Look Good Feel Better
The Look Good Feel Better program brings in professional cosmetologists who volunteer to teach women makeup tips and tricks to cope with the appearance-related side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
Sometimes, there’s nothing like getting all dolled up to help turn your mood around on the tough days. Whether it’s trying a new shade of lipstick or getting a new hairstyle, it’s the confidence that comes with knowing you look good that can help you face the world.
That’s the idea behind Look Good… Feel Better, a free program offered by the American Cancer Society to women undergoing treatment for breast cancer. The program brings in professional cosmetologists who volunteer to teach women makeup tips and tricks to cope with the appearance-related side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
The program has helped more than 900,000 women since it started 25 years ago. Locally, the program is available each month through Willis-Knighton Health System and every other month through Christus Health Shreveport-Bossier.
“It boosts the morale of cancer patients and gives them a sense of hope…It’s the least we can do to make them look good while they’re not feeling so well,” said Gia Stevens, office and event support coordinator for the ACS Shreveport office.
For local cosmetologist Gwendolyn Samuels Richardson, volunteering with the program for the past 13 years has been her way of giving back after witnessing various family members battle the disease.
“I enjoy teaching and seeing the ladies come by and for a day they can try to forget about their illness and troubles to enjoy themselves and put on their makeup. It’s like a big party for them,” Richardson said.
The American Cancer Society estimates there will be 232,670 new cases this year of invasive breast cancer diagnosed in U.S. women. Of that total, Louisiana is expected to have 3,160 new cases. However, the five-year survival rate for breast cancer is 99 percent among individuals whose cancer has not spread beyond the breast at the time of diagnosis, which is why ACS stresses the importance of early detection and screening.
Each Look Good Feel Better participant receives a makeup kit, which includes mascara, foundation, eyebrow pencils and other makeup and moisturizing creams for the face, available through donations from major beauty brands, such as Mary Kay and L’Oreal.
The women learn various makeup and styling techniques, such as how to wear scarves and hats, and how to draw on eyebrows.
For information on the next Look Good Feel Better session call 800.227.2345. Visit the American Cancer Society online at www.cancer.org to learn more about Look Good Feel Better and other support programs.
By Donecia Pea