For over 25 years, the Look Good Feel Better program has built itself on the premise that a dab of blush, a touch of lipstick or even a bright-coloured turban can work wonders to boost the self-esteem and confidence of women undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment.

Run by the Cancer Patients Foundation, Look Good Feel Better workshops help women, men and teens better cope with the appearance-related side-effects caused by cancer treatment. The workshops include sessions on skincare techniques to alleviate symptoms including dryness and sallowness; make-up tips to help patients deal with concealing redness and drawing on eyebrows; and advice on headwear including scarf styling and wig selection. Each participant receives a Confidence Kit, full of skincare and cosmetic products that have been donated by the cosmetic industry to use as tools for application throughout the workshop.

For 44-year-old cancer patient Helen, the Look Good Feel Better workshop gave her a sense of calm amidst a shock diagnosis of breast cancer. Having just come to terms with becoming a mother for the first time, Helen was in search of a positive experience to help those around her deal with the news.

“The best thing about the Look Good Feel Better workshop was that it reignited my need for self-care, self-love and self-respect. I came out of the program more positive about little things I could do to make myself feel better. I continue to wear blush every time I walk out of the house, and sometimes even a little eyeliner. The small pieces of me that I lost during treatment are starting to find their way back,” says Helen.

In Australia, more than 120,000 people have participated in the program, which now offers approximately 1,000 workshops nationwide in more than 180 venues. The program relies on the support of 1,500 trained and certified cosmetic and hairdressing professionals who volunteer their time and expertise to help deliver workshops across Australia.

With no government funding, the charity relies heavily on the generosity of cosmetic industry and community supporters to provide free workshops for the anticipated 10,000 women, men and teens who will take part in a Look Good Feel Better workshop over the next year.

Workshops are strictly non-medical, product-neutral and non-commercial, which means that volunteers and participants may not promote their own products, manufacturers or businesses during workshops.

Each year, many of Accord’s cosmetic member companies provide support for Look Good Feel Better by donating skin-care and make-up products – allowing each workshop participant to receive a complimentary Confidence Kit.

Accord also hosts Dream Ball, the cosmetic industry’s annual gala event that raises significant funds to enable Look Good Feel Better to keep doing its wonderful work.

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