VOLUNTEER beauticians boosted the confidence of North-East cancer sufferers at a charity event held today (Tuesday, March 11).

Cancer treatment takes its toll in many ways – whether it’s through the aches and pains of chemotherapy, emotional strain or drastic changes to physical appearance through side effects like hair loss, many sufferers are left feeling like a shadow of their former selves.

In a bid to boost the confidence and well-being of those undergoing treatment, the Look Good, Feel Better charity hosted a free make-up masterclass at Darlington’s Bannatyne Hotel.

Fifteen women, at varying stages of treatment, enjoyed a spot of pampering courtesy of trained beauticians as they were offered advice on dealing with the visible side effects of cancer.

The women enjoyed refreshments and the chance to make new friends as they were taught how to mask eyebrow loss, keep skin supple and disguise dark circles.

Ovarian cancer sufferer Lesley Lund, from Darlington, added: “It’s awful living with your own mortality, it affects everything you do.

“It’s had a big impact on my self-image. I lost my hair and wasn’t able to colour it, it affects things that you usually take for granted and this has made me feel normal again.

“It has given me a boost, especially being with other people who know exactly what I’m going through and it’s a bit of me time.”

Darlington mother Elizabeth Smith, 48, is battling breast cancer. She said: “You just have to get on and cope with things but you can feel very low.

“I’ve really enjoyed this experience, it’s made me feel like myself again.”

Beautician Anna Woodward volunteered at the event after being inspired by her friend who is currently battling cancer.

She said: “Everyone leaves here with a smile and it’s amazing to see the effect on their self-confidence.

“If you look better, you feel better and this allows people to get away from thinking about their treatment and be pampered.”

Regional coordinator Andrea Mackrell added: “It’s about more than make-up, it’s a morale boost.

“We show them how to make the most of their features and deal with living without eyebrows or hair and help them to look like themselves again.”

The charity host make-up classes around the region and is always looking for volunteer beauticians to assist.

For more details, visit lgfb.co.uk or email info@lgfb.co.uk.