Finding Stability

Makeup Tips for Chemo Patients to Help You Feel Your Best

Your beauty routine can become even more important as you undergo chemo treatment. Discover these makeup tips for chemo patients to boost your confidence during this stressful time.

Chemo treatments have side effects that can leave you feeling far from your best. Makeup tips for chemo patients are often built on the philosophy of increasing self-esteem, taking back control and maintaining a sense of normalcy during an otherwise unpredictable time. Here are some makeup tips for chemo patients to get you feeling confident in your appearance.

If you’re near the UVA Cancer Center, be sure to check out the Flourish Boutique. The team there can guide you through wig selection, mastectomy garments and skin care products. Not only will you leave with new resources and information, but you may also gain a feeling of camaraderie and confidence. Call your oncologists office or ask around at your next chemo treatment for cosmetic places locally that serve cancer patients.

Brighten Your Eyes

Eyes are one of the first things people see. That’s why it can sometimes feel like eye makeup is daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, experimenting with different eye products is a fun way to change up your look. If you want to enhance your eyebrows, you have myriad options. Try an eyebrow kit that includes a pencil and a stencil, or use a powder that resembles your brow color and use a brush to lightly dust it on.

Play around with eyeliner color: For a more subtle line, try a brown eyeliner instead of black. With brown eyeliner, you can be heavy-handed without being bold. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, try fake eyelashes. They can be messy and take some practice to apply, but you’ll have fun. If you aren’t up for fake eyelashes, consider using a heavier hand with your eyeliner and find a mascara that can boost the appearance of your remaining lashes.

Liven up Your Lips

An easy way to disguise pallor is by adding a lip color. If your lips are feeling neglected, try a scrub to exfoliate any dead skin and leave your lips feeling smooth. Then, use a lipstick that’s a few tones brighter than your natural color (it will help decrease any pale coloring issues) and apply it sparingly for a pretty glow. Or, try a tinted lip balm to get a subtle hint of color while keeping your smile soft and beautiful.

Bring Some Color to Your Face

Another easy way to give your skin some love is with a tinted moisturizer. These lotions are usually low coverage, meaning they don’t have a lot of pigment to them, and many of them have an SPF. So, with just one cream, you can hydrate and protect your skin, all while giving you faintest healthy glow.

To finish off your new look, have some fun with blush, bronzer and highlighter; the possibilities are endless with these three tools in your makeup bag (and a little goes a long way). Use a pale pink blush to conjure a youthful flush, or try a subtle dusting of bronzer to give yourself a relaxed, sunny look. Experiment with a highlighter above your brow line, along the length of your nose and under your eyes to add extra dimension to your face.

If you aren’t feeling up to leaving the house, or if you prefer to watch instructions while you learn a new skill, online makeup tutorials are an excellent resource. Vloggers like Erin Leigh and Madeline Anne, who are cancer survivors themselves, have a library full of tips to keep you feeling good.

While it’s true that makeup is meant to help you look your best, the idea here is to see how adding these tools to your routine can make you feel your best. Chemo treatment is hard — it can feel like your whole life is changing. You can find some solace in your new normal with tools you never expected would help: makeup.

If you're having trouble with your beauty routine, the Flourish Boutique team at UVA can help you with all the details.

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Haley Burress
Haley Burress