After the death of her childhood friend, Kiwi businesswoman Annemarie Mason says she's seen the power restoring eyelashes can have.
Mason's cosmetics company distributes eyelash serum RevitaLash in New Zealand.
- Breast cancer sufferer fighting for life-extending drugs wants Pharmac inquiry
- Women in New Zealand die twice as fast of breast cancer than in some other countries
"After recently watching a friend go through her own cancer journey, I really learned the importance of eyelashes that many of us take for granted," she told Newshub.
"Having lashes and brows after being so sick can be a huge confidence boost, but they also keep dust and dirt out of our eyes. Chemotherapy robs people of the option to deal with their illness privately."
Mason's childhood friend, Gemma Delia was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017.
"She had been going through breast cancer [but] dealing with it privately. She didn't put anything on social media," Mason said.
"In April she found a lump when she was on holiday; she got it checked straight away and it was breast cancer. She was only 30."
Delia went through chemotherapy, and celebrated being cleared of the cancer in May 2018.
"But it suddenly came back very aggressively, and she passed away in September," Mason said.
Mason donates profits from Revitalash sales to breast cancer initiatives and research.
During New Zealand Breast Cancer Month in October, Kiara Cosmetics donated $1 from event Pink RevitaLash pack sold to Paddle for Hope, as well as a month's supply of Revitalash to the Look Good Feel Better trust for every product sold.
Mason also distributed 5050 pink cards reminding women to check and how to check for changes.
She says she would recommend every young woman not only support breast cancer initiatives, but to take care of their own wellbeing.
"At the end of the day, if you don't have your health, what do you have?" she asked.
"Take a few minutes each day to check for changes, the symptoms are on our website."
Mason founded Kiara Cosmetics last year, becoming the exclusive distributor for eyelash serum RevitaLash in New Zealand.
RevitaLash was founded in 2006 by US doctor Michael Brinkenhoff after his wife Gayle was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 32. An ophthalmologist, Dr Brinkenhoff created the formula to restore his wife's eyelashes and eyebrows.