When 15-year-old Karina Moreira sat down with Brazilian model Gisele Bundchen in December 2013, the two traded beauty tips, talked fashion, and took turns applying makeup. They spoke in their native Portuguese and laughed with family and friends. The experience, Moreira says, one that she will remember for the rest of her life.
But the two talked about more than just eye shadow and clothes; they also talked about life and Moreira’s battle with bone cancer. Bundchen, who surprised Moreira at home, offered some advice for the young girl: “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”
“My life may be a lemon because of my cancer and the treatment I’ve had to go through, but I’m still going to write a blog, do makeup, and make videos,” says Moreira, who runs the blog Chic by Karina. “That’s going to be my lemonade, that’s going to make my life matter.”
Moreira, who moved to the U.S. from Brazil when she was 3, was diagnosed with bone cancer in 2011. While in treatment she followed video blogs and fashion magazines, soon realizing that she wanted to offer her own tips to help girls feel beautiful. In 2012, she launched Chic by Karina, a blog with makeup tutorials and fashion trends that has garnered thousands of followers who look to her for advice and inspiration.
Despite a relapse and regular treatment at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, Moreira remains ambitious and optimistic. Even from a hospital bed, she produces regular videos, blog posts, and photos for her Instagram feed. She continues to practice new looks and techniques, honing her skills and keeping her sights set on a career as a makeup artist.
Moreira’s positive attitude is a big part of her success and a theme that runs through all her posts and videos. “It’s how you have to live,” she says. “You have to let go of all the negative and bring out the positive.”
Recently, she created three videos with beauty tips for cancer patients, including how to get flawless skin, how to apply eye makeup and how to style your head after hair loss. “I want to show girls how to feel beautiful,” she says.
View one of Moreira’s video’s below, or click the links to see others from her “Beauty Tips for Cancer Patients” series: