There were all of the trappings of a girls’ night out, complete with sparkling cider and beauty makeovers.
But for the group of women gathered for fruit, cheese and tips for applying foundation, this was so much more than an oasis from the pressures of work and family. Each was in the throes of chemotherapy and radiation treatment at the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute at 196 Parkway South in Waterford. Their afternoon of pampering was sponsored by Sephora’s Brave Beauty in the Face of Cancer program.
The program empowers cancer patients to address the physical changes that happen as a result of treatment – thinning hair, dry cracked skin and lips, dark circles and washed out skin. Beauty experts from Sephora teach women how fill sparse eyebrows with pencils and powders, moisturize skin with gentle and natural skin care products, and create a more healthy-looking glow using foundation, concealer and bronzers.
“My skin and hair have changed a lot since beginning treatment,” said Kasey Brown, who was wearing an auburn bob-style wig and a makeup-free face. “I’m looking for some tips.”
Makeup artists Laura Perez and Madison Michaud from Sephora at the Mohegan Sun Casino traveled to the Waterford infusion center with a large case filled with cleansers, tinted moisturizers, iridescent bronzers and blushes, eyes creams, eyeliners and mascara to give the woman the tools they need to feel more like themselves during their treatment.
Perez walked the women through an easy skincare routine and a lesson on highlighting cheeks and eyes.
Michaud, an ‘eyebrow expert’, gave the woman a detailed tutorial on how to define their natural brow line.
Grisela Roman, a mom of two boys, 14 and 8, and who is in the middle of treatment, served as the model for the demonstration.
“It feels good to be all dolled up,” she said, “My boys love when I get all done up.”
Shannon Edwards, a patient undergoing treatment for Stage 4 lung cancer, hasn’t lost her hair yet but she expects it to happen. She said she hoped the class would prepare her better for that process.
The Waterford infusion center is the first in the region to welcome Sephora’s Brave Beauty program.
Perez, the services manager for the Mohegan Sun store, said she plans to do more outreach in the area and noted that Sephora offers in-store Brave Beauty classes where participants get to try to products and get one-on-one consultations with beauty experts. Local classes and video tutorials can be found here.
“When I heard Sephora reached out, I thought it would be a good thing to do for the woman here,” said Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute nurse, Robin Dulin. Dulin and her colleague, nurse Jennifer Smith, made the event extra special by providing the refreshments.
All of the participants went home with a goodie bag containing some of the products used in the demonstration.
“I feel brand new,” said Roman.
For more information about the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute, click here.