The Many Beauty Struggles Of A Glasses Wearer

A few years ago, my horrible eye habits caught up with me. My eyes were getting worse each year and with macular degeneration running rampant in my family (thanks, Dad), some of my aunts were blind by the time they were my age. That still didn't stop me from sleeping in my contacts and wearing pairs that should have been tossed months ago, as many times my parents warned me that it would catch up with me. Eventually, I tore the pupil of my left eye and, though it healed quickly, I ended up with a massive infection that transferred to my healthy eye. I was told my days of wearing contacts were over and given topical prescription drops to keep me on the road: My eyes had reached the point of tearing up with pain so frequently that being on the road was a very unsafe affair.

My dad quickly put me on lutein supplements — after a year in glasses and keeping up with the lutein, my optometrist was shocked to see that my prescription hadn't just gone down, but my eyes were healthy enough to wear contacts again. Since I was incredibly saddened by the previous prognosis, I switched to expensive daily contacts and started accumulating as many funky frames on Etsy as I could find; lenses are too expensive to waste a bunch of money on frames for me.

Wearing contacts every day is not an option for me; my eyes are so close to the end that they need constant breaks to stay healthy and beautiful. My year without contacts was filled with embarrassing moments and harsh realities. It was during that year my friend's husband broke the news to me: I would not be on their apocalypse team, it was just too risky with my eyesight: "You just wouldn't make it. We'll tie you up in the basement and come back for you." If that doesn't drive a wedge between a friendship, I don't know what does!

For now, the length of my beauty routine is the biggest problem I have with glasses. I can't tell you how many times I would realize that I only shaved 70 percent of each leg or had to yell for my roommate because I lost my glasses while applying mascara and needed her eyes to find them. Yes, the woes of four-eyed beauties are that serious, y'all.

Here are five beauty woes that four-eyed beauties go through daily and some tips around them.

1. Face Routine

I try to apply face masks on days that I already have my contacts on, since I use daily-wears, I can't just pop in a pair and take them out. I have ruined a pair of Warby Parker frames with a Turmeric, ACV, and lemon juice mask by dyeing the insides and I still have one pair of glasses that I am trying to get honey off of. When I'm desperate for a face mask and I'm wearing glasses? I apply my mask and literally just sit on the tub with my glasses in hand, waiting the time until I can take them off. If your eyesight isn't too bad and you can see the path before you, go about your routine the best you can before you wash your mask off and put your frames back on.

Need tips? Check out our glasses/makeup tutorial right here (and subscribe to Bustle's YouTube for tons more):

2. Shaving

The best way for me to shave with glasses on is outside of the shower... wait, the only way to shave with glasses on is outside of the shower. I can't tell you how many times I've forgotten that important tip while I'm in the shower and my glasses are fogging, sharp razor in hand. Usually, I refuse to admit that I need to see to shave and I just keep on going. Of course, when I put my glasses back on after the shower, I'm punished with bloody legs that have a section of hair I completely missed. Sigh... looks like I'll be wearing leggings after all.

3. Applying Eye Makeup

Yep, my vision is so bad that doing it without glasses on is basically impossible, unless I want to just sort of feel around until I find my eyeballs. Woof, this is one of my least favorite tasks to do with my glasses on, mostly because I just can't seem to get close enough without the mascara brush or eyebrow pencil hitting the mirror. Since my eyes are relatively small, I feel I want to apply mascara while wearing my glasses even more. At minimum, I'm applying mascara and drawing on my eyebrows. The eyebrows usually need a second opinion, but as long as I keep some witch hazel and Q-tips handy, I can do a clean-up of any botched make-up job with my glasses on.

4. Jewelry

I once had a friend, who coined herself a fashionista, tell me that I shouldn't wear earrings with glasses. That would have been a huge bummer because for some reason all of my piercings close if they aren't used, no matter how long I've had them. Honestly, there's no need to ditch your jewelry while wearing funky frames; the Frisky's site suggests that long dangly earrings actually diverts attention from the center of your face and pulls your look together. To be fair, they are talking rimless or wire framed glasses — let's be real though, aren't most of us just getting funkier with our frames each year? I say go for your fave pieces regardless of size because that fashion rule is one I just cannot follow. If earrings aren't your thing, you can't go wrong with a long necklace.

5. Hats

I actually do have one fashion rule I follow: When I wear a hat, I don't wear my biggest, boldest pair of glasses. This is more of a personal rule because when I wear a hat, my hair is completely hidden and if I hide my small face? Then I look like I'm hiding from everyone. However, if I'm wearing a small boaters hat, that sits off my face, and my smaller pair of glasses — I'm all about that life. The right hat and the right frames can nail this look. Bonus Tip: This is the time to avoid earrings bigger than a stud to avoid distracting accessories from your natural beauty.

Image: TheKarenD /Suzette / Flickr; Giphy; Kristin Collins Jackson