I am rather excited about today’s post! I’ve been wanting to do a ‘blind girl beauty’ post for a while now but wasn’t sure what to write about. After giving it some thought and consideration I decided that I wanted to get people involved so decided on a Q&A! I knew the aims of the blog and what I wanted to achieve so I contacted a range of sighted bloggers/YouTubers to ask them if they would like to get involved, to my surprise I actually got responses! I also posted it on my Facebook and Twitter for other people to get involved too. Thank you to those of you that have sent me questions and a huge thank you to the bloggers that got involved!
Each of the questions in this post are asked by sighted people, I have tried to answer their questions on ‘blind girl beauty’ as best as I can. I’m no makeup artist, but personally I think there is a lack of resources on such topics for blind and visually impaired people interested in makeup and other aspects of beauty so I thought I would answer sighted people’s questions. If you like this post do let me know and I may do tutorials and other blog posts to do with this sort of thing in the future!
I know this post won’t change sighted people’s opinions on these topics but I hope it helps educate and tackle the stigma surrounding it.
So without further ado…let’s get started!
What made you want to try and erase the stigma around blindness with such an everyday routine such as makeup?
Personally I don’t think there are enough resources for blind and visually impaired people on applying makeup and other aspects of beauty. Whether this is because people don’t know how to apply it, feel uncomfortable doing so because they can’t see or other reasons I don’t know. It took me a while to learn so I wanted to help tackle the stigma surrounding blind girl beauty by answering sighted people’s questions on this topic. I wanted to do a Q&A to help educate sighted people on this and hopefully help other blind and visually impaired people. At the end of the day you don’t have to see to look beautiful, feel confident or just simply keep up with the latest trends. You don’t have to use a mirror to apply makeup!
How did you learn to use makeup?
I am very lucky to have such a supportive family so my mum taught me the majority of things that I needed to know about applying makeup. She still helps me today!
I also learnt a lot through one of my amazing friends Yesterdays Wishes. It’s rather strange because when I first started watching Lucy’s videos on Youtube we didn’t know each other and now we’re really good friends! My best friend Elin from the blog My Blurred World recently did a post on makeup and sight loss so make sure you check that out! You can read her post here. I also did a lot of research into applying makeup when you are blind or visually impaired and also used other sighted people’s blogs/Youtube videos to help me along the way.
Do you have a trusted someone who you turn to for makeup help, or a face check?
My mum, always. She’ll give me her honest opinion and help me if something has gone wrong.
Do you get someone to check your makeup and tell you how it is once you’ve finished or do you just trust your touch and instincts?
I usually ask my mum, purely because I’m quite self-conscious and such a perfectionist and want things to look okay but I’m getting a lot better at trusting my touch and instincts. I think a combination of both is important and it really does help.
Do you trust friends and family or sales people more to choose?
I trust friends and family more, I’ll get advice from sales people but will always trust people I’m close to the most as they know me well and know my style. I will sometimes ask if they’re 100 % sure if something looks okay because obviously I can’t see or just take a quick glance through a mirror, so I’m relying on others to tell me.
How do you choose different shades which match your skin tone?
This is something I’m unable to do myself so I have to rely on sighted assistance.
What do you find the most difficult to do when you are blind?
I would have to say eyeliner. This is something that I haven’t fully come to grips to doing amazingly yet. I used to find applying mascara extremely difficult but I feel a lot more confident doing that now. I think practice is definitely key. There’s no real secret to applying makeup when you are blind.
What’s the easiest and hardest makeup item to apply when you’re visually impaired, and why?
As stated above I’d say eyeliner is the hardest makeup product to apply. I’d probably say the easiest item to apply is powder as I often use touch to make sure that it is all on and I have enough coverage. I also count the amount of strokes/times I apply the product.
If, say, you’re using a palette, how do you know what colours and products you’re using?
Palette’s can sometimes be extremely difficult to use when you’re blind or visually impaired depending on how much vision you have. For me, I would have to memorise where each product is in the palette and what colour/shade it is. For example, blue top left, pink top right etc. If a sighted person is willing to assist you then it may be useful to write down the order of colours so that you have it in braille, on your computer/phone, whatever works best for you.
How do you know what colour you are applying to your face, for example lipstick or eyeshadow?
I learn the feel of the products, for example each lipstick or eyeshadow feels different. There is also equipment that is useful for blind and visually impaired people such as the RNIB PenFriend and the OrCam where you can input different products into it and they will both tell you what the product is. I recently got the OrCam so will be putting my makeup products into this.
How do you decide on colours for eyeshadow/blusher/lips and how does being blind affect that?
When I’m shopping as I’ve mentioned previously I get sighted assistance for that. In regards to picking them out of my makeup bag, I learn the feel of the product therefore memorise the colour so that’s how I decide.
How do you know if your makeup is the way you like it?
It’s taken me a while to get the makeup look that I want so to do this I usually ask my mum or use my sense of touch to make sure that everything is okay.
How do you know if everything has gone okay?
Again, I ask a sighted person or use my sense of touch.
What is your favourite part?
I really like buying new makeup and trying it out for accessibility; how easy or difficult it is to apply as a blind person, that’s probably my favourite part.
What is your favourite brand or the brand you find has products easiest for you to use?
I don’t have a specific favourite brand at the moment but some brands that are great for blind and visually impaired people are benefit (especially their travel size mascara), Clinique, Max Factor (I love their powder/foundation), NO7, Mac, Loreal, Real Techniques and Rimmel to name a few. There are a lot more products out there and I have not tried many of them so these are a few! I do have extremely sensitive skin so do have to be careful what products I use.
Which products do you love?
As mentioned above I really like the Benefit mascara, especially the travel size one as it’s easier for me to handle and Max Factor’s powder/foundation at the moment but I do try new products a lot as well. See question above for a longer list.
Are there any particular brands that you turn to time and again?
I’ll always get the same powder/foundation as I’ve got such sensitive skin. I’ve tried some new brands recently but usually go back to the one I always use.
When choosing brands, is there anything specific you like them to have? A certain kind of packaging/applicator?
Not specifically, I would love for brands to have braille labels on but unfortunately I think that’s a long time coming yet. I like brands when the packaging feels different to others so it makes it easier for me to identify what it is when it’s in my makeup bag but I don’t really look for anything specific. If products are different shapes/sizes it makes it easier for blind and visually impaired people to memorise and identify what they are.
Are beauty counter staff helpful?
Yes, they are usually very helpful. When I went shopping recently the lady matched my skin, described the product to me and how it looked which I thought was great. Like everything though, it really does depend on the person.
Are there tools that you couldn’t be without when doing your face?
Definitely brushes and makeup sponges. I know this may seem obvious but they make application so much easier. In regards to recognising products, I am going to put my makeup in my OrCam and the RNIB PenFriend is useful as well.
Do you like to experiment with makeup?
I have recently gotten into experimenting with new makeup and am doing so more now as I am now more comfortable in applying it myself.
Have you had any makeup mishaps?
Oh yes! Such as getting mascara on my nose and putting too much powder on. I’ve never gone out when I’ve done this though as I get a sighted person to check first.
What is the one thing that you feel you have mastered the most when it comes to makeup application?
I’d say powder. I usually use a powder/foundation not for any particular reason, I’ve just used it for years. I know how many strokes/how much I need to put on my face. I count the number of strokes and the number of times I need to do the exact movements using a brush or sponge. It’s taken a lot of practice, but I think that’s definitely what I’ve mastered the most.
How do you apply makeup products like eyeliner if you’re not able to see?
Eyeliner is something that I do struggle to apply and I am currently working on this. The way that I do practice to do so is to pull the lower part of my eye down, hold the pencil in my fingertips and try to guide my hand to the area. It’s easier said than done though!
Do people assume that you can’t apply your own makeup?
Yes, all the time! It takes a lot of practice but it’s definitely doable but sighted people don’t realise this. Personally I think it’s a great achievement though when you master it!
What inspired you to start a beauty blog?
My blog isn’t focused on beauty; it is a disability blog but I will hopefully do more beauty blog posts if you guys like them. I want people to be educated on ‘blind girl beauty’ and for other blind and visually impaired people to realise that they can apply makeup just because they can’t see.
What are your tips for other blind or partially sighted ladies who are trying to figure out how to use makeup?
There are many tips that I would give to other blind and visually impaired people wanting to learn how to apply makeup. The first is to take someone with you that you trust that will help you buy products that match your skin.
My second tip would be to practice, practice, practice! It’s going to be hard and you will have accidents but so do sighted people so keep at it!
My third tip would be to try different techniques and see which works for you. For example, trying both a big mascara wand and the small travel size ones or using makeup brushes or sponges.
That’s all the questions that I have on applying makeup as a blind person for you today! If you would like me to do future ‘blind girl beauty’ posts then do let me know as I’ve really enjoyed writing this one!
Thank you to the amazing Bloggers/vloggers that got involved with this post and asked me all these questions! Make sure you check them out:
Meg says Louise Ng Eve Doherty Nia Patten Lizi Sarah and Ellie Talks Sophie Lauren Rellis