Wink!

It’s Wink Day again today, a day set aside by the Canadian beauty industry to bring awareness to the appearance-related effects of cancer. For over 20 years, the industry has helped tens of thousands of Canadian women undergoing cancer treatment look and feel like themselves again with programs such as Look Good Feel Better and FacingCancer.ca.

Last year and the year before on Wink Day, women were encouraged to post pictures and videos of themselves wearing blue eyeshadow (with the hashtag #winkday) as a way of raising awareness of the Cancer Blues. The Cancer Blues is a term used to describe the emotional distress caused by cancer and its treatment, an often ignored consequence of the disease that can seriously affect a person’s ability to fight and thrive through the ordeal. On both of those occasions, I happened to be in Calgary visiting my daughter, so we both took part.

This year they’ve dropped the blue eyeshadow and are simply asking women to post pictures of themselves winking and share who it is that they’re winking for. It could be a family member, friend or acquaintance; anyone who is experiencing the effects of cancer treatment. I decided to wink for neuroendocrine tumour (NETS) patients worldwide. Since the zebra is our symbol, here’s my attempt at a zebra wink!

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Shoppers Drug Mart Beauty Gala

Shoppers Drug Mart Canada is a huge supporter of both the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and the Look Good Feel Better program that offers workshops for women battling cancer to help them deal with the appearance related aspects of the disease and its treatment. Yesterday, Shoppers stores across Canada hosted their annual Holiday Beauty Galas to raise funds for these two worthy causes. Galas across the prairie provinces and in the Maritimes were held in support of Look Good Feel Better while those in the rest of the country supported the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

I wasn’t actually aware of the Shoppers galas until I was asked to write a brief testimonial about my experience as a Look Good Feel Better workshop participant for possible use in publicizing the events. I soon learned that half ($5) of each ticket sold is donated to the cause and the other half is actually returned to the participant in the form of a coupon that is redeemable on any purchase of cosmetics, fragrance or jewellery made during the event. Participants are able to book time with Shoppers Drug Mart beauty consultants during the event for skin analysis and/or cosmetic tips and makeovers.

When I arrived at the Camrose Cornerstone Shoppers Drug Mart yesterday morning, I was warmly greeted by three of the store’s beauty experts. When they learned that I’m a cancer patient and that I have attended a Look Good Feel Better workshop, they treated me like visiting royalty! My makeover began with Teia who started by using a BB cream to even out my skin tone and then showed me how to add contouring. Next, Sherry did my eye makeup and added a bright lipstick to finish the look. I felt pampered and came away looking great, if I do say so myself! I love the fact that I didn’t look overdone and I really appreciate the fact that there was absolutely no pressure to purchase any of the products that were used. I’m also looking forward to trying out the many product samples in the gift bag that I received!

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Thank you Teia, Sherry, Jocelyn and Shoppers Drug Mart! I’m already looking forward to next year’s gala.