Jean Hsiang, 94, smiles while getting her nails done during a beauty day at the Josephine Caring Community on Saturday in Stanwood. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Jean Hsiang, 94, smiles while getting her nails done during a beauty day at the Josephine Caring Community on Saturday in Stanwood. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Love, kindness and ‘a little sparkle’ for hair and nails

When volunteer stylists visited a Stanwood home for seniors, it was like a day at the parlor.

By Kaitlyn Johnson

Special to The Herald

STANWOOD — Even with the pink tablecloths and balloons, what stood out most in the common room of Josephine Caring Community was the excitement of those waiting to get their hair and nails done.

On Saturday, stylists donated their time and resources to residents, many of whom are in memory care.

The effort was organized by Ashleey Bezant-Niblett, who grew up in the Marysville area and runs a nonprofit called, “Inked Skin, Happy Hearts.”

The attention was calming and “very nice,” said resident Mary Lou Battaglia.

“It changes everything. When you get to see all these people, it makes you feel good.”

Battaglia wore a soft rinse of pink blush. “They gave me some color,” she said.

Ellen Kline was reminded of the days when she would do her daughter’s hair and makeup. She always loved getting her own hair and makeup done, she said.

“I’m 94. I’ll be 95 on my birthday,” she said. “This is special. Very special.”

Nearby, Debbie Carr was painting the nails of a woman who didn’t speak.

“We’re just going to add a little sparkle to her day,” Carr said.

She’d seen an item about the event on Facebook and offered to pitch in, because “this is just something I enjoy doing,” she said.

Kaylie Rollins, left, does Donna Motland’s makeup during a beauty day at the Josephine Caring Community on Saturday in Stanwood. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Kaylie Rollins, left, does Donna Motland’s makeup during a beauty day at the Josephine Caring Community on Saturday in Stanwood. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Another resident, Theo Norgaard, served with the U.S. Navy’s WAVES (Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service) during World War II. Her nails needed trimming — but clear polish only for her. “I go to the beauty parlor for my hair,” she said.

Norgaard lived most of her life in Montana but moved to Camano Island to stay with her daughter. After a fall, she needed more care and came to Josephine.

Bezant-Niblett, who led the event, has a personal connection to the home, because her grandmother, Rhoda Monroe, has been there for about five years.

Her 7-year-old daughter, Scarlett, wandered around and observed the stylists at work. The residents admired the girl’s long copper curls and sparkly black-and-pink shoes.

Hair and makeup can make people feel pretty and happy, Scarlett said, though she was disappointed she couldn’t do anyone’s nails like her mother. She asked politely, but there were no takers — except for her Nana.

Bezant-Niblett, 30, was raised by her grandparents for much of her life.

Later, she became a stepdaughter to Gerry Andal, a Stanwood-area businessman and musician who was known for his cowboy flair and community service.

“He always seemed to be doing something to give back wherever he could,” she said. “When he died, I just thought I wanted to put a drop in the bucket.”

A resident, center, gets her hair done while others get their nails done during a beauty day at the Josephine Caring Community on Saturday, March 9, 2019 in Stanwood, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

A resident, center, gets her hair done while others get their nails done during a beauty day at the Josephine Caring Community on Saturday, March 9, 2019 in Stanwood, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Andal wasn’t a huge fan of her tattoos, though she’s since dedicated a half-sleeve in his memory. As a stay-at-home mother, she aims for her nonprofit to bring together tattooed folks and others in service projects.

Past examples have included hygiene packs for the homeless, trail cleanups, a charity walk for heart health and taking in (approved) animals to visit memory care patients.

Bezant-Niblett knows from caring for aging relatives that one-on-one attention “goes miles in their day,” she said. She sees that not everyone has regular visitors.

“Just a little bit of people interaction, it radiates through them,” she said. “It’s a day-at-the-parlor kind of feel. It’s really familiar to them.”

In visiting her grandmother over the years, Bezant-Niblett became close with Shannon Terpak, an activities coordinator at Josephine.

Terpak was grateful to the stylists for donating their time Saturday, saying, “I want the residents to enjoy themselves. That’s all we’re here for.”

Joan Gibson was one of many who would have said that goal was met. In the midst of it all, she was getting her hair curled by Amber Holzknecht.

Gibson had hoped for makeup, too, “but my allergies popped up and that’s the end of it,” she said.

“But you’re still pretty,” Holzknecht said.

“That’s what everyone says,” Gibson said.

Kaitlyn Johnson is a ninth-grader at Cavelero Mid High School in Lake Stevens. Herald reporter Rikki King contributed to this story.

Learn more

For more information on the nonprofit, go to the “Inked Skin, Happy Hearts” page on Facebook.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Lake Stevens resident Rick Trout shows a Feb. 2020 photo of the rising lake level in front of his home after a storm. (Isabella Breda / The Herald)
Some Lake Stevens homeowners now must buy flood insurance

Updated FEMA maps show some lakeside homes now sit in a designated flood hazard area, due to a warming climate.

Preston "Buddy" Dwoskin served as the head referee at the inaugural Buddy Bowl football game two years ago at Everett Memorial Stadium. (Contributed photo) 20211203
Anti-bullying ‘Buddy Bowl’ game set for Saturday in Marysville

Preston Dwoskin, a public speaker with special needs, organized the football festivities. He would like you to be there.

Everett Community College's Dennis Skarr sits in front of a 15-foot interactive wall that can replicate a manufacturing company's assembly line, hardware, software and networks on Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021 in Everett, Washington. A class taught by Skarr focuses on cyber threats against manufacturers, pipelines, water treatment systems and electrical grids.(Andy Bronson / The Herald)
At EvCC, ‘The Wall’ teaches students how to thwart cyber crime

The Everett college is first in the nation to have a tool that can model cyber attacks aimed at vital infrastructure.

Girl, 1, dies from gunshot wound near Granite Falls

Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office deputies were investigating the weapons assault report Saturday night.

Voyager Middle School.
Shooting threat at Mukilteo schools was a joke, student says

Four threats of violence in 48 hours were reported at Snohomish County schools in the wake of a shooting at a Michigan high school.

Man dies in 140-foot fall from Arlington cellphone tower

The man, in his 30s, fell about just after 1:30 p.m. Saturday while working.

Prosecuting attorney, Taryn Jones gives the state's opening statement to start the trial of Ryan Leenders for first-degree murder Friday morning at the Snohomish County Superior Courthouse on December 3, 2021. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Trial opens for Everett man charged with killing party guest

A defense attorney claimed Ryan Leenders mistook a vape pen for a gun when he shot William Harper, who was not armed.

‘Prolonged neglect’: Darrington woman charged with starving horses

After a months-long investigation, the woman is accused of neglecting her animals.

State officials confirm first 3 cases of omicron variant

The cases were found in Thurston, Pierce and King counties, according to the state Department of Health.

Most Read