Early on a cold morning just a few months ago, Nicola Macpherson-Hellmuth and her husband Daniel Hellmuth left their Central West End home to walk the five blocks to the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine. At 8 a.m., on the 13th floor of the center, treatment for Macpherson-Hellmuth’s ovarian cancer began. At around 10 a.m., Saks Fifth Avenue makeup and skin-care experts Marie Swann and Donna Lawson entered the treatment room with a rolling cart of makeup, lotions and other beauty enhancers, along with a desire to lift the spirits of the women receiving care that morning. Macpherson- Hellmuth’s curtained area was their first stop.
Swann and Lawson are part of the local Saks Fifth Avenue’s volunteer program that offers free makeovers and skin-care advice, and a little pampering and levity, to women who might be in need of a beauty boost. “I love being a part of this program,” says Swann. “It’s a pleasure to come and pamper people.” Lawson agrees and notes, “I’ve been doing this for about a year now, and I think the women we work with are happy for the makeup advice—and the chance to talk about what they’re going through.”
“This is lovely,” says Macpherson-Hellmuth in the middle of a conversation about eye shadow. “A nice diversion in an otherwise long day.”
Watch a video at siteman.wustl.edu/makeovers.aspx.