Neely faces the world with courage

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photo courtesy of Shannon Neely

“I did this look on Halloween (10/31/19) and including my base makeup, it took 2 hours to complete,” said Neely.

As someone who describes herself as a quiet individual, her face tells a different story.

Shannon Neely is a senior at OHS who spends a lot of time working on her intricate designs — on her face. 

“To do my full face makeup looks, it takes about three hours,” said Neely. “People are amazed at the fact that I can wake up and have the determination to get ready early every single day, but when what motivates you throughout the school year is creating makeup looks that make you feel beautiful, waking up a few hours before school starts isn’t a burden, instead a calming methodology.”

Neely said that each look represents a different side of her personality. “I am more of an introverted individual, so makeup is the outlet for which I express myself,” she said. 

With how much time and effort she puts into her flashy looks, you can tell that she is very skilled at what she does. When asked how she got so good she responded with “Practice, that’s all I can say.” 

“It started off in seventh grade as a way to cover up my acne,” said Neely. “But once I started watching Youtube videos and seeing different makeup looks on social media, I began to experiment with all types of creations on my face.” 

Her style is considered editorial style, types of makeup that you would see on the cover of magazines and on the runway.

“Editorial looks are what I usually go for, but in all honesty, I can do any sort of makeup style,” said Neely. “If I see a makeup look on social media that I find to be pretty or cool, I do it.”

When what motivates you throughout the school year is creating makeup looks that make you feel beautiful, waking up a few hours before school starts isn’t a burden”

— Shannon Neely (12)

With crazy designs, Neely gets plenty of strange looks. 

“I get a lot of stares. A lot,” Neely admitted. “That doesn’t deter me from doing what I want though, it kind of spurs me on. I also get so many compliments and comments from people on how they are so amazed by what I am able to do. I think it sets me apart from others.”

Her daring attitude, though, applies to more than just makeup. It also helps her when planning her future. 

“I applied to schools in the east and west coast, as well as one in Scotland and Maastricht University in the Netherlands,” said Neely. “I am going to major in political science or international relations. I chose locations all over the place because I love to travel and appreciate different areas and their cultures. My mom is from the Netherlands so I am already used to traveling, so I want to keep that momentum.”

At the moment, Neely has her eyes set on the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. 

“The University of St. Andrews is a top uni for international relations,” said Neely. “It is super difficult to get into, but I just went for it and applied and then got accepted. I would love to live in Scotland because it’s obviously such a beautiful country and has an environment that I could see myself living in for the next four years of my life.” 

For now, Neely plans to continue to grow her makeup skills throughout college. 

“I am not going to cosmetology school,” said Neely. “I think I might freelance during college just to continuously practice my talent and be able to demonstrate said talent to my peers. Who knows what will happen a decade from now, but those are my plans as of now.”