Make-up artist Melanie Daly shares some tips and products for recreating the look of natural eyebrows after chemotherapy.
As a qualified make-up artist, I offer all the usual make-up services for weddings, photo shoots and special occasions of every kind.
I’ve also had breast cancer myself, so I’m particularly passionate about offering something special to fellow cancer patients.
A total shock
It was September 2008 when I found a lump in my breast. I didn’t, for a split second, think it was anything sinister. Unfortunately, after a trip to the Royal Marsden hospital in October, I was diagnosed with grade 3 breast cancer.
It was a total shock. After my diagnosis and during treatment, I contacted Breast Cancer Care many times to get support from the Helpline. I also found chatting to women on the online Forum invaluable.
I was also lucky enough to model at Breast Cancer Care’s 2011 fashion show, which was so much fun, and I made some lifetime friends on the catwalk.
You don’t feel like yourself
It’s now eight years since my cancer treatment. But I remember clearly how it can take away your identity and leave you lacking in confidence – you just don't feel or look 'yourself' anymore.
I was fortunate to have the skills to create the look of eyebrows and eyelashes that chemotherapy took away from me, and to be able to contour my face when the drugs caused it to become bloated.
However, so many women going through chemotherapy don’t have the knowledge of a make-up artist, and have to deal with losing their self-confidence, femininity and identity.
I want to share some tips on creating natural-looking eyebrows after chemotherapy.
Two steps to creating eyebrows
1. Plot the three points of your eyebrow
Use the diagram below to help you.
Image: Look Good Feel Better
First, take an eyebrow pencil and place it vertically against your outer nostril, in line with the inner corner of your eye. Place a small dot on your skin above your eye, where your eyebrow should start.
Then hold the pencil against the outer edge of your nostril again, but this time line the pencil up with the centre of your pupil. Place another dot where you’ll create your eyebrow arch.
Finally, with the pencil against your outer nostril, line it up with the outer corner of your eye. Put another dot where your eyebrow will finish.
2. Join the dots
It’s then a case of joining up the dots.
I’ve spent the past eight years since my chemotherapy searching for the perfect eyebrow product – something that’s both natural-looking and long-lasting. I’ve tried so many products but ka-BROW! by benefit is my favourite by far. So much so that I have all six shades to cater for every one of my chemotherapy make-up patients.
Take the brush and dab a little product on it. Then join up the dots that you created making little brush strokes to imitate hairs. You can keep applying it until you’ve achieved the look you want.
The beauty of ka-BROW! is that it won’t smudge until you use make-up remover at the end of the day.
The above method of joining the dots with little brush strokes to imitate hair is more suitable for those who still have about 50% of their eyebrows.
If you’ve lost more than 50%, you can buy eyebrow stencil kits from Boots and Superdrug that contain a selection of eyebrow shapes. Pick a stencil out of the kit that closely resembles your natural eyebrow, and place it over the dots you’ve already created. You can then use the ka-BROW! to fill in the stencil with tiny brush strokes.
If you’ve lost nearly all of your eyebrows, instead use a brown eye shadow that’s closest to your natural eyebrow colour. Fill in the stencil by applying the eyeshadow with a small make-up brush.
For this method, a great tip is to then apply a coat of Lipcote over the eyeshadow, which will ensure it doesn’t smudge and will stay in place all day. You can buy Lipcote from Boots and Superdrug, and even though it's designed for lips, trust me, it works wonders for keeping eyebrows in place!
Melanie offers two packages to help people during or after chemotherapy regain confidence in their appearance. Visit melaniedalymakeup.co.uk for more details.