The 5-Minute Makeup Routine of a Quadriplegic


Every woman dreams of a futuristic world where we can just hit a button like Judy Jetson and have instantly fabulous makeup. No more rushed eyeliner jobs that look like a toddler did it, no more squiggly lip liner, just perfect evenly-applied foundation that looks flawless yet completely natural. Oh yes, this is the future I want.

Instantaneous beauty would also be a boon to ladies with arm and hand mobility disabilities; helping us look as good as we want, with no longer having to let our disabilities prevent us from looking fabulous. Unfortunately however, such a Jetson-esque gadget is still a ways away, leaving it up to us to discover makeup and tricks that work for us.

After trying out dozens of makeup tricks, methods, products and more, I’ve developed my perfect “go-to” 5 minute makeup routine which I can do completely independently. If you’re newly injured or just trying to get back into the makeup game, check out my routine below. Hopefully it’ll help!

Step #1: Wash and Moisturize

I always moisturize right before applying concealer/foundation. This is one of my number one beauty secrets, so make sure you try this. And I don’t use soap everytime I wash my face (far too drying for my fair skin), but I always use L’Oreal’s Age Radiance BB Cream each morning.

This is their “Beauty Balm” cream (where “BB” gets its name from) and it’s amazing. It’s a daily moisturizer, sunscreen, illumination and foundation all-in-one; eliminating several steps from my skin routine which is awesome when you can’t move your fingers. And this beauty balm replaces my liquid foundation. Didn’t think it would, but it surprised me.

Check it out: L’Oreal Age Perfect BB Cream

Step #2: Apply Concealer Where Needed

My next step is applying concealer, but only where it’s absolutely needed. I’m in my mid thirties, which means the skin under my eyes is becoming thinner, so I always must put concealer here every morning to even out my skin tone (and it makes me look younger; dark circles are hugely aging).

I dab and gently smear the concealer when applying it with the back of my hand, which works rather well with my hand disability and makes it look really natural.  Any type of concealer with a wand brush is good if you have dexterity issues. Just pat gently where it’s needed, then dab-dab-dab the area until you can’t see the concealer anymore.

Check it out: Mineral Power Natural Perfecting Concealer In Beige

Step #3: Apply Bronzer and Blush

After evening out my skin tone with BB cream and concealer, I use Neutrogena’s Natural Bronzer (in Sunkissed), which is a beautiful palette of brown tones to shade my face and highlight its structure; a critical step. I use a big blush brush with a long wooden handle and just shade around my face of a hairline, my cheekbones, the top of my nose, my chin…anywhere the sun would naturally hit.

I also close my eyes and apply bronzer on my eyelids. After that I use a small amount of blush on my cheekbones and eyelids to finish it off using the same big blush brush.

Check it out: Neutrogena Healthy Skin (Sunkissed)

Check it out: CG Cheekers

Step #4: Apply Eyeshadow

To make my makeup routine even quicker, I use the Neutrogena Healthy Skin Bronzer as my eyeshadow as well, but I use long handles eyeshadow brushes to apply the bronzer as a eyeshadow. I’ll first use the lighter colors as the base all over the lid, and then I’ll use the darker colors just for the lid covering the eye. I use my knuckle to blend the two areas, and it’s done.

Step #5: Apply Mascara

To make my routine fast I also skip eyeliner entirely and just use mascara.  If you apply it right, that’s all you need to look good in a jiffy. I love Maybelline’s Great Lash Mascara too. The wand is very dainty and makes it easy to apply when you’re trying to hold the mascara bottle in a clenched fist with no finger movement. I’ve found this is the best mascara for that. And their “Blackest Black” is a freaking awesome color.

When I apply it, I make sure to apply the lower last as well since I’m not using eyeliner. This is pretty important, so make sure not to skip it. And if you mess up, which I do a lot, just use a Q-Tip dipped in water, wrung out, then gently dabbed in lotion to remove any mascara smudges you may have made.

Check it out: Maybelline Great Lash Mascara

Step #6: Apply Lip gloss

To top off my quick makeup look, I add a bit of lip gloss, but the healthy stuff – Carmex’s Cherry Lip Balm Stick – so it looks and feels good (and it’s nice to kiss). I love this stuff in the winter, but I use it all year. I add a bit of tint by barely lining my lips with a brown or pink lip liner first and then filling in my lips with the Carmex.

Check it out: Carmex Cherry Lip Balm Stick

The whole point of my my makeup routine was to make it as easy and fudge-free as possible – something you can do in a rush, in about 5 minutes, even if your fingers don’t work. I do use my mouth a lot as well, to open caps and to wedge brushes in between my fingers, but I make it work, and hopefully you too will be able to do the same.

Now get out there and look beautiful.

What makeup products do you swear by for your disability?

Products mentioned

L’Oreal Age Perfect BB Cream

Mineral Power Natural Perfecting Concealer In Beige

Neutrogena Healthy Skin (Sunkissed)

CG Cheekers

Maybelline Great Lash Mascara

Carmex Cherry Lip Balm Stick

Photo courtesy of Flickr CC

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