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Makeovers make teens shine

Teens who have grown up in the school of hard knocks received a little slice of heaven Sunday at Cielo Salon in Medford.

Local organizations and businesses joined forces to give 27 teenage girls hairdos, makeup, then dress them up for a portrait taken by a professional photographer.

The teens are associated with Hearts with a Mission, the Magdalene Home and the North Medford High School teen parent program.

"My sister would be really jealous if she were here," said Tiffany Chandler, a 17-year-old mother who goes to North Medford High.

Fashioned after a national program know as Help-Portrait, a not-for-profit organization, this is the first year for the Rogue Valley Teen Help-Portrait. Help-Portrait's mission is to find someone in need and having a professional photographer take a portrait.

Chandler, who has an 8-month-old boy, said she'd only tried a little eyeliner previously and was surprised at the transformation under the steady hand of makeup artist Toby Huebner. "I don't put a lot of makeup on," said the 22-year-old Southern Oregon University student, who works for Tim Tidball Photography. "I try to keep it natural."

Huebner meticulously worked on Chandler, drawing in the eyeliner and applying lipstick and gloss.

"Make a big smile for me," she told Chandler as she dusted on a little color to highlight Chandler's cheeks.

Someone even brought Chandler a cup of cider while she waited, making her feel like a princess for the day.

"It's a little Christmas gift for the moms," she said.

Enthusiastic about her makeover, Chandler said she couldn't wait for her own mother to return to the salon, bringing her baby for the portrait.

Amanda Rigiero, a local photographer who helped organize the event, said the girls spend a couple of hours for their makeover and any of the clothes and hats they wear, they get to keep. Even babies were adorned with a few fashion accessories.

"We don't want them to feel they came in, used it and they couldn't take them home," Rigiero said.

However, the girls couldn't take the jewelry home with them.

Though 27 girls got the treatment, other family members and children also showed up bringing the total turnout to about 60, Rigiero said.

Shauna Singley showed off her new curls and makeup, while her 11-month-old baby, David J. Everett, smiled in her lap.

"I really like it," said the 17-year-old North Medford High student.

Singley said she found out about the event from her teacher.

Her boyfriend, Shannon Hurst, came with her, not expecting to end up in the stylist's chair to fluff up his red hair before he got his photo taken.

"I was tricked into this," said the 22-year-old Central Point resident.

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476, or email dmann@mailtribune.com.