All dressed up: Makeover readies local woman for inaugural balls

All dressed up: Makeover readies local woman for inaugural balls

January 16th, 2009 by Karen Nazor Hill in Life Entertainment

The pain of getting her eyebrows shaped earlier this week won't compare to the excitement Elizabeth Crews will experience next week when she attends two inaugural balls in Washington, D.C.

Ms. Crews, who will graduate from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in May, was invited to the events after volunteering for the Barack Obama presidential campaign. Thanks to the generosity of two North Chattanooga businesses, she'll be going with a complimentary new hairstyle and cosmetic makeover.

Makeup artist Darin Wright, owner of Elea Blake Cosmetics on Frazier Avenue, said the makeover began with Ms. Crews' first-ever eyebrow shaping.

"She struggled," Ms. Wright said. "She's a very natural girl, but I wanted her to have a special look for these history-making events.

"But before we decided on what look to go for, we needed to know what the dress code is of an inaugural ball. We learned that both balls she would attend would be very formal and that knee-length dresses were taboo."

Ms. Crews was loaned two floor-length gowns - a green, strapless gown with matching shawl for the youth ball and a blue gown for the staff ball. Based on the two colors, Ms. Wright chose a palette of soft plum colors for Ms. Crews' eyes and lips.

"I focused on her big eyes," Ms. Wright said. "I contoured them with lots of color, using brighter plum tones to emphasize the lash line and a soft black/brown eyeliner that brought out the shape of her eyes."

Ms. Wright also chose a soft, plum lip gloss and a light pink/plum for her cheeks.

"I've made it easy for her to do this herself," Ms. Wright said. "I don't want her to go over-the-top with makeup. The soft look we've chosen is elegant and classy."

Ashleigh Carver, a stylist at Dream Salon on Frazier Avenue, trimmed and darkened Ms. Crews' natural curly locks.

"I went a couple shades darker than her natural color to give it a toffee/chocolate brown shade," Ms. Carver said. "She doesn't like to spend a lot of time fixing her hair, so I focused on her natural curls. I showed her how to twist the sides, pull it back and pin it up. It's a very elegant up-do for a formal party."