Doting Irish Husband Learns the Fine Art of Makeup for Elderly Wife Who's Going Blind

Des Monahan, 84, wasn't about to let his wife's failing eyesight keep her from looking her best.

Des Monahan was not about to let his wife's failing eyesight keep her from putting her best face forward.

Mona Monahan, 83, is slowing losing her vision. She sees nothing out of her left eye and her right doesn't work that well, either. So Des decided, at the age of 84, he would learn how to apply her makeup.

The Irish couple regularly visits the Debenhams department store in their neighborhood. One day, Mona decided to have her face made up before attending a party. Des, watching carefully, thought to himself, "I could do that."

And thus began his teaching in the fine arts of applying foundation, contouring blush and the debate between eyebrow pencils vs. brushed-on gels.

"They are so lovely," Debenhams' makeup artist, Rosie O'Driscoll, told Tuesday. "They are so cute. He took the brushes from me and just started doing it himself. He's learning a lot of new things. He's a little heavy-handed sometimes, but you can't tell him that. He thinks he knows it all."

O'Driscoll, 43, has given Des a series of lessons. He now knows how to deftly apply mascara so it doesn't get into his wife's very sensitive eyes. He can smooth foundation over the lived-in face of his bride of 56 years. And he has very firm opinions about eyebrows.

"He has a fascination with the brows," O'Driscoll said. She had been using gel on Mona. "He's moved on to pencils. He prefers the look of the pencil on Mona."

Des says he decided to learn how to apply his wife's makeup because "Mona's eyesight is deteriorating and she won't be able to do her makeup in the future. So I thought the quicker I learnt, the better."

His wife doesn't mind one bit. "I struggle to see the colors of different shades, but now, thanks to Des, I know my makeup will always look great."

The retired couple pops in to see O'Driscoll every day, and their makeup adventures have bounced around the world, landing them television interviews and internet stories. 

Their story even reached celebrity makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic, whose clients include Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez and Christina Aguilera.

He was so touched that he invited the Monahans to one of his master classes in London.

They had a ball. Des called Dedivanovic "a very, very modest, kind gentleman."

 Back in Waterford, Des continues to take pointers from O'Driscoll. Well, some of the time.

"He likes to do it his own way," she says, adding that his adoring wife "goes along with anything with him.

"They're like teenagers. They're so fun to watch. They're so in love."