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21-year-old learns to apply makeup

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Girl standing outside between tree branches with makeup on

Figure 1 – Cassie all made up for a night out!

Twenty one year old, Cassie, lives in a flatting situation with peers of a similar age. She wants to learn to successfully apply makeup independently.

Jude Shelley, transition teacher, has been working with Cassie with this goal. In figure 1 Cassie is made-up for a night out!

Learning to apply mascara

Cassie is practising applying mascara with a clean brush. She places her elbows on the table, is holding her wrist and places her thumb on her check to steady her hand.

Girl sitting with elbow resting on table applying mascara

Figure 2 Practising with a clean brush

Cassie flicks her eyelid up and down to brush her eyelashes against the mascara wand. In figure 2 Cassie is practising applying mascara with a clean brush.

Prerequisite skills

Cassie knew how to hold a pencil correctly between forefinger and thumb.
 Cassie had to learn how to position and stabilise herself to apply the mascara.

Cassie had previously learnt how to apply eye shadow successfully. Cassie is applying mascara independently in figure 3.

Close up of Cassie applying mascara

Figure 3 – Applying mascara independently

Possible next steps

  • Learn to apply eye pencil or eye liner.
  • Learn to apply eye brow pencil.
  • Learn to apply foundation and powder.
  • Learn to apply blusher.
  • Learn to apply lip pencil and lipstick.

Teaching methods and strategies

  • Cassie used a pencil to practise getting the correct position for her hand.
  • Cassie then used a clean mascara wand to practise using a wand and position it for the correct and safe application of the mascara.
  • Using a clean, wet mascara wand enabled Cassie to feel how she was using the mascara wand without the possible mess a mistake with dark mascara could make.

Learning adaptations

  • All learning had to be shown hand over hand or explained verbally rather visually as Cassie has no usable sight.
  • Cassie used a pencil to learn about the positioning the mascara wand.
  • Cassie used a clean mascara wand to experience the touch of the bristles and how it would feet against her eye lashes.
  • Cassie wet the mascara wand with water to feel where the wand had brushed the eye lashes or if she accidentally brushed other parts of her face.


  • Cassie identified this as one of her Individual Transition Plan goals.
  • Observation of Cassie when practicing applying mascara using a clean brush.
  • Discussion of and problem solving issues that arose within the supervised practise sessions.
  • Observation of Cassie when applying mascara independently.

Useful Links

More information

Email us at BLENNZ for more information about this subject. We will link you up with either the author of this post or another BLENNZ colleague with whom you can continue your conversation.

One Comment

  1. A very cool story! Thanks Jude and Cassie.

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