Ask Sam: GG Signature Makeover

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Hello GlamourGals, Sam here with a very special shout out to the gals who participated in our third annual Glam Camp! For those who don’t know, Glam Camp is our comprehensive beauty boot camp designed especially for GlamourGals volunteers. The event features hands-on makeover and manicure workshops for all skill levels led by professional makeup artists and beauty experts.

It was great meeting and seeing you all learn more about tips and tricks to enhance your makeover skills to better aid the seniors in your communities!

So today’s question comes from Tina in New York,

What kind of training can volunteers receive to learn more about doing makeovers and nails?

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We know that not everyone is close enough to our national office to receive in-person training, so we try to share as many resources as possible! Check out the How-To’s on, or visit our GlamourGals Youtube Channel for training videos to help you be the best volunteer you can be!

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I suggest practicing how to apply makeup a few times before diving into an official makeover. Find people to practice on, like your own grandmother, mother, or your friends. Host your own mini Glam Camp with your chapter! Get together and hold practice sessions for new volunteers and a refresher for current members. And feel free to use the supplies in the GG tote for practice; your leaders can always request more from GG National.

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Even with practice, you may not feel comfortable with applying makeup on others and that’s okay. Never do anything that makes you uncomfortable: Makeovers are supposed to be fun for everyone involved.

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This also goes with being very excited to apply makeup: Before putting makeup on a senior, always ask them if they would like makeup and what type. As you go through the steps, make sure you tell the senior what you are going to do so they know what to expect. Anyone can get nervous when they have someone else touching their face, so talking them through the steps will help make it a better experience for both of you.

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I’m glad you asked, there are other do’s and don’ts to when providing a GG Makeover:

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Do keep everything hygienic

Wash your hands before and after every makeover! This is to protect both you and your seniors from the spread of germs.

Never reuse supplies such as nail files, lip brushes, blush brushes, and everything else in the makeover tote that is meant to be single use only. Chapter leaders should put in a supply request as soon as supplies run low (granted your chapter has all service reports up to date and a future makeover scheduled at least seven days before requesting supplies). GG National is happy to provide everything you need for the makeovers.

Do practice patience when interacting with the seniors  

Practicing makeovers with your friends can be very different than doing a makeover with a senior. Seniors typically need a gentle touch and a slower pace to assure a successful makeover. Take your time, ask questions, and do your best to be the best GlamourGal you can be.

Do remember the GG Motto: More than Makeup and Manicures

At the end of the day, you’re here to put a smile on a senior’s face. You might not be able to make the senior look like an Instagram model, but you can succeed in giving them the time and care they need with every visit you attend.

Most of all, do your best! But there are a few things you shouldn’t do...

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Don’t use sharp objects

Sharp objects such as nail clippers should never be used during a GG Makeover, even if the senior has brought their own and requests you use it. This is to avoid any potential health risk to the senior. If the senior continues requesting nail clippers, please alert a nurse or any other authority figure present at the makeover. I know nail clippers can be tempting if filing is taking too long but you can find a friend to help you file or just take your time and do the best you can.

Don’t do anything outside of a standard GG makeover

For the safety of everyone involved, do not style a senior’s hair, touch a senior’s feet, or apply any eye makeup. If a senior insists, please alert a nurse or any other authority figure for assistance.

Don’t go to makeovers if you’re feeling sick

While you may love coming to makeovers and consider your cold “not that bad”, one sneeze can have a disastrous effect on seniors who typically have weaker immune systems. Tell your fellow GlamourGal volunteers to let the seniors know that you miss them and you’ll be back as soon as you’re feeling better.

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If there are more seniors than volunteers at a makeover and not a lot of time for a full GG makeover, set limitations: Offer only nail painting, hand massages with lotion, and/or facial cleansing. That way every senior is sure to receive attention and if there’s time left, those who really want a makeover may have one.

A GG tote comes with three foundation shades of light, medium, and dark. We are aware that this cannot cover the full range of diverse skin tones throughout our wonderful world. So try mixing the foundation colors and adding the facial lotion in the mix to give the foundation a sheer finish. Take your time to mix and match against the back of your senior’s hand for the best results.

Last but not least, never be afraid to reach out to GG National for help! GG National is happy to call or skype with your chapter to go over all the steps of a GG Makeover or if you are near the office, we can even stop by your school! Just email us at

GG National is here to help make every makeover special, so be sure to check out how to input a Chapter Creativity Proposal as discussed in this previous Ask Sam.

That’s all for now!

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All GlamourGals can earn a service hour by answering this journal prompt:

Do you have any tips for having a successful makeover?

I look forward to your answers!

You can email if you have any questions you would like me to answer. I'm here to help!

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GG National