Tara Cupid of Dix Hills has spent the last six years as an engineer in the Army Reserves, including a year spent deployed to Iraq. But on Monday morning, Cupid spent a few hours at Cactus Salon in Stony Brook getting a makeover – a free one – as part of our Shining Service Makeover Mission.
“It’s really nice to get this kind of treatment,” said Cupid, who got her hair cut and colored, her makeup done and a shellac manicure all donated by Cactus Salon beauticians who volunteered their time to support the cause.
Cupid said she hasn’t spent a day at a salon like this since she returned from Iraq in 2008. “That’s really the last time I treated myself to something like this.”
Stacey Alvarez of Ronkonkoma, who is on active duty as part of a Black Hawk unit with the Army National Guard, said it’s really tough to be a women in such a male-dominated area. The military has rules dictating what women can’t do appearance-wise, such as having highlights in their hair or wearing nail polish.
Alvarez was granted a pass day – meaning she didn’t have to spend one of her vacation days – to attend the makeover event. “I definitely haven’t done anything for myself in a long time. There’s a lot of times when you just want to be in a salon and get your hair done,” she said. “They have a lot of things for men. This is the first time I’ve heard of anything for women.”
Three of the women who received the royal treatment yesterday, including 2 wonderful gift bags and our symbol of women supporting women the Shining Service Bracelet, served in Operation Desert Storm. They had lots to talk about and were thrilled to make the connection.
Our makeovers do a lot more than you realize for these women who too often put other priorities ahead of their own well-being. When I see the smiles as they look at themselves in the mirror, it’s wonderful, – this is a true event of the heart.
Shining Service Worldwide is a charitable organization that supports all women who are part of the military family. Our goal is successful re-integration back into civilian life.