I read an article in the New York Daily News the other day about a 7-year old girl (Kailee Freitag) who was denied entry to a carnival kiddie ride without adult supervision due to what the ride operator felt was a “medical condition.” The article stated that “…unidentified employee stopped her and demanded that Freitag accompany her on the attraction, according to the mom.” Kailee, who has previously enjoyed rides at amusement parks like Disney World, is blind. A 20 minute confrontation ensued between Kailee’s mom and the employee with the end result being Kailee was permitted on the ride for one solitary spin after the operator pulled the other children off.
It’s always sad when people are discriminated against and while this subject is a topic for discussion at another place and time I felt it important to start off with what could possibly be a misunderstanding. Many people do not comprehend blindness or vision impairments simply because they haven’t had exposure or enlightenment on the subject. Let’s face it, those of us who are living with blindness or vision impairment are in the minority and it’s up to us to shed the light. This is why I was so thrilled when I was approached to write an article on makeup for blind and visually impaired women.
I began wearing makeup when I was in my late teens and it wasn’t until I was in my early twenties that I went to my first professional makeup consultation. At this visit I picked up some tips on makeup application and cosmetics appropriate for my skin. Fast forward 30 years later I’m now legally blind, use a white cane, and I still wear makeup and dress stylishly. When I began losing my vision it was challenging using some of the cosmetics to which I was accustomed however I found ways to adapt and I want to share the 5 easy steps I use.
Step 1 – In the first photo collage my face has been cleansed and I’m prepared to apply my concealer. I have dark circles under my eyes and the concealer while it doesn’t remove them it does help to minimize the appearance. Since the skin under the eyes is very thin and fragile I gently pat on the concealer with my fingertips until it is evenly blended.
Step 2 – I use Sheer Cover mineral foundation because I find it very easy to use a foundation brush to apply, the coverage is excellent, and it isn’t heavy. To apply I simply dip my brush into the minerals, tap off any excess, then in a circular motion I apply to all the areas of my face. The third picture in the first photo collage shows my face after the concealer and foundation application.
Step 3 – Since I still have limited vision and I’ve been wearing makeup all my adult life, I am able to use eyebrow stencils to enhance my sparse brows. After I’ve filled them in to my satisfaction I use a brow brush to soften the look. The first picture in the second photo collage shows my completed eyebrows.
Step 4 – I have small eyes and liner makes a huge difference in my appearance as it opens the eyes. I use a dark blue kohl eyeliner pencil to outline the eyes along the lash line. This is one of those adjustments I had to make because I was no longer able to use liquid eyeliner but with patience and a lot of practice I learned how to line my eyelid. After I apply my eyeliner I use black mascara only on my upper lashes as I haven’t been able to master putting it on the lower lashes without looking like a raccoon.
Step 5 – The final step is applying lip color. In the final photo I am wearing a bright red lipstick that I picked up from Sally Beauty Supply although in the summer I tend towards lighter shades of nude, corals and pinks.
One final recommendation I like to make is operate on the KISS (Keep It So Simple) principle. Makeup, like art, is a form of self-expression and makeup application can be learned by anyone desiring to explore this art form. To learn more about makeup, fashion trends and styling tips for blind and visually impaired women visit www.boldblindbeauty.com.
So, let’s talk about makeup application. If you are a visually impaired woman do you wear makeup? Have you found useful and easy ways to apply your cosmetics? Do you find a particular line more easy to use than others? How do you keep your makeup organized and in order? Please share your thoughts and comments below.