On Monday, February 27, while some late-night Oscar revelers were likely just letting down their ’dos and sloughing away layers of makeup, some lucky ladies in West Hollywood were getting ready for their close-up with the help of celebrity stylist Eric Leonardos and his team.
As part of Alliance Beauty Day, Leonardos, the winner of Logo TV’s reality dating show Finding Prince Charming, partnered with MAC Cosmetics to offer hair and makeup transformations to several formerly homeless clients of the Alliance for Housing and Healing in Los Angeles. The organization helps individuals struggling with poverty, homelessness and HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening illnesses get back on—and stay on—their feet by providing housing and financial and social service support.
The event, held at Public Service Salon, was the first in what Alliance executive director Terry Goddard II hopes will become an annual tradition for the 30-year-old nonprofit. Goddard points out that this kind of activity helps to build self-esteem and pride. For organizer Leonardos, who is HIV positive, the event built on lessons he learned early in his career. “The first salon that I worked for felt strongly about giving back to the community and instilled that value in me as a young beauty professional. Alliance Beauty Day is my way of bringing that value to Public Service Salon,” he said of the event.
If the smile on a client in a salon chair is any indication, the event was a huge success. Here’s hoping Leonardos reprises his role as makeover wizard to regular folks on the rise this time again next year.