Wearing makeup gives my self-esteem and confidence a boost. I’m not ashamed to admit that. I love the way it makes me look and feel. As much as I love the finished look, I really don’t enjoy the application process. I have Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy which causes progressive muscle wasting in my arms, which in turn makes doing my makeup physically difficult. Thankfully, there are new inclusive beauty brands that offer accessible makeup products for people with limited hand ability as well as products designed specifically for disabled people.
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Here are some accessible makeup products for limited hand ability that have transformed my makeup routine:
Kohl Kreatives The Flex Collection
Because I can’t lift my arms up I have to bring my head down to meet the makeup brush in my hand. I then have to keep my back twisted and bent in that position to apply my makeup. In that position, I find it difficult to look in the mirror. My back, neck and arms hurt and tire so much from doing my makeup that it becomes something I don’t enjoy doing.
Then I randomly stumbled upon Kohl Kreatives, an inclusive beauty brand with a range of beautiful makeup brushes. Designed with disabled people in mind, The Flex Collection features five easy-grip brushes with bendy heads for greater comfort and precision when applying makeup.
This is particularly helpful for people with motor function difficulties or people like me, who have a muscle weakness affecting their ability to hold the brush. I didn’t hesitate and instantly ordered them online.
I love the Kohl Kreatives Flex Collection brushes as they have so many benefits for me. They are free-standing and have lightweight easy-grip curved handles making them easier to hold than a standard makeup brush.
I’m able to keep my head up whilst applying my makeup and looking in the mirror at the same time. I hold the brushes, in the same way, I would hold an ice cream cone due to the unique position of the brush head. The brushes are multifunctional and can be used for foundation, contour, blush, cat eyes and more. They are also vegan and cruelty-free.
I bought the Kohl Kreatives The Flex Collection directly from their website | Price £44.99
Winged Eyeliner Stamps
Eyeliner has been a makeup staple for the last century after it became popular in the 1920s. Its first recorded use dates back to the Ancient Egyptians as they would use kohl to create lines and wing them out to their hairlines which were the creation of the first ‘cat-eye.’
I used to be good at doing winged eyeliner looks on myself and my sister. My arms become weaker as my condition progresses, so it became increasingly difficult for me so I stopped using eyeliner, but I missed doing those types of eye looks. So I was excited when I discovered winged eyeliner stamps, which create perfect flicks in seconds.
There are two pens, one for the left eye and one for the right eye. Each pen has a felt tip eyeliner at one end and a winged stamp on the other end.
The eyeliner stamps are easy to use and create a beautiful look. It is a winged eyeliner game-changer and I love it. It speeds up my makeup routine, saving me time and energy, which is amazing.
I have it in Petite Intense Black (photo of my eye above using the winged eyeliner stamp) and I find that it doesn’t fade or smudge which other brands have done. There are other colours and sizes including modest and grand depending on how dramatic you want the flick to be.
I bought The Quick Flick Eyeliner Stamp | Price £20.00
Magnetic Eyelashes Kit
False lashes can take an eye look from 0 to 10 in the blink of an eye. Not only do they change the look of the eyes, but they also transform the entire makeup look. From natural to glamourous to sexy. They can add length, volume and texture to your own lashes.
The only downside is the application process. Lining the lash band with glue, waiting for it to become tacky and then painstakingly trying to line the false lashes up so they stick perfectly.
It’s fiddly, to say the least. It takes quite a lot of practice and patience to master the application of false lashes, but it also requires a lot of physical energy. Something I don’t have a lot of.
I was really excited to discover magnetic lashes as they claim to make the application quick and easy. Thankfully, they did just that. All you have to do is apply gel eyeliner (which has magnets formulated in the gel) and then place the lashes on top.
I’ve only used these magnetic eyelashes once and although I found the application faster, I think it might take some practice to know how much gel eyeliner to apply to get the eyelash band to fully connect to the magnets. They looked good and I’m excited to experiment with them.
I bought the Ardell Magnetic Eyelashes Kit | Price £15.98
Magnitone London BlendUp! Vibra-Sonic Makeup Brush
Buffing the foundation can be tiring and is something I struggle with. Since I don’t have the luxury of having my own personal makeup artist at home (which would be amazing though), I looked into what could help make applying my makeup a little easier. That’s when I discovered the Magnitone London BlendUp! Vibra-Sonic Makeup Brush.
Side note: I used this brush before discovering the super-inclusive Kohl Kreatives makeup brush collection (mentioned above).
This brush has over 250 Vibra-sonic movements per second so heaps better than what my weak hands can do. Designed for liquid, powder and cream makeup products and can be used to blend, contour, tint, blush and bronze. It comes with USB charging which gives up to 100 minutes of use for two hours of charging. The brush has two speeds (blend and airbrush) and the choice of three brush heads.
Personally, I wear mineral makeup and have found using this brush really good for blending my foundation evenly and much quicker than I could by using a standard makeup brush. I love the softness of the brush and the airbrushed finish it gives. The vibration feels good on my face – almost like a facial treatment of some sort.
Although the Magnitone London BlendUp is heavier than a standard brush, I’m still able to manage using it. It just takes some manoeuvring into place by getting my arms in a good position and I’ve even worked out a way to hold the brush in my hand and push the on/off button with my mouth. Skills!
[Gifted] Magnitone London BlendUp! Vibra-Sonic Makeup Brush | Price £43.00 (RRP: £69.99)
Guide Beauty is a new makeup brand that launched this year (early 2020) with a range of accessible makeup products. Terri Bryant, founder of Guide Beauty was inspired to create this brand after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and fearing her career and passion as a makeup artist was over.
Thankfully Terri was inspired to create makeup and tools that would enable her and millions of disabled people to be able to enjoy doing their own makeup.
There are four accessible makeup products in the Guide Beauty range; mascara, eyebrow gel, potted gel eyeliner and eyeliner tool. They have an ergonomic design to provide easy application and the mascara and eyebrow gel even have a hand grip applicator. The grip applicators can be used as a finger rest to steady shaky hands. How cool is that?
My favourite product is the Guide duo eyeliner. It was the main reason I placed an order – it just looked amazing. And it is amazing. The eyeliner wand is a unique tool with a bendy plastic on the end that creates a steady and more precise application of eyeliner. All Guide Beauty products are cruelty-free, vegan, and formulated without toxins and harsh ingredients.
As I mentioned earlier, eyeliner is something I struggle to apply due to my weak arms, but the design of the eyeliner wand makes it incredibly easy. I no longer have to struggle to lift my arms up to line the top of my eyes, the wand is designed to be used in a downward position.
It can be used in different ways including lining the top and bottom of the eyes as well as a smudging tool. I’m loving how easy and quick it is to do my eye makeup now. There is even an indented curve on the wand, near the top of the applicator, for your finger to rest (for greater control). The wand works great even if you don’t use the finger rest (see photos above).
Inclusive Brands: Accessible Makeup Products
I’m so happy to have discovered these accessible makeup products as they are helping transform my ability to continue doing my own makeup. My condition is progressive so I will continually lose more ability over time, but with inclusive brands creating more accessible makeup products, it will enable me and millions of other disabled people to apply their makeup with ease.
What do you struggle with when doing your makeup? Do you use accessible makeup products?