When Carole Anne Kildron-Wittman was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) four years ago, she used her expertise as a beauty industry consultant to overhaul her hair and makeup routine. She enjoys sharing her tips and tricks with fellow breast cancer patients who may be experiencing hair loss and skin issues as a result of treatment.
“I started out with a medication called IBRANCE and one shot a month to block the estrogen in my adrenal glands,” Carole Anne said. “My cancer is estrogen-fed, so I can’t have any estrogen in the body, which can cause lots of issues with women. Because of being in the beauty industry, I know how to deal with some of the side effects that are related to cancer.”
Carole Anne’s medication – plus the fact that she lives in a colder climate in Colorado – causes her to have very dry skin. She has also experienced thinning hair, as well as thinning eyebrows and eyelashes. Carole Anne shares some of her favorite beauty products and tips in this month’s Wellness Wednesday episode, presented by the MBC Impact Series.
To address dry skin on the face, Carole Anne uses a 0.3% retinol product with a complex formula. She recommends that breast cancer patients discuss with their doctor first before using a retinol product.
“It’s called a complex formula because it has a soother in it, and it has 0.3% retinol. It’s a smaller amount of retinol, which is nice because it’s kinder to the skin,” Carole Anne said. “This product has really helped the dryness in my face, as well as the texture and tone.”
To add more volume to her thinning hair, Carole Anne’s hairdresser made her clip-in hair extensions with real hair. She can quickly clip the extensions underneath her real hair – which she demonstrates on the video – to add instant volume to areas where she has lost the most hair.
“Your hairdresser can make you little clips of hair, too. You can also buy them,” Carole Anne said. “These clips will clip onto the tiniest little hair. The wonderful thing about these is you don’t have to highlight your hair anymore because the clips have automatic highlights for you, so these also help protect the integrity of your hair.”
When Carole Anne started losing her eyelashes, she experimented with different types of false eyelashes and methods to apply them quickly and efficiently. She demonstrates her favorite application technique in the video.
“You don’t have to wear mascara when you use false eyelashes, which is another added bonus,” Carole Anne said. “When I first started using them, it took me about 30 minutes to put them on. Now, I can get them on in 3-5 minutes. It’s also so easy to take them off at night.”
While Carole Anne initially had microblading on her eyebrows to help fill in the thinning areas, she has since switched to filling in her eyebrows with a pencil. She demonstrates her technique for filling in her eyebrows in the video.
Carole Anne is grateful that her last PET scan showed no signs of active disease. She plans to continue helping others living with breast cancer to master beauty tips so they can feel their best during treatment.
“It’s amazing how far we’ve come thanks to Susan G. Komen, the research and the dollars that are raised for the funding of the research,” Carole Anne said. “Breast cancer is no longer a death sentence. It’s something that we can truly live with, which is why I want to share some of these fun beauty tips and tricks so we can feel as amazing as we are and feel really good on the outside.”
Wellness Wednesday videos are part of Susan G. Komen’s Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) Impact Series, which provides people living with MBC and their loved ones a safe, collaborative space to gather information related to MBC and discover practical resources to help make decisions for improved physical and emotional health. Watch more Wellness Wednesday episodes here. Learn more about the MBC Impact Series here.