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submitted by: Kelsie Sailor, West Virginia University, Therapeutic Recreation Student

Population: Teenage girls on an acute psychiatric unit

Length of Program: 1 to 1 1/2 hours

Group Size: one to 6 girls

Space: Classroom/Activity Room

Equipment: Foundation, eyeliner, eye shadow, mascara, blush, and lipstick for each girl. One bottle or tube of facial cleanser, facial scrub, mud mask, and facial moisturizer. Also hair dryers, curling irons, hot rollers, clips, etc.


Some adolescent girls come from broken homes or dysfunctional families and have not had the opportunity to learn make-up techniques and practice hair styles. Participants are not only taught make-up techniques, but given information on the importance of self-care and its positive effect on one-self (inside and out). Girls who are knowledgeable with make-up techniques are used to help the other participants.

Activity Description:

  • Before applying make-up or fixing hair, use facial cleaner.
  • Have girls wash their face with a facial cleaner.
  • Apply some kind of facial scrub and have them rinse.
  • Next, apply a mud miracle mask and allow to dry.
  • Wash off mask when dry and apply facial moisturizer.

Facial Make-Over

  • Apply foundation that best matches each girls skin color.
  • Next, put on blush with upward and outward strokes on the cheek line.
  • Then work the eyes. Have the girls start with eyeliner. Remind them that darker does not necessarily mean better. The "natural look" with features highlighted is the desired result.
  • Apply the eye shadow darker on the eye-lid with a lighter color reaching the eyebrow.
  • To finish the eyes, use mascara. The most popular color for everyone is either black or black-brown.
  • Next, apply pressed powder or loosed powder all over the face and neck to soften the look of the make-up and decrease the shine.
  • Use lipstick for the final touch.

Hair Make-over:

  • Have the girls wash their hair and condition; or just wash hair and use a leave-in hair conditioner.
  • Comb hair thoroughly and blow dry with a hair dryer.
  • Once hair is dry, choose one of the several instruments to shape the hair (curling iron, hot roller, clips, etc.).


Buy mini canvas tote bags for the girls to fabric paint while they are waiting their turn for their hair to be fixed. They can put the make-up they used in their tote bags to take home with them.


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