Yesterday’s Wishes is the username of vlogger Lucy Edwards. Based in Birmingham, she’s 19 years old and describes herself as a “YouTuber, soon-to-be law student, and make-up artist”.
“I only went blind about two years ago”
“When I was 11 I became partially sighted due to a rare disorder. It’s in the female line of my genetics, but my mum and grandma don’t have it. To cut a long story short, I’ve been going to the eye hospital since I was 11.”
Edwards lost sight in her right eye when she was 11, then in her left eye when she was 17, “right in the middle of my A-levels, so I’ve had to retake the year. I wanted to stay positive, which is why I’m on YouTube, really.”
Her sister, Alice, worked with her to create a make-up routine that didn’t require a mirror.
The process wasn’t straightforward, Edwards said. It took about a year for her to be comfortable doing her make-up by herself.
“At points I’ve been like, ‘I don’t want to do this any more,’ because it’s been so frustrating,” she said. “Like when I’ve done my eyeliner, and Alice [above left, with Edwards] has said, ‘It’s heavier than you would have liked when you were sighted.’ And I’m like, ‘How do you know!’
“But I have to calm down, and trust people. That’s a factor when you go blind – you have to put your trust in people a lot more with the way you look.
“I have my basic routine that I do now when I’m at college. If I feel like I’m having a more spotty day then I add concealer. If I want to contour I could do that. My sister has taught me to go over my contouring with a powder on the top. I’ve got steps in place that make sure that I’ve done it right. And I do go very slowly! Because I don’t have a mirror!”
If you’re wondering how she manages to keep her brows on point, here’s the secret:
“I have my brows threaded every month, and also, because they’re a little sparse on my right-hand side, I use an Urban Decay Brow Box.
“I tend to use shadows on my brows with a brush. With a pencil you can easily slip with it. And if you follow the line of your eyebrow with gentle brush movements, it makes you look more like there’s hair there where it’s sparse. Having bright red hair, I don’t want my brows to look really dark brown! Then I have a clear brow gel to just set them in place.”
There are tips and tricks for doing your make-up when blind, she said.
In the above video, Edwards recommends getting tactile with your concealer – “I feel for blemishes with my hands, and then use the applicator to find the blemish”.
And she finds lipstick tricky: “Being blind, lipstick is really hard, as you have to follow your lipline. Personally, I like lip glosses more than lipstick. But I do have a selection of lipsticks that I use. Barry M Genie lipstick looks green, but once it goes on your lips it changes colour.”
The main thing? Invest in good brushes:
“I swear by Real Techniques. Purely because they’re affordable, and the hair on the brushes is moveable. They move your blush around your face, which means you avoid harsh lines. Plus, their Beauty Blender sponge, I couldn’t get up in the morning without it. I don’t like brushes for your foundation because it won’t move around your face – you need some moisture in there to get the sponge all around your face.”
And get to know the products that work for you:
“With mascara I’d go for a smaller brush – you get so many smudges with the fat brush. Some brushes are just massive. The smallest mascara brush possible is best for being blind. It’s easier to manoeuvre. The best one for that is L’Oreal Miss Manga.
“In terms of eyeshadow, the Naked palette is the best as there’s not a lot of fallout. You don’t have to worry about smudges, or product falling out onto the rest of your face. MUA eyeshadow is only £1 and is also really great – I use it every day.
“Another thing that I always use is Sleek’s contour kit. I love it so much. I was quite daunted by it. I said to my sister, ‘Are you sure?’, but it’s the next step in my make-up journey, if you like. I feel quite confident now in doing quite a dramatic contour.”
Edwards’ interest in make-up grew after losing her sight.
“Because I can’t see myself in the mirror, I feel the necessity of doing my face more,” she said.
“Because I’m making myself pretty, it makes me feel better about myself on the inside. I know the media has a lot of rubbish about whether you need make-up and so on – I don’t think I need it especially, but it’s just a thing that makes me feel good about myself. It makes me feel like I’m in control.
“And that’s the thing about being blind. You are very dependent on other people. and make-up for me, personally, means that I don’t have to ask anyone about how my face looks any more. Because I know I’ve put my foundation on a certain way, and I’ve built up my routine so I know my cleansing routine and all that. I know that my face looks good without looking in the mirror. So I don’t have to ask someone, ‘Do I look good today?’, because I know that I do”.
And she’s excited to be a resource for people facing the same issues as her.
“The YouTube community for blind beauty bloggers is small,” she said. “When I was plunged into blindness, there were no resources for this kind of thing [beauty], and it took me hours and hours to learn how to do my make-up.
“Personally, I didn’t have non-sighted friends – I was in a world full of sighted people and in my head I was like, ‘I want to be sighted.’ And because of that I felt lonely. Nobody really truly understands you. I mean, people try to, but it’s not the same.
“But I’ve met people online who I can talk to, and get support from. And we can all be a network together. Nobody is the definition of ‘normal’, but makes you happy with people around you who you know are experiencing similar things to you.”