BRIGHT pink eyeshadow, winged eyeliner and false lashes – like most 18-year-old girls, Isabelle Weall loves getting glammed up.
The only difference is Isabelle created her flawless look without hands, after an attack of meningitis aged seven left her a quadruple amputee.
Isabelle, who also works as a marketing assistant for a car firm, sê: “I posted a video in 2018 doing my make-up with a Huda eyeshadow palette. It was shot on an old, rubbish phone and not good-quality at all. I went into an exam and when I came out, Ek het gehad 200,000 followers and millions of messages — Huda Beauty had shared it.
“It was madness! I guess a lot of people were amazed by how I did my make-up without hands. It’s taken a lot of practice and determination. And it paid off. I’ve got to collaborate with Next, Claire’s Accessories and Lounge Apparel, bringing awareness and showing fellow amputees they can do it too.”
Isabelle’s impressive make-up skills have made her a social media sensation, met 421,000 followers on Instagram and 430,200 op TikTok. She is now also a member of the Fabulous beauty panel and will be sharing tips over the coming months, in print and on Instagram.
One TikTok tutorial rocketed to almost 19million hits, with millions of comments praising Isabelle for her blended bronzed eyeshadow and sharp winged eyeliner, all done with Huda products.
“Now Huda Beauty sends me its new make-up launches and products to try," sy sê. In 2010, Isabelle’s life changed dramatically after she was diagnosed with meningitis. She had been sent home from school then lost her appetite as the deadly blood disease took hold. Isabelle was taken to hospital as her condition went downhill, drifting in and out of consciousness.
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Her heart stopped, she suffered multiple organ failure and she was put in a coma. Docs decided on the amputations as the ends of all four limbs had lost circulation, leaving them effectively dead. The op took six hours.
Isabelle woke a week later. Sy sê: “When I came round, I was still really ill and in hospital for a further two months. It was all a blur. I remember feeling confused about the situation. But I just thought, ‘OK, well this has to happen, so let’s get on with it’.
“Being matter-of-fact about the situation helped me deal with it. Leaving the hospital, none of us knew how I would eat, drink, walk — and ever care for myself. My parents were unsure if I’d need someone to support me 24/7 or if I should attend a specialist school.
“I went to a mainstream one in the end. I was thrown back into the world I knew, but this time everything was unknown. And there was no one I could relate to. So I started sharing videos on YouTube when I was 14.
“I posted videos showing how I use my phone, eat, drink, brush my hair and do other everyday mundane things — because people always ask.
“It meant other amputees could get in touch. We created a community.”
Relearning how to walk and write, while adjusting to new prosthetics every year or so — which often function in very different ways — has made Isabelle a quick and resilient learner.
Sy vertel ons: “It taught me I can do anything I put my mind to.”
As well as being a make-up guru and YouTube hit, Isabelle has also notched up sporting accolades.
At the start of secondary school, Isabelle began trampolining lessons and went on to win two British national championships and a Pride of Sport accolade. Feeling body-confident can be difficult for many teens — and Isabelle struggled in that respect too.
My body is the only one I will ever have, so why waste my life feeling sad or insecure about something I can’t change?
Isabelle says: “School can be a judgey place and not only are you comparing yourself to others, others are comparing you. Kids are mean and would often say horrible things when I’m only an earshot away. It’s much easier now.
“I’m now in such a good place in my life where I’m happy and confident within myself and my achievements. Don’t get me wrong. Being a quadruple amputee has its ups and downs.
“But my body is the only one I will ever have, so why waste my life feeling sad or insecure about something I can’t change?”