• Beauty without a mirror
  • Beauty without a mirror

    I often like giving people food for thought so to start off today’s post, here are a few questions for you: How often do you look in the mirror on a daily basis? Do you whip out that compact mirror every time you want to put that stray hair back in its place or if you want to touch up your lipstick? How would you feel if you weren’t able to do that? If you tried looking yourself up and down in the mirror, trying to identify the person staring back but it was all a blur, maybe not even that.

    A common misconception that is often held by people is that beauty and fashion is mainly a visual concept, something that can’t be appreciated by someone who can’t see but that isn’t necessarily the case. No one would believe that about me if they saw the inside of my jam-packed wardrobe and the volume of my extensive makeup collection.

    Beauty without a mirror: An array of beauty products on a light pink textured throw

    ‘How do you apply your makeup, do your hair and pick out an outfit?’ are undoubtedly some of the most common questions I receive as a visually impaired person and I can understand why. After all, when most people are so dependent on mirrors to carry out these tasks and judge their final look, it can be quite baffling to think how a blind/VI person can do the same without being able to see the steps they carry out and what the final result looks like.

    I can’t write this without pointing out that putting a full face of makeup on as a visually impaired person has proven to be quite tricky at times and there’s been more than one occasion when I’ve walked out the door looking worse than I did before I spent 20 minutes putting it on my face. But, I believe that everything comes better with practice and this has definitely been the case for me in terms of applying makeup, experimenting with different hairstyles and when pairing outfits together.

    Here are just a few ways I make beauty and makeup accessible to me.

    It’s all about the numbers

    From counting how many times I swirl my brush in a product to how many strokes it takes when applying the product to my face, to me, makeup is all about the numbers. This is especially true for things such as eyeshadow or blush. I know that if I’ve tapped my brush into the product a couple of times and then sweeped it onto my eyelids 3 times, I’ll have a similar amount of product on both eyes and they’ll hopefully look quite similar.

    A photo of one of the l'oreal colour riche lipsticks, a max factor blush and a kiko colour fusion blush

    Blending

    When I bought my first ever foundation back when I was 14, I applied it the next day and looked like an oompa-loompa who had never heard of the word ‘blend’ in her life. I’m sure you can imagine that look. Since then, I’ve learned that blending is VERY important and I’ve tried a few different tools to do so but the most sacred has to be the ever so popular makeup sponge.

    For me, it’s the easiest way to apply base products such as foundation and concealer and it blends them in much more seamlessly than any brush ever has for me. I apply my foundation in sections so I know I’ve covered every inch of my face. As someone who can’t see herself in the mirror, it’s important for me that I use tools that allow me to blend my makeup easily and a sponge is what delivers that for me.

    A photo of one of the l'oreal colour riche lipsticks and two of their new chocolate liquid lipsticks

    Labelling

    I’ve talked in a couple of my previous beauty posts that labelling products is a vital step for me in terms of recognising the products I pick up. I normally label products that aren’t as easy to indentify or things such as different shades of lipstick or foundation. I use an audio labeller by the RNIB which allows me to record as much information as I need, I then place the small sticker on any of my products and when I place the device over it again, my recording will start to play, clever eh? It’s definitely one of the most useful things for me when trying to differentiate between products.

    Learning from others

    There are quite a few visually impaired beauty bloggers and YouTubers out there these days and I’ve learned a lot about their makeup application process and things that could work for me from reading their posts and watching their videos. I always find it fascinating to learn how others go about applying their makeup because people’s preferences and techniques always differ.

    I always ask someone if my makeup looks right before I walk out the door, just to make sure. That person is normally my mum and I learn a lot about what I need to improve on from what she tells me about how it looks.

     SHOP MY BEAUTY FAVOURITES

    I think that beauty and makeup is often trial and error for many people, whether you’re visually impaired or not, it’s all about experimenting. I didn’t want to go into too much depth in this post so there are so many more techniques that I use to make beauty accessible to me that I haven’t shared with you yet. So, if you’d like a more comprehensive guide then please let me know.

    Two photos - one is of an array of beauty products on a light pink textured throw and the other is of the Kiko milano colour fusion three toned pink blush

    Although it would be nice to see the result of my makeup look or final outfit, maybe the fact that I can’t is a blessing in disguise. So many of us, or you rather, are quick to judge yourselves due to what you see staring back at you in the glass so wouldn’t we all feel more confident in ourselves if that wasn’t the case? I’m not telling you to ditch your compacts or to cover up that beautiful full length mirror you have in your room, maybe just think about how often you really need to use them because a lot of us who are visually impaired don’t have that option in the first place and whilst that can be frustrating at times, maybe it can also be considered as a positive thing.

    A photo of the anastasia beverly hills modern renaissance palette, a couple of l'oreal lipsticks, the chanel coco mademoiselle perfume and a few other beauty products

    As a visually impaired person, I’m used to problem solving and coming across obstacles and as my vision deteriorated which meant that I lost focus of myself in the mirror and could no longer see much of what was in the glass, I had to learn to adapt and become familiar with ways of applying makeup without the need to see. Learning to focus more on how it felt rather than how it looked. In all honesty, I don’t think we need a mirror in order to judge how we look, it’s more about how we feel within ourselves, not what we see.

    Despite the fact that the little sight I have left is deteriorating, I still enjoy expressing my passions such as beauty and fashion and I don’t think that will ever change. I love putting time into doing my makeup, picking out a nice outfit and just making an effort with my appearance and I want to prove to people that you don’t need a mirror, you don’t need to see in order to express these things.

    Beauty doesn’t need to be seen in a mirror, it just needs to be felt within.

    Do you have any beauty or makeup tips of your own? Or do you have any thoughts on what I’ve talked about in this post? I’d love to hear what you have to say.

    Elin x

    Beauty without a mirror pinterest graphic

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    35 Comments

    1. September 30, 2018 / 8:50 pm

      This was such an interesting post to read, and truly was food for thought as I’ve never thought about this before! An audio makeup labeller sounds really cool, also this was beautifully written. I suppose that, like you said, it truly is trial and error for everyone (Visually impaired or not) at the beginning!

      Jas xx | https://thoughtsfromjasmine.co.uk

      • myblurredworld@gmail.com
        Author
        October 1, 2018 / 8:50 am

        Thank you so much Jas! I think it definitely is. Thank you for reading as always xx

    2. September 30, 2018 / 9:51 pm

      Such a fab post gal, I really enjoyed reading. I’m sure this post will be useful to many people xxx

      • myblurredworld@gmail.com
        Author
        October 1, 2018 / 8:51 am

        Thank you so much lovely, I really hope so! Xxx

    3. October 1, 2018 / 1:40 am

      Would be very interested in a more detailed guide!! Probably something I would share wih my readers.

      • myblurredworld@gmail.com
        Author
        October 1, 2018 / 8:51 am

        It’s definitely something I’m planning on writing! Thank you for reading.

    4. October 1, 2018 / 4:20 pm

      This was sooo interesting to read. Thanks for sharing. I had never thought of make-up in this way before Xx

      My Blog // My Instagram

      • myblurredworld@gmail.com
        Author
        October 3, 2018 / 10:13 am

        Thank you so much! I’m really glad you found it interesting xx

    5. October 2, 2018 / 1:10 pm

      Disclaimer: Guys usually don’t use makeup, and I don’t. I do take care of my skin and hair along with selecting clothes that are in style and look nice. How we feel about ourselves is important.
      I’m very interested in your audio labeller. Can it be used for other things? Also, do you know if it available in the US or can be shipped?
      Great article that is relevant to many people.

      • myblurredworld@gmail.com
        Author
        October 3, 2018 / 10:17 am

        The audio labeller is great, I use it on things like food packaging as well. I know of some people who have put the labels on clothes, I’ve never tried that though because I’m not sure how durable it is with washing them. I’m not sure about it’s availability in the US sorry but it might be worth checking the RNIB website to see if they offer shipping, I’ve never noticed if they do or not. Thank you for reading as always.

      • October 5, 2018 / 2:24 pm

        Hey George, I’m also not sure if the PenFriend is available in the US. I got mine from my TVI at the PA Bureau of Blindness & Vision Services and it came from RNIB. I’ll make a note to do some checking around.

    6. October 4, 2018 / 12:04 am

      This is actually a really lovely post and so interesting too as many people might not know about the audio labeller so it’s always nice to come across blogs like yours which could help other people too!

      Hope you’re well and having a wonderful week!

      Layla x

      https://www.sprinklesofstyle.co.uk

      • myblurredworld@gmail.com
        Author
        October 4, 2018 / 9:11 am

        Thank you so much! I’m good thank you lovely, hope you are too xx

    7. October 4, 2018 / 12:04 pm

      I love that your products are available in audio description! I probably look in the mirror 3 to 4 times a day, maybe. Just so I don’t have any weird crap on my face lol. There is nothing worst than having food in your teeth. Crust around the eyes or white stuff on your lips (sorry). And I haven’t even mentioned make up yet lol.

      I love this post and you always look great Elin : ) xo

      Natoya

      http://www.juanitalikes.com

      • myblurredworld@gmail.com
        Author
        October 5, 2018 / 10:38 am

        Thank you lovely! Ahh yeah, probably not the best look haha. That’s why I’m quite paranoid sometimes because I can’t see those things for myself, I’m always asking those around me if I have anything unwanted on my face haha! Thank you for reading as always xx

    8. October 5, 2018 / 2:26 pm

      Once again another excellent article that speaks to the deeper aspects of real beauty. Well done Elin!

      • myblurredworld@gmail.com
        Author
        October 5, 2018 / 3:07 pm

        Thank you so much Steph!

    9. October 6, 2018 / 10:25 pm

      This is such an interesting post! Love all the photos too elin! Your doing so well xxx

      • myblurredworld@gmail.com
        Author
        October 7, 2018 / 11:58 am

        Thank you so much Amelia!xxx

      • myblurredworld@gmail.com
        Author
        October 7, 2018 / 11:34 am

        Thank you!

    10. October 7, 2018 / 1:33 pm

      I loved reading a beauty post from a perspective a visually impaired person. And it’s lovely that you still want to share the things you’re passionate about e.g. beauty. My favourite part is when you said: “…are quick to judge yourselves due to what you see staring back at you in the glass.” because this is so true!

      I hope you’re having a lovely weekend 🙂

      • myblurredworld@gmail.com
        Author
        October 7, 2018 / 2:42 pm

        Thank you so much! Hope you’re having a lovely weekend too 🙂

    11. October 7, 2018 / 4:13 pm

      I love love love this post. Vision is something that I absolutely take for granted, and I forget how easy it is to judge myself too harshly because of what I see in the mirror. Your experience is very insightful and I’m so glad you shared it. You’ve inspired me to try to focus less on my outward appearance, and more on how I’m feeling about myself.

      • myblurredworld@gmail.com
        Author
        October 7, 2018 / 5:05 pm

        Thank you so much, that means a lot!

    12. October 7, 2018 / 6:15 pm

      I loved this post! It’s so interesting that you’ve got different strategies – such as tapping the brush three times!

      • myblurredworld@gmail.com
        Author
        October 8, 2018 / 2:30 pm

        Thank you lovely! Glad you found it interesting 🙂

      • myblurredworld@gmail.com
        Author
        October 9, 2018 / 10:43 am

        Aw thank you so much! <3

    13. October 11, 2018 / 9:11 pm

      The audio labeler is such a neat thing. I think I check the mirror a few times just to make sure my face isn’t melting off (yay very oily skin), but I know I’ve personally been practicing self love and I may not love everything I see in the mirror, but maybe my eyebrows look good or my skin is clear- that’s enough for me.

      I’m definitely subscribing to your blog ♡

      • myblurredworld@gmail.com
        Author
        October 13, 2018 / 12:17 pm

        It’s a really handy device for me. I think it’s great that you can see and determine the things that you like about yourself, I think it’s hard to pinpoint them for ourselves sometimes so practicing self-love is such a great thing to do. Thank you so much!

    14. October 12, 2018 / 11:50 pm

      This was so interesting to read! I guess it’s all the little details like the number of times you swirl your brush in a product which I would never have thought about! I have a lot of respect for you doing your makeup – very talented!
      Aleeha xXx
      https://www.halesaaw.co.uk/

      • myblurredworld@gmail.com
        Author
        October 13, 2018 / 12:14 pm

        Thank you so much Aleeha!xxx

    15. October 28, 2018 / 11:32 pm

      This post is so interesting, I’ve never thought about how much I rely on a mirror but now I think I will consider it a lot more. The counting swirls is such a good way to work out how much you need. I’m definitely following your blog, I’m so glad I found it from the Blogosphere chat xx

      http://www.bethemilydann.co.uk

      • myblurredworld@gmail.com
        Author
        October 30, 2018 / 1:47 pm

        I’m glad you found it interesting. Thank you so much lovely, that means a lot xx

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