Health & beauty

Brightening the Children's Cancer Ward One Youth Serum at a Time

One beauty brand's mission to help erase wrinkles and cure cancer

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During my 10-year tenure in the beauty industry, I've been to countless five-course lunches and swanky cocktail parties. (Yes, I know: #dreamjob.) But one of my favorite and most memorable events was a recent trip not to a spa or celebrity hangout, but to a hospital.

However, it wasn't just any hospital. It was St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., and it looked -- and, more importantly, smelled -- nothing like any other hospital I've ever visited. (Think: murals in the hallways, celebrity-designed party rooms, and an in-house Starbucks.) I spent a day learning about the life-changing and cancer-curing research that goes on there and hearing amazing, inspirational stories from patients and their families.

The next day, I co-hosted a makeover event with Lancôme. I met a number of teenage patients, and helped them create looks to try out with a makeup artist. (You can see my handiwork on the face chart to the right.)

While I've always believed in the power of beauty -- that products can make a woman feel fantastic, boost confidence, and empower -- I'd never seen dramatic transformations firsthand. At St. Jude, girls who had no hair from chemotherapy, and were nauseous from their treatments, were giddy over glitter eye shadows. They took a break from cancer to just be girls and play with lip gloss. One called it the highlight of her year -- and it was definitely the highlight of mine.

Want to help out? You don't have to go to Memphis. Friday, October 25, is Genéfique Day, and for every bottle of Lancome Genéfique Youth Activating Concentrate, $84, and Lancome Genéfique Eye Light-Pearl, $68, that's sold, Lancôme will donate $7 to St. Jude. (They've raised almost a million dollars to date.) If you're all stocked up on skin care, you can still get in on the feel-good action. Instagram or tweet a heart with #lancomegivesback, and they'll donate a dollar to the hospital. You can check out lancome-usa.com for more info.

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