The world is designed for “able-bodied” people. Those with disabilities or different abilities are many times just left to fend for themselves. While accessibility in all facets of life is important, many times personal care items and beauty products are left out of the conversation. But people with disabilities deserve to be included and invited to the table.
And able-bodied people often take for granted their abilities. I mean, we can use makeup tools without modification, our clothes don’t need specialized hooks, and we certainly don’t need assistive technology to communicate with others.
But others do, and more people should be talking about it and doing something to help make a difference. So when actress Selma Blair realized that her “taking things for granted” days were over, she decided to take matters into her own hands—she became the CCO of a company that designs accessible beauty products.
Creating A Solution Where There Wasn’t One
Actress and disability advocate Selma Blair was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 2018. Before her diagnosis, she knew something wasn’t right. She experienced unexplained pain, muscle spasms, fatigue, and mood swings. The turning point came when she experienced numbness in her leg while walking a runway show in New York.
Multiple Sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms of the disease can vary, but numbness, tremors, impaired vision, and fatigue are among the laundry list of symptoms.
The Cruel Intentions star has always been a lover of all things beauty and fashion. So, when her disease progressed to the point that applying makeup became difficult, she at first accepted it as her new normal.
“After I had treatment, I’d honestly, like, stopped looking in the mirror,” Blair told InStyle. “My hair was short, I was bloated, I had alopecia on my lashes and my face. And it was all so much effort—I sometimes don’t see well—so I just stopped, and I didn’t think I missed it.”
But after she found Guide Beauty, things began to change. “It was a real turning point for me. It was like, ‘OK, let’s start waking up again.'”
Leading The Way In Accessible Beauty
Guide Beauty was founded by Terri Bryant, a celebrity makeup artist and beauty educator. Byrant also suffers from a disease that limits her dexterity making it difficult to apply makeup.
While Bryant was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, like Blair, she was a lifelong lover of makeup and beauty products. The two women joined forces with Blair as the Chief Creative Officer to help make the beauty realm more accessible and inclusive. The ergonomic designs Guide Beauty’s makeup tools coupled with beautiful makeup palates are making a difference in the lives of many.
Their hero product, the Guide Eyeliner Duo makes putting on eyeliner much easier. It has a curved, soft precision tip, an open window for visibility, and even a built-in finger rest to help easily guide application.
The Lash Wrap mascara wand has a guide ring to help steady the applicator. And Blair’s favorite, the Brow Moment, fills, shapes, and sets your brows with a comfortable-grip applicator. “That is something I can literally put on without looking,” she told InStyle. “It’s really kind of a saving grace for me because I feel much better, and my face just comes alive.”
While Guide Beauty had those with disabilities in mind when they began, the ergonomic designs help make applying makeup easier for everyone. Accessibility and inclusion are necessary. From all people seeing themselves represented in the media to building inclusive infrastructure to finding joy in expression through makeup, it’s all important.
We are glad that Blair and Guide Beauty are creating innovative solutions and leading the way in the beauty world.