It’s safe to say that I’ve had my fair share of beauty and makeup mishaps since the day I started dabbling in testing out new products. When I first started wearing makeup back when I was about 14 or 15 years old, I must admit that I had no idea what I was applying on my face, I just saw beauty and makeup as an interesting concept but I didn’t necessarily know the full purpose of the products I was purchasing meaning I didn’t know the best way of application and how to make those products look presentable on me.
But of course, my lack of knowledge about makeup at the time was not the only barrier I faced when applying it, there was (and still is) that small matter that I have no idea what it looks like when applying all those products I’ve invested in over the years. #BlindGirlProblems.
So, since it’s been a long while since I’ve dedicated a post to beauty and makeup, I thought I’d take today as an opportunity to share with you some of the beauty issues I face as a visually impaired person.
Picking out the wrong shade
If you read my post about the 10 things I’d tell my younger self then you will remember me saying that I would make sure I picked out the right makeup shades. As a visually impaired person, I can’t go into a shop and colour match myself to a foundation or concealer, I always have to have someone there with me. And when applying the products, I can’t tell if the shade matches me or not. This has resulted in me going out the house looking like a tangerine in the past (please tell me I’m not the only one!).
I also love eyeshadow and I am quite the magpie for a nice shimmery eyeshadow shade. I have quite a few palettes and since I can’t see the colours very well, I have ended up applying the wrong combination of shades in the past, luckily I didn’t go out of the house with eyelids that could possibly be compared to a rainbow.
The need to memorize
The fact that I don’t have much remaining vision means that I can’t look at a product and instantly know what it is. I have to memorize how a certain product feels and when I’m using my eyeshadow palettes, I have to memorize where all the colours are in order for me to know that I’m applying the correct shade. Many of my beauty products are quite tactile so I’m able to recognise them by touch fairly easily but I do have to memorize what shade of lipstick looks presentable with a certain kind of makeup look or what eyeshadow colours go well together.
Having to label products
If I have two or more colours or shades of a particular product, whether it be a lipstick or a foundation, I have to take the time to label those products in order for me to know which ones they are when applying them. I used to use braille labels but if you’ve read my previous makeup related blog posts then you’ll know that I now use penfriend labels (shown in the photo above). The PenFriend is essentially a microphone style device which allows you to record voice messages onto small sticky labels which you can then place on any kind of product you like, I know many people use them on food items. It’s such a handy device when I have more than one shade of a product but my issue is that I can’t always find time to label the products and to have someone there with me to ensure that I’m applying them on to the correct item.
Applying too much or too little product
I can’t begin to describe how many times I’ve done this but because of my vision impairment, I can’t always tell if I’ve applied the right amount of product meaning I can often apply too little or too much. I think it’s always best to apply too little as you can always add more but it can be a little tricky when I’ve applied too much of a product. I’ve done this with makeup products and also when applying things like nail polish. I think this is also why I’m quite skeptical about going out without someone checking my makeup for me as I’m not always sure if I’ve applied the right amount of product. I think the most difficult thing is when I can tell that I’ve applied too much eyeshadow on one eye and then not enough on the other. First world problems right here!
Not being able to see the final result
At the end of the day, beauty and makeup is a guessing game for me. After spending 10 to 20 minutes applying my favourite products, I have no idea what the final outcome looks like. I can be quite skeptical about how my makeup and hair looks when I step out of the house without anyone checking it for me but I am becoming more confident as I practice more. I’ve been wearing makeup for about 4 years now and I’m still learning the best techniques of application for me as a visually impaired person but I have learned what products work best for me and which are some of the easiest to apply. That makes applying makeup and feeling confident when wearing it so much easier.
So, those are just a few of the beauty issues I face as a visually impaired person. I know I’ll probably come across much more as my love for beauty and makeup continues to grow but everything’s a learning curve.
The truth of it is, although I experience these issues when applying beauty/makeup products, they don’t put me off my desire to apply it. I love beauty and makeup even if I can’t see what it looks like but it makes me feel so much more confident and I find so much enjoyment within it. I’m not going to let my sight loss prevent me from expressing my passion for something that can often be considered to be something very visual. If someone loves beauty and makeup then sight loss definitely shouldn’t be a barrier to expressing that passion. In my eyes, there are so many ways to make it accessible.
Are you also visually impaired? What are some of the beauty issues you face? I’d love to know the answer to this question even if you’re fully sighted, I’d love to see how our beauty issues compare.