Makeup during and after cancer treatment
We get a LOT of emails sadly from women going through cancer treatment who struggle to feel themselves after losing eyebrows, lashes and huge changes in their skin. We have combined a number of common questions here which we really hope will help. We send huge amounts of love to all of you.
Q: How do you draw on eyebrows when you’ve lost yours? and how dark to go when you have no hair. – mine are naturally brown but that looked really fake when I used a pencil in that colour.
A: Even if you lose the hair completely, there is usually a shadow where the hair used to be – this can be your guide.
Use a stencil (Eylure) and powder them with an eyeshadow in your original hair colour (if in doubt use a light taupe colour).
Use a brush like ours so that it doesn’t ‘flick’ everywhere. For some texture, to create a more realistic effect, use a brow mascara and sweep over the stencilled brow.
I would advise against using a pencil as it can look too harsh and too perfect (nobody’s brows are perfect!).
Q. How do you mimic eyelashes when you don’t have any – liner / pencil or eye shadow tricks?
A: Using a soft taupe colour eyeshadow and a small headed brush, line underneath the lower lash line, keeping the line soft and gentle (not harsh), which will give the effect of a shadow which our lower lashes would normally cause.
I’d advise using the C-Lash by Eylure, they have a sticky tab that can stick to your skin (rather then to your lash line like original false lashes do)
You can cover the tiny tab with foundation or a soft powdered line (like you have done on your lower lash line).
Q: When your hair comes back grey it completely changes your complexion and the colours you used to wear and love now don’t seem to suit you at all?
A: You should still be led by your skin type. In my opinion, whatever suits your skin type will suit your hair colour and it all starts with choosing your foundation or tinted moisturiser.
- Find your skin colour undertones. Are you Cool? (think Adele) Warm?, (think J-Lo) or Neutral? (think me) (this will dictate your choice of colour foundation)
- What is your skin type? Do you have dry/oily/combination skin? (this will dictate the formula you choose)
- What coverage do you require? -heavy / light /sheer/ or matte?
You can use the App FINDATION.COM plus Mac, Charlotte Tilbury and Bobbi Brown all have good foundation finders.
Once you know what base colour you will use, you can decide on what colours to add into your look (with your blusher and eyeshadow). Your eye colour can dictate this:
- Blue eyes – Heather colours or browns
- Brown eyes – All colours but in-particular bronze, golds, copper
- Green eyes – purples, aubergine & maroon.
With Grey hair stay away from Beige colours they can really drain you. Using blusher with a rose or peach hue will be very flattering.
Q: Skin can be really delicate after chemo – it’s like having an acid peel and many get very rosy cheeks or spotty skin – what shall l do to protect my skin?
A: Make sure that before any makeup application you must use an SPF. You can also use a tinted SPF like Ultrasun or La Roche Posay which even out your skin tone as well as protecting it.
Most makeup products contain SPF these days so hedge your bets!
Q: Going through an early menopause in your 30’s and 40’s makes your skin older and wrinklier – so lipstick now bleeds like my granny! Any tips?
Using a Lip Pore filler is a good start to stop the bleeding. Otherwise, my trick is to always use foundation on your lips, then powder, and then add your lipstick – the foundation and powder help to keep the lipstick in place and prevent bleeding.