“Let us put a smile on your face,” read the logo on the beauty assistants’ tunics. “OK, then, have a go,” I thought, tired and uncomfortable after chemotherapy, and longing to take off itchy “Ryan”, the name given to my post-chemo wig. But it soon became a struggle to stay grumpy in the face of a free cosmetic makeover for women with cancer, run by the charity Look Good… Feel Better (LGFB).
2 Concealer should be a shade lighter than the face.
3 Dark eyeshadow creates softer eyebrows than eye pencil.
4 To shape an eyebrow, start with a dot on the brow bone, a pencil distance from the nose. End on the diagonal that starts by the nostril and skims under the eye.
5 Roll a new eye-liner pencil around in the hand to soften tip. Lots of little lines look better than one continuous one.
6 Move mascara horizontally along the lashes (if you have any), not bottom to top.
7 If lashes are patchy, buy individual ones to fill the gaps.
8 If lashes are non-existent, buy fakes that don’t look too Joan Collins.
9 Blushers that initially appear over-bright can lift a face.
10 Pat blusher from apple of cheek to the cheekbone, continuing as far as the hairline.
11 Use lipliner to prevent lipstick seepage. Avoid scary darker shades.
12 Take it all off before bed to prevent a fright in the morning.
But the best lesson of the day by far was one I already knew, and am always in danger of forgetting: the joy of other people. The eight of us, some bald, some merely battered by treatment, shared a merry couple of hours and left clutching our goodie bags smiling. Thank you, Estée Lauder, Boots and other companies who chip in with both products and beauty therapists, and who currently cheer up 12,000 women every year.
Look Good… Feel Better (www.lgfb.co.uk) offers hair and beauty workshops for women undergoing cancer treatment in 63 centres throughout the UK.