Today we raise our fists high and put our hands together in celebration of our Feature Girl Warriors, Mobile Makeup Artist Melanie Baird and Hair Stylist Danielle Bennett, the inspiring dynamic duo behind the Feel Good Campaign, helping women battling illness to “feel good” by pampering them with makeup, hair and photos. Melanie Baird, is a woman of character and the quintessential example of what true beauty is. For over two decades, she has brought her unique style to over 1000 weddings; to popular television shows, including Canadian Idol, Canada’s Next Great Chef, and Kool Countdown; the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games Closing Ceremonies; numerous magazine features, editorial and print ads, music videos, CD covers, movies and commercials; plus, a finalist on Canada’s Next Top Model; BITE Beauty Founder Susanne Langmuir’s Movember Sephora Video; and Lieutenant Governor Judy Guichon’s official photo. With over 15 years of passionate experience both styling and educating, Danielle Bennett specializes in creating personalized updos and styling. Inspired by the world around her, she is a master at taking her client’s vision and bringing it to life, whether it’s on a movie set, wedding, special event or photography studio. She is a Wella Master Colorist and has trained in New York with Bumble and Bumble-Network Educator Program. Danielle has worked extensively in the field including a Disney film, Yam Magazine, La Bride Australia, featured in Vogue Italia online magazine, BITE Beauty Founder Susanne Langmuir’s Movember Sephora Video, Editorial styling, commercials and countless weddings. Together, through the Feel Good Campaign, Melanie and Danielle are helping women embrace their inner Warrior!
GWP: We love what you’re doing with the Feel Good Campaign. How did this come about and why is this so important to you?
M: I always try to give to a family in need at Christmas so this was a way I could give to someone in another way other than financial help. I could give back with the skills that I have. Also I had already been helping so many of my clients, who were going through cancer treatment, learn how to do their makeup to help them have eyebrows and eyelashes and look and feel better. So that’s how it was born.
D: Mel contacted me to see if I wanted to be involved in a Christmas giveaway to a deserving person in 2016 and I said, “absolutely!” From there we put it out on social media and the response was amazing. Mel said, “How do we pick?” I said, “We don’t! We do them all.” And so our Campaign began.
GWP: How do you find the women you makeover?
M&D: Word-of-mouth and social media
GWP: What’s the makeover process? Walk us through that?
M&D: The ladies come to Mel’s in-home studio. Mel usually starts with their makeup consult and while doing their all-natural “green” beauty makeup she is educating them as well. Then they sit with Danielle; sometimes she cuts their hair/wig then teaches them how to style their changed hair using healthy “green products.”
GWP: This is so much more than hair and makeup. What are you really doing for these women?
M&D: We are empowering them, making them feel beautiful, inspiring them and also giving them hope.
GWP: This has to be an emotional experience, not only for the two of you, but for everyone involved. What was the hardest makeover to do and why?
M&D: Yes, it’s definitely an emotional experience. Just talking about this now, we’re tearing up. When we work with our clients we are real people and find ourselves tearing, laughing and joking with them.
The hardest makeover we have taken part in, was a young newlywed mother who was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer, on a Wednesday. She went into hospice that Thursday (the next day). We did her hair and makeup for her last family photo shoot on Saturday, knowing these were her last days. She sadly passed away the next day.
GWP: What’s your favorite part of the sessions?
M&D: We do this as a selfless project. But in return it feels so rewarding and good to make these beautiful women feel good in their skin, and just knowing that they carry that confidence and beauty out into the world.
GWP: Many of these women are given a medical “death sentence.” How do you prepare yourselves for these sessions – mentally, emotionally and spiritually?
M: I don’t really think I do anything to prepare myself. I just want to help them feel good and I give them my energy, attention and care. I let it happen organically and I just want them to walk away feeling happy and hopeful!
D: I am a big believer in meditation. It helps me prepare for potentially hard conversations. I show up feeling ready to give these beauties my all.
GWP: What have you learned from these experiences and how has this changed you?
M: I have learned that life is very precious! These women’s stories really touch me deeply and make me truly appreciate my life and love around me! I don’t want to take things for granted and want to just “do” all the things now rather than put them off for “one day.”
D: I have learned to not take life for granted; it’s precious. I’m grateful to be reminded of that in this journey with our clients. Don’t sweat the small stuff… ever!
GWP: How do you stay optimistic and hopeful in the face of so much heartbreak?
M: I take lessons from each woman and truly appreciate them and their stories! We are all on a life journey and if I can help their journey be better in some way I am grateful. There are many success stories too – my mother being one. Positivity helps.
D: I’m a very half-cup full kind of person. In my own family I have seen many ups and downs with illness and believe there is always hope.
GWP: What happens after the makeover? Do you hear from or keep in touch with the women?
M&D: We do keep in contact through social media and some of the women are our clients that we see on a regular basis. We love to follow their journey.
GWP: Do you only makeover women with terminal or grave illnesses?
M&D: We focus on women going through treatment or battling an illness. We do this because it can be exhausting going through treatment and can really get you down. We want to help women gain back their feminine power!
GWP: Where do you want to take the Feel Good Campaign? What’s next?
M&D: We have chatted about where we want to take this Campaign in the future. We have a 5-year plan to eventually be hosting weekend retreats for these amazingly inspiring women. Creating a nurturing, bright and safe place for women to rejuvenate and make them Feel Good.
GWP: How can Girl Warriors help?
M&D: Girl Warrior Productions is already helping by spreading the word about our campaign. We are so passionate about this project and our clients. We feel so grateful for you asking us to be a part of Girl Warriors.
To see what true beauty looks like follow the Feel Good Campaign on Instagram at: