Though she loves playing with makeup, 10-year-old Christina Wyatt would not be caught dead wearing thickly laid eye shadow or heavy eyeliner.
At the Francis Scott Key’s fashion camp this week, she has been learning how to apply makeup tastefully and in a way that is appropriate for her age.
“I can wear lip gloss and a tiny bit of eyeliner,” said Wyatt of Frederick. “And maybe a little bit of skin-colored blush.”
Wyatt is one of 43 teens and tweens participating in a weeklong fashion camp, which teaches girls between the ages of 9 and 15 how to model, present themselves and develop a positive self-image.
Sponsored by the Francis Scott Key Mall, the camp is free for the girls, who receive lessons in modern etiquette, modeling, self-confidence, beauty and fashion. The camp, which kicked off Monday, allows girls to practice public speaking, receive lessons in yoga, beauty and fashion photography and talk to a real plus-size model about self-confidence and body image.
The camp will culminate in a fashion show Saturday, when the girls will get to apply everything they have learned throughout the week.
The show, which will demonstrate the latest fall styles for students, will take place at the mall’s center court at 1 p.m. and will be free and open to the public.
“Our entire goal is to help them build a model-like confidence,” said Theresa Gargon, a partner in Dress to Impress LLC — a fashion consulting agency, which organizes the camp.
Based in Columbia, the agency was founded by Gargon and Victoria Tamburo, two professional models and actresses. The agency provides fashion consulting services, dress-for-success seminars and also holds mall-based self-improvement programs for teens and tweens.
Gargon and Tamburo have been offering their fashion camp at the Francis Scott Key Mall for three years, and the camp has been consistently popular among teens and their parents alike.
“This can be a very brutal age,” said Tamburo, who noted that the camp aims to help girls build confidence and discover their inner and outer beauty.
As part of the camp, the girls also complete a community-service project in cooperation with Kids Are Heroes — a local nonprofit, which encourages and inspires children to become leaders through community involvement.
“We are here to show that young people can be at the mall in a positive fashion,” Tamburo said.
On Tuesday, girls at the camp received a lesson in makeup application from Tanya Brown, a professional model, who taught them how to use different makeup brushes, how to apply blush on the apples of their cheeks and how to use colored and clear mascara to enhance their eyes and eyebrows.
As Brown held her demonstration, the girls were soaking up every detail.
MacKenzie Sichelstiel, 12, said she came to the camp last year and enjoyed it so much that she decided to come back this year.
“It is just really, really fun,” she said.
Chloe Tritsch, 12, who lives in Frederick, said she has been enjoying the program and could not wait to walk the runway on Saturday.
“I watch a lot of fashion shows and pageants,” she said. “This is so exciting. It is your time to shine.”