Amourette Bishop

@amourette-bishop | contributor
I am 20 year old student with the learning disabilities Dyslexia and Dyspraxia, and I have also been diagnosed with PTSD, Depression, and Anxiety. My goal here is to help people understand these issues, and post my views and frustrations.

Tips for Doing Makeup With Limited Fine Motor Control

Having a love for makeup can be tough when you have a disability that affects your hand-eye coordination and your fine motor skills. Dyspraxia affects my ability to grasp my makeup tools in the correct way, and my constantly shaking hands mean that winged eyeliner — and sometimes even lipstick – is the hardest thing in the world. Just because these things are hard, it doesn’t mean I can’t do them. I’ve practiced long and hard to do my makeup to a standard that is both fun and professional, and my determination has recently landed me a job as a makeup artist for Estee Lauder. But while I would say I’m good at doing my makeup, each morning is met with frustration when something doesn’t go my way. Below I have put together my top 10 tips for doing makeup when you’re dyspraxic – or if you have another condition that affects your fine motor skills. Tip 1: Ditch the foundation brush. Although many makeup artists and beauty gurus have long moved on to beauty blenders, when you’re starting out a brush seems like themost logical way to put on makeup. Because of the way I grasp brushes, I found it was easier to simply move on to using a beauty blender or my hands. Both are legitimate ways to apply foundation – and your hands can be a more effective tool than you think! You can get a more natural finish using your fingers, as your natural body temperature warms the foundation up and makes it easier to apply. Tip 2: Celotape is your best friend. This is actually a fairly common technique when it comes to doing winged eyeliner – but it makes all the difference. Through this, I’ve managed to learn how to do wings without the use of tape. The tape allows you to decide what angles you want your wings at, and how long you want them. It also allows you to make all the mistakes without messing up your makeup! On days where my hands are particularly shaky, or when my dyspraxia is particularly bad, I always go to this method for help. It makes all the difference. Tape also applies to doing eyeshadow when you want a super neat edge! You can either use normal tape, or you can invest in tape just for doing your makeup – they come in a variety of colors, and some even do rainbow colored tape! Tip 3: Brows The easiest way I’ve found to do my brows is using a very precise brow pencil – specifically the ones you can twist up. I get lazy sharpening normal eyebrow pencils, so twist up pencils are a godsend. They’re easy to use, and as they have such a small tip it makes it less likely for you to mess up. However, just this on its own won’t make brows perfect. After doing your brows, use a tiny bit of concealer to clean up underneath. This will give you a clean, defined brow. Tip 4: Blending eyeshadow Blending eyeshadow can be a bitch. This is why I like to stick with using a limited number of brushes when it comes down to it – specifically two fluffy brushes and a flat brush. I use one fluffy brush to apply color, and the other to blend out to help me get a seamless blend. The flat brush I use to add color when I feel it needs to be stronger – but I always go back to using the fluffy brush to blend. Tip 5: Blush When I apply blusher or bronzer, there is only one way to do this for me – have separate brushes for blusher and bronzer, and then haveanother big brush to blend it all out. Using one brush for each has led me to find that the blush will be uneven or unblended. After applying and blending the best I can with the first brush, I go in with a clean, large fluffy brush to help it look more flawless. Most importantly, stay away from liquid blush. I have yet to figure out a way for my dyspraxic self to make this look good and blended. Tip 6: Sit Down If you’re like me and you don’t have a space like a desk to do your makeup on, and only have a long standing up mirror, don’t do your makeup standing up. Sit down in front of the mirror and do it – this will allow you to steady your hands, and you won’t have to hold things when doing any part of your makeup. You can simply put it down on the floor, and then focus on what you’re applying. Tip 7: Organize yourself Dyspraxia and organization don’t exactly go hand in hand, but I’ve found doing makeup in the morning a lot easier since I organized my makeup into categories: face, eyes, brows, lips. This allows me to follow a structured routine with my makeup, and allows me to remember to put products on (such as mascara – before I organized my makeup, it was the one thing I always forgot to put on). Tip 8: Lipstick Take. Your. Time. Don’t rush putting lipstick on, whether it’s a bullet lipstick or a liquid lipstick. Learn the shape of your lips, and apply slowly and carefully. Rushing can lead to many mistakes. Applying a lipliner can also help with the application – but again, go slowly with the lipliner. Apply to the bottom lip first, starting in the center and working your way to the corners. On the upper lip, make a cross with the lipliner where your cupid bow starts, and then line your upper lips from there. A lipliner can help your lipstick look neat, and prevent it from running. Tip 9: Conceal Concealer is your best friend. Made a mistake? A little dab of concealer can help you fix it right up. Tip 10: Don’t Rush Take your time. You aren’t going to become a makeup guru overnight. Practice makes perfect. Don’t be afraid to experiment, and give yourself time to get used to a new technique. Don’t let people tell you that because you have problems with your motor skills, or because you’re dyspraxic, you can’t do certain things. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here . Thinkstock image by Didecs.

Things I Want People to Know About Dyspraxia

When I say to someone that I have a learning disability, they usually think of dyslexia. While dyslexia is very common, and I do have a severe form of dyslexia, it is not the disability I want to write about today. I was first diagnosed with developmental dyspraxia at age 13. The diagnosis then was mild, but on May 27, 2015, that changed when I went for my post-16 assessment before I began university. It was that day I was diagnosed with dyspraxia, scoring way above or way below average for each test done. My combined score for the developmental coordination disorder (DCD) criteria was 91, when a score of 56+ is needed to be considered to even have the learning disability. It has a profound impact on my education and my life; it affects how I speak, how I walk, how I write, and even how I see. Even though it affects these aspects of my life, it has never slowed me or my motivation down. Here is a list of things I want people to know about me and my dyspraxia: 1. My dyspraxia makes me who I am, but it does not define me. My dyspraxia has given me many little quirks, like my inability to pronounce my “th’s” correctly, or my inability to walk in a straight line (which changes when I’m intoxicated, the one time I can walk in a straight line). However as endearing as these quirks are, I am not my learning disability. My disability does not affect how I love, or how I dress, or how I act towards people. My disability is a part of me, and always will be, but it will never affect certain things about me. 2. Organization. Just because my disability affects my timekeeping and organization, that doesn’t mean I’m 100 percent disorganized. In fact, it makes me be more organized: I keep a physical diary as well as an electronic one, and I always make sure I know how to get to important meetings before I set off. 3. Autism. Dyspraxia and autism, according to the Dyspraxia Foundation U.K., can coexist together. While dyspraxia can exist by itself in someone, the Dyspraxia Foundation notes that it frequently exists in those who also have Asperger’s syndrome and many other autism spectrum disorders. I myself am not on the autism spectrum, but I feel it’s important  the connection between autism and dyspraxia. 4. Intelligence. Dyspraxia affects my speech quite severely, meaning I forget how some words are pronounced or I can’t pronounce them at all. Reading out loud is usually met with stutters and frustration, and math is the hardest thing in the world to me. But it doesn’t affect my knowledge on my course at university, or my knowledge on makeup or skincare (I work part time as a beauty consultant). Yes, I forget things due to memory loss caused by the disability, but I have the ability to retain important knowledge and work towards and achieve my goals. A learning disability does not mean that I, or anyone else, has a low IQ. 5. School. Secondary school was tough for me because I did not have the direct diagnosis or recommendations. When my re-diagnosis happened, my secondary school refused me extra time saying they did not have enough evidence, despite the 40 page report my mother sent to them. Because of this, I have fairly average GCSE and A-Level grades, but they were still enough to get into university. My learning disability made school tough for me, and sometimes I think that maybe if I had the extra support then, I could be at a higher level university now. But I am at a university that cares about my tuition, and by this time next year I will know if I am accepted into City University of London to do my Graduate Diploma in Law. I guess what I’m trying to say is, school will be tough if you have dyspraxia, or have a child with dyspraxia, but school grades do not limit what you can do. 6. Clumsy. I’ve always been clumsy, and I now know that this is because of the way dyspraxia affects my motor skills and my coordination. Breaking things and dropping things is extremely common for me. It’s taught me to be extra careful, and to take extra care of myself. I will always have the odd scrape or bump, however. And I’m very sorry if I come to your house and accidentally break something; take my word that it was not intentional. 7. Other people. The actions you do and the things you say to someone with dyspraxia can affect how they view themselves. Saying things like “you’re just clumsy”, or “that’s not a real disability” are damaging to people like me. We’re not just this or that, and it is a real disability. When someone tells me I am just clumsy, or that I’m lucky to get extra time on exams or coursework, I secretly feel like giving them a smack. I’m not “just” anything, and I would never consider myself lucky to get extra time or help. The extra time and help I get is what I need in order to succeed at the levels I truly can. If I could do it without, I would, but they are in place to help me for a reason. It’s just a list of seven things, but these are the seven things most near and dear to me that people should know about dyspraxia. It’s a learning disability I feel needs to be more widely recognized, and it should be more respected as a disability by people who don’t have it. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here . Thinkstock photo by Digital Vision.