Earlier this week, Team HD headed down to London to support our director, Karen Betts, in her amazing Gift of Confidence event.

A pioneer in the permanent cosmetics industry and an authority in her field (she recently won Permanent Make Up Specialist of the Year), Karen uses her 20 years’ experience to perform charity work that really makes a difference to people’s lives.

This is the third Gift of Confidence day that Karen has hosted. Each year, she invites four incredibly deserving VIPs (Very Inspirational People) for a day of restorative treatments and pampering that helps them to feel like the very best version of themselves.

So, who were this year’s VIPs?

L-R: Diana, Tracy, Karen, Carly & Sophie

Diana Armstrong

After losing both her sister and best friend to cancer in the space of a few months, Diana lost all her hair due to grief and stress. In 2016, Diana visited her GP for a sore throat and was diagnosed with lung cancer. Daily chemo or radiotherapy appointments were combined with surgery to remove the cancer and lymph. Luckily, Diana has had the all clear from her remission scans and is rebuilding her life.

Sophie Harris

Sophie was born with club foot and underwent many surgeries, before having her left leg amputated last February. She is now training to be an Endurance Athlete for GB Para Rowing on the Development Squad Nationally Classified (soon to be international).

Sophie was nominated by her friend, Claire, who she met on a club foot Facebook group but has never met in real life. The Gift of Confidence team tried to organise for the pair to finally met at the event, but Claire was unable to travel due to recently having her leg amputated. She was still delighted that she was able to give Sophie this opportunity.

Carly Barratt

When Carly developed alopecia universalis, she was initially devasted. Tired of hiding from the world, she decided to use her experience to help others. She set up a wig consultancy to help people find their perfect new hair and offer support along the way. As well as this, she also volunteers for Alopecia UK and Changing Faces and involves herself in media projects to tackle society’s perception of beauty.

Tracy Dickinson

Tracy has turned her life around after becoming homeless at just 14. She now runs Tracy’s Street Kitchen, cooking for 130 people every Friday night. A true inspiration, she always manages to find food donations as well as clothes, sleeping bags and toiletries. She looks forward to bringing together her ‘homeless family’ every week.

What did they get up to?

These special ladies were well-overdue some ‘me time’, so Karen invited them to the spa at the Sanderson Hotel in London. They were treated to massages and treatments, before Karen transformed their look with a brand new set of brows. Then, it was on to hair & make up to get glammed up before the big event.

This is where team HD came in. Our MUAs Camilla and Becca made the ladies feel extra special with fabulous makeovers. Using HD products, we created their favourite make up looks that they don’t get chance to create on themselves. We had everything from soft & natural on Diana to dark & vampy for Tracy.

Finally, it was into styling for some fabulous new clothes (provided by Next and Katie Piper’s Want That Trend collection) to get ready for the stage.

There was even a little time for some touch ups on Karen after her hard work during the day!

The big event

Then it was time for the big reveal! Our 4 VIPs family & friends gathered to see their fabulous new look.

We first had some inspiring words from TV personality & philanthropist Katie Piper, motivational speaker Alex Lewis, Safety in Beauty campaigner Antonia Mariconda and, of course, our very own Karen.

Finally, our ladies came out to applause, cheers and a few emotional tears! It was amazing to see the change that just one day had made, not to their appearance, but to their whole persona.

What was the day all about?

This day was #MoreThanMakeUp. The makeovers weren’t just about enhancing their appearance; it was giving these ladies back their sense of self worth and love. Not only were they made to feel beautiful, but special and loved. The family and friends in the crowd were so grateful to see their loved ones smile bigger than they have in years. They were given the gift of confidence.

We were thrilled to be invited to be part of such a wonderful day. But we’re even more proud of our director for hosting such a heart-warming and inspirational day.