“I’ve just ordered Five Guys,” Lisa starts the remote meeting off with a smile. Helen joins in, laughing at the fact she’s eating soup from one of her children’s bowls. There is mutual appreciation for the modern likes of video calling, allowing us to meet in comfort during these times.
Helen Addis is a TV producer for ITV, and in recent years, a campaigner famously promoting self checking for breast cancer. Lisa is a makeup artist and blogger, author of three best-selling beauty books and now co-parent alongside Helen, of The C List.
Sadly two years ago Helen was diagnosed with breast cancer. Whilst she was receiving retreatment, she was curious as to whether her friends checked their breasts. She was surprised to find that too many of them didn’t, due to not knowing how or what to look for.
This sparked Helen to begin a nationwide Change and Check campaign.
Drawing on Helen’s experiences with having chemotherapy and radiotherapy and Lisa’s beauty knowledge, they have worked together to curate a bespoke list called The C List.
The C List covers everything from makeup products that are sensitive to the skin requirements of people with cancer to advice on how to have conversations about cancer with children.
Helen said, “Your skin changes massively whilst going through treatment.”
Helen recalled her doctor telling her that she would need to rethink her bathroom cabinet and makeup bag when she was receiving treatments for breast cancer. Helen went to a high street shop for advice and overheard the staff whispering about her.
Helen said, “I heard one of them whisper ‘She’s got cancer, do you think she can use this?’. I felt like an alien.”
Hearing Helen’s story inspired Lisa. Lisa revealed, “I see so much talent, kindness and joy in the beauty community every day.”
Lisa continued, “With the rise of social media I saw an opportunity to use my platform to educate people around how makeup can be about how you feel.”
The C List aims to wipe out the feeling of alienation of going into a store and not being catered to.
Lisa said, “The power that makeup and skin care gives you is incredible.”
Helen added. “I looked very different during treatment, and to be able to wear and use some products made such a difference, it’s amazing what it does to your mental health if you look a little better.”
Describing the fire that pushes them both forward, Helen revealed, “You have to find the thing you’re most passionate about, you have to want it right from the core.”
Lisa added passionately, “If you want to do something, you’ve just got to do it!”
They were both incredibly moved to see their work come to life during the campaign shoot for The C List, which features women who have or have had cancer.
Helen revealed, “We were shooting with phenomenal women who felt they were at the bottom of the priority list when it came to how they looked and felt.”
Lisa added, “It was emotional and yet absolutely magical to see these women feel and look so incredible.”