Whether trying a new look or performing in front of a crowd, putting yourself out there can be scary. This blog is about beauty but it’s also about feeling good and empowering ourselves and others. Each year, Life&Times spotlights the students who represent their high school each week as a featured performer. Confidence is key and no one has more of it than these gals. They also always look incredible. At our annual photo and video shoot, I spoke with these nine young women about their signature looks, their favorite products and tips on how everyone can be just as strong, fabulous and confident.
Photos by Christopher Dolan / Staff Photographer
Lindsey Kausmeyer, Mid Valley Secondary Center
Lindsey’s routine after school on Fridays gets her ready to look and feel her best before strutting her stuff on the field. Her game day makeup is a changeup from her day-to-day makeup and she amps up her look slightly by doing her eyes with a little more drama and shimmer to be seen from even the highest spots of the stands. Something she won’t hit the field without? Huda Beauty Liquid Matte Lipstick in Sugar Mama, a perfect peachy-nude that completes her whole look.
Lindsey’s confidence tip: “Keep your head up high, never give up and do the best you can. Just be confident and everyone will be able to feel it.”
Megan Murray, North Pocono High School
Megan said her costume — of which every inch is covered in dazzling sequins — is showstopping enough so she likes to keep her makeup and hair simple. Buxom Lash Volumizing Mascara and Essence Make Me Brow Eyebrow Gel are her two go-tos for a polished, pretty look. Even if Megan was in a hurry to get ready, you would never see her without her signature red lip: Revlon ColorStay Lipstick in Top Tomato.
Megan’s confidence tip: “If you’re nervous and afraid you’re going to mess up, just act like you know what you’re doing. You’ll feel confident and no one will even know the difference.”
Nina Sampogne, Abington Heights High School
For Nina, Friday nights are a big deal. Not only does she represent her school as Miss Comet but she also lends her talents to the school’s marching band, playing saxophone. With practice before the game, Nina doesn’t have much time to get ready but never marches onto the field without her signature eye look: blue eyeshadow, layered with silver and white face glitter she snags at a dollar store. (Did I ever tell you guys how much I love glitter AND a beauty on a budget? Going to Dollar Tree, brb.) While the blue, silver and white matches her costume, she opts for a bright red lipstick to stand out. She applies it in layers since she can’t reapply during games.
Nina’s confidence tip: “When I was a freshman, they said someone couldn’t perform (as Miss Comet) and be in the band. You couldn’t do both. I wanted to and I didn’t let anyone tell me I couldn’t and I worked to get anyone to be able to do what they wanted. You can do anything if you work for it.”
Elizabeth Stone, Old Forge Junior-Senior High School
A girl after my own heart, Liz puts on some music and gets to work with a pretty impressive, multi-step makeup routine before a game. Some standouts? She sculpts with Tarte Shape Tape concealer and Anastasia Beverly Hills Cream Contour Kit, with ABH hero product Dipbrow in Taupe to define her brows. She primes for eyeshadow with Urban Decay Primer Potion to make it last throughout the night and, lately, uses either Morphe x Jaclyn Hill or ABH Norvina palettes for eye looks. As for highlighter, shades from the ABH Glow Kit are her go-tos but certain nights call for a more festive option: Fenty Beauty Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife, a glittering gold that matches her costume.
Elizabeth’s confidence tip: “Just beat your face to the gods, start feeling yourself and go out there and do your thing, man.”
Haylee Sacknievich, Lakeland Junior-Senior High School
Other than two stripes of white and blue glitter under her eyes, Haylee doesn’t wear any makeup out on the field, or day-to-day for that matter. (She also has the most gorgeous, radiant skin I have ever seen on a human person.) As for her signature glitter, she finds it at Wal-Mart and it’s a perfectly fine-milled glitter with some iridescent accents for extra oomph. With a war bonnet that trails from the top of her head down her back, she fascins her hair in a low bun and she’s ready to take her position on the field as Miss Chief.
Haylee’s confidence tip: “Don’t let anyone get you down. Hold your head up high and just strut your stuff. Do what you do and don’t pay attention to the negative.”
Katarina Montoro, Scranton High School
Katarina’s game night look is a more dramatic version of her daytime one. She opts for a winged liner look and uses Stila Stay All Day Liquid Eyeliner in Jet Black for a sharp, defined edge. She uses a silver highlighter on the high points of her face to reflect the light and swipes on a bright red lipstick, citing L’Oreal or Kylie Cosmetics as her favorite brands. False lashes (Katarina uses Ardell lashes) are a must and top off her look with a little L’Oreal Lash Paradise mascara for some extra drama.
Katarina’s confidence tip: “Be yourself. If you start to get nervous, just look for your friends and family. Smile, too. It makes it easier.”
Rachael Mehl, West Scranton High School
Rachael’s vibe is all about looking fierce. A smart beauty girl, she receives subscription beauty boxes from Ulta Beauty filled with all kinds of goodies she puts to use in her game night makeup. To offset the crisp white and blue of her sequined costume, Rachael does a copper smoky eye to make her eyes stand out. She tops the look off with some mascara and a salmon pink lip but can change up her look depending on what she receives in the beauty box. It’s a long night and factoring in rain or snow, performing and possible overtime, Rachael uses Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray to ensure her makeup lasts (and stays in place) all night.
Rachael’s confidence tip: “Don’t let anyone bully you or listen to negative things they say. Be confident in yourself. You’re where you are for a reason.”
Kayleigh Carey, Dunmore High School
With head to toe silver sparkle, Kayleigh sticks with a monochromatic theme. She opts for shimmery pigments all over, including Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kit highlighter palette and silver loose glitter to catch the Friday night lights. For the rest of her look, she uses NYX Cosmetics brow pencil to define her brows and does a glossy lip. Kayleigh likes to take her time to get ready but if she only had enough time for one beauty product, it would be mascara, with ELF being her brand of choice.
Kayleigh’s confidence tip: “Pretend like no one’s watching and do what you love to do. And have fun. You’ll never feel better than that.”
Gabriella Costantino, Riverside Junior-Senior High School
It’s all about the red for Gabriella. She never leaves the house on game night without two crimson staples: bright red lips, care of Kylie Cosmetics Matte Liquid Lipstick in Mary Jo K and a ruby ring that belonged to her great-aunt who recently passed away. (“This way, she’s always with me,” she said.) As for the rest of her look, she curls her hair to give some texture and volume under her sequined headband and defines her brows with Ulta Beauty brow gel. Then, she swipes on mascara, either one by ELF or cult classic Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara. The final step is spritzing on her signature fragrance: Victoria’s Secret Noir Tease.
Gabriella’s confidence tip: “Life is a giant stage and wherever you go, it’s a performance. Do what you love and don’t worry what anyone has to say. Don’t let anyone dull your sparkle. I have that engraved on the back of my shield so I always remember.”
Contact the writer: GMAZUR@TIMESSHAMROCK.COM, @GMAZURTT ON TWITTER OR @MISS.GIA.M ON INSTAGRAM