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Eye Makeup Tip For Blind & VI Women

Abby is sitting cross legged in her PJs (gray bottoms & white top with a gray collar) with a teal Abby logo laptop on her lap. Sporting her signature explosive hairstyle, she is wearing a headset with microphone and her white cane is propped up next to her.

Eye Makeup Practice Makes Perfect

Some of my duties involve curating and imparting a little wisdom that will benefit my blind and visually impaired followers. Concerning makeup, there are many questions specifically about eye makeup application. The answer to the following question was so genius I had to share it here with you:

Q: Do you have any makeup tips (mostly eye makeup)?

I’m blind in one eye, so the usual “close one eye while you do it and look with the other” doesn’t work for me, as I’m sure is a similar case for some or all of you. ~J. Stephenson

A: You could try doing a little, taking a close up selfie of that eyelid shut,

…assessing and going a bit more, continuing with the pics in between to see if you’re on track toward the look you’re going for? Eventually, the practice should lead to being able to do it without stopping and without checking! ~S. Seyringer

One final note: It’s important to remember that in the beginning, most people struggle with makeup application and it’s only through trial and error that we become more proficient at this form of art. Loosen up, have fun, and practice until you are comfortable. You will reach your goal!

Abby’s Corner Image Description:

A white, teal, and gray image of Abby sitting cross-legged in her PJs (gray bottoms & white top with a gray collar) with a teal Abby logo laptop on her lap. Sporting her signature explosive hairstyle, she is wearing a headset with microphone and her white cane is propped up next to her.

Have a great weekend everyone!


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Academy Awards Season

And the Oscar goes to…

Oscar Statuette

How about those Oscars last night? Normally I don’t watch awards shows and I didn’t watch the entire program (it’s just way too long) but I love Ellen DeGeneres and she didn’t disappoint.

Awardees’, Jared Leto ‘Best Actor in a Supporting Role’ and Lupita Nyong’o ‘Best Actress in a Supporting Role’ speeches in my humble opinion, nailed it for being authentic. They both acknowledged their wins by speaking to the hardship, pain and the disparity of others. What really touched me most about these two people was they are the products of their dreams.

When Jared talked about his 17-year-old single mom who was pregnant with her second child and how she fought to make a better life for herself and her children. And Lupita’s “No matter where you’re from your dreams are valid,” gave me chills.

As children I think we all have dreams of someday accomplishing great things. I remember when my oldest son, Tristan, graduated kindergarten (yes, it was an actual graduation ceremony). All the kiddos wore these adorable red caps and gowns as they filed in to the music of Sir Edward Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance.

Once the children got to their assigned spots on the stage the moderator asked each of them to tell the audience what they wanted to be when they grew up. As long as I live I will never forget what Tristan said. My heart swelled with pride as my little boy, standing there so proud in his cap and gown said, “when I grow up I want to be a fireman and live next door to Arby’s because I really like their food.” The audience chuckled, as did I, but what they didn’t know was Tristan did indeed like Arby’s but for him back then, this was a rare treat.

I’m so thankful today that little boy whose dream in some people’s eyes may have seemed small has not only achieved but he has overcome. Tristan joined the army, was in South Korea for 1 & ½ years before returning stateside and being based in Texas for another 2 years. This child, who as he got older didn’t think he would ever fly, ended up traveling abroad and through the U.S. He came back home, got his Associates Degree and is now working on his Bachelor’s in Computer Sciences. He amazes me but I’m not surprised because I always knew my children would inherit the gene to conquer.

Conquering doesn’t come easy and it can take considerable time however it’s been my experience that through prayer, persistence and people we can get through anything. It’s humbling when I think of all the people who have left lasting impressions on me because they were placed in my life at a time when there was a need.

This is one of the reasons why I place extreme value on giving back. If in some small way my blog can help you with fashion, makeup and style then it’s my pleasure to serve you. With that on today’s menu, I present you with the cat and smoky-eyed look:

Makeup pouch, 2 eye shadow brushes, 3 eye shadows from
beth bender beauty

Last Monday I told you about two stencils I found at BethBenderBeauty from which you can achieve a cat or smoky-eyed look. It wasn’t until yesterday when I was talking with my friend Sherri that I realized I didn’t explain exactly what these two looks are. In its simplest form cat and smoky eyes are achieved by using eyeliner and/or eye shadow to create a sultry look.

Cat eye and smoky eye stencils and instruction pamphlet
beth bender beauty

In the BethBenderBeauty video tutorial the makeup artist uses eye shadow for both looks. Following are the steps you would follow when using the stencils:

Smoky Eye

  1. Close the eye and place the stencil on the eyelid round end out.
  2. Hold in place.
  3. Using your eye shadow brush or applicator dip into dark eye shadow (tap off excess).
  4. Fill in the exposed area of the eyelid beginning at the base of the eyelid.
  5. Remove the stencil.
  6. Soften the edges of the shape by blending with a clean blending brush.
  7. Take a mid-tone and contour shadow and work it into the crease of the eyelid to warm up the darkness.
  8. Next, using the top of the stencil, place it under the eye to use it as a guide for lining with shadow. I like the soft look achieved with lining the eye with shadow as I’ve always used pencil.

For the smoky eye look precision isn’t necessarily required as it’s more important to blend. Always clean the stencil after use.

Amber-Heard-bronze-smokey-eye Beth Bender
Amber Heard
Bronze Smokey Eye
Beth Bender

Cat Eye

  1. Close the eye and place the stencil on the upper lid rounded end out. (With this stencil you’ll want to experiment with the thickness of the line dependent upon where you place the stencil).
  2. Using your eye shadow brush or applicator dip into dark eye shadow (tap off excess).
  3. Fill in the exposed area.
  4. You can leave it like this or you can go over the line with eye liner.

Always clean the stencil after use.

subtle-cat-eyeliner Beth Bender
Subtle Cat Eyeliner
Beth Bender

My first attempt at using the stencils was less than stellar. If I were going for the Panda Bear eye look then I could safely say “nailed it.” It’s going to take me some time to get used to using these but I will conquer this too!

If you have any questions or comments please comment below or email me at

“Nobody should be judged on their looks. Beauty is not found on the body but in the soul. The only thing the media has done is change the definition of the word. I mean being attractive may make it easier to catch some one but being kind and loving is how you keep some one. Also with makeup it’s like putting on a mask some masks are creative and fun most others are just used to cover who you really are up. Be yourself.” ~Danyon Guthrie-Lewis

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Life’s Lessons, Lemonade & A Little Liner

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 would make 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.

NYX Liquid Black Liner
NYX Liquid Black Liner

Over the years I tried different types and brands of eyeliners from liquid in the elongated tube, to markers. 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 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 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’s 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!!!

Sephora Collection Mini Contour Eye Pencil 12hr Wear Waterproof 01 Black Lace
Sephora Collection Mini Contour Eye Pencil 12hr Wear Waterproof 01 Black Lace

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.

Next week we’ll talk cat eyes.

**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

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Looking at Lengthening Lashes

Longing for Lashes

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

I sometimes wonder if women were even supposed to have long eyelashes. When I look at my three sons and my little grandson as well, all of them have really nice, long lashes and I’m left feeling that life just isn’t fair.

“Increased growth and thickness of eyelashes” is supposedly a side-affect of my eye medication, but for some inexplicable reason my lashes steadfastly refuse to grow. Mascara has always been my go-to for resolving my short lash dilemma and even with sight loss I have very little difficulty applying it at least to my upper lashes. The lower lashes are a different story.

Introducing – a $3.00 solution to my lower lash problem the Studio Mascara & Shadow Shield from e.l.f. (eyes lips face). This is one of those little gizmos I wish I would have invented. The shield is sort of shaped like the profile of a crescent moon, made of very soft, flexible silicon and it’s attached to a 4 and ½ inch wand.

Mascara & Shadow Shield
Mascara & Shadow Shield

It does take a little time and even more patience to skillfully use the shield but once you get the hang of it voilà mascara is applied minus the mistakes. I had an easier time using it on my upper lashes simply due to the shape of the shield vs. the shape of my eyelid. I’m still improving my technique on the lower lashes.

How do you use it?

  • While learning how to use this tool you’ll want to have makeup remover close at hand
  • Hold the shield flush against your upper or lower lash line.
  • Apply mascara (for upper lashes use an upward stroke of the mascara wand, for lower lashes use a gentle sweeping motion from side to side)
  • Clean with mild soapy water and flip it to opposite side and repeat on the other eye

I ordered another mascara guide similar to the one I got from e.l.f. but it has not yet arrived so unfortunately I cannot do a comparison. In addition to using mascara to lengthen and thicken lashes there are other options like eyelash enhancer serums or eyelash extensions.

Eyelash enhancer serums and extensions can be very expensive but the outcome well worth it for beautiful, long, luscious lashes. I’ve had friends who’ve had eyelash extensions and they just sing their praises but caution that you need to go to a reputable establishment.

For serums claiming lash growth, some don’t work simply because they do not contain enough of the active ingredients to achieve desired results. Careful consideration should also be given on the use of serums at least until you talk with your doctor because if you have glaucoma or other eye disease there could be a potential conflict.

Next Monday it’s all about eye liners.

Please let me know if you have any questions or need additional information. You can post a comment in the box below or you can email me directly at

Happy Monday!

“Beauty… when you look into a woman’s eyes and see what is in her heart.” ~Nate Dircks