Tonje Fjeldberg Elshaug, educator for NovaLash and founder/CEO of Glimt Lashes & Brows in Norway and Spain, is making an impact on the lash industry. A breast cancer survivor dedicated to sharing her story, Elshaug proves that, with a positive outlook and strong support system, anything is possible. Having transitioned from a job as a project manager to pursue her dream of doing lashes in 2006, Elshaug became the NovaLash Lash Artist of the Year in 2018, approximately 12 years after beginning her lash journey and two years after her breast cancer diagnosis. Elshaug credits her close-knit circle, including friends, family and the NovaLash team, with helping her beat breast cancer. “NovaLash always supported me,” she says of working with the company while seeking treatment.
For those experiencing cancer, Elshaug advises, “Listen to [your] body, keep a positive mind, eat healthy, and laugh a lot. Stay strong by surrounding yourself with positive energy and find out what makes you happy.” Your attitude is crucial to getting better, Elshaug continues: “As long as the head is strong, the body can handle so much. I always tried to start my mornings with a 30-minute inspirational podcast or YouTube. I love the sea, so I told my family and friends to drive me there on my sickest days, and went to bed every night after watching a ‘feel-good’ show on Netflix. Be patient and kind to yourself, give yourself permission to do what’s best for you to move forward, and allow yourself time to heal.”
If you want to be there for a friend during this trying time, Elshaug emphasizes the power of remaining present. “You can never give too much love; don’t spread fear. Tell the person who has cancer that she’s beautiful no matter what. I lost my beautiful long hair, lashes and brows, and my nails lifted from my skin, but my husband told me often that I was beautiful,” she recounts, adding, “Always make sure that the person never feels alone.”
Her message: We can all join together in the battle against cancer by lifting one another up. “My hope is that through sharing our stories and supporting organizations, we can all help make a difference in so many ways. Breast cancer—or any type of cancer—affects millions of women and men around the world; support as much as you can in your unique way,” stresses Elshaug. “And to the fighters: Always remember you’re stronger than you know.”
[Image: Courtesy of NovaLash]