Look Good Feel Better

31/03/2012

When looking good means feeling better There's no doubt that looking good is a confidence booster for women and that's also true of those who have cancer. Nicci Martel discovers how an international charity's beauty workshops help to give local women a lift - and why it needs volunteers...(Guernsey Press Article 31/3/2012)

CANCER treatments such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy can have a huge impact on appearance and body image. While some patients may have few or no side effects, others may experience the very visible ones of losing hair, eyebrows and lashes, dry skin, puffiness, or a flushed, sallow or pale complexion.

Look Good... Feel Better is an international charity that offers advice and beauty workshops to women who might be struggling with these changes and the effects they can have on self-esteem.

It first came to Guernsey in 2006 and has since organised quarterly get-togethers for volunteer beauty consultants and patients. LGFB is about helping people in a practical and positive way. 'It aims to show people how to care for their skin while they are going through treatment,' said Jane Beausire, who works for Bulstrode House and helps organise the LGFB workshops.
'Knowing what products to use and how to use them can help patients counteract some of the side-effects. We want to help women feel good about themselves and help boost confidence.'

The charity, which was set up nearly 20 years ago by the Cosmetic Toiletry and Perfumery Association, has the support of more than 40 leading companies and brands in the beauty industry, from Clinique and Estee Lauder to No. 7. Not only do these brands offer their products for use in workshops, they encourage their beauty consultants to volunteer.

Lynn Norledge works as a No. 7 consultant at Boots. She's been a volunteer for LGFB since it first came to the island. 'It's really interesting talking to the women and seeing how they cope and it's lovely to see them leave, knowing that you've made a difference,' she said. 'Looking good can make you feel better. If she's having an off day, a little bit of make-up can make a big difference to a woman's confidence. But we always need volunteers. Sometimes there has only been one volunteer for nine people, which makes it hard for one-to-one time.'

At the beginning of each workshop, patients are given a free gift bag filled with 17 different products. The kit has everything from cleanser and toner to foundation and mascara, as well as fragrances and body cream, none of which are sample or travel size. The beauty consultants take the participants through a specially designed 12-step skincare and make-up regime. 'Cancer treatment can cause hair loss, but it can also cause redness and make the skin very dry and prone to allergies, so it's important women know which products are fragrance-free and suitable for their skin. What they used before treatment might no longer be right,' explained Laina Penttila, who is the Channel Island area manager for Clinique. 'When it comes to make-up, we try to recommend a natural approach - camouflage, but in a natural way.'

The best time for women to attend the workshops is either in the middle of or just after treatment - and it doesn't matter if patients know much about make-up or not. 'I never wear make-up, so it's all new to me,' said one woman at the LGFB workshop. 'I've had cancer three times. I've beaten it three times, but I have got a scar on my face, so it would be nice to know what to do with it. It's a real shame I'm not going out afterwards, with my face all made-up.'
Another woman said: 'I've been wearing make-up every day for years, but I've lost my hair and I've been told I'll lose my eyebrows, so I've come to get some tips on what to do. 'It sounds silly, but if you can make yourself feel better, it really does lift your spirits. Your appearance is part of who you are and it feels good to be in control of that.'

HOW CANCER CAN CHANGE YOU...
CANCER and its treatment can cause both short-term and permanent physical changes. Some are not normally visible to other people, while others are.
Short-term changes in appearance caused by cancer and cancer treatment include:
* Hair loss from chemotherapy
* Weight loss or gain
* Lymphedema, a swelling, usually of the limbs

Permanent changes to the body might be:
* Scars from biopsies and surgery
* Permanent markings, sometimes referred to as tattoos, made on the body to map out radiation treatment
* Skin discoloration over areas treated with radiation
* Permanent stomas - surgically created openings in the abdomen used to allow waste to empty out of the body.
* Mastectomy, the removal of one or both breasts, as part of breast cancer treatment.

WANT TO TAKE PART?
BEAUTY consultants who'd like to volunteer should contact the Look Good... Feel Better head office on 01372 747500 or register through www.lgfb.co.uk. Patients wishing to take part can contact the hospital on 725241, extension 4607.

LOOKING GOOD - THE BASICS

The Look Good... Feel Better workshops guide people through 12 basic steps to improving skin appearance
Cleanse and tone: Use an eye-make-up remover and cleanser to remove make-up and grime. Then use toner to freshen and complete cleansing.
Moisturiser: To alleviate dryness and maintain moisture balance, apply moisturiser over face, eye and neck, massaging in an upward motion. Gently apply eye cream to delicate areas around the eyes using the ring finger.
Concealer: Minimises dark circles under the eyes, facial reddening and blemishes. Gently blend with fingertips.
Foundation: Evens out the skin tone and provides a base for colour. Apply with fingertips, blending carefully at hairline and jaw line.
Powder: Gently press on all over the face, including eyes, to set and prolong life of foundation. Then lightly brush off excess with a cotton pad, using downward strokes.
Blush: Brush lightly onto cheeks, starting with the 'apple', and blend in an upward motion towards the ear.
Eyeshadow: A neutral, matte base shade is applied over the entire eyelid and up to the brow. A darker shade is then blended in a 'triangle' from the outer corner of the eye towards the middle and along the lash line. Complementary shades can define and brighten eyes.
Eyeliner: To create an illusion of fuller lashes and define eyes, a thin line is drawn along the upper lid and from centre of the lower lid outwards. Soften with a cotton bud.
Eyebrows: Thin or absent brows can be recreated using short, feathery strokes. Shape eyebrows by lining a pencil up with the edge of the nose and placing dots above the inside corner of the eye, the arch and the end point. The guide pencil should be held vertically against the nose and moved in an arc to line up with the outside corner of the eye. The resulting guide dots can then be joined using upward strokes. Can also use a brow shaper.
Mascara: Apply to the top and underside of the upper lashes and use the tip of the wand to define the lower lashes.
Lipliner: Define lipline and prevent feathering and smudging. Use well-sharpened pencil to follow natural line working from the centre outwards on both top and lower lip.
Lipstick: Lipstick can brighten a woman's looks and lift her spirits. Fill in outline drawn using a lip brush for richer, longer-lasting coverage.




Back to previous page