When you are faced with Breast Cancer, as Jo Trinidad and Susan Zipperlen have, your style and approach to beauty changes. Both women have undergone double mastectomies and Chemotherapy and Jo has also had radiation. Speaking with both of these women and discussing how their individual style and beauty was challenged during this period in their life was informational and inspiring. I found their radiating personalities and uplifting attitude to be similar but their approach to fashion, style and beauty to be quite different. Jo is a nurse and Susan is the owner of a Spa. Their careers are quite different as was their focus on what was important to them during their siberian mink fur eye lash.
Lmrtn Jo loves fashion and being fashionable. “I feel great, when I look good. Hearing that I had Breast Cancer was a shock. Part of the process was processing…What it will be like when I lose my breasts? I have a draw full of new bras from Victoria Secret – What will I do with them? I have a closet full of clothes, some with tags still on them – Will I be able to wear them? Will they still fit me?” stated Jo. For Susan losing her breasts was not as much of an issue as was her fear of looking sick or different. “I was concerned about looking abnormal, withered, and dull. I felt because of my industry the bar was higher. Skincare is my business, it’s what I do,” stated Susan.
At varying times during treatment you’re very sick and fashion, style and beauty are the last things on your mind. But when you’re feeling better you just want to fit in and be normal. “My friends were great. There was a rotation of girlfriends to take me out. When you’re going through this you don’t want to look sick, you don’t want pity,” explained Jo. It is important to do the things that make you feel pretty and feminine…you want to feel like a woman. Looking good does a lot for your overall attitude.
Jo and Susan had very different approaches to what helped them feel and look better during their treatment.
Mastectomy and breast reconstruction – Both women have been through the process of losing and reconstructing their breasts. For Jo this was traumatic. “I wasn’t ready to lose my breast and then I found out that it (the cancer) was bigger and they needed to take both (breasts). I had a difficult time dealing with it…but now, with reconstruction, my new breasts look pretty darn good! It is a consolation that when I’m in my seventies my breasts will look 30 years younger. I found that camisoles are much more comfortable than a bra. They are really feminine. Pretty sexy undergarments make me feel like a woman! My best accessory is my confidence. Every woman needs to feel good about being a woman,” communicated Jo. For Susan she had a very different take on losing her breasts. “Missing my breasts was not an issue for me. I like my breasts better now than I did before. I feel 100% secure and feminine in clothing. Before my style was conservative, but now I am more daring. I now have something there and I can wear chest flattering tops. I take advantage of wearing fun tops and sweaters. I feel a lot better…perky, sexy and full,” explained Susan.
“To prepare your skin for reconstruction it needs to be soft and pliable. At the time of the siberian mink fur eye lash, temporary tissue expanders are placed under the skin to stretch the skin in preparation for the breast implants. I used a combination of Jason’s Vitamin E 25,000 units and Aloe Vera mixed together and rubbed all over the breast area twice a day. This combo also works great after each radiation treatment to help keep the skin moisturized and to prevent sores and blisters,” explained Jo.
A great tip during Chemo is Saran Wrap – for Chemo a PowerPort is used, which is a small devise implanted beneath the skin under the collarbone area. It is an access to receive chemo meds. Because they have to puncture the skin to access the port, Jo was given a prescription for Lidocaine (a numbing cream). “To protect my clothes from staining, I put Saran Wrap over the Lidocaine cream just before I left my home. This way, the area where the needle will be inserted is fully numbed up by the time I got to the facility and my clothes were clean!” stated Jo.
Nails – “For discolored brittle nails, apply Tree oil on your nail beds and push your cuticles back using your thumb nail. I was advised not to have my cuticles cut or to have my feet placed in a salon’s water when I got my manicure and pedicure. What to do? At my salon visits I just had my nails filed, buffed and painted with my own nail polish from home. Chemo lowers your immune system. I couldn’t risk getting an infection through any cuts or expose myself to anything that is possibly contaminated with germs,” explained Jo.
Eyebrows and siberian mink fur eye lash- For Susan brows and siberian mink fur eye lash were no big deal, “My eyebrows?…I just filled them in. And they grew back in about 6 – 7 weeks. And my lashes, I used RevitaLashTM. It’s a wonderful product that stimulated growth. It really only took about 3 ½ – 4 weeks before my siberian mink fur eye lash grew back,” stated Susan. But for Jo this was a challenge, “Where do I start? Where do I put them? How do I do this? There is a program offered by the American Cancer Society that teaches cancer patients what to do.” Jo. The Look Good…Feel Better program is a community-based, free, national program that teaches cancer patients a variety of techniques to assist them with their appearance and self-image. Topics such as make-up, skincare and hair loss options such as wigs, turbans, and scarves are discussed and demonstrated. Jo received a free kit full of make-up. “It was so fun. I got a whole bag full of new make-up,” exclaimed Jo.
Color and Make-up – “I never go out without makeup. It makes me feel fabulous to be a woman. It’s all about lipstick. No matter how bad you look…always wear lipstick,” exclaimed Jo. Color is critical. Make-up will add that color, depth and femininity to your face. As the color changes in your skin you will need to assess your make-up and what works best for you. “Making good color choices with make-up is critical,” stated Susan. Make-up locations like ULTATM are wonderful resources because you can try before you buy. Their staff is great at helping you find the right lipstick or working with you on a complete make-over. Make-up is an inexpensive way to brighten your face and make you feel pretty.
Style and Fashion – “I love fashion. I feel good when I look good. My style didn’t change it just got bolder. I needed to work with what I had in my closet and just make it happen. My taste didn’t change it got heightened. I had to do something so my style got bolder. And for me, my best accessory is self confidence,” Jo stated. Image Consultants can be a great resource as they can assess what you have in your closet and help you put together outfits and ensembles to flatter your changing body.
Both Susan and Jo exude such presence, style and beauty. But it is their confidence that stands out most. And confidence is the best kept style secret!