Editor's note: During the month of May, the Tribune Chronicle will look at some of the American Cancer Society programs funded by local Relay For Life efforts.
The leader of this workshop is offering great tips for any woman.
Wash your face with a mild cleanser, always moving up and out (except the eyes, for which you should go in, up and around). Use lipliner to keep lipstick from bleeding onto your skin. Moisturize first, then apply primer, concealer and foundation, all for filling in and covering imperfections.
Jill Greathouse of Newton Falls applies eye shadow at a recent session of Look Good ... Feel Better at the Hubbard Public Library.
But what if those imperfections include skin that looks red and burnt or skin so dry it needs constant moisturizer application? What if your head is cold or your scalp hurts?
Marilyn Jacobs has tips for that, too. She recently led a session of Look Good ... Feel Better at the Hubbard Public Library. The program is especially for cancer patients.
Attending was Jill Greathouse of Newton Falls, who is in treatment for breast cancer that also has moved to the bones in her back.
Look Good ... Feel Better upcoming dates
1 to 3 p.m. June 18, St. Joe's at the Eastwood Mall
6 to 8 p.m. Aug. 6, Trumbull Memorial Radiation Center, Warren
1 to 3 p.m. Oct. 10, Hubbard Public Library
1 to 3 p.m. Dec. 3, Wellness Center, Niles
For more information, call 800-227-2345.
For Life events
Warren, May 11-12, Trumbull County Courthouse Square
Liberty, May 18-19, Liberty Churchill Park
Cortland, June 1-2, Lakeview High School Stadium
Austintown, June 1-2, Austintown Fitch High School
Lordstown / Newton Falls, June 8-9, Newton Falls School
Before the session even started, she began comparing notes with Marguerite Gillern of Berlin Center, who also has breast cancer - what stage are you?; are you having chemo?; are you staying in the area for treatment?
Both were diagnosed in February. Gillern lost her hair 17 days into treatment, and she's wearing a wig. Greathouse lost hers at 16 days, and her head is covered with a scarf.
Debbie Moore, health initiatives representative for the American Cancer Society in Trumbull County, said specially trained cosmetologists volunteer to teach Look Good ... Feel Better.
Attendance varies from two to 12 people.
"Those who attend are taught a 12-step makeup application process and given a kit worth $250," she said.
The skin care products and cosmetics are donated by the cosmetic industry and assembled into kits by volunteers in an Atlanta facility.
As this small group processes through the 12 techniques, it becomes apparent that there's more than makeup involved. A lot of this class is about the exchange of information between survivors, patients and the instructor.
"We learn from each other, basically," Jacobs said. "It's amazing how many things come up."
Those things include how a woman can treat her scalp when she loses her hair. They discuss how hair loss can actually hurt and how to deal with it when it begins to grow back. They share tips on how to care for a wig, laughing about how it's not a good idea to cook while wearing one.
Jacobs says for those who have lost their eyelashes, the strips of false eyelashes are very natural-looking these days. She also recommends getting a new tube of mascara when chemotherapy treatment begins. When moisturizing the face, also do the lips - medication dries them out, as well. Nail care comes up, as well.
Greathouse, who is 39, said she's never really worn eye shadow because she didn't know how to put it on. Her kit included soft brushes and shades that complimented her light skin.
Gillern has learned a little more about eyeliner, finding that it will show a little more now with her glasses on.
"Your skin looks very radiant," Jacobs said to her. "Very pretty."
Volunteer coordinator Regina Vaughn shared an attractive way of wearing a scarf. She, too, is a survivor.
Both women attending the class don't cry about themselves - the tears don't fall until they talk about the support they've received from family and friends.
Gillern talks about her husband, who is working 10- to 12-hour days.
"He would take this on for me if he could," she said.
So she doesn't wear pajamas or sweats all day. She gets dressed, puts makeup on, even flirts with him. And when he comes home from that long shift, she said he's happy to see that she's having a good day.
"When I saw him light up like that, I thought, 'good thing I thought of this,'" she said.