What’s a better reason to be beat than for the Breast Cancer cause? I’m a part of a millennial breast cancer movement called Painted Pink and to kick off PINKtober, we had a clean beauty event at NARS. The ATL- based nonprofit’s mission is to empower millennials to take charge of their breast health and to live purposely pink, a preventative lifestyle. Through my awareness research for Painted Pink’s social content and sponsorship outreach, I started learning how ingredients in your products can affect your wellness. In the last couple of year’s, I have started using natural skin care products just to be healthier, but I was not aware of the extent to which ingredients like parabens can be harmful. Crazy to think, but these preservatives in a range of skin and beauty products affect estrogen levels which can contribute to the development of breast cancers. This new knowledge promoted me to start looking at my skincare labels, but not so much my makeup, so this makeup and awareness event was a great eye-opener.
To begin, we indulged in sweets, sips of bubbly, and the NARS products, and each board member shared about our mission. (See video recap here). One of the highlights of the event was a 30 year old survivor reflecting on her breast cancer journey a year since her diagnosis and let me tell you , Danika touched every woman’s heart in the shop. As I attempted to not dampen my faux lashes, I was moved by her description of her emotional journey. During the 4 years of Painted Pink, I’ve heard quite a few survivors’ stories, but I’m still always in awe of these testimonies of a battle that I still can’t even fully fathom. This pink warrior was diagnosed in September 2016 and reconstruction is scheduled for the Spring so she won’t be able to close this breast cancer chapter until the end of 2018. She also described undergoing 16 rounds of chemo, a uni-lateral mastectomy (she chose to only remove one breast.) and 30 rounds of radiation. -I’m always so shocked by the numbers!
Danika is the youngest survivor whose testimony I’ve had the honor of hearing and when she mentioned being angry for having to stop her life, I could heavily sympathize as a fellow millennial woman. In our generation and culture, we’re so used to being in control of our timing and our own paths so besides the actual diagnosis of course, this is a hard pill to swallow. One thing I took away was that I was a little uninformed about the reconstructive stage because I did not realize the duration of time between treatments and reconstructive surgery.
A part of her story that I loved, because it was so real was how Danika shared about being upset about losing her hair.
Once the hair goes, “people know that there is something wrong with you.”
Our generation is incredibly fixated on appearance, think the high importance we give to our personas on social media culture. This point was a new take on losing hair, it’s less so about our personal attachment to our locks and more so about what those locks represent, a standard of beauty. This was a perfect tie to the event’s overall theme.
The pink warrior ended with the importance of advocating for yourself, if something doesn’t feel right don’t let it be, and cancer doesn’t care about age, being young doesn’t make you immune.
This was Danika’s first time speaking and she was nervous about doing so, but I’ve come to learn that when you have a survival testimony meant for others to hear, the articulation of the experience just comes when it’s time to share.
To tie our cause to makeup, the artists discussed how their NARS products were free of bad preservatives and much to my pleasure, there’s a great focus on the skin. The base products have ingredients like hydrochloric acid to hydrate and prime the skin. A simple natural beat was demonstrated on a guest as we chit-chatted and sampled the products. Some of my fav ATL bloggers stopped in as well! I finally got one of the highly talked about cream concealers and velvet matte lip pencils in ‘lonely heart’, which is my new fav lip.
Although I was an organizer of the event, I left so empowered, educated and also throughly had a good time. These are the goals of our Painted Pink events social, but also awareness focused events for millennials.
Remember, keep it clean, queen! – my new little saying I’m using on painted pink social 💗
About my outfit:
I wore this fringe pink mini skirt from bcbg– I got it 75% for $49 from the outlet! Unfortunately, I don’t see it online. I also got Momma Ro the dress version, so I can’t wait to match her. To make the look more casual, I added this oversized plain white tee from Zara and instead of heels, I wore these jewel-heel mules. You ever give someone a gift and are like I should have got one for myself too? That’s me and these Dune London mules that I got for momma lol. They are majorly on sale, so think I’ll have to cop for myself.