Makeup class helps cancer patients 'Look Good, Feel Better' - WSMV Channel 4

Makeup class helps cancer patients 'Look Good, Feel Better'

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Applying makeup is a regular part of a woman's morning routine.

But for those going through cancer treatment, eye shadow and lipstick can go a long way toward looking good and feeling better.

Going through chemotherapy or radiation cancer treatments can take a devastating toll, inside and out.

"Chemotherapy takes the ladies' hair away, their eyebrows, their eyelashes, it makes skin blemishes," said Heather Satterfield with the American Cancer Society.

But makeshift makeup counters are part of program called "Look Good, Feel Better", designed to help women deal with the various side effects of chemo and radiation, like hair loss, dry skin and changes to their complexions.

"(Cancer treatment) can take away how they feel like a woman, and this class gives it back to them.  We make them feel like a woman again," Satterfield.

Katherine Sue Anderson knows all about that.

"I think for some people it's more important than others. For myself, I'm older and I accept this as another challenge in my life. But for younger people, it is very important, especially if they have children, that they keep up their appearance. (It allows them to) keep up their esteem for the children, and that they're not as affected if mom still looks the same," said Anderson.

The women also learn important lessons, like changing out their makeup sponges.

"A lot of us women, we like to use the same makeup sponge when you're putting on your makeup. But when you're going through chemo, you need to use a different one every day and a lot of people don't think about that," said Satterfield.

Whether it's health tips or just a new shade of lipstick, organizers hope whatever the women gain from these makeshift counters will replace what cancer has taken away.

"Whenever the ladies leave here, they are built way up. Their self-esteem is just through the roof. They feel good, they look good," said Satterfield.

The class was sponsored by the American Cancer Society and held at Vanderbilt Breast Center.

Each woman receives a free supply of cosmetics and other products worth hundreds of dollars.

The class is free and open to cancer patients, no matter where they're receiving treatment.

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