Saturday, September 27, 2014
Day 78 of 100 Days of Good Karma.
A few weeks ago I went to a workshop called Look Good, Feel Better. I promised a friend I’d type up the notes I took and send them to her.
The idea behind the Look Good, Feel Better workshops are to help women with cancer feel better about how they look during treatment.
The volunteer leading the workshop, Ricky, a wig designer and makeup artist, was very knowledgeable and helpful.
So if these tips work for you, great. You can thank Ricky.
If they don’t then the blame is all mine for not taking better notes.
The story of the day: Be gentle.
The bag I was given had Dove and Aveeno facial cleansers. Chemotherapy already dries you out so Ricky said to avoid harsh soaps because they can be even harder on already dry skin.
He said don’t use exfoliates. They’re too irritating on skin going through chemotherapy. If you need to exfoliate, he recommended using a wash cloth with a gentle cleanser.
If you find your scalp is dry after losing your hair, you can put facial moisturizers on your head, too.
To get rid of puffiness under your eyes Ricky said to put a spoon in the freezer. Once it’s super cold, you can take it out and press down under the eyes rolling out the puffiness.
Eye concealer is good for covering up dark under eye circles. To apply, dot under the eye in the shape of an upside down triangle until the dark circles are covered. Then blend concealer with a sponge.
Ricky said that a lot of lighter skinned women have a red rosacea appear during chemotherapy. He recommended looking for Physician’s Formula makeup to cover redness. The makeup has a green-ish tint, so covers red well.
When applying foundation, use a disposable sponge. Ricky said don’t reuse sponges because they’re breeding grounds for bacteria.
To apply foundation, he broke the face down into three zones, working from Zone 1 to Zone 3.
Allow your makeup to dry before you apply powder with a press puff (press with the puff, don’t rub).
A tip for those wearing a wig: Ricky said to put the wig on before you put your makeup on. While the wig is on, mark the hairline of the wig with a light pencil. Then remove the wig, and apply makeup only to the hairline of the wig. This way you’ll get less makeup on the wig which cuts down on wig maintenance.
There was something in the bag I’d never seen before when it came to blush. A three-color set like you see with eye shadow. Ricky said these can create contours if your face is swollen from steroids or weight gain.
To apply, the dark color goes underneath the bone contour, the middle color on the bone and the highlighter at the top. The shape of the blush should not be concentrated in the front of the face.
He said, “Think of the Nike swish. Match your facial contour.”
Ricky cautioned us, “Don’t get stuck with the same neutral colors. Think of eye makeup as an accessory. Don’t be afraid to match it to your clothing.”
Several women spoke up saying they’d heard otherwise. I’ve heard the same.
But if eye shadow is your thing, Ricky said feel free to go to town. He said he’s seen some women make five and six different shades of eye shadow work together.
Eyebrows and eyelashes
According to Ricky, “Eyebrows and eyelashes are the last to go and first to come back.” This is good news because you look more ‘sick’ with no eyebrows.
Other than the occasional taming with wax or tweezers, I’ve never had to do much to my eyebrows. I had no idea how to draw on eyebrows, so this topic was the main reason I showed up to the workshop.
Ricky said you can buy eyebrow stencils at Sallys or Ulta. One woman in the class recommended Sally’s over Ulta because of the price. I can’t confirm this since I haven’t had to shop for them yet, but I thought I’d pass the information on.
I learned that a medium gray is a universal eyebrow pencil color. To apply, lay the pencil point up against your nose. Make dots following the contour of your brow bone. Don’t just connect the dots with a straight line. Fill in the dots by making light feathering strokes simulating individual hairs with the brow pencil. Press the makeup sponge into brow pencil to set the makeup.
I tried to find a YouTube tutorial with the technique, but I didn’t see exactly what Ricky did. However, this one here seems to recreate the most natural looking eyebrows. She goes a little further with the ‘eye shadow’ and ‘setting’ steps than Ricky did, but the pencil technique looks similar.
Ricky said that while you have lashes, apply mascara to both the bottom of your lashes (stroking up), and the top of your lashes (stroking down).
Once your eyelashes start to fall out, just give up mascara because the mascara will only make the gaps in lashes more noticeable.
Instead use eyeliner, keeping as close to the lash line as possible.
Don’t use the eyeliner on the inside rim of your eye because this can get bacteria in the eye and the last thing anyone needs while on chemotherapy is any sort of infection.
Ricky said you can use fake lashes if you want, but don’t ever reuse them. Once they’ve been used, throw them away. The adhesive is a breeding ground for bacteria.
Hair and Wig care
If your hair is in a state like mine (think ‘mangy dog’) Ricky said get a really nice shampoo that’s gentle on the scalp.
While in the shower, put a little bit of shampoo on a wash cloth then rub the wash cloth on your head. This traps the hair that is still falling out in the wash cloth instead of making it stick to everything else.
There are basically two types of wigs: those made with human hair and those made with synthetic fibers. I have synthetic wigs, so I paid more attention to the care instructions for the synthetic wigs. If needed, I found more Wig Care tips here and here.
To shampoo a wig fill a sink with cold, soapy water. Hold the wig in one hand with your thumb over the part then dip the wig into the water. Ricky said the best soap to use on synthetic wigs is Dawn dish detergent because it removes oils.
To dry, roll the hair in a towel and squeeze the water out. Hang to dry on a wig stand. If you don’t have a wig stand, use a paper towel rack or a door knob. Don’t lay it flat.
He said that wigs need to be washed otherwise you get skin oils on the wig. Those same oils will collect bacteria that you then put back on your head when you put the wig back on. This can cause itching and breakouts.
So that’s it. Those are the notes I took during the workshop. I hope they are helpful!
Today’s silver lining: Being able to cross another task off my To Do list.
What’s your silver lining today? I love comments!