October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. As a recent breast cancer survivor (one year and counting!) I know first hand that having confidence in your appearance can have a tremendous effect on the healing and recovery process. Throughout my treatment last year, sometimes putting on my favorite lipstick was the only thing that truly made me feel like my old self again. In fact, the American Cancer Society even has a program called "Look Good, Feel Better" which aims to help you do just that. It's hard to find anyone who hasn't been touched by this disease...one in eight women are diagnosed. In support of those doing battle in the war against breast cancer, here are some makeup and beauty tips to help them along on their journey.
Chemotherapy almost always results in complete hair loss, on your head, eyebrows and often eyelashes. It's best to learn how to fill in your brows before you lose them. Chose a brow color that closely matches your natural shade and practice filling in while you can still see them. Pay close attention to where brows begin and end on your face and how full they are. When the time comes, you'll be able to draw them from scratch with no need for an eyebrow stencil. Check my blog archives for the previous posting on eyebrows to find my favorite brow products.
False eyelashes are great for emphasizing the eyes. And they are much easier to apply when you don't have to worry about blending them in with your own eyelashes! Strip lashes are inexpensive and come in a variety of styles. Try to get use to applying them before you lose your lash hair. Remember, practice really does make perfect. One of my favorites Ardell Fashion Lashes (about $3 drugstores).
If you've already got dark circles and puffiness, during treatment it will probably become even more pronounced. Use a hydrating concealer like Lancome Maquicomplet Complete Coverage Concealer ($27.50) It minimizes the appearance of dark circles and fine lines and contains antioxidents to protect your skin from environmental damage. And best of all, it looks completely natural!
For a more permanent solution there's Eye Serum by RSF Skincare ($175) It contains 50% peptides (most brands have only 17%) along with other vitamins to stimulate the production of collagen, elastin and skin forming fibers. In other words, it makes the eye area look young, healthy, and fabulous!
Exfoliate and Hydrate
The effects of chemotherapy and radiation can cause skin to become extremely dry and lack luster, on both your face and body. Exfoliating and hydrating will not only help enhance your complexion, but it will also invigorate and enliven the skin. Products designed specifically for those undergoing treatment are wonderful, but can be a bit costly. Instead, try switching to a richer, creamier version of your favorite moisturizer and body lotion to help combat excessive dryness. Make sure your doctor approves any product you apply directly onto areas of your skin affected by treatment.
One to try Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion (6.7oz $35). Its not only hydrating but also dermatologist tested and 100% fragrance free. And when you buy this limited edition bottle, $10 of your purchase will be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
For the body try Bodiology Silk & Satin Vitamin E Body Lotion (8oz $38) Enriched with Vitamin E it contains yummie ingredients like grapeseed, avocado and vanilla to help soothe, protect and regenerate dry, irritated skin.
Color Me Beautiful
Channel your inner rainbow and add a splash of color to your face. A vibrant eyeshadow or lip color can work wonders, so have fun with it! Check out the Bobbi Brown Limited Edition Pink Ribbon Collection ($40). It features a creamy lip color and glittery lip balm both in shades of pink in support of Breast Cancer awareness month. Or try the limited edition collection hand picked by spokesmodel Elizabeth Hurley for Estee Lauder This Lip Design Collection ($22) includes a lipstick, pencil and gloss along with a portable mirrored case. Through their "World Pink" campaign, the Estee Lauder company and its cosmetic affiliates is actively involved in raising awareness and funding research in an effort to find a cure for breast cancer.
There are many companies out there with products whose proceeds go to help fund the search for a cure. Like Brighton Collectibles Power of Pink Jewelry. Try and support these organizations when you can. To all of my sisters in the fight, stay strong, put your best face forward and wear your beauty proudly from the inside out!