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Bold Blind Beauty Reveals

2020 A Year Of Vision Image description is in the body of the post.

POSTED ON DECEMBER 7, 2019
BY CHELSEA NGUYEN
POSTED IN FASHION & BEAUTY
TAGGED BLINDNESSBLINDNESS AWARENESSBOLD BLIND BEAUTYEMPOWERMENT

“2020 A Year Of Vision” Campaign

By Chelsea Nguyen

Abby

Today we have a special guest visiting CAPTIVATING! who will be sharing some exciting beauty news with the blind community in mind. Abby the fashion-icon-extraordinaire of Bold Blind Beauty is with us and will be unveiling her new campaign called “2020 A Year Of Vision.

For those of you who don’t know, Bold Blind Beauty is an online community built on the premise that “Real Beauty Transcends Barriers.” Its main focus is the empowerment of blind and visually (B&VI) women and Abby is going to tell us what’s in store for 2020. So with that, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to Abby.

Chelsea: Hi Abby, we here at CAPTIVATING! are so excited to have you here with us today. Before we get into your 2020 Campaign can you tell us a little about yourself?

Abby: Hi Chelsea, thank you for the introduction. It’s an honor to be here at CAPTIVATING! where you’ll be the first to hear about Bold Blind Beauty’s 2020 Campaign.

As you said, my name is Abby and I’m the fictional blind fashionista of Bold Blind Beauty. After taking an extended sabbatical from the corporate world I became an adventurer traveling around the globe. From hiking mountains to sailing worldwide, dabbling in spelunking and gliding down runways in the major fashion capitals of the world, I was sought out to run Bold Blind Beauty.

Chelsea: Wow Abby it is so cool being able to interview a fictional character as I believe you’re the first fictional guest we’ve hosted. And your accomplishments are extraordinary. How did you become such an amazing well-rounded fictional character?

Abby: I’m really more of a representation of real-life B&VI people who are doing the exact same things as our sighted counterparts. The only difference is those of us in the B&VI community do things a little differently by using adaptations. Being blind can have its challenges but then again life is challenging and while we have little control over the things that happen to us, we can choose how we respond to our challenges.

Chelsea: You know I’m really glad you brought up this topic as I’ve been an advocate within the B&VI community for a number of years now. I’ve learned so much as a result of the many friendships I’ve developed with those within the community and even developed nonvisual makeup application techniques which I teach as an image consultant. As a member of the beauty industry, I saw an opportunity to bring products and services to the B&VI. How did you get involved in the beauty business?

Abby: Good question Chelsea. I’ve always had a thing for advocacy and given my experiences when I began working with Bold Blind Beauty I was able to wholly tap into my fashion sense. Extending advocacy into beauty made sense to me because there are limited resources in this area for blind women.

Chelsea: It’s unfortunate that beauty resources are limited for the B&VI community. How do you think we can change this?

Abby: Chelsea, this is an excellent segway into the “2020 A Year Of Vision” Campaign. As part of the campaign, the “Triple B Stamp Of Approval” is a beginning that will address the dilemma of limited beauty resources for our community.

Chelsea: Oh, this “Triple B Stamp Of Approval” sounds intriguing. Please tell us more. How will it work?

Abby: Essentially, the “Triple B Stamp Of Approval” is a product review rating system to gauge the accessibility of a product or service. We have a team of Bold Blind Beauties who will test makeup and cosmetic products by our favorite brands in areas such as accessibility, pricing, packaging, user-friendliness, and then they’ll give an overall score, a Triple B rating!

Then each week I will host a weekly podcast highlighting the outcomes of the products tested, to help our community learn about the beauty options available to them.

Chelsea: This sounds so exciting Abby! The “Triple B Stamp Of Approval“ will help brands and companies reach a broader audience and become more inclusive. Can you give us a sneak peek at the system?

Abby: Sure!! It’s a rather simple process where:

  • 1 B = Needs Improvement
  • 2 B = Good
  • 3 B = Fabulous

Bold Blind Beauty will be collaborating with brands/companies to obtain products to test, in exchange for product reviews. The goal of this system is a mutual effort to expand brands/company’s reach to include the over 7 million B&VI adults of whom nearly 4 million are women age 16 and older.

We see “The Triple B Stamp of Approval“ as a unique opportunity for brands/companies to engage with members of the B&VI community and allow our voices to be heard.

Chelsea: What else do you have going on for the 2020 Year Of Vision Campaign? Can you share it with us?

Abby: Sure I can give CAPTIVATING! readers a quick overview of the campaign. First, since the year 2020 is almost upon us, we felt this is an excellent opportunity to bring awareness to blindness/sight loss. With this in mind, we’ve refreshed our branding for the year and in addition to our regular features (Blind Beauty, Cane Enabled, and Women on the Move) we are incorporating:

  • Abby’s Triple B Stamp Of Approval weekly podcast review
  • Men In Motion: A monthly feature published on the first Monday of each month.

Chelsea: It’s cool that you’ll be introducing your audience to B&VI men. Can you tell us what to expect?

Abby: Awe, Chelsea I wish I could but some things still need to be kept under wraps until the right moment arrives!

Chelsea: I’m disappointed yet excited to see what Bold Blind Beauty will bring us in 2020. Thank you so much, Abby, for sharing your news with our CAPTIVATING! readers. And folks to learn more about Abby’s journey, visit Abby’s Corner at www.boldblindbeauty.com/abbycorner.

Connecting with Abby:

Image Descriptions:

  • Featured Image – A simple black outline drawing of an eye on a white background. The iris of the eye is a teal-colored female symbol and the pupil inside the iris is a smaller gray male symbol. The eye is centered above the tagline “2020 A Year Of Vision.”
  • Fashion icon Abby is holding up a teal dress on a hanger in her right hand. She is wearing a stylish black off the shoulder dress, black heels with ankle straps and a white hat with a black band with a loose end waving. In her left hand is her “gold” colored white cane.
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Mindfully Battling The Cold While Looking Chic

Today’s post is a two-fold fashion and mindfulness article. Since I’ve been practicing mindfulness it makes sense to me to incorporate messages related to it whenever possible.

I Don’t Do Cold

Facing right image is described in the body of the post.
Facing Right

It seems a little odd that someone from Pittsburgh would say “I don’t do cold” but seriously I can’t. One would think someone from this area of the country would be used to our arctic-like winters. But not me, nope. Nah uh! As a matter of fact, my gauge for cold is anything under 75 degrees. Could it be that my skin has gotten thinner with age? Or is it a matter of I’ve reached the point where looking cute when it’s cold is no longer a priority? We may never know the answers to these questions but I finally traded in my old parka for a new one that I adore.

I’ve had many different winter coats in my lifetime but I honestly can’t remember having a parka until a few years ago. Part of my reasoning I think was a mindset that parkas didn’t fit within my definition of chic. To give you a little insight my previous fashion sense dictated a strict protocol of dress pants, skirts, dresses and ALWAYS heels. Thankfully as I’ve gotten older and hopefully a little wiser I’ve also expanded my viewpoints even within my sense of style.

The Parka Casual/Chic Look

The warmest coat I’ve ever owned believe it or not I got from Costco eons ago. It was an ankle-length suede coat lined with faux fur and I gotta tell ya if coats had a soul this one was my true soulmate. But sadly that coat expired to be replaced with newer models. However, this post isn’t about coats gone by, nay, it’s about the parka and it’s cool features.

Facing forward image is described in the body of the post.
Facing Forward

In the featured and two additional photos, I’m standing outside with my white cane. I’m wearing jeans, brown hiking boots, brown gloves, and my army green parka. Even with this casual gear on I felt so darn fabulous could it be because I was actually comfortable in the cold? Who knows? But I want to take a moment to run through some of the features of this coat with you.

  • First, it’s army green!
  • It has metal hardware (silver zipper, snaps, drawstring tips)
  • Sherpa lining
  • Removable faux fur trim on the hood
  • 2 chest pockets
  • 2 fleece-lined waist zip pockets 
  • Cinch waist
  • Ribbed knit cuffs
  • Water-resistant
  • Mid-length & cute detail in the rear hem

Though my previous parka was the same color, length, and basic style as this one it wasn’t as warm as the new jacket. But it had gold metal hardware and faux leather trim accenting the zipper and pockets. Also, the hood was trimmed with faux fur but it wasn’t detachable and cuffs were not ribbed. Ribbed cuffs may seem like minor details but they are an absolute necessity for someone who requires significant warmth.

Way before I began blogging I’ve always maintained that real beauty isn’t so much about appearance as it is about substance. In my opinion, beauty without character is meaningless. There’s nothing more empowering than real beauty that doesn’t rely on outer appearance.

Being Grounded In Mindfulness

Mindfulness isn’t a passing fancy. It isn’t something we do now then continue with our day. Being mindful requires us to be present, to be aware. Our frenzied pace worries me.

In an age of unbelievable gadgets, apps, and technology, I think we can be easily fooled into believing we can be everywhere and do everything at once. Sure, we can appear to do more but are we really? How efficient are we when our attention is so divided among the many distractions we’re constantly exposed to?

A good friend of mine recently said this to me: “I love how you can make yourself focus in on things and ignore the shiny objects until they fit your schedule.” Ignoring the shiny objects has become a serious practice in my self-care. Setting up boundaries, saying no, and religiously guarding my time is essential. I’ve realized I do not HAVE to do, NOR do I want to be good at EVERYTHING. Doing the best I can with what I have is enough.

It’s taken me a lifetime to reject other’s definition of who I am and to finally be content with myself, imperfections and all. I’m not perfect, never claimed to be but I know this for sure, I’m finally on the right track and really always was I just doubted myself. Getting back to basics and basking in simplicity brings me so much joy.

All of us feel a little lost from time to time and I think the pressure to be “in the know” and “on 24/7/365” is too much for us. The good news is our minds are unmatched simply because we have the power of CHOICE. If you’re feeling overwhelmed take an inventory of your life and whittle down what isn’t serving you any longer.

Image Descriptions:

  • Featured photo – I’m standing outside with my white cane. I’m wearing jeans, brown hiking boots, brown gloves, and my army green parka. My face is turned up to the sky facing left.
  • 2 Additional photos – In these pictures I’m in the same outfit just posing facing forward and facing right.
  • Gallery of 8 photos detailing the bulleted features listed.
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Dressing To Align With Personal Values

Image is described in the body of the post.

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”

~Harriet Tubman

The mission of “improving humanity by changing the way we perceive one another” was my dream for Bold Blind Beauty. I hoped to empower blind women, connect sighted and blind people, and challenge everyone to view people on a deeper level.

My idea for this site evolved from my sight loss and what I experienced every time I would meet someone new. “You don’t look blind,” or “you’re too attractive to be blind,” among other misguided comments weren’t meant to injure me. On the contrary, these sentiments were an awkward attempt to compliment me and help me feel more accepting of my blindness. Ironically, the problem was I’d already accepted my blindness however those who encountered me did not.

Since I didn’t fit within the confines of others’ views of what blindness looks like then that must mean I’m not blind right? I mean how can someone who is blind put on makeup or dress stylishly? More importantly, when eyesight is diminished why should anyone care about their appearance? For me, the answer is as simple as beauty is boundless!

Image & Real Beauty

The tagline “Real Beauty Transcends Barriers” is at the heart of Bold Blind Beauty as valuing people is Real Beauty. As a creative person, I’ve always been a dreamer and believe in my heart and soul that anything is possible. I’m not sure if my dreams fuel my passion or passion fuels my creativity, maybe they are one and the same? All I do know is when you believe in possibilities you must do all you can to make the dream a reality.

Tackling image or appearance in blog posts about makeup and fashion from a deeper perspective has, at times, been challenging for me. Having worked in corporate America for many years, I understand the importance of a professional image. And while I try to incorporate more meaningful messages in my blog posts I sometimes struggle. The reality is ‘public impression’ or how things ‘appear’ are more appealing to the majority of the world. Yet the dreamer in me still believes that people crave authenticity and are open to a more genuine conversation about beauty.

My values; kindness, compassion, and social justice are important to me. Incorporating mindfulness, a recent practice of mine was the missing link that now balances my values with how I live my life. So I was thrilled to begin reading The Conscious Closet by Elizabeth L. Cline this weekend as many strategies in the book align with my principles.

What I’m Learning

As a minimalist, I am happiest when I’m purging. Doing so, in every area of my life from wardrobe to my work is freeing and has allowed me to reclaim my time.

One of the first recommendations mentioned in the book is to do a Wardrobe Impact Inventory—mine is below. I was ecstatic to find out that my wardrobe, minus socks and underwear, totaled 118 items. And the first thought that popped into my head after arriving at the total was “I can do better.” But here’s the thing, I’m making progress. Five years ago the number of pairs of shoes I had alone far exceeded this total. For the record, I now have 16 pairs of shoes including sneakers, boots, flats, and heels.

Steph’s 2019 Wardrobe Impact Inventory
TOPS
Camis13
Tees20
Shirts4
Cardigans7
Dressy Jackets2
Casual Jackets3
Denim Jacket1
Denim Vest1
BOTTOMS
Skirts4
Jeans3
Leggings5
Pants5
Shorts1
Exercise Capris5
DRESSES6
JUMPSUIT1
FOOTWEAR
Heels4
Flats5
Sneakers3
Boots4
BAGS
Backpacks2
Clutches3
Handbags2
OUTERWEAR
Faux Fur Vest1
Parka1
Dress Coat1
Wool Cape1
Anorak1
TOTAL118

While I’m only midway through the book, I’m finding it’s a goldmine of information. For example, once I counted all of my pieces I tallied the percentage of my wardrobe that I use. Next, I selected 15 different items and took photos of the labels. After magnifying the photos I was able to determine where each item was made and the materials used to make them. On a side note out of all the items I chose only one was from the United States. The majority of my stuff came from China, Vietnam, and the Philipines and a few from Indonesia, Cambodia, and Bangladesh.

Satisfaction & Less Is Enough

The Conscious Closet couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time because I’m deliberately making better choices in my life. Adopting an ‘if I’m not using it I don’t need it’ philosophy in nearly all areas of my life gives it more meaning. The bottom line, I don’t want stuff just to have it. But how do I share these ideas with others when we live in a world of overabundance? The simple answer is to share and let people decide for themselves what works best for them.

I’ve been doing wardrobe inventory for years and the difference now is I use it to identify my essentials. I can’t tell you how helpful this system is especially since I can no longer see. Simplifying the color palette of my wardrobe makes my heart skip a beat because nearly everything is interchangeable. Working with less has also made creating new outfit combinations less aggravating and more fun.

Frustrated with nonstop advertising trying to convince me that I NEED the latest and greatest whatever put me on the path to simplicity. Unsubscribing from retail email lists, and circulars sent by snail mail was my first line of attack. While I’d always practiced recycling my clothing twice a year I wanted to do it less frequently. Implementing a ‘something comes in, something goes out’ process helped tame my compulsion to buy.

Today, more than ever, I feel like I’m living my life far more authentically than ever before and I’m content. Being able to finally interweave my style with my values is gratifying. As I continue to absorb the content in The Conscious Closet I hope to share more insight with you.

Featured Image Description:

The image is a silhouette of a woman with her eyes closed. Incorporated within the woman’s profile is a vast galaxy of stars in shades of black, dark purple, blue, pink, and white.

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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.