Beauty, fashion and sight loss
Holly Tuke blogs about disability, fashion and lifestyle at Life Of A Blind Girl. Today, she talks to us about the misconceptions surrounding visual impairment and style.
Many people have the idea that blind and visually impaired people can’t look stylish or that we can’t have an interest in fashion, however this common misconception is far from the truth. People with a visual impairment can actually have an interest in fashion and beauty, want to learn to apply their own make-up and actually want to look stylish or keep up with the latest trends.
I don’t let the fact that I have no useful vision stop me from having an interest in make-up and fashion, just like sighted people. Beauty and fashion is something that I often discuss on my blog. I want to give you a few tips on beauty and fashion if you have a visual impairment. Just because a person has sight loss, it does not mean that they cannot enjoy beauty or fashion. Whether you have some useful vision or have no vision, it does not mean that you should miss out on feeling and looking good.
This post is broken up into two sections: beauty and fashion.
Have a good skincare routine
This is so important, as it is the base for looking good and feeling good. Having a good skincare routine helps your skin in many ways as well and keeps it as healthy as possible.
Go shopping with someone that you trust
It’s vital to go shopping with someone that you know well and trust when you want to purchase some new products as they can help you pick out the right shades that match your skin tone, give an honest opinion of what looks good on you and help you decide on what to buy if you’re unsure.
Go to beauty counters
If you are unable to go shopping with someone that you trust then you can always go to beauty counters for some assistance. Staff are often
very happy to help you choose the best products that match your skin tone, help you choose some new ones and also show you how to apply the products. They are trained in what they do so can offer expert advice which is always good!
Start off with samples
If you are starting out with makeup and beauty products then don’t waste your money on lots of products that you may or may not like, start off by using samples which you can get at beauty counters. Once you find out the products that you like and that you are able to apply confidently and independently you can then go and purchase the full-size products. Getting samples of products can also be a great way of finding out which products you can confidently, comfortably and independently apply as a blind or visually impaired person. They are a great starting point.
They can also be really useful if you have sensitive skin, then you can find out which products are suitable for your skin and which ones are not.
Get to know your face
This might sound a bit strange but stick with me ok? Getting to know your face is key, when applying makeup, you need to know where to apply the products and need to know the different areas of your face in order to apply them in the right places. This is especially important as for many blind and visually impaired people, applying makeup is often done with the sense of touch.
Find a way of identifying your beauty products
There are many ways that you can do this: by labelling the products, using bumpons or other methods, using products such as the RNIB Penfriend or organising your products in a specific way – find a method that works for you. It’s important that you know exactly what each product is as they can often feel the same.
Practice, practice, practice!
Like many things, being able to apply makeup when you have a visual impairment takes a lot of practice, I’d definitely say that practice is key.
Find out the products that work for you and ones you find most comfortable applying, for example, travel sized mascaras might be easier for you to use as they have a smaller wand, compared to the normal sized mascaras.
Don’t worry if you make mistakes, it’s all about learning and we most certainly don’t learn if we don’t make mistakes.
If you practice then it becomes so much easier and you’ll definitely feel more comfortable and confident in applying your make-up.
Like makeup, fashion is also something that people with a visual impairment can be interested in. There are many tips that can make fashion enjoyable when you have sight loss, here are a few of them.
Know your style
This is key! Knowing your style means that you can wear clothes that you feel comfortable and confident wearing and know that they will look good. Just because you have a visual impairment, it does not mean that you can get to know your style and the things you like or don’t like.
Go shopping with someone you trust
I know that I mentioned this in my beauty tips but it also applies to fashion. It’s important to take someone shopping with you that you trust and someone that knows your style. At the end of the day, you don’t want them to be telling you that something looks good when it actually doesn’t…awks
Don’t be scared to ask for assistance
It’s not always possible to go shopping with a friend or family, so if you go shopping on your own then ask for assistance, most staff are always happy to help and assist you in finding what you’re looking for.
Find websites that are accessible
If you need to do a bit of online shopping, use websites that are accessible, this may be with a screen-reader or magnification software. There are many websites that provide good, detailed descriptions of clothing and accessories, but there are also those that do not so it’s all about exploring which ones work for you.
Make use of assistive technology
Assistive technology can be great when doing a bit of shopping for new clothes or accessories. Magnifiers can be used in shops or on PC’s to take a closer look at the items, screen-readers can be used for online shopping, apps such as Tap Tap See can be useful when identifying the colours of items of clothing. Use assistive technology to your advantage.
Organise your wardrobe
This is a key thing to do when you have sight loss. There are many ways that you can do this, it’s all about trying what works best for you.
Find a way of identifying your clothes
This could be by touch, sight, by putting labels on the clothes or using technology such as the RNIB PenFriend or a colour detector to identify your products.
Being able to identify your clothes means that you can put an outfit together independently and know that you’ll look good.
These are a few tips for making the most out of beauty and fashion when you have a visual impairment, I hope that they have been of use.
Do you have any tips of your own? We'd love to hear them!