A commuter who picked up the wrong suitcase on a train has told of how “random acts of kindness really do make a difference” after she managed to track down the makeup artist who owned it using the power of social media.
On 20 April, Lauren Costello, from Swindon, took to Facebook to explain she had picked up the wrong bag when travelling from Paddington station, London. On opening the bag she realised her error, as the suitcase was filled with thousands of pounds worth of beauty products and a DSLR camera.
Costello, who is national director for primary and special education with the Academies Enterprise Trust, wrote on Facebook that she believed the bag belonged to a professional makeup artist and felt awful for taking it, as it contained someone’s livelihood. Despite it being “a bit of a stretch” she desperately wanted to find the owner on Facebook - and, against the odds, she did.
Two days after Costello shared the status it transpired that freelance makeup artist Nicola Gordon-Jones had lost her bag when travelling from Kristina Gasperas’ beauty academy, where she had completed a bridal makeup course.
Gasperas, who is based in Richmond, London, told HuffPost UK that she had received an email from Gordon-Jones thanking her for the course but also informing her that her bag was missing. The day after, the beauty academy founder took to Facebook to message her team asking if they could contribute a couple of makeup pieces/sets each so her student wouldn’t need to repurchase everything.
Shortly afterwards one of her team members noticed Costello’s post in a makeup artist Facebook group - and Gordon-Jones was quickly notified that her bag had potentially been found.
Thrilled for her student, Gasperas took to Facebook to offer Costello a free makeover for being so honest and going out of her way to return the bag. “Lauren, you are amazing,” she wrote. “This happened to Nicola on her way from my studio. As a thank you for your honesty we’d like to invite you for a complimentary makeover including some portraits.”
Meanwhile Gordon-Jones was beyond elated. She told HuffPost UK that when she realised her case was missing she felt panicked as all of her equipment for work was inside - she immediately came to the conclusion it had been stolen.
“I was very upset as I had built up the kit over a number of years,” she said.
But when she saw the Facebook post a few days later, she couldn’t believe her eyes. “I was ecstatic,” she said. “I couldn’t believe someone had actually tried (and managed) to track me down. I was so happy I could have burst.”
The makeup artist who runs her own business said the items in the case came to approximately £3,000 and would’ve taken years to replace.
“I want to thank Lauren for going to the effort to find me,” she said. “Not many people would have gone to so much trouble. It means so much as it is my livelihood.”
Gordon-Jones has since been reunited with her bag via Great Western Railway and Costello’s bag also turned up in Newport lost property - so positive news all around. She concluded: “Good people will always find each other and random acts of kindness really do make a difference.”
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