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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Monday, July 18, 2011

The Wild Blue and Purple Yonder: Blind chicks and makeup mess- ups: apprehension and prevention

by Sassy Outwater

If You Give A Blind Chick New Makeup… She’ll Paint Her Face Purple: it’s the Pitfall of Pretty Colors. They look good, when they stay where you put them. When they don’t… the results can be catastrophically funny, or downright humiliating. Nothing like doing your best to gussy up for a date, and finding out your best efforts made you look like a Halloween costume gone horribly awry.

As you probably can guess… The title of this article did happen. I recently attended a party with some friends and decided to use a new shade of pretty purple eye shadow. I used a cream to powder base eye shadow from Bare Minerals, the same type of eye shadow I’ve been using for over a Year. Just a new color. Safe bet? Wrong! I wear the brand routinely, I know what I’m doing with a makeup brush—that’s supposed to exempt me from having to worry about excess powder falling on my cheeks. I’d feel it if it fell. Right?

Um… not so much!

My friend was gently scrubbing at my face with a makeup wipe minutes after we arrived at the party in an effort to take the purple off my nose and cheeks. Woops. Note to self: don’t use that eye shadow without first putting on a Hazmat suit. Got it.

It’s really not that drastic, but nothing galls quite like the “Honey, you have makeup where it’s not supposed to be,” aside you get at a function or get together. So, how do we avoid the pitfalls of new makeup and vibrant colors?

There are a couple very easy things you can do. If you are using brighter eye shadow colors like blues, purples, dark colors, or anything that can really stand out against your skin tone, put your eye shadow on first before any other makeup. Use a makeup wipe to scrub your nose and cheeks afterword, then apply your moisturizer and the rest of your makeup. Your other option is to lay a Kleenex along your nose and cheeks while applying the color. This will catch the excess powder that will fall off the eye shadow applicator or your finger.

I’m all for independent makeup application,but if you want to pull out the big guns, it’s best to have a pair of eyeballs to double checkthings. Especially if you’re using new products. Even a safe cream to powder eye shadow like the one I was using has a bit of spill to it. Learn these things with a sighted friend or family member around to do damage control before you go out on a date, not at the dinner table when your date points out that you have raccoon face. The other option, if you have an iPhone is Vizwiz. Do your makeup, take a pic, ask if you have any makeup spills or problems, send it off, and hear back. Use the feedback to fix problems, take another pic and repeat until you get it right. Technology is so cool!

And last but not least, know how to do your makeup right, but know what can go wrong. And take steps to prevent it. I.E. Lipstick can get on your teeth, eye shadow can fall and stain the cheeks, you can dot mascara on the side of your nose or your brows by accident. And stay vigilent for these things. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, a great lipstick for blind and visually impaired women is one that contains menthol. You can feel where the lipstick is at all times. And fix mistakes. It does not get easier than that. Stay one step ahead of your makeups wiles and you’ll win every time.

Luckily, I was with friends and the eye shadow turned into a good joke. But if I had walked on stage looking like that… No, not even going to think about it! Needless to say, writing this article serves as a nice dose of humble pie for me… So, you can bet I’ll be taking my own advice. Try new makeup styles out first on friends. Don’t be afraid to venture into the wild purple yonder… just please, go armed with a trusty set of eyeballs or a camera phone and a good sense of humor. And for Heaven’s sake, bring makeup wipes!

Sassy Outwater: Fulltime musician, part-time writer, health and style junky, Yoga instructor and blind chick.

For more info about fashion and blindness, to ask questions, or just to keep up with my misadventures, follow me on Twitter:

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