Mirror/Mirror Episodes

Get Well, Gorgeous

When Mirror/Mirror Host Rebecca Spera's mother, Rosie, was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, she knew she could use her mother's story to help others.

"When I was first diagnosed with cancer, it was like a bee sting. It was such a shock," says Rosie.

Rebecca flew home and threw her mom a 'Farewell to Her Breast Friends' party before her double mastectomy. "That was probably the most joyful time between the diagnosis and the surgery," adds Rosie.

But, after her surgery and the start of chemo, Rosie's attitude changed. She lost her hair, her strength, and was beginning to lose her self esteem.

While her medical care was taken care of, her overall wellness was suffering. Rebecca found some help.

An organization called Cancer 101 helped Rosie and the family pick up where the doctors left off, showing the importance of a support system, spending time with others who have gone through what she was going through, journaling how she felt daily, and the need for a well-balanced diet and exercise.

Next, Rebecca wanted to address her mother's outer beauty. She found the organization Look Good, Feel Better, which is a collaboration of the Professional Beauty Organization, Personal Care Products Counsel Association, and the American Cancer Society. Communications Manager, Tracy Guara, explains, "The program is nationwide. We have about 3,000 locations across the nation right now with Look Good, Feel Better classes, about 700,000 participants. The exciting part is that it's completely free to the cancer patient, and when they show up for their class, they get a free makeup kit filled with tons of makeup."

However, since Rebecca lives so far away from her mother, she wanted to find a place close to home where her mom could go and feel beautiful whenever she wanted. That's when she discovered Martino Cartier, the founder of Friends Are By Your Side, a non-profit organization that grants women and children wigs and wishes.

"Friends Are By Your Side is a network of salons that have made a vow to never charge a woman going through chemotherapy for any service or the wigs. We keep them in the program until their hair grows back and looks the way it did before they lost it. We have like 600 salons in the US and we're in five countries, too. Every client gives. Whether it's $1, $20, $1,000. We have no requirements except you have cancer. If you have cancer, we're taking care of you," explains Cartier.

Cartier does a makeover for Rosie. "When a woman's going through cancer with a bad wig, now she's the woman going through cancer with the bad wig," he says.

"Your hair is very much a part of who you are, as much as looks, feeling, personality, you know, flipping," says Rosie. She wanted to look like her old self again. Cartier gives Rosie a human hair, lace-tied wig from Hot Heads and cuts it to her desired style.

Tips for application:

  • Always rub head with alcohol to remove any oils
  • Apply tape to forehead and sides of head
  • Apply wig
He moves on to brow application with his Brow In a Bag kit. Rebecca adds a few skincare tips, "Since chemotherapy makes the skin and lips very dry and chapped, be careful what you put on your biggest organ. I recommend organic products that are paraben-free, sulfate-free, and fragrance-free. I like products by Alba and Avalon."

Next, Rosie heads to makeup. Artist Dawn Gorman says less is more when it comes to makeup if you're going through chemo.

Her tips:

  • Stick with neutral colors
  • Use a shadow as a liner and consider wetting it for a darker look
  • Since the skin is dry, use a cream blush and take the color up toward the outer corner of the eye
  • Since powder can make the skin look dryer, place a tissue on the face and brush the powder onto the tissue. The particles of powder will hold the makeup to the skin without looking heavy.
After her makeover, Rosie feels beautiful. "Having a fun day like today gives an overwhelming sense of being. You're part of the bigger picture, and I just feel like when cancer comes to an end for me, I will be the most joyous happy person you'll ever want to meet," she says.

More info:

Martino Cartier
Founder - Friends Are By Your Side
friendsarebyyourside.com

Dawn Gorman
Makeup Artist/Stylist - Martino Cartier Salon
martinocartier.com

Tracy Guara
Communications Manager - American Cancer Society
cancer.org

Look Good Feel Better - lookgoodfeelbetter.org

Cancer 101 - cancer101.org

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