Friday, May 13, 2022

At the Salon

I want to hear from all you ladies about your visits to salons. Whether your visits were for your hair, nails or makeup, tell us all about the experiences, good or bad. (MIkkiB kicked this off with her comments on Tuesday’s post.)

I suspect that your experiences will mostly be good. It has a lot to do with the Almighty Dollar, that is, if you are a paying customer, the person you pay will provide you with the services you seek with a smile.

Over the years, I have had six makeovers. Two at salons, one at a support group meeting, one at a transgender convention and two at cosmetics stores (Sephora). (Never had my hair or nails done at a salon.) 

Except for the two makeovers at Sephora, the providers knew going in that I was a femulating fellow. At Sephora, the providers probably figured me out after they got up close to my face to do the makeover.

In all cases, I was treated like a lady (AKA a paying customer). There was nothing untoward during the makeovers and I truly enjoyed the experiences.

So what about you? Share your salon stories. Your before and after photos are welcome.

Source: Elisabetta Franchi
Wearing Elisabetta Franchi

One, two or three femulators?
One, two or three femulators?


  1. I've had three Sephora makeovers. The second one in October 2016 was a key for me. I took notes, bought the right products, and gained confidence I could do my own makeup. All three were great.

    I've had three manicures. The first was great, so I went to the same place six months later. I had a different tech, Michelle, and we hit it off and have been friends since. She's given me multiple pedicures, back and chest waxing, other services--and we go out to bars and restaurants together as well as walking her dog. I went for a service and hit the jackpot.

  2. Going to a salon is on my bucket list. As soon as it happens I'll tell EVERYONE about it!
    And I cast my vote for TWO Femulators - in the middle and on the right.

  3. The first time I had a makeover was prior to a Baltimore Pride kickoff cocktail party. My stylist, Sam, knew I crossdressed, and I asked him to do my long hair and have one of he other stylists do my makeup. It felt like a life-changing event. I actually went there as "Mike" and changed clothes in the shop. I also invited a neighbor to watch (and she brought another neighbor along!). I felt so great about it that I went home before the event, and I'm sure 3-4 other folks on the block saw me.

    After that first adventure I've had lots of makeovers. The best were by Amanda Richards of True Colors. We had Amanda come to one of our meetings and I was one of two ladies to get made over that night. Then, and this was the best, I drove up to Amanda's studio in PA for a full afternoon of makeovers, a hair styling and a photo shoot with several clothing changes. I also had her do a makeover the last time I was at Keystone. Amanda is the best!

    I've had my nails done several times, once the baked-on gel finish that lasted more than a week. Once I won a bet that I wouldn't keep my nails painted for a week -- a nice dinner was the prize. But prior to my winning I had (yet another) an episode of cellulitis which ended up with me in the ER and overnight for observation. I guarantee I got the most attention of anyone in the ER that day/night! That time I had 4 black nails and one orange one on each hand for Hallowe'en! What fun!

    I've always had the attitude of, "In for a dime, in for a dollar". Once I'm committed I just ignore whatever is going on around me and I stay focused on "Mikki". I've had several more salons and one last one after my beloved salon went out of business -- that last one was not very good. After that I sat down with a MAC cosmetics artist and found out about their makeover service. Then I went back to a hair stylist who has a one-transwoman shop but doesn't do makeup services. I get my hair done there and then drive to the ULTA/Mac shop for the makeover. I've done this three times now.

    In every place I've been treated with great courtesy, and respect. Unlike Stana, they always knew I was a femulator (I'm so jealous, Stana!). The only raised eyebrow I ever got was when I had a man doing my nails for an event. I don't think he was comfortable and the job he did wasn't as good as other ladies in the nail shop had done. But that's one out of, what, 15-20 such adventures. And it's always fun when the people make a fuss over you -- the best "fuss" was in a nail salon! Not bad!

    I can't emphasize too much the great job the MAC artists do. I've always left there looking absolutely great! And the cost for an hour or so of their time is the purchase of $60 of MAC cosmetics! I see Sephora charges $60 for their makeover. I think MAC has the best deal. Two weeks ago I did have to wait while the artist did a girl's prom makeup, which was a treat to see him in action. Him?? Yes, and he's a part-time drag queen in the evenings! How good is that?? For all you ladies who haven't experienced the thrill of a makeover, what's keeping you? You may have "nerves" prior to going, but the way you'll feel afterwards is "priceless".

    1. I never paid for a makeover at Sephora. I believe their policy was if you bought some products that they sold, the makeover was "free" and I always bought some of the products used for my makeovers.

    2. The Sephora website is far from clear about how people "pay" for a makeover. I would hope their policy is similar to MAC's. Regardless of who does it, sitting in the chair being pampered with a lovely makeover is such a special event. Give it a go, ladies!

  4. I tried to consider all three ladies as femulators, what with the big, square jaw on the shorter lady. But the reflection of her nice, round butt and hips, along with her smaller size has led me to the same conclusion as the other girls, 2 and 1 -- no, yes and yes! On the other hand, I've known some petite femulators who defy detection, but I'm still going with 2 and 1.

  5. I have had more salon visits than I can count. I have had my hair styled in a feminine cut, multiple makeovers with makeup professionals and at MAC stores, manicures, pedicures, facials and even a massage. Only once or twice did I disclose I was trans when requesting the appointment (frankly, only when going to a high-end salon, where I was getting multiple services performed at once and when I got the massage -- I wanted the salon to be able to opt out). In all these different settings and situations (easily more than 30 so far), I have been turned down for services only once. It was for a makeover at a very "posh" salon. The owner was very nice about it and referred me to another service provider. I think was concerned about how her other high end clientele would react, since she had never seen me. Other than that one occasion, I have never been turned away or treated as anything but a lady, and I have been served by both male and female providers. It probably helps that I tip well! One nail tech from Southeast Asia at a salon I used to visit regularly in London liked to hit on me, always asking me if I had a boyfriend. I repeatedly reminded him that I was married and showed him my ring. One nail tech from Russia told me that I reminded her of her aunt back home (she must have had a masculine-looking mother!). One hair stylist during Covid said she thought I was cis -- until I took off my mask (hah -- beware the masked transgender person!). Every time, I simply chatted away with the tech and enjoyed my time out. I should also say that I have gotten my hair styled in a feminine style, manicures and pedicures with polish and facials while in male mode too -- equally pleasant. So, there is no excuse ladies. Get out there and enjoy being pampered.

  6. I have had one makeover at MAC and although the results were great it seemed a bit pointless as I had to arrive in bare minimum makeup anyway. Pedicures are a far better experience!

  7. I'm saying three femulators...I hope I'm right! Never been to a salon, unfortunately.

    1. This is more to Stana: So what's the answer to your question? Curious ladies want to know!

    2. My "expert" opinion is that all three are femulators because all three appear to be wearing wigs.

    3. Perhaps the wig was used to throw us off! I looked for other hints, like the nice rounded figure reflected in the mirror and a hand that's much smaller than the femulator beside her. That's how I got by that large chin! But this is a fun exercise! I love those YouTube quizzes of 'male/female??" photos, but I haven't had any of them pop up in YouTube for a long time.

  8. AnonymousMay 13, 2022

    I have several spa procedures done on a semi-regular basis. Been getting pedicures for 12+ years. It was about every two weeks pre-pandemic and now it about once a month. Today just so happened to be a pedi day, got blue with yellow French tips (Ukrainian colors). I'm a regular and have a "slot" reserve for me, which is good since they are not taking any new clients.
    Also pre-pandemic I was getting gel manicures (10 years +) every two weeks. My nail artist was always up for a new design and would do a famous job. But she moved back home when the pandemic started and I haven't had colored fingernails for about two years. Miss them.
    I get my brows waxed every 3-4 months, my legs waxed 3-4 times during the winter, and just started getting a Brazilian. I have pre-paid plans for all three.

  9. Diane SmithMay 13, 2022

    I have had countless makeovers over the last 25 years, at upscale salons, specialized transformation studios, and stores like Sephora, Ulta, MAC and Merle Norman. The results depend more on the skill of the specific artist than the name on the door. I've never been turned away, and found that most of the MUAs are enthusiastic, sometimes even giddy, about working with "us." Once or twice they seemed distracted or uninvolved, but I always thought that was due to the personality of the artist or their own life circumstances that day, not a reflection of their attitude toward working with me. The best work has typically come from the MAC stores or the wonderful Transformations by Rori in the Chicago area, but the Merle Norman girls (they tend to be a little younger and perhaps a bit less experienced/jaded than at the other chains) were a lot of fun too. I am always upfront about my status when making the appointments so they will know what to expect.

    Now hair and nails, well, that's really my weakness. I get my hair done every four weeks, manicures every two weeks, pedicures every four. I've been seeing the same stylists in traditional salons for years now, and they all know to treat me just like any female client. I always wear long, colored and feminine styled hair and long acrylic nails, with colored polish most of the time now. I haven't switched providers in quite a while at this point, but have never found any shortage of hair stylists and nail technicians willing to work with me. I am not their only trans client in any case. I typically go to these standing appointments in my usual in-between mode, with boy clothes on the outside, but a bit of makeup and jewelry as well as my ever-present heels. I go so often that it's really too much trouble to get fully dressed and made up for every appointment, but occasionally I'll surprise them in a dress or skirt, stockings, boobs and makeup.

    When I was first starting out at this about 25 years ago, I called about a dozen salons looking for a nail tech. Out of all the calls I made, all said they would help me, one (which I chose) was more enthusiastic than the rest, and only one other, which I dropped from consideration, expressed just a little bit of hesitation before saying yes. My conclusion was that most makeup artists, hair stylists and nail technicians are pretty happy to work with us and actually enjoy the special challenge of making us look good. Don't hesitate to make the call (or a few) looking for an appointment, and always make a good impression by showing up on time, knowing what you expect from the session, paying full price, and tipping well. You'll look fabulous and, if all goes well, make some friends in the process.

  10. AnonymousMay 14, 2022

    I go regularly to a local salon. I'm always addressed as Madame (I live in Brussels and speak French). As well as epilations and regular pedicures, I've had facials and, a couple of times a relaxing massage, requiring being undressed to knickers and bra. To do my back, the beautician asked whether she could undo my bra. Lovely experience.
    Never any problems.
    I've also had a MAC makeover, expensive but completely offset by purchases .


  11. Sissy RachelMay 14, 2022

    My wife Miss Kirsty replaced me in the bedroom with her female partner Miss Katharine who owns a number of beauty salons. I have been trained to work in her salon firstly on reception then as a nail technician and now as a makeup artist. It is a dream job for me and one I take great pride in. My clients know that I am a Sissy which they love to chat to me about. I get lots of compliments on both my appearance and my work. I am so great full to Miss Katharine for training me and accepting me as the Sissy I am

  12. Rachel McNeillMay 14, 2022

    Rachel is a regular at my local spa. I have my brows waxed and tinted and get occasional pedicures. I've given up on manicures, because they only last a week or so. I recently tried Color Street peel-off nail polish (NFI) and think they look promising. Once in a while, before an important event where I want to look my best, I'll splurge and have my makeup professionally done.

    My hair-dresser is used to seeing either Brian or Rachel show-up on appointment day.

  13. AnonymousMay 15, 2022

    The salon appears to be one of the "rites of passage" as some one goes deeper into female mode

  14. AnonymousMay 16, 2022

    Stana - I'm surprise that you still shave your legs, especially after you wrote how your osteoarthritis makes this hard.
    We are probably about the same age. I have been waxing for about 8 years. First, I HATE stubble and waxing avoids the stubble. Second, over time the hairs on my legs have thinned, both in numbers are in size. The once thick dark hairs are now sparse and blond in color.
    After the first few times the pain (pain = beauty?) of having your hairs pulled out is minimal except for a few tender spots. And those are getting better as well.
    So I would suggest you give it a try. I think you will be presently surprise by the results.