Pa. rehab professionals start therapeutic makeup skills program

Matteo Iadonisi Image
Monday, January 30, 2023
Pa. rehab professionals start therapeutic makeup skills program
Stephanie and Rebecca were known as the 'Makeup Girls' around the office at MossRehab Elkins Park. Now, their talents are bringing therapy to another level.

ELKINS PARK, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Stephanie Stein and Rebecca Carpino were known as the 'Makeup Girls' around the office. Now, their talents are bringing therapy to another level.

"I am a two-time cancer survivor," said Carpino, a medical management coordinator/social worker. "So, makeup became an outlet for me because I lost my hair. I felt like my womanhood was gone."

For Stein, makeup was always an interest. But she wanted to incorporate it into her role as an occupational therapist.

"Makeup follows under the grooming aspect of the occupational therapy framework," she said. "And when it comes to motor impairment, so difficulties with dexterity and motor control, makeup application can be therapy."

The women pitched the idea of a makeup skills program and received funding from a grant through the Albert Einstein Society. Once accepted, they were able to launch "Groom, Glow, and Grow." Now, both are certified makeup artists making a difference.

Since 2020, the program has received more than 100 referrals for patients who could benefit both physically and emotionally. With each session, Carpino and Stein would apply makeup and instruct the patient to apply it themselves.

"We want participants leaving like, 'Hey, if I want to go out, this is now something new I can do,'" said Stein, "Or you know, 'I just want to feel good about myself today.'"

When former patient Stephanie Dunn received therapy following her leg amputation, she said this makeup skills program was the highlight.

"When I was here at Moss, they worked incredibly hard on getting me functional to go home," she said. "But this program is what I remember the most."

Dunn, who is a speech language pathologist at Einstein in Philadelphia, had never been on the receiving end of therapy. But following a shocking infection and diagnosis with necrotizing fasciitis last fall, her life turned upside down. Groom, Glow, and Grow gave her skills to maintain positivity and confidence.

"To feel like a person again and to do something fun and enjoyable made a huge difference in my rehab stay," she said. "To wear bold colors was never my thing before, but now it definitely is because I feel like I can do anything."

Groom, Glow, and Grow will continue to do all three of those things at MossRehab for the foreseeable future. Anyone interested in learning more or making a donation can visit their website or Instagram page.

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