Cosmetology students help others heal with makeovers

Juliette's Hope Women's Center after their makeovers.

Juliette’s Hope Women’s Center after their makeovers.

Makeovers are more than a means to explore a fresh look. They are also therapeutic. For the women of Juliette’s Hope Women Center, receiving makeovers from Butler Tech Cosmetology students became a day of healing as the students used their skills to help the women feel loved and special.

“I was excited about this experience,” said student Mackenzie Helmes. “It makes me feel great knowing that I could help them feel beautiful and better about themselves.”

Taliyah beginning starting to work on eye shadowing for Lyndsay.

Both the students and their new clients were excited for the consultation where they discussed the desired look of the makeover. The conversation outlined a plan for designing the women’s nails, hair and makeup. “My students always surprise me,” said Claudia Hubbard, Cosmetology instructor. “They were professional with the women and delivered exactly what they wanted in their makeovers.”

Juliette’s Hope Women Center, located in Hamilton, Ohio, provides a safe and caring environment for women to recover from physical and emotional abuse. The organization’s founder and CEO, Kim Russo, connected with Hubbard in a previous service project and was enthusiastic about making this day a reality.

“Allowing these women the day to come here and feel special is absolutely incredible. They come from various backgrounds, from trafficking, addiction and domestic violence, and those experiences have done a lot to them. So to hear them say things like ‘I feel like a real person’ is really amazing,” said Russo.

From nearly every chair, clients spoke sentiments expressing their appreciation, such as, “You all are so sweet,” to “This is definitely something I needed, you have no clue.”

Tatyana places the final nail polish coating on Annettes nails.

Annette Jones had Tatyana Diallo, a junior in the program, as her stylist and described her finishing look as glamorous. “I needed to feel good about myself and she instilled that in me.”

“I loved working with Annette and speaking with her,” said Diallo. “Just being able to hear her story and help her smile and feel good about herself really means a lot to me.”

Hubbard explained that at the end of the day, one of the women hugged the student who finished her makeover and cried while thanking her. “I think service opportunities are so amazing for our students to see they can really make a difference. Even as a hairdresser, you can use those skills to help change the lives of others.”