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Professional makeovers for female military veterans

January 18, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
The U.S. Army's slogan is "Be all you can be." For female veterans, that could include a makeover. Goodwill Southern California teamed up with Pin-Ups for Vets Friday to show female veterans how to look their best, especially when they go job hunting.

At first glance, it could be a Hollywood makeup studio, with more than a dozen different stations for hair, nails and face. There were swag bags and even live entertainment.

But this exclusive club is in a rather unlikely home: Goodwill Industries of Los Angeles. And the guests of honor? All U.S. veterans.

"We just really do this as a way to say thank you," said Gina Elise, Pin-Ups for Vets.

Elise is the founder of Pin-Ups for Vets. She churns out thousands of vintage-style calendars as a way to raise funds for veterans across the country.

Elise helped organize Friday's surprise makeovers as a way to help veterans who are having problems finding work.

Ana Vergara's company, Classic Glamour Dolls, supplied all the makeup artists.

"Giving them those makeup tips of how to pull back their hair or how to be able to go out to a job interview, and that's very important," said Vergara.

And it's not just hair and makeup. The veterans also have access to a wide variety of professional clothing. And it comes at the right price.

"It's free!" said Navy veteran Joyce Carter.

Army veterans like Laurie Karaba and Pat Scott were expecting the usual monthly female vet-networking breakfast, not a spa day.

"It was a surprise," said Scott. "I'm kind of psyched because I've never had professional makeup. So this is really great."

"Every time that someone says thank you to a veteran, it just touches my heart. It's great," said Karaba. "It's great to be appreciated."

But the women who volunteered here will tell you that those feelings flow both ways, that serving those who served them, even if only through makeup advice and a manicure, has its own benefits.

"It does feel good, but really the reward is seeing these women get the attention and the pampering they deserve and ultimately seeing them succeed," said Sasha Itzikman, Goodwill Southern California.


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