We asked fashion and beauty blogger Emily Davison to talk to us about how make-up has helped her to love her eyes since losing her sight...
As a teenager one of my biggest thrills was on that blissful Friday afternoon when I would go out with my friends and hit the shops in search of the newest make-up to grace the make-up counters on the high street. No shop would be left unturned and by the end of my shopping session you could be sure to see me clutching a bag full of new lip colours, shimmer powders and eye shadows.
You see, eye make-up has always taken a significant space in my make-up routine, from applying seasonal colours to my eye lids, to adding a cat eye flick of liner and a touch of mascara to extend the lashes to their longest length. I always enjoyed the thrill of defining and amplifying my eyes to the full. And to this day that thrill has never faded. Now at the age of 20 I enjoy nothing more than splurging on the latest eye palette or having my eyebrows threaded and tinted to perfection.
But of course there is a profound reason for this, which is not just for the sheer fact that I love eye makeup. For me, eye make-up has always been a sense of empowerment and liberation that I would use to improve my mental attitude towards life.
I was born with a condition known as Septo Optic Dysplasia, which means that I am completely blind in one eye with severely restricted vision in the other. It has always been a part of me and over the years it has been something I have come to understand and accept. But this was not always the case.
From a very young age I have memories of my sight loss, of not measuring up to my peers and the years of large print books, eye charts and magnifying glasses only heightened my awareness of my eyes lacking in some way. As I grew into my teenage years this morphed into paranoia and I began to look for a way that I could change this focus on my eyes from a negative to a positive.
So, with the help of tutorials, a little encouragement from my supportive mother and some grim determination I began to learn the tricks of the trade when applying eye make-up and how it could give me a sense of control over my eyes that I have never had before.
Being able to pick up an eye pencil or mascara wand and reinvent the way my eyes looked gave me a sense of security and contentment. For the first time in my life it was me who had a say over my eyes and that was something I learned to channel into other aspects of my life.
I believe that looking your best can only enhance your confidence and thus your confidence will show to those around you. Having the power to choose your own style is like a language, you are saying to someone who you are inside. You are conveying a unique message and that is something that I believe everyone should have the ability to do.
So you see, eye make-up may seem to some like a trivial matter, but to me it works better than all of the feel good films and pep talks put together. Because within those few minutes every morning, I am conducting a ritual that gives me the sense of courage to go out into the world and pursue my dreams.
I do not fear that my eyes will be perceived in a negative way due to my sight loss, instead my act of wearing eye make-up represents the positivity I now feel inside towards life and my future.
This November RNIB have launched their #loveyoureyes campaign, which is aimed at raising awareness of sight loss across the UK, particularly among young people. I'd love you to get involved, by sharing close up pictures of your eyes on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #loveyoureyes. And don't forget to nominate your friends to do the same!
Emily's blog, Fashioneyesta, aims to empower blind and partially sighted people to access fashion and beauty independently and challenges the stereotypes surrounding people with disabilities. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Youtube for more of her insights and advice.