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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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How Do I Tie Thee? Let Me Count The Ways

6 Ways To Tie The Oblong Scarf

Hinge Patchwork Print Scarf. Bold patterns intensify the graphic appeal of a gauzy, fringe-trimmed scarf. 28 inches wide by 76 inches long. 100 percent wool. Colors are shades of teal and white.
Hinge Patchwork Print Scarf Nordstrom

I think I was in my mid to late 20’s when I wore my first oblong scarf. I bought it to go along with this navy lightweight knit sleeveless dress and matching sweater outfit. The scarf had several shades of blue including a navy identical to my outfit. I fell in love.

While I no longer have that first scarf I have since collected a number of scarves in different colors, shapes, textures and some even have embellishments.

Infinity scarves, like the name implies, have no end. These endless loop scarves, like their predecessors, come in differing lengths, colors, fabrics, and textures.

I really like warm cozy scarves however with the onset of ‘private summers’ I’d have to rip them off. I salute women who can wear them in the summer because I’d probably burst into flames.

How Do You Tie Or Wear An Oblong Scarf?

Scarves are an excellent accessory that can be worn with or in place of necklaces. And you can’t beat the versatility. I’m going to give you 6 ideas on how to wear/tie these beauties:

  1. Women's Fringed Infinity Scarf loose knit 100 percent acrylic with fringes. Coral colored. www.lifeisgood.com
    Women’s Fringed Infinity Scarf
    www.lifeisgood.com

    Drape the scarf around your neck and allow it to hang loose without tying.

  2. Drape scarf around your neck, take one end, cross over your body to flip the end over your shoulder, and allow it to hang loose without tying. You can also add a pretty brooch where the scarf overlaps.
  3. Drape the scarf around your neck and tie the ends in a loose single knot and allow it to hang loose.
  4. Hold the scarf lengthwise in front of you, bring it to your neck. Drape it over your shoulders so the ends drape down your back. This looks especially nice with a dress or a dressy pants suit.
  5. Hold the scarf lengthwise in front of you, bring it to your neck. Drape it over your shoulders then take each end and cross them in the back. Bring the ends to the front. You can leave the loop on your neck or pull it for slack to let it hang a little loose.
  6. Fold the scarf lengthwise, drape around your neck, take the loose ends and place them in the loop. You can leave the loop loose or pull the loose ends to bring it closer to your neck. If I have a long enough scarf I like to take one of the loose ends and fling it over one or both shoulders.

There are many ways to wear scarves and over the course of the next couple of weeks, I will share some interesting ways to use them that you might not have considered.

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Makeup Never Leave Home Without It

Makeup Never Leave Home Without It image is assorted makeup products

Makeup Never Leave Home Without It

“The only way I’d be caught without makeup is if my radio fell in the bathtub while I was taking a bath and electrocuted me and I was in between makeup at home. I hope my husband would slap a little lipstick on me before he took me to the morgue.” ~Dolly Parton

Barefaced Naked

maybelline-eye-and-brow-pencil
Maybelline eye & brow pencil

Dolly’s quote sounds laughingly vain and I can so relate. Back in the day, I used to wear a boatload of makeup. Today, depending on the season, I wear considerably less and feel liberated nixing what I feel are non-essentials.

Just like American Express “Never leave home without it” was my makeup. I wouldn’t dream of going outside without my ‘face.’ My reasoning was I felt to do otherwise would be a great disservice to humanity. In other words, I didn’t want to scare people.

I may be overly dramatic but there a time or two where I’d risk death versus being seen barefaced. One time, a few years back, my ex-husband and I were in the ‘non-speaking terms’ zone. So later in the day when I thought I was having a heart attack, I had 3 problems:

  1. I had to be sure it was a heart attack otherwise I’d have an emergency room visit co-pay
  2. I needed to make myself presentable which included a shower, makeup, and proper emergency room attire
  3. Since my ex and I weren’t talking, I would need to drive myself to the hospital

The Wait And See Approach

If you think I did the responsible thing by pushing my pride aside and asking my husband to take me to the hospital you would be mistaken. I did the exact opposite by choosing the ‘wait and see’ approach. I took a shower, put on my makeup, did my hair, and got dressed. All these things I did while hoping the pain would subside, it didn’t.

Then with car keys in hand, I tried to sneak out of the house. The problem with this plan was I had to go past my ex to get to the door. So when he asked me where I was going I told him “to the ER” and kept on rolling.

Astute observer he was, he said, “Steph, you can’t even see to drive.” My response—“watch me.”

Okay, okay granted I sounded childish but I was not going to admit he was right. The end result—took me to the ER.

Long story short, these are the depths I would go to avoid being seen in public without makeup. By merit of me writing this you know by now that the outcome of this particular story was good.

Being comfortable in my skin

maybelline master drama eyeliner
Maybelline Master Drama Eyeliner

Today, I feel at ease walking my dog, going to the store, and all sorts of places without makeup. Once I started taking myself a little less seriously my attitude changed towards a number of things in my life. I actually enjoy wearing it now that it doesn’t feel like such a ritualistic process.

I can’t tell you how good it feels to do so much more with less. Now when I wear makeup I use at most 5 products. Out of the five items, I would consider my essentials to be the eyebrow color and eyeliner pencil.

You know yourself better than anyone else. Even if you are totally blind, with practice you can determine the best way of using makeup. It may take some trial and error but with plenty of patience, it can be done.

Going forward, I’ll talk about makeup for blind and visually impaired people and share techniques that work for me. In the meantime, check out Vision Aware Makeup Application After Vision Loss for very useful information on this topic.

“I think women should wear whatever makeup they want for themselves. Makeup should be fun.” ~Emma Stone

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The Black Blazer A Comfort In Time Of Crisis

Rebuilding Life In Confidence Boosting Apparel

The Black Blazer A Comfort In Time Of Crisis

“Always remember you are BRAVER than you believe, STRONGER than you seem, SMARTER than you think & twice as BEAUTIFUL as you’d ever imagined.” ~A.A. Milne

Make Doing Without, Do!

If a situation caused you to lose most of your worldly possessions what would you do? How would you cope? More importantly, how would you recover?

About 20 some years ago I was in such a predicament. Due to the seriousness of the situation, I immediately went into survival mode. I had three small children who were wholly dependent on me to get us through. When cornered I’ve always relied on 3 key things:

  1. My resourcefulness
  2. My ability to not only adapt to but thrive in just about any given situation
  3. My belief that there is always a way

During this particular situation, I had to look at the big picture, project out into the future and ask myself if I could honestly continue on the current path. Once I had the answer to this question the planning began and then the most critical piece was the execution. My plans may not have been perfect but as problems beyond my control arose I adjusted it accordingly.

When you’re in a difficult place, it sometimes seems like there is no way out. You can be so overwhelmed with feelings of self-doubt and inadequacy that you want to give up. This was the place where I eventually landed after getting me and my boys out of our difficulty. I managed to keep a few personal possessions but everything else (including some precious mementos) was gone.

Losing Everything Changes Everything

Things take on a whole new meaning when you’ve lost just about everything you worked so hard for. Some of the smallest, then, become the most important. A navy suit, my grandma gave me in the mid 80’s was one of the items I was able to keep and I still have it to this day. While it no longer fits, I treasure it as a small reminder of my grandma who bought it for my first real job interview.

One of the other items was a black blazer given to me at the women’s shelter. Anyone who has lots of resources can make themselves look like a “million bucks” but it takes creativity and a smidge of attitude to pull it off with very little.

Versatility is the thing I like most about the black blazer. Following are some of my favorite ways to wear it:

  • Wear it with black slacks, white button-down shirt, black pumps (I love wearing red pumps with this outfit) and subdued jewelry for a classic business look.
  • Wear it with blue jeans, white T-shirt, boots, a long necklace and scarf for a dressy/casual look.
  • Wear it with just about any dress, roll up the sleeves, add bracelets, necklace, earrings, and pumps for a chic look.

Your options when pairing a black blazer with anything are limitless. I wear mine buttoned, unbuttoned, sleeves up, sleeves down or any combination. I like to wear it with different colored tank tops (which can average anywhere between $5.00 on up), button-down shirts, T-shirts, sweaters, jeans, slacks, leggings, skirts, and dresses. 

Provided you have a well-fitting black blazer there is almost no way you can go wrong.

Have a wonderful day!