5 Steps to Creating the Perfect Makeup Look During Chemotherapy

It’s not a look most women dream of: bald with blotchy irritated skin. Chemo can chase away nasty cancer cells, but don’t let it chase away your self-esteem.

If your hair is lost or thinning, your skin is dry or irritated, and you’ve gained or lost weight during this process, your best bet is to slow down. Take more time and care than you normally would applying makeup and you’ll be surprised at the result.

1. Start with a clean face.
Wash and dry your skin lovingly with a super soft cloth and no harsh products. Treat your skin with the care you’d give a precious baby — gentle, gentle, gentle!

2. Moisturize!
Apply natural moisturizers or ask your oncologist to recommend products right for you. Don’t forget that getting enough fluids will help your skin look better, too.

When your face is clean and hydrated, it’s time to paint that palette.

3. Prime your skin.
Starting with a base coat of primer makes it sound like you have an industrial building to tackle, but this product really does even out skin tone. Use it or a light foundation and then troubleshoot problem areas with concealer. Blend, then use additional foundation to balance the complexion of your whole face.

MORE: How ‘cooling caps’ can help save your hair during chemotherapy

If it sounds like you’ll be using a lot of product, don’t worry. You’re simply applying product strategically, in layers, to create a fabulous natural look. As soon as your tone is even and you’ve covered minor blemishes, it’s time for the next step.

4. Give your face some light.
With a highlighter, make a line from where the corner of your eye meets the bridge of your nose to the other end of your eye. Then, at the center of that line, draw another line downward about an inch towards the center of your face. Connect your lines so that you have a clown-like triangle under your eye and fill it in with highlighter.

Stay with it — there’s a payoff.

Do the same on the other side of your face, and then gently blend that area in with the rest of your make up. You should see a slight lightening of your facial skin that draws interest toward your eyes and smile.

You can experiment with highlighting other areas of your face as well to bring in more light and focus. For example, a short line, carefully blended, over the arch of your eyebrow can be effective too.

5. When everything’s blended, add color.
You might brush your cheeks pink or add lowlights for depth and drama. And, if you’ve lost your eye lashes because of cancer treatment, this might be the time to give falsies a try.

Playing with makeup is a chance to have a little fun and bring back a sense of normalcy to this crazy part of life. And the tricks you learn along the way will serve you long after treatment is a distant memory.

MORE: How cancer helps patients reconnect with their spirituality 

Breast Cancer News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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