Chemo Face. This is a thing - my term for what happens when you lose your hair, lashes, eyebrows, sparkle in your eye and skin glow. For me, this all added up to a loss of identity - surprisingly so, since I still felt like me. You imagine yourself still looking like you in the mirror, just minus the hair, so I was always surprised to find my reflection more a look of 'generic cancerpatient', than me.
My method of retaining a true sense of 'me' whilst underdgoing my hair-abolishing treatment? MAKE UP. I don't think I've ever fully appreciated the power of beauty until I really needed it. We're not just talking about lipstick and hair brushing here, this is about retaining a sense of self. I wanted to project a healthy outlook, so I wouldn't attract any pity, or fear, or be avoided. My goal was always to be as normal as possible, and the beauty world can play a big part in that - to the point where I got geniune compliments on how well I looked. Ha!
My Chemo Face Saviours:
Compliment 1 'You look glowing'
The radioactivity hadn't kicked in yet, so this would only be down to Duwop Illuminating blush in Mango, £14. Perfect mix of natural sunkissed colour and dewy shimmer so it looks like plump skin, not glitter particles.
Compliment 2 'Your skin is amazing'
The chemo killed everything including bacteria, so I never had a single spot, and my skin was always soft. I nourished it with Crème De La Mer The Concentrate, £320, a highly potent hydrating serum. A more affordable alternative is Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair, £48.
Compliment 3 'Hi Sophie'
This was always a nice one, it meant someone wanted to engage in conversation, rather than worry about what to say to me. I put this down to 'fake fake eyelashes'. No lashes is the most difficult cancer feature. You can't stick falsies onto nothing, and this is what changes your face the most. I imprinted mine onto my eyelids with a nearly dry mascara wand. Lightly pressing a natural brown on my top 'lashline' looked like very stumpy, sort of lash-shadows, but it made me look so much more human than when I got home and took it all off.