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Eye Makeup Tips for the Visually Impaired

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suggestions for visually impaired in applying eye makeup Piotr Marcinski/PhotoSpin

I’ve recently lost the vision (temporarily) in one eye and have found that applying eye makeup can be quite challenging. But I determined to continue my daily routine as best I can with partial vision and that includes wearing makeup.

Many women can’t see a thing without their glasses or contacts and have a devil of a time applying eye makeup, so I’d like to share some tips that I’ve found helpful.

1. Makeup Tools

• Magnifying makeup mirror with good lighting -- An essential tool for both the sighted and partially sighted

• Magnifying glass -- Use this when after applying to expect possible mistakes

• Clean cosmetic applicators

• Tissues and Q-tips, wipes, etc.

• Eye makeup remover (hypoallergenic and oil-free works best)

• Eyelash curler

2. Use the Vision You Have

If you are lucky enough to have partial vision, use it to your advantage. Most of us tend to close our eyes when applying eye makeup, but practice keeping at least one eye open.

Lean close to the mirror and tip your head back and look down when applying eye shadow or liner. When it’s time for mascara look straight ahead or bow your head downward until you can see minimally what you’re doing.

When one of your senses has been impaired, another sense can help you out. Whether you use your fingers, a brush, or a sponge-tipped applicator, your sense of touch will become more acute than your sight.

3. The process

• Eye shadow - Use a light touch, first into the eye shadow container (I find powder works better than cake, but it’s a matter of choice), then on to the eye.

Check the amount of eye shadow after each wipe until you reach the color, thickness and variation you’re looking for. Remember to count how many strokes you use to get an even amount on each eye.

Note: If you have a hard time determining the colors in the eye shadow compact, ask a friend to help or buy shadow colors separately and mark the darkest color to the lightest.

• Eyeliner - Applying eyeliner can be tricky for even those with 20/20 vision, but for the visually impaired it can be a toughie and you might decide to skip this step. But if you’re up for the challenge, here we go.

Hold the eyeliner pencil close to the point (pencil is much easier to use than liquid), again, relying on your sense of touch. When the tip is the closest to the base of the lash line, draw a line from the middle of your eyelid to the outside corner.

Smudge the line gently with either your index finger or applicator wand. Check the line with the magnifying glass before repeating the process. Avoid the raccoon look by only using eyeliner on top lid.

Note: Less is more when using eyeliner especially if you wear glasses with magnified lenses.

• Mascara - At this point, applying mascara is a breeze.

Hold the handle of the mascara brush like a pencil and carefully bring it close until you can feel the brush beneath the top lashes. Brush up and away several times (again, counting is important).

Some people blink to pull the mascara off the brush and onto the lashes, but I have no problem brushing in the upward motion.

Repeat as needed and/or use eyelash curler to make lashes appear longer and thicker.

Practice makes perfect when applying eye makeup when you are visually impaired, but having confidence with or without makeup is the most important key to happiness.


Applying Makeup. Living Blind. Web. 27, September, 2012

Beauty Talks – Eyes Q&A. Sephora. Web. 27, September, 2012

Applying Eye Makeup: Tips for Self-Care After Vision Loss. VisionAware. Web. 27, September. 2012]

Reviewed September 27, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

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EmpowHER Guest

If you have small eyes, applying eye make-up might be quite a baffling job. Although your aim may be to make them appear only a wee bit larger than they actually are, the task may not be just like simple. Overdoing the make-up could possibly make them look smaller, while applying not enough of it could render them completely insignificant. Therefore, the secret lies in striking a medium balance that is just right for that desired impact. Similarly, the option of colours can also be extremely important while doing up smaller eyes. Whereas some colours can magnify them, some could make them appear further diminished. Therefore, to be able to accomplish this task perfectly, you would surely require some expert help and guidance. Eye makeup for small eye

November 5, 2012 - 10:13pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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