Guest Author: Lara on Beauty for the Blind

Beauty for the Blind by Lara

Lara is the Massage Therapist I’ve mentioned a few times. She’s been blind since she was about 6 months old.

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I feel that my article should come with a disclaimer. I am by no means an expert. This info is born out of 47 years of practice due to Lebers Congenital Amorosis (LCA). Everyone has different levels of vision loss and mine may be more or less than others.

Hair Styling

For me, the best invention that I have found thus far is a heated round brush. By this I mean that it is a combination of a blow dryer and round brush in one. This is used on wet hair. This allows me to style with one hand and use my other hand to feel what I am doing. This appliance gives off heat but not like a curling iron. Therefore you can touch anywhere around it and not be burned. It dries my hair and gives me a bit of curl.

I will say that the best resource for me has been a good beautician. I have talked with them and even brought my tools with me to my hair appointments and have challenged my hair stylist with specific questions about styling. My stylist has given me cuts that are easy to manage but that does not mean out of style or boring at all. In the case of my hair like anything else, I have to be assertive and ask for what I need and find a beautician that is creative and open to working with me. I confess I have had the same beautician for years so we both know what I can do. I do also believe that some good styling products can make this task easier.

I have used curling irons in the past, but have occasionally burned myself with them. The biggest obstacle to using a curling iron is not quite getting the barrel to the ends of the hair when curling due to not being able to see what I am doing. So, it just takes practice and attention to detail. My advice to anyone when it comes to orienting to a new hair appliance is to practice with it while the appliance is off so you can feel what you are doing without the risk of being burned. Another safety issue I have always been very aware of is where you place the appliance while it is heating. Since I run a high risk of tripping on cords or bumping things on counters I plug in the appliance and wait with it in my hand for it to heat up. There are special mats you can buy to protect surfaces that I am sure work well.

Make up

I am not going to lie, this is a true obstacle for me. I do not use much because I feel that the more I put on the more I run the risk of making a mistake and leaving the house looking like a clown. First I feel it is important to have the right tools. By this I mean a nice set of fluffy good quality brushes and make up sponges. The little skimpy things you get with the product are skimpy. I like a fluffy brush because it makes it easier to apply and blend. I also feel that a good set of round flat sponges and wedge-shaped sponges come in very handy.

I firmly believe that skin care is the basis for looking good. This does not mean spending a fortune. There are good lines of skin care that will not break the bank. I believe it is essential to have a good moisturizer with a sunscreen. I am also a fan of cc cream that can provide a bit of coverage and color correction without the risk of blotching. Next is foundation, I have used both liquid and powder foundations. When using a liquid I use my finger and placed one drop on my chin, each cheek, my nose, and my forehead. Then I use a sponge to bland each drop around my face. I spend extra time just buffing the sponge around my jaw line, temples and eyes. Since it cannot be felt I blend everything just to be sure. Presently I use powder foundation. I find the mineral based products to be easiest for me to use. I recommend taking the time to talk to a sales consultant or find someone trustworthy that has an eye for color to help match your skin color as closely as possible. Bear in mind that in the summer skin color can change due to tanning, so a summer foundation shade may be necessary. I am so very fair that I have to buy the lightest shade possible, so that makes it easy for me. When it comes to using powder, technique is essential. I use the swirl tap buff method. Swirl a nice large fluffy brush in the powder just a bit. tap your brush on the edge of your compact or your sink to shake off any clumps. Then use a circular buffing motion to apply to the face taking special care at the jaw line. Next is blush, I like to buy things in a set that is designed for my skin color. This cuts down on the guess-work regarding color choice. Again I like a powder for is ease of blending. I like a medium-sized brush for application. It sounds crazy but I suck in my cheeks before I begin application and feel where my cheek bones are in order to find the “apple” of my cheek. Then I load the brush and buff on that apple of the cheek. My rule is less is more. At this point I will also, without reloading the brush, sweep over each eyelid as well as my forehead. This functions as my eye shadow. The most important step is a translucent face powder that is applied last. This is key for me because it softens the whole face and catches any spots that may not have been blended enough. I recommend this step whether a liquid or powder foundation is used.

I confess, I do not do much on my eyes. It is too difficult for me and I would not feel confident without having someone check it before I go out. I have used a liquid eyeshadow that comes in a tube. I have just placed a small amount on my finger and begin at my eyelid and used my finger to apply it so that I can feel it and control where it goes. At this point, I follow with a sponge to blend. One of my favorite things for eyes is a clear gel mascara. I like this because if I make a mistake and get it elsewhere it can’t be seen. This is also something that takes practice. I have taught myself to feel for the gentle tug on my eyelash to know I am in the right place with the applicator brush. I have had many occurrences of the brush ending up in my eye because I have gotten too close with my brush. To help learn the feel, hold the brush close to your lashes and then blink. You will feel your lashes hit the brush. This will teach you the length or your lashes and how close you need to go to your eye without getting the brush in the eye. I love a curved brush for this if you can find it. You can apply as much as you want because it is clear. I also take it across my eyebrow and follow-up by smoothing the eyebrow with my finger. This can tame unruly brows if necessary.

Lipstick is easy. That is a feeling thing. However lipstick can also applied with fingers to ensure control. Here I also like using a tinted lip gloss which gives some color without an intense color. I then follow-up by taking my finger around the border of my lips to feel for anything that might have made it to the skin. A tissue wrapped over my finger can also be used to remove any wayward lipstick.

To me, looking healthy is the key to make up. That is my goal. Remember that color in clothing can also accentuate your look. This can make you look brighter without ever applying anything. Just picking the right top or a well placed scarf can brighten up the skin and add a glow.

Facial Hair Removal

This is a challenge. I do not do much with my eyebrows. I get that done by my beautician. I do not let her wax them. I feel most people take too much eyebrow off. I let her tweeze them each time I get my hair cut. Let’s face it ladies, as we age, pesky chin and upper lip hairs start cropping up seemingly overnight. I get rid of them by using an epilator. This is an electric tool that has rotating tweezers that yank those hairs out at the roots. I know, it sounds painful, however it is not bad on the face. I use mine on the lowest speed and it is essential to get the skin taut so you don’t catch your skin in the appliance. Yes, I learned that one the hard way. I find that easier than trying to use tweezers. I have scratched my skin and left it red and raw because of trying to catch the same hair over and over again by feel. A big word of caution. I would not use an epilator on eyebrows at all.

When I was younger I could see my own face a bit by using a lighted make up mirror. This was great at the time because

it also had a magnified mirror. So, that is a possible way to compensate if you can still see your own face. I cannot see my face at all now so I do make up and hair completely by feel. It can be done it just takes practice and the right tools. I hope this helps. Just remember the best make up and style is your own happiness and good health.

Click here for more tips on personal grooming.

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One thought on “Guest Author: Lara on Beauty for the Blind”

  1. Well presented. Good advice and I for one appreciate Lara’s thoughtful explanation of beauty tips for sight impaired ladies.

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