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All the ways you can support Breast Cancer Awareness Month

While many of us have been preoccupied with the challenges of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and rightfully so, October is also a time to bring awareness to another health challenge many face.

In New Zealand, more than 3,300 women across the country are diagnosed with breast cancer every year – that’s 9 women a day. One Māori woman a day will be diagnosed and 25 men are diagnosed each year too. Unfortunately 650 women a year will die from the disease.

In Australia, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer, with approximately 55 Australians diagnosed each and every day. That equates to over 20,000 Australians diagnosed with breast cancer each year.

These figures can be overwhelming, but serve as a reminder on the steps to take to be aware of the signs, helping to potentially improve the outcome should you be diagnosed, as well as sharing education and resources to others.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and along with a number of supporting businesses and organisations, the Breast Cancer Foundation NZ (BCFNZ) and the National Breast Cancer Foundation of Australia (NBCF) have a number of initiatives to improve knowledge and to raise crucial funds that go into supporting people with breast cancer, and funding life-saving new research.

“Every October, some of the country’s favourite brands get on board with Breast Cancer Awareness Month by releasing special-edition Pink Products,” says Ah-Leen Rayner, chief executive of Breast Cancer Foundation NZ (BCFNZ). We’re incredibly grateful to our partners for backing this worthwhile cause.

 “Nine women in Aotearoa New Zealand will be told they have breast cancer today and every year we still lose more than 650 women to the disease. Every Pink Product sold is a way to give back while you shop, with proceeds going towards vital research, education, and support for Kiwi families affected by breast cancer.”

How to mark Breast Cancer Awareness month

Check your breasts once a month
Learn the signs of breast cancer, and get to know your breasts – the way they feel, and the way they look. Breast cancer is most treatable when it’s found early and knowing your normal and recognising any changes, is said to be key. According to BCFNZ, women should be breast aware from age 20, which means you need to know the normal look and feel of your breasts, so you can tell your doctor if there are any changes. The best time to do a self-check is the week after your period, and you should continue doing it each month around the same time.  Refresh your knowledge on how to self-check.

Book a mammogram
If you’re over 45, book in for a mammogram through BreastScreen Aotearoa or BreastScreen Australia or by asking your GP how to book. Taking half an hour to have one mammogram every two years could save your life. BCFNZ recommends considering annual mammograms from 40-49, then every two years from 50. In New Zealand free mammograms through BreastScreen Aotearoa are available when you’re 45-69, and the Government has committed to extending the age to 74. You can check the availability for routine screening during various lockdown levels here.

Donate to the appeal
Give a donation to the annual NZ street appeal on Friday 29 and Saturday 30 October. Should the street appeal be limited by COVID-19 lockdown levels in your area, you can still donate online. You can also join the annual Pink Ribbon fundraising walks around the country.  According to BCFNZ the donations will help fund breast cancer education, innovative projects by some of  the country’s top researchers, as well as support patients and their families. In Australia visit NBCF to donate online

Purchase pink ribbon products
One of the Breast Cancer Foundation NZ’s goals is to achieve zero deaths from the disease. It’s a big goal, but one the foundation has remained dedicated to. When you use your purchasing power to select one of the officially affiliated products your money goes to helping the foundation continue to work towards that goal.

The number of products that contribute to the campaign annually has grown over the last few years and you can now select products from the supermarket, beauty counters and even home décor and furnishings retailers. Some of the products available in New Zealand this October are below. Some of these products are also available in Australia benefiting NBCF, but for the full range of pink ribbon products available in Australia, click here.

Estée Lauder Companies has had a long affiliation with work to find a cure for breast cancer,  since Evelyn H. Lauder co-created the Pink Ribbon and started The Breast Cancer Campaign in 1992, donating significant funds to research around prevention, diagnosis and treatment. This year, it has a number of fundraising products available.  The famous Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Multi-Recovery Complex serum that helps deeply hydrate skin and minimise the signs of aging comes with a limited-edition pink leather cover and the brand will donate 20% of the purchase price to BCFNZ. The deeply hydrating Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+ comes in a limited edition pink bottle with removable keyring and the brand will donate $10 of the purchase price to BCFNZ.

This month, La Mer will donate 50% of the purchase price of the 30ml Crème de la Mer The Moisturizing Cream, a rich, luxurious face moisturiser, to BCFNZ.  To support the cause Bobbi Brown has created the limited-edition Powerful Pinks Crushed Oil-Infused Gloss Duo, with its hydrating but non-sticky, high-shine lip glosses, from which 20% of the purchase price will go to BCFNZ. 

ghd’s limited-edition pink collection reimagines its popular ghd platinum+ and ghd gold styling tools and its ghd Helios hairdryer in a rose-pink tone with metallic pink accents and features the brand’s campaign message, ‘Take control now’, a reminder to carry out regular self checks. $20 from every pink limited-edition purchase goes to BCFNZ.

Supporting BCFNZ for its 5th year, NZ’s Pink Lady apples donates $50,000 a year to BCFNZ as a diamond partner. Eta’s delicious limited edition Himalayan Pink Salt & Black Pepper flavour is back for another year. Eta will donate .30c from each bag purchased to BCFNZ. If cheese is more your thing but you still like a peppery tang, try Castello’s Double Cream Pink Pepper Brie, $1 from every purchase goes to BCFNZ.

Bred in NZ by Bob Matthews, the breathtaking Floribunda ‘Pink Ribbon’ rose is a stunning way to add the symbol of the fight to cure breast cancer to your garden.  $2 from the sale of each plant will be donated to BCFNZ. Its available from Matthews Roses and selected garden centres nationwide. This year Sealy has created its Designer Bedroom campaign, where the each of the  elements of a beautiful, calming space designed by interior designer Shelley Ferguson will be put up for auction on Trade Me from October 15th with all proceeds from the sale donated to BCFNZ.

Kate Winslet shares her relaxed beauty approach and go-to products

When it comes to her appearance and beauty routine, actress Kate Winslet has always taken a relaxed – and refreshing real – approach to beauty. 

The actress, star of Mare of Easttown and mother of three refers to “common sense stuff” like eating well and drinking water as her ‘beauty secrets’, but also credits the ability of makeup and skincare to have ‘an emotional impact’. 

It’s why she’s proud to have recently been named a global ambassador for L’Oréal Paris, the 45-year-old saying the beauty giant’s commitment to showing women they are ‘worth it’, and beautiful at every age is something she wholeheartedly stands behind. 

“It’s taken work to get to a place where I make no apology for who I am, where I accept my flaws,” Winslet explained in a recent interview. “I’m delighted to join the L’Oréal Paris sisterhood to say: it takes courage and strength to believe that you are worth it. Sometimes, you may not feel worth it at all. We all have moments like that, and that is what makes us all human. But, the more you say these words and believe in everything that you truly are, and however you identify, then with time and belief in yourself, you too will feel worth it.”

Here, she shares about her favourite quick and easy products and approach to beauty.

L- R: L’Oreal Paris Color Riche Les Nus Lipstick; L’Oreal Paris Préférence Hair Colour; L’Oreal Paris Perfect Slim Liquid Eyeliner; L’Oreal Paris Volume Million Lashes Mascara L’Oreal Paris Elnett Satin Hairspray.

What does your daily beauty routine look like?
I am very fast. I have to be. In the morning I always wash my face with cold water and a washcloth. Then I moisturize. If it’s sunny out, I use SPF 30. I don’t use a lot of makeup for everyday life. Maybe a small amount of cream concealer on any redness or darker eye bags. I do curl my eyelashes and if I’m wearing mascara, I go for L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Million Lashes. It’s fab! 

[At night] I always, always take off my makeup with some kind of wipes or cream cleanser, and plenty of cold water washing. I use a very hydrating moisturiser on my face and neck. I like L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Cell Renewal Night Cream, plus Midnight Serum which makes everything dewy and delicious the next morning.

What is your earliest memory of experimenting with beauty products?
I remember vividly experimenting with my mum’s one and only lipstick. It was a sort of a burnt orange color. I think I applied it to my eyelids as well as my lips!

What are your favorite L’Oréal products?
Elnett! I have used [the hairspray] for years. In fact, my kids say that whenever they smell it, wherever they are, it makes them think of me. I even remember my own mother using it, so it’s a product that is filled with nostalgia for us. And Preference [hair color]. It’s brilliant if you are in need of a quick hair fix; particularly helpful in lockdown!

Have you ever experimented with your own hair color?
I’ve been lucky that my hair has been colored for some of the roles I’ve played and so I’ve had the perfect excuse to try out hair colors and to experience how different a change in hair color can make you feel. My most wild experience was being blue for parts of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. That hair color just made me feel wild and reckless and crazy. It almost gave me permission to dress differently and to be much more experimental with clothes and accessories.

What color hair makes you feel the most “you”?
When it’s about a month after having my blonde redone. [The colour] has time to settle and become my own again. I love it like that – wash and go. I rarely dry my hair with a hairdryer, as I never seem to have time!

What is your favorite iconic beauty trend in cinema?
I love the 40’s and 50’s. The makeup from that era was minimal but sharp and clean—a good eyeliner and a great lipstick, pale, even skin—just simple but classic. I love when you can see a person’s skin on camera. Freckles are beautiful, as are fine lines and the back of the hands. I love seeing translucency of a person’s skin on camera because it makes me feel like I can truly see the faces and the soul.

Any beauty secrets you can share?
No major secrets really, just common sense stuff. As I get older I simply can’t get away with eating badly or having too much wine. When I was younger I could get away with a lot more. But these days I try my best to feed my skin from the inside out—good food. I don’t eat meat any more. I drink plenty of water every day, take my supplements -when I remember!. Cold water swimming is great for circulation and skin, so I do a little of that here and there. All these things help to keep my skin clear. 

What has helped shape your own sense of worth?
Life experience has shaped who I am, and time has been a great friend to my sense of worth. I have learned to accept my flaws, and not to be so hard on myself. I have learned that my toughest moments have made me who I am, and I no longer try to achieve unstable physical ideals that I perhaps had in my 20’s when I was much more vulnerable and naïve. But above all else it has been having my own lovely family. The pride I feel when I’m with my kids, and the joy it brings me to see them evolve as decent, kind, humble souls is where I feel my own true worth really lies.