Cosmetologist gives makeup lessons to cancer patients

Carolina Astrain By Carolina Astrain

April 7, 2014 at 9:02 p.m.
Updated April 7, 2014 at 11:08 p.m.

Debbie Scott held still as Brandyn Burris, a Victoria cosmetologist, applied the final touches of concealer below her eyes.

"I love makeup," said Scott, 53, who was diagnosed with breast cancer last year. "I couldn't wait to come to this today."

Scott and three other Crossroads women battling cancer showed up for a free makeover and application lesson at the American Cancer Society Victoria headquarters Monday afternoon.

Look Good, Feel Better is part of a national program aimed at bolstering confidence within cancer patients.

Burris, who also styles hair, said he decided to volunteer his time to help cancer patients after one of his family members had a cancer scare last year.

"That's when I was turned on to this program," Burris said. "If I can be there to help them in any way, then that's all I want to do."

The program is ongoing and sponsored by the Personal Care Products Council, the American Cancer Society, the Professional Beauty Association and the National Cosmetology Association.

At the start of Monday's session, the women shared their experiences in chemotherapy and talked about their conditions.

Gail Boehmer, of Goliad, was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2013.

She wore a jean jacket and brown leather bag to the class Monday.

"You know my last chemo appointment is supposed to be on my birthday," said Boehmer, 59.

Yolanda Martinez, of Goliad, said she also found out she had breast cancer in December.

"I haven't put makeup on in forever," said Martinez, 45. "What color should I put on, medium or medium dark?"

Instead of calling the red liquid chemotherapy drug "Red Devil," as it is commonly known in the cancer world, she calls it "Angel's Blood," Martinez said.

"Aw, I like that," Scott said. "That's beautiful."

Lamonne Leuschner, of Victoria, wore a short blonde wig as she applied blush to her cheeks.

"A lot has changed because of the chemo," Leuschner, 61, said. "I don't have eyelashes anymore."

In response, Boehmer said losing her body hair hasn't been all that bad.

"You don't have to shave as much," Boehmer said. "And showers have become much shorter."



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