Chemotherapy comes with pronounced side effects. That can impact a woman’s self-esteem.
Make up application is a form of creative expression and usually makes a woman feel better. But for some women knowing how to apply make-up does not come easy. It is even more challenging for a woman with cancer, according to Jennifer Darrough of the American Cancer Society.
“When you go through chemotherapy, not just the hair on your head falls out, but the hair on your face can also fall out,” Darrough said. “So drawing on those eyebrows, so that the face can be more expressive is very important to them.”
At least once a week, women with cancer get together with volunteer cosmotologists for a relaxed session of tips and techniques. They are held at various local cancer centers. This one is at St. Anthony's Hospital. It's been helpful for cancer patient Mary Jo Rains.
“I always admire people with their blush,” she said. “They look so natural, and even eyes and eyebrows and colors that I don’t normally select. I found that I was able to wear it.”
Healing comes when you feel that you are in control, Darrough says.
“When you’re going through cancer sometimes it can get you down. Sometimes you’re not feeling well,” she said. “So we believe that if you look good, you’ll feel better. You’ll feel more confident.”
The Look Good Feel Better program is a collaboration between the American Cancer Society, the Personal Care Products Council Foundation and the Professional Beauty Association. Each woman receives a free make up kit with donated products. Mary Jo was pleasantly surprised.
“They were random in my little kit and they worked beautifully,” she said. “Like pink. I’m not a pink lipstick person, but I like it.”
This program like many others is supported by events such as the Making Strides for Breast Cancer Walk. When people participate they’re helping to put on programs such as Look Good Feel Better.
If you'd like to participate in the program, or maybe you want to volunteer, call 800-227-2345 or visit MakingStridesWalk.org. You'll also find registration information for the annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk October 28 in Forest Park.