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Housewife Hustle Talks Beauty, Blindness & Makeup

WOTM and Blind Beauty Jenni Dunlap wrote this amazing article on beauty, blindness, and makeup. As a body-positive guru, I love how Jenni concludes Blindness and Makeup as it’s a reminder that Real Beauty Transcends Barriers. Thank you, Jenni, for giving Bold Blind Beauty permission to republish here.

Housewife Hustle Talks Beauty, Blindness & Makeup

As a woman with low vision, I hear a lot of surprised reactions when people find out that I love beauty and style. Just because people with visual impairments can’t see well, doesn’t mean we don’t still enjoy feeling beautiful or love beauty products in general.

It’s not complex or revolutionary- blind people can do their makeup and pick out clothes on their own. It might not be the same process, or as easy as it is for the sighted, but don’t count us out of the beauty world!

Tricks & Tools

I didn’t learn how to do my makeup growing up. I watched my mother, who is also blind, get ready to go dancing with her girlfriends sometimes, but I figured out how to apply most of my beauty products on my own. To be honest, I still don’t know all the ins and outs of makeup, because I’m pretty set in terms of my routine. I do want to keep learning and branch out though. It’s just easy to keep doing the same makeup routine.

For example, I don’t use foundation. Instead, I use a tinted moisturizer or BB cream. Sometimes, I even skip those all together and just use a primer. I don’t use a bronzer. I rarely use lip liner unless I have a liquid lipstick that desperately needs a helper. I guess I never really do a full face because I tend to like a simple, natural look. Although, a full glam face is something I want to learn.

What I do is watch and learn from a variety of places online, and then I figure out what works best for me. My favorite tools are my fingers because I use my hands like eyes sometimes. I feel where things go rather than see. I do own brushes and sponges and use them too, but the majority of my application process is with my fingers.

I can see a bit, and I’ve talked about the way I see before. My visual field is like looking through a straw, but at the end of that tunnel is almost like broken glass. I have no peripheral vision, and I also have a lot of floaters. I don’t see color the same either, but I still find a way to make it work.

I do use a magnifying mirror when doing my makeup. The only time I find myself needing the eyes of someone else is when I ask my husband if my eyebrows are even, but that’s about it.

Products Galore

I have a lot of makeup, but I also have a handful of favorites that I use regularly. Not only am I a bit cheap, I have to find makeup that is sensitive enough for my eyes, so the combination of budget and sensitivity can be tricky sometimes.

I love Almay, Rimmel, and Maybelline products. I use a decent amount of them, and my new favorite eye shadow palette is Rimmel Magnif’eyes Nude Palette. It has the right amount of shimmer and gold tones for spring too.

The products in the picture above are pretty much what I use if we are running errands. I switch out eye shadow palettes occasionally, but I’ve been using this one for a week or two now.

Step By Step

When it comes to the application process, it’s fairly simple and just like a sighted person. I just poke and touch my face a bit more.

Primer

First, I put on my primer. I put two or three pumps on my fingers and spread it around my face until it’s all covered. After my primer, I do the same thing with my BB cream. It’s not full coverage, but it blurs and minimizes the appearances of my freckles and uneven skin tone areas. Some days, I skip the BB cream though.

Brows

While my primer and/BB cream is drying, I use my pronged brow pencil to darken and shape my brows. I try to tweeze the unibrow and all the unruliness that isn’t where the hair is supposed to go, and then I fill in.

Eyes

I start with my eyes, and I put concealer on the lids and under the brows. Then, I put my highlight shade under the brow and in the corner of my eye. Next, I cover the center of my lid in my base color, which is usually a neutral tan. Sometimes, I mix it up and do something that isn’t necessary neutral. Then, I add a dark shade to the outer edge. Finally, I blend.

When I do my eyes, I line the top lid after I do my center/base color, and I also line the bottom then too. I do a few swipes of mascara after all the shadow and liner is on.

The last step to my eyes is putting concealer under my eyes and cleaning up any shadow that is out of place. I use q-tips or wet a brush if I have too much of a mess. Usually, the concealer takes care of any little smudges.

Blush & Highlight

When I put on my blush, I do use a brush, and I smile and hit the apples of my cheeks. I use a fan brush to highlight the tops of my cheekbones. If I’m feeling fancy, I put highlight in a few extra areas.

When everything is applied and I’m feeling good, I finish it all off with setting spray. And there you have it, a blind lady’s makeup routine!

Colors & Textures

I mentioned that I can’t see color very well. As much as I love red lips and my giant lipstick collection, I have a hard time seeing the differences in most reds. My husband helps me pick out a lot of my lip colors.

Eye shadow is an area I’m picky with, but I’m learning to explore new colors. I own a lot of nude/neutral palettes. I love plums and amethyst purples. I have hazel eyes, and those colors always make my eyes pop. I have been gravitating towards rose golds and pinks lately too. Even if I wear color or a metallic, I try not to go crazy. I’d love to have a dramatic smokey eye, but I need to learn a bit more about blending and application. I don’t want to look like a raccoon.

Asking for Help

I’ve thought about taking a class so I have help learning how to do more with my makeup. I’ve watched tutorial videos and been through the makeup corners of Pinterest, but I really need to have it all in front of me to touch and feel so I can get used to it that way.

I don’t have an issue asking for help, but I don’t really know any makeup mavens personally. My family and a few friends aren’t major makeup experts. They tend to have routines similar to mine if any at all.

I also hear a lot of, “you don’t need makeup.” Let me just say, no one needs makeup, but some of us genuinely enjoy it. Loving makeup doesn’t mean I’m trying to hide my face, so that assumption about makeup lovers needs to disappear. I hate when people say “that’s too much makeup.” Mind your business, please. What makes some happy, doesn’t have to make others happy. Just be kind.

Seeing Beauty

I can see beauty, but I don’t see it the same of course. Because of my blindness, beauty is different for me. I see beauty in a way that’s hard to describe. Of course, personality and someone’s character are a major part of their beauty, but when it comes to the bare aesthetics, it is obviously not the same for me.

I don’t know if I’d want to see like everyone else. For years, I struggled with body image, beauty, and eating disorders. I used to blame my vision because I couldn’t truly see how I looked.

Now, I see that my eyes aren’t to blame. It took some time, but I love myself. I love my face, and I’m learning to love my body. Beauty will always be more to me. There’s a bigger picture at hand, and blind or not, I’m going to keep wearing makeup and seeing beauty way.

Calling all makeup lovers: share some of your favorites and tips! I’d love to hear from y’all. ~Jenni

Image Descriptions:

  • Featured image: a white cup with assorted makeup brushes is in the foreground. In the background is an eye shadow palette and beside the cup are more brushes/pencils, etc.
  • Wide assortment of different types of makeup: pencils, lip colors, foundation, etc.
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Eyebrow Solutions

If eyes are the windows to the soul then the eyebrows are the frames

e.l.f. Eyebrow Stencil Kit
e.l.f. Eyebrow Stencil Kit

I am so excited!! Over the weekend I received in the mail 2 tools that I mentioned last Monday to help with applying my eye makeup. Both items come from e.l.f. www.eyeslipsface.com and I can’t wait to share my feedback.

The first tool is the Eyebrow Stencil Kit and my immediate observation right out of the box was the great flexibility of the stencils. No stranger to eyebrow stencils, in the past I’ve tried a couple of different types and they were either too rigid or the shapes weren’t even close to my natural brows.

The e.l.f. eyebrow stencils come in 4 different shapes:

  1. Soft arch – is a gently rounded shape that follows the line of the eyelids. Soft arch eyebrows are perfect for women who have sharp, angular features, as they enhance softness to the overall look.
  2. Structured arch – is noted for a sharp slant upward from the inner corner of the eye, and a downward slant toward the outer edge. Women who have rounder or wider facial features can benefit from the vertical line created for a slimming look with this style.
  3. Curved arch – is a mixture of the structured and curved arches and is characterized by an upward slant from the inner corner of the eye to almost two-thirds distance, and finishing with a slight bend downward along the outside.
  4. Full arch – is depicted by minimal curvature along the length of the brow, and is good for women who have very narrow faces, or widely spaced eyes.

“Knowing your face shape is the first step to creating your most beautiful look” ~Kevyn Aucoin

The very first step in determining the shape of your eyebrows is, knowing the shape of your face. There are 4 basic facial shapes and I’ve provided the arch that works best with each shape:

  • foraywhileOval – forehead is wider than the chin with prominent cheekbones, face tapers to a narrow oval chin (soft arch)
  • Round – face is almost as wide as it is long, face is widest at the cheeks (structure arch)
  • Square/long – forehead, cheekbones and jaw line are all about the same widths with the squared jaw line being the most obvious feature (soft arch or full arch)
  • Heart – similar to oval but the chin tapers to a point (curved arch)

How to apply eyebrow makeup

  • Run your finger along your eyebrow to get an idea of the natural brow line
  • Place your index finger straight alongside your nose to the top of your brow line. (This is the start of your eyebrow).
  • Place your index finger alongside your nose and angle it outwards to the outer corner of your eye. (This is where the eyebrow ends).
  • Once you have determined which stencil to use, line up the widest end of the stencil to the beginning of the brow line
  • Likewise with the end of the brow line the thinnest end will be at the outer corner of the eye
  • Once you are satisfied with the placement of the stencil you can use eyebrow makeup to softly fill in area.
  • After you have applied the eyebrow makeup you’ll want to use an eyebrow brush to gently groom the brows and blend the makeup color for a more natural appearance.
  • Practice, practice, practice.

If you are using eyebrow stencils for the first time it is going to take some time to get used to them and you may have to try several different types before finding ones that work for you. I really like the ones I received because I found them easy to use and my brows looked awesome (this compliment from my son who notices little).

The second eye makeup tool I received was the Mascara Guide from e.l.f. I will explain how to use this guide next week but I can tell you that I think it’s a great tool especially for my upper lashes.

e.l.f. Mascara & Shadow Shield
e.l.f. Mascara & Shadow Shield

Overall for a cost of around $6.00 I definitely feel these two tools are worth the money. I’m still waiting on a couple of other items and once they come I’ll let you know my thoughts.

Ciao

“I just like playing with makeup and clothes – so I really don’t feel like there are rules, and if there are rules, then I think it’s up to you to break them.” ~Kesha