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Victorialand Beauty Inclusive Skincare Line

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ABBY’S CORNER | AUDIO INTERVIEW

Editor’s Note

Hi Everyone, yesteday I tried so hard to publish this amazing interview with the brilliant Victoria Watts of Victorialand Beauty. However sometimes content is more important timelines and you’ll see what I mean when you meet Victoria. You won’t want to miss this one! Below the interview is a transcript for your reading pleasure. Enjoy! ~Abby

Abby:

Hey guys, happy Friday to you. It’s me, Abby from Bold Blind Beauty. So excited to see you guys, hope you’re having a great start to your weekend. I’m hanging out with my good friend, Victoria Watts, from Victorialand Beauty. Victoria, how are you today?

Victoria Watts:

I’m doing wonderful. How are you?

Abby:

I’m doing so good. I got to tell you, girl, we have so much to cover and I know that the skincare line that you have is amazing.

Victoria Watts:

Thank you, I knew you’d love it.

Abby:

I know, can you kind of tell me how you created it because I know you told me the story about how you were literally in your kitchen cooking it, but tell me that whole background story.

Victoria Watts:

Well, for years, I’ve used various products to address my skin conditions I had at the time, and I couldn’t find anything that really delivered the results I was looking for so I decided to take matters into my own hand and find my own solution. I began mixing and blending natural ingredients to find a formula that actually worked and helped to improve the skin conditions I had.

Abby:

That is awesome. I’m hearing you are a natural born entrepreneur.

Victoria Watts:

It appears so.

Abby:

Love it, love it. We’re all about power here at Bold Blind Beauty, and that is so powerful.

Victoria Watts:

Thank you.

Abby:

I mentioned in my little bit about the inclusion. Do you want to talk about a little bit more about what about it, about your products, really love? Because I love the fact that your animal cruelty free and what else?

Victoria Watts:

We are animal cruelty free, vegan, we are all natural, very important to have the all natural ingredients. Much better for your health and your skin. And also I felt it was very important to be inclusive of all consumers, and that meant the products needed to be accessible to all consumers, including the visually impaired consumer. My son Cyrus was born blind back in 2016, as a result and just seeing him and the way he navigates his world, it really got me thinking about accessibility in a way that I’ve never thought about it before. It was very important for me and for my skincare line to be able to raise awareness for this importance, and also to adopt the accessibility into my packaging so that all consumers could use these products.

Abby:

That is so awesome. And I want to talk just like a blind user of your product, what I found to be so great about them. When first of all, when you sent them to me, the packaging is gorgeous. And you guys, she uses QR codes and they’re raised so I knew exactly [inaudible 00:02:33]. I know we all struggle with that. I know a lot of you that are hearing me are bobbing their heads like, “Yeah girl, I’m here with you on that.” Victoria, I just loved the experience of when I could take my phone and then swipe it across the QR code, and I was able to hear every single ingredient, everything I needed to know about the product, everything basically a sighted user gets to see when they’re in the throws of wanting to buy a product.

Victoria Watts:

Exactly, and I’m so glad to hear you say that because that is also important. It was not only did the products need to be accessible and identifiable by a touch through the raised symbol system that I created for these products, but also the information needed to be accessible. The power of the QR code and being able to utilize it, and merge the tactile symbols with technology really, we were able to really deliver the idea of accessibility through all aspects of the product.

Abby:

I especially loved it because I’m definitely a braille user, but I when I was listening to that, I know that that would have been so very difficult for you to get all of the information that’s loaded onto packaging. That would have been pretty difficult, I assume.

Victoria Watts:

Yes, very difficult. Which is why once I determined that that was not really the best option for what I was trying to do for this inclusive piece, that’s when I decided to create a symbol system for these products.

Abby:

Awesome. I, first of all, cannot wait, and Cyrus sounds like such a cutie, and I can’t wait to meet him. I love it when we have open heart and open minds, what we can accomplish when we do things for others. The power of a mom is great, right?

Victoria Watts:

Oh, absolutely, no doubt.

Abby:

So tell me, when you were planning it, who did you work with to help you kind of come along with these symbols, and learn about this, because obviously you weren’t aware of blindness until then.

Victoria Watts:

Correct. And what I did was I worked with a gentleman at the Lighthouse Organization, here in Florida where I live, and my time with him was amazing. And it added so much value to this project because there were things that I didn’t even think of that he brought to my attention. And it was really, really helpful as I went down through this journey, to be able to work with them and really get feedback from someone that’s going to benefit from this system.

Abby:

When you did start to get into the blindness community, I mean, there’s a lot of things that I know took away from it, but what is that one thing that you took away from as far as… Because you’re talking about inclusion and the reality is that inclusion is a barrier that we’re really trying to break down. What is the one thing you came away with when you were dealing with people that are in the blind community?

Victoria Watts:

What I took away was that, just because a blind person cannot see their beauty, they still want to feel beautiful. And it is very important for us to recognize that we are all people, we all have differences. We have different skin types, we have different races, we have different abilities, different disabilities, and all of that should be considered amongst consumer packaged goods so that all of products are accessible to all consumers, because we are all the same, but we’re different in our own ways. But that doesn’t mean that we should be excluded.

Abby:

No, you’re totally right. And what I love about that too, Victoria, is that one thing, back to your skin line, is your skin line is inclusive in so many ways. It’s not just the packaging, but it is for all skin types.

Victoria Watts:

And genders. Yeah, I think it’s very important to raise awareness for this because it is such a need. It’s a growing need.

Abby:

It is. And I have a very good buddy of mine who is in love with the sleep mask, which is my favorite too but-

Victoria Watts:

Mine too.

Abby:

Let’s talk about the product, the symbols, because we haven’t hit that really yet.

Victoria Watts:

Sure. What was important was to come up with symbols that made sense for what the products are. Again, these are symbols that will be seen by the sighted consumer, but felt by the unsighted consumer. We came up with symbols that made sense for the products. For instance, the sleep mask, which is a nighttime treatment, is a crescent moon. The face oil is an oil drop, the moisturizer is a wavy line, which signifies moisture, and the eye and lip treatment is an upside down triangle.

Abby:

Let me tell you what I love about this, you guys. I was on vacation a couple of weeks ago and of course I don’t have the packaging on my products, but I have my [inaudible 00:06:45] bag full of all my staff, and I was telling Victoria, I loved it because these symbols are on the packaging, the actual product itself. While I’m sitting there and I’m like, “Wait a minute, is this my hair oil?” Well I get to my stuff for Victoria, and it’s like, “Boom, this is my face mask. Boom, this is my moisture.” And yes, of course, I’m also obsessed with the eye and around the lips cream as well. That one is another one of my faves. It was so easy to identify because they had the symbol. I get so sick and tired of sometimes like, “Hey, let me call somebody to see,” FaceTime someone and be like, “What is this? Or what is that?” So I love you did that.

Victoria Watts:

And I’m so happy to hear this, this is wonderful.

Abby:

And of course I had to share with all my girlfriends and be like, “Okay, you need to switch, you need to switch products. Straight up. And my guy friends too.

Victoria Watts:

Perfect.

Abby:

Is there anything else you want to share with us? Anything up and coming fun with you or?

Victoria Watts:

Well, we’re working on a new product right now that we plan to launch in 2021, so that’s very exciting. With of course the new symbol that will be released us so we’re very excited about that. And just want to say that, like we’ve said before, this is a need, this is something that is very important and I really would encourage other brands to start thinking about this, and thinking about being more inclusive of the consumer, the visually impaired consumer, because it’s a growing need. We need to start being more aware of this. And I really do encourage brands across the board to start thinking about this.

Abby:

I couldn’t agree more because there are over 25 million people that are blind in the United States alone, blind or vision impaired. And that affects not only us, but our families as your well demonstrating, yeah.

Victoria Watts:

Yeah, and not to mention 1.1 billion people worldwide, that has some form of visual impairment, me being one of them but I have contacts that can correct that. But without my contacts, I can’t see, really much of anything. It’s also beneficial to not just the blind community, but all consumers to some degree. So again, we need to start thinking about this as a society because it is very important

Abby:

Inclusion just isn’t inclusion, it’s innovation. And who isn’t out there wanting to innovative, especially in this world we’re living in right now, right?

Victoria Watts:

Absolutely.

Abby:

You guys, I just thank you so much, Victoria, for hanging with me today, I have had the best time. I also want to share that since I’ve started using your products, I was having some blemish issues that are completely gone. My skin feel like butter. And I just want you to start following Victoria and see what she’s doing. And hey Victoria, before we signed off, can you tell us where we can follow you or buy your product?

Victoria Watts:

Absolutely. You can follow us on Instagram it at @VictorialandBeauty, and you can browse our product selection and learn more about the Cyrus System at VictorialandBeauty.com.

Abby:

And you guys, I think she’s pretty open too if you have ideas. Right Victoria?

Victoria Watts:

Absolutely. I would love ideas, feedback, all is welcome.

Abby:

Well, you guys, thanks so much, Victoria. I’m sending you a huge virtual hug down in Florida, which I wish I was there with you on the beach right now but we’re going to make it happen soon.

Victoria Watts:

Yes.

Abby:

And hey guys, this is Abby with Bold Blind Beauty, your fashion icon and fashionista, signing off. Have a great rest of your weekend. Bye bye.

Connecting With Victoria:

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  • The header photo is of Victoria and her son Cyrus.
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CoVid-19 TOTD #9: Staying Healthy

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HEALTH & WELLNESS

Editor’s Note:

At Bold Blind Beauty, our goal is for you to enjoy life, but be well while doing it. During #CoVid-19 we want to assist you with that, so here is our COVID-19 #TOTD (TipOf The Day).

Staying Healthy is a Priority!

By Cheryl Minnette

The #1 way not to become infected with the coronavirus is to stay away from everyone completely. Yes, that’s right, everyone! Now, unless you are the only person living on an uncharted island,  it is nearly impossible to not have any human contact at all. Since the reality for most people is that they are not on that island and will (most likely) come into contact with someone, at some time, on some level. When you do, will you know if they are contagious or not?

If they are not sick, what difference does it make?

Just like with many illnesses, someone having the coronavirus may appear to be perfectly healthy while living with this illness. The alarming point of this is they can potentially spread COVID-19 to others, which is known in some cases to lead to death. This is why the more someone interacts with others, they can increase their risk of becoming infected. With so many people moving about this earth being asymptomatic, it is critical that the guidelines that are  put in place for safety are adhered to.

Social distancing and no-contact are for protection not hindrance. Anyone could potentially be a carrier of the coronavirus and by not following proper protocols for safety, they could be spreading and infecting others without their knowledge or yours.

A person who is asymptomatic is someone who has an illness, but is not showing any symptoms of that illness,

A person who is asymptomatic is able to infect others because coronavirus is a contagion. This one reason alone is what makes it so difficult to find out who someone contracted the virus from. Knowing that the coronavirus is continually mutating and adapting to its human environment, following safety protocols is the best way to stay healthy in combat COVID-19.

Your thoughts are welcome, so comment below as to whether this TOTD was helpful, what you would like to know as it relates to safety tips, and what you were able to relate to. Your insights and expressions are appreciated. 

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Photo of 4 young people with face masks on taking a group selfie of the Mona Lisa who also has on a face mask.

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Abby’s Wind Down Wednesday Tip #3 | Makeup

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ABBY’S CORNER | FALL MAKEUP TIPS

L-A-D-I-E-S!!!

It’s Abby, and today we are talking about the game of make-up! Bring on the color! Where are all my BOLD statement girls? Do you love the lift of mascara to those lashes?!? I sure do! It makes me feel like I have butterfly flutter eyelashes that are fun and flirty!

No matter your style, make-up does not need to be scary. I say this, as a blind woman because this used to send me freaked out and up-side-down! How do I apply? How do I know if this is lip or eyeliner? Wait, what? Did I put on the darker color all over my eyelids or the base color?

We are going to not only shout out the Fall trends but put you at ease to experiment and find your BOLD statement. We ALL have one. This is what I want to really drive home to you! You are BOLD and how you rock your own individual power is all you! It is what makes you unique and fun!

Check out this link to see the top 20 trends for the Fall: 20 Fall Makeup Trends That Will Make You Feel Like a Straight-Up Icon. I LOVE the range of NEON to bronze, the mix of ’80s and ’90s and so much more!!

Much like we saw from the Pantone color report from last week, we see the bronzes, pops of red, gold, blue, plum, and green!! What I want to highlight here is you can give a dramatic look that is confident and calms your fears of application.

What I do for a “run out the door look”:

  • I love the all-in-one powders for my base. It is a powder that sets and acts like a foundation, concealer, and powder finish in an easy compact. Also, here’s a shout out to foundations that have color-matching technology! If powder is not your thing and you need a liquid, for those of you that want to add a bit more moisture to your face, you can finish it off with loose translucent powder! Tip: translucent powder is awesome! It has flecks that pick-up the lighting to give a radiant glow!
  • I swipe my cheeks with a bronzer, making sure I take the brush from the top of my cheekbone, stopping at the apple of my cheek. This contours and creates depth to the cheekbone. Added bonus, it brings attention to your eyes!
  • For my shadow, I am, to quote Megan Trainer, “All about that base!” For my skin tone, I use a neutral cream eyeshade all over my entire eye, let it set, and then use a darker color like a rich plum, gold, green, to make my eye pop and give a smoking effect!! This is easy to achieve with a sideways  “V” motion.
  • Then, I swipe on mascara to get my butterfly lashes rocking.
  • Here is the added touch…lipstick! I love my bold lips! Lipliner is your friend! And the swipe of my favorite color and add a touch of lip gloss in the middle of my bottom lip to give a pouty look!

My friend Melody has agreed to show up in the Bold Blind Beauty Facebook group this weekend to address make-up fears no matter the level of comfort you are at right now! Btw, if you haven’t already joined our group ALL are welcome!

Keeping it real, keeping it natural, keeping it lovely one cane tap at a time! ~Abby

#WindDownWednesday, #HumpDay

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Just See Me

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BEAUTY BUZZ

Editor’s Note:

Don’t you just love it when things seem to magically work out? I sure do. Last week I put out a message to our Bold Blind Beauty Facebook group asking them what type of content they’d like to see. One respondent said they’d like “to hear about more blind or disabled artists, musicians, writers, poets, etc.” So imagine my surprise when I happened upon this beautiful poem that talks about misconceptions and challenges us to be more empathetic? I’m seldom on Facebook which makes finding this gem all the more special. Thank you Suzanne for allowing Bold Blind Beauty to share your words. This one spoke to my heart and I hope many, many others will feel the same way. Enjoy! ~Steph

Just See Me

What do you see, hey what do you see?
What are you thinking when you’re looking at me?
A funny young woman who tries and tries.
Unsure of the dark, has a torch for eyes.
Who uses her cane from A to B,
And you say to her “It’s over there can’t you see?”
Who seems not to notice you right by her side,
Her peripheral vision has gone, her dog is her guide.
But how can she read that book on her lap?
She’s wearing dark glasses and is with a blind chap.
Her glasses are dark to help with the glare,
So please don’t think you need to stare.
But she seems to stare, as she tries to focus.
And she’s using her phone? What hocus pocus!
And as for texting her friend from Dover,
Did you know that she uses voice-over?
Go to your phone settings, click accessibility,
You’ll then see the aids she can use easily.
Is that what you’re thinking? Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, you’re not looking at me.
I’m a kind loving person, who has learnt to adapt.
When in the past has felt so trapped.
Who can watch TV with audio description.
Her favourite comedy, laughter needs no prescription.
Who can do anything her heart desires.
She just does it differently, but she never tires.
She can no longer drive on a conventional road.
But don’t let that stop her, she’ll find a mode.
A blind driving place, see her little heart soar.
And watch her drive off in a 4×4!
So just stop and think, when you see her next time.
And wonder what obstacles she’s successfully climbed.
She’s stumbled and fallen, but got up and stayed.
When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.
So open your eyes hey, open and see.
Not a funny young woman, look closer just see me.

Suzanne Clarke, August 29th 2020

Connecting With Suzanne:

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