When I was a kid I used to love hanging around Mum when she was getting ready to go out, whether that be for grocery shopping or a night out with Dad. I remember being fascinated with the orderly process and economy of movement as pots, tubes, and containers were opened in turn, creams and things dotted on and blended in. It was like an orchestral piece of music, or careful choreography of a ballet. Things came out of their spots, were used, and were carefully replaced and all this time my mother’s beautiful face shone out to me. I suppose I saw her appearance change, she certainly did. I knew the pattern well enough to know when she was coming to the end of the process, and with the click the lipstick going back in the tube and a quick lip blot on tissue it was time to go.
When I was really young, I looked forward to being a grown-up and learning and joining in the “getting ready” dance. I imagine I started in junior high school, I remember lots of eye shadow and Bonnie Bell lip glosses (mmm…root beer!) But somehow, it never stuck. Over the years I have decided to be a grown-up and start doing the skincare and makeup thing many times. Each time I mean well and I do enjoy the results to some extent. But, it is just so much work! And then by the time I am interested again, I have to buy all new product since it has been so long since they were last used.
All this is to give context for an unusual activity for me yesterday. Yesterday afternoon my sister-in-law and I braved the snowstorm to go out to a program called Look Good, Feel Better which was being held at the Law Association building in Fredericton. It felt a little strange for me to be going to an event with a cosmetics focus, but there was much more and even if I don’t use the eye shadows and lip sticks I received in my kit, I will make use of skin care information which was new to me, including shampooing your bald head…who knew?
There were four women there who are cancer patients and each of us had one or more support person there as well the four of us sat at a table set up with some items including a large makeup bag filled with an amazing variety of creams, powders, cleaning products etc. which had been donated by various cosmetics companies. Like most make-over type events, we went through a full skin care and then makeup regimen. There were some really interesting differences, I thought, like we are encouraged to use all disposable materials and to use a different tissue, pad, or Qtip for each eye.
The best part of the event for me was the positive social time with other people who are going through the same things as me, and making a new friend with a young woman who, like me, is getting started in the cancer/chemo world. There was so much care and support for us at the event and valuable information. I highly recommend that you attend this program should you find yourself dealing with cancer at some time in your own life.
Look Good, Feel Good is a program, free to participants, “which offers hands-on cosmetic and hair alternatives workshops for women with cancer in a caring and supportive environment. It’s like a makeover for the spirit.” More information can be found at lookgoodfeelbetter.ca or facingcancer.ca.