Paint the town Red !
Hi, Jo Bayley here from Fashion Elixir. Every year the Australian cosmetic industry supports Dream Week seven days of hope, when leading brands lend their generosity to Look Good…Feel Better a social profit organisation very close to my heart. This takes place in 2012 from Sunday 9th September to Saturday 15th September and I do hope that you can lend your support. I have been touched personally by cancer and know what a difference this charity makes.
Founded in the United States in 1989 and launched in Australia in 1990, it has been doing fantastic work for over 21 years. Not only do they provide workshops for women, but also mens and teenage sessions are held.
At the very heart of Look Good…Feel Better are it’s volunteers. They donate time and energy (as much or as little that can be given) to make a big difference to many peoples lives. About every five weeks on a Tuesday I make my way to St Vincents Hospital in the heart of Darlinghurst, Sydney, Australia. I spend my day with other gorgeous ladies, who are our crew, setting up beautiful products.
Our day runs a little like this; we arrive about 1 hour before our guests, to set up the room (all rooms are donated by the hospitals). Individual mirrors and place mats are surrounded by skincare on one side and stunning makeup on the other.
We are not brand affiliated, so we are supplied a fabulous mix of different products. There are always lots of oooh’s and aaah’s whilst unpacking our goodies, it’s all very girly! At 1 pm (when our workshop starts) we are all systems go. Participants are greeted at the door and shown to their allocated seat. The attendees are asked to fill out a brief questionnaire beforehand.
This helps the hardworking volunteers in the warehouse identify what colour palette will suit, be it warm or cool, to be packed in the individual bags.After a short video explaining how the day works, the volunteers introduce themselves. Then it’s time for the fun! The use of cleanser, toner and moisturiser is demonstrated on one of the lucky ladies who has agreed to be our model for the day. Then we move on to foundation, powder, cheeks, eyes (especially eyebrows) and the all important, lipstick.
Look Good…Feel Better has it’s roots in the Lipstick Theory.
A slick of lipstick before walking out the door usually provides so much more confidence.
Think of it as a little colour in your day!
Some refreshments are offered, supplied by the hospital, and after a short break it is on to scarves, hats, turbans and wigs. Cheryl from the Individual wig is our girl at St Vincents, but many other companies also donate their time, we are most thankful.
Once the wigs come out it’s like a party. Loads of laughter and smiles. Blondes become brunettes, and brunettes become redheads for a brief moment in time. Inhibitions are left behind, and for a few hours, these participants can gain some control back from a otherwise gruelling schedule of treatment.
Hair is such an enormous part of looking good and feeling better and its wonderful to know about the new initiative ‘Beautiful Lengths’ which we are partnering with. It invites Australian women to grow their hair and then cut it off and donate it to women with cancer. I will write an article about ‘beautiful hair’ soon.
The thing is with the cancer journey, individuals are on such a strict regime of appointments, be it for chemotherapy, radiotherapy, tests, or just seeing their oncologist.
Nothing is left to chance and your life can feel quite out of your control.
To connect with others who can understand what you are going through is a very special thing. Not everyone needs it, but most do.
Many of the ladies have never worn makeup in their lives, and are astonished with the results. We are more than happy for our participants to bring along a friend or relative for extra support.
Quite often they start a workshop in a quiet mood, not knowing what to expect of the session. Maybe feeling a little down or sick from treatment, it is amazing how quickly they pick up. Many women say they were in two minds about coming, but how glad they are they made the effort.
This is why we volunteer, to touch someone in such a personal way, and give joy for a few hours in what can be a distressing time. Money can’t buy that satisfaction, but donations keep us going! This is where Dream Week comes in.
For more information visit the official Dream Week website.
So think about that lipstick you need to buy, or that lip gloss you have been lusting after.
Maybe wait until our seven days of hope, Sunday 9th to Saturday 15th of September to purchase it. That $1 donation makes all the difference to all our future workshops.
Maybe a gloss or lip colour is not your thing, we have lots of other lovely merchandise, such as t-shirts, makeup bags, umbrellas and gorgeous sterling silver charms on silken red cord all are custom made by Popojo of Paddington.
Look Good…Feel Better is always in need of volunteers and we are world wide.
If you feel it might be something you would like to try we would love to have you on board. Just go to the Look Good Feel Better website for more information.
My special memory of being a participant, was the realization after many months of chemotherapy, my eyelashes had started to grow back. The colour pigment had not come through, and with a swipe of mascara I discovered them again. Such a simple thing made my day. It indeed made me look good and feel better! How could I not give back?
Jo Bayley, Fashion Editor, The Culture Concept Circle 2012