I look good and feel better – why because I’ve just enjoyed an afternoon of fabulous skin care and make-up therapy with the Look Good, Feel Better charity at the Macmillan Cancer Centre in the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth. It’s amazing what a bit of make-up can do – especially when following the advice of two expert tutors! Actually it is not called ‘therapy’ it is a Skincare and Make-Up Workshop, but everyone attending certainly felt better afterwards so….
Ready set go
The afternoon session was all set up ready to welcome eight women who were undergoing cancer treatment. “Nowhere are the therapeutic and psychological benefits of women wearing make-up more relevant than for women coping with the often demoralising visible side-effects of cancer treatment” explained Look Good, Feel Better. And it was definitely a feel-good experience for everyone, me included. Firstly the ladies attending were each presented with a large bag filled with cosmetic goodies. Then the two excellent session leaders Cheryl Anderson and Rachel Stanford took us through a 12-step routine of cleansing, moisturising and then applying make-up in a relaxed and fun way.
The transformation for all was fabulous – the confidence instilled was palpable and of course, we all looked a million dollars (if I do so say so myself). One of the most popular moments was when Cheryl shared how to shade in and recreate eyebrows and define lashes– hair losses many women suffer through chemo treatment. “Being able to re-draw eyebrows confidently can make cancer sufferers feel they are looking at themselves again” said Cheryl. It was obvious that both Cheryl and Rachel are experts, as throughout the session, top tips and advice assailed our ears as we followed their instructions.
I was there as a guest because I have been asked by Look Good, Feel Better to create a Make-Up bag as a project that people can sew to raise money for the charity. The bag, or more accurately caddy, I’ve made is very simple to create – starting with four simple rectangles of fabric no bigger than A4. The idea is that the pattern and instructions will be available at the Knitting and Stitching shows this autumn and visitors will be encouraged to take it home, run their own tea-party or other social gathering and make lots of these bags to sell for the charity.
The bag itself takes less than an hour to cut and sew so it really is nice and simple. Left open, it can sit on the dressing table with all your cosmetics easily accessible and when in your handbag or suitcase, you can roll down and button the top to keep everything inside. To help inspire K&S visitors to have a go, I will be demonstrating the project at the Knitting and Stitching shows every day in Alexandra Palace, London (11-15 October), and Harrogate (23-26 November). I’ve got it down to a 30 minute demo – so it really is very easy!
The charity Look Good, Feel Better
Look Good Feel Better is a global cancer support charity. In the UK it runs a free programme of skincare and make-up workshops in over 80 hospitals and cancer support centres nationwide. It is the Beauty and Fragrance industry’s flagship charity, supported in the UK by over 40 member companies who donate funds, products and the expertise of their staff. On their website there are some useful links to
www.lgfb.co.uk – for further information about the charity and fundraising opportunities plus lots of really useful hints, tips and video clips on cosmetics and more.