Luxe Salon & Spa shut its doors to the public to treat 11 deserving valley women to Makeover Magic! Luxe partnered with East Valley Mom’s Blog, which helped get the word out and select winners; The Purple Skirt Boutique which fitted them and gave styling advice along with Lane Bryant San Tan Village; and Niomee B Photography, which photographed the “before” and “after” shots and offered digital copies to winners.
These amazing women were nominated by close friends or family members who felt that they deserved a day of pampering, beginning with a spray tan and including: chair massage; Shellac manicure; brow wax; hair cut, color and style (including lessons on home care); and professional makeup application. They then slipped on a flattering new ensemble and were photographed. The sessions started at 10 a.m. and ended at 6 p.m. that evening.
“This is why a love my job,” says Bumble & Bumble Educator and hairstylist Danielle Jones, who owns Luxe along with parents Dan and Darlene Arias. Darlene, a veteran stylist who designed the award winning salon, says she loves to give much more than receive. “We wanted to continue our tradition of giving back to the community and do something nice for these special women who have a lot going on. For a few minutes they can forget their troubles and get excited thinking about taking care of themselves.” Simple things like choosing a color nail polish and wonderment over the results of a spray tan and some natural makeup can be just plain therapeutic when there is so much to take care of and worry about she explained.
Here is a bit more information (from the heartfelt entries written by friends and family) about the beautiful women we had the pleasure of working with:
1. Ruth G., “Gigi” as she is called by her grandchildren, lost her first born child at birth and lost her second born daughter at age 30 to an incurable disease called masticytosis. She is an amazingly funny, kind and supportive woman, but has not had many experiences with pampering herself until now.
2. Patty C. regularly opens her home and heart to foster children. She has taken in children from age 2 days to 13 years and purchases whatever they may need for school and extracurricular activities. She is selfless in all that she does and gives to the kids so that they feel special and cared for.
3. Christy D.’s daughter Brinley suffers from rare genetic diseases (https://www.facebook.com/brinleydavidson) that cause high fevers and stomach disorders. Christy recently lost her her baby partway through her pregnancy and suffers from complications from the epidural during delivery, yet remains upbeat, composed and strong for her family.
4. Nancy P. is a military spouse who cared for her two children (a toddler and an infant) while her husband fought in one of the most volatile parts of Afghanistan. He came home injured and still experiences the effects of mild traumatic brain injury and PTSD. “Through it all she was the rock that kept us together,” he says.
5. Ashley L. is an amazing, beautiful, single mom of three who has not been able to work because her 9-year-old son is battling cancer and is currently hospitalized and undergoing surgeries and chemotherapy.
6. Christina H., a devoted, selfless children’s teacher and ballet director who just last week lost a close mentor and friend and is battling to become a mom while nurturing her students. While it is common for the ballet world to be competitive and tough on dancers, Ms. Christina focuses on their self esteem and well being, finding them dance scholarships, providing transportation and even devoting her Sundays to private lessons.
7. Kim S. is a local second grade teacher and Girl Scout Leader who founded a bicycle safety non-profit for kids. Called the Brett Saks Foundation, it is named after her husband, who was hit and killed by a driver under the influence of sleeping pills while training for a 600 mile charity ride. As a single mom, she is devoted to their kids and to making sure no other families suffer. Learn more at gearupaz.org.
8. Marty B., a spunky, dedicated southern belle who after losing several family members in the last two years, including her father and sister, was charged with taking care of all the family details. Her husband was promoted and they have been apart across the country for many months until their house in Georgia sold. She packed the whole house herself and moved to Arizona to be with him. The makeover was a welcome to her new home in the desert.
9. Kersti P. worked hard to move her children out of a bad neighborhood into a safer environment and better schools because she is a devoted mom. She not only cared for her three kids as a single mom, but after working 40-hour weeks she also earned her bachelor’s degree and MBA in business. Despite being out of work for 9 months, she eventually was able to find a great job in Chandler and is fostering her young grandson.
10. Suzanne M. is a fighter. Her husband passed away about a year ago leaving her destitute. With no choice, she sent her autistic son to live with his father in Texas while she tried to get back on her feet financially and emotionally. She suffers from Lupus, a chronic, autoimmune disease which causes her body to turn on itself, but thankfully it is in remission now. She’s lost 70+ lbs. to get and stay healthy!
Along with the salon and partners, all of the stylists, makeup artists and other personnel donated their time to work with the women and really enjoyed seeing the looks on their faces when their final looks were revealed! It reminded us to be thankful for good health, good friends and family, as well as the kindness of neighbors. A great reminder this close to Thanksgiving! See the makeover pictures on our site in the Makeovers section.