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The Makeup Maniac: Empowering Makeup

March 18th 2015 / Anna Hunter


Love makeup and making a difference? This column is for you…

Makeup can be empowering on many levels; a dab of concealer or a swipe of red lipstick can cheer you up, boost confidence and put everything in perspective so that you can take the bull by the horns at home, work or play. Makeup can do even more than this; it can change lives and help those that really need a lift in life, and not just of the cosmetic kind.

Makeup artist Daniel Sandler thinks that makeup can foster real faith in oneself, and finds lending his skills and time to women in need beyond fulfilling:

“I mainly work with cancer charities such as Macmillan Cancer Support, where I offer makeup and skincare advice to women of all ages who have either been through chemotherapy or radiotherapy or are receiving treatment”

“The effects of chemo and other treatments on the skin is quite severe, as skin often feels completely dehydrated and paper thin. Chemo also affects the hair as most people know, not only on the head but also on the body including eyebrows and eyelashes, so I advise women on how to create natural looking brows and apply makeup to make themselves look and feel a lot more fabulous than they do!”

“What I really try to do is support women so that they look and feel like like their former selves, pre-chemo. It's about giving women back their femininity and helping them take control in a situation where they often are not in control of their looks due to illness. I hope that my sessions with these wonderful women make them feel feminine, attractive and lift their spirits”

“I have also worked with Look Good Feel Better in collaboration with BeautyMart, working on a one-to-one basis with women. It doesn't have to be an hour long session, it can be 20 minutes of my time and I just show them something simple and easy to to do and they leave feeling fantastic”

“There is one particular woman in her early fifties to whom I have given a lot of our advice over the past couple of years. She went through severe radiotherapy and was really down in the dumps. I met with her twice, gave her consultations over the phone and she even spoke on a radio show, organised by Macmillan Cancer Support and Boots, where she told listeners how the correct guidance about makeup and skincare made her feel fabulous and gave her immense confidence. I am very happy to say that the same lady emails me every few months and I love that we keep in touch”

Daniel isn’t the only expert in his field to commit himself to using the powers of makeup in a philanthropic way; makeup artist and founder of My -Management Lee Pycroft is passionate and incredibly invested in using her brushwork for good. Through MY-Makeover, the charity arm of her company, she supports no less than six charities (and counting):

“We work with Maggies, Solace, Eaves, Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice, Help for Heroes and Band of Sisters and Holy Cross Centre Trust. We offer one-to-one bespoke makeovers or masterclasses in a group setting. I believe that makeup can be a valuable part of a self care regime and help to boost self esteem. Often, when emotional trauma and exceptional challenges are being endured, femininity can be forgotten about and my experience is that through touch, listening and the right cocktail of products women can feel a significant boost to their wellbeing”

“On average we allow an hour per guest and during that time myself or a member of my team will help to educate a guest on what products and techniques will work well on their face and skin. It is often simple tips on how to enhance their features and techniques that they will be able to use at home. We also hold bigger events in the form of a masterclass for up to 10 women and I will do a demo and give advice, then my team will work the room and help to guide and assist the guests in creating a look on themselves. Next week, I’m throwing an event for Help For Heroes and Band Of Sisters where we will offer haircuts for men and pedicures, manicures and makeup sessions for the women”

“Last New Years Eve, I went to Solace Women's Aid with one of my team to provide some festive fun for some guests. There was a young girl there whom I created a party look for and she wrote to me the next day telling me how wonderful she felt afterwards and that she had gone to a New Year’s party and had an amazing time. She had been a victim of some horrible abuse and her self confidence blossomed after the session. I really feel that makeup can be so much more than skin deep”

If you are of the same mind, here are some big hearted beauty products and services that not only perform on a ‘pretty face’ level, but delve deeper to support and assist women in need:

Bobbi Brown Pretty Powerful Pot Rouge


Makeup legend Bobbi Brown not only saves the day for brides, businesswomen, teens and busy mothers around the globe (to name just a few of her loyal devotees), she’s also dedicated to empowering women and girls through education, nurturing confidence not only in their god given beauty but also in their skills, knowledge and experience. Her Pretty Powerful campaign launched in March 2013, and has expanded worldwide to reach as many women as possible. I’ll let Bobbi take the floor:

“Pretty Powerful is a campaign that focuses on confidence, and nothing makes a woman or girl feel more confident than being educated and having the knowledge and skills to better her life, and the lives of her family and community members”

To get on board with Bobbi and feel and look Pretty Powerful yourself, purchase the limited edition rose-hued “Pretty Powerful II” Pot Rouge, £19. The full amount exclusive of VAT will be donated to Smart Works, a UK charity that provides women with high-quality interview clothes, styling and interview training to women who are out of work and surviving on low incomes. Last year more than one in two of the 1500 women helped by Smart Works went on to get the job. If that’s not pretty powerful, I don’t know what is.

Laura Mercier Bonne Mine Palette


Laura Mercier feels strongly about giving back to sisters, friends and men and women everywhere who have been affected by ovarian cancer. The Laura Mercier Ovarian Cancer Fund raises awareness, facilitates research and promotes education that helps to diagnose, treat and support women suffering from ovarian cancer (many cases are still sadly identified at an advanced stage). To mark Ovarian Cancer Month 100% of profits from the Laura Mercier Bonne Mine Palette, £37, will go to her charitable fund. The sheer, suits-all blusher, bronzer and glow shades effortlessly define and flatter your features, and the palette includes insider tips from Laura herself, along with information about ovarian cancer and the risk factors. If you can afford it, this is the best kind of contouring out there; the charitable kind.

Benefit Bold is Beautiful Project

With the tagline ‘empowering big dreams and bold moves’, Bold is Beautiful embraces the ‘look good’ and ‘feel good’ influence of beauty, quite literally benefitting women who need a helping hand, both practically and emotionally. To do your bit, book any service with Benefit’s Brow Wax in May and 100% of profits will be split 50/50 between Look Good Feel Better and Refuge. You’ll also receive a full sized Gimme Brow (RRP £18.50) free with any Benefit Brow Wax booked during May as a big thank you for your support.

MAC Viva Glam Miley


Launched in 1994, MAC Viva Glam has teamed up with fearless and forthright celebrities for over a decade to raise money to fund cutting edge research into HIV and AIDS. For 2015 Miley is taking the microphone on the issue, and she’s not only getting lippy about the subject but also her Viva Glam collection. The full RRP for sales of Miley’s Viva Glam Lipstick in Hot Pink (Amplified), £15.50 and Viva Glam Lipglass in Hot Pink with Sparkling Pearl, £14.50, will go towards helping men, women and children affected by HIV and AIDS.

Illamasqua S.O.P.H.I.E


Pioneering British beauty brand Illamasqua are champions of self-expression and individuality, so it’s especially fitting that they joined forces with the S.O.P.H.I.E Lancaster Foundation in 2008, a charity founded by Sylvia Lancaster OBE in memory of her beloved daughter Sophie. Sophie was targeted by a gang while walking in the park with her boyfriend on the night of 11th August 2007; the two were violently beaten for “looking different”, and Sophie never regained consciousness, passing away in hospital on 24th August of that year. The S.O.P.H.I.E Lancaster Foundation works tirelessly to change attitudes and increase tolerance of alternative subcultures in society, and Illamasqua helps to promote and enable the charity’s ventures through the sale of S.O.P.H.I.E Eye Pencil, £15, and S.O.P.H.I.E Blusher, £21.50. £3 from the sale of every eye pencil and £1 from the sale of every blusher goes straight to the S.O.P.H.I.E Lancaster Foundation.

L’Occitane Shea Apricot Solidarity Balm


Shea Apricot Solidarity Balm, £4, is more than multitasking; it gives TLC both to chapped lips, hands and elbows and also the women of Burkina Faso, where shea butter was first discovered. Every year, to celebrate International Women’s Day on 8th March, French brand L’Occitane launches a fund-raising product to support the L’Occitane Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that promotes education, economic self-sufficiency and entrepreneurship in Burkina Faso. Socio-economic training helps women to hone their business skills, and since its launch the foundation has helped 900 women learn to read and over 6000 achieve financial stability, in partnership with the French NGO Entrepreneurs du Monde. Dip into some Solidarity Balm and 100% of profits will be donated to the project; it’s protective and nourishing in more ways than one.

Will you be purchasing one these philanthropic products, or have you been helped by a charity discussed above? Let me know on Twitter @AnnaMaryHunter or comment below

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