Trying out new products in July

I’ve collected together another 15 products to tell you about. I’m doing these less regularly now and not featuring repeat products. There’s less make-up now too as I don’t get through it as quickly as the skin care. But I still enjoy trying out new things, so here are 15 more!
Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products and what you thought of them!

Burt’s Bees

I like Burt’s Bees as a brand. I like the ethos behind it and the products. I wanted a new micellar water and saw that Burt’s Bees do one too, so I picked it up when I was doing my grocery shop.
The Burt’s Bees micellar water has a slightly stronger scent than I’m used to – a kind of honey scent. I wasn’t sure if it was going to be a problem for me at first, but I grew to like it, and the product is good and gentle, so I’d get it again.

Gatineau

The next couple of things were from my FeelUnique Pick ‘n Mix samples. I might do another post about these, but basically you can get 5 samples and you just pay the £3.95 P&P. Then you get a voucher back for the £3.95 to spend on your next shop. Conditions apply, only once per month.
Anyway, I really like Gatineau Products, but they’re super expensive. I think that generally they’re worth it, especially the serums, but I can’t justify that price all the time. So I picked up a couple of samples.
There was the advanced rejuvenating cream which I’ve actually before, and liked. It’s aimed at the over 40s, but never mind – I’m not far off!
The second sample was the exfoliating mask – I have to be honest and say I didn’t leave it to set for long enough, so possibly didn’t get the best results. Always read the instructions! Essentially it’s an exfoliator, and anything that does this without grains or horrid micro beads is good in my book, though I’d have to give this another go to say what I really think of it. Having said that, I’m not a big fan of lavender in face products, and the scent of it was quite strong.

Jason

I really wanted to like this Mango shower gel, partly because I had 900 ml of it to use up, but mainly because I’ve heard good things about the brand – and of course it’s mango! There was nothing wrong with it, but the mango scent just didn’t smell like mangos to me – it was like mangos mixed with something else. It did the job, but I think I’ve tried so many mango products that I’m just really fussy now!

L’Occitane

This is an old favourite – I already knew that I liked the Verbena shower gel. I think I got this mini in the M&S advent calendar last year. I was going to save it up for my travel bag, but then decided to use it at home. Anyone who likes a fresh lemon scent will enjoy this.
I used up a perfume from this brand too – a mini from the advent calendar I believe – but as I couldn’t find it again on the site, I haven’t linked it.

Lush

We popped into Lush on our week off and I picked up a few bubble bars that I hadn’t tried before.
The love token bubble bar says “thank you” on it in raised letters. I get very excited about raised letters because I can read them – even when it’s random messages like “pull here” or “do not drink”. Anyway, thank you is a much better message and this bar smells of pine, ginger and clove. It’s sold out at the moment – I think it’s mainly a Valentine’s Day thing, but you could gift it any time you want to thank someone.
Blue skies and fluffy white clouds is one of the bigger bars, so you can snap it in half and get two baths out of it. It makes your bath smell of frankincense and patchouli – not scents I’ve tried before, but it was definitely relaxing.
French Kiss is lavender and rosemary, with coconut oil to moisturise your skin. Lavender on the face is not fine, but in the bath water is actually quite relaxing, particularly at the end of a long day.
I enjoyed all of these bubble bars and always choose the bars over the bath bombs because then you get the lovely scents and don’t have to add extra bubbles. A lot of these bars also contain oils or butters for that bit of extra moisture. It was a blog reader who introduced me to these, so thank you Becky!

Nuxe

I was introduced to Nuxe at Christmas when I got a gift set, so I was interested to see this body milk come up on the sample service. Now I can only find it on the European site though and it appears to be sold out there. I liked the product, but I probably wouldn’t go and chase it down if it weren’t readily available. It smelled good and absorbed quickly, but the sample wasn’t huge, so I’d have to test it some more to give a full review.

Origins

I tried a moisturiser from this brand last year and then decided to get a set of minis to try out some of their other more popular products. I finished a travel size of the drink up mask with avocado, which is a leave-on overnight mask that smells amazingly fruity and leaves your skin feeling great afterwards. Not the cheapest mask around, and I’m not sure how the Swiss glacier water helps, but I think it’s worth it as a treat once in a while!
There was also a mini of the spot cream. This stings like crazy, but it works. Maybe not the best if you have really sensitive skin, but if you want a blemish gone quickly, it does the job!

Sanctuary Spa

My mum introduced me to the Sanctuary spa body soufflé, which is lighter than a body butter and comes in a really big tub. It even lasted me a while, and I’m really generous with it! It feels quite thin and at first you don’t think it will do much, but it does actually keep your skin feeling soft and is good for any dry areas. And it contains mango oil, so what’s not to love?

Superdrug

Unlike the Vitamin E serum from this range, which is really quite thick like a cream, the vitamin C booster is more like what you would think of when using a serum. It’s got a little pipette that almost reaches to the bottom. It smells fresh and fruity, and sits well under moisturiser and make-up. It claims to leave skin softer and brighter. This is a budget range, but you could do a lot worse and I’ve had much more expensive serums that didn’t do as good a job as this. I don’t usually tend to shop in Superdrug, but I think these products are good value for money.

The Body Shop

We couldn’t have an empties post without at least one product from here! I don’t often do repeats, but I did want to mention the vitamin C skin reviver. It’s the only thing I buy now as a primer and I love it for making a smooth base for make-up. Sometimes I even use it on non-make-up days as well.

Yes to

This is not a recommendation! I ended up throwing out my grapefruit snapstick because my skin hated it and I had breakouts and big red blotches after using it. I would still use the Yes To hair products or shower gels, but I’m reluctant to try anything else on my face as this is the second bad reaction I’ve had. The first one was to the cucumber sheet mask.
I like the concept – a mask in stick form, but I was thinking it would be a creamy formula like a satin lipstick or a cream blush stick. It wasn’t, and I didn’t like the way it dragged across the skin. That’s why I just cut my losses and threw it out.
Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products and what you thought of them.

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Mobile hairdresser – yes or no?

When I used to work in London, I learned the way to the local hairdresser’s salon with my guide dog. We went there a couple of times, but for years now I’ve been having my hair done by mobile hairdressers – hairdressers who come to my house. I haven’t had the same one all the time because I moved house, but it’s never been that hard to find one. They’ve come via recommendations from friends who were already using their services, so it’s not as uncommon as you might think.

I’m quite low-maintenance now – I am still growing my hair, so just get it trimmed regularly. In the past though I’ve had regular cut and highlights done all in the comfort of my own home.

I know some people wouldn’t be able to imagine it. For them, the whole experience of going to the hair salon is part of the pamper session. Certainly if your home isn’t somewhere you can relax, or you need a change of scenery, the salon can be a welcome time away from the rest of life.

However I’d say there are advantages of having a mobile hairdresser come to you, as long as you find a good one (although that’s the same with anything when you’re looking for someone to provide a service).

Convenience

This is the main reason why I do it. I don’t have to learn the way to the salon or organise transport if it’s too far. More than that though, I can just fit it into my day and I only have to plan in as long as it will take the hairdresser to do her thing. No travel time to factor in, which meant that I was back at my desk 10 minutes after my hairdresser had finished this morning, and it would have been sooner if I hadn’t stopped to make coffee! If you don’t have much time, having someone come to you can be more efficient.

Familiar surroundings

I don’t find it hard to learn the layout of new buildings, and when I’ve been to the salon, the staff were helpful. However, if you’ve got 5 conversations, music, a running tap, a telephone ringing, and 3 hairdryers going, it can soon get very loud, and apart from loudness not being my favourite thing, when a blind person can’t hear properly, it can also be a bit disorientating.

In your house, you already know where everything is.

This won’t apply to everyone, but if you can’t access inaccessible buildings, have had issues with people not welcoming your guide dog, have sensory sensitivities, or need to think about other issues relating to mobility or transport, it’s another option that you might want to consider.

The products that you love

If you want to keep to a specific shampoo or conditioner, many mobile hairdressers are happy to do that and use the products that you already have in. Ok, in a salon you get the products included in the treatment, and you may get to try new brands, but if you have something you know and like, you can keep with what works for you.

h3> Cost

This wasn’t the main reason why I did it, but it certainly plays a part. Hairdressers that don’t work from a salon don’t have to factor in overheads for accommodation, and self-employed people often don’t have the extra costs that you need to cover in when you’re employing staff and keeping premises running. They can then pass these savings on to the customer. Who doesn’t like a bargain?

Same person every time

You don’t get different people depending on who’s available –you’re guaranteed the same person every time and they know your hair and your preferences, so you have a sense of continuity.

Later evening slots

This will vary from salon to salon, but certainly when I was commuting back from London every day, I had later appointments – much later than the salon would have been open. Not every mobile hairdresser wants to work late in the evening, but if you find one who does, it means you don’t have to leave work early or try and squash an appointment into your lunch break.

No cash necessary

This will also vary from hairdresser to hairdresser, but my current one and I’m pretty sure the first one I had were happy for me to pay online via bank transfer. I do use cash and I do use a card, but I like the freedom of being completely in control, and not having to trust that someone put the right details into the card reader because I can’t read the amount on the screen!

Disadvantages

As with any type of service, you’ll get good people and people who think they are good, but aren’t qualified or who don’t do a good job. If someone’s really terrible, they’ll probably not stay in business long, but it’s always good if you can get a recommendation from someone who’s already happy with the service that they provide.

A mobile hairdresser will bring their own equipment, but you won’t have the same set-up as in a salon. So no chair where you lie down and get your hair washed. No comfortable chair for getting things done that take longer – you might just be on your kitchen chair and having your hair washed over the bath. If you’re up for the whole pampering experience, it might not be what you’re looking for!

If there are people coming in and out of your kitchen all the time wanting your attention, you might just find it too stressful and prefer to go away somewhere on your own for a couple of hours!

You’re working with the one person, so if they get ill or get stranded in the snow, you’ll have to rearrange! If they’re going to be on holiday when you want to have your hair done, you’ll have to wait or get it done sooner. If you leave it late to get your Christmas appointment, there might not be any left (although that can happen in a salon too!)

The hair trimmings do end up on your floor, but my old hairdresser and the current one both offer to take the hoover or the dustpan and brush to them.

So what do you think?

Really it depends on your individual circumstances and what’s important to you.

Have you ever had a mobile hairdresser come to your house? Would you consider it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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How I do eye make-up as someone with a visual impairment – update

I wrote a post about this back in 2017 when I first started the blog, but a few things have changed since then, so I decided to redo it. This isn’t so much about favourite products, although I will mention a couple. It’s about the things I do to make life easier as someone who can’t check in the mirror whether what I’ve done is ok.

Mascara

Nothing has really changed here and what a person likes is a very individual thing. It is completely possible to apply mascara without being able to see. Yes, you have to be careful, and yes, there is a chance you could get it wrong, although I don’t have that many accidents. My main problem is that I have nystagmus, occasional involuntary movements of the eye, which I think to be fair is more of a challenge in terms of mascara application than not being able to see in the first place.

Different blind people have different preferences, so the key is to find out what works for you. I am not a fan of travel-size brushes because they are so small, but some people love them.

I prefer a fatter brush that is the same shape all the way round. Otherwise, unless I mark the brush somehow, I don’t know whether I have the bristle side or the comb side unless I touch it, which I don’t want to do. So one that looks the same all the way round is easier for me, and the fatter ones are great because you have a bigger surface area.

When applying, I bring the brush closer to my eye lids and blink gently until the lash touches the brush. This prevents me from poking myself in the eye with it! Once brush and lash have connected, I can move along it to make sure all the lashes are coated.

I tend to prefer a non-waterproof formula, but that’s just so that it’s less of a pain to get rid of.

Some people get their lashes tinted so they don’t have to bother with it at all, but I don’t find it that hard and therefore don’t mind doing it.

Eye primer

Contrary to what I said in my first post, I prefer the ones that you apply with an applicator. Some of the thicker formulas in jars can be more annoying when it comes to spreading them evenly. I have a few different ones, but prefer the clear formulas, because they are more forgiving and I really just want them to stop the eye shadow creasing and not for any additional colour.

Eye shadow

This is the biggest area of change from 2 years ago. At that time I was really into cream shadow pots. I still like these, but in many ways you get what you pay for, and some of these do tend to dry up, even if you’re careful. Once they’ve dried up, they’re impossible to use and you have to throw them out. Ok, they’re not meant to last forever, but you do want to get your money’s worth out of them. My Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerise is still going strong and my Mac paint pot, but I don’t like to have too many of these open now.

The biggest improvement I’d say is in terms of crayons. Maybe I was just using the wrong ones before, but a lot of them felt quite firm and this meant that they dragged along the lid, making the experience of applying them quite uncomfortable. I’ve discovered some really creamy ones recently though such as the ELF shadow sticks and the NARS shadow sticks which you just apply by colouring in your eye lids with the crayon. You can feel that you’re in the right place by where the tip of the crayon is on your eye lid, and even for someone with fairly small, hooded eyes, it’s not hard to do. Both of these crayons come in a range of colours.

I tend to go for simpler single-colour looks that I can do easily, rather than attempting something more complicated that may not work out.

Recently I got my hands on a liquid eye shadow. To be honest it was in the sale and I bought it just to see how good I would be at applying it before investing in more. I was impressed at how easy it was, and overall I’d say the crayons and liquid eye shadows are actually easier to apply without sight than the creams – though I will still continue to use all of them because I like the variety.

The only thing I don’t use is powder products. I know of blind women who do, but I just can’t be bothered with the hassle, and it feels too unpredictable because I can’t see if there was any fall-out or how evenly I have applied it. I want something where I feel I have a higher chance of getting it right first time, and this is particularly important when you can’t judge the results for yourself. Powder shadows don’t give me that assurance. If I cared about it enough, I could keep practicing I suppose, but I don’t really see the point when there are easier options available to me.

Brows

I’m not the right person to ask about these because I don’t do much with them. I’d rather a more natural look anyway and a brow gel is about as far as I can be bothered to go!

So as you can see I don’t make life complicated, and there are blind people who do a lot more. My point is though that there are some blind or partially sighted people who don’t think any make-up can be applied unless you can see what you’re doing, and I wanted to show why this isn’t true. I also felt some of my comments 2 years ago didn’t really reflect what I do now, which is why I wanted to post an update.

Let me know in the comments if you know of any more products that you think I would like!

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Blogmas 2018 – looking after your hair in Winter

Say hello to Maisie the German Shepherd! She’s not mine, but she’ll be appearing in the header so you have a wintry image to look at, particularly on days when I don’t have a relevant image for the post!

I have very long hair, and although I try to take good care of it all year round, Winter presents its own set of challenges because of wet and windy weather, central heating, and the fact that a lot of us go out more and style our hair more around Christmas time.

So I thought I’d put together some tips for looking after your hair in Winter. I have long, thick, straight hair, so I know more about that than other types of hair, but most of these tips can be applied to any type of hair.

1. Keep your hair from blowing around in the wind and rain

Whether you choose to do this by tying it back, wearing a hat or hood, or using a scarf to keep it down, if you keep your hair from blowing around, it won’t get tangled and you won’t risk snapping the strands when you try to tame it again. This also helps to prevent the scarecrow look – or the medusa look as I sometimes get in the car with the windows open!

You can also carry a travel brush around in your bag so if you do get a bit windswept, you can sort it out rather than walking around with tangles.

If you’re worried about hats and scarves causing frizzy, messy hair, you can carry around a small frizz taming product to tame the unruly bits on the go.

2. Show your hair some love

When it’s exposed to elements that dry out your hair, it’s nice to make time for pamper evenings too, including a nourishing, hydrating hair mask. A couple of my favourites are the banana one from the Body Shop and the oatmeal and honey one from Korres.

I don’t make my own masks, but if you don’t want to buy one, you can use raw honey. Honey is a humectant, which means it seals in the moisture and can help if you have dry or damaged hair.

3. Try to go easy on the styling

It’s easy for me to say as someone who doesn’t straighten their hair, but if you are going to a lot of parties, and want to blow-dry and then style or straighten your hair, try to give your hair a rest on days when you don’t have as much planned.

If you’re going to use heat products, try using a heat protection spray.

4. Hydrate from the inside

I know I don’t drink enough water at the best of times – because all the coffee I drink doesn’t count. But if you are giving your body enough hydration by drinking lots of water, this will be good for your hair too.

5. Don’t go out with wet hair

Apart from increasing your chance of getting a cold, going out in the cold with wet hair can also cause your hair to freeze and break.

6. Don’t forget to have a trim

You might be busier over the Christmas period, but don’t forget to book in for your regular trims. Nobody wants split ends, and if winter weather is making the ends of your hair more dry and brittle than usual, having them tidied up is a good thing.

7. Vary the pressure points

If you’re going to put your hair up, try having your pony tail at different heights, so you don’t put pressure in the same place every time. If you put your hair up in a clip, it’s mainly the sides that are being pushed into the clip, so make sure you remember to condition them well and be gentle with them. Plaits can be good to prevent tangles, but don’t pull them too tight, or you risk breaking the strands.

8. Don’t let the water run too hot

It’s tempting if you’ve been out in the cold and you want a really hot bath or shower to warm you up again, but really hot water doesn’t do your skin or hair any favours because it dries them out.

Have you got any more tips? Let us know in the comments!

Advent calendar unboxing

Throughout Blogmas I’ll be unboxing my two advent calendars from Glossybox and the Body Shop and giving a brief product review.

Body Shop – – a 50ml tub of the Ethiopian green coffee cream. This is part of the Spa of the World® range and it’s enriched with caffeine, known for its stimulating properties (you may have heard of shampoo with caffeine). It promises to leave your skin feeling firmer and smoother. I’ve had this before – it’s a lovely cream if you get past the fact that it doesn’t smell of coffee. I was hoping it would, but if you don’t start with this expectation, it’s a good body moisturiser.

Glossybox – the greater than mascara from MDMFlow (full-size). I haven’t had anything from this brand before and look forward to trying this out once I’ve used up a couple of my other mascaras. #The packaging makes it feel more expensive, and it promises to enhance and volumise lashes. The brush is indented, so it will be interesting to see how that works out because I usually prefer straight ones! I’ll report back on it once I’ve tested it out properly.

Unseen Beauty Blogmas Giveaway

Today you have another chance to enter my Unseen Beauty Blogmas giveaway. There will be a box with 10 prizes from the Glossybox and Body Shop advent calendars, and the prizes will be revealed throughout December. You can enter once on each Blogmas 2018 page, which means you have up to 24 chances of winning. You can enter at any time from when the page goes live to the end of December 2018.

Multiple entries on the same page will not be counted – I have a spreadsheet to log them!

Your answers to the questions will help me to get to know my readers and where they are based. Also, they prove that you’re a real person as I don’t use inaccessible widgets on my site.

The giveaway is international, but if postal restrictions prevent me from sending a product to your country, I will replace it with an alternative.

The form only goes to me.

What’s in the box?

  1. Huda Beauty Winter solstice palate Featuring one pearlescent creamy formula and three icy pressed pearl powders.
  2. Spa of the World® French grapeseed body scrub from the Body Shop.

Products 3-10 coming soon!

Giveaway entry form

     
 

Terms and conditions

  1. The give-away is open until 23:59 on 31st December 2018, and I’ll draw the winner on 2nd January 2019.
  2. I will give each entry a number and then draw the winner by asking Siri to generate a random number. I want to make it as easy and accessible as possible for people to enter.
  3. Your email address is being collected solely for the purpose of contacting you if you win the prize. You are welcome to sign up to my newsletter at the same time, but this isn’t necessary to take part in the give-away. If you do not win the prize, your email address will only be stored if you have signed up to the newsletter or asked for your entry to be carried over to the next give-away.
  4. I will email the winner on 2nd January to ask for their address so that I can send the prize. The winner will have 7 days in which to respond. If they haven’t responded after 7 days, I will draw a new winner.
  5. No cash alternatives are available and the winner is responsible for checking product ingredients for any known allergens)

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How do I find out about new beauty and skincare products as a blind person?

As a skincare and beauty enthusiast, I’m always interested in the latest news and shiny new things. But how does that work when you’re blind and you can’t see the adverts or the pictures that people share?

Well, you have to be creative, but here are some of the strategies that I use.

1. YouTube

It might not be an immediately obvious first choice for blind people, but YouTube is great! Not so much in terms of make-up tutorials, because people often talk about all kinds of stuff, and not what they’re doing, but anything that involves unboxings, hauls, favourites or empties can give me great insight into what’s out there.

And that’s often the point – as a blind person, I can’t just walk around Boots or Superdrug on my own and see what’s there. I can browse things online, and often do, but unless I’m specifically looking for something, I might not come across something that will really help unless other people point it out. Eye shadow sticks and cream blushes were a case in point. I just didn’t know about them until someone told me.

Some YouTubers do a good job of summarising new products – Fleur de Force is a good example.

However, many of the really big YouTubers get so much PR that they do really rushed videos with less information about the individual products – not so great when you can’t see them. I prefer more details about fewer products, which is often why I go for the smaller channels because it often feels as though those YouTubers do more with the content that they have, and this helps me because I find out more about the individual products.

When it comes to my subscription boxes, I follow people who get the same boxes as me. Last week S was out, and I couldn’t read the Glossybox card very well. But it was fine, because Claire already had her box up the day it came. I also follow people like Sussex Sandra, and Lightning Lass, who have all helped me by talking about their subscription boxes. This could be things like:

  • Reading the cards (S would do that too, but if it’s a video I can replay it if I forget something).
  • Talking about the colours (the leaflet says nice buildable colour, but YouTuber says “omg that’s Barbie pink!”)
  • Passing on details of deals that I would never have known about.
  • Providing links to the products so that I can find out more information or buy them myself. Yes, I know these are often affiliate links, and I use those too, but when you can’t read the package, reading the website is the next best thing!

2. Podcasts

I spent ages looking for good beauty podcasts, and was really surprised that there wasn’t more out there. It’s a massive gap in the market! But it’s ok, because then I discovered the Full Coverage podcast by – in their own words – professional make up artist, Harriet Hadfield and unprofessional beauty junkie, Lindsey Kelk!

There is always a section about news, and because there are no visuals, the products are always well-described. This is followed by honest, down-to-earth discussions which are both informative and hilarious at times. The podcast also has its own Facebook group, which is friendly and supportive, and where people are genuinely interested in helping each other (not a given in the beauty groups on Facebook!)

3. Blogs

Blogs by their nature are full of words. There has been a move towards more image-driven posts, but most of the time people will write something about the products that they are enjoying or have used up. I don’t stick around if the posts are mainly about photos with captions like “this colour is amaaazing!”, but I have found some bloggers who go into more depth about what a product was like, or who describe colours.

Shops and brands are often terrible when it comes to writing about the colour of their make-up. They assume that everyone can see the picture, which of course isn’t true. Certainly for me, online shopping is often a more accessible alternative than going into the shop, but then I have the problem of working out the shade of something that has a weird and wonderful name! I often google the product and find descriptions of it on blogs, which then help me to decide which one I want.

Blogs by other people with a visual impairment can be a useful source of information too, especially when it comes to tips on how to do things. But I know in terms of colours, I’m not massively helpful either because I often don’t attempt to describe something I can’t see myself.

4. Subscription boxes

One of the things I really like about subscription boxes is that you are able to try things at a fraction of the cost and without having to buy the full-size products. Ok, I can’t use everything that I get – sometimes because it’s for darker skin tones, sometimes because it’s things that I just don’t use (I’m thinking of you, dry shampoo!), and sometimes it’s because I prefer a different type of product because of my blindness (I prefer cream or liquid highlighters over powder). If I end up not keeping a lot of the products, that’s not a good deal. But if it’s one or two, my Mum or friends are happy to rehome them, and some of them go in giveaways, because just because I can’t or won’t use something, it doesn’t mean my readers won’t.

I really like the idea with boxes like Latest in Beauty too, because there you get to choose the things that you would like to try.

5. Newsletters

The basic point of newsletters is marketing. I know that. But as many brands don’t have basic subscription functionality on their blogs, subscribing to the newsletter is a good way to be sent any more in-depth articles about the brands that you enjoy. That and of course it’s a way to find out about discounts, which are also good.

The only problem there is that whilst the message is slowly getting through about website accessibility being important, many brands and shops seem to forget that this also applies to their newsletters. Some contain links that can only be activated by using a mouse. I don’t use a mouse. Some have ridiculously complicated or inaccessible sign-up processes. Some have “your alt text goes here” all the way down the newsletter because someone couldn’t be bothered to fill in the fields in the newsletter software with the correct information. Sighted people don’t see this. People using a screenreader will be able to read it.

And finally – avoid things that don’t work

I’ve tried out a few things and decided that I really didn’t like them – so I don’t do them any more.

For example, I like using Facebook groups, but many groups that I’ve found about skincare or beauty are so image-heavy, that they aren’t fun for me. There are not enough words. People post things like “Hey look what I bought this morning” Or “Which one shall I get?” and I can read through all the comments and still have no idea what they’re talking about. So I unsubscribe.

It was the same with Instagram – apart from the app not being massively accessible at the time I tried it, I found that half the time people weren’t writing interesting captions. It was all about the pictures, and I lost interest. So I’m not on Instagram, and that’s ok.

The same goes for Pinterest. I know lots of people who use it for inspiration, but it is all about the pictures, and for someone who can’t see them, it doesn’t get more uninspiring!

Magazines do have some interesting articles in them, but you sometimes have to scroll a long way past image galleries first. I’ve downloaded a few for free as part of my Amazon Prime subscription, but I haven’t found anything that added enough value that I’d want to buy it.

Summing up

So, I know that some of the ways that other people use to find out about new products aren’t open, or useful to me, but I think it’s about finding out where the relevant information is, and focussing on that. Look for the things that do add value. Build relationships with people whose content is accessible. Try to educate brands when it matters to you. I can’t spend my entire day explaining why “your alt text goes here” in newsletters is super-annoying, but if it’s a brand that I particularly care about, I will.

I think there’s also a message there for brands – there is a potential audience out there in terms of blind people. We have buying power! But you won’t reach many of us if you focus on glossy ads or Instagram (and yes, I know there are blind people who use it, but there are also many who don’t). Neither will you reach us by targeting groups for blind people – I don’t attend any, or read any publications aimed at this particular demographic.

What you can do are all the little things to make the mainstream experience of your brand more accessible. This includes good descriptions of products, labelling of colours, content that doesn’t rely primarily on images as part of your mainstream marketing strategy, and not excluding content creators from your marketing campaigns by including inflexible measures such as an Instagram following of X number of people, when perhaps someone has a sizeable audience on another platform, or access to an audience that would otherwise be hard to reach.

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10 of my favourite youtubers

Ever wondered what kind of videos a blind beauty and lifestyle blogger enjoys? Here are 10 of my favourite youtubers!

So, you may be surprised that someone who can’t see anything at all has a big list of Youtube videos to watch every day! After all, it’s a very visual site. But no! Unlike Instagram and Pinterest, which I don’t enjoy at all, Youtube has so much great information and as people often talk about products, what they think of them, how they look, and how well they work, it’s a great way for me to get information.

Obviously there are some types of video that I won’t watch. Lookbooks with no speech are a classic example. But when it comes to unboxings and product reviews, I have a long list of people that I follow because I like what they have to say. Some people are more descriptive than others. Some get the same beauty boxes as me. My boyfriend does read out the information, but if I can get it first from a Youtube channel, plus what someone thinks of the colour etc, I’m winning!

Here are 10 of my favourite Youtubers. A couple are full-time Youtubers, but many are people like me who are interested in the beauty industry and who share their thoughts and ideas as a hobby. What I mean is that I haven’t gone for the biggest channels that everyone knows about – I’ve picked out ten whose content has helped me to make exciting new beauty discoveries, or who help me to learn about new products.

I don’t know who has the best camera set-up or lighting because I can’t see anything on the videos. These channels made it into my top 10 because I like their audio content and the way that the Youtuber’s personality comes across!

This list is in no particular order, but I’ll start with the person who gave me the idea to do this.

1. Julie Barbour

I first got the idea of doing a favourite Youtuber blog from Julie, who did a favourite Youtuber video on her channel and I thought it was a really nice idea.

I first discovered the channel because Julie does Latest in Beauty unboxings and I was looking for people who were talking about that. She also does other things such as hauls, make-up looks and favourites. I like Julie’s honesty and the way she used the favourites video to give something back to the Youtube community.

Diaryofa40something

Claire from Diaryofa40something is always bright and bubbly and her enthusiasm for whatever she’s talking about really shines through!

Claire does unboxings, tutorials, reviews and product tests and although we don’t get the same boxes, she gives me ideas about new products to try. I also like the way that she goes back to the products to give us her review after using them – something you can’t always do in an unboxing because you need time to see if the product is any good!

3. Lightning Lass

Lightning Lass is another blogger who does unboxings, reviews and hauls. She’s also great at hunting out deals and special offers that I haven’t heard about! I don’t know where she finds them, but I’m glad she shares them with us!

4. Wavy Kate

I discovered Wavy Kate when I was looking for Latest in Beauty reviews, but then I watched a whole bunch of videos from her back catalogue! Kate’s chatty and friendly style makes you feel like you’re grabbing a coffee with her whilst you find out what she thinks of her latest new products or unboxing a haul.

5. Fashion Mumbler

I discovered Josie’s channel when I started getting into Youtube last year and I was looking for some advent calendar reviews. Josie did a very comprehensive review of a bunch of advent calendars, and she also did daily vlogging throughout December, which made me feel as though I got to know her faster. I particularly enjoy her roundups of new products – as someone who can’t see what’s new in the shops, I really enjoy getting a heads-up about what brands are bringing out in terms of make-up and skincare. And Josie has a cute doggy – now two – so of course I want to know how they are!

6. Fleur DeForce

I also started watching Fleur deForce’s channel around the beginning of December, so saw all her festive content, and more cute dogs. I have picked up tips from this channel about new products to buy and there is a good mix of high-end and high street make-up reviews on the channel.

7. Sussex Sandra

I discovered Sandra’s channel when I was looking for people who review Lovelula boxes, because I get this natural skincare box and although I enjoy the products, there don’t seem to be many unboxings of it. I then found out that Sandra gets Latest in Beauty too, which is my other subscription box. The thing that stands out for me about Sandra’s channel is her attention to detail and the way she takes time to find out about the products. This is particularly good for me because I can’t read the packaging myself, so it saves me having to ask someone to do it, or to find out the exact name so that I can do my own online research.

Sandra also does other unboxings and product reviews on her channel and I appreciate her honesty!

8. Willow Biggs

willow’s channel has plenty of unboxings, hauls and tutorials. Like many of the other channels mentioned, particularly the smaller ones, Willow takes the time to answer comments and talk to her followers, which creates a sense of community.

9. Fashioneyesta

I’ve included Emily’s channel because it’s another one of the channels that I followed from the beginning of my time on Youtube, and Emily also inspired me to start Unseen Beauty. When I started looking for beauty and lifestyle content by women with a visual impairment, I was surprised at how little there is out there. But Emily has a blog and a Youtube channel where she shares her beauty and fashion likes, tips, and her experiences of life a guide dog owner. I’ve bought a few products following recommendations from this channel!

10. Louise H

I only discovered a Louise’s channel recently, but she also produces a wide range of haul and unboxing videos and I enjoy the way she talks about them.

How about you?

So, which other Youtube channels should I check out? I subscribe to more than 10, so no doubt there will be a part two to this series some time in the future. So do let me know if you have your own channel, or if there is one that you think I should check out!

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Seeing ourselves as others see us

My interview with Brendan Magill on his workshop to help blind and partially sighted people think about how they present themselves and how these choices affect the way that others see them.

Seeing yourself as others see you

Introduction

As a child, I wasn’t really interested in make-up and dressing up nicely, but I remember having a big basket of things for the bath and little bottles of perfume (my Nan was an Avon lady!)

When I went to High School, things began to change, and I became more interested in what I wore. I had my first venture into make-up and changed my hairstyle dramatically, which was a disaster, but at least I learned what I really didn’t like and could grow it out again!

I’ve always had friends and family who would give me honest feedback about how I look. My boyfriend knows that if I ask “does this look ok?” I’m looking for an honest answer before we leave the house! But what about blind people who don’t have anyone to give this feedback or who genuinely don’t care how they look? How can they get feedback if they want it, and what impact can not caring about their appearance have on them?

I know Brendan Magill because he runs a number of mailing lists for visually impaired people. The one most relevant to me is UKVISE, the list for self-employed visually impaired people.

When I discovered that Brendan had designed a workshop to help blind and partially sighted people understand more about how to present themselves at interviews and in the workplace, I decided to find out more about it. Why did he think this training was necessary? What mistakes had he seen people making?

I did a telephone interview with Brendan and this is what he told me.

1. How important is your own physical appearance and presentation to you as someone with a visual impairment?

I have congenital cataracts, but I’ve always had a useful amount of residual vision. My brother has the same condition and my dad was partially sighted. He could see more than us, but he always presented himself very well.

I can still hear my mum saying things like “head up, chest out, tummy in!” That was just what we did.

As my sight has been getting worse, I have come to understand why a lot of blind people don’t hold their head up high. There’s nothing to focus on. But still, it does look better if you sit up straight, with your head up, and face the person that you’re talking to. Not doing this draws attention to yourself in a negative way, because people wonder why your posture and body language are not the same as those around you.

I never thought about why I do some of these things. I just did them. I turned myself out well.

I went to New College Worcester. Whilst we weren’t pushed very hard to present ourselves well, we got involved in activities locally such as a youth club or dance classes. That was good for us because it helped us to become more social in the wider world, even though we were going to a special school for blind people.

When I got my first job, the first thing my dad did was to take me out to buy some new clothes for work so that I could look my best.

2. Why did you decide to create training to help visually impaired people to present themselves appropriately at work?

Throughout the following few decades I was always decently turned out when I went to work or into town. The result of this was that I seemed to get on very well in the community and people treated me well. I didn’t realise how much of that was happening until much later on when I started doing some IT training at RNC. I hadn’t thought about personal presentation much before then. I was teaching a group of students of various ages. I thought “some of these guys are actually quite scruffy! They won’t get a job looking like that.”

I was teaching them IT, but I said on certain days they had to come dressed as though they were coming to work. Some did and some didn’t.

One guy was in his 40s and he’d been losing his sight for a while. He used to come looking scruffy with a shirt he’d been wearing for a few days and a scruffy jacket. He needed a shower.

I took him into the office and had a chat with him about how he could spruce up his clothes. The following week was an improvement.

A few weeks later he finished his course and came back for speech day. He came to see me and was looking much better. Not only that but he’d got a job.

He probably did know that he wasn’t looking his best, but I think he hadn’t thought about it and how this would affect how other people thought of him.

The other one was harder. It was a girl in her early 20s, fortunately the same age as my own daughters. She used to come in to class dressed as though she were going clubbing with very revealing tops. She would do this even on days when she was supposed to be dressed for work.

I pointed out how revealing the top was. “If I could see more than I can, I would be able to see more than I should. You might want to dress like that on a night out with your friends, but it’s not the way to dress for work or college.”

After that conversation, I really needed to mention it to another member of staff. I talked to one of the female members of staff who was interested in the way people dress and present themselves. She was running a make-up session and said she’d include some tips about how you dress as well.

On speech day, the same girl came to me. She still looked gorgeous, but this time she looked presentable as well. She got a job too.

Those two experiences got me interested in the way people who are visually impaired are turned out. I started thinking about my own experiences, and watching what the blind and partially sighted people around me were doing. That’s when I got the idea for the workshop – seeing ourselves as others see us. This was nearly 20 years ago. I got a lot of advice from the female members of staff, particularly for the girls. I ran the workshop a few times for different organisations. I haven’t run it for a long time now, but I think it’s something that is very important.

It’s all about understanding that you can’t be totally free in the way that you present yourself. You need to fit in with the workplace as it is. If you can’t see how other people are dressing, you might not know what’s appropriate.

When you’re in work, you make friends with people. Blind people shouldn’t be afraid to ask their colleagues what they wear. But first you need the colleagues, and you won’t have those if you don’t pass the interview stage because of the way you look.

3. What would you say are some of the consequences of getting it wrong, and how can inappropriate personal presentation reduce someone’s chance of passing an interview or being fully integrated into the workplace?

If you turn up at an interview and are not presentable, you probably won’t get the job. Personal presentation is so important, particularly in jobs where you have contact with the public.

Regardless of your skills and experience, the interviewer might think “we don’t want someone like that turning up for work.”

If you’re already in employment, It makes you more segregated and you get known for the problem or unusual fashion choices, not for what you bring to the team.

Even if you know what’s appropriate, if you can’t see for yourself, you may need to get advice about what colours and styles can be worn together.

4. In general, have you found that sighted colleagues mention when something does not look appropriate or something is not right?

Most colleagues would be unlikely to tell you. Maybe it’s easier for girls, but first you have to build up trust and a good working relationship with them so that they feel comfortable about pointing things out.
There is a fear that things can be taken the wrong way. Sometimes colleagues don’t like to tell you about things that don’t look good because they don’t like to think they’re criticising someone with a disability. Also, they might not be sure how the blind person will react? Sometimes they even think that blind people don’t care. Sometime they’re right about that.

5. Why do you think that some blind and partially sighted people don’t have access to information about presenting themselves in the best possible way?

I think a lot of it is to do with political correctness. It’s seen to be wrong to criticise disabled people.

Families sometimes don’t know how to deal with it, or they don’t want to address uncomfortable issues.

6. What tips would you give someone who finds it difficult to go shopping for clothes on their own?

Start off by asking your family and sighted friends for help and advice. We need those sort of friends who can give us honest advice, and taking part in mainstream activities is a way to meet sighted people. Find a hobby or an activity that you can share with other people and explain to them what you need, rather than expecting them to know about blindness-related issues.

Sometimes the staff in shops can be really helpful, but the level of help available varies a lot between shops, and it’s hard to tell someone that they really don’t look good, which is why some shop assistants may be reluctant to do this. An honest friend or family member may feel more comfortable suggesting that you try something else.

Also, if you ask for the truth about how you look and the comment isn’t totally positive, take it on the chin and don’t be overly sensitive.

7. Do you ever get questions about make-up? How do you deal with those?

Very rarely. I used to refer them to my wife or my granddaughter. If you don’t know something, it’s better to say “I don’t know about that but I know someone who does.”

8. Where can we find out more about your work?

You can go to my website.

Final thoughts

So, you know that on English with Kirsty I talk a lot about various beauty products. I’m not saying that everyone should take the same interest in make-up etc as I do, not being able to see is not an excuse to not care about how you look because even if you can’t see yourself, the people around you can still see you.

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Why I use eye cream even though I can’t see

Why I use eye cream even though I can’t see

One of my friends was surprised that eye cream features in my skincare regime, but even though I don’t tire my eyes with the hours and hours I spend in front of a computer screen, because I’m not actually using my eyes, it’s still important to take care of this most sensitive part of my face.

I first started using the Elderflower cooling eye gel from the Body Shop. This isn’t an eye cream as such, but it is cooling and refreshing on the skin.

Also, after watching loads of “best of 2016” reviews on Youtube, I decided to try the Kiehls avocado eye treatment, which I’m going to review here.

This eye cream contains avocado oil, which is said to be the most moisturising of all fruit oils, as well as vitamins A and E. It also contains shea butter, which protects skin from dehydration and improves the appearance of dry skin.

The Kiehls eye cream is thicker than the Body Shop one, but you can’t really compare the two products because they have different functions. The Body Shop one is to cool and moisturise, whereas the Kiehls one is more about moisturising, preventing dehydration and addressing concerns related to dry skin around the eyes.

It’s true that my eyes don’t work as hard as those of people who can see, but I’m in my mid 30s now, and I want to do what I can to reduce any fine lines or signs of aging. I do take care of my face, but eye creams are specially formulated to treat the more delicate skin around the eyes and target some of the problems we can get in this area, such as fine lines or dark circles. I’m not going to obsess over these things, but as I can’t see them, I want to keep them at bay!

The fine lines and wrinkles come because the skin makes less collagen as you age. They can also be because of sun damage, though I guess this is less likely in my case as I’m super-fussy with my high factor sun block and moisturisers.

Whilst doing a bit of research on this topic, I discovered an ongoing debate about whether it is necessary to use specific eye creams on this area, or whether a good moisturiser should do the job. Ultimately I think it’s a matter of choice, and I’m not trying to persuade you one way or the other. My main point is to say that just because I don’t use my eyes, I still see the importance of looking after the area around them, to nourish this thinner, and more sensitive skin, and to do what I can to combat lines and/or dark circles, which are bound to show up at some time, whether or not you can see.

How about you? Do you use an eye cream? If so, which is your favourite? Let me know in the comments! Next time I want to try the eye cream from Barefaced – has anyone tried that?

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Podcast

Unseen Beauty is also available as a podcast. If you want to listen to it, you can find it on iTunes or Player FM.

The URL for the podcast feed is
https://player.fm/series/unseen-beauty

Make-up without sight – how one blind woman does it

Have you ever wondered what your make-up would look like if you did it without being able to check in the mirror?

I can see the sun streaming in through the window, or whether the light is on or off, but as I have been almost totally blind since birth, that’s all I can see. No shapes, no colours. So when I do my make-up, I can’t check in the mirror to make sure it looks ok.

When I was a teenager, I never considered make-up as something that wasn’t accessible to me. It was just like everything else – I’d probably have to find a different way to do it, but as long as I could get the results I wanted, I didn’t care about the process and whether my friends did it the same way. That doesn’t mean that the learning process was easy. I was being taught by people who had always put on their make-up using their sight, and if you can’t do that, sometimes you need to be creative.

The first thing you need is honesty. The only time my grandmother said “You can’t go out like that” was when there had been a particularly bad loose blusher disaster of which I was blissfully unaware (I never use loose powder blusher now because it’s too unpredictable!), and when I ask my partner whether my make-up looks ok, I’m not looking for a “you look wonderful” (unless I do of course!). I want to know if I’ve got the look I was going for or if I missed a bit of foundation near my hairline or had a mascara fail. I can usually tell if I did the latter, but it gives me peace of mind to check. That doesn’t mean I won’t go out the door without asking someone first, but if I’m on my own, I’m probably a bit less adventurous.

The hardest thing for me is having no concept of colour. I don’t know what my favourite colour is because I’ve never seen them. That makes it harder to decide what look I want to go for. I can make informed choices about the types of product I want to use, but when it comes down to the colours, I have to trust people. Rather than naively trusting anyone though, I do think about all the feedback together, to look for patterns. Some shop assistants are fantastic, whereas others just want to sell you stuff. Even well-meaning friends can get it wrong when they are influenced by what they would usually buy, instead of really thinking about what would suit someone else. You can ask 10 people and get 10 different answers, so I tend to choose people whose choices and suggestions have got me the most compliments and people who can explain their choices.

I wouldn’t say there is one way for blind people to do their make-up. I know blind women who like short mascara brushes, use powder eye shadow and get their lashes tinted. I don’t do any of these things, but I think you just need to find out what works for you. I tend to be a more hands-on kind of girl, blending products in with my fingers so I know exactly where they are. I avoid powders where I can, apart from my foundation setting powder, because cream products have less chance of fall-out, and when you can’t see the end result, it’s good to eliminate the chance of product landing where you don’t want it to. Until a few months ago, I wasn’t aware of many of the products that are on offer now. I have discovered new things that make life much easier and solve some of the problems I had as a teenager. I’m now eager to see what else is available, both by trying things out in beauty subscription boxes, and working with brands to make their products and services more accessible to blind people.

My products fall into two categories – ones that I’m happy to change up all the time, and ones that I stick to because I’ve found something that I like.

I like foundation in a pump dispenser because then I know how much product I have each time and that one pump of it will cover my face. When you can’t see the coverage, you have to be thorough and aware of the areas that you sometimes miss. For example I pay extra attention to my hairline and above my left eye, because these are the areas where I sometimes forget to blend, and the skin under my nose so that I don’t forget it altogether! I then cover it with some fixed powder using the sponge that comes with it.

When I was younger, I used powder eye shadows, but to be honest, the results were a bit hit and miss. I could usually manage to cover the eye, but sometimes there was fall-out on my cheeks and I wasn’t always sure that I had got rid of it. It was only recently that I discovered two types of product that make the process much easier for someone who can’t see: cream shadow crayons and cream shadow pots. Both of them are cream-based. I either use the crayons or sticks to colour in my eyelid, or I apply the cream shadow to my finger tip and apply it to my lids. Ok, it’s non-conventional, but it is a way to make sure I apply the make-up evenly and exactly where I want it to go. Eye primer can make this process more difficult, because the eye already feels creamy before you add the products, but again it’s about being thorough – going over an area twice is better than missing half your eye!

Some blind women don’t like applying mascara, but I’ve always found it ok as long as I’m not rushing. The critical point is making contact with the brush. I usually bring the brush up to my eye and blink gently so that my lashes touch the brush. This means that I don’t poke myself in the eye with it or paint part of my face. Once I can feel the lashes with my brush, I can follow round and coat all of them. I always go for bigger brushes that look the same all the way round. Combs annoy me. I’ve found one that I like now and the only reason I would change would be if someone recommended a fatter brush.

You already know about the blusher disaster that made me hurl my loose blusher to the back of the cupboard. When I was a teenager, I swapped it out for a fixed powder, but as I couldn’t feel it on my face very well, I was never sure about the coverage. Now I have cream highlighter, which I just draw on my face and blend in, cream blusher and cream contour. I love these products, because applying them is a really tactile experience. I can feel where they are. I can feel the shape of my face and where the product needs to be. I can feel if something isn’t blended in properly because of the texture on my skin.

I know there are blind women who use a lot more brushes than me for jobs where I use my fingers. It’s a matter of choice. The idea that a brush may not be clean or it may have a different colour on it than the one I want to use is a major turn-off for me, and I feel I have more precision with my fingers. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t try them, but I don’t feel I need to use them just because most other people do.

Applying lipstick is not difficult, but I find the traditional lipsticks easier to apply than the liquids, because you have more control over exactly where they are going and they are more forgiving than the extra-long lasting liquid ones if you make a mistake. I have a selection from different brands because they are easy to identify by touch. If I have a number of lipsticks or cream shadows from the same brand, I mark the packaging in some way so I can tell them apart.

I’m no expert and I know I go for simpler looks than many of my sighted friends. That’s ok for me – partly because I want the make-up to be more subtle anyway and to enhance what’s already there, and partly because I would rather do a simple thing well than a complicated thing badly! I’m still learning, but I wanted to share these ideas to show that this is something that blind people can do if they want to.

I can’t see the results, but the people around me can, and if I do it well, I feel good about it in the same way that I feel good wearing nice clothes or a piece of jewellery.

Some of my favourite products

These products won’t suit everyone, but I’ve listed some of the ones that I like and find easy to use. Also, as I can’t easily get pictures of all the products that I use, linking them means that you can have a look at the images on other sites or get further information.

Face

Lips

Eyes

Over to you!

Has reading this article made you want to ask any questions? If it has, post them in the comments and I’ll try to answer! Also, if you’re visually impaired and you want to add anything about how you apply make-up, or any tips for making it easier, I’d love to hear them!

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The emails contain news of my new posts, other things that I’ve enjoyed (podcasts, posts from other bloggers, interesting articles etc), and any UK shopping information that I think my readers might like.

This post contains some affiliate links, but I only promote things that I’ve tried and tested.

How do you apply eye make up if you can’t see?

My tips on applying eye make-up when you can’t check in the mirror.

How do you apply eye make-up if you can’t see?

I’ve been using eye make-up since I was about 15, but I’ve only recently discovered some products that make it a lot easier and reduce the chances of things going wrong. When you can’t see, avoiding mistakes is even more important because you can’t look to see whether you’ve done a good job. If my boyfriend or a trusted sighted friend is around, I usually check to make sure everything looks ok, but I am also confident enough to go out or go on a video call with one of my English learners without first getting my make-up checked.

Eye shadow

In the past, I used to use powder eye shadows. I labelled them all up in Braille with a friend so that I knew which colours were where on the palate. (Braille is a tactile writing system used by blind people). We printed the words out onto plastic sheets and stuck them on the lid of the palate above each colour.

The problem with powder eye shadows is that, even if you get good coverage on the eye, if you can’t look in a mirror, you can’t tell if there was any fall-out under your eyes or on your cheeks. This definitely isn’t the look I was going for, but sometimes the powder went in places where I didn’t want it, and this was annoying.

Then I discovered the whole idea of eye crayons. I first heard about them on my friend Joanna’s blog MyPinkRambles. You can look at some of the crayons that Joanna bought here.

Joanna makes a good point about brands and their names – sometimes it’s really hard to work out what colour things are if you go by the product names. I understand it’s all part of the marketing, but I wish that brands would includemore information in their product descriptions sometimes.

Anyway, I now have a few eye shadow crayons, and colouring in my eyes with them is much easier than using the powder, with the additional bonus that there is no chance of fall-out because the colour goes only where you put it.

When I was telling my friend Amy about this – you’ll get to meet her on the blog soon – she suggested that I try the paint pots as well. They are cream eye shadows that you can apply with a brush or your fingers, and, like the crayons, the colour only goes where you put it. At the moment I have two cream eye shadows:

1. MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot – chilled on ice.
2. Maybelline color tattoo veils – breathless.

Both of them go on well and last well. I prefer the packaging on the MAC one because it doesn’t have such a high lip around the product, which means it’s easy to access it. The MAC one does feel more luxurious, but if you are looking for a cheaper alternative, the Maybelline one works fine.

Mascara

Applying mascara is an art and it’s best to learn when you’re not in a hurry. I prefer non-waterproof ones, because it’s easier to be sure that I really have got rid of it all when I take it off.

I usually bring the wand up to my face and blink gently until my eye lashes make contact with the brush. This is a good way to avoid getting poked in the eye with it. I prefer the big, fat brushes, because they give you more surface area to work with. At the moment I am using L’oreal volume million lashes.

Eye liner

I haven’t done much with eye liner in the past, but I got a pencil in my Body Shop calendar, and it’s easy enough to draw on the line because I can feel where the tip of the pencil is and where the line needs to go.

Primer

This is something that I hadn’t tried before, but my friend Amy gave me the Make-Up Revolution eye primer, to lay a foundation for the eye shadow. As long as there isn’t too much product on the applicator, this can just be painted on to the eye, using the fingers on the other hand to initially position or guide the applicator if necessary.

What about you?

If you’re visually impaired, what are your favourite products? Do you have any tips to add to this list?

I’m not an expert – I’m just sharing my experiences and what has worked for me. I’m still learning! In fact, I don’t think we should ever stop learning.

If you haven’t tried any of these things before, the best advice I can give is to try out a few products and get some feedback on how you look. Just because something works for me, it doesn’t mean it will be the best choice for you. When I was a child, something that I hated with a passion was the one-size-fits-all this-is-how-blind-people-do-things-idea! So if it’s something that interests you, I’d encourage you to just give it a go.

Also, if sighted readers have any tips or products to recommend, let me know. If I’d known that cream eye shadows were on the market, I would have snapped them up years ago!

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