Makeup for the Blind

Being blind does not mean being makeup free. If you are a sighted person reading this your first thought or feeling might be to cringe imagining a result something like “The Joker” from Batman or a garish clown-like figure.

initial efforts at putting on makeup while blind
Um… no.

But in fact a great sensitivity to touch and feel and a methodical approach mixed with practice can make for as smooth and blended look as any sighted person. Let’s look at a successful blind makeup application approach.

Blogger Christine Ha writes that she gets great results: “It’s better than what I can do myself” sighted women will say. Blush, lipstick and powder were fairly easy to pick up. Mascara and eyeliner were another matter and took some trial and error (eye pokes!). But with persistence and practice even those have become easy, she writes. There are no schools for the blind to learn makeup application but Christine does have a coach at a local cosmetics counter who helps her develop her blind makeup application skills – eye shadow application being the latest (imagine!).

A couple of examples of way to apply makeup without seeing what you’re doing would be to apply foundation by systematic sweeps in wide circles as if you were looking for a dropped item on the floor in the dark. For applying mascara become familiar with the length of your tools beforehand and perhaps use a shorter brush – once you feel the brush touch your eyelashes start stroking the mascara on. If you can apply eye makeup well it can, paradoxically, help distract from your eyes and blindness.

For lipstick there’s a trick to make sure you don’t leave any on the inside of your lips that may end up on your teeth. Simply put a (clean, obviously) finger in your mouth and pull out. This will remove any stray bits close to your teeth.

In the end, though, if your sight is compromised it’s important to have an honest, sighted friend or partner to double-check your efforts. When that’s not possible simplicity and choosing muted tones is key.