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Beauty, fashion and sight loss

hollytuke Community member Posts: 14 Courageous

Holly Tuke blogs about disability, fashion and lifestyle at Life Of A Blind Girl. Today, she talks to us about the misconceptions surrounding visual impairment and style.

Many people have the idea that blind and visually impaired people can’t look stylish or that we can’t have an interest in fashion, however this common misconception is far from the truth. People with a visual impairment can actually have an interest in fashion and beauty, want to learn to apply their own make-up and actually want to look stylish or keep up with the latest trends.

I don’t let the fact that I have no useful vision stop me from having an interest in make-up and fashion, just like sighted people. Beauty and fashion is something that I often discuss on my blog. I want to give you a few tips on beauty and fashion if you have a visual impairment. Just because a person has sight loss, it does not mean that they cannot enjoy beauty or fashion. Whether you have some useful vision or have no vision, it does not mean that you should miss out on feeling and looking good.

holly has short dark hair with a fringe and is wearing sunglasses her outfit is a pink t-shirt with patterned trousers and a cross over bag and shes stood outdoors in front of a field full of trees

This post is broken up into two sections: beauty and fashion.


Have a good skincare routine

This is so important, as it is the base for looking good and feeling good. Having a good skincare routine helps your skin in many ways as well and keeps it as healthy as possible.

Go shopping with someone that you trust

It’s vital to go shopping with someone that you know well and trust when you want to purchase some new products as they can help you pick out the right shades that match your skin tone, give an honest opinion of what looks good on you and help you decide on what to buy if you’re unsure.

Go to beauty counters

If you are unable to go shopping with someone that you trust then you can always go to beauty counters for some assistance. Staff are often

very happy to help you choose the best products that match your skin tone, help you choose some new ones and also show you how to apply the products. They are trained in what they do so can offer expert advice which is always good!

Start off with samples

If you are starting out with makeup and beauty products then don’t waste your money on lots of products that you may or may not like, start off by using samples which you can get at beauty counters. Once you find out the products that you like and that you are able to apply confidently and independently you can then go and purchase the full-size products. Getting samples of products can also be a great way of finding out which products you can confidently, comfortably and independently apply as a blind or visually impaired person. They are a great starting point.

They can also be really useful if you have sensitive skin, then you can find out which products are suitable for your skin and which ones are not.

Get to know your face

This might sound a bit strange but stick with me ok? Getting to know your face is key, when applying makeup, you need to know where to apply the products and need to know the different areas of your face in order to apply them in the right places. This is especially important as for many blind and visually impaired people, applying makeup is often done with the sense of touch.

Find a way of identifying your beauty products

There are many ways that you can do this: by labelling the products, using bumpons or other methods, using products such as the RNIB Penfriend or organising your products in a specific way – find a method that works for you. It’s important that you know exactly what each product is as they can often feel the same.

Practice, practice, practice!

Like many things, being able to apply makeup when you have a visual impairment takes a lot of practice, I’d definitely say that practice is key.

Find out the products that work for you and ones you find most comfortable applying, for example, travel sized mascaras might be easier for you to use as they have a smaller wand, compared to the normal sized mascaras.

Don’t worry if you make mistakes, it’s all about learning and we most certainly don’t learn if we don’t make mistakes.

If you practice then it becomes so much easier and you’ll definitely feel more comfortable and confident in applying your make-up.


Like makeup, fashion is also something that people with a visual impairment can be interested in. There are many tips that can make fashion enjoyable when you have sight loss, here are a few of them.

Know your style

This is key! Knowing your style means that you can wear clothes that you feel comfortable and confident wearing and know that they will look good. Just because you have a visual impairment, it does not mean that you can get to know your style and the things you like or don’t like.

Go shopping with someone you trust

I know that I mentioned this in my beauty tips but it also applies to fashion. It’s important to take someone shopping with you that you trust and someone that knows your style. At the end of the day, you don’t want them to be telling you that something looks good when it actually doesn’t…awks

Don’t be scared to ask for assistance

It’s not always possible to go shopping with a friend or family, so if you go shopping on your own then ask for assistance, most staff are always happy to help and assist you in finding what you’re looking for.

Find websites that are accessible

If you need to do a bit of online shopping, use websites that are accessible, this may be with a screen-reader or magnification software. There are many websites that provide good, detailed descriptions of clothing and accessories, but there are also those that do not so it’s all about exploring which ones work for you.

Make use of assistive technology

Assistive technology can be great when doing a bit of shopping for new clothes or accessories. Magnifiers can be used in shops or on PC’s to take a closer look at the items, screen-readers can be used for online shopping, apps such as Tap Tap See can be useful when identifying the colours of items of clothing. Use assistive technology to your advantage.

Organise your wardrobe

This is a key thing to do when you have sight loss. There are many ways that you can do this, it’s all about trying what works best for you.

Find a way of identifying your clothes

This could be by touch, sight, by putting labels on the clothes or using technology such as the RNIB PenFriend or a colour detector to identify your products.

Being able to identify your clothes means that you can put an outfit together independently and know that you’ll look good.

These are a few tips for making the most out of beauty and fashion when you have a visual impairment, I hope that they have been of use.

Do you have any tips of your own? We'd love to hear them!


  • mossycow
    mossycow Scope Member Posts: 500 Pioneering
    Oooh great post! No tips as I'm quite **** at style and fashion but really interesting.

    I agree with asking for assistance... Was buying leggings and jeans for my daughter yesterday and not got a clue how to put stuff together. Was brave and asked a lady and came away pleases. 

    I have 'average' sight but found this helpful also, cheers
  • hollytuke
    hollytuke Community member Posts: 14 Courageous
    Thank you so much, I'm glad you liked it. Really glad you got some help, it's great when that happens and you come away pleased :)
  • samanthawilliams
    samanthawilliams Community member Posts: 3 Listener
    Such a lovely blog post Holly, it's great to read how you have developed your own beauty and fashion style. Do you have a favourite store?
    Will definitely be following your blog :) 
  • hollytuke
    hollytuke Community member Posts: 14 Courageous
    Thank you so much Samantha, really glad you like it. My favourite shops are New Look and H&M. 
    Thank you so much for checking out my blog as well, it means the world :)
  • samanthawilliams
    samanthawilliams Community member Posts: 3 Listener
    @hollytuke awww H&M and New Look are great. I look forward to reading your next post ?

  • Bdett26
    Bdett26 Community member Posts: 4 Listener
    Hi holly yr such an inspiration to partially sighted and blind people. I’m not blind but short sighted so  I cant imagine what it may be like to have hardly any or no sight but what your doing is fab as it will help people who are not as confident as yourself so well done. Ihave a lil Llaso apso who has had both eyes removed due to being attacked by a dog and it amazes me how much he can get around and still have some fun with his furry friends and of course me his mummy. I will def be following ur blog and look forward to yr next one. Yr one in million and shldbe praises for all yr great hard work in helping others who may not be as confident as you are or may have Boone to help them with fashion and beauty. Ihave learned so much about blindness since getting my lil furbaby 3yrs ago and the bond we have is unconditional too. Plse keep up ur great work sending hugs yr way x
  • hollytuke
    hollytuke Community member Posts: 14 Courageous
    Thank you so much, that means a lot. Aw I'm so sorry to hear about, that must have been horrible, I"m really glad he's doing okay now x
  • Topkitten
    Topkitten Community member Posts: 1,285 Pioneering
    There is no reason why people who cannot see well or at all cannot use the beauty and fashion stuff available. I would think though that the best way is to have someone with you you can really trust.

    However, always be aware that fashion especially is designed for and aimed at very thin tall people and most of it will not look good on the average person. I don't know how many times I have seen youngsters wearing clothing designed to show off the stomach when all they actually do is to highlight the bulges and spare skin / fat that most people carry. The current fashion of wearing leggings is another bad fashion for most people for exactly the same reason. They highlight the overweight that most people carry around to the extreme. Remember, they are designed for and worn by people with not the slightest extra pound anywhere on the body (according to the designers).

    It is possible to look very attractive (whatever a persons weight) so long as the clothing is appropriate, even if it is not the current fashion.

    Apologies to anyone reading this who finds it remotely offensive. It is not meant to be so. It is meant as an honest attempt at helping those who put fashion as more important than being dresses attractively.

    "I'm on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell" - from Wrong side of heaven by Five Finger Death Punch.
  • L_Volunteer
    L_Volunteer Community Volunteer Adviser, Scope Member Posts: 7,979 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Alisa_Kopiral. Thanks for your positive feedback on this article.

    Unfortunately, it has been quite a while now since this thread was initiated. This might mean that @hollytuke is no longer able to respond to your question. 

    Also, we are a UK-based service which means we have less knowledge and awareness of services available in America.

    Is there anyone you feel comfortable talking to in America? I am just thinking they might be more likely to have the knowledge and awareness you are looking for.

    In the meantime, we are here to listen to you the best we can. Please don't hesitate to let us know if we can do anything to help  :)
    Community Volunteer Adviser with professional knowledge of education, special educational needs and disabilities and EHCP's. Pronouns: She/her. 

    Please note: if I use the online community outside of its hours of administration, I am doing so in a personal capacity only.
  • Poppy_
    Poppy_ Community Volunteer Host Posts: 192 Pioneering
    edited October 2022
    hi @Alisa_Kopiral. As @L_Volunteer said, we are Uk based, however I do know of an Canadian influencer who lives in LA, and she has a visual impairment.  She’s called Molly Burke and is on instagram, as “mollyburkeoffical” and YouTube. She also gives advice and reviews of different fashion/beauty brands. 
    Community Volunteer Host with a passion for reading.


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