A partially-sighted woman who lost a further 30 percent of her vision in a horror car crash has trained to become a makeup artist.
Jerri Mather, 20, says that nearly losing her life in a car accident in July this year made her realise that she had to follow her dreams of becoming a beautician.
She was born partially-sighted and is also red-green colour blind, and had always felt anxious about what careers she could venture into.
Five months ago a speeding car being followed by police smashed into a taxi she was a passenger in and her partial blindness deteriorated from 50 percent to 80 percent.
She can no longer recognise her boyfriend who is now “just a silhouette”.
Doctors have told her that her sudden vision loss is a “mystery” but she decided that she would not let her disability hold her back after struggling to find accessible work.
In August, Jerri signed up to a six-week course at a college to become a qualified make-up artist and passed without an issue.
She said it was something she’d always wanted to do as it empowered women to feel beautiful and confident.
She now spends two hours a day practicing on herself and, due to her sight impairment, has to use her hands to feel around her face.
Jerri hopes to open her own salon which will be accessible to everyone and dreams of launching a make up range with braille or large font for blind people.
Jerri, from Sheffield, South Yorks., said: “Losing my vision was so difficult, I’ve been adjusting my entire life and suddenly it’s even worse, I couldn’t even see my own boyfriend.
“It’s quite scary but it’s made me want to strive for the best.
“I was born with 50 percent of my vision. I’ve always been partially sighted but the car accident in the summer which made it worse.
“However, it did also make me realise it could have been so much worse, I could have died, and I wanted to do something I loved.
“But I’m extremely determined to make this happen.”
Following the dramatic car crash, Jerri suffered whiplash, bruising to her shoulders, and her eye-sight began to rapidly deteriorate immediately after.
She said: “You have to adapt, when you can’t really recognise people anymore it’s so sad. I can’t even see my boyfriend’s face, when I look at him now he’s turned into a silhouette.
“It’s scary that I might go fully blind but more than ever I want to improve my skills and make a career out of this.”
The talented teenager uses her hand to feel the eyes, jawline and cheekbones before she applies various layers of contour, foundation, and other products.
She also uses a colour detector on her phone, which scans colours and tells you what it is, to help her identify the various tones.
Since starting her course she has worked on five or six different people who were all “shocked” at what she was able to do.
She said: “I’ve got quite a lot of products. I’ve got all the essentials – I’ve got foundation, contour palette, eye shadow palette, nude lipstick
“I do a different thing every day. I’m trying to do Christmas type looks.
“But it’s building my confidence.
“Makeup is amazing because it can give you confidence, anyone can do it, if you have a disability, you can be of any age.
“It makes me feel good. I don’t have much self confidence but when I’m doing makeup I feel good.”
She added: “I’ve done makeup for a few girls at the college and they were all shocked and surprised that I could do it.”
Jerri has struggled to find employment in other fields due to her disability but feels like makeup is something she can become great at.
She said: “I want people to see me as a normal person. It’s hard for me to find a normal job because they can discriminate and I feel like doing this I can be myself and be good at it.
“I want my salon to have good lighting, I don’t want any steps, I want friendly staff, I want everyone to feel welcome.
“Because it’s been hard for me at times and I don’t want anyone to go through that.
“I want to one day make an accessible make up range with braille or large font.
“It’s something that’s definitely lacking.
“I want everyone to be able to feel great about themselves and get beautiful makeup done.”