Thursday, 27 November 2014

Everything I've learned about.....Faking it - eyebrows and eyelashes

Hi! I'm writing this post for anyone who is going to be going through chemo and faces losing their eyelashes and eyebrows. Don't worry - you can fake them with makeup! And it's pretty easy, trust me. I'm speaking as someone who knew sod all about makeup before I had chemo. Liquid eyeliner? I'd never used it. Lipstick? I'd never worn it. Primer? Isn't that some kind of paint you put on cars?

This isn't a tutorial, this is basically just me sharing some photos to demonstrate how a bit of makeup can quickly transform your generic cancer face back in to a face that resembles what you looked like before chemo came along.

At the end though I'm going to share a couple of links that will help if you, like me, don't know where to begin in completely faking eyebrows and eyelashes.

So first of all this is my Cancer Face. (I do actually have some hair still but I've cropped it out to give a more authentic Cancer Face.)

As you can see I do have a few eyebrow hairs still but not many. I still have one chemo left at the point of taking this photo so they might disappear too. And I only have the occasional very stubby eyelash. Mascara is no longer an option for me as there's nothing to apply it to!
Here's a close up of an eyebrow and eye.
I miss my eyelashes!
Anyway. This is what I look like in my wig with no eyelashes and almost no eyebrows.

Slightly less "cancer patient" but at best looking decidedly tired/a bit ill.

Sometimes on chemo, I feel tired and ill. But a lot of the time I don't. And when I'm feeling well and I want to go out, I'd rather not look liked a tired, ill cancer patient. And this is where makeup comes in!


First of all, eyebrows. I have tried two ways of faking eyebrows. One is with Benefit Browzings (or equivalent in another brand). This works, and is easy, but for me I couldn't get my eyebrows quite right. Always ended up too thick and dark. Here's a photo of one from a while ago as an example.

It was better than nothing but I was never really happy.

Then a couple of days ago I went to a Look Good Feel Better makeup workshop (details on that at the end of this post) and was shown how to do eyebrows with a pencil. I much prefer it! The pencil I was given is Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay In Place Brow Lift Duo and it looks like this:

One end is a brown pencil which you use to draw on eyebrows, and the other end is a very light coloured pencil highlighter which you just use a little below the eyebrow you've drawn on. I don't know why. But that's what they told me to do so that's what I'm doing!

Here's me with one eyebrow done so you can compare sides:

And here's me with both eyebrows done!

Another step away from Cancer Face. Hurray! But as you can see, I'm still looking tired and ill, just with eyebrows now. It's cos I've got no eyelashes.


So, you could go and buy lots of false eyelashes and stick them on. I've never used false eyelashes in my life, and probably never will. I just can't be bothered, and I am the kind of person who would inevitably go out, lose the fake eyelashes off one eye and be unable to remove the fake eyelashes off the other eye, and look like a complete idiot. So I'd rather not bother. Instead, I'm just using eyeshadow and an eyeliner. It's amazing the difference it makes!

First of all, eyeshadow. Here's a photo of me with eyeshadow on and no eyeliner yet. To be honest - in the photo you probably can't tell that much difference, but in real life it's another small step away from Cancer Face.

Next up - eyeliner. Now, I have recently learned how to use a liquid eyeliner... BUT, having been on the Look Good Feel Better workshop I've decided at the moment, I prefer using a pencil - and I'm using a dark grey instead of black. The one I got from Look Good Feel Better is a LancĂ´me, Le Crayon Khol, 03 Gris Bleu!

(By the way, the photo from earlier of the eyebrow done using Browzings shows one of my early attempts at using liquid eyeliner. I got better at it than that, but even so I think it's a bit full on for me. I might prefer it when I have some eyelashes again.)

Here's me with one eye done with a pencil so you can compare with and without:

And here's me with eyeliner on both eyes. Just putting a bit of eyeliner on gives the impression of eyelashes being there.
Here's a close up of one eye and eyebrow.

What do you think?! Not quite screaming "CANCER PATIENT" so much now is it?!
It's not quite the same as having real eyebrows and eyelashes, but I am well impressed at how much difference a little bit of makeup can make. This is the makeup I used on my eyebrows and eyes: An eyebrow pencil, an eyeliner, and eyeshadow.
That is literally it.
Stuff you might be interested in!
So if you are going through chemo and are going to lose your lashes and brows and want to fake them but don't know where to start here is something to check out:
Look Good Feel Better workshops
Hopefully your hospital has told you about these already, but if not have a look on their website:
They are free 2 hour makeup sessions for women going through chemotherapy. The one I went to was held at the hospital I go to for chemo.
You are given a big bag of makeup and cosmetics products which you get to keep. Mine included: eye makeup remover, makeup remover, toner, moisturiser, special eye moisturiser, primer, concealer, foundation, blusher, powder, eyebrow pencil, eyeliner pencil, eyeshadow, mascara, lip liner pencil, 2 lipsticks.
And you are shown how to use all of these products in a way that leaves you looking like a regular non-cancer-patient person (unlike a clown, which is what I'd have looked like if I'd just been given the products and sent away to work them out on my own!).


  1. Not even a whiff of cancer patient Sarah! The base and blusher look great too. Can I ask what they are? Xx

    1. Thank you Caroline!
      I used the stuff I got from the Look Good Feel Better workshop which was:
      Foundation: Lancome Teint Miracle 02
      Blusher: Rimmel Stay Blushed! 004
      Powder: No 7, Perfect Light loose powder, Translucent.


      Sarah xx

  2. You're beautiful even without eyebrows and eyelashes! Seriously, don't stress about it, you're pretty as you are. And you look much younger than 33, I would say you 're 23! :)
    I found your blog through searching how to make my (very light blond, sparse and thin) eyelashes and eyebrows look darker and better now I m feeling uneasy that I complain about my look , while others are having bigger problems- I mean illnesses like you :( Get well ! I read you had surgery a few days ago, I hope you're fine.

  3. Thank you! I'm not a cancer patient but as an Irish redhead, I have the palest blond lashes and brows. In fact they're translucent, as close to invisible as you can get without actually being so. Your post here very helpful!