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Life’s Lessons, Lemonade & a Little Liner

Lately it seems I’ve been connecting with more women new to vision loss and as such I wanted to repost the following article that was originally published early last year. In this post I talk about one aspect of sight loss that really messed with my head; makeup application.

If you are new to the loss of sight (no matter the degree of loss) the first thing I would let you know is that your vision or the lack of it does not define who you are. The second thing I would advise is to allow yourself time to grieve. Losing vision is not an easy process to go through yet there are ways to overcome the fear, and carry on with day-to-day living.

While there are those in the eye care profession who may tell you there is nothing more that can be done, you need to know there is tons of help available and you can continue to lead a wonderful, beautiful, and fulfilling life.

Lifelong Liner Lover Affair Ends

Image of a heart drawn with crayon
February is National Heart Healthy Month

I was desperately downcast and despondent. It really doesn’t get any worse than this. When my good eye became suddenly defunct, yes, I was understandably upset. My whole world became a state of confusion.

Applying eyeliner, especially liquid eyeliner, is not for the faint of heart. In my early days of attempting to apply liquid eyeliner my hand would literally shake as the tip of the brush would near my eye. Even though I only used the liquid liner on my upper lids (used pencil under the eye) in the beginning there were many days I made a complete mess and would have to start over. It took some time, but once I perfected my technique, in a flash I could do both eyes with one hand tied behind my back.

Over the years I tried different types and brands of eyeliners from liquid in the elongated tube, to the felt tipped liners. The type that I liked the most was in a little inkwell-type bottle and because the tip of the wand was considerably shorter than those in the elongated tubes it added to the ease in application.

NYX Liquid Black Liner
NYX Liquid Black Liner
NYX Cosmetics Super Skinny Eye Marker
NYX Cosmetics Super Skinny Eye Marker

That cliché “when life hands you lemons make lemonade,” didn’t work for me when I initially lost my vision. As a matter of fact, it was during my first crack at what used to be my makeup regimen that had I possessed a few lemons, I would have thrown them down to the ground, stomped them and then put them in the garbage disposal for good measure.

Almay Liquid Eyeliner
Almay Liquid Eyeliner

Loathing the Lack of Liner

For a woman who would never consider leaving home without makeup, I was now faced with a major life decision: continue down the road of self-pity or, and this is huge, go without.

I chose self-pity because quite frankly I was good at it. I mean, I couldn’t see, couldn’t put on my ‘face’ so the solution was to wallow in it and wallow I did. But as all good things must eventually come to an end so did my little pity party.

Learning to do my makeup again within the constraints of my vision loss was a bit of a challenge. A few familiar products just needed minor tweaks and others I had to replace. For example I no longer liked applying liquid foundation and began using minerals as I found them so much easier to blend. Using the pencil liner under the eye was easy, however, the liquid liner I was accustomed to, gave me serious grief so I gave it up.

It’s been about 5 years since I’ve gone without liner on my eyelids. While I feel comfortable without it in my last Sephora order I bought some pencils to give it one more try. To my delight it works!!! Yay!!!

Exaggerate Auto Waterproof Eye Definer
Exaggerate Auto Waterproof EyeDefiner

I’m Back!!

So how do I use the pencil?**

  1. Closing my eye, I gently pull my eyelid taut at the outer edge.
  2. Resting the palm of my right hand on my face helps to steady my hand when applying the liner.
  3. Using short feathery strokes of the pencil I start from the inner eye and work my way to the outer edge of my upper lash line.
  4. I gently smudge the line after applying to soften the look and if per chance my line isn’t completely straight smudging helps to cover the flaw.

The pencil I use is the Mini Contour Eye Pencil 12hr Wear Waterproof, Black Lace – Black from Sephora I like working with a shorter pencil as it’s easier to handle and the crayon glides on very easily.

UPDATE: I was able to use the Sephora pencil for about a month before I began having eye irritation. Through process of elimination I was able to confirm the issue was with these pencils as I tried others later in the year. The pencil I use now (and I love, love, love) is Rimmel Exaggerate Eye Definer. The retractable liner practically glides as it goes on so smooth. An added benefit: it’s waterproof and comes with its own built-in smudge tip.

**If you experience issues with your eyes and/or vision, while no one can know how they will react to specific cosmetics or skin care products, it’s prudent to check with your eye doctor prior to using any kind of eye makeup.

“Taking joy in living is a woman’s best cosmetic.” ~Rosalind Russell

3 thoughts on “Life’s Lessons, Lemonade & a Little Liner

  1. I used to do the Cleopatra eye thing at one time then it was liner on top of the eyelid to no eyeliner at its just mascara and dark lippie. You know Steph you are an amazing must’ve been so tough for you but you found a way to use liner because it makes you look and feel good! I’m learning so much from you and your strengths and to never give up! I wish to meet you one day if I ever get the chance. Lotsa hugs!

    1. Thank you Sanjana for your kind words. Oh my goodness to say it was tough is an understatement and I behaved so badly at times but I’m blessed to have had great people in my camp who supported me and reminded me that it’s okay to lose it every now and again. It is so good to hear that you are getting somthing from my blog – that really does my heart good! 🙂 <3

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