Volunteer makeup artists pamper patients during cancer treatment

Betty Elkes faced cancer multiple times and received her last diagnosis in 2010. Before going in for treatment, she would always put on her red lipstick, a gesture that stuck with her granddaughter, Renata Helfman.

In the years since Elkes' passing, Helfman, 46, a professional makeup artist, started Lipstick Angels, a non-profit that brings volunteer makeup artists into hospitals to treat them with facials, makeovers and massage treatments using natural and/or organic products vetted by Helfman and the Cedars-Sinai Volunteer Department and the Epidemiology Department.

“It was [my grandmother’s] way of going in there with dignity— feeling like herself, like a woman,” Helfman, who is based in Los Angeles, told FoxNews.com. “I think having a healthy state of mind in all different ways, not only how you choose health care, but the people that surround you and really support you is part of what can actually make someone get out and really heal from that.”

Lipstick Angels has programs in Los Angeles at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, MemorialCare Todd Cancer Institute at Long Beach Memorial, City of Hope and in New York at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Since their launch at Cedars-Sinai in 2012, the group has served over 2,500 patients.

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