In January, Tracy Martin, a cosmetology instructor at the DeKalb County Technology Center, was selected as a makeup artist for TLC’s show, “Say Yes to the Prom.”

In March she worked with several girls to give them a new look for their special day.

Dinair, a company Martin has been working with for five years, selected about 25 makeup artists for the show that had taken its airbrush workshop previously.

“I actually contacted (owner Dina Ousley) about doing a hair show and she let me know that they had something new I might want to be a part of,” she said.

Martin ended up not only working one show, but travelling to New York and Miami.

“Every time I’ve gone somewhere, I’ve learned from somebody else that was working beside me or across the room,” she said.

Martin said “Say Yes to the Prom” is a charity event for young ladies who get to pick out their own jewelry, handbags and shoes. Sherri Hill donated 750 dresses for the occasion.

“These girls are really intelligent, most of them go to academies, and their counselors and teachers nominated them and put their name in a hat, so to speak, then TLC had the final selection of the young ladies that got to do it,” Martin said. “There was probably anywhere from 50 to 75 girls at each event I was at. The makeup artists probably averaged about four or five girls each.”

Martin said four girls with special stories were featured and selected to have the camera on them all day. When she was in Miami, Martin worked on a feature girl who was from Haiti.

“It was great. These kids were just really quiet. You could tell they had never done anything like this before,” she said. “Then after you finish, this was the coolest part, they try their dress on and if it needed altered in any way there were about 30 industrial sewing machines with 30 tailors.”

After the girls transformed with a new look, show host Monte Durham of “Say Yes to the Dress” announced their dresses as they walked on a runway.

“That was probably the best part of this all to just see those kids go from being really quiet to no holding back when they got on the carpet,” Martin said. “It’s basically to give them a look to see how they would want to style their hair or wear their makeup for prom. They do not leave that day and go to prom, it’s just to give them an idea.”

Martin said at the end of the show the girls get to take everything home with them from dresses to jewelry.

“It’s instant gratification. It’s what you can do for somebody and it’s an immediate change for that person,” she said. “To feel like you’ve done something for somebody else and make them feel good about themselves is the whole thing.”

The show will air May 20 and be featured in the May 13 issue of People Magazine.

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