Blindness: Making MakeUp Better for the Blind!

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! Today is another response and opinion post and this deals with blindness!

Putting On Make Up While Being Blind!

What got me to do this post is that recently in Sao Paolo, Brazil a salon taught blind women how to put on makeup and that included false lashes. They even placed Braille dots on makeup and brushes which I wish that could happen here because you all know I love doing my own makeup and it’s hard to know what’s what even in brushes when I first get them. I will talk about my makeup application process but wanted to touch upon the course itself.

I heard about this story through Jen Luv’s Reviews’ news show What’s Up In Make Up this past Sunday and I was excited because finally someplace in the world there is a course in helping blind women how to put on their favorite make up brands despite not being able to see themselves in the mirror. I know that struggle since it’s not easy to see yourself in the mirror when putting on mascara or even your favorite eye liner and it is a struggle to know what brush you’re using. I just find it awesome that this salon went far and beyond to give blind women a chance to do this to teach them. According to articles, it was a way of building their self-confidence and able to apply makeup and groom themselves without any extra effort. There is also Braille dots on the shades so they can choose from to use. I remembered how years ago in Personal Management at the Daytona Beach Blind Rehab Center I was taught different tips with samples that the teacher had from Mary Kay and Avon and not only that from a woman who used to work for a department store make up counter and she gave amazing tips from her days working there before she had Stargars Disease where this visual impairment causes you to lose sight and you’re mostly near sighted. I remembered how she had her magnifier at all times even in the cosmetics aisles we were in at Walmart and and gave good tips and pointers on what to get and even the mobility intern wanted to learn more about make up!

Yes, we can’t really see the mirror but the stereotype with most blind people is that even though we can’t see ourselves in the mirror we can’t groom ourselves and putting on that foundation or eye shadow can be a challenge. Want to know how I do my make up? Let’s see!

My Way of Doing Make Up!

I tend to start with my brows where I use a clear brow gel most of the time and if I wanted to depending on using my Ulta sets I would use the dark brown brow powder or my trusty NYX Brow Pomade in Chocolate. Then I prime my eye lids to put on shadow and then set it and then prime my face. I do moisturize my face before doing my makeup and a good tip is do your moisturizer after doing anything else in the bathroom like styling your hair and then have breakfast because it gives time for the moisturizer to soak in. Since I’m going back to Daytona for a week, I would have to do that before breakfast. After priming, I tend to feel my brushes to see what eye shadow brush I would use first depending on the pallet I’m using. If I’m going with a quad, I use four brushes which are my lid brush, my Definer brush, my Crease Brush, and my Brow Brush. If I want to go extra special with a multi-colored pallet with more shades I do have the transition where I use more of a flatter precise brush, or if I just want to do inner and outer corners, either or, I do have a smaller and pointed brush that I would sometimes use that on the lower lash line which I rarely do. I admit I do use double ended eye brushes if the pallet came with one or if the set has a few that I can mix in with my brushes because I do use an entire set sometimes that came pre-packaged in a case like one that I take with me to conventions or I tend to have loose brushes in a train case or pencil case to switch them out when they get dirty and place them in a cup bristles up.

I bet you’re wondering, “What do you do for eye liner?” There are times where I do use gel liners or liquid liners but tend to use them with the liner brushes that either come in a set or just buy one on its own. I do have a few of the ones that came with a few gel liner pots but those get used for my Fairy Tail mark when I cosplay as Lucy. The eye liner I tend to use the most happen to be pencil liners. Reason being is that when I first started wearing makeup I had a hard time controlling liquid liner and gel liner and it always ran all over the place without me even knowing and it’s embarrassing. I decided to just stick with pencil liners when I can because they are easier to control and best as a training liner because it gives you the idea of where the line starts on your eye and when it ends. I tend to guide the pencil to the area with my other hand to make sure it’s in the precise area I need it to be. I even do that with gel liners since I have gotten used to the pencil, which is a good tip to do. If you want to use liquid liners, I do suggest using a separate brush for that. I just tested out a new look and I used Sea Symmetry from Wet N Wild’s Midnight Mermaid Collection with an angled liner brush and it worked out so much better than making the thickest line that you would have a bit of a raccoon eye. It’s easier since the tip is more precise than the brush applicator in a liquid liner and of course having that baby wipe or make up remover pen would be a great way of having on hand if you go overboard.

Mascara was a hard thing for me to acquire the skill for because the wands can be tricky! I wondered how the salon stylists taught how to put it on but I will tell you that it does take a lot of practice. Mascara wands come in different shapes, lengths, and even spikiness! Trust me, the Urban Decay Trouble Maker was so spikey I had to toss it and glad it was a sample too! Which a good way of starting, usually, is getting the sample sizes because not only it gives you an idea of what the full-size does but the wands aren’t enormous. Molly Perk uses the minis all the time because it’s easier for her and it might be easier for you but if you want to go for full-size, especially drugstore mascaras since they work the best depending on who makes it, guide the wand with your other hand to the lashes in order to be careful around the eyes. I admit I poked myself in the eye more than once even when I was training myself and it’s not a good feeling! Especially when it’s with a really spikey wand like I mentioned with Urban Decay. And oh yes, if you watch any videos, please don’t do it with your eyes closed! I done it for years and well…I had conjunctivitis for a bit and realized it’s best to do it eyes open. If you saw my Omni 2016 videos, that is what was going on with my watery eyes.

Now onto the face! Usually the face is the easiest because you have a bigger space to work with. Unlike with the eyes, you have to figure out where your crease is the most since that is a great landmark for yourself when applying eye shadow, even Smash box mentioned in their videos is to find your crease to know where to put that crease shade either for transition or later on in the look or both! If you have hooded eyes, then that could be a little tricky and there are tons of videos with people who have hooded eyes give you tips and pointers on that. Now, back to the face which you tend to have concealer, foundation, and powder. I tend to conceal first because when I put on my foundation it will blend in more easily than doing it the other way around and since I do color correct due to my acne marks which are being taken care of, using a green concealer does help and blending your natural concealer on top makes it easier. For concealing, I tend to feel for what needs to be color corrected or at least concealed along with my under eyes. Before, I used two different concealers for my spots that matches my skin tone but now I just use the NYX Light Concealer for that since I would know where I would brush it on. With foundation, depending on how you like to use your foundation, today a lot of companies have made it easier with adding wands to their foundations. I admit I like this format more than the pump because when I used a pump I tend to have a hard time getting it into a bowl I used to use to put my foundation in or when I put it on a sponge it can be a little bit much. With the wand, I just apply it to my face and then blend it in with either a brush, whether it’s a foundation brush from a set or the Ulta oval brush which works best with these types of foundations or a sponge which I found out why people love so much, and make sure that it’s evenly spread out. I tend to go over with the brush or sponge a couple of times to make sure it’s fully blended because it can be a huge mess if it’s not blended correctly and a tip with foundation and concealer, make sure that both products are colors that would match your skin and blend beautifully together! Long time ago, I tried that Maybelline concealer pen in Light Medium and I was starting to use Almay’s foundation in Warm and they did not blend well together! One of my gal pals was taking the same writing class as me and she saw that my concealer was slightly darker and I think Maybelline’s idea of “Light-Medium” is different from Almay’s “Light-Medium” which is interesting to learn from that experience. I would say try to use a foundation and concealer either from the same brand or if you want to use a different brand of each, try to ask for a shade match with a friend or a salesperson who knows how to match. I know it sounds a bit confusing with that last part but there are times when a salesperson has a hard time matching you and you can get the wrong shade. My buddy Vivi’s tip, with a sighted friend have them take a tester and swatch a color if it’s close enough and see how it oxidizes or not over a ten minute time limit and if it gets darker than what it’s supposed to be then that’s not your shade, if it doesn’t then it’s a winner.

Now onto powder, I save these for last in the essential makeup since it does help put the look together. I use a translucent powder for my under eyes because I find it easier than having a banana powder not be right for myself. I’m currently using the one from L. A. Girl and it works pretty well for one. While for face, I am using Warm Beige from Wet N Wild because it matches, well close match, to Buff Beige in the foundations due to how warm my skin is. And finally, my bronzer, blush, and highlight. With my natural looks, I don’t need that much bronzer even though I used to contour my cheeks but seeing how Wayne Goss explained that you don’t need that much, I do agree. Yes, having a tan is nice and all even with self-tan but you can kind of go overboard even in the bronzing department. I just stick my contouring on the outer parts of my cheekbones near the ear lobe in the temple area because that is where the light hits the most on me and learning from my artistic days that is where shadow hits a lot more. I do use different bronzers but my paws always seem to land on the Butter Bronzer from Physician’s Formula because you can go in very lightly with this and it can be buildable if you need more. I even had this during Holiday Matsuri when I did Link and Itachi for my chin to make it slightly masculine and it’s perfect for that! Blush and highlight, I just stick with my cheek bones closer to my nose, which I apply blush by going with the curvature of the bone and go towards the ear. I was taught an interesting trick you can use and that is cross your arms where you have your left to have your thumb and index finger at the start of your cheekbone and then your index at your ear and place your brush in the middle to help gauge with your blush brush. I was told about this trick but it was hard for me to do and thought I had to be better with my left hand but this way it would be easier if you’re just right handed. With the finger gauging, you can also your index and middle finger for helping with the width due to how big or small the blush brush is made. I may have to try this technique again since it’s been years and blush can be easily messed up even with the wrong color or the amount of pigmentation. I mean, I had a huge pigmentation issue with Milani’s Baked Blushes once and I had a HUGE pink spot on my face. Got to be careful with those! And you can use the same technique with highlighting since it is supposed to be on top of the blush.

If you’re wondering, yes I do use setting spray and it can be a hit or a miss so I have to make sure it’s in the right area to spray!

There! That’s how I put on my makeup in order. Not everyone’s order is always the same because people do put on their makeup differently and I find eyes first to be the easiest in case of fallout from shadow. Not only that, even as a blind and visually impaired person, not all techniques are the same for everyone because with that blush technique, I was taught the finger thing and I was also taught that you can take your angled blush brush and pinch it close to the feral as possible and do upward sweeping motions. And there is my favorite blending technique, I tend to use those little brush applicators you get with your blushes or highlights and blend your bronzer, blush, and highlight together to get a nice watercolor look! After my setting spray, I do feel nice and refreshed and out the door! Unless someone I know spots my eyeliner somewhere on my face.

What Brands Should Do!

During Jen’s video I did comment about the Sao Paolo thing that brands in the States should do the same thing as they do. I did contact my local Lighthouse about having a workshop on this which I will definitely link them to this and one of the recent articles and Jen’s video because with the Lighthouse and Rehab Centers alike, make up courses should be taught because when you’re in the work force they want to see if the employees are well groomed and their make up on and presentable. Having these tips and guides whether for work or just wearing it for fun can help with the adjustment process of being visually impaired or totally blind. Like with Sao Paolo, it will definitely help with the self-confidence issues because as blind people we tend to worry about not being able to do something despite not being able to see yourself in the mirror or even cooking for example and learning the skills in order to combat that helps heal those doubts. When I started with makeup, I was doubting myself in being able to do eye shadow, liner, and so much more but after learning it myself, getting those tips and pointers, I have improved greatly even with my selfie taking, Heck, even explaining my brush touching to know what’s what, I feel for the bristles to know how wide the brush is in order to see if it’s a face brush or an eye brush, for instance for my powder brush I tend to feel how fat the handle is and then move up and feel the feral and if some brushes have a similar one then I go to the bristles and feel for its shape. I have two different powder brushes in my Brush Vanity Affair set from Coastal Sense and admit I interchange if I need to get into the pan to finish my powder like I did this morning. While eye brushes, for lid I tend to feel for the first brush in the line of eye brushes and know that’s ’he one for my lid or to set my primer. I would love to have those Braille dots on the brushes though because it can help out even further because there are times where the brushes can look-alike and having that Braille system can help in knowing what brush is which by either using the first letter or have three letters which I admit I do on some of my makeup products. For example, “Pow” can be on a Powder compact and also on a powder brush and if there is more than one powder brush can use “L-Pow” for Large Powder. And for smaller brushes, do it on the ferrals at least to make it easier for the space. It can be easier than using labeling tape because there are times where the labels come off for some of us, I admit I have so many problems with it, I even had to leave my label off of my Naked Heat pallet because of the tape being so bad that it falls off every time. And not only that, one last thing, if a brand can’t do a class in person why not have a blind person who is experienced in makeup teach it or do videos for the website? There are so many hours of the day for a store to be opened, especially in a mall where MAC and Sephora lie alongside the makeup counters in department stores, not only that there are people that don’t have the experience of teaching a blind person and that can happen in the makeup industry so having that person that has the experience would help either do it in person for a certain event and even for new releases in how they would use that item. I mean so many brands have so many seasonal items especially when Spring and Festival Season comes around and having that person getting to practice with the item first and knowing the colors and come back to the store or to film for the website can show how they would use a yellow or a rose blush to give their looks a real festive look. I mean, I wished I taped it but when New Year’s Even rolled around I used my Gwen Stefani pallet to get an interesting look with the rosy pink tones and gold to give off a festive look. Even people asked how I do it, I answered with that I have a guide as a Word Document, which reminds me…

Another great thing is to have a big Word Document of the pallets with the colors and how they are placed. Some of the pallets you find on Ulta, which is the better place to get your info in my opinion, have all the colors in order. I tend to do this when I’m about to get a new pallet if they have a description with all the shades in order and I do it “Shade 1, Shade 2, etc.” And if they have the color description to their shade name, I include that for instance the Ulta Be Gorgeous Set I had Shade 1: Light Pink and so on! Interesting fact, they accidentally missed the silver shade in the shade list in case anybody got the set and noticed that when I did when I did my guide. If the website doesn’t tell you, just have someone tell you the color names if they have any such as the Hot Topic pallets I had to have my dad read the shade names that are printed in the shadow or on the cardboard and tell me the colors for that name. Once I use that set or pallet, I count until I get that shade after looking at my guide or have it open next to me. I should have it on my new Braille Sense. And since we are on this subject, brands should also give shade names and descriptions on their websites and do what Urban Decay does with their pallets everywhere online and that’s by bullet points because it will make it easier than having someone just guess when they get a Make Up Revolution pallet or a Wet N Wild quad, it can help with giving the color name and its description after clicking it because I remembered Smash box did it with their old trios to use as an example. And it does help with color selection while buying online because when I got my Ulta sets it did help knowing what colors come in the pallets.

Whew! That was a long one! I do have to say is Sao Paolo did an amazing thing for blind and visually impaired women. Make up is supposed to be a way of self-expression and it should be for all kinds of people whether sighted or blind, having a different skin tone, and so on. It just brings that creativity. I hope this would convince brands to try it out since we have a big population all over the world why not try it out too? You get to learn more about the person, their eye condition, how they can see if they can still use a mirror or not, and can learn more about the products. I will be having fun at Inglot then because they just stick to numbers on their site and that’s another thing, name your colors instead of numbers, Coastal Scents did it with their single shadow pans. Anyways, way to go!

That is it for this post! I know it was long but hey it does kind of help and hoping that brands get on this band wagon because they should know more of their customer base and who knows I may come out with something in the future. So, what’s next? Another book review on the horizon! Stay tuned! Also follow us on Twitter @ Nerdy Shique for the latest updates!

A side note from earlier with brands doing the Braille, it would be costly but it would be nice if they had a laser or 3D Printer to offer the service for free or at a low cost to add the Braille on a brush or an eye shadow pallet or blush. Just saying!

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