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Make up for facial disfigurement - help!!

(8 Posts)
SweetestThing Fri 11-Nov-11 11:49:27

Lovely, stylish ladies, you really helped me a couple of months ago when I had a black tie dinner to attend and was wearing a medical collar. Glad to say that all passed off okay, although emotional!

I wonder if I could ask for more advice? This evening, DH and I are attending a posh-ish dinner this evening and I want to look as nice as possible. However, I have facial falsy on the left hand side of my face, which means my mouth doesn't move on that side and is more or less in a straight line with a slight downward droop, and my left eye has been sewn up at the outer corner to make it slightly smaller than my right eye (for protection as the surgeons weren't sure I would be able to blink and protect my eye from debris after losing my facial nerve, so they reduced the eye surface a little). Now, I feel I would like to try some eye make-up but don't want to do it if it makes the difference between my eyes even more obvious.

Do you have any suggestions or should I just leave it as it is and trust that my magnetic personality will overpower everyone and they won't notice I look a bit different??

Thank you kindly.

ameliagrey Fri 11-Nov-11 11:56:33

Ahhhhhh- I hope you have a super evening.

can i suggest that you leave off any eye liner/kohl on the bottom of your eyes as that may emphasise the size difference- by putting a kind of border round them? IYSWIM.

Play up your eybrows as these really do frame your face- so if they need a bit of brown eye shadow to fill in any gaps, or a bit of light plucking to neaten them up, do that. depending on the way your smaller eye is set, you might be able to wing the shadow slightly out on the corner of that eye to make it look slightly bigger.

I'd keep your eye shadow really muted- silvery beiges, nudes, pale greys etc, and a little mascara top lashes only.

CMOTdibbler Fri 11-Nov-11 12:01:22

I'd do some nice eyeshadow, and liner on your top lid, then mascara. And def pop for a good eyebrow shape.

I doubt anyone would notice though - my eyes are very different levels and no one but me (and the optician) can ever see it

Do you have time to pop to a department store or big Boots and get the MAC or Bobbi Brown assistant to do your makeup ? They are fab at making you feel great.

SweetestThing Fri 11-Nov-11 12:10:39

Thank you so much - I like the eyebrow option and soft eye shadow - I shall experiment this afternoon. I haven't time to get to a big department store (live in a large village and can't face taking the train to the nearest big town) but I shall see if my daughter can help me when she returns home from work.

Thank you!

BedBugsBeware Fri 11-Nov-11 15:17:39

I'm not expert enough to give you any advice but just wanted to wish you a great evening - sounds like you really do have the magnetic personality to have a great time smile

Havingkittens Fri 11-Nov-11 18:32:14

I may be to late for this evening but I've only just seen this.

I would agree with eyeshadow above the eye. Keep it quite soft, maybe with a light shimmer, especially on the brow bone and blend something from the socket line upwards to open up the eye a little. Don't make too much of a deal about defining the outline of the eye as it will draw attention to the difference. If you have lash curlers they can help to open the eye too but obviously you need to be careful if your eye has been stitched. Otherwise use a curling mascara.

If you can get your daughter to help, so much the better, especially with blusher and lips. I have had Bells Palsy and I have to say, even with years experience as a make up artist, I struggled to put on my own blusher and lipstick during that spell because of the numbness and paralysis. The fact that you can't feel your face, and the fact that it doesn't move in the same way as the other side makes it much more difficult to place the colour. For example you can't do the smiling to find the apples of your cheeks trick. Whereas someone coming at your face with a brush will be able to be more subjective with their placement, if that makes sense. I would also keep lipstick to something soft and not too obvious as this will draw attention to the fact that only one side of your mouth is moving. Something I was very self conscious about myself. It's also impossible to apply darker lipstick properly when you can't feel your lips! Anyone who's tried putting lipstick on after the dentist will get what I mean.

I know it's too late for this evening but if you get a chance, pop into a make up counter like MAC or Bobbi Brown and ask them to show you tips on how to open up the eye and even the shape up a bit. There are ways to do it but it's much easier to demonstrate face to face. Especially if you can get them to let you try to do it yourself whilst they guide you, and correct you if necessary. You can book in for a lesson at a counter but do your research and ask for someone who's been trained in corrective make up - usually that will be someone who's trained in film & TV make up rather than fashion. They don't mind if you ask questions to make sure you get the right sort of artist. Each artist has their own strengths.

SweetestThing Sat 12-Nov-11 12:38:05

Thank you for all this really helpful advice. I brushed brown eye shadow through my eyebrows and used soft cream slightly shimmery powder above the eye and on the brow bone, with a soft brown nearer my lashes and at the outer corner. My eyelashes are naturally curly so I just put mascara on the top lashes. Didn't wear foundation as I had taped up my forehead and cheek and didn't want the foundation to highlight that! Pale pink lip stain and a scoosh of perfume and I felt - well, okay, I think. Not pretty but presentable.

I am booking in for a Looking Good Feeling Better workshop, specifically for women with cancer, so hope to get some tips from them and will try the MAC and Bobbi Brown route too.

Havingkittens, I hope your Bells Palsy has disappeared now. It really does dent your self - confidence when your face changes, doesn't it? I have lost so much confidence since this all happened and I think it will take a long time for it to return. I hope you're making good progress.

Ladies, thank you all again. I had a lovely evening and lots of people said I looked really good - the funky dress worked!!

Havingkittens Sat 12-Nov-11 16:37:35

Thank you. Luckily it was 7 years ago and only lasted a month. The timing was awkward as it happened just after I met my OH! He thought I was constantly winking at him before I told him. He had told all his friends about me and that I'd be coming out for his birthday dinner but it started the day before his birthday and I couldn't face the idea of meeting all his friends and family for the first time at a dinner where I couldn't eat without dribbling! Then all his mates thought he'd made up the fact he had a new girlfriend. Funny in retrospect but really scary at the time. I really do feel for you.

I have actually been thinking about volunteering for LGFB.

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