Diana Tian of Bayside High School knew that prom night would be special, but she didn’t realize how much so.
“I feel that for four years I looked the same and for one day I looked different,” said 18-year-old Tian. “I pretty much got all I wanted.”
Entered into The Queens Courier prom makeover contest by her stepfather, hours before the big night Tian got the star treatment at Christie & Co. Salon and Spa in Bay Terrace. A little over three hours and dozens of bobby pins later, the transformation was complete. Tian was ready for prom.
A team of experts helped Tian prepare. Hair stylist Toni Sterlacci, who’s worked with hair since she was 14, used the tools of her trade to carefully curl Tian’s straight hair, pulling up to emphasize Tian’s neckline and complement the strapless gown.
“Putting the hair up, it’s guaranteed to hold all night and it’s classy,” Sterlacci said. “They are all so young and pretty. They look good no matter what we do.”
Makeup came next with Lisa Pietrocola, who made Tian’s eyes pop with iridescent shades of purple eye shadow to match Tian’s dress.
“It’s important to listen to what they [the client] want because it’s a big day,” said Pietrocola.
A little lavender nail polish to complete the look and off to the dressing room Tian went to change into her ankle-length gown. When she emerged, everyone turned towards the new Tian.
“She’s gorgeous,” said Lizhi Pomerantz, who brought Tian to the United States three and a half years ago from her town in China near Beijing. “I can’t believe it.”
Women began to walk up to Tian and complement her and her dress. “You look beautiful!” and “I noticed the dress immediately when I walked in. Where did you get it?” asked another.
As Sterlacci and Pietrocola made some last minute touch ups, Tian’s phone began to ring urgently with calls from her friends. “I’m still at the salon,” she said. “I’m almost done.”
When Tian finally made it to prom at Terrace on the Park in Flushing-Meadows Corona Park, she stole everyone’s attention.
“All the girls admired what I got and they all wished they had been the winner. The boys said I looked pretty,” said Tian, who starts at SUNY Binghamton this fall. “I hope they can do it next year for another winner because it really changed my life.”