Mackenzie Strong is a legally blind college swimmer and social media influencer who says that products must be accessible from a shopping standpoint. She get anxious about shopping in person versus online, where she can search for the product, zoom in, and have complete confidence in what she’s buying. “However, when I go to a makeup store, it’s overwhelming because there are so many products everywhere,” she says. “Usually, the brand section names are large enough so I can know which area shop. Still, once I get to the products themselves, I have to either take a picture of every product just to read their labels or shove my face super close to the shelves to read the price, product name, and shade color. It’s embarrassing to me.”
Strong emphasized that a lack of accessibility and a need to ask for help takes away from her independence and, as she puts it, “is a tough pill for me to swallow.” But, as with the products featured below, it’s clear that accessibility is increasing. “I believe that inclusivity in the beauty industry is growing, especially in representation,” she says. “I love makeup and the confidence it’s given me. I’m hoping that as time goes on, we as a beauty community can find more ways for makeup to be more inclusive for people with disabilities because we all should be able to enjoy feeling beautiful.”
Mackenzie’s accessibility priorities include product packaging with large enough writing, good online product descriptions (since that’s where she does a lot of her beauty-product searching, and colorful products that catch her attention since small details are difficult for her to make out.
So with the help of Darling and Strong, I was able to highlight the Allure Best of Beauty Award winners that offer the accessible components shared by these two voices. With their help (along with tips learned from many YouTube videos and tutorials from the blind community), the list below was composed specifically with visual disabilities in mind.
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