Passion with purpose: University student uses makeup to help Syrian refugees

Portrait of make up artist, Momo Sahoo by Walbert Castillo.

By Maddie Galassi

Moumita Sahoo, sophomore in Business, recently started Makeup For A Cause, where she does other student’s makeup and donates the profits to the Syrian refugee crisis.

Sahoo said her interest in makeup began at a young age.

“In seventh grade, I started getting into makeup,” Sahoo said. “I always watched YouTube tutorials and would get into trouble with my parents because I wasn’t supposed to be wearing makeup, so I would sneak eyeliner to school so my mom couldn’t see.”

Sahoo explained that although her interests began due to insecurity, her views on the purpose of makeup have changed with age.

“As I got older, I’m a lot more confident, and I don’t need makeup, but I love it,” Sahoo said. “It’s more of an art to me now. I’m very into art, and makeup is similar, so it’s a way of me having an artistic outlet.”

Sahoo said she got the idea for Makeup For A Cause a while back. After spending years doing her friends’ makeup for events, she realized that she could be making a profit from it.

“I always ended up doing my friends makeup in high school for dances and events, when we went out or just for fun,” Sahoo explained. “People do usually charge for doing makeup, which I never did because it was fun for me, but I realized I could be making a profit off of it. I don’t personally need the money, so I thought I could give the profits to a good cause.”

Sahoo said she has been following the refugee crisis in Syria and decided to help out in any way she could, like with her makeup skills.

“I’ve done a lot of research on the Syrian Refugee Crisis. An incredible amount of people area affected by it, and I feel like it’s something that doesn’t get a lot of attention in the news,” Sahoo said. “It breaks my heart when I read things about it.”

Brooke Heidewald, junior in LAS, got her makeup done for Halloween by Sahoo after she heard about Sahoo’s cause.

“That was the first time she’s done my makeup, and it was special makeup because it was for Halloween,” Heidewald said. “She did my makeup as a clown, and she followed a tutorial to do it, and she did an awesome job.”

Knowing her money would go toward the Syrian refugees, Heidewald said she decided to get her makeup done rather than do it herself.

“She walked me through everything and asked if I had questions, which was cool because if I ever want to do it again I can do it on my own,” Heidewald said.

Amanda Hedberg, sophomore in Business and LAS, said she also got her makeup done by Sahoo for Halloween.

“My makeup looked amazing,” Hedberg said. “She did my makeup like a flapper, and it was really cool. A lot of my friends were really impressed with it.”

Hedberg explained that when she heard about where the profits go for Makeup For A Cause, she knew she wanted to get her makeup done by Sahoo.

“It’s the main reason it got my attention,” she said. “I usually do my own makeup, but I figured it was going to a good cause, so I contacted her.”

Sahoo said she loves doing makeup on other people because she enjoys seeing their reaction to “an enhanced version of themselves.” She also explained that she loves seeing the positive reaction to her work and helping her subjects see themselves in a different light.

But overall, she loves the chance to use her makeup for a cause: helping Syrian refugees.

“I felt like I couldn’t not do something about it,” Sahoo said.

[email protected]