Tag Archives: Guide

Celebrating National Parks Week With NRS Healthcare

Celebrating National Parks week with NRS Healthcare.

Summer is here and one of my favourite ways to spend it is putting on my walking boots and to go exploring around various nature trails with Gary.
This summer we are making a concerted effort to travel the UK to walk, picnic and even hike through some of the National Parks ,breathing in the fresh air and enjoying nature at it’s finest.

Having Arthritis as well as a visual impairment can make walking, and especially hiking pretty difficult and Gary and I have been looking at accessible trails online
Picture my happiness when I was contacted by the lovely folks at NRS Healthcare who informed me of their free and accessible guide to venturing the National Parks with a disability!

I got so excited reading through the guide, this was exactly what I had been looking for, a place where all the information is presented in one place.

The guide talks about empowering those with disabilities to go outdoors no matter what reservations you may have about restrictions to access.
Wheelchair user that fancies electric boating?on the Lake District?
Visually impaired and fancy hiking in Snowdonia?
It’s all possible if you know where to look, and now we do!

A visually impaired person being guided along a dirt path in the national park with a tree and moss covered boulder on the left.

It’s National Parks Week here in the UK, 24th-30thJuly and to celebrate the beauty and accessibility of our 15 National Parks, NRS Healthcare have written a free accessibility guide for people like you and me who love to be outdoors, but find it a chore researching where is and isn’t accessible!

An extra added bonus is the equipment and products listed in the guide you may consider taking when you are on your adventure, to make your experience more relaxing and enjoyable.

A wide richer with a stone arc bridge in the background. The river is flanked by green and browning trees

The best thing about the guide is that the activities listed are not just Summer activities, most of the excursions and trails are available year round, so if you fancy skiing in winter or surfing in Spring, it is all doable. 🙂

Are you an outdoorsy type?
Would you consider trekking the national parks with a disability?

*Information from a press release by NRS Healthcare, But all thoughts and opinions are my own




Blind Girl Hacks: How To Apply Your Make Up

Blind Girl Hacks: How To Apply Your Make Up.

The base:

Exfoliate

You should exfoliate your face once a week to keep your skin soft as well as ensuring there are no dead skin cells flaking when you apply moisturiser.

You can use specific scrubs that work with your skin tone. It is really important to use facial scrubs that work with your skin tone as it will help decrease skin irritation and spots.

Moisturise.

Once you have exfoliated your face and neck, gently pat your face dry with a clean towel.

Start by dabbing a pea sized amount of moisturiser to your forehead, cheeks, chin and neck.
Using your fingers rub the cream into your face in circular motions, making sure to cover your eyelids, nose and cupids bow. (The skin between your nose and top lip.)

If your face feels dry or the amount of cream used was not enough, apply more.

A ladies hand holding a glass jar of white moisturiser

Face:

Primer.

A primer is the base for your make up. Primer has a sticking agent in it called glyserine which is the base for your make up, it ensures your make up will last all day.
You can buy them as a spray or as a liquid which you apply by hand or with a brush.If you are not using a spray bottle, dot primer on your face as you would apply moisturiser. However do not rub it fully into the skin, leave it so it feels wet and slightly sticky to touch, this is called tacky. Doing this will allow your foundation to stay in place.

Smashbox primer

 

Foundation

 

There are 3 main types of foundation; liquid, mousse and powder.

Liquid: For those with dry skin.

Using the nozzle press down once onto the back of your hand. This should be enough to cover your face and neck.

Dip the tip of your foundation brush into the liquid,
Dot it around your face. 2 dots for your forehead and cheeks and 1 for your nose and chin.
Begin by using a stippling circular motion starting at the nose then move to the cheeks, chin and forehead.
Blend out to the edges of your face using short quick strokes in the same direction
Blend the edges using the stippling motion to blend along the hairline, jawline and ears.

Mousse: Mousse foundation is for normal skin.
This is a sort of thick cream. and is best applied using your fingers.

Using your index and middle finger gently scoop out the foundation. Mousse spreads far so a small amount will go a long way.
Dot your face using your two fingers2 dabs on the cheeks and forehead and 1 dab on the nose and chin.

Starting from the edge of your nose use your fingers to rub the foundation in circular motions.
Using your fingers ensures you cover your face completely and smoothly.
Continue with circular motions blending into your hairline, jawline and ears.

Powder:
For oily or combination skin.

Use a fluffy powder brush or buffing brush to apply your powder foundation.
Put the brush into the powder and swirl around 2 or 3 times.
Tap off the excess powder using the side of the compact.
From the center of your face swirl the brush in circular motions,
Blend outwards, if needs be count how many brush strokes you used to cover one side of your face and repeat on the other side.
Blend into the hairline, jawline and ears using circular motions.

Concealer:

Concealer is a way of highlighting the face and getting rid of dark circles and blemishes.
For dark under eye circles use a concealer that is 1 or 2 shades lighter than your foundation
If you have a lighter complexion use salmon tones

For blemishes or discolouration use a green or yellow concealer.
Make sure you are using the right concealer for your skin tone.
Starting from the bridge of your nosed finishing at the outer corner of your eye, draw and upside down triangle with the point finishing just above your lower eye socket.
Blend the concealer in by Gently patting the area; using your ring finger. This is your weakest finger and will not damage the delicate skin under your eyes.

If you have deep set eyes make sure to work the concealer up into the inside of your nose.This area is often missed and can leave you looking sleepy.

For a more natural daytime look and you just want to cover up your dark circles, use a lightweight concealer with a slight colour cancelling undertone. Dot the concealer and gently blend as mentioned above.
You can also use a brush to apply the concealer.

 

A conceler palette ranging from light white colours at the top to dark brown colours at the bottom

Blemishes:

Dab the concealer softly on the top of each blemish and around the blemish itself.
Blend out softly using a clean brush or cotton bud. .

Highlight and Contour.

Highlight

Highlighter makes your face look brighter,, more awake and gives you a glowy look.

You can use this alongside contouring or add a bit of bronzerto create a shimmery effect.
Draw a much smaller triangle between your brows with the base finishing where the eyebrows meet.

Draw a small line just under your eyebrow bone but but above the crease in your eyelid. This gives the illusion of larger eyes.

Draw a small line in the centre of your cheek.

Draw a small line along the bridge of your nose. This is where the light naturally hits your face but it also helps your nose look thinner, especially if you contour the sides of your nose.
Apply a thin line starting from the centre of your ear coming down diagonally towards the centre of your eye socket.
Apply a tiny amount of your highlighter to your cupids bow to make your lipstick look sharp.

 

Blusher

Blusher gives your face a healthy glow, making you look younger and more alive.
There are different types of blushers that come in several bright colours. Make sure you use colours that suit your skin tone and complexion.
To make your blush look most natural match the blusher with the type of foundation that you use.
For example if you use liquid foundation use a cream blusher.

There are 2 main places to apply blusher; the apples of your cheeks and your cheekbones.

Apples:
To find the apples of your cheeks smile, they are just beneath your eyes where your cheeks bulge. Good for slimmer faces for a healthy glow

 

Cheekbones:

They are just below the apples of your cheeks, you can find them with your fingers or a brush.

A plusher palette in a varay of pinks and oranges

 

Eyes:

Eye Eyeshadow

There are three main types of eyeshadow; cream, loose and pressed.

Cream these eyeshadows work best as a base color for powder eye shadow, or for solid, single-color coverage.
Loose these eyeshadows are often where you find the most color pigment, but can be messy and tricky to work with.
Pressed these eyeshadows are the most common type of shadow, because they blend easily without being too messy.

There are a selection of eyeshadow brushes out there, which do different jobs for applying make up to your eyes.
If you’re just getting started out with make up, I suggest getting 2 brushs that you can practice with.
* Stiff flat brush:
Use this to apply eyeshadow to your entire lid. This brush is best for picking up lots of pigment and distributing it over your entire eyelid.
* Soft stiff dome brush:
This is used for applying eyeshadow to your crease and blending it outwards.

Application:

Starting from the outer corner of your eye gently dab a nude colour across your lid using the stiff flat brush. Make sure to go no further than the crease of the lid.
The crease is the small gap between the top of the eyeball and the bottom of your brow bone. You can use your finger or the brush to find that space. Then sweep back and forth in a gentle rainbow motion to ensure the area is covered.
For a pop of colour, add a brighter eyeshadow in the centre of your lid and blend out using soft strokes in the Direction of the outer corner.

Using the tip of your brush apply a small amount of white/cream coloured shadow to the inner corner of your eye, use small soft strokes to blend out gently. This brightens your eyes considerably and gives the illusion of your eyes being bigger.

Eyeshadow palette ranging from light colours in the top left and darker shades to the bottom right

 

Eyeliner.

There are three types of eyeliners; pencil, gel and liquid.

Pencil: this gives your eyes a sharp and a defined look. Make sure to always sharpen your pencil before applying.

Gel: glides on easily and effortlessly. They usually come in a little pot with a brush.

Liquid: gives your eyes that bold look. Liquid liners are used for precision, they may come in a tube with a brush, or a pot and pen style.

The best way to apply any eyeliner is to: sit, place your elbow on a flat surface and rest your pinky on your cheekbone. This will keep your hand nice and steady during application.

Application:
Applying eyeliner can take a lot of practice so don’t be disheartened if it’s not perfect.

Start on the outer corner of your eye. Look the opposite way two the eye you are applying, for example if you are starting with your right eye, look across to your left. This actually Titans your eyes naturally so you can get a smoother finish.
Gently spot or dash along the eyeline until you reach the inner corner.
Connect the dots or dash to complete the line.

If you are totally blind this method may not work for you, so I would suggest starting from the outer corner and doing small strokes until you reach the inner corner of your eye. Again, this will take a lot of practice, and do not be disheartened if it is not straight or equal. Just ask a sighted person to give you guidance on correcting it

Once you feel confident putting eyeliner on your lower lids, feel free to try applying liner on your upper lids following the same process. I would suggest keeping your eyes closed and looking down, this naturally Titans the eyelid and gives a smoother finish.

What color eyeliner should you use for each eye colour?

Green:
Red is a complementary color for green, so choose shades that have red undertones, such as purple: Lavender, plum or violet. You can also use light brown or bronze.
Blue:
Colours that compliment blue are; purple, silver,, grey and brown.

Hazel:
Rich, autumnal colors like golds, browns, and greens as these colours would enhance the color of your eyes.

Brown:
Use shades of blue/purples and metallic tones of golds, browns, and bronze as these will make the eyes stand out

A selection of diffrent colour eye shadows

Mascara:

Choosing a mascara can become a bit of a minefield, but don’t be put off, you just need to simplify what it is you want from a mascara.
Do you want to volumise or lengthen your lashes?
What colour do you want? There are so many colours to choose from, but a popular choice is black, or brown for those who are fair skinned.

Do you sweat a lot or are you in an environment that’s damp or wet? If so, you will need a waterproof mascara.
You will also need a kind and gentle make up remover, but one that can tackle your water resistant lashes.

There are a number of different brands that range in price, drugstore to high-end. Once you have decided what type/colour you are going for, it’s time to shop around. Use the Internet, friends/family and even beauty representatives to discuss your wants and needs in a mascara.

Curl your eyelashes first.

Start by curling your lashes with a lash curler. Using your thumb and forefinger open the eyelash curlers. Keeping your eye open, place the curler at the base of your upper lashes.
Close the curler gently onto your lashes, bringing your finger and thumb together, and close your eye. Hold it in place and gently tilt your wrist up so the handle is at 90° to your eye. Hold for a few seconds then gently release by pulling your thumb and forefinger apart.

Application:
Before applying any I make up you should use primer.
Primer for your eyes is invaluable. It helps keep your eyeshadow intact, so you do not need to reapply during the day.

Taking the tube of mascara, swirl the wand around to coat the bristles with the mascara properly. Make sure you’re not pumping your wand into the tube repeatedly. This pushes air into the tube where bacteria contaminates the wand. this also makes the mascara clumpy, and it dries out faster.

Open your eyes as wide as you can and look towards the ceiling; starting at the roots, apply the mascara with a wriggling motion. This ensures that there is more volume at the roots, and your lashes don’t feel weighed down.

Place your other hand under your eye to help guide your dominant hand in, so you can find your lashes.
Alternatively, buy sample packs of mascara so the wand is shorter and the bristles are smaller, this can help when you are first learning to apply mascara




There are 3 ways to apply make up to your eyebrows; brow mascara, eyeshadow and brow pencil.
You can buy eyebrow mascara from anywhere that sells make up, eyebrow mascara is essentially a miniature version of mascara for your brows.
After getting rid of any XS on your wand, start from the inner corner of your brow and do short strokes through the eyebrow hair.

For those who would like to try darkening their eyebrows, but don’t yet feel confident enough, using a brow mascara or pencil, you can use your eyeshadow that matches the colour of your hair.
To do this; dip a thin eye brush into your eyeshadow palette, and tapping off any XS.
Starting from the inner corner of your bro follow the shape of your natural brow using small strokes of the brush until you reach the tip.

Pencil:
Hold a pencil point up and vertical against your nose to see where your eyebrow should begin. The edge of the pencil that is closer to your nose marks the line where your brow should start.

Locate the ideal end point of your brow, which should be at a 45-degree angle from the outer corner of your eye. Still holding the pencil against the side of your nostril, pivot the point of the pencil away from your nose and to the outer corner of your eye. That is where the tail of your eyebrow should be.
you are trying to draw what looks like many individual hairs, Giving a natural feathered look .

Lips.

There are several types of lipsticks, some include; satin/sheer, matte, liquid, Cream and gloss.
Saturn/Sheer: These are oil base lipsticks that moisturise lips, but need to be reapplied often.
Matte: these are bright and bold lipsticks that give a flat and non-shiny look.
Cream: good for women with small lips, it gives the fuller lip affect. It is not shiny but gives a creamy look.
Gloss: gives the lips a shine and enHances th shape. Good for women who have small or thin lips.
Liquid:
It contains the pigment of a lipstick and the slide and Sheen of a gloss.

It’s recommended that you find a lipstick that is 2 shades darker than your natural lip. To test this out put a small amount of lipstick on your bottom lip and see if it is 2 shades darker than your top lip..

Many women wrongly believe they can’t wear red lipstick. Red lipstick is timeless and bridges age and culture. The secret to choosing the right red lip color is in the undertones. Pink-skinned girls should opt for cherry red. Those with olive skin can wear fire-engine red. Dark skin looks great with deep reds.

Application:

You should always apply lip balm before beginning your lip make up. Depending on the lipstick you are going to use, you may need to dab off the XS with a tissue.
This moisturises your lips, and also acts like a primer for the lipstick.




Lip liner:

Choose a nude or a colour that matches your lipstick perfectly
To get the best look you will want to make your lips taut over your teeth and opening your mouth wider than usual.
Begin by making a cross on your upper lip at the point of your cupids bow.
From there use small thin strokes and follow the entirety of your upper lip line, making sure to go right to the corners of your mouth.
For your lower lips start from the corner of your mouth and work your way in to the plumpest part of your lip you can repeat this on the other side if your hand isn’t steady enough.
Lipliner gives your lips definition and also stops your lipstick from running, or bleeding, as it is known.

Lipstick:

To give your lips definition, repeat the cross at your Cupid’s bow.
Slowly blend the lipstick over your upper lip ensuring that you keep within the lip liner, and follow down to the corner of your mouth.
On your lower lip start from the corner of your mouth and blend to the centre of your lip.
Rub your lips together; this makes sure your lipstick is blended equally and has a natural finish.
If you feel there is too much lipstick, fold a piece of tissue in half and gently clamp your mouth around it. This will take of any excess, and is called blotting.




***I hope this post has been useful, giving you basic knowledge of make up application.
If you enjoyed this post and would like to read any more tips or guides, please just let me know 🙂

******A massive thank you to my gorgeous sister, who not only is my very own make up artist, but helped me write this guide. Ensuring I explained it in an easy to follow manner 🙂
Love you bro xxx

The Do’s of Interacting With Blind People

** DISCLAIMER** I am a blind person, and have always preferred saying this, even when my vision was much better. Some people call themselves Visually Impaired, Sight Impaired, Severely sight Impaired, a person with low vision, or blind. With each person that you meet they will have a preferred terminology,, please be accepting of this and follow their lead. However for the instances of this post i am referring to anyone with a severe sight problem as as a Visually Impaired person (VIP) , to make it easier, and hopefully as not to offend any readers who may be registered medically or legally blind.

Before we begin; blindness or Visual Impairment is a spectrum, and each Visual Impairment in itself can vary from person to person, Some people have central vision, with no peripheral some have no peripheral with no central vision,some may have very blurry or cloudy vision, some people may only be able to see bright or contrasting colour,, others may be able to see shapes and colours, some people may only have light perception, and some people may have total vision loss, also known as black blind vision. And this is just the tip of the iceberg!
I don’t claim to be an Ophthalmologist  but going from 20/20 vision to a deterioration over time, i’ve spoken to many different people from all walks of life with varying eye conditions, so I feel I have a basic knowledge of sight loss.




I’ve noticed through the years how  the public interact with  people who have  Visual Impairments, so i’ve decided to create a Do’s and Don’ts list: How to interact with Visually Impaired people.

Do’s:

1. Initial Contact:

When meeting a Visually Impaired Person (VIP)  for the first time, introduce yourself and say: “hello, my name is …”
If you already know the person : walk straight up to them face on, gently touch their upper arm and say something like:”Hi Sassy, it’s Dave”.
In most circumstances if they are VIP with some useful vision , they might see you coming, and even recognise you. But   It’s always better to be assertive rather than assume,especially if they weren’t expecting to see you, or it’s a crowded place.If you are meeting a VIP with new people: announce yourself first and mention that you’re with others. Allow the new people to introduce themselves individually so the VIP can attempt to distinguish them from one another.
The VIP might take a while to do this so be patient, it’s daunting meeting several people at once.When you are in conversation with a VIP, whether that be  just the two of you, or in a larger group, please let the VIP know you are leaving the room, and postponing the conversation for the moment. There’s nothing worse, and embarrassing for the VIP to be talking away to thin air when they believe that you are still a part of the conversation. That particular person may be able to laugh off the incident, but for some, it can leave the VIP flustered and cringing!

2 Guiding:

Guiding a visually Impaired Person might seem daunting to you at first but the more you do it, the more you will get used to it.

when guiding, or offering an arm as it’s commonly known, stand at the preferred side of the VIP and gently scoop your arm into their hand, their hand should either rest in the crook of your elbow, or their hand should grasp just above your elbow.
In this particular instance you should always communicate with the VIP how they prefer to be guided; some people may ask you to have your arm straight, others may ask for it to be bent. It depends on the initial grasp and how comfortable you both feel.

Generally the VIP should grasp your arm as if they are holding a glass, 4 fingers around your inner arm, and their thumb against the outside of your arm, just above your elbow.
If a VIP is using a cane (the white stick), take the arm that is not using the cane. The cane is in the VIP’s particular hand for a reason, do not ask them to swap it to make it convenient  for yourself.
You should always be a half step ahead of the VIP when guiding, this allows them to feel your body movements when you make a turn etc.Be vocal when guiding a VIP, give them clear instructions when you are turning left or right, the VIP should feel this in your body movements, but it’s always polite to give them a heads up and not encounter whiplash ;)Engage with the VIP and give them instructions on where the VIP is; “We’ve just passed the clock tower on our left.”

If obstacles are ahead, inform the VIP and explain that you’re going to move them around the obstacle: “We’re manoeuvring left because there is a lamppost  on our right just ahead.”

3 Pavements/ stairs:

Always approach steps/ stairs straight on. When coming to pavements and stairs, let the VIP know a few paces beforehand whether it’s a step up or step down. If possible count the amount of steps you are both about to encounter.  If there are too many to count ahead of time, count each step as you go up or down them, also announce that “last step” as you step off. It gives the VIP  an allows the VIP to prepare. As a VIP if they cannot see many steps you are encountering, they get into a rhythm, so it’s best to prepare them. 🙂

If the VIP is generally and independent traveller let them know ahead of time that there is a hand rail they can use to access the stairs safely. The VIP may have a particular side they prefer to take the hand rail, and in that case they may ask you to guide them to it.

If you have to leave a VIP at any time, let them know and put them in contact with a solid object such as a wall. Let them know this, so they are not facing the wall and looking, and feeling socially awkward.

4 Navigation:

Narrow spaces are a part of navigating on a daily basis, when you’re guiding a VIP in a narrow space or area; put your guiding arm behind your  back,  the VIP should follow your arm down to cup your wrist,  and should be walking directly behind you in single file with their arm outstretched.

 Doors can be tricky to navigate with a VIP, in order to do this smoothly, tell the VIP which way the door opens; “The door opens to the right” Doing this allows the VIP to build a visual representation in their mind, and if they are on the hinge side then they can push the door, instead of you struggling to do both.

5 Getting into a car:

Say which way the door is facing, and place their hand on the door handle, they should be able to manage alone.

6Sitting down:

Grip the back off the chair, and allow the VIP’s hand to follow your arm down to hold the back of the chair and get themselves on it safely.
If the back of the chair is against a wall, it may be easier to approach the chair in such a way that a leg of the VIP brushes against the chair so they are aware, for clarification mention to them; “The chair is on your right.”

7.Giving Instructions:

If you are out to dinner with a VIP, it would be really great if you could give them verbal instructions on the table you’re sitting at, or even the surroundings, an example of this would be to explain using a clock face, in conjunction with the VIP being at 6:O’Clock, I’m at 12, the kitchen is at 3, toilets are at 6, directly behind you, and the bar is at 9
This also works great when food is delivered, ask the VIP if they would like to be told where abouts the food is assorted on the plate. It’s good to ask the VIP beforehand, as some may not want/ need this input. I however, prefer it as I like to know what’s on the plate and where. I don’t enjoy fumbling about my food, trying to figure out where it is. Personally I have a severe dislike of dirtying my hands; – weird I know!
Another time the clock situation would be useful; is if the VIP is visiting your home for the first time. Giving them clear instructions such as down the hallway to the right is the living room, the back of the sofa will be at 2 O’Clock.

 

8. Fun:

We love to have a laugh and not take life to seriously, we don’t mind if you want to take our cane for a stroll, pretending you’re blind, (until you get too scared of course and open your eyes), so go ahead and ask if you can have a go. We’ll enjoy laughing at you freaking out, and I believe it takes some of the strangeness out of having your VIP friend swinging a white cane about 🙂 Just don’t forget to leave us somewhere solid, and let us know you’re giving it back to us!  🙂
I hope you found this post useful, and have learnt something new if you didn’t know these tips already, or haven’t met a blind person before.
Have I left anything out, are there any more tips you can add? Or specific tips you prefer as a VIP?
Much love, Sassy x