Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Yesterday and Today

By Paula Gaikowski

Carollyn Olson’s recent article about our continued evolution brought back so many memories of what the world was like back in the pre-Internet and in the early days of the Internet.

With the Internet came a barrage of information where before there was none. Prior to that we got our fellowship from support groups that needed to be run with upmost secrecy. Publications were seedy at best.

Then came the Internet.

I too remember Vicki Rene’s website. But my go-to website was Susana Marques TV/CD/TS/TG Directory where I found others like me – not one or two, but thousands! I found a community and would spend hours there during my evening tech support shift combing through the websites, learning the stories of others, then e-mailing them and making friends – some I still have today.

I remember on one website where a fashionable and confident girl ventured out to shops and restaurants. Wow! Could I do that someday? It took a while, but yes I did.

The scanned photos on the Susana's site that are left look so dated and vintage. Our world was very cloistered and small, limited to support groups and transgender conventions. I compare that to young people today, who are transitioning in high school. I thought this was rare, however, my friend who is in education tells me most elementary and high schools have at least one transgender student in transition. Compare that to having to meet secretly back in the 80’s.

I am so proud when I see so many young transgender persons able to come out. Many young crossdressers have girlfriends who are accepting. Most have friends they confide in and are accepted by. It’s gotten better but there is still more to be done as younger transgender persons still struggle with unaccepting parents, access to counseling, medical care and social stigma.

I invite you to take a like at the new class coming up, compare our stories and pictures with the 20-somethings of today. The social news aggregation site Reddit has scores of Subreddits dedicated to transgender persons.

Here are a few I recommend: First, Crossdressing, which is a place for crossdressers to share photos, ask questions and provide support. What impressed me most is the sheer number, the courage and confidence, the awesome make-up, fashion and just plain ol' pretty girls. So much better than I could do at that age.

Next is an interesting sub dedicated to passing called Transpassing Yes, passing as a woman. The word “passing” can easily start an argument amongst us girls, however, this generation didn’t get that memo and have thousands of transitioning persons who want advice and feedback on their looks. Once again, there is a huge number of young people transitioning and how pretty they all look.

Finally, one for the more evolved girls who tend to frequent Femulate, a sub called TransLater that is dedicated to older transgender persons.

I thought a look back was worth the time. I hope you enjoyed the memories and remember that we have much more to look forward to.

Some may say “I wish I could do it over.” You can start right now.

Source: Intermix
Wearing Alexis

This is a snapshot from a music video for the song titled Insight by Brazilian singer Luiza Possi. The video has been around for a few years, but I just recently discovered it and fell in love with it. I think you will like it, too.

Monday, August 3, 2020

What’s up, Doc?

Bugs Bunny was not my favorite Warner Brothers cartoon character. Daffy Duck was my fave, but Bugs holds a special place in the hearts and minds of femulators because he appeared en femme on more than one occasion.

Bugs turned 80 this year and in honor of his big birthday, the United States Postal Service (USPS) issued a set of stamps last week featuring ten images of Bugs with two of those images depicting Bugs in drag! How mainstream is that?

One stamps shows Bugs as a female mermaid, dolled up in a blonde wig and red lipstick, sprawled on a rock looking alluring, like a siren of Greek folklore. The look is based on the 1944 animated short film Hare Ribbin’ that was part of the Merrie Melodies series.

The other stamp depicts Bugs striking a seductive pose dressed as a mythical goddess sporting a sizeable bust, blonde braided trusses and a gold-winged headpiece. It is inspired by the 1957 animated short What's Opera, Doc? where Bugs plays Brunnhilde from Richard Wagner's opera Siegfried.

Bugs Bunny is the first femulation to appear on a USA stamp, but Milton Berle came close to breaking the crossdressing barrier in 2009 when the USPS issued a pane of stamps commemorating early TV (television, not transvestite) memories. The first stamp in the pane honored Texaco Star Theater and depicted the star of the show, Milton Berle.

The stamp showed Uncle Miltie en homme, but he did appear en femme in the selvage above the stamps (see image right). The USPS should have used his en femme image on the stamp, but that's just my opinion.

That’s all, folks!

Source: ShopBazaar
Source: ShopBazaar 

Daffy Duck
Miss Daffy Duck, stewardess

Saturday, August 1, 2020

The Eyes Have It

Sally Stone has kindly written a series of articles about makeup and makeup application that is specifically targeted for girls like us. The fifth installment of her series looks at our eyes.

By Sally Stone

File ID 90869742 | © Puhhha | Dreamstime.com
Eyes are hard, especially for girls like us. The other problem with eyes: they come in all shapes with all kinds of special makeup needs, so a single set of techniques isn’t going to work for all. With this in mind, it is probably more helpful if I focus on tips that help feminize the eyes and make them look larger.

My first recommendation: don’t waste too much time putting eye makeup on an area where all your hard work is going to be invisible. One example is the eyelid. I have hooded eyes, which almost completely hide my eyelids when my eyes are open. Unless I’m asleep, no one is going to see any of the eye makeup I put there. Consequently, I will often only put foundation on my eyelids leaving colorful eyeshadow for parts of my eye that are more visible.

Enhance your eyes by making them appear larger. You can accomplish this in a couple of different ways. The first is actually a basic grooming task and that is, shaping the eyebrows. A feminine arch to the brow not only helps the eye look bigger, it also helps feminize it. If you aren’t brave enough to truly feminize your eyebrows, at least groom them so they are trim and neat.

Avoid applying eyeliner on the upper lash line. It looks great on girls with naturally large eyes, but not so good on the rest of us. However, applying eyeliner and a little eyeshadow under the lower lash tends to open the eye up. You can also brighten the waterline (that area between your eyeball and the inside of the lower lash) with a white eyeliner pencil to make your eyes look bigger. Just be very careful with that sharp pencil so close to the eye.

If you want to add color to your eyes, I suggest doing the crease with a dark shade of eyeshadow, then apply a lighter shade just above the crease. With the lighter shade, follow the outside circumference of the eyelid down to the outside corner of the eye and then underneath the lower lash to a point approximately a third of the way. When finished, the crease will be dark with the outside half of the eye more brightly shaded. Be sure to blend the crease color and your chosen light color so that it’s impossible to tell where one color ends and the other begins.

I recommend only applying eyeshadow to the outside half of the eye, because, applying shadow to the inside half can actually make the eye look smaller. You’ll have to experiment with shading to determine which colors complement each another and which shades complement your skin tone.

To ensure the colored shadow you applied to the outside of the eye stands out, it is probably best to avoid applying any additional product on the area between the eye crease and the brow. I find that my eyes stand out more prominently if I leave this area natural.

If your eyebrows possess a feminine arch you can get away with applying some highlighter just below the outside half of the brow. If your brows are not arched, applying highlighter can actually accentuate a brow ridge, so be cautious. If you do have a more pronounced brow ridge, I would recommend applying a dark contour to it when you are contouring the rest of the face instead of trying to deal with it using eye makeup.

Finally, comes mascara. Apply three light coats allowing each coat dry before putting on the next. With each coating, take the time to lift and separate the lashes using a mascara comb. Building lash coverage is more effective and looks way more natural than clumping it on in one heavy coat and it is nearly impossible to separate the lashes if the comb is heavily laden with mascara.

And that’s it, ladies. As I stated in the beginning of this article, it may take some trial and error to find a set of makeup techniques that work for your particular eyes. Just keep in mind, that your main objectives should always be to feminize the eyes and make them appear larger than they really are. The basic techniques I have outlined, are the ones I have found to be most effective. It is my sincere hope they work just as well for you.

Source: New York & Company
Wearing New York & Company

Chic gents attending Tuntenball
Chic gents attending Tuntenball

Friday, July 31, 2020

Setting Makeup

Sally Stone has kindly written a series of articles about makeup and makeup application that is specifically targeted for girls like us. The fourth installment of her series talks about setting your makeup after applying it.

By Sally Stone

If you don’t set your makeup or don’t do it properly, all of that hard work isn’t going to last. Setting makeup is important because it keeps that painted-on face from moving around or running off. Think about it: you are applying makeup to warm skin. Body heat alone is enough to ruin a good makeup job if it isn’t properly set. Effective setting can also delay makeup breakdown as the result of warm weather or humid conditions.

If all of your makeup products are powder formulas, you can wait to set your foundation after all products are applied. If you are like me, however, and use liquid foundation and crème contouring products, it is important to set those before applying powder blush and powder eye shadow, as those applied over unset liquids or cremes will not blend properly.

There are two common ways of setting makeup. One is to use a setting spray. The other is to use a setting powder. The way you apply your makeup will determine which method works best for your specific needs. I actually use setting powder and setting spray combined. Here’s my routine:

After putting on my liquid foundation and crème contouring products, I use a translucent setting powder to initially set them. I recommend translucent setting powder over tinted formulas because translucent powder will not alter the shade of your foundation the way tinted setting powder can. Using a tinted setting powder can also make the face look pasty and unnatural.

I begin the setting process by using a powder puff to press the powder into my makeup. Once the powder is on my skin, I very gently work it in using a soft powder brush. I twirl and lightly press the brush as I work the powder in. Again, you want the setting powder to get down deep into the pores to be effective. Then I use the same powder brush to remove any excess powder. Be sure to wipe away the excess setting powder very gently to avoid damaging the foundation as it takes a few minutes to achieve the full setting effect.

When I have finished setting my foundation and contouring, I then apply my powder blush and eye makeup. After all my makeup is on (including lipstick), I very lightly spritz my face and neck (with eyes gently closed) with setting spray. Avoid any heavy applications of setting spray because too much can actually cause streaks and runs in your makeup.

Setting can also be accomplished in layers, which is important if, like me, your makeup consists of a combination of powders and cremes. I recommend setting one type of makeup before trying to apply the other type over it.

Ultimately, setting makeup is a critical component of any makeup regimen. I’m actually still amazed that many cis-women don’t set their makeup at all. In my humble opinion, it is one makeup tip that is necessary for cis- and trans-women alike. And if done properly, set makeup can look as though it was just applied, no matter how long your day has been.

Source: Venus
Wearing Venus

Men, circa 1960
Men, circa 1960

Thursday, July 30, 2020


Sally Stone has kindly written a series of articles about makeup and makeup application that is specifically targeted for girls like us. The third installment of her series deals with foundation.

By Sally Stone

Artists will tell you that in order to create a masterpiece it is important to have the right canvas. Where makeup artistry is concerned, the canvas is just as critical to a perfect face as it is to a perfect painting. Foundation is makeup’s canvas and if we don’t get it right, anything else we put on it is likely to fall short of our expectations. In my opinion, foundation and more specifically foundation applied correctly, is the single-most important component of a makeup routine.

File ID 132198382 | © Dmytro Zinkevych | Dreamstime.com
When choosing foundation, there are several characteristics we should consider as important: how well/easy it is to blend, is it buildable, what level of coverage does it provide and finally what shade/color is it? Other considerations like “is it long-wearing” or “what kind of finish does it provide” are not particularly important to me because I create my own wear and finish characteristics when I set the foundation.

Blend-ability: A good foundation is easy to apply and blend. To get blend-ability, I use creme formulas. They generally go on easily and they are compatible with the crème contouring products I use. I don’t use powder-based or waterproof foundations because in my experience, they don’t blend as well as non-waterproof cremes.

Buildable: Foundation must be buildable. This is important because building foundation in very thin layers until you just cover the targeted flaw is the only way to get a natural looking result with full-coverage formula.

Coverage: If you have perfect skin and facial features that are decidedly feminine, you can probably get away with a foundation that offers minimal coverage. For many of us, though, we are going to need a foundation that can effectively hide flaws and help to overcome some of skin characteristics that come from being born male. This usually means we will need a product offering full-coverage. The good news is that full-coverage doesn’t have to mean heavy or unnatural. In fact, with the proper formula and the right application, full-coverage foundation can look just as natural and beautiful as those sheer formulas do. I get great results with full-coverage foundation, so it has always been my go-to formula.

Full-coverage foundation can be grouped into two general categories. The first group is designed for serious concealment, hiding major flaws. Dermablend Cover Crème and Mehron Celebre Pro HD are super-pigmented and can cover flaws like birthmarks and tattoos. The second group is still full-coverage, but these foundations are designed for general coverage. These include foundations like Loreal Infallible Total Cover, MAC Pro and Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer Concealer & Foundation. Any of these foundations are good choices and possess the characteristics we are looking for.

Shade/Color: The hardest part about choosing a foundation is finding the correct shade. Some makeup companies offer a dizzying array of shades, while others have a limited number. If you want a natural look, it is imperative you find a foundation shade that matches your skin tone. This can be difficult.

I had to resort to mixing shades (always of the same brand and formula). It was the only way I could get the brand I use to match my skin tone.

Another option is to allow a makeup specialist help you find the correct shade. This is a viable option, but be forewarned: if a specialist is trying to sell a particular product and their shade options do not exactly match your skin tone, they might end up recommending something that is only close.

Using a shade that doesn’t exactly match your face can still work, it’s just that using this option means you’ll have to apply foundation to all of the skin that frames your face. This means the neck and exposed chest area.

Most makeup sellers allow you to sample different shades and the back of the hand is perfect for matching the proper color. The back of the hand mirrors facial skin tone and tends to show the same tan level as the face. It is also the perfect pallet for mixing shades to find an exact match.

Putting It On

Begin applying foundation all over the face and neck. Start with a very light application. The key here is adhering to the “less is more” theory. Start by putting a few dots of foundation all around the face and neck, then with a stippling brush, work it into the pores using a combination pressing, swirling motion to ensure the foundation gets pressed deep into the texture of the skin. This is important for both coverage and staying power.

I find the stippling brush the best way to apply makeup to male-pattern skin texture because it provides the most coverage with the least amount of product. Many makeup artists will recommend letting foundation “cook in” after applying it, that is, it needs to melt down into the pores with the aid of body heat before being set. I have discovered that by stippling the foundation, “cooking in” is a completely unnecessary step.

Makeup sponges are popular with women for applying foundation, but in my experience, they do not get the product deep into the pores the way a stippling brush does. As a result, a sponge tends to result in sheerer coverage for the same amount of foundation applied.

After the first light layer of foundation is worked into the skin, reapply additional layers to areas that need more coverage. If possible, wait five or ten minutes between each layer to allow the foundation to dry. Add layers to the areas of beard shadow and areas of discoloration like birthmarks or dark circles under the eyes, but again, use just enough to cover to avoid the heavy or unnatural look.

Concealer can be used to deal with problem areas, but if foundation is built up properly, often concealer isn’t even needed. If concealer is necessary, I recommend applying it on top of the first layer of foundation and then applying just enough foundation over the concealer to ensure an overall uniform shade.

The cheekbones, forehead and eyelids get the lightest application of foundation, often only a single layer. Subsequent layers of foundation can be applied using the stippling technique ensuring it is blended really well. When finished, the entire face and neck should be a uniform shade ready for contouring, blushing, bronzing and all the other things that go on top.

Source: MatchesFashion
Wearing Madame Butterfly

Janek Traczyk femulates Slawa Przybylska on Polish television’s Your Face Sounds Familiar.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Makeup Prep

Sally Stone has kindly written a series of articles about makeup and makeup application that is specifically targeted for girls like us. The second installment of her series addresses prepping your face before applying your makeup.

By Sally Stone

Prepping the face for foundation is a process that begins way before sitting down in front of the makeup mirror. The daily facial regimen should include cleaning, toning and moisturizing and it’s important to do this even on the days when you won’t be wearing makeup, so that on those days you do, your face will be ready.

Another consideration for keeping your face ready for makeup is to use some type of wrinkle cream. I have used Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair for as long as I can remember and while I haven’t noticed any reduction in the wrinkles I already have, it is possible regular use has staved off any additional ones – who’s to say? What the anti-wrinkle cream has done for me though, is to significantly reduce the coarse appearance of my male-pattern skin and I believe this is the real magic of any anti-wrinkle cream.

File ID 94537684 | © Dmytro Flask | Dreamstime.com
The next part of the process is to ensure your face is free of facial hair. I won’t go into the various ways that you can make this happen, but obviously, being whisker-free is pretty much a necessity if your objective is to have a flawless complexion.

I moisturize every day, whether I’m putting on makeup or not, but I also moisturize right before I start applying makeup and just after shaving. On makeup days, I recommend a moisturizer that is formulated to wear under foundation. Generally, it should absorb completely into the skin and not feel greasy afterwards. Beyond it being compatible with your foundation, I can’t really recommend one brand over another.

Moisturizer hydrates and plumps the skin, which helps prepare it for makeup. You might be inclined to believe that because moisturizer is important you should use a lot of it. Actually, less is more. Apply just enough to cover the entire face and neck, but not so much that the skin can’t absorb it all. It will take a few minutes for complete absorption, but in the end, your skin should be a little dewy, but not tacky or sticky.

Next comes primer. For the longest time, I didn’t put much stock in primer. Perhaps my youthful skin didn’t need it, but as I’ve aged, primer has become my best friend. It really does help my foundation go on easier and adhere more firmly to my skin. Don’t be fooled into thinking primer has to be expensive to work well. It doesn’t. I rarely spend more than ten dollars for the primers I used and they have never failed me.

Most primers look like lotion, but do not apply them like lotion. Instead, press primer deep into the skin. You want it way down into the pores, not just clinging to the surface of the skin. It can be pressed in with the fingertips or it can be pressed in with a brush. I have a special stippling brush that I use only for my primer. And where primer is concerned, less is once again, more. Prime all of the skin where you plan to apply makeup and then let it dry completely. You’ll know it is dry when it is no longer tacky.

A lot of makeup artists actually mix primer in with the foundation. It could be that for male skin, mixing isn’t a compatible option because I haven’t had much luck with the method.

There is an additional prepping step that may be necessary for those that tend to have a darker beard shadow and that is, some form of beard cover. Those of us that still have facial hair, will always have some beard shadow even after a close shave. The darker or coarser the facial hair, the more noticeable the shadow.

Beard shadow can be covered with foundation, but if the shadow is pronounced, it will require a lot of product, which would ultimately look unnatural. The more effective tactic for dealing with beard shadow is to neutralize it, because neutralizing requires a lot less product. Beard shadow is blue, so to cancel it out, you need a color that lies exact opposite from blue on a standard color wheel. Blue’s counter-color is orange.

You’ve no doubt seen or heard of girls using red lipstick as a way of camouflaging beard shadow. It’s effective because red has orange in it. The problem with lipstick is it tends to be somewhat greasy, keeping it from blending effectively with foundation. Because of this, lipstick often leads to premature failure of the foundation it is blended with.

Orange concealer is sometimes not easy to find because it is not a color most cis-women need. Still, it is readily available from many online makeup vendors and some of the larger brick and mortar stores.

Apply the concealer sparingly, but be sure to cover the entire area where beard shadow is present. Then, using a stippling brush, work the concealer way down into the pores. Orange concealer is also perfect for hiding under eye circles or other dark areas around the eye. When the concealer is stippled in good and deep, let it dry, usually around ten minutes and then you are ready for foundation. The foundation tutorial will be in the next installment.

Don’t undermine your makeup routine by skimping on the preparation steps. If your objective is to have a flawless complexion after putting on your makeup, your skin must be in the best possible condition beforehand. Prep also contributes greatly to the ease at which your makeup goes on and it helps make it longer wearing.

Source: Rue La La
Wearing Rue La La

Hermann Thimig
Hermann Thimig femulating in the 1933 German film Viktor und Viktoria. which was remade as USA film in 1982 titled Victor Victoria.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Our Makeup Needs are Different

Sally Stone has kindly written a series of articles about makeup and makeup application that is specifically targeted for girls like us. The first installment of her series begins with this post and will continue over the subsequent posts.

By Sally Stone

This article is the first in a series about makeup usage and application techniques. Before we actually begin talking about makeup tips though, it is important to mention that our needs often differ from the needs of cis-women. What works for them, many times, isn’t going to work quite so well for us.

The first thing we need to realize is that makeup is generally designed for cis-women. That is, it is formulated to be used on female pattern skin, skin that is generally smooth and doesn’t possess much texture. Makeup is also designed to accentuate feminine features, not necessarily to camouflage male pattern features or flaws.

Makeup is also marketed and sold with women in mind, so a lot of the claims about what it can do are made based solely on the female face. As an example, one of makeup’s biggest selling points is that it provides sheer coverage. Okay, the fact that sheer coverage is an oxymoron notwithstanding, sheer makeup just isn’t going to work for most of us because we generally have more to hide. The moral here is that what makeup company’s claim their products can do usually has to be taken with a grain of salt when a transwoman is buying it.

That’s not to mean we can’t use female-oriented products; in fact, we pretty much have to. It’s just that we have to remember that the way we use makeup is quite a bit different then it is for cis-women. We want to transform skin that possesses male pattern characteristics into skin that looks decidedly feminine. It can be done if we fully exercise makeup’s transformative powers. To do this, however, we girls have to use techniques oriented more for our unique needs.

So, as you read these upcoming articles, keep in mind that the way I use makeup is going to be different from or a modification of,many of the cis-oriented techniques you’ll find on the Internet or in fashion magazines. Still, I have learned a tremendous amount about makeup and its application from cis-women; it’s just important to know how to adapt those techniques so they work effectively for us.

My intention is to demonstrate how to get the most out of your makeup and hopefully, the series will provide some insights on how to use makeup in ways that complement and enhance the male pattern complexion. Additionally, some of these makeup techniques could help you unleash the true makeup artist residing within.

Source: Moda Operandi
Wearing Balmain

Boy and girl attending Tuntenball

Monday, July 27, 2020

Shopping During the Pandemic

This came over the Mojo Wire from CBS News a few days ago:
Ann Taylor and Lane Bryant's corporate owner filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Thursday, the latest retailer to do so during the coronavirus pandemic.
Ascena Retail Group of Mahway, New Jersey, which operates nearly 3,000 stores mostly at malls, had been dragged down by debt and weak sales for years. As part of its bankruptcy plan, the company said that it would close all of its Catherines stores, a “significant number” of Justice stores and a select number of Ann Taylor, Loft, Lane Bryant and Lou & Grey stores.
That’s bad news for girls like us and all girls, in general. I shopped at Lane Bryant when I was heavier, at Ann Taylor when I was lighter and I will miss them both.

Meanwhile, DressBarn, which closed all its stores’ doors last year keeps on chugging along via the Internet.

Initially, their Internet offerings were blah and did not interest me. But lately, they have been showing some edgier clothing – a lot of it intended for younger customers. Seems that they are now selling clothing from other sellers. For example, the dress in the photo above right is from SukiSo. (Click on the boutique menu on the DressBarn website to see what I mean.)

Meanwhile, my femulating is still quarantined. There is no place for a girl to go to show off her girl! Frustrated by it all, I keep buying more clothes that I can’t wear out yet! Two new dresses from Venus should arrive today and a new dress from Haband should be shipped real soon now.

And so it goes!


Boys can can-can, too!
Boys can can-can, too!