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Skin Care With Compassion

By: Teresa Paquin
Posted: June 9, 2008, from the December 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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You can make a difference in your client’s life with the experience, talents and gifts that you have been given, whether you are demonstrating how to style and care for their wig, or teaching them how to re-create their eyebrows. Never underestimate the power of how someone feels about the way they look. It truly is a part of their journey to recovery and wellness. Following are some helpful tips about skin care, hair, and makeup services and techniques that you can provide for your clients.

Cosmetics. Makeup can make an amazing difference for clients as their skin changes during cancer treatments. Think about how it can alter a normal face, let alone one that is challenged by dark, puffy eyes; inflammation; and yellowed, pale or gray skin tones caused by chemotherapy or radiation.

Communication is key to understanding where to begin. Listen closely as your client describes past makeup experiences. If she never has worn a stitch of makeup in her life, take the time to demonstrate with a few simple products. Teach her an easy two-minute makeup routine that will have her looking polished and refreshed in no time. For clients who already are used to applying makeup, show them either the most widely used five-minute makeup routine when they are short on time, or a complete traditional makeup application, if desired.

For clients who want a more in-depth makeup application, walk them through how to apply their eye shadows, shape their eyebrows and contour their cheeks by using bronzer, then blush, to highlight the upper cheekbones.

Eyebrows. Clients may experience either partial or complete eyebrow loss during their chemotherapy treatments. There are several options that will help them to re-create the brow area. Choose eyebrow makeup that is one shade lighter than the client’s hair color, unless they have gray or light blonde hair. In this case, opt for a slightly darker shade. Light brown and taupe colors work well for most people. Make sure that the hue selected is not too dark—this is a common mistake. For clients who have sparse eyebrows, try a colored eyebrow makeup formula that comes in a mascara tube and can be brushed easily onto existing eyebrows. This is available in a wide variety of shades.