By Holly Bonner
When it comes to visually impaired women there seems to be a lot of confusion surrounding makeup. Can we use it? Should we attempt it? Do we really even care about looking good if we can’t see?The answer to all three of these questions is an unequivocal “YES.” Still worried you’ll smudge your mascara or make your eyeliner too thick? Guess what, sighted people do that ALL THE TIME. Low Vision Specialists of Maryland and Virginia want women to step out of their comfort zones. Grab your lipliners ladies and read our list of makeup hacks to help you achieve a flawless low vision makeup application.
- Invest in the Best: Don’t skimp on beauty supplies especially when it comes to brushes and sponges. High quality brushes will allow you to move color around your face without creating hard lines. Good quality blending sponges are also essential for easy application of all cream-based products like foundations and concealers. If you invest in these essential tools, you will be able to correct any mistakes without streaking.
- Think Creamy: Low vision ladies should always reach for cream or liquid products as opposed to powder cosmetics. Liquids allow you to apply everything from foundation to blush just by using your fingertips. When it comes to your eyes, cream eyeshadows are a more simplistic option. You simply tap a little shadow onto your eyelid and blend by touch. As you gain more confidence with your application skills, you may choose to use a combination of cream based and powder products. However, in the beginning it’s better to allow yourself a tactile learning curve.
- Magnifiers Make It Easy:Forget those tiny compact mirrors. For home, consider purchasing an adjustable, standing desk mirror with LED lighting. Many of the best options for these types of mirrors come with a suction cup component ensuring it stays put as your getting ready. Need a quick touch up on date night? Don’t discount your smartphone camera. Zoom into the area that needs touching up while in selfie mode. Still need more light? Turn on your flashlight feature in the ladies’ room and aim it towards the the bathroom mirror. This will help backlight your camera frame.
- Make A Mascara Shield:Mascara is by far the most difficult form of makeup to apply with low vision. Keep cotton pads in your makeup kit to fasten your own “mascara shield.” By folding the pad in half and placing it under your eye, you can easily coat your bottom lashes. Repeat the process by placing the pad loosely on your top eyelid to avoid smudging. Problem solved.
- Lip Brush It: Grab a lip brush before applying anything to your lips. Whether it’s liner, lipstick, or gloss brushes give you the flexibility of applying a little at a time by blending color as you go. Always start from the center of your lip and work outwards. Lip brushes prevent you from applying too much product which can result in a cake-like appearance.
- Know Your Limits:I’m a firm believer in knowing your limits. If plucking your eyebrows is beyond the scope of your current skill set as a low vision woman then put down the tweezers. Consider other options like getting a brow wax. For a few dollars, waxing lets an expert shape those brows for you! Willing to spend a little more money? Eyebrow microblading is a form of eyebrow tattooing that uses a small handheld tool made of several tiny needles to add semi-permanent pigment to your skin. Microblading differs from standard eyebrow tattooing because each hair stroke is created by hand using a blade. This creates a permanent, natural look. Adios, tweezers!
- Ask for Help: Low vision ladies should avoid any shame in their cosmetology game! There is absolutely no harm in asking for help when it comes to makeup application. Hit up YouTube or visit your local department store’s beauty counter where you can get a free consultation. Better still, make it a girls night and invite your friends over for a beauty night. Let the people who know and love you be the ones who help you!
Makeup should be something creative and fun that helps you present the best version of yourself – regardless of your visual acuity. Women with low vision should allow themselves the necessary time to learn the skills needed for applying various products. Be kind to yourself and remember true beauty radiates from the inside out.
Do you have other makeup tips for ladies living with vision loss? We’d love to hear and share your tips and experiences in future 20/20 blog posts! Blog@LowVisionMD.org