CANCER patients are being offered beauty makeovers to help them rediscover their femininity.

The Look Good Feel Better charity, based at Colchester General Hospital, invited 16 ladies suffering from the disease for a day of beautifying and pampering.

The event marked the charity’s fourth anniversary and the opening of a second service in Springfield, near Chelmsford.

Top beauty brands, including Estee Lauder and Chanel, donated products.

The ladies who attend the sessions see them as a way of rediscovering their feminine identities and counteracting the physical effects of the disease.

It is also a chance for them to meet people going through the same experiences as them.

Alex Pace, 46, of Lexden Road, has recently undergone surgery due a second bout of breast cancer, diagnosed at Easter.

She said: “There are a lot of mental and psychological issues you go through.

“This gives you a lift and something to look forward to.

“The treatment can make an attack on your femininity, even if the effects are not as visible as others. It can feel like a very serious change to how you view yourself.

“It was great seeing the transformation in people coming to the session as one person and leaving looking themselves again.”

Look Good Feel Better originated in America in 1996, with an Essex branch opening four years ago.

It holds monthly sessions at both Colchester General Hospital and Springfield, Chelmsford.

The sessions are for women between the ages of 18 and 90 with all forms of cancer.

There are 63 volunteers working across the county, applying make-up and offering skin care tips.

Debbie Blackwell, charity co-ordnator, said: “By teaching them that everyday they can use make-up to redraw their eyebrows and use eye liner to make eye lashes, it gives them a mental lift.

“When they look in the mirror, they no longer see the cancer, but how they should look.

“It is lovely to see them smile again.”

To book a Colchester appointment, contact Karen Reeves on 01206 744408.

For more information visit