Much to my sister and brother-in-law's chagrin, I started to apply shimmer and lip gloss to my niece, Emma when she was only three years old (she would say "gipgoss") . Every Christmas I would style her hair and makeup in a festive theme. My favorite was an Asian inspired look including a berry stained stained lip and cheek with hypericum berries tucked into a messy chignon. Puh- lease, anyone can do pink and a bow!!!! The following year when she was 7 – I was going for a 40's retro look when she complained that my hairstyling was hurting her head. With my creative impulse stunted, I hastily replied "beauty isn't without pain". Of course, I realized that I was whisper away from a beauty pageant mom and apologized to my dear Emma. The next year I gave her a makeup kit with a lighted mirror and I could see that my craziness notwithstanding, Emma still enjoyed makeup and spent the entire day layering her face in makeup. I must tell you that Emma is a stellar student and is at the top of her class. I always encourage education, but you can look good while being valedictorian (snap).
I am extremely proud of my smart and creative niece because she won an art award in her hometown of Hampton, VA. She beat out hundreds of other students and I am so proud. Below is her "Dream House" which has a pool, balcony with hot tub (the circle below the plants) a hammock suspended from a pineapple and coconut tree, and a secret room and entrance (the colored in window and door). I interviewed my niece about her work:
Lo: what was the inspiration for the secret room and entrance? Emma: I wanted a room where Jake (pesky older brother) couldn't get in and I could have all of my stuff there.
Lo: What was the significance of the tropical trees? Emma: I like coconut and pineapple.
Lo: Why do you think you won the contest? Emma: Probably the balcony
Lo: Where is aunt LoLo's makeup studio? Emma: in the secret room. (smart girl)