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.

(See the end of this page for subscribing via email, RSS, browsing articles by subject, blog archive, APH resources, writing for Fred's Head, and disclaimers.)



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:

No comments:

Subscribe to receive posts via email

* indicates required

Browse Articles by Subject

Follow us on Twitter


Write for us

Your input and support in the evolution of Fred's Head are invaluable! Contact us about contributing original writing or for suggestions for updating existing articles. Email us at


The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) makes every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data contained in the Fred's Head articles; however, APH makes no warranty, guarantee, or promise, expressed or implied, concerning the content or accuracy of the information provided in Fred's Head. APH does not endorse any technique, product, device, service, organization, or other information presented in Fred's Head, other than products and services directly offered by APH.

The products produced by the American Printing House for the Blind are instructional/teaching materials and are intended to be used by trained professionals, parents, and other adults with children who are blind and visually impaired. These materials are not intended as toys for use by children in unstructured play or in an unsupervised environment.

The information and techniques contained in Fred's Head are provided without legal consideration (free-of-charge) and are not warranted by APH to be safe or effective. All users of this service assume the risk of any injury or damage that may result from the use of the information provided.

Information in Fred's Head is not intended as a substitute for professional advice or treatment. Consult your physician before utilizing information regarding your health that may be presented on this site. Consult other professionals as appropriate for legal, financial, and related advice.

Fred's Head articles may contain links to other websites. APH is not responsible for the content of these sites.

Fred's Head articles created by APH staff are (C) copyright American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. You must request permission from APH to reprint these articles. Email to request permission.

Any submissions to Fred's Head should be free of copyright restrictions and should be the intellectual property of the submitter. By submitting information to Fred's Head, you are granting APH permission to publish this information.

Fair Use Notice: This website may contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright holder(s). This site is operated on the assumption that using this information constitutes 'fair use' of said copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law.

Opinions appearing in Fred's Head records are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Printing House for the Blind.