Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Look Good Feel Better

I will be the first to admit, that I have never really been a fan of Angelina Jolie. As an avid 'Friends' lover, I was most definitely on Team Aniston during the 00's Pitt-fight.

But today, my opinion changed. 

 This morning Angelina bravely revealed that she carries the faulty gene BRCA1 and has taken the hard decision to have a preventative mastectomy, reducing her risk of developing breast cancer from 87% to less than 5%.

For any women, this must be a terrifying decision., but it must be especially so, working in the public eye where every inch of your appearance is critisied. It hard to even imagine. 

Cancer, and the research into genetic mutations is a topic very close to my heart, and since I began my training ten years ago, I have been itching to 'give something back' and work with women going through tough times. But it wasn't until a few years ago that I heard about Look Good Feel Better, a charity which works with women who have developed cancer.

I came across the programme whilst working for Max Factor in 2008, at my local Boots store. Various members of staff from each cosmetic house took it in turns to volunteer at the local hospital workshop where women suffering from different types of cancer would come for a relaxed and informative skincare and make-up lesson.

I then came across more information about the charity,  through my admiration for top make-up artist Caroline Barnes' work. I was under the impression that LGFB only accepted volunteers from employed cosmetic consultants rather than freelance make-up artists, but seeing Caroline's support convinced me to give the team at LGFB a call and offer my services at the Liverpool centre. 

 LGFB use a 12 step programme, using the products kindly donated to each of the women by many cosmetic houses such as Chanel, Elizabeth Arden and Clarins.  Usually there is eight ladies attending the workshop, all various age ranges and at different stages of treatment- but all there to leave the Cancer chat at the door. This is their ME time. 

Once the women complete the session, they all admit they feel gorgeous. 
More importantly, they can recreate the look at home, meaning they can feel and look fabulous every single day! Working with these ladies is inspiring. Their 'positive energy' and thirst for life is infectious and as far as I'm concerned, this is my most important job as a make-up artist. 

For more information, and to volunteer, please visit

You can read more information on BRCA and Angelina Jolie's experience by visiting 
My Medical Choice

Max factor's UK ambassador and long term Look Good Feel Better supporter, Caroline Barnes, demonstrates the 12-step skincare and make-up regime on the Confidence Kit DVD, offered to all patients, for a small donation, through the website.

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