Just add glitter

Kesha arrived on Friday in a storm of glitter, and Beauty Gurus at the U helped make it happen.

Undeclared freshman Lily Dunbar undergoes a glitter makeover before the Kesha concert outside McNamara Alumni Center on Friday.

Carter Jones

Undeclared freshman Lily Dunbar undergoes a glitter makeover before the Kesha concert outside McNamara Alumni Center on Friday.

by Maddy Folstein

Friday’s sold-out Kesha concert at TCF Bank Stadium was a welcome throwback to awkward middle school dances.

Luckily, the glitter makeup sported by audience members was not your average middle school, blue glitter smoky eye. In its first school-wide event since launching, the new ‘Beauty Gurus at the U’ club provided glitter-enhanced makeup to 261 concertgoers.

This Glitter Glam Makeover event was hosted outside the McNamara Alumni Center. Despite brisk temperatures, people lined up to get a flashy, Kesha-approved look.

Some chose to honor their Gopher pride with maroon and gold accents, while others went for blue, black and silver lightning bolts.

“David Bowie mixed with tiger stripes” is how one University of Minnesota freshman described his look.

Beauty Gurus at the U has its goals set well beyond the glitter of Friday night.

“We want to do a lot of community things. We want to raise money for the Aurora Center and really give back,” said Anna Waltz, a junior at the University studying agriculture and food business who serves as the club’s sponsorship outreach officer.

The group’s aim? Emphasizing self-love and expression.

“We really love doing makeup and promoting a sense of inner beauty,” said Aarushi Sarkari, the president of Beauty Gurus and a senior double majoring in neuroscience and genetics, cell biology and development.

The club hosts weekly meetings Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. in Amundson Hall. So far, topics have ranged from graphic liner competitions to contouring lessons.

“Makeup is turning into this huge communal art form. It’s becoming a thing where you can always learn from each other,” Sarkari said.

Concert attendees were able to rock their glitter look while picking up the skills to reapply it to themselves later.

The concert itself was everything middle school you dreamed of. Opener Jidenna set the night’s tone — loud, with lots of dancing.

Sticking with the seventh grade dance theme, Kesha played old favorites. She opened with “We R Who We R” and closed her encore with “Die Young.” The audience knew every word and sang along loudly.

The concert also had an unexpected, serious undertone. Kesha spoke frequently about her 2014 lawsuit against producer Dr. Luke and allegations of his sexual, physical and emotional abuse. The lawsuit largely prevented Kesha from releasing new music.

But this didn’t hold back the performance. “Blow” was slowed down for a far more dramatic performance. Her cover of Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me” was a notable moment of liberation. On Friday, Kesha seemed to perform old songs the way she wanted to.