GW Alumna Brightens Lives—and Faces—of Cancer Patients




Almost everyone has been—or will be—touched by cancer at some point in their lives. Kristin Ann Fahlbusch, CCAS BA ’05, lost both her grandmother and one of her dearest friends to the disease, inspiring her to join the staff at Lipstick Angels. Founded by celebrity make-up artist Renata Helfman, Lipstick Angels supports cancer patients by offering complimentary beauty and skincare services to patients undergoing treatment for cancer.

“My work with Lipstick Angels is extremely personal to me—sacred, even,” says Kristin Ann, who serves as the east coast program manager. “For someone my age, I’ve experienced a lot of loss in my life. I was compelled to find philanthropic work that combines my interests and talents in esthetics and cosmetology with my desire to counsel patients and their families.”

Kristin Ann describes the Lipstick Angels service as a ‘spa-like’ experience where patients can pick from a menu of offerings: hydrating facials, aromatherapy, eyebrow stenciling tutorials, hand massages, and full-face make-up application. In October 2017, Kristin Ann represented Lipstick Angels at the 2017 Dempsey Challenge to work alongside multitalented celebrity make-up artist and jewelry designer Jillian Dempsey, whose husband is the actor Patrick Dempsey. “We color-matched and applied lipstick and light make-up on hundreds of women,” Kristin Ann says. “It was literally a lipstick marathon!”

Before joining Lipstick Angels, Kristin Ann held multiple positions in the beauty industry, including sales, marketing, and public relations. “My specific interest in beauty has always been in helping people discover more natural and organic approaches to skincare, make-up, and overall wellness,” she says.

Kristin Ann recalls her four years at GW as ‘unlike anything she has experienced since.’ During her time on campus, she was a member of the 2003 Colonial Cabinet; she served as executive assistant to Vice President Robert Chernak and Mike Gargano in the Student and Academic Support Services office; and she volunteered at The Hatchet (school newspaper), Wooden Teeth (GW’s literary magazine), The Program Board (event organization at GW), and The Student Global AIDS Campaign.

One of Kristin Ann’s most cherished memories of her time at GW was her involvement with the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity. Chosen as the 2005 TKE Sweetheart, she describes her relationship with her TKE brothers as special: “I lost my older brother, Brendan, in a bicycle accident when I was just a little girl, and now I feel like I have at least 50 ‘big brothers’!”

She also anticipates the long-awaited return of a TKE chapter to the GW campus. She describes the essential elements of the TKE brotherhood as love, charity, and esteem—not unlike the core values that attracted her to her current profession. “I truly needed something like Lipstick Angels to help me channel my love of all things beauty, health, and wellness for the greater good,” she says. “It may have taken longer than I liked to find, but this is the dream job for me.” —Mary Follin

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