Linda Whitehurst has been a Look Good Feel Better volunteer for more than 25 years, and has served in a number of volunteer roles, including workshop facilitator, state coordinator, area trainer and national trainer. She was previously the owner of the Parasol Hair Studio in Charlotte, North Carolina, for 28 years and now lives in Asheville, North Carolina, where she uses her cosmetology skills and years of experience as a hair stylist to cut wigs for cancer patients. Linda is also a member of the PBA, the largest organization of salon professionals with members representing salons/spas, distributors, manufacturers and beauty professionals. She is the PBA Look Good Feel Better national project director and represents the volunteer perspective among the national operations team, which includes the PBA, the Personal Care Products Council Foundation and the American Cancer Society.
Improving Your Look with a Little Cover: Concealer, Foundation, and Powder
“Cover Cosmetics” Tips from a Pro
Your reaction to treatment will be as individual as you are. Some women may notexperience any appearance-related side effects, whereas others may experience a few, and some women will struggle with many. If you are experiencing appearance-related side effects, one important thing to keep in mind is that most are temporary.
Although during treatment you may feel that everyone else is in control, it is important for you to retain control, too, because you are a vital partner in your return to optimum health. Caring for your appearance can be a good place to start because, chances are, if you look good, you’ll feel better.
As an LGFB facilitator, I respond to frequently asked questions from program participants about ways to camouflage and correct skin imperfections with makeup. These imperfections can result from some of the common appearance-related side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, including changes in skin pigmentation, color, and texture. Some women may also experience dark circles under their eyes.
Q: What is the purpose of concealer?
A: Concealer is typically used under foundation to diminish dark circles, visible capillaries that are more prominent, and facial blemishes. It is available as a stick or a cream.
Follow these tips for effective application:
- For the eye area, apply concealer with a clean ring finger (light touch) or a disposable wedge sponge. Starting from the inner corner of the eye, apply dots of concealer out to the iris (colored part), and then gently blend the dots to the outer corner of the eye.
- For extreme discoloration around the eyes, try a color-correcting concealer. Alabaster covers dark circles on warm skin tones; lavender gives a yellowish complexion a healthy glow and covers sallowness; mint neutralizes redness; pink highlights all skin tones; and orange covers blue tones such as veins and dark circles on dark skin.
- If you’re using a foundation, choose a concealer no more than one shade lighter than your skin. If you choose to wear concealer without foundation, a shade closest to your natural skin color will look best.
Q: I have seen a noticeable change in my skin tone since starting chemotherapy. My skin is gray in color. How can I regain a healthy glow?
A: Foundation is used to even out your complexion and give it a soft touch of color and a healthy-looking glow. Because cancer treatment can temporarily change the color of your skin, sometimes giving it a gray or yellow cast, you may need a new shade of foundation.
Follow these tips to choose and apply foundation effectively:
- For skin tone that has a gray or ash appearance, choose a foundation with more moisturizer in it to give skin radiance.
- Choose a shade that matches the color of skin at the jaw line.
- To apply, dot the foundation on your forehead, nose, chin, and cheeks with clean fingers or a disposable cosmetic sponge. Then blend outward and upward from the center of your face to the edge and blend well at the hairline and the jaw line. Blend, blend, blend—that is the secret of flawless makeup application. Use a dry cosmetic sponge for full coverage or a damp sponge for light coverage.
Q: Is powder really a necessary beauty step? If so, is there a particular technique to applying it?
A: Yes, powder is quite necessary. It is used to set the foundation and keep it from melting off, and it yields a more professionally enhanced appearance.
Here are some tips for using powder effectively:
- After the foundation step, lightly apply translucent loose powder over your face with a clean cotton ball using a pat-and-roll motion.
- Gently dust downward and outward to remove excess powder and smooth any facial hair. Pressed powder is best for touchups.
© Women magazine 2010, www.awomanshealth.com.