Monday, January 10, 2022

Old Dog – New Tricks

By Sally Stone

I am always looking for opportunities to improve my use of makeup, so I am continuously on the lookout for new techniques or a technique I haven’t tried yet. Over the years, I have learned that many of the makeup hacks that work well for cis women, aren’t quite so effective for me. I have also been disappointed by many of the techniques offered for transwomen. Ultimately, finding techniques that work for me individually is hard work and involves lots of trial and error. In fact, most of the time, a technique that works well for me is one cobbled together from a combination of hacks from both cis and transwomen.

Lately, I have decided I am not happy with my long-standing method for camouflaging beard shadow. The common solution is to use a correction type concealer that neutralizes the blue undertones created by whiskers under the skin. For a long time, I have used an orange concealer to neutralize my beard shadow underneath foundation.

While the orange concealer does neutralize the blue, there is a tradeoff, that is, now I have to apply an excessive amount of foundation to cover up the unnatural orange undertone. This results in foundation that is way too heavy and isn’t very natural looking. If I go light on the foundation, then the orange undertone isn’t covered properly. What is a girl to do?

Experiment is exactly what I did. Instead of the trans hack, I thought about the cis method of using concealer, that is, apply concealer over the foundation.

Obviously, you can’t apply a correction concealer or you’ll end up with areas of the face exactly the same color as the concealer. Since I would use orange to correct the blue, I’d end up looking like an Oompa Loompa. 

To use concealer on top of foundation on an area of the face you don't want to alter the color of, it is important to select a concealer that matches the shade of your foundation. And, if you aren’t going to neutralize the blue undertones of beard shadow, it is imperative you find a highly pigmented concealer that adequately covers beard shadow, but also blends well.

So I went on a search for a high-powered concealer that matched the shade of my foundation.  That was hard, really hard, but I did find one. I use L’Oreal Infallible Total Cover, shade 308 as a foundation.  It’s called “Sun Beige” which isn’t very helpful when trying to compare shades. Even L’Oreal’s concealers don’t use shade descriptions that make it easy to match their own foundation, so I resorted to a personal search to find a concealer, any brand, that matched the L’Oreal foundation.

 Honestly, it was stroke of luck that I found a concealer from the makeup brand “Benefit.”  It is called “Industrial Strength” concealer and their shade #3, medium, turned out to be a near perfect match for my preferred brand of foundation.

Now, I could do the rest of my face with foundation and then cover my beard shadow with concealer. Since the two products were nearly an identical shade, all I had to do was to blend them extremely well. This was the breakthrough I needed. No longer did I need to put a lot foundation over the orange corrector and since this new concealer was super-pigmented, I could use it sparingly resulting in an intense, extremely effective coverage without piling on a lot of makeup. 

Using a high-quality foundation brush, I feathered the concealer into the foundation creating a uniform all-over shade that completely covered my beard shadow, but didn’t result in a heavy, caky face. After blending foundation and concealer, I did my normal contouring and then set my makeup.

Clearly, this new beard cover technique turned out to be a very effective combination of techniques that I never would have stumbled upon without resorting to a lot of research and a lot more personal experimentation. It only goes to show that makeup techniques are supremely personal. While you can learn a lot from what you read or what you watch on the Internet, experimenting with individual or combination techniques is the only way to find what works best for each of us. You must always be willing to try something new. 

Who says an old dog can’t learn new tricks!

Source: Rue La La
Source: Rue La La

Gracie doing her weekly grocery shopping.


  1. One of the advantages of getting old is when the beard turns white it is a lot easier to hide, but do remember that as we age our skin tones change as well as our hair colour

    1. Leslie LangfordJanuary 10, 2022

      I second that emotion! It wasn't until I was in my late 50's and my beard had turned completely gray that I felt confident enough to go out in public "en femme". A good application of foundation and a bit of concealer in problem areas - notably the dark circles under my eyes - typically does it for me now, so not unlike for most cis-women. My only challenge remains getting the closest possible shave beforehand without nicking myself.

  2. Rachel McNeillJanuary 10, 2022

    I took the hit to my budget and went through Laser & Electrolysis treatment about six or seven years ago. I still need a touch-up a couple of times a year. I'm glad I did. Unless I'm going for a super-polished look, I can now get away with a bit of eye shadow, liner, and mascara. 30 minutes and I'm ready to get out the door for the day.

    It had the additional benefit of improving my skin texture overall. I attribute that to no longer having to drag a razor over my face every day.

    1. Yes, it certainly can do some damage to the old budget and I still am a client of the same electrologist that I started with. I justify the cost by looking at how much money I am saving by not buying razors ;)) I can't tell you the last time I had a razor to my face, it is wonderful not to have to deal with hiding stubble.

      Gracie is doing what gives me the greatest satisfaction... just being out doing they everyday errands, interacting with people. Just love it!

  3. Lee,
    I do love to femulate while I run my everyday errands. Such a great feeling when someone calls me ma'am.

    1. Rachel McNeillJanuary 12, 2022

      Yes it is. I still remember the first time someone did that. “OMG,” I thought. “I’m passable…if the person is not paying much attention.”

  4. I still remember the day before Covid, when a trip to the grocery six pocket jeans, no decorations (hard to tell they were Woman Within), no makeup, jewelery. In a totally plain dark bulky sweatshirt (a tell-tale triangle at the neck tho) grey-beige athletic shoes (mens K-Mart). In boy mode I thought, and was stopped and asked by a woman..."ah..What are you?"....
    Totally Stumped me..... maybe it was the bra I wore caressing my girls that poked out, carried them since 1965: together with my hair in a bun.
    But when I am out en femme the word Ma'am is so delicious, when it occurs.
    Passing tho, never when mouth is required to be functional.