For 92-year-old Estelle Blakely, wearing makeup used to be a morning routine.
But once she was placed into a nursing home in Gainesville, she said she stopped caring about how she looked.
But Tuesday, she kept smiling as a UF graduate gently applied peach-colored blush and pink lipstick to her face.
After a brief conversation, Blakely said she felt like her old self.
“This is a special treat,” she said.
On Tuesday afternoon, volunteers with GlamourGals Foundation — a national nonprofit with a newly established branch in Gainesville — visited Blakely and about a dozen other residents of the assisted-living facility The Village at Gainesville.
Allison Wrieden, 22, a founding member of the branch, said giving makeovers to senior citizens can help them feel cared for and appreciated.
“I figured a club like this that provides just a day of pampering from young college students would be the perfect opportunity to help make these people feel special,” she said. “I think a huge part of healthcare is just making the patient feel cared about.”
At one end of the nursing home’s common room, UF students Kruti Patel and Kylie Schmitt painted residents’ nails red, coral and glittery pink.
Patel, a 20-year-old UF nutritional sciences senior, said the group’s visit — its first so far — made the senior citizens feel happy, a feeling that will hopefully last long after the blush and nail polish are scrubbed away.
“I think it’s honestly uplifting just seeing how we were able to bring so much happiness to the residents’ day,” she said.
Wrieden, who works at The Village, said visiting with her grandmother at a nursing home played a large role in her decision to found the branch over the summer.
She said she saw the impact visitors had on the moods of the home’s residents.
Although GlamourGals currently only has a handful of volunteers, Wrieden said she plans to visit more nursing homes around Gainesville.
Dorothy Chen, a Chinese immigrant who moved to The Village last week, said the visit was a nice change of pace from the monotony of assisted living.
After deciding between three shades, Chen got her nails painted Carefree Coral.
“I never do this, just when they ask me to come,” she said through a thick accent. “I just come here because the color is so fun.”