Steph Aiello, 26, was driving back from Las Vegas to California when she dozed off at the wheel. The incident turned her into a quadriplegic after her vehicle crashed violently into the desert near Barstow, California. Aiello was only 20-years-old at the time of the incident. The would-be cosmetologist was supposed to start beauty school the next day but fate had a different plan for her. Today, her passion for make-up is the what keeps her going. Aiello says, “It helped me reclaim my life and identity as I adjusted to living with limited hand and wrist function.”
But her troubles didn’t end there. Aiello was involved in another road accident, when a drunk driver rammed into their car. In one of her videos, she says, “I remember sitting there thinking, this just can’t be real. Like, why am I here? Sitting there in the car and your dad’s not speaking to you because he’s been knocked out and your mom’s not breathing in the back seat – you’re just thinking, ‘Why? Why does this have to happen?’ You sit there and think you’ve been through enough.”
She battled depression for a year until her therapist turned up one day with make-up and brushes trying to figure out ways to handle the products with limited movements in her fingers and hands. A typical makeup routine for the budding cosmetoligst involves holding brushes between both of her hands to apply powder, and placing smaller brushes horizontally between three of her fingers to do her eyes. She’s even mastered the art of applying winged eye-liner with just a few strokes.
Her make-up videos have been viewed about 9,000 times each. A big round of applause, here!