Friday January 23, 2015

The power of contraband prison makeup

Listen 4:53

Annie Burchard had a very distinct look: tattoos, bright red hair styled in a pompadour and a rockabilly fashion sense. But when she was incarcerated in a county jail in San Diego for two years, she found that recreating her look in jail was almost impossible.

As no haircutting or styling products are allowed and make-up is limited, Annie and other inmates created their own concoctions using whatever was available to them: Cherry Kool-Aid as hair dye, M&M candies for lipstick, and the ink from newspapers could be used as blush. 

Now that Annie is out of prison and remaking her life helping other former inmates reintegrate into society, she shares how her experience in prison changed her sense of identity and style, and made her question who she really was.