Cancer and its treatment can change how your skin looks and feels. Wearing makeup can help you feel more confident and more like yourself when you’re having treatment.
Check with your doctor or specialist nurse before using any skin care products if you:
- are still having cancer treatment
- have had treatment to your face or neck
- have had a skin reaction
This 4 minute video shows you how to use make up to create a natural look.
Day Make up : Make up tips and advice for people with cancer - Transcript
Hello, my name is Annie. I teach women affected by cancer how to use make-up to disguise the side effects of treatment, and in this video I am going to cover a light day make up that might help you to look and feel better.
And I am going to start with preparation. And I am going to put on some eye primer. This is going to hide any blue-ness on the eyelid and act as a base for your eyeshadow and keep it in place.
The next stage is to prime the face, just a couple of pumps and I am going to apply that all over my face. Now your face primer just helps to even out the texture of the skin.
The next stage is to use a concealer, great for hiding bags under the eyes, and any redness around the nose even for lessening the definition of lines and wrinkles, and I am just going to blend that in quickly with my fingertips. Now your concealer must be creamy and a good match for your skin tone, don’t buy one that dries to a powder and is going to emphasise those lines even more.
Now that may be all that you need for skin coverage but if you want to go a step up then I would suggest trying something like a pressed or loose mineral foundation. I load my brush and I am just going swirl it around my face ... just chose one that is good match for your skin tone. And even if you’ve never worn make up before these are great because you don’t even feel like you’ve got make up on.
The next step is to get yourself a palette of matt neutral eyeshadows. And this will help define your brows and to cover your eyelids. And I am just going to take a colour that matches my eyebrows and with a small brush just fill in.
From the same palette I am going to take a slightly lighter shadow and I am just going to sweep that across my eyelid. And that will give the eye definition, especially for ladies that have lost their eyelashes. And I’m just taking it a little bit underneath as well and that just completes one side so I am going to go on now and do the other side.
And that’s my eyes done. And now it’s all about giving yourself a little bit of colour. So, if you can get a cream blusher that’s a nice natural looking colour that will double up for both your cheeks and your lips. So, I am just going to put a little bit on the brush, smile... and it goes on the apples of the cheeks now you can blend this with your fingers if you like but I think a brush is better. And then if you want a bit of sculpting you can just take it towards the top of the ears; and that will define your cheek bones a little bit more.
And next it’s lips. Now this is really important, lots of ladies have problems with cracked, dry lips when they are going through treatment so it is really worth investing in a very good quality lip balm perhaps something with calendula in and just pop it on your lips. And then if you want that extra pop of colour go back to your blusher and just put that over the top.
And there we have it. That completes your natural daytime look. Even if you’ve never worn make up before do give this a try it’s really easy and it will go a long way to giving you a boost of confidence.
So, for a quick recap, prime your eyes, and your face, put on your concealer, put on your foundation, define your brows and your eyelids, pop of blusher, your lip balm and blusher over the top. And good luck!
Before applying make up
Don’t worry if you’re not used to wearing make up. With practise it will become easier.
It’s a good idea to buy your make up and start practicing before you start treatment. When your treatment starts, you might not have the energy for shopping.
- try products out before you buy them - ask the shop assistants to put the products on for you so you can see what they look like
- check how they look in natural daylight - shop lighting can be harsh and make it look very different
- shop around to find what suits you best
Try not to give in to sales pressure. Tell the assistant you want to see how long the product lasts, or how your skin reacts before you buy.
Types of make up
Primers for your face and eyes help to give an even tone to your skin. They also help your make up to last longer. You might find it useful to:
- choose a matt (non shiny) and pore minimising facial primer if you have oily skin
- go for a brightening or illuminating primer if you have dry or more mature skin
- choose a slightly tinted primer for a more natural look
Concealers help to cover small blemishes. You should:
- match your concealer to your skin tone (shop assistants can help you choose the right one)
- avoid concealers that dry to a powder finish because they sit in the lines on your face
- choose a creamy concealer as they are easy to blend
For a natural day make up look, you can simply use a primer and then a concealer. Blend it all over the face with your fingers or a make up brush.
Mineral make up
Mineral make up looks like a powder but acts like a foundation. It comes as loose or pressed powder and is quick and easy to put on. It gives your skin a non shiny look.
- use mineral make up as a foundation after using primer and concealer
- try to choose a talc free one
Colour correcting creams (CC creams)
Colour correcting creams (CC creams) moisturise your skin and give a smooth, luminous colour to your complexion. You may prefer them if your skin tends to be dry.
CC creams and other tinted moisturisers contain sunscreen to protect your skin and give a fresh natural look.
These are also known as setting sprays. You spray these on after you have finished putting your make up on. They keep the make up in place. They are especially useful for oily and dehydrated skin to prevent the make up from moving or disappearing.
Cheeks and lips
Smile and put a small amount of blusher onto the apple of your cheeks. Blend up towards the top of your ear lobe.
- cream blusher tends to work better if you use a creamy foundation
- apply cream blusher with either a brush or your fingers
- use a powder blusher if you use a matt foundation
- apply powder blusher with a brush
- use your cream blusher on your cheeks and lips
Your lips are likely to become dry when you are having treatment. Use a plain or tinted lip balm often and have it with you all the time so you can reapply it.
For an extra pop of colour you can use a moisturising lipstick.
Look Good Feel Better is a charity set up by the cosmetics industry.
Volunteer beauty therapists provide skincare and make up workshops for women having cancer treatment in 130 hospitals across the UK. You also get a goodie bag. It also provides advice and support for men living with cancer.
You can find your nearest workshop and read more about the work of the charity on their website.