Free makeovers help cancer patients look good and feel better |

Free makeovers help cancer patients look good and feel better

by Caryn Haller
Donna Smith looks over the makeup included in her free kit Friday at the Douglas County Community & Senior center.
Caryn Haller |

upcoming clinics

March 17

May 11

July 13

Sept. 14

Nov. 9

All clinics are 2-3:30 p.m.

With a boost in confidence, Donna Smith celebrated her new look Friday with lunch at the Douglas County Senior Center.

Smith, 61, received a free makeover through the Look Good, Feel Better program for cancer patients.

“Besides being a lot of fun, it really makes you feel good,” Smith said of her makeover. “It’s physical, but it’s mental, too. It does make you feel a little more confident, happy.”

Smith was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in July 2014, and finished her last round of chemotherapy Jan. 27.

“I was very lucky,” she said. “I got through them (treatments) quite easily. I was very blessed.”

Susan Sanford has coordinated the Look Good, Feel Better program for 18 years.

She and cosmetologist Sibyl Dunagan have provided more than 100 women with free makeup lessons, a head piece and a beauty kit with products by Estee Lauder, L’Oreal, Clinique and Mary Kay.

“Now that I’ve finished chemo, I want to go out more,” Smith said. “I’d like to be able to take my wool hat off, so wigs and scarves are good.”

Dunagan said she enjoys helping people feel better about themselves.

“They seem to have more energy, and they’re smiling,” she said of her clients. “Sometimes their husbands take them out to lunch afterwards, and that makes me feel good that they want to go out.”

Dunagan started Friday’s makeover with a cleanser and moisturizer before applying some foundation.

“I’ve never had foundation on so this will be interesting,” Smith said.

As Dunagan finished up one eyebrow, Smith raised and lowered her brow in the mirror to see how it looked.

“I’ve forgotten what I looked like with eyebrows,” Smith said.

After trying on a short, curly wig, Smith decided on a short, straight, ash blond-colored wig.

“I’ve never had short hair,” she said. “I’ve been looking at myself with no hair for so long I’ve sort of gotten used to it.”

Smith said she was happy she had the makeover, and encouraged others to try it out.

“I’ve been practicing with the stuff they gave me. I have a whole bag of makeup,” she said Monday. “The people were so friendly. I felt funny at first, and then it was fun.”

Friday’s lunch was a practice run for a big night out Monday.

“Tonight, we’re going out to Tahoe,” she said. “We’re going to a barbecue place, and then we’re going to check out the Hard Rock.”

The next Look Good Feel Better clinic is 2-3:30 p.m. March 17 at Carson Valley Medical Center.

For more information, call 267-4308.