Tag Archives: breast cancer survivor

Scary! Boo!

31 Oct

Pink Ink…

Happy Halloween!  As the last day of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I thought I would give you a few bonus Chemo Beauty Tips!

It’s all about the head!

That’s right! THE HEAD!  What do people think about when you mention chemo?  First, the nausea.  Then, the hair falling out!  Everyone has their own take on what to do when the hair begins to fall out.  Whether you decide to wear a wig, turban, scarves or go bald there are some things you should know.  But first, the basics.

What to expect:

Any doctor will give you the disclaimer:
“ Your hair may not fall out.”

I have yet to meet the breast cancer patient whose hair hasn’t fallen out, so we will move on.  If you are like most of us, the hair will start to thin after the 2nd treatment, and completely fall out by the 3rd.

Tip: Go wig shopping BEFORE your hair falls out!

This allows the wig fitter to see what you look like with hair.  This is helpful especially if you want a wig to match your real hair.  But don’t be afraid to use this time to sample new hair lengths, and colors!  Take a friend with you, and have fun trying new looks! Take pictures!  PS: Don’t forget a wig cap!

Bonus tip: Take your wig to your stylist.

Don’t you hate to see wigs…that are clearly wigs!  Don’t be that gal!  Ask your stylist to trim your wig or put in some highlights! It makes a difference!

Tip: Take control of the balding:

Off with the hair!

When I started to see me hair really thin out, I decided to be in control of my situation.  My family and I had a shaving party…on Halloween!  If you think you are going to be emotional over losing your hair, shave it before you wake up and find it on your pillow! Watching my hair swirl down the shower drain was much more stressful than shaving it off! Once it’s off, don’t forget to moisturize the scalp…EVERYDAY!

Bonus tip: Use conditioner on your scalp when you shower!  Also Moroccan Oil is a great product to keep your head moist and with a very light sheen.  Nothing is worse than an itchy scalp.

Tip: Have fun!

That may sound crazy.  But if you are going through chemo, you are going to be bald for a while.  Why not switch it up?

  • Rock the Baldy.  It may sound daunting.  But after the 1stfew days, you forget that you don’t have hair!  It is a great feeling to get in the shower and have the water roll off your head.  BUT if you decide to rock a baldy, don’t forget your face! (See previous post!) Also, don’t be afraid to dust some bronzer on your head!  Then wear your baldy with pride!  Don’t use the excuse “I don’t have the head for it.”  As hard as it may be, celebrate the fact that you are still alive and kicking cancer’s butt!

    Bald & Beautiful

  • Scarves are a good alternative to wigs! They come in all shapes and sizes.  You can wear them like bandanas, turbans, or JLo style!!  Throw on some big earrings and BAM! It takes some practice. Check out YouTube or practice in the mirror.

    Wrap it up!

  • Hats!  Again, don’t be afraid to switch it up!  Don’t feel like putting the wig back on to go to the grocery store.  Grab a hat!  Add earrings, some lip-gloss, and go!

    Wig it out!

Hope you enjoyed this Halloween treat!  Remember, being bald doesn’t have to be…scary! Boo!

Essentials

25 Oct

Pink Ink…

Day 3 of Chemo Beauty Week!

So we know to hydrate inside and out.  We know that you can still have fab nails.  How about make up?  As chemo starts to affect the body you may see some changes in the texture of your skin.  I developed dark circles under my eyes, and lost my eyebrows and eyelashes.  Before Chemo, I wasn’t a “full face” kind of gal.  But I soon realized that this was not the time to go without make up or skin care.  So to avoid looking like an alien, I put together my make up first aid kit.

Tip #3: Don’t forget the face essentials!

Below are MY face essentials.  Use what feels right to you!  But remember, every gal benefits from some concealer, bronzer and lip-gloss!

My face essentials!

  • Oil of Olay Complete: This is a great moisturizer that also has SPF in it, to protect the skin.
  • Fiberwig Massacre:  My eyelashes didn’t fall out immediately.  I put a very light coat of massacre on when they started to thin.  Be careful when washing the face, so you don’t inadvertently pull them out!   (Available at Sephora or Ricky’s)
  • Stencils by Anastasia: RUN to get these stencils even if you aren’t going through chemo!  The pack comes with several sizes and shapes.  They are easy to use and don’t give that “drawn on” look.  I now use one of the shapes for my real brows!
  • Baby Tip: Use a pencil to draw them on in SHORT strokes.  Then blend in powder after you get the shape.  The pencil helps it look natural.
  • MAC Prep & Primer:  Use this after your moisturizer and before your blush/bronzer. It helps set your make up and extends the wear.
  • MAC Bronzer: For that all over glow.
  • MAC Lip Glass:  I kept a Lip Glass or Lustreglass with me at all times. There are too many shades to count.  It doesn’t wear off and adds a light sheen.
  • Bobbi Brown Tinted Eye Brightener: A must for ANY gal!  No better product to cover those under eye circles.

So there you have it!  These products will work if you are going through chemo or not.

Remember, every girl needs her…essentials!

Do Something

23 Oct

Pink Ink…

Day 2 of Chemo Beauty Week!

There is nothing worse than a person who has raggedy nails!  Ok, not really.  But who doesn’t want their hands and feet to look nice?  Even before I started chemo, I struggled to keep a nice manicure.  I blame 15 years of piano lessons! Over the years I have learned to tolerate my short nails, but I make sure my toes are always done.  Always!  So imagine my chagrin when my nails were destroyed by chemo.

Nails are attacked by chemo in the same way that hair is attacked.  It’s the destruction of the cells!  So nails dry out. They become discolored, or black. They become ridged or can even fall off!  They even become a nesting place for bacteria! So what do to do?

Tip #2 Take care of your nails!

This is the time to pay particular attention to your nails.

  • Keep your hands CLEAN!
  • Cut your nails short.
  • Moisturize your nail bed to prevent drying or peeling of your cuticle. BUT…
  • DON’T cut your cuticles!  Use cuticle cream to GENTLY push back the nail.
  • Bring your own tools to the salon!  This is a must!
  • Forgo the callous remover! The skin is too sensitive, dry and thin! Try lathering up in lotion or vaseline,  and sleeping in socks.
  • Say NO to acetone polish remover! It also dries out the nail ad makes them brittle.
  • Time to say goodbye to the acrylic nails or gel nails!  They are a breeding ground for bacteria.
  • Wear gloves while doing chores or washing dishes.

The good news is that you can still wear polish! In fact, try to keep your nails polished because it can help make them stronger and protect the nails from splitting and germs. 

I preferred darker polishes as my toe nails got darker.  I kept my hand nails simple with just a pale pink.  Fortunately they didn’t get too dark, just covered with lines and deep ridges.  By the way, it can take months after chemo to grow out the darker pigmentation and ridges.  I ‘m still at it six months later!

If you get nauseous and are worried about the smells of a salon, ask a friend to come do your nails!  So many people say they “don’t know what to do” for someone who’s getting chemo.  Well here’s your answer!

At the end of the day, getting a manicure or pedicure may seem frivolous or too much work when you are fighting for your life!  That’s ok.  I never felt that way.  It helped me feel “normal”.  It helped me feel pretty.  I saw women who had designs on their nails, and others who just wore clear.  Going through chemo is tough, so it’s up to you to decide what makes you feel good.

Just remember to…do something!

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