People who know me would be surprised to find out that I am writing a blog on the topic of makeup. I wear very little makeup and even went without it for a month this summer.

I may know very little about makeup but I know how to do research, and I’d like to share a little of what I’ve learned on how to apply makeup when you have physical challenges.

Amy Osvold

Amy Osvold from ND Vision Services/School for the Blind has three makeup videos for anyone who is blind or visually impaired and wants to apply makeup without a mirror. They are fascinating to watch.

Jessica Ruiz

Another very talented woman, Jessica Ruiz, who is a professional makeup artist born with arthrogryposis, has a video with her applying makeup to her own face. She has limited use of her arms and hands but has a gift with the application of makeup.

Assistive Technology to use when applying Makeup

If you are still looking for tips and tricks, below are some assistive technology ideas for makeup application:


  • NuMuv Grip-Aid holding mascara wand
    NuMuv Grip-Aid

    Numuv is a grip-aid which can be used with mascara or brushes to assist when someone has arthritis or has trouble grasping small items

  • Brushes with longer or larger handles
  • Bathroom mirrors with magnification and/or additional lights
  • Foundation in pump bottles
  • Younilook is a magnification system that mounts on the mirror which can provide from +1.00 to +3.75 magnification
  • Permanent cosmetics are another option. This is a cosmetic technique that resembles tattooing and can provide permanent or semi-permanent eyeliner, lipstick, lipliner, eyebrows, etc. This option can be fairly expensive.


Everyone has a time when they want to look their very best, and applying makeup may be your way of looking your very best! You don’t have to give up on wearing makeup if you have physical challenges. With just a few adaptations, makeup application can be easier than you thought. Just try it and if the lipliner or mascara doesn’t look right, you can always use a good makeup remover.