Prom Makeup Application for Your Blind or Visually Impaired Daughter

I’ll never forget the excitement of sitting at the Clinique makeup counter the morning of my first formal school dance—not only was my makeup being professionally applied at minimal cost (with the purchase of at least one product), I was eagerly memorizing the application techniques in effort to replicate them at home. This was the day I was finally given permission to wear foundation, blush, and red-tinted lip gloss and not only for the dance but also for use on a daily basis.

A close up of a woman applying eye makeup

I was, in my estimation, now a legit teenager.

With prom quickly approaching, I wonder if you have considered providing your teen daughter who is blind or visually impaired the same rite of passage—makeup application education and the freedom to wear it.

But how does one who is blind or visually impaired independently apply makeup? Good question. I have compiled four resources in response.

Resources for Applying Makeup As a Visually Impaired Teen

  1. FamilyConnect’s Makeup Application article provides general recommendations for discussing the choice to wear or not wear makeup and for applying makeup.

  2. AFB’s VisionAware site has an article series entitled Makeup Application After Vision Loss. While geared for adults who have lost vision, the techniques are just as beneficial to blind or visually impaired teens.

  3. YouTube sensation Molly Burke, a teen with retinitis pigmentosa, recorded herself applying makeup in her video Mirrorless Makeup: Blind Girl Makeup Tutorial. Molly seems to be a great role model for girls who are visually impaired as she seems well adjusted to her vision loss and regularly discusses how simple accommodations give her the freedom of independence. I highly recommend watching this video alongside your teen.

  4. The Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired has an article entitled Taking Up Makeup in which it discusses the social connectedness and self-esteem makeup offers as well as a collection of helpful application techniques.

These resources will teach:

  • the value of professional skin color to makeup color matching, as this will be a method for independent shopping when your teen is living independently
  • recommended application tips such as using fingertips when possible
  • use of specific application tools such as a travel size mascara wand instead of a full-size wand for an easier application
  • methods for organizing and labeling makeup
  • a systematic approach to application, to ensure the process is consistent and complete
  • use of lighting and contrast to benefit those with low vision

Consider reviewing the resources with your daughter and scheduling a makeup application education and matching session just in time for this year’s prom.

Related AFB FamilyConnect Resources

Helping Your Visually Impaired Teen Look Good

Teaching Your Child with Visual Impairment Self-Care Skills