Life on the Fringe
My guest blogger today is one of my dearest friends, Sassy Outwater. Sassy is…well…what isn’t she? Sassy is a brilliant musician, she’s writing a book, she works for the government, she’s smart and funny and beautiful and shares my love of corsets. She’s sooo many things. And…Sassy is blind.
I asked her to guest blog today, because one day on Twitter, I mentioned I had some makeup pics on my site and one of my readers said she couldn’t see them because she was blind, and that she was nervous about using makeup. And I thought immediately of Sassy, who doesn’t let her lack of vision stop her from doing much of anything, including applying makeup (and she does it well). So ladies, blind or not, Sassy’s got some great tips for you. I’ll chime in with my own this week, as well.
ALSO…Sassy has a great contest for you (which I’d enter but that wouldn’t be fair!!! I may enter anyway, but I’m not in the running for the prize). –Yasmine
Did you know that vampires can’t use mirrors? Neither can blind chicks. So vampires rely heavily on their sisters and friends to help them put the finishing touches on their makeup… and blind girls rely on just being so badassed that we can do it in the dark from start to finish with no help… um, about 95 percent of the time. The other five percent of the time comes with a big red warning label that says “If you can’t laugh at yourself and accept that you might show up to a big important date or business meeting looking like a football star, then makeup is not for you.” It can happen; it will happen. But here’s the part the sighted people hate to tell you… it happens to them too.
If you’re still reading, then you’ve consented to giving your mirror and light bulb the middle finger. Good for you! It’s better over here on the dark side.
5 hints for perfect makeup in the dark or without a mirror
Hint 5. try before buy
All makeup is NOT created equal. Go to Sephora, the makeup counter at your local department store, or to a beautician you trust, and ask to try various products until you find the one that makes you comfortable. Not the one the lady at the counter says everyone likes. Not the one that you saw on TV that looked like the miracle cure. And most definitely not the one your mom got you for your birthday two years ago that you dug out of the back of a drawer where you shoved it because you couldn’t even figure outwhere that weird-smelling yellowish gunk was supposed to go on your face! Nope, not that one either. Pick the makeup that works for you.
My favorite makeup store is Sephora. The customer service reps will often help you to apply the makeup in steps. Ask if they can apply the makeup to one side of your face and then coach you as you do the other side by yourself. Feel their hand gestures, ask what the colors look like against your skin tone, talk to them about colors and things you like, celebrities, TV shows or books, anything that may give them a sense of your style. Often makeup is tailored to a specific occasion, such as day or evening.
Allow them to help you select an everyday look, and one or two additional colors to spice things up at night. If you have trouble applying something they hand you, don’t be afraid to say “That doesn’t work for me. Can we try something else?” They get paid to help you, so don’t be shy to take up their time and try the product. That way, when you get it home and do it by yourself, you’ve already learned the basics.
Hint 4: Coverage:
Choose a foundation that evens your skin tone, conceals blemishes, and gives your skin a natural healthy glow. When applying foundation, be careful to do so before dressing, or with a towel held just below the chin to catch any excess that may fall on your clothing. I get out of the shower, moisturize, then apply a light mineral foundation from Bare Essentials. Their new foundations are highly pigmented, so just a few S-shaped glides of my brush gives me good coverage. I set my foundation with a light mineral veil powder and a little cream makeup primer. The end result is a natural look, not too overdone, but just enough to help my skin face the day. Find a routine that works for you and your skin.
Hint 3: Accentuate:
Blushes, bronzers, glitters and glimmers…Anytime you add color to the face, the key is blending and placement. Bronzer when dusted across the cheeks and nose gives your skin a healthy sun-kissed look and darkens pale skin. Blush lends a rosy glow to the apple of the cheek, and should be lightly brushed across the arch of your cheeks, just over the jut of your cheekbone. Glitters and glimmers can add a sparkle to your skin in the right lighting, and when used correctly can be the perfect finishing touch to a knockout evening look. Learning your own facial coloring is the key to properly accentuating it.
Hint 2: Eyes and lips
Eye shadows can range from neutral flesh-toned colors to neons, metallic, shimmers, sparkles, glitters and any color you can imagine. Then there’s eyeliner, mascara, eyebrow penciling…
Let’s break it down into a few simple steps.
Eye shadowing can be done with anywhere from one to four colors, starting with a neutral base color on the lid, a contrasting color just over the lashes, darker color in the crease of the eye between the lid and the brow, and a light highlighting tint to the brow bone. There are countless ways to shadow eyes, just remember to brush your cheeks carefully with a clean makeup brush to remove excess shadow pigment when your done.
Do your best to make the same movements on each eye. Start with the lid and work your way upward, moving from the inside of the lid outward. Once you have finished applying shadow to your eyes, use a contoured brush or your fingers and gently blend the shadows into one another and into your skin. When applying mascara, pinch the bridge of your nose lightly between thumb and forefinger to keep from accidentally poking yourself with the wand.
Open your eye, and gently blink your lashes against the bristles of the mascara wand, moving it slowly to the end of your lashes and repeating. Once the mascara has set for a minute or so, you can lightly touch your lashes to see if you have missed any spots. Don’t worry too much about the corners of your eyes, that will come with practice.
For lips, follow the smile; touch your smile with clean fingers to discover it’s shape and contour, then outline it with the lipstick or lip gloss, staying above the curve of the lip, and being careful not to get color on your teeth. If you do, use a clean finger or good old spit to scrub it off. Find a lip color for your style. If you can’t see the lip colors… you guessed it. Ask.
Hint 1. Blending.
Use clean fingers to gently rub your jawline, cheeks, and brows to remove excess makeup and smooth out any sharp lines. I use a clean powder brush at the very end to dust on a light invisible powder and remove any lines I may have accidentally left. The keys to good makeup in the dark are routine, cleanliness and organization. I buy differently sized brushes so that I know which brush goes with which product. And I NEVER mix. My foundation brush is always my foundation brush. My bronzer brush is always for my bronzer. No exceptions to that rule or I might turn orange.
Keep eye shadows in organized rows in a holder, dark to light, or in a pattern that makes sense to you. Same with lip colors. Buy blushes, bronzers and powders that feel different or label the containers with tape or Braille. Wash your hands before touching your face once you begin to apply makeup. Put things back where they belong. Clean your brushes well according to the packaging instructions, and store them carefully so that colors can’t contaminate one another.
I often have blind women tell me (sighted women for that matter too) that they are too scared to try makeup for fear of messing it up. Guess what? Even pros mess up! Carry makeup wipes in your purse, but don’t let a little fear stop you from experimenting. Try it once or twice and see how you like it. It’s not for everyone, but you’ll never know until you just do it. Get sexy… with the lights off. And if you do… I wanna know about it. Try to put your makeup on in the dark, without a mirror. If you are sighted, take a pic, savor the memory, laugh about it with your friends, or amaze yourself with your talent.
If you are blind, maybe trying makeup for the first time, start with something simple, like mascara, lipstick or foundation. Get good at that, then add the next step. Then, enter the contest.
Here are the rules:
There’s a New Year’s Party at the Wayfarer tonight, and you’ve got an invitation. A charmed invitation. For one night, you get the power of glamor. Be anyone, anything you want to be. Only catch, this is a Dark Party. No lights on in the joint. How will you be seen? What will you be? Tell me how you make an entrance.
I’m up on stage with a fiddle in my hand, with a leather-clad rock band around me, and we’re waiting for you to come take the dance floor by storm.
Yasmine is hanging at the bar, and she may have brought some or all of the Otherworld crew with her… You’ll have to go ask. I’m just the hired fiddler for this gig.
So…How do you go clubbing at the Wayfarer Dark Party jam? If you enter the contest, I will randomly select one winner for a $50 gift card to Sephora. We’re waiting for you…Contest ends midnight 1/1/2013.
If you have makeup or fashion questions, hit me up on Twitter. I’m @SassyOutwater.