Making Makeup Accessible

Hello Everyone,

There are so many people that think that I am not able to wear makeup because I am blind. There are also a lot of people who are not sure how I am able to decipher which products are which when getting ready. I will show you today and try to explain how I am able to do this today !

I use three methods to know what products are which, the first one I use is common sense I am able to remember certain products due to the unique shape of their packaging. I also use a Pen Friend which is a device that looks like a large pen that you wave over re-recordable labels. I also use braille labels, not that often but I do use them sometimes.

Pen Friend

The picture above is the Pen Friend you will see throughout this post that on many of my products there is small round white stickers on them. These are the recordable labels that I am able to record the colour and or brand or whatever else is pertinent. So for example my Kat Von D lipstick I have, has a label on it and when you wave the Pen Friend over it it reads” Kat Von D Lipstick Lolita a darker nude shade.” This is the information that I get when I am shopping for my makeup and I will usually ask my good friend whom I trust with the descriptions of colours.

braille bronzer

Here is a photo of my bronzer which has a braille label on it, this is the one I grab most days so it was just easier to put a braille label on it. The Braille says br which is short for bronzer when I use them on blush for example it will say bl.

shampoo and toothbrush

Here is a photo of my Shampoo and Conditioner and I threw my tooth brush in there as well. This is a simple way of being able to distinguish my shampoo from conditioner because the bottles feel the same way. The one with the elastic around it is the shampoo and you guessed it the other is conditioner. I also use a elastic on my tooth brush, I love my husband but I am not fond of sharing tooth brushes.

Clinique products

The above photo is of my facial cleanser, toner and moisturizer. This is an example of common sense the bottles are all different therefore it is easy to distinguish between the three of them so there is no need to mark them.

Here is a collage of my other makeup products that I use on a regular basis, you will see that some have labels on them and some do not. I memorize a lot of things for my day to day life. I am able to go through my closet and know what most clothing items are just by feeling them. So with my brushes this is what I do, I just use touch to figure out which is which. With my eye liner I am able to tell them all apart right now but there have been times where two will feel very similar so i have marked them with a Pen Friend label. My mascara has a orange bump on dot, that raised dot tells me that when my finger is on it the curve in the brush of the mascara is up. All of my powders and blushes also have a pen friend label on them and or braille depending on what I mark it with when I get it. My lipstick all have Pen Friend dots on them and I usually try to say what the colour is like and what it goes well with. My foundation I just use the shape of the bottles but have marked them with braille or pen friend labels. My eye shadow pallets I have the colours that will look good on me memorized. If I want to use a colour I have not memorized I will video chat with a good friend and have her describe the colour to me and then I will also have her check if it looks ok.

There are many things in my life that I have just found a way to do them and this is one that I am happy I was able to make it work. I enjoy makeup and the challenge of putting it on and making it look good. So many times people think that my husband puts on my makeup and he is great at painting nails but I do not think he could do a better job than me putting on makeup.

Until Next Time !

Ashley and Rick

Facebook: www.facebook.com/blindmovingon

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Blind Makeup and Fashion

Who did your makeup ? Who picks out your clothes ? These are questions I get asked on a regular basis. I don’t mind that people ask them, it is the only way that we are going educate people about our abilities and over come these stigmas that we live with every day. Now to answer those questions for you.

I DO !! I love makeup this was not always the case, I was a major tom boy back in the day and would rather have been out playing with the boys getting dirty than wear makeup. This is still true to some extend these days, I love to strap on my snowboard and get outside and get dirty, but I also really enjoy some girly time as well.

Doing my makeup is something that I learned to do from my mom when I was about 13 or 14 years old. Like I said earlier I never wore makeup very often but I did when there was a nice occasion to go to. With the help from my mom I figured out what colours looked good on me and how to apply it so I did not look like a clown. Now that I am older and like to wear makeup more often I have really perfected the skill of putting it on, or atlas it is perfect for what I need. I do it the same way as any other person with sight would, except I can do it in the dark when my husband is sleeping and without a mirror so there is perks. I have some of my makeup labeled with my pen friend (a voice recording labelling device ) and I also have most of the products memorized as to what their packaging feels like etc. My makeup is also very organized into drawers. There is limits to what I can do when applying makeup such as I can not for the life of me get liquid eye liner to work however I am not sure this is because of my sight. I also have little tricks that I use such as putting my eye liner on before my eye shadow so that if the line is not strait or the same as the other eye my eye shadow will hide it a little bit.

When shopping for makeup I have to ask for help. I will ask very specific questions about the products such as it’s colour and try to gauge the shade of the colour and if that is what I am looking for. I also use my friend to help with this, I will call her and face time with her when I am in the store to make sure that it is a shade that I would wear. Everyone has a different opinion of colour and how they describe colour so having someone you trust is very important. I will also take my husband with me if it is something very specific I am looking for that I can explain very well because he does not know the difference between blush and lipstick. But he gets an A for effort.

When it comes to fashion, I don’t like to look like I don’t care or like just because I am blind it is ok to wear things that don’t match or look horrible on me. Just because I can not see does not mean that I am not aware that our appearance plays a large part in a first impression and weather or not someone is going to take you seriously. I also feel better when I think I look good everyone wants to look good. I also like to shop, I like to feel the fabrics in the store and look at all the new things that are out.

When I go shopping for clothes I will go alone or with my husband usually, I often again have to ask for help if I am looking for something specific. This again gets tricky with colour because everyone describes colour very differently so I will just ask questions like “is there any green to the blue or is it just blue ? ” “is this more of a coral pink or a bubble gum pink?” “can you describe the pattern and how large it is ?”. People are generally very helpful when it comes to going out shopping. I really enjoy shopping alone if I am not looking for anything specific I will walk around the store and feel all the clothes and if I find something I think I like how it feels and the shape of it I will ask someone in the store to describe it in more detail.

I am writing this today to help people to understand that being blind does not mean that I am going to never worry about how my hair, makeup and clothes look and that I will walk around in a cat sweat suit. (if cat sweat suits are your thing, all the power to you ! ) I want to be taken seriously and my vision does not affect my ability to do things like wear matching clothes and put makeup on. I love a shopping and getting my nails done like any other girl !!!!

Until Next Time !
Ashley and Rick