Friday, September 30, 2016

Eating Pie

My Wednesday out en femme continued at the West Farms Mall, which in my opinion, is the premier shopping mall in Connecticut.

When I was doing my makeup Wednesday morning, I noticed that my bottle of Avon-brand liquid foundation was at its end. I also noticed that the Smashbox eye shadow primer I use was nearing its end, so it was time to restock and Sephora was my first stop at West Farms.

I quickly found the eye shadow primer, but I was overwhelmed by the huge selection of liquid foundations on display. Foundation brands and types were not as big an issue as was color. I have never been confident of the colors I use; I know my color choices are in the ballpark, but I want to hit a home run, so I asked one of the sales reps for assistance.

Filomena walked me over to the Sephora + Pantone Color IQ display where she used a handheld camera-like device to determine my color, which turned out to be medium beige. The result was entered into the Color IQ iPad and it displayed all the brands of foundations that were available in my color. I selected the Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Foundation. My foundation color choices were always in the lighter than medium beiges, so I will be anxious to see how I look in my corrected color.

I exited Sephora at noon and decided to have lunch. Like most malls, the dining choices are mostly of the fast food variety, but I noticed a new-to-me restaurant that seemed to be a few notches up from the usual mall fare: Brio Tuscan Grille.

As soon as I entered Brio, I knew my estimate was correct. It was a very well-appointed restaurant and most of its clientele were well-dressed business people. I fit right in!

I was seated quickly and an attentive waitress could not have been nicer to me. She helped me select a glass of wine by providing two samples and I selected a 5-ounce filet with grilled veggies from the menu. It was delicious.

The rest of the staff treated me like a lady and the other diners ignored me like an old lady.

After finishing my meal, I needed to use the ladies' room and one of the staff pointed me in the general direction. The problem was that when I arrived at the facilities, the names of the restrooms were in Italian.

I know a few words in Italian, but not "ladies' room" and "men's room," so I selected the room on my left, the one called "Domme." (When faced with choices I am clueless about, I always select the choice on the left.)

It turned out I made the correct choice, but I have to admit I was a little worried while sitting on the toilet trying to figure out which direction the shoes of the person in the next stall were pointed. I am sure they were pointed the wrong way, but maybe they did not know Italian either!

After dining, I browsed the racks in Lord & Taylor and Nordstrom and after getting over the sticker shock, I visited the Apple store to ask a genius a question about the iPad mini.

My feet were holding up very well after six hours in 3-inch heels, but I was done shopping, had bought more than I intended and decided to call it a day en femme.

Home by 4 PM, I kicked off my heels and reflected on my day.

(Caveat Emptor: This is a repurposed post from the past.)

Source: Anthropologie
Wearing Anthropologie.

Jim Rash
Jim Rash (center) in television's Community.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Lemon Meringue Pie

Wednesday was going to be a very big day out en femme for me. I was going to take the train to New York City to attend a conference with my boss and her boss: three business women in The City for the day.

Needless to say, I was looking forward to the trip, but late on Tuesday, the conference was cancelled and so was the trip to NYC.

Handed a lemon, I decided to make a lemon meringue pie.

Wednesday morning, I phoned my boss and told her I was taking a vacation day. Then I shaved, showered, did my hair and makeup, dressed (new sweater dress from Dress Barn, black opaque tights, black Payless Karmen pumps), grabbed my coat and my bag and headed to the malls.

I arrived at the Westfield Mall in Meriden (CT) a few minutes after it opened. Usually, the mall is very quiet when it opens on a weekday, but it was very busy yesterday. I assume the now perpetual Black Friday had something to do with it.

Wow! How I have changed!

Only a few years ago, I would carefully strategize my mall visits. I would use an entrance with the least amount of foot traffic and sit in my car until I was sure no one else would be entering at the same time as me.

After the all-clear, I would enter the mall and avoid any males who might be traversing the mall and I would avoid eye contact with any human being I might encounter. I would be all business and go directly to the store(s) I was interested in visiting and not browse, window-shop and enjoy my shopping experience.

That version of Stana is so foreign to me now. Now I do the mall just like a typical civilian woman does the mall and I enjoy every minute of it!

Westfield Mall is in decline. JCPenney closed its doors earlier this year and its large footprint remains unoccupied. There are other vacancies throughout the mall and most of the replacements, if any, are of the dollar store variety.

However, one replacement is now a favorite spot for me to shop: Fashion to Figure. They have a nice variety of clothing for fuller figure girls like me, yet their price tags are very reasonable. And they were having a buy one item and get the second item at 50% sale.

I spent an hour trying on clothes in Fashion to Figure and cashed out with three new dresses and one new jumpsuit for $125. (I hope Stana gets invited to some holiday parties this year because two of the dresses are too party to wear to work.)

By the way, the sales associate was so helpful and enthusiastic. She picked out some excellent items for me to try on and when she helped zip me into one of the dresses, she noticed I was wearing my Squeem (she was wearing hers, too), yet she was mum about the stray hairs poking out from the top of my Squeem.

After Fashion to Figure, I exited Westfield and headed to West Farms Mall to continue my day out en femme.

(Caveat Emptor: This is a repurposed post from the past.)

Source: JustFab
Wearing JustFab.

The Prancing Elites
The Prancing Elites

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Milady’s Merchandise

Jaye Anne wrote, “Maybe this will be of modest interest to our more self-conscious  sisters”

“Yesterday I went shopping at about 9:30 AM (at Walmart) and in drab, purchased three panties and a new shade of lipstick (I am partial to L'Oreal lipsticks). I checked out and paid the checkout lady, a woman of about 60. She didn't blink an eye, was friendly and wished me well.

“My point for telling this story is that people in general and women in particular don't care. They do their job and are happy for the sale.  I have, in the past, had the same experience with a skirt and blouse at Lane Bryant.”

I added my two-cents’ worth.

And if they do care, they usually keep mum because it is none of their business.

On occasion, I have had cashiers comment (always humorously) about buying stuff for milady. When they do, I tell them the purchase is for me and show them my photo en femme on my iPhone. That usually blows them away!

By the way, regarding the image above:

1) I’d like to try that while shopping in girl or boy mode, but

2) What are the health issues?

A little Googling came up with "How to Try on Cosmetic Testers in Store."

(Caveat Emptor: This is a repurposed post from 2013.)

Source: ShopBop
Wearing Theory.

Wade Barnes
Winner of the 1972 "Miss America" pageant at Bryant (AR) High School. Starla sent me this image and remarked, "His Mom looks elegantly coiffed and attired. Like mother, like son?"

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Sleeve Shopping

I am a 5'14" tall woman (or a 6'2" guy) and have long arms. I have trouble buying male clothes that have long enough sleeves and buying female clothes with long enough sleeves is even harder!

One workaround is that I tend to buy clothing that is not long-sleeved. Three-quarter sleeve, short sleeve, and sleeveless sleeves are my girlfriends.

Luckily, I have thin arms (for a guy) and do not need sleeves to hide anything. I just have to make sure to remove all the hair and to tan evenly.

But I cannot avoid long sleeves completely. Outerwear for cool and cold weather demand long sleeves and I have to shop long and hard to find what I need.

Size-wise, I am on the borderline of the Misses sizes and Plus sizes. I have found that when shopping for outerwear, I have more success with the smallest Plus sizes than the largest Misses sizes. Plus size outerwear is often larger in the sleeve as well as larger in the body of the outerwear. So, size 14W in outerwear often works for me.

Once in awhile, I luck out. For example, over the years, I had success at Fashion Bug. I have bought dresses and a coat off the rack in Misses size that had adequate sleeve length. But sadly, Fashion Bug went out of business.

Besides Fashion Bug, I have been successful shopping at at JCPenney, Dress Barn, Torrid, and Macy's. More often at JCPenney and Dress Barn, less often at Torrid and Macy's.

Alterations are sometimes an option. I bought my favorite coat (see photo), a three-quarter-length lynx fake fur online from Lane Bryant. It was a beautiful coat and a perfect fit except for the sleeve length, which was way too short. Wearing gloves did not camouflage the problem and I reluctantly prepared to ship it back to Mr. Bryant for a refund.

Before I did so, I noticed that the fake fur did not end at the end of the sleeve. Instead, the fur was folded over into the lining of the sleeve approximately four inches.

I wondered if a tailor or seamstress could do anything with it, so I took my coat to a local seamstress. For $20, she lengthened the sleeves with the fake fur lining and the sleeve length was perfect.

(Caveat Emptor: This is a repurposed post from 2013.)

Source: Rent the Runway
Wearing Nanette Lepore.

Монро (Monroe)
Монро (Monroe), male womenswear model

Monday, September 26, 2016

Shopping En Personne

A dressing room selfie.
If you plan to try on the clothing before purchasing it, shopping en femme is better than shopping en homme because en femme, you get a better idea how the clothing will fit and look.

En homme, the clothing may not fit at all depending on what shapewear you wear en femme. And even if the clothing fits en homme, you still will see a "man in a dress" in the mirror and may reject purchasing the item because you don't like the way it looks. More than once, I tried something on en homme that was borderline, purchased it anyway and was very glad that I didn't reject it because it looked great on me en femme.

When I try something on in the store en homme, I always ask a salesperson if it is OK and I have never been turned down. (The worst thing that ever happened to me was back in the Dark Ages when a JCPenney saleswoman asked me to use the men's dressing room to try on a girdle.)

When I try something on in the store en femme, I always ask a salesperson where the dressing room is located, even if I know where it is. I always ask in order to protect myself in case someone complains about a male in the women's dressing room. If that ever happens, I can respond that the store gave me permission. FYI, I have never run into this problem.

I think that is good advice, but I don't always follow it. If I am feeling absolutely gorgeous and passing with abandon, I just sashay into the nearest dressing room without asking for directions. (Why ruin the mood!)

Another FYI, I shop in Connecticut; your mileage may vary depending on where you shop.

(Caveat emptor: This post is a combination of previous posts.)

Source: ShopBop
Wearing Finderskeepers jumper and Alice + Olivia sweater.

Charlie Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin (center) in the 1914 film A Busy Day The Masquerader.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Your Face's Crowning Glory

This is the seventh in a seven-part series of posts written by Femulate Contributing Editor Susan King of Transitioning into Tomorrow fame. Susan describes how to determine your face shape and then, how to put that information to good use.

Some of us girls are lucky that we can use our own hair when out. I am not one of them.  I have the worst case of male pattern baldness which started while I was in my 20's.. So I am destined to be a wig wearer.

Once I put on my hair, I see my feminine self. My wig makes the outfit and overall look. You can use your hair to change the frame of your face. Wearing the correct wig style with the correct face shape in a must.

Below is a great infographic that shows how different hair style work with different facial shapes. And here is a short and concise video that does a very good job of explaining hairstyles based on your face shape.

New York City street style, Fall 2016.
New York City street style, Fall 2016.

Scott Baio
Scott Baio does his makeup in an 1983 episode of television's The Fall Guy.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Best Brows for Your Face

This is the sixth in a seven-part series of posts written by Femulate Contributing Editor Susan King of Transitioning into Tomorrow fame. Susan describes how to determine your face shape and then, how to put that information to good use.

The correct eyebrow look can make or break the feminine face. An easy male vs. female marker are
the eyebrows. Of course, an Adam's apple and your voice can be easy giveaways, along with poor eyebrow maintenance.

In the 1990's, I did not have the money (raising children) or the time (children dance class and work) to have an electrologist work on my beard, so I had my eyebrows done. Within one year, I had my eyebrows permanently arched.

No one said anything while I had this done. Years later, my youngest daughter stated that she hoped to have eyebrows like mine when she grew up. I just smiled and told her, she probably will.

I really like my eyebrows and use an eyebrow pencil to define them. The correct eyebrow style will define and feminize your face. Matching your eyebrows with your face shape has a tremendous impact.

The chart above shows the best eyebrow shape for your face. Some of the differences are small but its worth it. This short video also does a good job of explaining eyebrow types based on the facial shape.

Source: Ann Taylor
Wearing Ann Taylor.

This image is from a womanless beauty pageant, probably at the high school level. I posted this image because it reminds me of me at that age. I was overweight and feminine in high school. As a result, I was rejected by females and derided by males. I escaped from that world by visiting the closets of my mother and sister to release the girl in me. If my school had a womanless pageant, I might resemble the girl above and enjoy every minute of the occasion just as she seems to be doing.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Too Good To Be True

2016 Miss Trans Star International Beauty Pageant, Barcelona, Spain
I was fooled again!

Yesterday's post about an aunt decking out her nephew as her niece on an episode of a Spanish language television show was too good to be true. (Read the comments to that post to see where I went wrong.)

Usually, I am able to see through such fakery, but in this case I had little to go on besides the word of the perp who posted the video clip and called it "boy is dressed as a girl by her aunts."

Thanks to my readers who cleared up the mystery.

To pay you back, I offer you something that is true: an Associated Press story about last weekend's trans beauty pageant in Barcelona, Spain, where 28 women representing as many countries competed to be crowned Miss Trans Star International in Europe’s largest beauty pageant for transgender women.

Here is the link to the story, which includes a nice selection of photos. Also, check out the pageant's Facebook page for more photos as well as some videos.

Enjoy the view!

Foundation of Your Face

This is the fifth in a seven-part series of posts written by Femulate Contributing Editor Susan King of Transitioning into Tomorrow fame. Susan describes how to determine your face shape and then, how to put that information to good use.

Foundation is an important makeup requirement for most of us. As males, we probably did not take care of our skin, plus we have facial hair and large pores. I remember learning how to apply beard cover and trying to match the correct foundation color to my skin. It was difficult, time-consuming and required a lot of practice.

I began wearing foundation in the early 1990's with the help of a Mary Kay representative whose husband was a crossdresser.

In the last few years, I learned how to contour and highlight my face to give it a less male look. Contouring requires adding darker tones, while highlighting requires adding lighter tones to your foundation. It helps create a certain appearance that either reduces male traits and/or accentuates female traits.

Applying foundation, blush and contouring is done based on your face shape.

The picture shows how contouring, highlighting and blush should be applied to create a more feminine look.

Below is a more detailed description for each of face shape. Once you review what is best for your face shape, then practice...practice....practice.

Incorporating some of these items into your makeup routine will have a big impact in your appearance. If you feel comfortable, try a makeover at a department store makeup counter (M·A·C or Clinique), a store (Ulta Beauty or Sephora) or a salesperson from Avon (Stana!) .

I have had two makeovers in the past 12 months One at a Clinque counter and second one at Ulta Beauty. I learned a lot from the Ulta lady as she was younger and showed me how to highlight and contour using difference foundation colors. This technique slightly reshaped my face and looked amazing. I now use two different foundations and I like the new look.


  • Contour: Apply to the edges of the face, from the temples to the jawline and in the hollows of the cheeks
  • Highlight: Apply to the center of the hairline to the center of the forehead, down the bridge of the nose, the cheekbones under the outer corners of the eyes, and the center of the chin
  • Bronzer: Apply to the edges of the face, from the temples to the jawline
  • Blush: Don't apply blush on the apples of your cheek; this makes your face look wider, but instead sweep upward to give your face a lift, do the 'duck face'


  • Contour: Focus mostly on the sides of the face from about the ears down
  • Highlight: Apply under the eyes to the temples, bridge of nose and under your nose, forehead (but instead of going vertically, apply your highlight in horizontally) and chin 
  • Bronzer: Apply to your jawline to slim jaw 
  • Blush:  Apply blush along the cheekbones toward the temples or fuller area of the cheeks


  • Contour:  Apply lightly along the hairline and temples and under the cheekbones
  • Highlight: Apply to the center of the forehead, down the bridge of the nose, from the brow bone to cheekbones in a C-shape, and the center of the chin 
  • Bronzer: Apply bronzer in the shape of 3 at the sides of your face 
  • Blush: Don't apply blush on the apples of your cheek; this makes your face look wider, but instead sweep upward to give your face a lift, do the 'duck face'


  • Contour: Apply to the entire hairline at the top of forehead, hollows of cheeks (make the 'fish face' to find) and bottom of chin 
  • Highlight: Apply above cheekbones (a little higher than where you put blush)
  • Bronzer: Apply bronzer to entire hairline at the top of forehead and on your jawline 
  • Blush: Apply blush to apples of the check and blend toward the ear, almost create a horizontal line across the face

Heart/Inverted Triangle

  • Contour:  Apply to the temples, the sides of the cheeks, and the chin 
  • Highlight: Apply to the center of the hairline to the center of the forehead, down the bridge of the nose, above and below the outer edges of the brows, the chin just below the lower lip and to the sides of the mouth
  • Bronzer: Apply to the sides of the forehead and slightly lower your cheekbones 
  • Blush: Avoid applying blush too high and instead apply it slightly lower than the cheekbones or you can apply a small amount on the apple and blend it out, but remember to leave a gap at the cheekbones. 


  • Contour: Apply to the temples and from the hollows of the cheeks to the jawline
  • Highlight: Apply to the center of the hairline and the center of the forehead, above and below the outer edges of the brows and the center of the chin
  • Bronzer: Apply to the sides of the forehead and jawline 
  • Blush: Don't apply blush on the apples of your cheek, this makes your face look wider, but instead sweep upward to give your face a lift, do the 'duck face'


  • Contour: Apply to the sides of the face starting at the temples moving down to just pass the hollows of of cheeks, no further 
  • Highlight: Focus on the forehead, the cheekbones under the outer corner of your eye, and chin (apply highlight horizontally)
  • Bronzer: Apply to the outer edges of the cheeks and temples, avoid the middle face 
  • Blush: Apply to upper most part of your cheeks and blended toward your temples
And most importantly, feel beautiful because you are beautiful.

Source: HauteLook
Wearing Fate.

Yasumasa Morimura
Yasumasa Morimura

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Aunt Transforms Nephew into Niece

UPDATE: Thanks to some knowledgeable readers, I now know that this video clip was too good to be true. The boy, who was supposedly transformed into a girl, is really a girl. No aunt transformed her nephew into her niece. By the way, the clip was taken from a Mexican television show called An Angel in the House (1998-1999).

ORIGINAL POST: A few weeks ago, I found this short video from a Spanish language television program. I wonder if anyone knows its source and what is the plot of this particular episode of the show.

YouTube suggests the source might be Mexico. The short description accompanying the video reads, "boy comes home dressed as a girl by her aunts. His father is frightening and terrified"

My take is that the boy's aunt took her nephew shopping for a female outfit. Looks like she even took him to a beauty parlor to get his hair done and his face made up.

The short clip shows the aunt and nephew returning home after shopping to reveal the boy's new look to his family. His mother and brother seem very pleased, but his father, not so much.

My Spanish is not good enough to interpret what is said in the video. Anybody have a clue?

Don't you wish you had an aunt like this lucky boy's/girl's aunt!

(Susan King's series on determining your face shape and what to do with it resumes tomorrow.)

Source: DressBarn
Wearing DressBarn.

Source: YouTube
Aunt transforms nephew into niece in a Spanish language television show.