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Beauty Is So Much More Than Skin-Deep

mystery shoot, flatiron NYC, May 20, 2012

Everyone knows that looking good can improve how you feel, despite whatever
kind of day you happen to be having or what happens to be on your to-do list.
That instant little lift a woman gets when she trades another coat of lackluster
clear lip balm for a swipe of rosy red lipstick is proof of that. Having a bad day
can change in a blink of any eye when she walks past a department store
window and spots a gorgeous new set of bright red soled pumps.

Cancer patients can have an especially difficult time with self-confidence and
finding the strength to feel good. But one thing's for sure, from a young girl
with leukemia to middle aged women undergoing mesothelioma treatments, all
women have the right and the ability to have their outside match their confident,
beautiful insides.

A little moisturizer, concealer, blush and lip gloss can be enough to make that
shabby old jogging suit look like it needs to go back into the pajama drawer it
was pulled out of. Before long, that cute lacy spring blouse and those darling
floral skirt that have been waiting in the closet for months start seeming a lot
more is the smile beginning to spread across that bright-eyed young
lady's face. She's not going to let cancer define her today...she's going to let her
unique style, that was almost forgotten, do that for her.

Imagine a 15-year-old girl. She's wearing a breezy light blue sundress with peony
pink toenails peeking out from a pair of jeweled sandals. She has a flawless
complexion with a few light colored freckles sprinkled over her cheeks. Her
bright blue eyes are rimmed in a smoky light gray ensemble of eye shadow and
eyeliner, seeming to smile along in unison with her rosy pink lips that just keep
spreading wider and wider as she lets out a contagious little giggle. She's not
twirling her hair though, because she doesn't have any.

A week ago, she woke up and every bit of blonde hair she had was on her pillow.
But you wouldn't know this, looking at her now in this moment. She doesn't care
that she's bald...because the makeover session her mom and her best friend
gave her made her see the strong, gorgeous young woman they still see every

For years, women have used fashions, cosmetics, wigs, and accessories to
vamp up their looks and imbue confidence, strength, power and beauty. They
want the world to see them as they see themselves. This is even more important
for those struggling with cancer and the real damage it does to their bodies, and

Check out the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance blog for more information on

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Caroline Mason: 21. Native New Yorker (and one time North Carolinian). Assistant to Derek Blasberg. Just a girl who is OCD about all things fashion, drinks way too much coffee, and has an affinity for late night talk shows and travel books. FIT class of 2016. Previously with Karla Otto PR, Lori Goldstein and Lester Garcia.

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