How to apply eye makeup if you have weak hands01.08.2022
Stable hands may not be something people think about on a daily basis but it is a privilege to have them. It’s the ability to effortlessly blend two eyeshadows or quickly apply eyeliner. It’s a privilege. It can be quite a different experience for those with shaky hands or hand tremors, whether they are caused by neurological conditions, damage of the nervous system, side effects of medications, or any other reason.
Terri Bryant, a makeup artist, says that the more shaky the hand, the harder it is to draw a line along the waterline or lash line or coat eyelashes root to tip. This makes it difficult to avoid the dreaded “eye poke” that can make a big mess and doesn’t feel good. We also need symmetry between the eyes. This adds to frustration when applying makeup with shaking hands.
Some people feel that makeup is something they don’t enjoy anymore after developing hand tremors. “Makeup is something people give up on because it’s hard work,” says Lainie, who is a writer and speaker about disabilities. She was born with Charcot-Marie Tooth, a nerve disorder. It takes time to balance your hands to be able, for instance, to draw a line.
However, Ishbia and other hand tremor experts point out that it doesn’t always have to be this way. People with hand tremors may find it easier to apply eyeliner and eyeshadow using certain tools and an adjusted makeup station. Here are some tips to help you apply eye makeup even if your hands are shaking.
It is as important where you apply your makeup
First, it’s important to think about your favorite makeup area. Bryant says that it has been hugely helpful to set up a makeup station where I can sit comfortably with my mirror at my side — so I don’t have to work at strained angles or feel rushed while applying makeup — has been a big help.
You can do your makeup on a steady surface like a counter or kitchen table. Alle Connell, a beauty blogger and influencer, says that her hand tremors result from long-term neurological effects. “I think of my whole arm as one unit, and use my elbow to move. This gives me more stability.”
“Setting up a makeup station that I can sit at my mirror and use has been a big help to me.”
The added benefit of having a large counter area is the ease of access. Ishbia has, for example, set up a Velcro mat at her desk so that nothing slips or is knocked off the counter. She explains that she has Velcro on her products’ backs so that they can be grabbed off the Velcro mat. Rather than having to find them in a drawer or container, and keeping everything open,” she says.
Connell suggests that you do your makeup on a small surface such as a bathroom sink. A folding cover might be a good option if you have limited counter space around your bathroom sink.
Design products can make a huge difference
Hand tremors can make it difficult to pick up a product, open it and hold it for a while. This is a major factor in applying eye makeup. You can counter this by using products and tools with grip-friendly packaging.
Ishbia recommends that you look for makeup products with heavier and larger packaging that can be opened easily. Urban Decay’s Naked eyeshadow palettes are her favorites. It’s heavy enough to not drop because of its weight. It can be placed on the counter, and you can open it with just one hand,” she said. Because they require more effort to open, she avoids narrow, magnetic eye shadows and single-colored eye shadows.
Any item with ridged edges or studs is a plus. Ishbia says, “That’s traction for someone like me.” Benefit’s BadGal Bang Mascara is a good example because of its large handle and multi-dimensional studs. Connell also mentions Fenty Beauty Flyliner Liquid Eyeliner as a great product. “The pen is easy-to-grip and the wear is bananas.”
It is helpful to have long handles for things such as mascaras, eyeliners and makeup brushes. Connell says that many people with fine motor issues have no pincer grip so, if the object is small, they won’t be able to do anything. A longer tube, or handle, on one hand, allows you to hold the object with your entire palm or with your thumb and another.
Guide Beauty is one brand that offers tools with these features. Bryant says, “We designed our tools to be simple to hold, steadying and precise in application.” Bryant says that the tool can be used as a natural extension to the hand. This reduces stress and helps prevent accidental eye pokes and misapplications.
For example, the brand’s Lash Wrap Mascara has a circular knob that can held between the index finger and middle finger. Bryant said that the thumb can be held between the index and middle finger, which allows for more control.
To make your life easier, modify the items you already have
You don’t have to buy new products. There are many ways to modify the items you already own at home to improve grip.
Ishbia says that rubber bands are used to attach makeup brushes’ ends. “It gives them a bit of texture and makes it easier to grip.” She also mentions that rubber grippers or foam grippers can be purchased, similar to those you would buy for pencils and pens.
Do you know the stick-on rings that can be attached to your phone? They’re not just for phones, though. Ishbia puts them on some of her products. “I drop things all the time… so having the rings to place your finger in makes it much easier.”
Eye makeup is the most important thing
Eye makeup can be one of the most tedious parts of any beauty regimen. It’s worth taking the time to do the hard stuff first. Bryant says, “I begin by applying my eye makeup and more intricate techniques first and then I build my look around my eyes. This allows me to tackle the most difficult application techniques while my hand is still fresh.”
You’ll also be able to clean up any makeup you applied afterward if you don’t use any skin products. For intricate or graphic looks that require straight edges and sharp edges, keep a few cotton swabs handy and your preferred makeup remover. This allows you to remove any eyeshadow fallout before applying concealer, foundation or powder.
Connell says, “I don’t fear going in after applying eye makeup with a narrow brush. I use makeup remover and a makeup primer to finish my work. Ishbia uses a cleansing balm, extra-long surgical-grade cotton swabs and can hold them with her hands.
You can plan and map out your looks ahead of time
Connell’s Instagram can be seen immediately to show that she is skilled in bold, graphic eye looks. Connell doesn’t always get it right the first time so she takes the time to practice and then outlines her approach based on these practice rounds. She says, “I approach delicate looks using all the help I can get. This means I practice my looks before I do it. I get to feel the physical sensation of doing it. I also can see if I have to adapt my ideas to any other situation.”
“I don’t fear going in after applying eye makeup with a narrow brush. I use makeup remover to fix it.”
Connell is able to determine which methods are best for certain looks by doing this. She explains that “if I’m creating a cat-eye, for instance, I will use a subtle shade of powdered eye shadow to draw guidelines. Then, I’ll use shorter strokes which are more difficult for my shakes. This mentality is not limited to elaborate looks. If you have a daily look that you are interested in improving, practice it several times and take notes about your greatest challenges. You can then tailor your tools and methods to meet the look’s needs.”
If in doubt, take deep breaths. This is possible.
Experts advise not to be too harsh on yourself. This is one of the most important pieces. Connell recalled feeling ashamed and angry about her mistakes when applying makeup shortly after she developed tremors. She says, “I used to scold myself with mascara in hand, as though my hands shaking uncontrollably was something that I could talk myself out from. Of course my hands would shake more if I tried to put pressure on myself to keep it all together.”
Connell learned from that difficult experience how to be kind to herself. She says that “being cruel to myself about my hands shaking is a lie. It teaches me that my value is tied to an unattainable, ableist standard of perfection. No longer treating my self as unworthy has been one of the most important changes I’ve made. It’s impacted every aspect my life, from the confidence with whom I share my beauty work to the way I treat myself.”
Bryant also shares the same sentiment: “Applying make-up is an art form and you can get better with practice.” Be kind to yourself. It doesn’t need to be perfect. Makeup can be washed off easily. Bryant suggests that deep breathing is a great way to reset your mind when you feel frustrated while applying makeup. Take a step back from the mirror to avoid getting caught up in all the details. She suggests that you always take a step back to see the whole canvas.
Connell also recommends taking as much time as you can when applying makeup. Connell says that feeling rushed makes it difficult for her to do makeup, which causes to shake more.
Do not be afraid to embrace the colors, shapes and trends that you love.
Ishbia said that people with weak hands may avoid makeup or have trouble creating bold, bright looks. If you are passionate about makeup but avoid it, this can have a negative impact on your mental health. This is especially true if makeup is a way that you express yourself creatively. Makeup is universal. It connects people, Ishbia states. People with disabilities feel isolated. Makeup is what makes us feel like we are. You will feel more disabled the more you remove yourself from who you are, how you look and what you want.
There are options for you if the technical aspects of a particular makeup trend or certain colors scare you. Bryant says that brighter and bolder colors can help to lift your look and mood. If your hands are less steady and you need a faster application method, bright colors in sheer textures are better options. They are also easier to blend and work with.
There are no rules in makeup and there is no such thing as perfection. Connell stated that she has subconsciously avoided using products that were too bright or bold because it was possible that people might notice if they applied them unevenly. “I don’t care about that anymore. Give me all of your bright colors, matte finishes, sharp liners, and dramatic fake lashes . I’m not obligated to avoid any trends.”