How to Apply Eye Makeup If You Have Shaky Hands

With that painful experience in mind, Connell has learned (and is still learning) how to be kinder to herself. “Being cruel to myself about my hands shaking only serves the lie that my value is completely tied to an ableist, unattainable standard of ‘perfect,'” she says. “No longer treating myself like I’m unworthy has been the biggest change I’ve made, and it’s affected every aspect of my life, including the confidence with which I share my beauty work.”

Bryant shares a similar sentiment: “Applying makeup is an art form, and with practice, you will get better. It’s important to be kind to yourself. Makeup doesn’t have to be ‘perfect,’ and washes off easily, so there’s room to play.” A great way to reset yourself when you’re feeling frustrated mid-makeup, as Bryant says, is to take deep breaths. Then take a step back from your mirror so as not to get caught up in the details. She advises, “Always take a step back and look at the complete canvas.” 

For the same reason, Connell recommends giving yourself as much time as possible when doing makeup. “Feeling rushed stresses me out, which makes my hands shake so much more, which makes me stressed, which makes me shakier — this will repeat until the end of time,” she says. “Having enough time to do my makeup calmly and slowly is beneficial for my brain and my face.”

Don’t shy away from the colors, shapes, and trends you love.

As Ishbia mentioned, people with shaky hands might shy away from makeup altogether or feel they can’t execute looks with bright colors or bold lines. But if you love makeup and are shielding yourself from it, that can impact your mental health, especially if makeup is the way you express yourself creatively. “Makeup is universal; it connects people,” Ishbia says. “People with disabilities often feel alone, and makeup is what keeps us feeling like ourselves. The more you take away from who you are and how you look and how you want to be, the more disabled you feel.”

If the technical aspect of a makeup trend or using certain colors intimidates you, there are solutions to that too. “Brighter, bolder colors can be a brilliant way to refresh and lift your look — and your mood,” Bryant says. “If your hands are shakier and you want a technique that allows for a quicker application, you can choose bright shades in sheer textures, which are easier to work with and blend.”

Besides, makeup has no rules, and true perfection doesn’t exist. “There have been times that I subconsciously avoided products that were too bold or showy because I was afraid people would see if I’d applied them a little wonky — I refuse to worry about that anymore,” Connell says. “Give me all your bright colors, your matte finishes, your sharp liners, your dramatic fake lashes.… I don’t have to avoid anything in 2020 except fascists and racists, and neither does anyone else.”

Read the rest of The Beauty of Accessibility.

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