Monday, February 28, 2011

...A Different Perspective

Hello there,
so nice of you to pop by!

This post is an attempt of a cumulative response to many questions I get asked about my being legally blind(and the sub heading of the blog).
For those of you who don't know yet, I was born with a condition called Albinism; I have already explained what this entails dermatologically wise here and here. Feel free to read, discuss blah de blah.
I'm not gonna go in minute detail of all the different problems that affect my eyes that come with Albinism but I'll try and explain some of them as easily as possible -I'm aware that not anyone is familiar with medical terms.
Just to give you a general idea of how bad my eye sight is, it's 5/100: basically what a normally sighted person sees at a distance of 100 feet, I see within 5. Oh yeah, blind as a bat, right here! It goes without saying driving is out of the question....
As for short sightedness when I read a book, I'm at the pc, I text etc etc, my eyes need to be a few inches away only, we're talking a max of 3 if the print is big. Try and imagine now the enormous effort that goes into make-up application for example: extra long tools(i.e. brushes, pencils etc) really don't help as they ALWAYS have to be used at an angle in order for me to get really close to a mirror, and I go super slow to make sure application is perfect and I don't make mistakes. As we know it's always easier to add than remove, especially colours on a white canvas(that's my face for you and me).
Every day tasks that appear effortless to normally sighted people, are enormous challenges for me. Actions like making a cup of tea for example: I have to lean forward a little to make sure I can see I'm pouring boiling hot water IN the cup and not OUT on my hand or foot.
How about public transport? Well when I used to live back home I used to go on many week-ends away with friends, most of which required me taking trains on my own. "How did you manage then?" I hear you ask, very nice of you to ask. Thank you!
Well when your senses somehow fails you, you try your hardest to find ways around it and one of them is the use of technology. In fact taking a train requires having to check the flipping screens to see what platform your train is leaving from and if it's delayed. And for that I use my trusty camera and its handy little zoom! Yep, I may look like a loon standing in the middle of a train station or tunnel seemingly taking photos of a screen, but hey, it does the trick for me, so who cares!
Unfortunately the same doesn't work for buses or airplanes. If I'm flying somewhere on my own, I have to book "special assistance" which comprises a nice little fella(they're not little, really) in a fluorescent vest walking me to the boarding gate and on to the plane and vice versa. It does have its perks sometimes: people most of the time thinking I'm some kind of celebrity requiring security, not having to stand for an hour prior to boarding to get a good seat, meeting the same security people after a few times you've used an airport and them recognising you and making you feel like they're talking to a friend of theirs. But other than that I just hate it, it's the fact of depending on someone I really can't stand.
As for buses....unless there's only ONE bus leaving from that certain stop or someone is there to tell me "this is your one", then I can't take one. The camera trick here doesn't work, mainly because I'm outdoors and don't have long enough for the camera to zoom on the bus number and for me to realise it's the right one. As for asking EVERY bus driver "is this the X?", I get EXTREMELY frustrated after asking twice.
Something else that badly affects my eyes is my nystagmus, the involuntary eye movement we ALL suffer from. However in people with albinism this is remarkable and constant and it affects our vision. Basically until 3 years ago if you looked at my face you would have been able to see my eyes rapidly going back and forth. At the moment though I manage to keep it quite under control with a daily dose of a drug called Gabapentin. I'm not gonna go into details of that, however if anyone with Albinism or a bad nystagmus wants to know more, I shall blog about it, just let me know.
The number one thing that REALLY bothers me along the bad vision, is the fact that my eyes aren't straight. And unfortunately it's getting worse and worse as I grow older. This is why sometimes on the blog you'll see FOTD's showing just one eye -it's because that particular day my strabismus is worse than usual and I couldn't find a good enough photo of my whole face- or photos taken from a certain angle -that's the angle where my strabismus shows less-.
Normally this issue is easily corrected when you're a kid just by simply training your eyes with prisms. Of course my parents being my parents gave my brother the option but not me. And now that my brain has fully formed, it's too late to train my eyes back into position.
My eyes not being straight REALLY make me extremely uncomfortable when I talk to someone or when friends ask to take photos together, with my horrible unstraight eyes I ALWAYS end up ruining otherwise perfect photos of my gorgeous friends. It REALLY bugs me as it's something I have NO control over.
My life is filled with frustration from the second I wake up as I either can't do something because of my vision, or because I have to ask for some body's help.
Not to mention the fact I'm unemployed and have much difficulty in finding anyone that will give me a chance.
Most of my friends will tell you they tend to forget about my impairment and that I'm more independent than many women they know, but it's not enough for me and I believe unless you suffer from something similar, you will never understand the amount of frustration I deal with on a daily basis.

I'm on the process of looking for an eye surgeon here in Ireland that is willing to try and address my strabismus and/or somehow correct my vision slightly. So far I've had very little success so if you know someone who might be able to help me in any way, please point me in their direction!

This post could have been a heck of a lot longer, and it's taken me a few days of editing, trimming and pondering to get it finished. I didn't want to be too medical or too burdening.

I do hope it's offered you an insight of what my life is and what living with a disability means.
If you have any comments or wish to discuss anything with me, please go ahead and do so.

Thank you for reading,


Friday, February 25, 2011

FOTD: earthy & dewy

- all eye shadows from the 88 matte palette
- Rimmel Glam Eyes Day 2 Night (the Night wand)
- collection 2000 brown kohl
- Accessorise With Love Golden Sand baked bronzer
- a small touch Sleek Rose gold blush
no need for a base

Ya like?


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

NYC 1 minute quick dry Prince Street review

(all photos without flash, please don't mind my cuticles...)

-shock horror! the first mani in about 3 months NOT to have a design or a sticker-

This was a Christmas present from my friend Shanna but only just got round to trying it after my blue sparkly period.
The first 2 photos are the truest to the actual colour.
I have to say it's a super gorgeous purple. These photos were with just one coat, pretty amazing! The brush gives you very good control which I like. Normally a polish would start chipping on me after about 5 or 6 days, these photos were taken today which is the 3rd day and you can see some chipping here and there. It claims to dry in a minute; I didn't exactly time it, but it DID dry super duper quickly and I mean REALLY dry, not slightly tacky or anything, solid rock hard dry!
It being NYC I'm sure it was pretty cheap to buy and for that price I have to say I am MAJORLY impressed! Big thumbs up for NYC!
I checked their website and it's not on there; however the minute dry collection all seem to have NY places names, and this does, so I'm a bit baffled. Maybe the European counters get different/other colours?
NYC take note: it wouldn't hurt to put up a detailed list for European stockists, instead of having to post a letter to Paris to get a list.

Do you like my pretty purple?


Friday, February 18, 2011

Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter review

Yes, I confess: never before had I tried Soap & Glory
Why I hear you ask. Easily answered my friends! The main reason is their products are usually a lot more expensive than the correspondant products I normally use, and secondly because of my skin's sensitivity and attitude to break out just because, I'm always very weary of trying new skin care products....especially in a period like now where I've been unemployed for ages and aren't exactly swimming in cash.
Last week I had an appointment which was postponed when I was already there, which gave me about an hour to kill and because I hadn't brought a book with me to go sit in a cafe with a nice cup of something, I decided to just walk around the nearby shopping center. And with it being 10am it was practically deserted, always a plus for someone like me that hates small crowded places.
I decided to wonder in to Boots, not the one I usually go to, and to my surprise, despite being half the size of my usual one, they had a lot more skin care and make up brands!
I wondered around and found a pretty big Soap & Glory section. My "you have to save every penny" gear kicked in straight away....however I was able to try something small and cheap: a 50ml tiny pot of their body butter, for only 3 euros: BARGAIN!
I put it to the extreme test: application after a shower during which I shaved my legs. ANY body milk will burn to death after I've shaved so for that reason I have for months and months now stuck to my Palmers butter.
I have to say though that this little S&G mate didn't burn AT ALL! The fragrance in it didn't cause any eye watering during application nor after. The butter is so fluid it almost feels like a body milk minus the alcohol. It dried very quickly leaving skin soft and nice smelling the whole day.
The next day however skin definitely needed more hydrating, which doesn't happen with Palmers.
Maybe I should try the S&G one for dry skin....hmmmm?

What's your verdict guys? Ever tried this or the one for dry skin?


Sleek FOTD

(without flash)

(with flash)

(outside without flash. On a sunny day that's "how much" light we get out at the back, imagine inside :-S )

In december I won the only thing I have EVER won in my life on Lovely Sarah's blog x Beauty Geek x : I won 3 Sleek Makeup items an eye shadow palette, a blusher and a tinted lip balm.

This is the eye make up I had on the other day, no point in seeing the rest of the face as I had NOTHING on, with such a dramatic eye look I thought best to keep it everything else down.

Here's what I used:
Sleek iDivine The Original Palette (the gold/lemony colour for the inner corner, the gold for the upper lid, the goldish green beside it for under the lid and black for the crease)
Benefit Eye Bright on the inner lower lash line
Maybelline's Falsies waterproof mascara
88 matte palette for a skin tone colour for the brow bone and to draw in my brows
L'Oreal black khol

Let's hear what you guys think of it


Monday, February 7, 2011

a couple of FOTD's

main features: Accessorize Gamble Illusion Card palette

Limited edition KIKO Cosmic Sphere Trio Eyeshadow(the colours I have are sold out on the website) and a double ended GORGEOUS liner in light and dark blue with slight shimmer, another sold out product from the same line -these were a Christmas present from my super cool friend Nicole who's coming to Dublin at the end of March which I'm soooooooooooooo excited about because by then I won't have seen her for a whole year. SHOCKING!)

Maybelline The Falsies Waterproof mascara review

Aaaarrrggghhh one of my biggest pet peeves: false lashes in mascaras ads! (not to mention the dodgy photoshopping, even I could do a better job....)

As I have been sticking to my L'Oreal Waterproof Voluminous for as close as about 4 years, I recently wanted to try something else.
Of course it had to be waterproof as my eyes are so sensitive they will water if you just look at me. I have LOADS of thick lashes all very close to one another so I also need something that will separate them WELL. I don't necessarily look for length as they are long enough and because my eyes are so in laid and hooded, they will always be touching my brow bone.
So after reading/seeing quite a few reviews I decided to go for this one.

Here's what I think of it:
I like the brush A LOT, I have to go right into the roots as they are so fair,but the brush is not too harsh on the inner lash line. Also it does lift the lashes A LOT, which helps for hooded eyes. I like that I can get right into both corners very easily. And it's VERY black! I have to say it's a lot lighter on the lashes than the L'Oreal one which tends to weight them down quite a bit.
It's probably my lashes fault but the brush will still clump 2 or 3 of them together making me look like I have about 10 or 15 mega thick lashes instead of showing the millions I actually have. I know that waterproof mascaras do tend to leave the panda eye effect even after removing, but the L'Oreal one doesn't actually, which is why I wasn't too impressed to wake up one day and thinking I had mega bags under my eyes....only to discover it was the Maybelline residue....meeeh.
Also I don't like the fact that after applying I still have to go in with a clean brush to remove all the excess product, especially at the ends of lashes(those with shorter lashes may actually be impressed by the lengthening effect).

I am considering doing an experiment: applying the L'Oreal Voluminous with the Maybelline Falsies brush(if it actually does fit in the tube) and see what happens.

If you have any more quessies, just drop me a comment.


My Sparkly Blue period

Because of my visual impairment I am constantly challenging myself for things I want to do, especially those people have always told me I would never be able to do.
One of them is doing detailed things, like make up, painting my nails and doing nail art. I might have to look VERY closely but I think for the gravity of my impairment, I do damn good!

I'm going through a very touch time personally and professionally so I'm constantly trying to find (possibly cheap) ways to distract and cheer myself up. One of those is taking care of my nails. I know they may not be to salon standard and my lines/designs aren't perfect, but I don't care because I did it myself and didn't have to pay anyone else.

Before the Christmas I did a lot of window shopping and going around shops(I love all the lights and decoration at Christmas time) and while doing so I gathered some nail stickers, cheap in price but not in quality.
I did look around at blogs and videos of nail art with stickers but they were all way too complicated for my poor eyes. So I came up with my own ideas.

This is the first I created for Christmas and New Year's

(please bear in mind photos were taken about a week after I did it)

Unfortunately, no matter how long and hard I tried, I didn't manage to capture all the sparkliness of it all!
I used: a French base I've had for such a long time the writing on the bottle has disappeared(it was a HUGE bottle as polishes go), China Glaze Caribbean Blue and Glaciar, the No Chip top coat and the stickers are from Essence(in Ireland you'll find it in Penneys, Dunnes and some pharmacies).
I don't think there's any tutorial or explanation needed, the photo speaks for itself. I took loads of photos of this design so let me know if you want to see them.
This was I guess THE ultimate combo for me: light blue, butterflies and sparkles!
The week after I re did but mixed in different stickers from Nailene I bought in Boots. And I totally forgot to take photos....BLAH, sowwy. I will take some in case I re-do it.

Then last week I still felt in a light blue and sparkles mood so this is what I did:

(I know, the lines aren't perfect. and they're asimmetric)

Polishes as before except under the blue there's a layer of Colour Club French Tip. I know that simply lining the blue with white is easier but I don't have a nail art brush yet. Although I am considering buying a couple of nail art pens from Essence maybe in black, white and silver....we'll see....

Now I am sporting a simple French with Barry M Mint photos as I've run out of batteries for my battery sucking camera.

Let me know what you guys think, what you'd do different, if you wanna try these etc etc


Vichy Aqualia Antiox Hydrating cream review

I have to say this cream is a bit of a mystery. Why you might ask. Because it doesn't seem to be featured in any of the international Vichy web sites. They all feature the other 3 products from the line, but not the pot cream.
Hmmm....mystery mystery...
Anyway! At the beginning of january I went home for a couple of weeks and whilst I was there I ran out of face cream. I was using the Aqualia fortifying and soothing 24hr cream before and I had my mind set on trying something else from Vichy as I have trusted them over the years.
So I went to my pharmacy and asked for advice to the great pharmacist who's known me since I was 4 and she recommended this.
As I always do, I would quote what the brand says about the product but as I said it couldn't trace it on the website.
I'll just quote what the box says: it's paraben free(which is always good), SPF 15 UVA, ingredients include Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Pure Citrus Polyphenol™.
So it claims to super hydrate really dry skin(tick) especially of the sensitive kind(tick tick tick), protect the skin from UVA rays(woohoo) and from environmental/pollution agents.
If you thought I was in love with the previous Vichy cream I was using, well....what's more than "in love"? Super duper in love? Whatever it is I'm IT with this cream!
Whilst I was home the temperature never rose over 3 degrees, same here, especially with the 90km/h winds we had last week; under normal circumstances with these conditions, at the end of a day spent out and about, my face would be quite battered, red and kinda burning from the sun/wind/pollution. The other cream kinda targetted this well, but this one REALLY is magic! My skin is nowhere near as red and burning as it's well protected.
The cream goes on a bit thick at first but as you start to massage it into the skin, it melts instantly! It doesn't take ages for it to dry and it really does hydrate your skin all day long!
I have to say I also noticed the wrinkles around my eyes have also improved, although I don't know if that's one of the aims of the cream.
It has a tiny bit of a smell but it's nothing major really.
If you want to try it, and I suggest you do, I would recommend buying it online as you will get it a lot cheaper than in shops(I paid €25 for it in expensive Italy, my guess is it's around the same in rip off Ireland).
Let me know if you have tried it or are going to.