Amy Holiber, National Program Director of Lipstick Angels
Paula Vila: “Amy and I were working together in the film industry. Amy was a very successful makeup artist and I worked in costumes. We’ve known each other for 20 years."
"It started with Amy’s downtime, wanting to give back, and her skill as a makeup artist. She had some personal experiences with cancer – a very dear, beautiful, young 23-year-old cousin passed away with cancer. Amy had a calling for it. Her best friend Renata called up the hospital and asked if they could come in and give makeovers to women sitting in chemotherapy. They went in one day and then the next day, they were given an office. And it just grew from there. They have 16 programs across the nation in New York, Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. She’s so selfless and I thought she would be the perfect nominee for BuDhaHomage."
What is the purpose of Lipstick Angels..
Lipstick Angels is a nonprofit organization that provides clean-beauty and wellness programs that aim to restore the dignity, hope, and self-esteem to cancer patients by offering complimentary, personalized, and oncology-sensitive beauty and skin care services in hospitals at patients’ bedsides or while they are receiving treatment.
Administered by professional make-up artists and estheticians, Lipstick Angels programs support those diagnosed with cancer and other chronic illness through restorative and nurturing services. This allows hospitals to offer a holistic experience to their patients by catering to the physical and emotional side effects of the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and other chronic illnesses. Through human touch, compassion and care, Lipstick Angels create an intimate environment that fosters kindness and connection, contributing to recovery and nourishing the whole person – mind, body and spirit.
Lipstick Angels’ services offer patients of all genders the opportunity to experience a variety of spa services including hydrating facials, comforting hand massages, aromatherapy, makeup applications and eyebrow shaping. Our goal is to create a space for each person to feel pampered in the moment and to spark empowerment and joy through the unique practice of self-care.
My role with Lipstick Angels...
I currently serve as the National Program Director of Lipstick Angels and oversee the operations of 16 in-hospital programs nationwide. I have been part of Lipstick Angels since its inception, first as a volunteer and then working my way up to West Coast Program Manager. We’re going into our 11th year. My previous career as a makeup artist for the film and television industry included creating looks for countless advertising campaigns as well as lending my skills to multiple television shows and editorial work. I’m deeply committed to the mission of Lipstick Angels, as I have interacted with thousands of patients and witnessed firsthand the profound impact the power of personal touch and pampering can have on the health and well-being of a cancer patient.
Lipstick Angels uses the power of beauty to transform and heal, similarly to how BuDhaGirl uses mindfulness to bring moments of reflection into daily life. Tell us what this means to you...
We just want to stay in touch with the community and try to connect with people. I think the whole idea about being mindful and grateful and present in the moment is something that we really try to practice with our patients. We do aromatherapy, guided breathing. I believe that if you can just stay centered on something and being joyful in the moment, it can be transformative.
Tell us about some of the patients, doctors, or volunteers you work with. Whose stories have touched your life?
I’ve met thousands of the most incredible patients. They are the bravest and most courageous people. I’m just super impressed by their positivity. The nurses are also some of the most hardworking and selfless people. Everyone I meet touches my life.
My greatest challenge...
The biggest challenge is seeing suffering. I’ve seen death, people going through it alone, people who can’t get insurance. At the end of the day, it’s such a painful thing. I must be mindful and just stay in the moment of giving these patients a few minutes of peace. Learning to be grateful for the things I have and the things I can provide.
I love beauty and skincare, I love doing yoga and exercising, I love skiing. I have two children and love spending time with family.
How can members of the BuDhaGirl tribe help Lipstick Angels?
I think just bringing awareness to what we’re doing. We’re also always looking for donations. You can learn more by visiting https://lipstickangels.org/.