West Windsor, N.J. – In the span of a year, Mercer County Community College (MCCC) Education major Sara Stoy went from watching television to being on it. The 21-year-old was one of 14 people selected to participate on “American Beauty Star,” which airs on the Lifetime Network.
Currently airing its second season, the program puts a new spin on the successful, Project Runway-inspired reality TV format. Contestants, armed with beauty supplies, a few hours and a model, are tasked with creating fashionable, show-stopping makeup looks that adhere to the show’s themes.
At times, the designers are preparing ensembles befitting a gala. Or, they could be whipping together a casual, but stylish, look for a night on the town. Each episode is a single-elimination affair, with judges Christie Brinkley, Yu Tsai and Leah Wyar determining the fate of each contestant. The top-three candidates will face off in a live-televised finale to air in the show’s 13th week.
While attending Mercer, Stoy, who works as a professional makeup artist, got her start by filming makeup tutorials on YouTube and eventually branched out to freelance under her own company, MakeUpBySaraStoy.
Balancing school while being filmed on a nationally televised program might seem daunting, but Stoy found the process manageable. “We filmed during a break from school, which worked out really well.”
Being able to attend Mercer meant Sara could follow another one of her passions: education. Having worked at the Hamilton YMCA for seven years, Stoy entered Mercer’s Education program with a focus on hands-on learning. She pointed to her American Sign Language (ASL) class as building her interest in teaching.
“I took ASL with Professor Allwyn Baskin, who was one of my favorite teachers. He was helpful, nice and went through the material at a great pace,” Stoy said.
Though her run on American Beauty Star ended in episode three, Stoy is motivated to continue following her passions in education and artistry. “This show helped me grow as an artist, and helped me realize, that, in more ways than one, dreams do come true,” Stoy said.
Now that she has nearly completed her associate degree in Education, Stoy is ready for the next phase of her schooling. She will continue her studies through William Paterson at Mercer in the Fall to complete her bachelor’s degree in Education.
“I’m really looking forward to transitioning into the William Patterson at Mercer program. It has a student teaching requirement I am particularly excited for. I love working hands on with students,” she said.