Summer beauties: Redmond fashion camp helps girls build their self-esteem

The words "summer school" can cause teens to flinch. But not if you're a high school girl with a chance to spend five days studying fashion and beauty with some of the region's top hair and makeup artists and clothing designers.

Personal stylist and makeup artist Rosaline Hampton

The words “summer school” can cause teens to flinch. But not if you’re a high school girl with a chance to spend five days studying fashion and beauty with some of the region’s top hair and makeup artists and clothing designers.

The Rosaline Hampton Fashion Camp, which began July 19 and concludes July 23 with a runway fashion show, was organized by Redmond resident and personal stylist Rosaline Hampton. The brunette beauty graduated from the International School of Protocol and Cosmetology and completed an apprenticeship with master stylist Justin Monroe at the Salon Syndicate in Los Angeles.

Six years ago, after working at several high-end salons in L.A., Hampton opened her own hair and makeup studio near Marymoor Park in Redmond. She now serves nearly 400 clients from Seattle and the Eastside and still makes frequent trips to elite, location-based photo shoots.

Yet for the week of Fashion Camp, Hampton was focused entirely on eight girls in grades 10-12, helping them to enhance their appearance and increase their confidence. Students from both Redmond High School and Seattle’s Rainier Beach High School, including teens who’ve faced some personal challenges, met at Hampton’s place each morning and traveled to different venues to meet with other mentors within Hampton’s professional network. These opportunities were provided to the girls at no cost.

On Monday of the Fashion Camp week, the teens enjoyed hair cuts and styles and made hair conditioning masks out of bananas and avocados.

Tuesday, they practiced hair braiding before a brief lesson on dressing for their indvidual body types: apple, pear, rectangle or hourglass.

Next, they were set to meet with Seattle boutique owner Monica Gutweis, for a workshop on how to play up their best features when choosing what to wear.

Visits with Eugenia Weston, founder of Senna Cosmetics and modeling coach Tanji Johnson were also part of the fashion camp. Other sponsors included The Finerie, Davines, fashion photographer April Greer, Salon Services and Supplies and Live Inspired for Today (LIFT), a fashion brand with the motto, “To be alive and survive, while possessing excellence and motivation for every day that we have the opportunity to experience life.”

Hampton said her regular clients panicked when she told them she was taking a week off to run the fashion camp.

“But I love working with teen girls. It was so much fun that after the first day, I said, ‘I want to quit my day job,” she commented, laughing.

“They’re at an age where they’re very impressionable and open to new things, such as exploring personal style. This is to help them feel good about themselves and build self-esteem,” Hampton explained during our visit on Tuesday morning.

“Today, they’re going to start by guessing celebrity body types. The hourglass is the ideal, but we’ll talk about how to accentuate what you have and shop to maximize your assets rather than covering up or minimizing flaws,” Hampton said.

As she spoke with the girls, she emphasized, “You’re born with a certain body type. It doesn’t matter if you gain or lose weight or work out. You still have the same basic body type, unless you’ve had drastic cosmetic surgery. If you’re an hourglass, you just rock it. Bottom heavy? You fill out the top. Top heavy? Do the opposite.”

They analyzed stars who’ve learned to make the most of their natural curves or lack thereof. Rihanna is a “pear” or “triangle,” Jennifer Garner is a “rectangle,” Jessica Simpson is an “apple” or “upside down triangle,” they concluded.

To a cynical observer, a fashion camp might seem shallow.

But the camp was created to inspire girls who might not always believe they can attain success. While physical beauty can be fleeting, Hampton teamed up with LIFT to make shirts with uplifting messages, encouraging “all young women to embrace their own inner and outer beauty to share it with the world.”

One hundred percent of the profits from the “I Am Beauty” shirts ($50 each, available at Hampton’s salon) will go toward scholarships so that more girls can attend future fashion camps.

In addition to attending the workshops with the beauty and fashion mentors, each participant at the initial fashion camp received a souvenir duffel bag crammed with beauty products, a $250 value.

For more information about Rosaline Hampton, visit www.rosalinehampton.com.

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