Thursday, September 30, 2010

Guiding You to Fantasia Fair

100930_guide The 2010 Fantasia Fair Participant's Guide is now online. The Guide is the “bible” for folks attending the event… especially first timers. Don't leave your B&B without it.

I perused an earlier edition of the Guide before I ever planned to go to Fantasia Fair. Reading it so enthused me about the Fair that I decided to try to attend the event.

I almost made it in 2007 and finally attended in 2008. Check out the Guide and you too may find yourself planning a trip to Provincetown in mid-October.

This year, I return not only as an attendee, but as a workshop presenter. As a presenter, I am in the Guide, too.

It is so cool that my biography appears on the same page (113) as one of my favorite people, Ethan St. Pierre, who Fantasia Fair is honoring this year with the Virginia Prince Transgender Pioneer Award. My photo also appears on page 67 (just below my workshop description) modeling in the Fantasia Fair fashion show.

How cool is that?

Coincidentally, I had a dream last night in which I was browsing the Guide and found a photo of myself wearing my shoulder-length blond wig, a simple white blouse, a short maroon balloon skirt, and dark brown tights (the photo did not show my feet, so I don't know what shoes I was wearing).

I don't own a maroon balloon skirt, but I liked the look! Now, where can I find a maroon balloon skirt in size 14?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dear Stana, Why is it so?

Dear Stana,

Regarding your advice on how to wear garter belts, you recommended wearing your panties over your garter belt, but I have seen pictures of girls wearing the garter belts over the panties and not under. Why is it so?


Hi Susan,

You see photos of girls wearing garter belts over their panties because it looks nicer; it looks sexier.

As a practical matter, wearing your panties over your garters makes it much easier to use the bathroom (or do anything else requiring panty removal). Just slip off your panties and voila, your private parts are free.

If you wear your panties under your garters, first you have to unclasp each garter (that's four or six clasps to undo) and then you can slip off your panties. Also, you will have to reclasp four or six garters after you slip your panties on again.

Best Wishes,


Do you need advice concerning femulation or other crossdressing-related matters, then e-mail me and I will happily give you my opinion on the matter. My e-mail address is stana-stana at

Monday, September 27, 2010

Poll Your Leg

I’m curious. Maybe you are, too.

When you femulate, do you usually wear stockings, pantyhose, or no hosiery at all?

My guess is that femulators are more likely to wear stockings than generic women and that genetic women are more likely to go without hosiery than femulators.

Anyway, sate our curiosity by taking the poll located at the top of the right sidebar of the blog.

News: The Good with the Bad

Good news is that I will be in Provincetown attending Fantasia Fair three weeks from now.

Bad news is that I have to wait three weeks before I can live authentically again. (By "live authentically," I mean live as the woman I am.)

Bad news is that my vacation is over and its back to work this morning.

Good news is that I have a job at all in this economy.

Bad news is that I don't much like my job. I never had any intention of doing what I am doing. Got into it because the money was much better than what I was making in my previous job (by a multiple of 2).

Turned out, I am very good at my job and as a result, I climbed to the top of the salary structure and now I cannot afford to walk away.

I often wonder if I would feel better about my job if I was able to work as a woman. My employer already gave me the green light to do so. The only thing holding me back is my family. They are not ready (they may never be ready) and I love them too much to lose them by choosing that option.

Truth is that I never asked them about it. I am afraid of their answer. (Once that cat is out of the bag, there is no way to stuff it back in, so I am keeping that bag tightly shut.)

(Damn! This is a depressing piece. The more I write, the more badly I feel.)

Some days I think about packing my car with all my womanly possessions and driving far far away from this life and starting over as a woman.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Dear Stana

Dear Stana,

How do keep a garter-belt and stockings or pantyhose from sliding down your waist and legs?


Hi Susan,

If you buy the correct sizes, you should not have a problem.

The garter belt should be large enough to fit around your waist, but small enough so that it does not slip down over your hips. You can adjust the size of the belt to accommodate your waist and hip combination, but do not make it too tight and create an unsightly bulge.

The stockings should be long enough so that their tops reach the clasps of the garter belt. You can adjust the length of the garters so that the clasps meet the top of your stockings. If the stockings are too short and need to be stretched to their outer limits in order to reach the clasps, you are likely to experience slippage as you move about.

You did not ask, but be sure to attach the stockings to your garter belt before putting on your panties.

Size matters with pantyhose, too. The only time I had problems with pantyhose is wearing a pair too small for me. The pantyhose must be large enough so that their waistband sits at your waist and is tight enough so that it does not slip down below your waist, but not so tight that it creates a bulge.

Like stockings, if you have to stretch the pantyhose to their outer limits in order to get them to fit properly, then the pantyhose are too small and they will slip down your legs as you move around.

Best Wishes,


Do you need advice concerning femulation or other crossdressing-related matters, then e-mail me and I will happily give you my opinion on the matter. My e-mail address is stana-stana at

A Happy Couple

A Femulate Classic from October 2007

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

MI6's Femulating Spy

Gwen alerted me to this article in the Telegraph today about Lt Col Dudley Clarke, a spy for M16 who was arrested in a street in Madrid “dressed down to a brassiere as a woman."

What, no wig in M16's bag of tricks?

Like Father, Like Daughter

I used this fumetti here almost three years ago. Long-time readers may remember it, and I apologize for the rerun. But I am on vacation this week and may not have time for something new every day. So rather than post nothing, I will post a "Femulate Classic" that I hope you will all enjoy.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

New Ephemera

I collect female impersonator ephemera.

The majority of the items in my collection are postcards. I also have some programs, matchbook covers, advertisements, and other odds and ends.

I acquired most of the items via eBay. I am very conservative in my bidding and seldom bid more than $5 to $10 for an item.

I also have friends and relatives who have given me items for my collection, which is how I obtained the latest addition: a 2- x 6-inch advertisement from the Aqua Nightclub in Key West, Florida.

The ad looks like a ticket printed on semi-glossy card stock. There is ad copy on both sides of the item, but the photo of the girls only appear on one side.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Tying Up Some Loose Ends

I just had an exchange of e-mails with my friend and sister blogger Janie.

She knew me originally as "Staci" and asked me to confirm that I am now going by "Stana."

Yes - I am Stana now.

Long story... when I picked "Staci" 100 years ago, I did not put much thought into it. It was the closest thing to my male name: Stanley > Stanislaus > Anastacia > Stacia > Staci and I needed something quick, so I started using it.

If I knew about "Stana" back then, I would have chosen that instead. Stana is unique and if any of my friends who know me as Stan, slip up and call me "Stan" while I am
en femme, it is not a big faux pas as calling Staci, "Stan." Also, it seems as if half the trans population goes by the name of "Staci" or some variation thereof (I'm exaggerating).

Janie also asked me about my decision to go to Fantasia Fair again after pretty much having said I was past that stage last time we spoke about it.

Regarding Fantasia Fair... I certainly do not need it for getting out en femme, but I badly need to get away for a few days of vacation this year (my original summer vacation plans fell through), so I thought about vacationing in P-Town. Since I always wanted to redo Fantasia Fair and do it differently the second time, I figured I might as well go to P-Town during the Fair and kill two birds with one stone.

Also, it is like my annual trip to Dayton, Ohio, for the big ham radio convention; I go almost every year to Dayton to get reacquainted with my ham friends that I have met in the hobby over the years; at Fantasia Fair, I will be able to get reacquainted with my trans friends.

And finally, Jan, the program chairperson, has been encouraging me for two years to do a workshop at the Fair, so I will be doing one and that should be a lot of fun.

And so it goes.

Friday, September 17, 2010


Through the Looking-Glass

Commenting on yesterday's post, Lisa wrote, "The seminar you attended was on photography and yet you only took one picture. A girl as pretty as you needs to show off more and let the rest of us see you."

Actually, I took a bucketload of pictures and after receiving Lisa's e-mail, I decided to empty the bucket and see what else was worthy of display on my blog.

In my opinion, the best photo in the bucket is the one above. It surprised me because photos of mirror reflections seldom work for me. Something is always off kilter. However, this time all the stars and planets lined up just right and the result is rather pleasing.

Lashing Out

More than once, I mentioned here how I have been using a product to increase the length and fullness of my eyelashes.

After I did my eyes Wednesday morning, I noticed how well the eyelash serum was working, so I took a handful of photos to show you all.

Taking the photos myself, it was tricky trying to get a photo that would show off my lashes (my nose kept getting in the way). I took 12 shots and the best two appear here in black and white. (The lashes show up much better in black and white than in color.)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Just Fabulous!

Wednesday, my plan was to attend a day-long seminar on photograph lighting techniques.

I went en femme wearing an argyle sweater tunic, black leggings, and black booties. I considered wearing black tights without leggings, but the tunic was way too short, so I chose a more modest fashion statement.

I dressed, drove to Hartford, parked my Subaru, and found my way through the Connecticut Convention Center to the ballroom hosting the seminar where I joined approximately 500 other attendees.

If I learned anything from the seminar, I learned that I have a lot to learn!

I sat through the morning session and got very little out of it. It was way over my head. I needed training at a more basic level and this seminar assumed I already had that training.

During the lunch break, I decided it was pointless to continue. The folks running the seminar were speaking English, but it might as well have been a foreign language. So, sitting through four more hours would be fruitless, not to mention extremely boring.

By the way, except for the woman collecting my seminar ticket, not one person spoke to me at the seminar. I exchanged a few hellos and smiles with other women in attendance and I noticed a few guys and gals checking me out, but that was the extent of the interaction with my fellow attendees.

Since I needed a few things for my Fantasia Fair trip next month, I decided to go shopping and I can't think of a better time to go shopping for girly things than when I am dressed like a girly.

My first stop was a strip mall in West Hartford where my favorite clothing and shoe stores reside.

As soon as I walked into Dress Barn, the sales staff recognized that my argyle tunic was theirs and they all complimented my outfit. ("That sweater looks fabulous on you," so said one saleswoman.)

Last time I went to Fantasia Fair, Patty let me borrow a sweater coat that kept me warm during the cool weather in Provincetown. I wanted to get one of my own and I found a black double-breasted shag trim sweater jacket that was a perfect fit.

Dress Barn had a promotion that if you bought one sweater, you could buy a second at 50% off, so I perused their selection of sweater dresses. I found two to try on.

As I walked to the dressing room with my finds, I passed a rack of houndstooth sheath dresses that were oh so Mad Men retro that I had to try one on. The only problem was that they did not have my size. Not to be deterred, I took the largest size on the rack with me to the dressing room and hoped for the best.

A belted purple sweater dress was too tight (and probably too short), so I re-racked it. A gray cable sweater dress was a perfect fit; it showed off my every curve, so it was a keeper.

Finally, I tried on the to-die-for too-small-for houndstooth dress and I was shocked that it fit. Go figure — dress sizes are all over the place; you don't know what will fit until you try it on. That is why I prefer shopping in person en femme.

Anyway, I bought the houndstooth, too, and between the 50% off one sweater dress and a 20% off everything coupon, I only put a small dent in my credit card.

Next stop, was a few doors down from Dress Barn: Payless shoe store. Like dresses, shoe sizes are all over the place, so I was glad to be able to shoe shop in person en femme. I was looking for something comfortable to wear while I traipsed upon the unforgiving cobblestone sidewalks of Provincetown.

Payless had heels in my size, so I had to try them on. One pair was too tight, another pair fit perfectly, but hurt (go figure), and the third pair was just right; when I slipped it on, it was like putting on a bedroom slipper. It was on sale, too, so I anted up and bought the pair (a black "ghillie" slingback).

At the register, the saleswoman asked if I was a member of AAA, which I am and that was worthy of a 10% discount. So, I bought a nice pair of comfortable and fashionable shoes for $18!

(Above are my Dress Barn and Payless purchases.)

I checked my watch and noted that the afternoon was still young and the West Farms Mall was beckoning to me from across the street, so I spun my Subaru over to the mall and started at Nordstrom.

The store was way out there price-wise. Simple dresses cost $350, but I browsed the racks anyway hoping to find something that was marked down (way down).

While I was perusing a rack of cocktail dresses, a saleswoman nearby spoke up, "You're tall. I'm tall, too. How tall are you?"

I said, "Six foot two.'

She replied, "I'm six foot one."

And she engaged me in a discussion about being a tall female. She asked me how I liked being tall ("I love it."). She admitted that she had some difficulties during her school years because of her height, but as an adult, she was happy with her height.

After we exchanged a few more words, I excused myself and headed out the door to greener pastures that go by the name of Jessica McClintock. The store had some drop-dead gorgeous cocktail dresses, but very few in my size. I tried on a green dress reputedly in my size, but it was too too small.

The saleswoman confided that their dresses run small and that my best bet would be something stretchy. She suggested a purple stretch taffeta bustier dress, so I took it to the dressing room and tried it on. It fit and it looked great, but it cost $160, so I did not buy it (I am having non-buyer's remorse today).

(Above is the cocktail dress I did not buy.)

As I prepared to leave the store, the other saleswoman in the store said I looked "fabulous" and the saleswoman I had been dealing with shook her head in agreement.

I thanked them profusely and exited on that positive note.

Next stop was JCPenney, where I tried on five dresses. Some fit, some did not, and none impressed me.

By then, my feet were no longer getting along with my booties, so I decided to call it quits, and rode my Subaru into the sunset.

Needless to say, my day out en femme was "fabulous."

Unlike days out in the past, I went about my business without any hesitation because now I am so very comfortable and confident in my skin. After all, I am a woman, so why shouldn't I be one.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Gone Girly

I did go out en femme today and it was fabulous, but I only have time to leave you with a photo from today. The words will come later, I promise.

That is me seated at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford during the seminar lunch break.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Going Girly

Tomorrow I will attend a day-long seminar. I have never been to the seminar's venue, I don't personally know the folks running the seminar, and most likely, I will not know any of the other attendees at the seminar. Being a shy soul, I am anxious facing such unknowns.

And I will be going girly to boot!

Going girly is exciting. I so look forward to it because it gives me an opportunity to be authentic, to be myself, to be the woman I am.

I am sure tomorrow will be another fantastic day on the daylight side of the closet door. My excitement about going girly trumps my anxiety about facing unknowns.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Out Casually

Wednesday, I will attend a seminar in Hartford.

The weather has switched from summer mode to autumn mode here in Southern New England, so I planned to wear a sweater dress to the seminar.

I changed my mind after reading the seminar literature this morning. Under "Dress Code," it read "Casual. Jeans/shorts welcomed."

So, I decided to wear something more casual than a sweater dress; I will wear the argyle tunic (photo right) that I purchased recently at Dress Barn.

It will be a nice day out!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Epilady Anyone?

This morning, as I used a chemical depilator to remove hair from my legs, arms, and breasts for the umpteenth time, I wondered about alternatives like Epilady.

Here are the top three reasons Epilady cites for using their product:

• Results last for up to 4 weeks. Epilating takes about 15-20 minutes per leg, but is only done once a month.

• Hair grows back more slowly, and diminishes over time.

• New hairs grow back softer and lighter – “like a new blade of grass.”

So, what is your experience good or bad with electronic depilators like Epilady?

Please comment below or e-mail me if you prefer. I look forward to reading your views on this subject.

Dream Update

I have not written about my dreams lately, so I just wanted to update you about my nights in Dreamland.

I still seldom remember my dreams after I awake, so there is nothing new to report regarding that.

However, the dreams I do remember are interesting in that I am a woman in all of them. I no longer have dreams about crossdressing; rather my dreams begin and end with me as a woman and everyone else in my dreams acts as if my being a woman was natural.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Gender Stereotypes as an Affirmation

Celina Jacobson alerted me to a new article titled "10 Gender Stereotypes That Science Supports" that appears on the web site she works with.

The premise of the article is that "While on a whole, men and women are very similar both in their brains and in their abilities, there are some stereotypes that have held strong for a reason– because they are very often true. With new research, now there may even be modern medical science to back them up."

The article is an interesting read and I recommend it.

What I discovered personally interesting was that I found myself on the female side of seven of the gender stereotypes. Regarding the three remaining stereotypes, I could fall on either side of the driving skills and pain tolerance stereotypes, whereas I definitely fall on the male side of the drinking prowess stereotype, but I think that has more to do with my size than anything else (I am a big woman).

It all just affirms my belief that I am a woman.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Online with Fantasia Fair

Since I will presenting a workshop at Fantasia Fair next month, a description of my presentation appears here and my bio appears here.

By the way, the workshop description should read:

This workshop describes the care and feeding of a ridiculously popular transgender blog ( that was once dubbed the "center of the blog universe." Stana, the woman behind the curtain, will reveal the secrets and strategies that made Femulate so successful that it averages nearly 6,000 hits per day. If you want to learn how to blog successfully or just want to hear the amusing trials and tribulations of a successful transgender blogger, be sure to attend this workshop.

I sent the revised description to the Fantasia Fair folks late last week, but due to the holiday weekend, they have not updated the web site yet.

By the way, during the past week, the blog had well over 6,000 hits on two days and one day, the hit count broke the 7,000 mark for a new high!

The success of the blog amazes and humbles me! All I can say is "Thank-you."

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Stana's Makeup — Part 5

In this last installment, I will describe how I do my lips and the final steps to achieve and maintain my "feminine best" look.

My Lips

To do my lips, I use a lip liner to define the outer edges of my lips, then I fill inside the lip lines with a lip color using a lipstick brush.

Lip color is like eye color, that is, some colors suit me that may not suit you and vice versa, so experiment to see what looks best. Whatever color you choose, the color of your lip liner should be just a few shades darker than your lip color unless you are going for a drag queen look, in which case your lip liner should be many, many shades darker than your lip color. (Yucko!)

Most of the lip liners and lip colors I use are from Avon. I have two shades of a lipstick that Avon discontinued that I love and usually wear these days because the results have a glossy finish without using lip gloss.

1) I use a well-sharpened lip liner pencil to apply lip liner to my upper and lower lips. In either case, I start the line at the middle of the lip and work outwards to the end of the lip line following the curve of my natural lip line.

If you have thin lips like I do, you can make them look bigger by applying the lip liner slightly outside the natural lip line, but don't go overboard because you can end up with clown-like lips (I lost count on how many times I have redone my lips in the past to avoid joining Barnum & Bailey.)

2) To apply lip color, I use a lipstick brush to fill in my lips between the lip liner. A brush provides better coverage where you want the color and avoids putting color where you don't want it, which can occur if you apply lip color directly from a lipstick tube.

3) I close my mouth on a piece of tissue paper to remove any excess.

4) I apply a light coat of translucent powder on my lips. This will hold the color you reapply for a longer period of time.

5) I usually reapply or touch up my lip liner.

6) I reapply my lip color.

7) Sometimes I apply a clear lip gloss over the lip color, but usually, I do not.

The Big Finish

I double check my makeup to make sure I look absolutely gorgeous and make any necessary corrections.

After fixing everything that needs fixing, I use my big powder brush to apply a light coat of translucent loose powder everywhere except on my eye and lip makeup.

Next, I close my eyes and spray a light coat of Makeup For Ever Mist & Fix on my face. Mist & Fix sets and seals the makeup, so you won't have to keep fixing your face the rest of the day.

Finally, I apply Chanel Eau de Cologne No. 22 to each of my pulse points: my wrists, between my breasts, behind my knees, behind my ears, and in the bends of my elbows.

From start to finish, it takes me about 40 minutes to do my makeup, but that is after decades of practice, so your mileage may vary.

No one ever said that being a femulator is easy? But the effort to look your feminine best is worth it!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Stana's Makeup — Part 4

In the previous installments of this series, I described prepping and shaving my face and the first half of my makeup application.

In my hurry to post the previous installment, I left out a step. Please refer to the update in the previous post so you won't miss anything.

In this installment, I will describe how I do my eyes, but before I begin, it is time to talk about tools.

I highly recommend using makeup brushes. The pros only use brushes. To achieve a professional look, you should use brushes, too, so throw away those foam applicators that came with your makeup and buy a good set of brushes (I bought mine from Avon).

While you are acquiring brushes, also buy a pencil sharpener to keep your makeup pencils sharp. (I use this one from Avon.) Always sharpen a pencil before using it to get the best results.

When I do my eyes and lips, I work from the top down (eyebrows, eyes, lips) so that any makeup that falls from the part I am working on will not land on a part of my face that I finished making-up.

My Eyebrows

Over time, I have thinned out my eyebrows to achieve a more feminine look. I used an Avon brow tweezer to remove all the strays above and below my eyebrows. (Avon discontinued the tweezer I use, but you can find eyebrow tweezers in the cosmetic department of any store.) Then I carefully removed more brow hair to achieve a feminine arch. This is tricky business, so take your time and go back and forth between your left and right brows so that they will look alike.

By the way, I found an excellent book on the subject titled Beautiful Brows: The Ultimate Guide to Styling, Shaping, and Maintaining Your Eyebrows by Nancy Parker and Nancy Kalish. You might want to consult that book before your tweezing gets out of hand!

I also use an Avon Electronic Brow Trimmer to trim the lengths of my brow hairs. (Avon also discontinued this product, but similar trimmers are for sale elsewhere.) Since some brow hairs grow back and brow hairs I did not tweeze keep on growing, I use the trimmer and tweezer regularly to maintain my eyebrows.

To color and define my brows, I use Anastasia Perfect Brow Pencil (Ultimate Brown is my color). Using the brush on the other end of the pencil, I comb out my brow hairs so they are lined up horizontally and pointing away from my nose.

Next, I sharpen the pencil to a very fine point and draw a line that defines the upper edge of my eyebrow. I start drawing the line above the inner corner of my eye (point A in the accompanying figure), angling upwards to the peak of the arch which is above the outer edge of the pupil of my eye (point B), then drawing the brow out to a point that lines up with my nose and the outer corner of my eye (point C). All the while I draw the line as close as possible to my existing brow hair.

After I define the tops of my eyebrows, I use the pencil to fill in the area below the line where the hair is thin or missing. Then I use the brush on the other end of the pencil to brush and even out the color I just applied.

My Eyes

I am always playing around with different techniques and colors to do my eyes. In order to play this way, I purchased a large collection of colors that allows me to try various color combinations.

Some colors suit me that may not suit you and vice versa; you will have to experiment to see what looks best on you. (By the way, my eye color is green.) Whatever colors you choose, be sure to use a different brush for each color you apply.

1) With a wide eyeshadow brush, I apply a very light beige shade of eye color to my lids, the crease of my eye, and the area below my brows.

2) I use an eyeliner brush to line my eyes by applying a very dark color (black or dark brown) along the upper and lower lash lines of each eye as close to the base of my lashes as possible.

Some girls prefer to use an eyeliner pencil, which is my second choice, and some girls prefer a liquid liner, which is my last choice. I prefer using a brush with a powder eye color because it achieves the look I desire — it defines my eyes, but it does so subtly.

3) After lining my eyes, I use a Q-tip to smudge the lines below my lower lashes to make the liner look even more subtle.

4) With a narrow eyeshadow brush, I apply a darker color (medium brown or violet, in my case) to the crease of my eye. I pick up the eye color with my brush, dab the center of the crease with the color, then I go back and forth with the brush using a windshield wiper-like motion to apply and blend the color throughout the crease.

5) You can use the same color or a darker color (dark brown or dark violet, in my case) to finish the eye shadowing. I pick up the eye color with my brush, dab the outer corners of my lids with the color to cover about one-third of the lids, then I sweep the color out towards my ears. I also blend the color towards the center of my lids so there is a gradual color change and no clear line of demarcation.

6) I reuse these same brushes and colors to blend, blend, and blend some more.

7) I curl my eyelashes with an eyelash curler, clamping the upper lashes of each eye for about 30 seconds each.

8) I use a metallic eyelash comb to separate all my lashes.

9) I apply black mascara. I have used many different mascaras over the years; some are better than others and I am always looking for something even better. Recently I received a free sample of Lancome Hypnose Drama Instant Full Body Volume Mascara. I like it a lot and it is my current mascara of choice.

When I remove the mascara wand from its container, there is usually a glob of mascara on the end of the brush. That glob can really mess things up, so either remove it with a tissue, or put the glob back into the container from whence it came.

I do my upper lashes, both tops and bottoms, by bringing the wand close to the base of my lashes, then sweeping the wand out while wiggling it slightly back and forth to get better lash coverage with the mascara. With my bottom lashes, I just do the tops of the lashes by touching the tip of the wand to the lashes.

10) I wait a few minutes for the mascara to dry, then I use the metallic eyelash brush to separate any lashes that are stuck together and to remove any globs of mascara.

11) I repeat the previous two steps at least once, usually twice and occasionally thrice.

12) I use a Q-tip to clean up any stray eye makeup that may have gone where no eye makeup should go.

In the final installment, I will describe how I do my lips and the final steps to achieve and maintain my "feminine best" look.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Stana's Makeup — Part 3

(Updated Below) After waiting 10 to 15 minute to let my skin absorb the moisturizers and skin care products I applied (as described here), I begin applying makeup.

Old lady that I am, I have bags under my eyes. To "hide" the bags, I apply a concealer in the shadows beneath the bags to lighten the shadows, thus making the bags less noticeable. I use Amazing Concealer, which goes a long way; a dime-size squirt of Amazing Concealer is enough to do both eyes.

Male woman that I am, I have a beard that I shave closely (as described here), but shaving is not enough. The whiskers below the skin are visible to one degree or another, so I apply a beard cover to the parts of my face where the whiskers show through, that is, between my mouth and nose, between my mouth and chin, and along the chin line below my cheeks. I use is BC-2, an orange-colored product of The Research Council of Makeup Artists, Inc. (RCMA) that I purchased from Alcone.

Old lady that I am, my beard has turned silver gray, so the whiskers under the skin are not as noticeable as they were before they turned gray. As a result, I don't have to use as much beard cover as I had in the past, just a little in the mustache area, if any. Often I go without. The below--the-skin whiskers are such a non-issue these days that a few people have complimented me on my electrolysis (I have never had electrolysis).

I use a powder foundation (Laura Mercier Foundation Powder shade #3) and I apply it with a brush. In the past, I used liquid foundations, but I was turned onto powder foundations during a makeover by a Sephora consultant. Powder foundations look more natural than liquid foundations. When I wore a liquid foundation, it looked like I was wearing a foundation, whereas when I wear a powder foundation, it looks like I am wearing nothing!

I apply the foundation to my face, ears, neck, and anything else below the neck that will show when I dress en femme. Everything should be the same color, otherwise it is obvious that you are wearing a foundation, not to mention that it looks odd.

Sometimes I use a sculpter and highlighter, sometimes I do not. It depends on the time of day and the event I am attending. The later in the day and the more glam the event, the more likely I will sculpt and highlight.

When I do, I use Laura Geller Shade-n-Sculpt, which includes the darker sculpter and lighter highlighter in one compact package along with a brush.

On her Web site, Laura describes how to use this product along with a blush, so why reinvent the wheel "Using my angled Sculpting Brush for both shades, remember to carefully tap off the first shade before using the second. Find the natural bone structure by feeling for the hollow of your cheeks. Starting at the center of your ear, stroke the sculpting shade along that hollow, ending in the apple of your cheek. Brush the lighter, highlighting shade directly above your cheekbone. Apply blush on top of the sculpting and highlighting shades, blending all of them together.

"To achieve a well sculpted jaw line, apply the sculpting shade right along your jawbone, and feather it downward, fading it out. For the illusion of a less full chin, apply the sculpting powder, under the chin and down the throat.

"To create the illusion of a straight, sculpted nose, lightly apply the sculpting shade along the sides of the nose. Always remember your light highlighting shade will be in the opposite areas of your sculpting powder. Apply the highlighter along the center of your forehead and down the center of your nose.

The blush I use during sculpting and highlighting is Makeup For Ever Sculpting Blush in 14 - Raspberry Brown.

In the next installments, I will describe how I do my eyes and lips to complete my "feminine best" look.

UPDATE: In my hurry to post this installment, I left out the following step:

After applying foundation, sculpter, highlighter, and blush, I use a large makeup brush to apply translucent loose powder all over my face and neck.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Stana's Makeup — Part 2

Before I discuss my makeup regime, I want to mention shaving.

Obviously, you want to be as beardless as possible before you begin becoming beautiful.

I have tried various methods to achieve the best beardless state including using hot shaving cream, a shaving lubricant in place of a shaving cream, cold shaving (icing the face, then using ice cold water to rinse the blade as you shave), dry shaving (no shaving cream or lubricant), etc. Some people swear by these methods, but I did not find that the results were any better than the old tried and true method, that is, using a shaving cream or gel, razor, and hot water.

The products I use for shaving are more important than how I use them. I use a shaving gel (like Edge or its copycats) instead of a shaving cream because I found that I get a better shave with a gel.

Also, I use Gillette's Fusion razor (the manual version, not the powered version). Fusion is the best razor I have ever used, by far, however, if you are prepping for an outing en femme, I recommend using a new blade or at a minimum, a blade you have used only once or twice, to get the best shave.

I shave in the shower. The steamy environment of the shower softens your whiskers, so they are easier to remove. Also, when you are done, it is easier to shower away all the shaved whiskers. By the way, I shave in the shower without a mirror and never nick myself; it takes practice, but not much.

After shaving and drying thoroughly, I apply eyelash serum (Avon ANEW Lash-Transforming Mascara + Serum), eye cream (Avon Solutions Plus+ Ageless Results Eye Cream), and moisturizers on my neck and face (Avon Solutions a.m. Ageless Results Day Cream SPF 15 on my neck and Philosophy When Hope Is Not Enough Replenishing Cream on my face).

Then I take a 10 to 15 minute break to let my skin absorb all the products I just applied before I proceed with my makeup regime.

A Pisces’ September

pisces September could be an interesting month for Pisces (like me).

Pisces — February 20-March 20

Early in the month, confidence and career opportunities once again fall at your feet. The 21st ushers in a chance to attract others with your charisma, leading them to finally be on the same page as you. At month's end, a vacation has a destined feel, but it is what you don't plan that can revolutionize your life.

(Horoscope from Harper's Bazaar)

Stana's Makeup — Part 1

I received another request to describe how I apply my makeup. It has been awhile since the last time I wrote on that subject here, so "The time has come," the Walrus said, "To talk of many things."

Every morning, I maintain my face whether I am going out as a boy or a girl. Maintenance is very important if you want to look your feminine best.

For years, I never did any maintenance. When I went out en femme, I'd apply makeup to my unmaintained face and I looked good for a guy in drag, but I never achieved that "feminine best" look that I saw on other women.

Being an Avon lady, I occasionally receive free samples. About five years ago, I received a free sample of a product to deal with wrinkles around the eyes. Looking in the mirror at the wrinkles developing around my eyes, I decided to try the free sample.

After a week or so, the wrinkles were less noticeable. After a few weeks, I had to examine my eyes closely to find the wrinkles. So, I was sold on the eye cream and decided to experiment with other skin care products, primarily moisturizers

After five years of using skin care products, my wrinkles are hardly noticeable and my skin is smoother, more supple, and healthier-looking. My makeup goes on easier and looks better. Professional makeup consultants have complimented me on my complexion. And now I can achieve that "feminine best" look.

I cannot emphasize enough the need to maintain your skin on a daily basis. You cannot look your feminine best when you go out en femme unless you take care of your face everyday.

Every morning, after I shave, shower, and dry myself off, I maintain my face with the following products.

(I use a lot of Avon products because I am an Avon lady, so I get the stuff at cost (or free) and can experiment with different products inexpensively. These products work for me, but your mileage may vary, so try other products if you don't like what I use.)

Avon ANEW Lash-Transforming Mascara + Serum — I use the eyelash serum part of this two-part product to increase the length and fullness of my eyelashes. You apply it like liquid eyeliner, that is, along the lash line above your upper lashes and below your lower lashes, and not directly on your lashes.

Avon Solutions Plus+ Ageless Results Eye Cream — I apply the eye cream under my eyes to deal with wrinkles. It does not eliminate the wrinkles, but it does make them much less noticeable.

Avon Solutions a.m. Ageless Results Day Cream SPF 15 — I apply the day cream to my neck to deal with the redness that resulted from too much sun and not enough protection. It gets out the redness and softens the skin on my neck.

Philosophy When Hope Is Not Enough Replenishing Cream — This non-Avon product is a "night cream" that I use as a daytime moisturizer. I apply it all over my face except where I applied the eye serum and eye cream. I love this product; after I put it on, my face has a feminine glow and feels wonderful, too.

Every evening after dinner, I cleanse my face with an Avon facial cleansing product that is no longer available. When Avon discontinued it, I stocked up on the product and probably have a year's supply. There are lots of other facial cleansers on the market that you can use that will do the job; just don't use hand soap to cleanse your face!

After cleansing, I reapply the Avon eyelash serum.

Occasionally, I apply a night cream (Avon Solutions Maximum Moisture Night Cream) before I go to bed, but usually I don't because I forget or am so tired that I just want to go to sleep!

By the way, I never smoked and seldom drink alcoholic beverages. Both can have a negative effect on your skin.

That's all the maintenance I do. In the next installment, I will write about applying the actual makeup.