Monday, May 4, 2015

Beauty and Styling Tips!

By Jamie B. 

When I began doing makeup over 10 years ago, I never imagined I'd be specializing in the transgender and crossdressing communities. I am grateful for all the classy ladies I've met along my way. I continue to meet loveliness every time I meet a client. I have much respect for those living their truth ― no matter who it is. So keep being your authentic self. It's a delicate process, coming into your own, that shouldn't be rushed. You set the pace.

If you are reading this, chances are, wherever you are in your own journey, you are definitely ready for some beauty and styling tips! So, let's get started.

What makes femulation so elusive at times is the fact that many aren't prepped or are only partially prim.

As you know, being a passable woman takes some work, and more for others. It is more than a pair of great legs or putting on a wig. The wig needs styling. The legs need to be smooth and with silky stockings. It's more than red lipstick. It's a carefully lined mouth, made to appear fuller.

Being a woman is also about her poise, her walk, her scent, and general mannerisms that make her undoubtedly femme. All these elements all need to work together like a femme factory. With that said, we are going to get into the nitty-gritty about what exactly is needed and how you should go about achieving the femulation you are dreaming of. Then, all else is just practice!

Hair and Makeup

Nothing screams femme like hair and makeup. Let's start there. Here are some pointers I share with my clients.

  • Your makeup should never match your clothes, i.e., blue eyeshadow with a blue blouse or yellow eyeliner with yellow dress. Instead, choose neutral makeup colors, and have fun with color when it comes to your clothing. The reason being, if you want to be passable and tasteful, less is more. If you want a pop of color, save it for your lips!
  • Grab a neutral eyeshadow palette. This is a staple in your makeup bag. Neutral eyeshadow colors are perfect for shaping the eye without looking fake or obnoxious. It is perfect for smoky eyes or just classic, clean makeup. I always apply neutrals to the eyes of transgender and crossdressing clients and again, save the color for their lips. Smashbox Exposure is a nice matte/shimmer palette. It comes with a mini mascara and doubled-ended brush. One side is for applying eyeshadow, and the other for blending.
  • Pick one feature and stick to it. Lips or Eyes. Play up only one feature at a time as your focal point. Is it your eyes you want to enhance with dark eyeshadow and liner? Then keep lips a soft pink or rose. If you prefer a bright pink or red pout, go easy on the eye makeup. Black mascara or some false lashes along with some medium brown matte eyeshadow in the crease is all you need to make the focal point your lips.
  • CoverFX Total Cover Cream Foundation is your Holy Grail foundation. It is an emollient-based product, so it looks like real skin and covers stubborn beard shadow. It doubles as a concealer as well, due to the full coverage and creamy texture. It is vegan, cruelty-free and originally made in a prominent Canadian hospital specifically for burn victims. No need for a foundation brush with this one ― a cosmetic wedge is all you need on well-moisturized skin. It is SPF30, fragrance-free, paraben-free and talc-free. 
  • Get on the BeautyBlender bandwagon! This teardrop shaped sponge is bouncy, dense, used when damp, and is used to blend out any harsh lines. A must-have for a clean, professional makeup look. Clean it weekly with baby shampoo. 
  • Watch out for too much blush. This can look very clownish/exaggerated. Remember, we want to look feminine and pretty, not drag. Instead, use a neutral shade and blend with a damp BeautyBlender. Simply smile, and apply to the “apples” (nude/pink for light to medium tones and nude/rose for darker tones)
  • Invest in a nice wig (or two). It is nice to have the option to switch wigs based on your mood or look. Synthetic is less expensive than human hair, but requires more maintenance to prevent knots and dreads. Lace front gives the appearance of a natural hairline, which also costs more. Capless wigs are the most common type and less expensive than lace front.
  • Oil of Morocco Dry Styling Argan Oil is a “wigsaver,” as I call it. Spray it on the ends of your synthetic wig and gently brush out any tangles before they turn into knots and eventually dreads... Can be used on human hair wigs as well. Hold the wig as a ponytail in your fist as you brush from bottom to top being careful not to rip out any chunks of hair. 
  • Flat wig? Use a bit of Batiste Dry Shampoo! It is essentially a micro-fine powder, which gives hair the texture and volume boost it needs. Then fluff hair with fingers. Make sure to get the brown-tinted version for darker wigs. 
  • When covering your beard shadow, apply foundation in a stippling motion, set with a setting powder, and apply more foundation, and set again. This layering technique is popular for building coverage and the CoverFx foundation won't look heavy.
  • Parfum or Eau De Toilette? Parfum costs more, usually has less quantity, but lasts much longer. Spray only 2-3 sprays in the air and walk into it. This way, you have a nice scent, but not an overwhelmingly strong aura.
  • Purchase a nice highlighter powder like Stila All Over Shimmer Powder in Kitten. Use it on the brow bone, bridge of nose, upper lip “cupid's bow,” cheekbones and cleavage. This will illuminate your features by looking smooth and pretty, which is very girly.
Part 2 of Jamie’s Beauty and Styling Tips! will appear here tomorrow, so you all come back now, here.

Source: Ann Taylor

Wearing Ann Taylor

Comparing notes at the drag ball

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