Spring really is here! The sun has been shining (sometimes), the fluctuating temperatures are screwing with us, and half the trees on our block are still all naked, but April is in full swing.
OK, so, from those first couple sentences, you probably wouldn’t guess that this is a post about April being Autism Awareness Month (where did that come from?), but it is. It’s just that when we talk about autism, sometimes we find it hard to know where to begin.
It’s been like that since we were kids. Our older brother was diagnosed with autism roughly 25 years ago. Pretty much everyone knows what it is now, but when we were mini Pia and mini Runa, it was practically unheard of. We stretched our first-grade vocabularies to the limit to try explaining it to our friends and classmates, and we’d get all fidgety and ramble a bit.
When we bring up the subject now, most people nod their heads in recognition. While this has made things easier, we’d prefer no one knew what we were talking about because it means autism has become more prevalent. Studies now show that one in 88 children will be diagnosed with autism by age eight.
Those numbers are ridiculously alarming.
The exact cause of autism hasn't been determined yet, and there are multiple theories regarding the steady rise in cases over the past few decades, but as of now there is no concrete “cure.” While we’re personally not equipped to go hunting down a cure ourselves, we can spread the word and support those who do.
So because the month of April is dedicated to autism awareness--many businesses and homes light up their spaces in blue to show support and donate to the cause--and because this is a beauty site and we’re beauty gals with a personal connection to autism, we figured we’d come up with a list of beauty products that give a portion of the proceeds to the cause.
Problem: We came up with diddly squat. We don’t know what’s going on. Maybe we need to polish our Googling skills, but where are all the limited-edition charitable beauty products? So no cool.
Solution: We’ve come up with a few beauty-based ways to wear blue for the rest of the month to encourage conversation about the cause (since we suck at talking about it on our own, as you can tell by the first paragraph of this post).
A BIT OF BLUE IN THE HAIR
Take a temporary hair color like Rita Hazan Pop Color Temporary Color Spray in Blue. It’s a really pretty, bright blue that washes out in one shot and doesn’t leave your hair feeling all stiff and sticky.
You can create streaks, or color just your bangs. We suggest applying it to the last two inches of your hair for a dip-dye effect.
MINI BODY ART
Show your support with an Autism Speaks puzzle piece. You can easily create a cute design near your eyelids with some blue eyeliner.
If you suck at drawing free hand like we do, print out a teeny puzzle piece and use a bit of lotion on the back to adhere it to your skin (or use your spit if you’re lazy and gross like Pia) and trace the outline with your eyeliner.
Fill in the shape and you’ve got a face tattoo for the day.
BLUE EYESHADOW, DUH
We usually shy away from blue eyeshadows, but a bright, tropical blue like Maybelline ExpertWear Eyeshadow in Turquoise Glass is actually really flattering. We use a minimal eyeliner, dotting a bit on the upper and lower lashline, followed by a clean sweep of blue color to the lid. Add some mascara and voila!
Perhaps the easiest way for even the most blue-shy among us to subtly show support. We like JulieG Nail Color in Cabana Boy, but there are a million blue polishes out there.
BLUE LIPS, LIKE A CERTAIN XOVAIN EDITOR
While we normally go for a classic nude or bright pink, we’re encouraging you go bold like Annie did and wear blue lips. Out. In public.
We like the Pacific Blue Collection by Inglot. It’s a surefire conversation starter, which is exactly what you’re trying to accomplish.
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with autism, you don’t have to feel helpless. Though it’s been tough, our brother has come a long way since he was a child, hitting major milestones and celebrating his own achievements. There is a life with and beyond autism.
You can learn more about autism disorder and how to help at autism.com, and you can share you story right here in the comments.