Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Thursday, March 31, 2011

How to Apply Makeup

We all like to look good, and a little makeup can help us look even better. When applied correctly, makeup can accentuate our best features.

If you are just learning to apply makeup, all the information in this record may seem overwhelming. However, keep in mind that applying makeup takes lots of patience for anyone new to it. After a while you will learn a routine. Just remember that you will have to practice, make mistakes and try again.

We have divided the makeup application process into 9 steps. To navigate this page easily follow the links to the step you are most interested in checking out.

Things to keep in mind...

Step 1: Preparing your face

Step 2: Preparing your eyes

Step 3: Applying eyeshadow

Step 4: Applying eyeliner

Step 5: Applying mascara

Step 6: Applying foundation and powder

Step 7: Shaping and coloring your eyebrows

Step 8: Applying blush

Step 9: Applying lipstick

Things to keep in mind...

1. There are tons of different kinds, colors, and brands of makeup. To start your collection, you may want to buy neutral colors that go well with your complexion as well as with most basic items in your wardrobe.

2. To learn which colors go best with your complexion and facial characteristics, you may want to start by visiting a makeup consultant at the mall. They will give you advice for free in hopes that you will purchase one or two items from their product line. Or, you can ask a friend or someone you trust to tell you which colors go best with you.

3. When you are just learning how to apply makeup, it is best to practice when you don't have to go anywhere and you have plenty of spare time. Practice putting it on, see how it looks and feels, and take it off. Then, when the time comes, you'll do a great job without getting frustrated if something goes a little wrong.

4. When applying any makeup, including eye shadow, you will need to make sure all edges are feathered so the colors just fade awwway gradually. You do not want any distinct lines showing where a color starts or stops. Most sighted people mainly use brushes and sponges to apply and blend their makeup to avoid getting it on their hands. However, there is nothing wrong with using your fingers to apply or blend down the colors. Besides, it gives you a better "feel" for how much makeup you are using. Just keep some tissue on hand to clean your hands after using them.

6. A little makeup can make you look good, but more is not always better in the case of makeup. Too much makeup can make you look bad. To learn how much makeup looks good on you, talk to your friends and try different things.

7. If you are planning to wear a pull over shirt, put it on before you start your makeup routine and put something on to cover it.

8. Finally, remember that although we are covering all areas of makeup application in this record, you don't have to go through every step. Some people don't need, or don't want to use foundation. Some people don't like, or are allergic to eyeliner. For some occasions you need more makeup because you are dressing up more than for others. Therefore, use only the makeup that you feel comfortable wearing. So, here we go...

Step 1
Preparing your face

1. Wash your face with warm water and soap, or with a facial cleanser.

2. Apply a light cream or moisturizer. Be sure that the moisturizer is fully absorbed, otherwise your face will feel oily and there may be problems when applying your foundation.

Step 2
Preparing your eyes

1. Apply foundation to the eyelids going all the way up to the browbone, and let it set for 3 to 5 minutes. When applying foundation, do not apply it in thick layers, it looks bad when it is too thick. A small touch of foundation should be more than enough to cover your eyelid.

2. Apply powder to the area of the eye where you just applied foundation. Most people use a brush for this purpose. If you want to make sure the powder is covering the whole area, run your index finger slightly over the eyelid. You will be able to feel the powder, and your finger may help make it spread more evenly. If your eyelid feels a little sticky, that is a sign that you didn't put on enough powder.

Step 3
Applying eye shadow

Most people use 3 colors of eye shadow: a dark, a medium and a light color. However, you can use more or less than three if you wish to do so.

1. The medium color is supposed to show only from just below the eyelid crease to the browbone. However, the best technique for blind people is to first shade the entire lid with this medium shade covering the whole area, then apply the darker color.

2. The dark color is applied only to the eyelids from the lashline to the crease in the eyelid. It is best to start in the middle of the eyelid and work out towards the outside.

3. The lighter color is our highlight. This lighter color is applied to the browbone and extends a little past the outer end of the eyebrow. This gives a pearly finish to the eye.

Step 4
Applying eyeliner

There are 2 kinds of eyeliners: liquid and solid. The solid comes in a pencil and it is the easiest to use. It is less messy and easier to apply correctly. When you purchase an eyeliner, make sure it is a pencil that is nice and creamy. Some pencils have a foam rubber smudger on one end. You may want to consider buying one of these.

1. To apply the eyeliner, run the pencil right along the eyelash line. This is right above the upper eyelid lashes and right underneath the lower eyelashes. It is best to only line directly above and below where the lashes are growing. Do not extend your line too close to the inner corner of the eye, it does not look right.

2. When you have finished lining, lightly smudge the line you just drew so that it doesn't look like a distinct line. If your pencil doesn't have a rubber smudger, you can always use a Q-tip.

3. Every so often run your index finger parallel to the line, moving it towards the outside of your eye. This gets rid of the excess eyeliner. You may want to do this periodically throughout the day, to make sure the line still looks like a line, and it hasn't smeared off.

Step 5
Applying Mascara

Applying mascara is one of the most troublesome parts of applying makeup. Mascara is usually black or dark in color and sticks to anything it touches. When you try to wipe it off it smears even worse. So, you need to be very careful when applying it to your lashes.

1. The first coat of mascara should be light. To get rid of extra mascara during the first coat, pull the mascara brush from the tube and lightly wipe it across a tissue.

2. To apply mascara you must run the mascara brush from the lash roots to the lash tips, coating the length of each lash hair. To avoid touching any area around your eyes with the brush, try placing the brush at the lash roots, slowly pulling it away from you as you close and open your eye. As the lash brush travels up the lash hairs you need to slightly move it right and left to make sure you cover around each hair with mascara.

3. Right after the first coat of mascara is applied, put the wand back into the mascara tube, pick up a lash comb or an old cleaned off mascara wand and run the bristles carefully through the still wet lashes. This will separate them nicely. You will probably need to do this more than once to get the hairs separated.

4. Depending on how dark and thick you want your lashes to look, you may want to apply two or even three coats of mascara. Just remember to let each coat dry before applying the next one.

5. In the event that you get unwanted mascara on your face or your hands, use lotion to remove the stain. Using a tissue, water or soap may just cause the stain to smear even worse.

Step 6
Applying foundation and powder

1. Most people use liquid foundation because it is the easiest to apply. You can use your fingers or a sponge to apply it. Using your fingers allows you to get a better feel on how it is being applied.

2. Pour a small amount of foundation onto your sponge or into your hand. A drop about the size of a dime or nickel should be enough.

3. Dab it on your forehead, nose, cheeks, jaw, chin, neck, lips, and blend it in using a circular motion. There are different ways you can do this- some people put stripes of foundation over the different areas and blend them together. Others start at the nose and work outwards. It doesn't really matter how you do it as long as you cover your whole face AND neck and blend it all well.

When applying foundation give special attention to the hairline areas, the area right in front of the ears, and the neck area. Blend all edges carefully, especially around the throat, where the foundation stops. It's very important that you put the makeup PAST your jawline. Just don't use too much or it will look bad. Don't worry if you put foundation in your eyebrows.

4. The foundation should be a very thin layer, it shouldn't be very noticeable or feel "heavy". If you feel you put too much foundation, just use a towel and lightly rub off some of the excess in a circular motion.

5. When you are finished applying the foundation, don't touch it! Don't powder it! Don't do anything with it for 5 to 10 minutes. It needs to set in order to give it a more even, finished look.

6. After 5 to 10 minutes, it's time to apply powder. You can do this with a sponge or a brush. When you finish applying it, you may want to run your fingers over your face. Just go lightly over the areas that you powdered. This will even out any excess accumulation of powder.

Step 7
Shaping and coloring your eyebrows

According to some experts, the eyebrows are the most important feature in defining the face. The shape and grooming of your eyebrows will make your eyes look bigger and open up your face more naturally.

Shaping your eyebrows

Most people have a good natural shape, it just needs to be defined better.

1. There are several methods to shape your eyebrows. The most commonly used is to pluck the eyebrows with a pair of tweezers. Remember to pluck your eyebrows at least a few hours before you plan to wear makeup. This gives the skin a chance to close up and get rid of the redness.

2. The goal is to get rid of the hair underneath your natural arch. So, simply start plucking from the middle of your face (closest to your nose) and work your way to the part closest to your temple. Remember always to pluck only from the bottom.

3. Your eyebrows grow naturally toward the outside of your face. To make sure you got rid of all unwanted hair, run your index fingertip under your natural arch from the outside, where your temple is, toward your nose. Running your finger against its natural growth will allow you to feel even the finest hairs you may have missed. Once you find them, pluck them.

4. A few people have what is called a uni-brow. If this is the case, you will need to pluck in between your two eyebrows to separate them.

Coloring the eyebrows

1. Using a lash comb or an old clean mascara wand, brush your brows

2. The brows can be colored using eyeshadow or an eyebrow pencil. If you are using a pencil then all you will need is the pencil. If you are using eyeshadow then you will need the shadow and a pointy eyeshadow brush. In either case pick a shade that matches your hair color or just a shade lighter.

3. After applying some color to your eyebrows, take a q-tip, or the tip of your finger and blend the color evenly.

Step 8
Applying blush

One of the easiest ways to get a healthy look is with blush. However, improperly applying blush can really mess up an otherwise good makeup application. So, follow these steps carefully, and ask for advice from your friends on how much blush looks good on you. Remember that blush is supposed to portray just a hint of color.

There are two types of blush, powder and cream. The only difference between the two is the method of application, the powder uses a brush and the cream uses two fingers.

Your skin tone and hair color are the determining factor in your choice of blush. A way to find the perfect color blush for your skin, look at your cheeks after you have exercised. That is what your natural blush color should look like. However, if you are uncertain about which blush color to choose, start with a peach. A peachy shade is considered the universal shade.

1. Before applying blush, you need to find the apples of your cheeks. The easiest way is to just smile. You will see the fleshy part that stands out the most. This is the apple of your cheeks. This is your starting point for applying your blush. The ending point will be your hairline.

2. Draw an imaginary horizontal line under your nose going all the way across your face. Then, draw a vertical line from the middle of each of your eyes down to the horizontal line that you drew under your nose. These two lines will form a right angle. Your concentration of blush color and blending will primarily be within this right angle. Do not go below the horizontal line with the color. Apply blush in layers until you get the strength of color that suits you.

Once you find a blush that suits your skin color, you may want to keep purchasing the same brand and color. That way you can count the number of coats you need to look just right.

Step 9
Applying lipstick

Applying lipstick is, usually, the last step of makeup application. Lipsticks come in a variety of different colors. Most people try to match their tone of lipstick with the color of the clothes and fingernail polish they are wearing. So most likely, you will have more than one lipstick in your makeup collection.

1. With a lipstick, outline your lips by following their natural shape. Then apply lipstick to the rest of your lips.

2. To make sure the lipstick is spread evenly, press your lips together and rub them against each other.

3. To prevent lipstick from getting on your teeth after you apply it, put a piece of tissue between your lips and press them together. This will get rid of the excess lipstick.

4. Trace the outside of your lips with your index finger. This will get rid of any lipstick outside your natural outline.

5. Since lipstick containers look similar, you can mark the different colors by putting a sticker or a braille label at the bottom of the tube. For instance, use the letter "P" for pink and "R" for red.

Here we go! We are finished with all the steps. Now all you need is to fix your hair your favorite way and, if you like, apply a little perfume.
Good luck, and don't ever be afraid to try something new!

See Eye-To-Eye Cosmetic Lens

Sheesh! The things you don't know about because you're a guy!

I guess you girls who are visually impaired have difficulty applying eyeliner and mascara because you can't get the applicator behind your glasses? If you remove your glasses, you can't see.

That's where the " See Eye-to-Eye" (TM) product may be of assistance. It's a cosmetic lens, much like the magnifying readers you may already have, but has no top frame and only ONE lens hinged at the bridge. The frame stays out of your way and you can simply rotate the lens from one eye to the other to apply eye make up.

When you purchase the See Eye-To-Eye cosmetic lens you automatically receive a matching carrying case. Use your See Eye-To-Eye at home or for touch ups on the go.

For durability and strength, the See Eye-To-Eye rimless lens system is made using polycarbonate lenses. Polycarbonate is considered to be the most highly impact resistant lens material in the world.

To properly use your See Eye-To-Eye cosmetic lens you will need to order the proper magnification. They currently offer three magnifying powers +2.00, +3.00, and +4.00 and if your need ever exceeds their standard power range, your local eye care professional can fit your See Eye-To-Eye with a stronger lens.

To place an order or just learn more, use the contact information below: Toll Free: 866-733-2393
Phone: 469-384-3608
Fax: 468-384-0063

See Eye To Eye, LLC will gladly exchange any see eye-to-eye product that is not ordered in the proper magnification (less shipping and handling charges.) See Eye To Eye, LLC is committed to help in the fight against breast cancer and donates a percentage of all sales of See Eye-To-Eye cosmetic frames to support breast cancer initiatives.

Chrome Pivot Arm 5X Lighted Wall Magnifying Mirror by Kimball and Young

Perfect for applying make-up, tweezing, etc.

The Kimball and Young Chrome Pivot Arm 5X Lighted Wall Magnifying Mirror offers a 5X magnification in a beautiful chrome finish. This premium quality low vision magnifying mirror enables you to apply make up, shave and any other activity that requires special care and magnified viewing. It can be found in many of the finest hotels and resorts around the world.

This beautiful wall mounted magnifying mirror comes in a polished finish and extends up to 13" from the wall and makes a beautiful addition to any bathroom.


  • Single-sided 5x magnification
  • 7.75" diameter
  • 13" extension
  • 25 watts incandescent illumination
  • Single sided, tilts for viewing
  • 6 foot cord
  • Wall mount on/off switch
  • Frame Diameter: 7.75"
  • Viewing Diameter: 5.75"
  • Mounting Plate Dimensions: 4.75" x 3.25"
  • Retracted Width Wall Space: 7.75"
  • Retracted Height Wall Space: 7.75"
  • Extended Distance From Wall: 13"
  • Retracted Distance From Wall: 4.75"
Click this link to purchase the Chrome Pivot Arm 5X Lighted Wall Magnifying Mirror by Kimball and Young from SHOP.COM.

Beauty Sense

Just because you are blind or partially sighted does not mean that your image is any less important than anyone else's. Whether your issue is with makeup application, or just finding a beauty routine which is right for your lifestyle, makeup artist to the stars, Jenny Jordan has the answer to your problems.

Action for Blind People, a UK-based organization wants to help you look your best by offering a page of Jenny's tips and beauty secrets. Topics discussed include: tips on makeup application tools, recommendations on makeup brands, makeup no-no's and advice on permanent makeup.

Jenny Jordan is a leading freelance makeup artist with nearly 20 years' experience. Her work graces the pages of magazines such as Vogue, Elle and Marie Claire. She has worked with photographers such as David Bailey and Lord Snowden and made up many famous faces including Marie Helvin and the Duchess of York. Click this link to visit the Beauty Sense page of the Action for blind people website. Click this link to visit the Action for Blind People website:

ColorOn Instant Makeup Applicators

Make-up skills are not something genetic, so the simple fact that you're a girl doesn't ensure that you can actually apply that expensive blush you just bought and make it look like the models you see on TV. What to do when you want to look fabulous, can't see very well to do it yourself and can't afford to pay for a professional make-up job?

Until recently, I would've said "don't ask me", but it appears there's a solution: the ColorOn Instant Makeup Applicators. You get an oval applicator which you just press onto your eye, then you adjust the look with the included brush and setting powder and you're set. Click this link to visit Carissa's Beauty Blog to see a video demonstration of the product.

There's a wide range of colors to choose from and most of them are lovely combinations of colors (the zebra print is a bit toooo much, though).

I would get a set at least for last minute party preparations. Beats running around like a headless chicken while simultaneously trying to get dressed, put on make-up, call 2 friends and finding that pair of shoes, hey, I'm married, I've seen this before ladies. Click this link to purchase the ColorOn Instant Makeup Applicators from

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