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WOTM 19 Featuring Chelsea Stark

I use a Nikon to take my pictures. I use the live view to compose the pictures since I cannot see through the viewfinder. ~Chelsea Stark

The last couple of weeks have been so incredibly illuminating to me and it began two Fridays ago when I was on a conference call with other blind and vision impaired people. Though I wasn’t able to verbalize my thoughts (due to technical difficulties) I enjoyed listening to the perspectives of the other speakers.

Chelsea Stark
Chelsea Stark

Attending meetings, conference calls, and connecting with people from all over the world, I continue to be in awe of how those of us who are blind or vision impaired speak a universal language of change. Regardless of culture, values, status, or similar terminology that would set us apart, we are unified in desiring to be perceived and accepted based on who we are and not by our physical limitations.

The young woman I am pleased to feature today takes some of the most breathtaking photographs. Even with or in spite of my limited vision I really appreciate beauty in all forms and when I saw the photos Chelsea provided for this post I was so overcome with emotion I cannot put it into words.

Chelsea Stark, who was born with optic nerve damage, has tunnel vision and can only see approximately two feet in front of her. According to “a number of diseases, disorders and conditions originating most often in the eye and the nervous system can lead to optic nerve damage.” When a person has any kind of optic nerve damage say, from, Glaucoma (one of my eye diseases) it can cause vision loss, distortion or blindness. Glaucoma for example, left untreated affects peripheral vision which can lead to tunnel vision.

Moutain, Golden Trees and Stream Waterfall  The subjects Chelsea likes most to photograph are animals, flowers and sometimes scenery. As an Apple guru, once she has taken her pictures she uses the accessibility tools on her Mac such as speech, screen enlargement and oversized mouse pointer to make any necessary adjustments.

Since my field of vision is so narrow and I don’t relate to wide vistas, I photograph close up intimate subjects ~Chelsea Stark

Chelsea says she gets her inspiration from her mentor and loving fiancé, Robert Park. She adds that the more pictures of his she sees the more inspired she becomes, and it is her hope that one day her pictures will be as good as his. I haven’t seen Robert’s pictures but the pictures that I’ve seen of Chelsea’s are stunning. Speaking of which you can see more of her photos on her blog and Pinterest (links are at the bottom of the post).

I mentioned that Chelsea is an Apple guru and in addition to her personal blog she runs both a blog and Facebook group called iPhone and iPad Apps for the Blind And Visually Impaired. If that weren’t enough she also created another blog that highlights blind and vision impaired people from all around the world. As a matter of fact as I was going through this blog I found a friend of mine who Chelsea featured earlier in July.

Horse Pink Water Lily

I’ve said it before and it bears repeating, sometimes things aren’t always as they appear and for us as a society to become more humane we must reserve judgment on our fellow humans. All of us have some “weakness” (visible or invisible) but these purported “weaknesses” just may be our “strength” and Chelsea’s beautiful photography is proof that she has an extraordinary gift that is not the result of weakness.

Chelsea, you my dear are the definition of a Bold Blind Beauty and I thank you for allowing me the honor of featuring you.

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” ~Victor Frankl

Personal blog
iPhone and iPad Apps for the Blind And Visually Impaired Blog
Facebook group iPhone and iPad Apps for the Blind And Visually Impaired
The History of Apple iPhones
Blind All Around the World




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Glamming it up in 5 Easy Steps

Bare Face, Concealer, Foundation
Bare Face, Concealer, Foundation

I began wearing makeup in my late teens and it wasn’t until my early twenties that I went to my first professional makeup consultation. At this visit, I picked up some tips on makeup application and cosmetics appropriate for my skin.

Fast forward 30+ years later I’m now legally blind, use a white cane, and I still wear makeup and dress stylishly. When I began losing my eyesight doing makeup was challenging, however, I found ways to adapt and want to share 5 easy steps.

Step 1 – In the first photo collage my face has been cleansed and I’m prepared to apply my concealer. The concealer helps to minimize the appearance of dark circles under my eyes. Since the skin under the eyes is very thin and fragile I gently pat on the concealer with my fingertips until it is evenly blended.

Step 2 – I use mineral foundation because I find it very easy to use a foundation brush to apply, the coverage is excellent, and it isn’t heavy. To apply I simply dip my brush into the minerals, tap off any excess, then in a circular motion I apply to all the areas of my face. The third picture in the first photo collage shows my face after the concealer and foundation application.

Step 3 – Since I still have limited vision and I’ve been wearing makeup all my adult life, I am able to use eyebrow stencils to enhance my sparse brows. After I’ve filled them in I use a brow brush to soften the look. The first picture in the second photo collage shows my completed eyebrows.

Step 4 – I have small eyes and liner makes a huge difference in my appearance as it opens the eyes. I use a dark blue kohl eyeliner pencil to outline the eyes along the lash line. This is one of those adjustments I had to make because I was no longer able to use liquid eyeliner but with patience and a lot of practice I learned how to line my eyelid. After I apply my eyeliner I use black mascara only on my upper lashes as I haven’t been able to master putting it on the lower lashes without looking like a raccoon.

Step 5 – The final step is applying lip color. In the final photo, I am wearing a bright red lipstick although in the summer I tend towards lighter shades of nude, corals and pinks.

One final recommendation is the KISS (Keep It So Simple) principle. Makeup, like art, is a form of self-expression and makeup application can be learned by anyone desiring to explore this art form.

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Mirror Image

Mirror Image featured image description is in the body of the post

Mirror Image

One of my favorite people, Kerry Kijewski, wrote this thought-provoking piece on makeup, fashion, and beauty. What I like most about this post is her honest assessment of how we grapple with our outward appearance and how this is translated to others.

It’s hard to not have a clear idea of what you look like. Every day, morning and night, I look into a mirror I see less and less of myself. I begin to forget what my own face looks like, staring back at me still. I know I am in there somewhere, but I feel a disconnect. This makes it easier and harder, all at once, to do the things that most women do to look their best. Continue Reading

Mirror Image Featured Image Description:

Black and white illustration of a mirror reflection of a woman with a blank face. All that can be seen in the reflection is her hair and neckline as her face has no facial features.

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Get Your Face Summer Ready


Nothing aggravates me more than trying to find the perfect or near perfect foundation shade for my face. With so many shades, formulations, types and brands it’s enough to make your head spin. You’ve got your creams, liquids, oil-based, sheer, matte, mousse, stick, powder, minerals, tinted moisturizers and let me not forget BB (beauty balms) and CC (color correcting) creams.

Over the years I’ve tried many brands and different formulas some good, others not so good. It didn’t help matters when my skin would change from sensitive, to oily, combination to dry or anywhere in between. Until recent years, the whole looking for new foundation process was just an exercise in frustration.

So, when I caught a May beauty episode on The View I couldn’t contain my excitement on some of the products as shown by Lori Klein. Lori, an expert in the field of beauty, has been makeup artist to Barbara Walters for 19 years.

The first item the outcome of the collaboration between Sephora and Pantone is Color IQ. Color IQ takes the guesswork out of determining the perfect shade of foundation for your skin tone. The Color IQ device (looks to be about the size of an iPhone) is placed against your face in 3 different areas this will ensure you obtain a foundation shade tailored specifically for you. After this is done a number will be assigned which then needs to be inputted into Sephora’s foundation library.

With over 1,500 formulas in Sephora’s library, once you have plugged in your Color IQ number and selected your preferred type of foundation you will receive a number of results from which you can choose. The in-store consultation is free and once you have your Color IQ number you can purchase foundation in the store or online.

For those of you in search of a self-tanner that doesn’t make you look like an Oompa Loompa (the orange people in Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory) you need look no further than Clarins Golden Glow Booster. All it takes is adding 3 drops to your favorite day or night cream to develop a gradual tan that adjusts to your skin. Jenny McCarthy even spoke up and said that the golden tan she has through the winter months is from using this product. By the way when you stop using the product the tan will diminish as gradually it evolved.

Golden Glow Booster
Golden Glow Booster

Eye makeup wearers the world over have at one time or another had that panda bear look from eyeliner smudging. Heat from the sun, sweat, rain and tears can all wreck-havoc on our eyeliner. Thank goodness for Makeup Forever Aqua Liner available in pencil or liquid formulas.

The Makeup Forever Aqua Liner is available in a variety of shades, is waterproof, smudge proof and doesn’t fade throughout the day. What I found interesting about the liner is that it was developed for the Parisian Aquatic Ballet and it was tested underwater for 5 hours.


For lips Lori presented Lancôme Lip Lover Dewy Color Lip Perfector a 3-in-1 lip color that I can’t wait to try. I’ve noticed with age that not only has my skin become dry but my lips as well and it got to the point where I found myself constantly using lip balm so I’m open to trying this product. This 3-in-1 is lip color comes in 18 shades and is described as:

  • Hydrates like a balm
  • Shines like a gloss
  • Intensity of a lipstick
Lancôme Lip Lover Dewy Color Lip Perfector
Lancôme Lip Lover Dewy Color Lip Perfector

Though I am satisfied with my Sheer Cover Mineral foundation the next time I am in the vicinity of Sephora I am going to do the Color IQ so that I can write about my experience and subsequent feedback. The Lancôme Lip Lover Dewy Color Lip Perfector is the other item I am going to try because if memory serves when I tested Lancôme lipstick years back I liked it. So be sure to stay tuned…

“The best thing is to look natural, but it takes makeup to look natural.” Calvin Klein