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In Profile: Breast cancer survivor who has revolutionized the beauty industry

We have gone past the month of March but here at the Standard, we are still taking time to appreciate women.
Today, we profile an innovative breast cancer survivor, who has revolutionized the beauty industry by establishing the first ever false lashes range for chemotherapy patients, Codilia Gapare.

By Cecilia Kamuputa

Codilia, from Masvingo, Zimbabwe, moved to the United Kingdom at 26 with dreams of becoming a lawyer. In 2014, at 36, hours just before her interview for a place at the university, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Though she was offered the place to study, she was forced to drop out of university due to her illness.

She, however did not give up as in 2019, she was in the final year of her Masters in Business Administration with the Manchester Metropolitan University, after winning a scholarship. In 2019, she also received the Entrepreneur of Excellence Award in the UK National Diversity Awards, was nominated for Woman of the Year Awards, won the Beauty Award at the EVAs and the Innovation of the Year Award at the Zimbabwe Achievers Awards.

Following her own experiences with breast cancer, the mother of two decided to work on a design of a range of lashes, especially cancer patients who lost their natural lashes. From this, C-Lash was born, partnering with beauty brand, Eylure.

“I created C- Lash for people just like me, I found that such a little change, getting my lashes back, made me feel like I had myself back.”

According to Eylure, “C-lash is a strip lash with a clear, self-adhesive band attached to it to increase the stability of your false lashes. The band provides a bigger, more solid foundation for the lashes to stick to the eyelid and remain in place all day. With long-lasting wear, it is ideal for lash replacement or can be used by anyone who wishes for an easier lash application.”

The C-Lash range was introduced into Boots stores, making it easily accessible to women with cancer. In 2019, it was voted one of the 50 Prima High Street Heroes, Best Lashes in the Red Best of Beauty Awards and has been one of the best-selling new entry products in Boots.

Gapare, through her company, continues to work on beauty products for women with health challenges.
“My company is working on beauty products that make it easy for anyone with health challenges to the able to look beautiful, just like everyone else. That is why my company is called NAKAWO meaning Be beautiful too in Shona.”

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