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#SparkCares x Beautifully Loved — A Celebration of Love and Empowerment

On Sunday April 14, Spark teamed up with Beautifully Loved, a non-profit organization that brings wellness, beauty and fashion to children with chronic illnesses. We wanted to remind them that even in times of adversity, one can find beauty and empowerment within themselves.

First, several Spark hair and makeup artists gave the Beautifully Loved kids a makeover inspired by their favorite celebrities. For example, hair and makeup artist Cameron Kelly gave Beautifully Loved Koreena a natural, glowy Emma Watson inspired look, one that was all about “enhancing my own natural beauty.” With 2000’s pop music playing, sugar cookies and laughter, Cameron states that, “This is the best event. Nothing can beat a nice good kiki with the girls.”

On the other hand, hair and makeup artist Jane Lee gave Beautifully Loved Bridget a more grungy, My Chemical Romance/Panic! at the Disco inspired look, topped with green glitter on her eyelids to enhance her green eyes. Lee said she really appreciates “how we were incorporating what our organization was about and applying that in a way that can indeed help others and make them feel beautiful.”

After everyone had their glam fantasy brought to life, Spark photographers held a mini photoshoot with everyone, capturing their fun new looks and lively moments shared with their friends and family. There were lots of finger guns, hair whipping and cuteness. Assistant Photographer David Zulli said his vision was to, “have fun, be happy and to capture both their personality and the moment.” The smiles coming from parents seeing their child glow and have fun were truly irreplaceable.

Managing Editor Caroline Otto said it was Spark’s first time partnering with Beautifully Loved and our second semester of the SparkCares initiative. In the past, Spark has done coat drives and fundraisers for nonprofits such as SAFE Austin. However, it’s the first time the Spark team has incorporated our glam photo shoot extravaganza into a non-profit that shares our mutual ideas of the transformative power beauty has.

Beautifully Loved founder Aysa Province created the non-profit organization two years ago, after her success with the annual Dell Children’s Blood and Cancer Center fashion show. Since the beginning, Aysa’s vision has been about fostering a safe space for youth with chronic illnesses. Even if it’s just for a moment, the act of feeling beautiful and cared for has deeply impacted the children and their families. “When any of us are going through a really hard time, it’s hard for us to ask for help, or to say what we need,” she says. “Sometimes I think we just need people to show up for us, take care of us and remind us that we’re strong and beautiful.”

Beautifully Loved hopes to continue working with Spark, and believes in the power of fashion and makeup. “It’s not just a world changer, but also a game changer. It might not change big world problems, but for one person, it can change everything.” •

By: Divina Ceniceros Dominguez

Photography by: David Zulli, Anna Droddy, Marybeth Schmidt, Sai Baruri

Divina Ceniceros Dominguez is a sophomore Journalism major. She’s written for over fifteen issues in several Texas-based magazines focusing on lifestyle and culture. She’s very passionate about her plants, breakfast and making statements through fashion.

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