Make-Up Tutorial Video

I want to do a brief video to show you how I put my makeup on.

When I was sixteen years old and had a spinal cord injury, I had lost the ability to do almost anything. I did have a visitor come up who was also a quadriplegic. And the moment she pulled out her mascara and showed me how she put her mascara on by herself – was a life changing moment.

I suddenly had hope that I might be able to do something in the future – on my own. And even if that was putting on mascara by myself, that was a big thing.

So I am just going to go briefly over my makeup routine and it’s pretty simple. Nothing complicated. And I will just go step by step through it.

I start by using a tinted moisturizer that provides a good base for the rest of my makeup. It has SPF20 in it too so it’s great for everyday use. I just apply it, using my hands and rub it in until it’s completely absorbed.

After the tinted moisturizer, I use translucent powder – just to set the foundation. Then I apply a nice pink blush to give me a little color.

A bit of black eyeliner goes across my eye along my eyelashes. I apply a lighter shade of eye shadow across my lid. Then I use a darker shade in the crease. Although I no longer use adaptive devices to apply my makeup, I do use a longer eye shadow brush that is much easier for me to hold.

Black mascara thickens and lengthens my short, blond lashes. I often think of Lois – the woman who first visited me when I was still up in rehab – when I put on my mascara.

And my makeup isn’t complete without a bit of lip gloss or lipstick.

I keep my hair short because it’s easier to manage. I wanted to figure out how to safely use a flat iron. I built up one side of the flat iron with some Styrofoam that my OT gave me. I could now safely use a flat iron to finish off my hair.

I hope this video has been helpful. You can still put makeup on after an injury – even as a quad. And you can still be a girly-girl.

Additional Tips and Tricks:

  • Try a tenodesis splint to assist holding small make-up brushes.
  • Purchase a makeup mirror on a stand. A magnified mirror helps to make your cosmetic creation perfection.
  • When loss of dexterity effect your hands, try to intertwine the brushes and cosmetics between your fingers. This will take practice, but try, try, try-and try again.
  • Make sure you have a space where you can position your wheelchair up underneath a surface. A roll-up under counter top, a desk or a table. This is extremely helpful when you’re learning techniques of holding small brushes. You will drop them (in the learning process). The counter with help keep the brushes and cosmetics within reach.
  • You are beautiful and worth the effort to enjoy makeup. “Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That or a really great red lipstick.” ― Gwyneth Paltrow


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