Dear Izzy is an anonymous advice column that offers solutions to everyday challenges for people who are blind or partially sighted.
Applying make-up has been an important part of my morning routine for as long as I can remember. I truly believe the adage, "If you look good, you feel good!" But, as my sight slowly deteriorates, I am having trouble applying mascara. Do you have any helpful tips that would make this task less cumbersome?
Unintentional Mascara Masquerade
Dear Unintentional Mascara Masquerade,
Applying mascara can be challenging with reduced vision. I would recommend experimenting with various lighting and magnification aids (e.g. magnifying mirrors). Or you may like to try the following technique that requires no sight:
1. When applying mascara to the upper lashes of the right eye, hold the mascara wand in the right hand. With the mascara wand in a horizontal position, place the tip of your left index finger at the brush end of the wand so that the length of the index finger is perpendicular to the mascara wand.
2. While eyelids are open, bring the horizontal mascara wand up to the eye lashes while the left index finger slides along the side of your nose until the wand has contacted the base of the lashes.
3. Close your right eyelid and stroke your eyelashes along the mascara wand instead of stroking the mascara wand across the length of the lashes.
4. Repeat the process for the upper lashes of the left eye while holding the mascara wand in the left hand and placing the tip of the right index finger at the brush end of the wand.
If you use this method of mascara application, do not forget that you will have wet mascara on the tips of your index fingers. Be sure not to smudge this mascara on your face or clothing. Wipe the mascara off with a dry facial tissue or cloth, using make-up remover, if necessary.
You may want to practice applying mascara using a clear mascara, like Maybelline's Great Lash Mascara, or a lash conditioner that is applied using a mascara wand.
I prefer to use a waterproof mascara so it is less likely to smudge or run during the day. I also apply my mascara first, allowing ample time for the product to dry before applying the remainder of my make-up. This way, I can simply remove the mascara with make-up remover and start over if I make a mistake.
If you would like to avoid the application of mascara altogether, you may prefer to have your lashes professionally tinted.
To learn additional make-up application tips, contact the independent living skills department at your local CNIB office.
If you would like to submit an independent living skills question to Izzy, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your question may be answered in a future CNIB blog.