A makeup artist has spoken of the work she does with cancer patients.

Rahela Ali is a beauty advisor and volunteer for cancer charity 'Look Good Feel Better', an international cancer support charity that helps boost the physical and emotional well being of people undergoing cancer treatment.

Rahela, of Salford, said she wants to raise awareness within the Asian community of the work she does in order to highlight the free service. 

Rahela said,  “I find a lot of Asian women are either not aware of these workshops or don't feel confident to go.

“I spoke to one south Asian woman who would like to go to this workshop, but said she felt there was a social stigma attached to it and that people would say things like, ‘She has cancer and she is going to a class to do makeup. Doesn't she have bigger priorities?’

“I want to encourage women to navigate away from that negative approach.

“My workshops are also useful for older women who feel there is a language barrier. Attending a class will be less intimidating if they know someone can speak to them in their language.”

Rahela who also uses the Instagram handle @beautybyrahela, has been volunteering with Look Good Feel Better for a year. She holds workshops in Maggie's Cancer Centre in Manchester as well as holding classes in Oldham, Rochdale and Blackburn.

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“Finding out you have cancer is traumatic.  The added stress of the appearance related side-effects can be demoralising and feel overwhelming, which can have serious consequences at a time when a positive attitude is vital.

“The classes are a chance to meet others in a similar situation, as well as learning useful skills and techniques to manage the side-effects of cancer treatment.

“Look Good Feel Better also caters for and does workshops for men and young adults. Classes for men tend to be more related to skin care and male grooming with a professional barber giving helpful tips.

The two-hour workshop led by Rahela cover areas including the loss of eyebrows lashes and demonstrates how to create brows using makeup. It also features skincare tips with a free makeup hamper with products donated by popular brands for each participant worth £250. 

“These classes are so much more than putting on makeup.

“My heart melts when women tell me that they look and feel like themselves again. 

“Everyone knows someone who has cancer. I want to raise awareness of this amazing facility that is free.

“Giving my time and knowing I'm helping is an amazing feeling.”