Friday 2 August 2013

Interview with Jennifer Young part 2

When it comes to beauty products, cancer patients have to be more savvy than a person who is just trying to avoid green washed products. Even some natural ingredients need to be avoided. In the first part of the interview with Jennifer Young we talked about skincare. Here we discuss make-up. Defiant Beauty make-up line (by Jennifer Young) will be launched in September.


Q: Make-up can be pretty irritating at times, with skin being more sensitive during chemo, would you say it is best to avoid make-up altogether?

A: No, make-up should not be avoided. This is the time that most are self-conscious about their looks and want very much to maintain their appearance. Treatment, and it’s associated stresses, can often mean that women are pale and drawn, so they turn to make-up to help them to face the world.
There are make-up techniques that can help mitigate the changes brought about by chemo, for example, lost eyebrows and eyelashes so, rather than give it up, embrace it.

Q: If your eyelashes or eyebrows fall out, how soon will they grow back? What can you do, if you want to disguise it?

A: The time taken to grow back is different for all, just as the effects of chemo are different for all. Some women find that their eyelashes have never been so long as during treatment.
If eyebrows and eyelashes are lost we suggest using brush a brow to replace them (our kit will come with stencils). Choose a natural brand with staying power. There really is some very nasty stuff in most make-up brands. I had no idea as I don’t wear make-up – when I started researching for our products, I was horrified to read about standard make-up ingredients. I changed all of my daughter’s make-up, much to her delight.

Eyelashes will benefit from a natural growth formula being applied, but it is VITAL that this is not a hormonal growth formula. Women with cancer have enough hormonal issues without make-up adding to it.
If eyelashes do disappear, then use a liquid eye liner on the edges of the lids to give an impression of eyelashes (apply liquid eyeliner just as normally in a straight line, on the eyelid to give a hint of darkness)

Q: For eyebrows you suggest a brush a brow which is a powder, are eyebrow pencils not as good?

A: I am told not, we are expecting a lot of a pencil and we really need staying power. Some natural pencils would be fine in ingredients terms ( I haven't looked at too many), but longevity is the key factor for many.

Q: Are there any make-up brands (or specific products) that are more suitable during treatment?

A: This is a very difficult question to answer as make-up is so variable and, as you know, can be toxin filled. So many women told us of their desire for effective natural make-up that we have developed our own brand. I had been recommending well established natural brands, but the women needing them were unimpressed with the difference in the products and their staying power, remember, not only are we dealing with a very sensitive skinned group of people, they are using make-up to replace eyebrows or give am impression of the eye lashes that they have lost to chemo. It is not good to leave the house with eyebrows (brush a brow) and for them to gradually disappear throughout the day. Our Defiant Beauty range is natural and, where appropriate, organic and it has staying power.
We launch the products (a full make-up range and some other wonderful natural additions) in early September. We will have very limited stock at first so it might be wise to reserve some prior to launch. As far as I know we are the only make-up range created for cancer patients in the world.

Q: Would you say that mineral powders are better rather than liquid/cream formulas (as they could contain oils that are not suitable for cancer patients)?

A: Minerals are suitable if they are just powder, but application and staying power is more of a problem.
The main issue with make-up is the zillion of different ingredients (you know from the last post about the list of banned ingredients). I have a MUA on the team, she works with patients three days a week. I have taken her advice about the product type and used my knowledge to work on the formulation of our range.

To find out more about the Defiant Beauty Cosmetics Range follow the link.


  1. Thanks for this interesting read - off to look at the cosmetic range now. :)

    Hephzibah x

    1. Oh I am so glad you liked it! It really means a lot, thank you xx