By Atlas Novack
Toni & Guy Hairdressing Academy and Salon in Santa Monica, in conjunction with actress Greice Santo (“New Girl,” “Wild Card,” “Jane the Virgin”) last week hosted the OPCC (formerly Ocean Park Community Center) in a first-time makeover event, Glam with Greice.
The day saw Toni & Guy provide volunteer makeovers to women sheltered by OPCC, a non-profit organization in Santa Monica that helps and protects battered women, among other missions.
Women from all walks of life, almost all of who chose to remain anonymous, took park in the day, with the entire upper floor of Toni & Guy dedicated to helping make them look and feel beautiful.
Haircuts, make-up, and manicures by Toni & Guy students and teachers were aimed at making the women feel safe and loved for what might have been the first time in a while.
“We did this to help people in difficult times, to help them get some confidence,” said Toni & Guy CEO Bruno Mascolo. “OPCC approached us, which we embraced immediately. Students and teachers of Toni & Guy volunteered their time on their accord, and we hope that this will help these women look and feel better.”
The idea for the event came from Santo herself, who has had a lifetime interest in helping women,
“I had many ideas that went nowhere, but sometimes the best option is right in front of you,” she said. “Since I am in the fashion and acting industry, it’d be good to do something related to that, to give makeovers. It’s important to empower women, and this just takes a little bit of time, and can get them to remind themselves that they’re amazing, that they’re worth it.”
Mascolo, along with Santo, Toni & Guy Founding Director Paul Joseph Marzioli, and President of Salon Divisions Debbie Webster told The Mirror that they hope to host more events of this caliber not just at this location, but other Toni & Guy salons in the future, so as to benefit women all over the country who have suffered abuse.
The women sheltered by OPCC enjoyed the day immensely. “I feel loved, like a million dollars,” said makeover recipient Didi. “I feel like a celebrity today for the first time in a long time.”
Aside from the in-salon event, Santo offered to fit 30 women at OPCC with dresses. With 13 taking up Santo’s gifts, the remaining dresses were donated to St. Anne’s Catholic Church.
Santo commented that she hopes more women attend her next event so as to give out more dresses and outfits in addition to the makeovers. “Women deserve to feel beautiful,” she said.
For more information on OPCC or Toni & Guy, visit toniguy.com, or opcc.net.