AS a dancer, Abbie Quinnen has worn make-up since the age of six.
Maar nou, bejaardes 24, her relationship with cosmetics has changed dramatically.
Having experimented with bold eyeshadows, fake tan and stage foundation, sy suffered third degree burns from a tragic accident last January.
While trying to turn a wine bottle into a vase, using rope and setting it alight, Abbie became engulfed in flames.
She lost a strip of hair as well as part of her ear and sustained scarring on her shoulder and arm.
Read more on Abbie Quinnen
Abbie says: “Claudia and Katie got in contact early on and it helped massively.
“Claudia told me her daughter had 14 operations. I only had three. Talking to people that understood helped.
“They both recommended products and Katie told me to be persistent with moisturising, as well as recommending fashion brands that work well with a compression vest underneath.
Die meeste gelees in Fabulous
“I’d never spoken to Katie before. Now she checks in with me all the time. It gave me more confidence. It was nice to have a support network.
“I began moisturising four times a day, then I’d apply a silicone gel four times a day, followed by silicone scar sheets and a compression vest on top.
“It was a never-ending routine and became a full-time job. My scars were so tight, I had to keep them hydrated to be able to move.
“I now mainly use a vegan-friendly skincare brand called Nuture, available on Amazon.
“The Nourishing Treatment Oil has reduced my redness massively. I use it twice a day.
“I can’t really use products with perfume in. My skin is so sensitive. But Nuture smells amazing.
“I had to rethink everything I was using. I loved Armani Si body lotion but now I can’t use it.”
The accident left Abbie bedbound and suffering from recurring nightmares. She also had to wear a compression vest, putting pressure on her healing skin, 24 hours a day.
And she struggled with not wearing make-up.
Sy sê: “I’ve been lucky in that my face recovered quite quickly. It took a few months and I had to wipe my scars every day with Hibiscrub but it healed quicker than my body.
It was a never-ending routine and became a full-time job. My scars were so tight, I had to keep them hydrated to be able to move.
“I hated not being able to wear make-up, wel. I felt terrible all the time.
“I hated looking in the mirror. When I could move, I’d try to put make-up on. AJ would be like, ‘Don’t do that, it might not be good for your skin’. But as soon as I could, I hid the redness.
“I ordered a Morphe palette a couple days before the accident. I was so excited to use it because it had so many bright colours, then I couldn’t for months.
“As soon as I could mess up the palette, I felt like myself again!”
Sy vertel ons: “I’d watch YouTube tutorials of people covering up their tattoos. That was really helpful. I use a green colour corrector to cancel out the (scars’) brightness then put a thick layer of foundation over the top. I did this for a pantomime I was in and it lasted hours.”
‘MAKE HER PROUD’
Abbie has also had laser sessions to reduce the scarring but says: “I am learning to accept them now.
“I’m seeing my surgeon this month. The last time I saw her was nine months ago. I hope she’s surprised with how my scars have healed.
“She’s helped me so much and it has made me want to look after my scars even more to make her proud.
“I have to be as patient as possible and remind myself they will continue to get better. But just being able to move has made me so appreciative of my body.
“I ran a half-marathon just five months after surgery, raising money for the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital trust’s charity.
“We have to allow ourselves to make mistakes. Nobody’s perfect and I’m just going to take really good care of my health and my body. I’m still so young and have been through such a horrible thing that has left me with obvious scars.
“Any normal 24-year-old can go to the beach in a bikini and have no scars — whereas at the moment, I can’t really sit on the beach and be in the sun because my scars will get worse.
“It’s been a hard experience to get over but it just takes time.
Ek is so jammer dit klink aaklig
“And I know that one day I will be back on the beach in a bikini.
“In the meantime, I’ll make the most of my Morphe palette.”