredible feeling of seeing your work captured in a moment, a flash, a pose, a smile…

As a MUA, you get up close and personal with each and every single person you paint. There’s something about being so close to someone’s face that inhibitions are kind of lost  within that time frame you are blending, concealing, enhancing. The MUA is forever obligated to an unwritten rule “Client-Make-Up Artist Confidentiality” for the rest of their career.
On Saturday, December 4th, 2010, I was able to donate my service as a MUA to such a heart-warming event called the Dayton Help-Portrait. Photographers, Industry Professionals, and volunteers donated their time and services to military families who had a soldier deployed or deploying. As women sat in my chair, getting “all-made up,” I listened and shared stories of the experience of having a loved one deployed overseas.

As I read from my fellow-photographer friend, Melissa Cales, a total of 88 familes were photographed, with a cumulative of 293 people. Being a military wife myself, the event hit close to home.

In total, I have been away from my husband Dean a total of 1 yr, and 9 months due to his military obligations-out of our entire relationship of 4 years. That’s nearly half of our relationship. I wouldn’t change a thing, because he is my American Soldier Hero, and yours.

Any military wife will tell you, it doesn’t matter how many deployments your husband is sent on, the holidays are never easy, both for the spouse and the soldier. Anniversaries and birthdays do not fair well either. Sometimes, the only way to mend the distance between families and soldiers, is not always a care package, but rather a letter from the heart, and importantly, photographs. I cannot count how many faces I painted that day- from the stay-at-home mom with 4 children who is coping with her first experience of being away from her husband, to the little girl who wanted a little dash of lip gloss to look pretty for her daddy overseas..the experience was overwhelmingly humbling for everyone.

Personally, the pressure was on me as a MUA. Not because of the multitude of faces I had to paint. But every woman I did make-up for had to be PERFECT. These pictures were going to be sent to their husbands thousands of miles away, and these husbands, are the ones who fight for us everyday. These families sacrifice Christmas, Thanksgiving, birthdays, and anniversaries together- so that we, as Americans can live our everyday lives and go to sleep at night with peace. So I figured, the greatest gift I can give back for their service, and for their family’s sacrifice, is the gift of beauty. Though they deserve so much more, it’s amazing how a little blush and lipstick can go a long way. Especially when it’s captured by in a photograph by the incredible team of photographers that were at the event. It is the most incredible feeling in my heart just to think, that these photographs will make a soldier’s day..even if it’s just one.

Though I am not in this clip, Here’s WDTN’s coverage on the event: