Some women under treatment for breast cancer may wear more makeup or wear it more often to compensate for treatment side effects such as sallow skin or dark under-eye circles. Ramy Gafni, a makeup artist, creator of the DVD, The Ultimate Guide to Looking and Feeling Great While Living With Cancer (Shami Production, 2006), and a cancer survivor himself, offers these tips.
1. Try yellow-based concealer plus bronzer
If you have dark shadows under your eyes, Gafni recommends using concealer-yellow-based (not pink), because that looks the most natural. Choose a shade that either matches your skin tone or is slightly lighter. “Then add a little bronzer to get rid of sallowness or paleness in the skin, or add a rosy blush to the apples of the cheeks to give you a healthy pop of color. Keep it simple.”
2. Use pencil or pomade to fill in your brows
“More than losing the hair on your head-if you’re bald or have it shaved people could just think you’re an artist-losing your brows and lashes are a bigger giveaway that you’re going through cancer,” says Gafni. If you have partial hair loss, he recommends using a pencil or pomade a shade lighter than your hair color to fill in brows. “If you have no hair [on your brows] at all, go a little darker than your hair color,” he adds, noting that a wax-based brow filler, like his Miracle Brow!, will adhere better to the skin.
3. Smudge eyeliner on your lash line
“The best way to fill your lash line is to use an eyeliner-pencil, pen, or liquid, which is the hardest to work with and looks the most artificial,” says Gafni. “Go as close to the lash line as possible with a brownish-black pencil or pen, but you don’t need to make a perfectly straight line; it looks better if you smudge it a little bit. Do this on the upper lash line and you can do a little bit on the outer half of the lower lash line.”
Women of color can use more intense colors, like a black eyeliner and a richer, burgundy blush, Gafni says.