Featuring Tori Clark
Bold Blind Beauty is all “about walking boldly with confidence, transcending barriers and changing the way we perceive one another” and nothing speaks this philosophy louder and clearer than someone living the words. Tori Clark is a young woman who teaches other young blind women how to do makeup to help boost their confidence.
1. Hi, Tori, when we first chatted one of the things you mentioned to me was that you’re going to school to be a Special Education teacher. Can you give us a little background on why you’ve chosen this field?
“I started with Younique so I could teach young blind women how to do makeup to help boost their confidence.” ~Tori
I chose this field because I always loved teaching. I remember specifically taking a curtain rod that fell off the window and using it as a pointer to teach my stuffed animals when I was about five or so. Later in high school, there was a dual enrollment class for students interested in teaching, so naturally, I took it.
At first, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to teach and it wasn’t until after I graduated from high school and took a gap year to find myself that I decided to go the Special Ed route. I love the idea of teaching Special Education (Special Ed) because it fulfills both my desires to teach and work with the disabled.
I’m starting out by majoring in elementary education because that is what my community college offers. After I talked to an advisor from Western Illinois University I discovered I could major in Special Ed.
On mascara: “you can blink it on until you know what the product feels like when it is applied. Then you can start adding fibers to lengthen the lashes.” ~Tori
2. You also mentioned that you may end up doing what your tutor did and eventually open up your own business. What type of business would it be and what are your hopes for its success?
The best way I can describe what I would be is a homeschool teacher. When my tutor wasn’t tutoring me or other students, she was teaching kids one on one. She was also a Special Ed teacher in the school systems once upon a time.
My tutor had a way of making things easy to understand, and she didn’t like what the school system had become. I also believe the public school system is going downhill and without her, I’m not sure if I would’ve made it out of school at all.
Teachers and the school board are only concerned with students passing the state’s standardized tests and not about teaching. I obtained more valuable knowledge from two very memorable teachers at high school, Mr. Cartwright, and Coach Head, (yes, that was his name).
Mr. Cartwright taught marketing, but more importantly, he taught me how to have a mindset for customer service and life in general. Coach Head taught United States History. Fun fact: he was very excited when he heard my cane approaching his classroom. He had seen and heard me for years and for some reason wanted me as a student. Coach Head also said he couldn’t wait to hear me walking around with my dog, but that day never came because when I got my guide dog he transferred to another school before my senior year.
When I was in Coach Head’s class, I got frustrated with him. He didn’t teach us anything that was on the standardized tests, but, like Mr. Cartwright, he gave us a new perspective. Looking back, I think his teaching method was more valuable when it comes to history because there’s always more than one side to the story in as told in history books and he provided us with that information.
It was these learning experiences and points of view that led me to consider opening my own business so that I can give my students an education they wouldn’t get inside the classroom. Let’s just say I seem to have a problem with limits.
3. I know you’ve only recently begun to experiment with makeup. Can you tell us how you were introduced to the world of cosmetics and how you feel when you wear makeup?
I first started out using makeup when I was thirteen, but I was scared to try it on my own because I had no guide or anything. I basically had my mom do it if she had the time.
Then one of my friends taught me how to use mascara and I started talking to sighted people about how they did their makeup. I figured I could take the techniques they used and tweak them a bit to make them work for me.
As the years went on, I started to watch YouTube videos of girls doing their makeup and would try to find techniques to tweak, but I was still too scared to try it myself. It wasn’t until I met Dagmar, my Younique sponsor, and good friend, that I had an idea.
“I love makeup. It makes me feel confident and involved with the rest of civilization.” ~Tori
Younique is a company that’s all about uplifting, empowering, and validating women all around the world by making them feel beautiful and to help them become financially independent. Granted it’s a slow process right now, but I thought I could use my business with Younique to give young blind women a boost of confidence.
4. In the sighted world, many do not understand how or why a person who is blind or visually impaired would care about their appearance. What are your thoughts on this topic?
Blind people like to adapt to the sighted community. We can do this in many ways. Learning how to put on makeup to blend in is one of those ways. Some say they don’t need makeup to feel confident but some blind women feel more confident when they feel that they look their best.
5. How can our readers get in contact with you to learn more about Younique?
My website is outofsightmakeup.com and all of my contact information is on the website. There is also plenty of information about Younique, their mission, and their products.
Tori Clark, Black Hawk Chapter President National Federation of the Blind of Illinois and Younique presenter.