There are many positions of power to be found in society today. Politicians, judges, doctors and of course the monarchy. But one that is so often overlooked is the power held by the women found behind the counter in your local department store. Little does she know (or maybe she does) that the attention and advice she gives (or doesn’t give) can make or break a make-up shopping trip for anyone sighted, blind or partially sighted.
Fashion is weird and here’s why. Inspiration can come from anywhere, but usually it starts off on the streets from some cool or kooky kid who stumbles upon a different way to wear her blazer, or maybe in some trendy art school, a film, festival or event - a designer then picks up on it and creates a weird and wonderful version of it, it hits the catwalk, filters down to the High St racks, to the masses and back onto some school kid again - weird.
When it comes to doing your make-up in the morning, if you are either bind or partially sighted the process may go one of either two ways.
Should your wine glass clink or simply air kiss? Should you tip even though a service charge has already been included? Is it too formal to verbally excuse yourself from the table these days? What do you do with your olive seed if a small plate has not been provided? And the clincher… mobile phone etiquette: to answer or not to answer, that is the question.
I have done a few fashion and beauty posts for the Action for Blind People website now and up to the other day, I actually thought that everything was going swimmingly. However, I was recently told by a friend of mine that she had a few issues with my posts.
My first experiences of make-up involved a number of hand-me-down or rather cast-off beauty products, found in the bottom of my mum’s old bags, my gran’s old cupboards and my aunt’s extremely organised beauty cases.
I don’t profess to be an expert when it comes to male grooming! But what I can say is that as a woman, there is nothing quite as charming as a well-groomed, freshly shaven man. I have known men who have learnt how to shave from their fathers, some from siblings and some from their friends, but what is apparent is that once you have learnt the basics - it becomes second nature.
An ode to shopping: “I hear the voices calling me... ’Come to me,’ they sing chanting mesmerising lullabies that court me into a bubbly trance. Wallet eager to open, money ready to flee... My eyes linger in exalted admiration among the racks.” Unknown.
When it comes to your hair, knowing how to communicate well with your hairdresser is all important, especially if you are blind or partially sighted.
When it comes to the magic that is make-up, it really is amazing what you can achieve with the right products and the right technique. After all, where would Marilyn Monroe have been without her signature beauty spot, or Sophia Loren without her winged eyeliner and would we have been so taken with Judy Garland’s perfect pout if she had not found ‘her’ shade of red lipstick?
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