College Students Glam it Up for Graduation

Students Spend Massive Amounts of Money on Hair and Makeup for Graduation

By: Tamar Belfont

Glammed up graduates posing for a picture. (Credit:

Has anyone ever wondered why people take extreme measures to look fabulous on their graduating day as if it was their wedding?

According to, the graduation rate at CSI has been as low as 28.2% since 2014. With this in mind, students who graduate should especially be celebrated.

Even though the acceptance rate at CSI is 100%, not everyone can leave college with a degree. The college has over 13,000 enrolled on campus but only a few thousand get to throw the motorboards in the air a the end of the semester.

For many seniors, graduation is a time to dress up and spend massive amounts of money to look beautiful before walking down the aisle, looking good for the camera.

Both males and females will spend hundreds of dollars on an outfit and styling their hair.

“People from every race come over here and add little weave into their hair for a fuller and more volume for a bounce in their hair,” said Ashlyn, a well-known hair stylist who travels all over and owns a hair studio in addition to a barbershop with her friend.  

“I sometimes make a little over a $800 a day sewing and styling my clients hair because I do charge $150 just for sewing the hair.”

Penny, the owner of a hair salon called Elan’s, on Staten Island, says her favorite time of the year is graduation, prom, and wedding season because she receives the most clients.

Sometimes, she likes to give regular clients discounts for events such as weddings, birthdays and, of course, graduation.

She will give between 25-50 percent off for her client’s hairstyles, and her regular clients spend around hundred dollars less for their graduation hairstyles because of the discounts.

There is nothing wrong with adding hair extensions to your already natural beautiful hair. Around the time of graduation, a lot of women love to add extensions to their hair to give it a fuller, beautiful look.

Ashlyn is normally a very expensive hair stylist and takes cares of clients from all different races.

For graduation, Ashlyn said she receives about 30 clients a year who ask her to make them look like Beyoncé, or as if they were going to be at the Grammys.

Many of her clients want a different look than on graduation than how they normally look for a regular school day. Her clients with long hair want to cut their hair and have a shorter look and vice versa for clients who have short hair.

Students would come into her salon with short or long black hair and leave with blonde, blue, red, or gray hair most likely to be curly.

Everyone loves putting on simple makeup, such as powder, foundation, eyeliner, but nothing beats a fresh, full face of makeup done by a professional makeup artist.

Around graduation time, MAC and Sephora have special deals for students. At MAC, if a person spend around $40-50, they can receive a free face beat, but this deal normally runs on weekends.

Future graduates pay between $60-70 for a full-face beat, including lashes, for a flawless look, whereas at Sephora, a person pays between $50-60 for a full flawless beat including lashes.

However, not all makeup artists work for MAC and Sephora; some own their own businesses.

Christina, a well-known makeup artist on Staten Island, charges $70 for a full-face beat including glitter, cat eye, and lashes, but a regular face beat minus those features is $50. Students must book her months in advance.

Even Christina acknowledges that this is the season for anyone in the beauty business. “Any makeup artist can agree with me, when I say they make the most money during May-August because of prom, graduation, and weddings.”

On graduation day, every single person walking toward the podium has a fresh face and new hair-style. Many would say spending $200-$500 is a lot, but at the end of the day, splurging to look good and feel good on your special day is all worth it.

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