Makeup tips

We've put together some tips and techniques for makeup application giving you confidence in your routine and in how you look.

On this page

Our blind hack for building your confidence and improving your technique when applying your own makeup.  

Five makeup tips for people with sight loss

  1. Use your fingertips to explore the contours of your face, the shape of your lips, and your unique bone structure. Practise each new makeup technique using your fingers or a brush without makeup so that you can feel exactly where to apply each product. After applying your makeup a few times, get some feedback from a friend or family member, or someone who works at a shop makeup counter. 
  2. Try counting the number of strokes needed to apply each kind of product when you're learning how to apply them, so you put the right amount on each time.
  3. Label your cosmetics with Braille or tactile markers such as bump-ons and explore the shapes of all the different products so you can find the right product more easily.
  4. Wash your hands frequently while applying makeup so you don’t accidentally rub some makeup residue onto your face or clothes. You could keep a wet washcloth or wet wipes nearby to remove makeup from your fingertips. 
  5. Storing your makeup in the fridge can provide a temperature difference that makes it easier to feel where you have applied the product.
I always put mascara on first, then go round the eyes with makeup remover and finish with skin toner on a clean pad, to remove excess oil.
Linda, guide dog owner

Step-by-step guide for putting on makeup

Before you start

  • If you have some remaining vision, position yourself directly in front of a mirror, with the mirror at eye level. Depending on whether you're using a regular or magnifying mirror will determine how far away you should be. With magnifying mirrors, the magnification is stronger the closer you are to it. 
  • Always make sure you're comfortable when applying your makeup because it can take longer to do when you have a vision impairment. You could sit at a desk or on a high seat in your bathroom. 
  • If lighting helps your vision, use a task lamp or an illuminated mirror. Alternatively, you could position yourself near a window, unless you're affected by glare.
  • When selecting the correct shades of makeup to buy, try using colour identification apps such as, Color Inspector for iPhone users or Color Grab for Android users. You can also use the colour identification part of the Seeing AI app. Alternatively, take a sighted person with you or ask for help from someone on a makeup counter. Most makeup counters match products to your skin tone for free.

Wearing makeup with glasses

  • If you wear glasses, sometimes they can smudge off your makeup or you can get indentations on your nose and cheeks. To help prevent this from happening:
  1. Use a primer before applying your concealer or foundation.
  2. Apply a thin layer of foundation or tinted moisturiser.
  3. Use powder or setting spray on top of your base makeup, it will set the areas where the glasses touch your face and grip the nose pads to stop them from smudging as much.
  • To prevent your eyelashes from brushing the lens every time you blink, choose a mascara for volume rather than length and consider curling your eyelashes. To avoid mascara smudging over the lenses, use a long-wearing, waterproof or smudge-proof mascara.
  • If your glasses can have a shrinking effect on your eyes, eyeshadows with a shimmer finish will help draw attention to the eyes. You can also use a liquid or gel liner on the top lash line and a highlighting or nude liner in the bottom waterline to help make your eyes stand out. 
  • If your eyes are magnified by your lenses, use matte eyeshadows for a smoky eye look and eyeliner along your waterline to make your eyes appear smaller.