The Look Good Feel Better NZ team are committed to bringing joy into the lives of women who deserve an escape from the reality of cancer treatment and illness. Every volunteer, Tutor, sponsors and supporters who make our work possible are all connected by a common goal and determination to make a difference. Find out more about the people behind Look Good Feel Better.
Clare joined Look Good Feel Better New Zealand in July 2013. She comes from a strong media and marketing background and brings with her impressive management and leadership skills.
“I couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity. Look Good Feel Better is a charity I respect hugely and am genuinely passionate about."
"To be part of a national movement that gives Kiwi women of any age the tools to walk confidently and stand tall in the face of cancer is something I’m proud to champion”
Southland & Otago Tutor
Christine learnt from an early age the philosophy of Look Good Feel Better’s ‘Lipstick therapy’ – even though the charity was still 30 years in the future! Her terminally ill mother always left the house wearing her lipstick and blusher; gaining strength in the knowledge that by looking as good as she could on the outside, it really did help her feel better from the inside.
Christine was working in the cosmetic industry in Invercargill when she was first introduced to Look Good Feel Better. She volunteered at the workshops, and once again witnessed the effect of what a little makeup could do to bolster confidence and self esteem to so many of the brave woman attending the programme. In time she began tutoring in Southland, Central Otago and Dunedin regions.
“One of the most valuable things about the workshops is when the women realise that they do not have to face the uncertain time alone.”
Christine and her husband live in Invercargill and they have three adult children. She enjoys gardening, photography, reading a good book, collecting recipes and spending time with her extended family.
Wellington, Wairarapa and Kapiti Coast Tutor
A foundation member of the Look Good Feel Better programme in New Zealand, Leigh began her cosmetics career at David Donald Pharmacy in Wellington. It was here Leigh found her passion for helping others with skincare and make-up. Over the years, Leigh firmly established herself in the cosmetics industry, working for James Smith department stores and Elizabeth Arden.
Since having her children and leaving the world of commercial cosmetics, Leigh has started her own business to design, fit and create both custom and ready-to-wear wigs and hairpieces for people who suffer hair loss from treatment for cancer and other medically related conditions.
“I firmly believe the way we look has much to do with how we feel, and that boosting self-esteem can play a positive and important role in living life to the full, through even the toughest illnesses”, Leigh says.
During her years with Look Good Feel Better, Leigh has worked with patients in Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, and is now the Wellington, Wairarapa and Kapiti Coast tutor.
Bay of Plenty Tutor
Gaelene lives with her husband in Tauranga. Since her four children have left home, she has more time to garden, cook, entertain and escape on the occasional snow-skiing trip with friends and family.
Gaelene began as a Look Good Feel Better volunteer many years ago. “I was so impressed by how professionally the classes were run, and what was on offer for women who were going through so much in their lives. I became hooked”, says Gaelene.
Gaelene began tutoring in Hamilton and Rotorua, and as the charity’s work grew, so did her region. Her friendly face can now be seen running workshops in Tauranga, Rotorua, Whakatane and Taupo.
“I love seeing the women gain confidence in how they look from what we teach them. Whether it’s learning to draw back her eyebrows, or a decent foundation that covers the marks on their skin, it helps them achieve a sense of normality again. It really is a joy to make a difference to someone’s day, especially the amazing brave women who attend the workshops.”
Rachael spent 18 years in the hairdressing industry (10 of which she was a hairdressing tutor), she put her expertise to work as the New Plymouth tutor at the start of 2009.
Rachael works as a Professional Firefighter with the New Zealand Fire Service and also spends time working with children and juveniles that deliberately set fires.
“I love being able to combine two extremely diverse roles, and help people on all levels. The people I work with at New Plymouth Fire Station are very supportive of the work I do with Look Good Feel Better, which enables me to spread the good word about the all the positive work Look Good Feel Better achieves”, Rachael says.
Rachael is continuously enlivened by seeing women at the workshops be inspired and uplifted by the experience. “I am proud to work with Look Good Feel Better. It is a dynamic organisation, delivering a fabulous service to women all over the country”.
Hawkes Bay & Gisborne Region Tutor
With her own salon, and almost 30 years hairdressing experience, you can tell Di is passionate about making people look great.
After losing her mum to cancer when she was just 15, Di wanted to find a way of helping women deal with cancer. “I remember a seed being planted in my head when Dad bought a hairpiece. I started fitting men’s hairpieces, and then moved onto women’s wigs for chemotherapy patients after a close friend was diagnosed with cancer”, Di says.
Di was introduced to Look Good Feel Better via Hair Creations in Auckland, and instantly felt a desire to be involved with the charity. It wasn’t long before she was running her own seminars on the range of wigs and turbans available to women going through the trauma of cancer treatment and dealing with hair loss.
Di also became involved with the make-up seminars, and is now the LGFB Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne region tutor. Since becoming involved with Look Good Feel Better, Di has herself successfully fought two bouts of cancer.
Having lost her mother to cancer at the age of 49, and spent many cherished moments doing her make-up for special occasions, Lesley felt an instant connection to the Look Good Feel Better charity.
She remembers looking after an amazing lady during one of her first workshops 13 years ago, who had everyone in stitches with her sense of humour, “She called into my store two years later, and she remembered me. It really gave me a sense of achievement, and brought meaning to the skills I had accumulated over the years”, Lesley says.
Cancer has played a significant part in Lesley’s life. From her mother’s illness, when she was only 15, to the multiple friends and family who have been struck by the disease. As a LGFB volunteer, she has an upper hand to help those affected by cancer. “To see the ladies who attend our workshops blossom over the two and a half hours blows me away”.
As the Hospital Liaison officer for the Auckland area, Lesley is constantly being told by nurses and caregivers how important the work of Look Good Feel Better is to the recovery of their patients “We are definitely talked about at the patient’s next treatment appointment”.
Lorraine was looking for volunteer work, when a friend put her in touch with Look Good Feel Better. At the time, she was working as a make up artist, and had previous hairdressing experience; a perfect match.
“I knew it was for me the first day I started. I love seeing the transformation the ladies go through. They walk through the door, not knowing what to expect and very reserved. By the end however, they are laughing and chatting, and walk out happy and confident, with smiles on their faces”, Lorraine says.
Lorraine thoroughly enjoys her time with LGFB, and values the team around her who help the women take control of some of the side effects they experience from their cancer treatment. “It’s a time when the ladies can put aside the worries of the day, have fun and be pampered whilst learning some new makeup skills. What is more important is sharing the experience with ladies going through the same thing”.
Thankful to be inspired at every workshop, and to have built some special friendships during her time as a volunteer, Lorraine now tutors in Auckland.
Palmerston North Tutor
Tena Koutou Katoa/Greetings to you all
In 1990, Janetta was a busy mum with 3 daughters under three, when her father lost his battle with skin cancer. She felt helpless and was thankful for the care and support the Cancer Society gave to her whole whānau/family.
The following year she became a beauty consultant and learnt about skincare, makeup and colour coding. her self-esteem and confidence grew as she began to look and feel better about herself. She was then told about ‘Look Good Feel Better’ and approached the Cancer Society.
In 1993, a women who had attended a ‘Look Good Feel Better’ workshop, left money to begin them in Nelson. Janetta was asked to co-ordinate the volunteers, organise and help out at the workshops. She loved being involved in helping women; to see them smile, hear them laugh and make new friends.
As the workshops grew around the country she was asked to Tutor for Nelson and Marlborough and over the years she has enjoyed meeting women involved in all aspects of our charity. Janetta is currently the manager of Elimkids Preschool, her daughters are now adults and she has grandchildren.
"I feel blessed to have; a wonderful whānau/family, special friends, a rewarding career and to be a part of this fabulous charity that affects the lives of women going through cancer in a positive manner."
Jen started being a tutor for LGFB because she saw how much her passion for makeup was changing the way women undergoing such a massive ordeal were feeling.
Her job as an artist started feeling more important and it was in no way frivolous but a powerful tool that helps women from all walks of life put on a brave face. She has been a makeup artist since she was 15 years old.
"Never has my passion for the industry felt more important than it does when I am in the room with these women. My favourite thing about the role is helping women regain control over an aspect of their treatment. Every woman deserves to feel beautiful and I love seeing women look in the mirror after the transformation and really believe that they are beautiful."
Robyn has been involved with the Look Good Feel Better for over 20 years in different roles, from a volunteer to a tutor back to a support volunteer and now tutor again.
Coming from a cosmetic background she was first introduce to the program as a volunteer in Wellington through the cosmetic company she was working with at the time. At her first class she found it so rewarding seeing the ladies leaving with a smile on their faces as if we had taken the whole world off their shoulders. After that class she was hooked.
Then her husband was transferred to Hamilton and with two small children at the time and knowing no one in Hamilton, getting involved in the Hamilton program introduced her to a whole lot of new people.
Robyn went back to work for Elizabeth Arden for a number of years and has now joined the team at Wigs by Haircreations helping ladies coping with hair loss which has brought her back into the Look Good Feel Better program again.
"Cosmetics, grooming and building ones self-esteem has been my life but more importantly putting a smile on someone’s face, even if it is for a short time makes my day and puts a smile on my face. As someone once said to me “Everyone women has the right to be beautiful.”"
Lucy Lives in Christchurch with her husband and two daughters, she is passionate about her career as a freelance makeup artist and has 15 years industry experience working in all things makeup and hair, from weddings to photographic shoots and television commercials. Beginning her career by studying at the Design and Arts College in 2000 and achieving a Certificate of Film and Television Makeup Design and Application, then by working on cosmetics counters both in New Zealand and Australia. For the last 10 years Lucy has built a thriving business as a freelance makeup artist and hairstylist. Over the years she has found the most rewarding part of her job has been the opportunity to help women realise their beauty, and gain newfound confidence. Having recently joined the LGFB team as the joint tutor for Christchurch, Lucy is keen to share her skills with women so they are equipped to put their best foot forward every day.
Jenna is a very experienced make up artist originally from the UK, she has been residing here in New Zealand for over 10 years now. Jenna started her own business JustBeautifulNZ at the start of 2014 signing up as a rep for Mary Kay Cosmetics. She has had many years working full time for the prestigious brand, Bobbi Brown, being crowned Make Up Artist of the year, she now free-lances for them. Max Factor is another well-known brand and she is part of the NZ team. In 2013 Jenna went on her 1st mission trip to Cambodia, this was to teach young women who were in rehabilitation centers, rescued from the dark world of sexual slavery. Teaching make up skills is what Jenna loves to do, so you can become your own make up artist! When she isn’t doing make up Jenna loves to keep fit and travelling to hot and cold climates.
Cassandra’s background has mostly been in the beauty/retail industry. She managed a large pharmacy and beauty salon in Sydney back in 2000 and while working there trained in Dior skincare and cosmetics. She also went on to work for Revlon, L’Oreal Paris and Innoxa.
Upon moving back to New Zealand she counter managed for Clarins in Auckland and it was there she was first introduced to Look Good Feel Better.
In 2005 she attended her first workshop in the beautiful Nelson, “That was where my journey started with LGBF... I just loved it!”
In 2007 she moved back to her home town, Timaru and started helping with the workshops in 2011. She has always enjoyed the classes, “It gives me a great sense of purpose and I love pampering the ladies.”
Cassandra currently works in the fashion footwear industry and has obtained a diploma in interior design. She also enjoys cooking, reading and holidaying in the Pacific Islands.
Julie joined LGFB in July 2015.
She brings a wealth of experience from working in the medical/palliative care field and from running her own business as a personal styling consultant.
The workshops provide Julie with a platform in which to empathize, encourage and engage with women that are facing a future that is uncertain. Her desire is to affirm each individual’s dignity and value. She also endeavors to share her knowledge and have lots of fun!!
In her words “my hands have truly found a pair of gloves that fit perfectly. It is pure joy to be an ambassador for LGFB.”
Charlie is married with two awesome young adult children and one fabulous husband who she works with in a semi retired role as Property Caretaker of our PACMAN Family Trust. PACMAN stands for Paul And Charlie, Marcus And Nakita. Also a life coach, Rotarian and community volunteer. She loves to garden, up-cycle things & travel.
Carole is married with two adult children and a beautiful Maltese dog called Sasha.Lives in Parnell in Auckland and has 3 grandchildren, one in Melbourne and 2 in New Plymouth which means she does a lot of air travel! She is passionate about skiing in Canada and snorkelling in warm water.
Carole is also passionate about LGFB and the wonderful women she meets in our workshops. "I feel very privileged to be part of the organisation."