Makeup can be fun or a burden. Some crossdressers use makeup strictly for the end result, while others find using makeup to be the end result, the sheer enjoyment of the applying, as an artist might enjoy painting just to paint. I like to get the makeup on and get out, but often I get caught up in the artistry and end up spending an extra hour on final touches. My record time is 15 minutes and slowest is about 2½ hours. I will attempt to describe the basics to the beginner. For the individual comfortable with the method of application, I will have additional sections with more detail and some photos.
The steps below are presented as a guideline and are subjective. My order of importance would be beard concealer and foundation, eyes, lips and misc. Faces are different so experiment to find out what works best for you.
I like to work in the following order: Eye lashes, moisturizer, foundation, under-eye concealer, beard concealer, eye brows, eye shadow, eye liner, contouring, mascara, liquid makeup, lips, translucent powder, blush. Glitter, when used, is applied last.
Before the makeup
The individual who is really serious about being transgendered, and is able to make changes, knows that far more important than the makeup is the facial preparation. The face is the canvas, and the better the canvas, the better the painting. Facial structure can be changed with plastic surgery. Short of surgery, hair removal is the next major benefit. Once facial hair is removed, the skin becomes smoother. Various other treatments, such as chemical peels, IPL microdermabrasion, laser resurfacing, deep radio wave treatment, hormones, and a few others can improve the complexion. Lotions and sunscreens are important and the simplest step to obtaining smoother skin. Anything that is done to help is a race against time and eventually time will win, but in the meantime, who says we can't have some enjoyment?
I think the most important feminizing feature of the face is the smile. If one can afford to fix anything, whiten the teeth and straighten if needed. Note this recent quote from a health and beauty magazine; "88% of adults think that an unattractive smile makes a person less appealing to the opposite sex."
Another important area of the face is the eyebrows, which usually need thinning and shaping. Taking care of this area can make a vast improvement in appearance of some individuals. This can be accomplished over an extended period of time, and others will not notice the change.
Although not much can be done with the neck(adam's apple), short of surgery, lotions will help some. Dresses with high necklines, such as turtlenecks, and scarves can hide the adam's apple. Low cut dresses and jewelry that hangs down will draw the eye away from the neck, as will slightly bolder makeup.
Eyelashes are my substitute for mascara. I have found them easier to apply. For a more dramatic look, select heavier lashes. Many people have trouble with lashes, so here are some suggestions. Although this sounds time consuming, using this method, a set of lashes can be applied in 2 minutes and will stay on all day and evening.
Buy wisp lashes with a clear band and spacing between the lashes; this allows the lash to bend easier. Remember what you buy, because if it works for you, keep buying the same to KISS (Keep It Simple Sweetheart). Buy lash adhesive; it comes in small tubes. I haven't noticed much difference in brands, but I've been using Andrea®.
Preparation: Remove the lash from the container ahead of time. When they are new, lashes are glued to the container and difficult to remove when in a hurry. Take your time, because if the individual lashes are moved on the band, it is nearly impossible to get them back where they belong. Start at one end and pry up slowly. If an end lash or two are messed up, they can be cut off because the band is usually longer than needed. Many people do not extend the lashband all the way to the inside corner of the eye. Play with this to see what's more aesthetic on your eyes. But do extend the lashband almost all the way to the outside corner of the eye.
Position the band along natural lashes to see where the lash will start and end. If the lashes you purchased are longer on one end of the lash and shorter on the other, the longest lashes should be placed to the outside corner almost to the outer corner of the eye. Pay attention to where the inner part of the band ends because this is the point to start at during final application. Reread that last sentence; it's important. Place back in the container and they're ready when needed.
Application: Place a small drop of adhesive on the container. Remove a lash. Hold by the long hairs and drag band lightly through the adhesive, then drag the band over the container edge to wipe off excess adhesive. The adhesive on the band should run the full length and be slightly thicker than the band thickness. If adhesive gets on the lashes push excess back to the band. Remember: the longest lashes go to the outside of the eye. Close your eye almost all the way. Place the band on the lash line at the predetermined (paragraph above) starting point (inner edge toward nose) and press lightly into place. If your fingers are too large, use the handle of a small makeup brush or some similar non-pointy object. After secure (about 4 to 5 seconds), drape remainder of lash along lash line and press lightly into place allowing a few seconds for the glue to adhere.
Troubleshooting: If there are any spots along the lash line where the adhesive has not adhered, try pressing and holding. Once a lash is pressed into place, repositioned lash usually will not adhere without re-glueing. If a complete bond is not obtained, the lash has a good chance of working loose later in the evening. So, for the beginner, it is best just to start over. After a little experience, a loose lash can be adhered by placing a little glue on the corner of a small piece of paper or cardboard and gently applying the adhesive to the band. I like to start with lashes first, because other makeup will not interfere with the bonding. If the Lash isn't perfectly straight fill in with eyeliner after the adhesive has dried. If your own lashes show and are a different color, apply some marcara.
I have been experimenting with mascara (now that my lashes are growing) and have found some satifactory results.
My first step it to wash the face then use a toner to exfoliate. Apply to the entire face except where the lashes were just applied.
Apply foundation to the muzzle area first. Press in with a makeup sponge. Depending on one's skin, age, and beard growth, the foundation should be applied where needed to cover up the rougher areas or where beard growth may show through. Select a shade near your own skin tone.
While the foundation is drying, apply concealer under the eyes. Also apply over any dark blemishes and blend with surrounding area. Concealer comes in various forms; pick a color slightly lighter than your skin tone and that has a yellow tint. The yellow will help to neutralize the purple dark areas.
Lightly apply orange lip stick or beard concealer or camouflage crème (available at costume stores and from professional makeup artists) to the beard area that was just covered up with foundation. If there is a hint of blue beard showing through, apply more concealer. The orange color will help to cancel the beard color that may otherwise show through during an evening out. Blend into surrounding areas using a makeup sponge.
If your eyebrows are full, skip this part. If you're lucky and have thin brows or are able to pluck your brows, lightly color and shape with an eyebrow pencil and go over them with a stiff brow brush to blend so a pencil line is not seen. Brown is usually best color to use unless you have olive or darker skin. Brows can be covered up with face puddy and then redrawn, but to do this is a lot of work and time.
Apply some translucent or foundation powder to the eyelids and brush off excess. This will help the eye shadow go on easier. Apply a light shadow to the entire area from eye to eyebrow. From the outer corner of the eye to the outer edge of the eyebrow, apply a darker shade of eye shadow and bring in 1/3rd directly above the eye (as shown).
It is best to use a magnifying mirror when applying makeup and especially eyeliner. Use liquid with fine line brush and start at the inner upper edge of the eye. Slowly bring the tip over the lash line and out to the outer edge of the eye. This may overlap the base of your false eyelashes. Use a water-base liner as it is easier to correct any mistakes and easier to remove at the end of the evening. Use liquid liner or pencil on the lower lash. Try highlighting only the outer third of the lower lash to make eye appear larger. Do not make this area too dark for daytime use.
See contouring page.
If false eyelashes are used, mascara is not necessary for upper lashes, but can still be used to blend lighter lashes with the false lashes; also can be used to show off the lower lashes.
Apply liquid makeup lightly with fingers or sponge, start on nose and spread outward under eyes and onto temple. Next apply under nose and spread out and up toward temple. Then apply on chin and spread out and up along jaw line. Go back over entire area with a sponge, blending the makeup out and up, then use sponge to wipe over brow starting at bridge of nose. There should be enough makeup in the sponge without having to add more. Finally take the sponge and, at chin line, repeatedly drag the sponge down on to the neck to blend.
If you use the newer 8-hour lip stains, lip liner is not necessary. Just follow natural contour of lips with applicator and go back to shape as desired. It is not necessary to extend beyond the natural contour unless one's lips are vary narrow. For fuller looking lips, use a lip liner first. Make sure the pencil is sharp. The outline should be symmetrical before it is filled in. If lip liner and regular lipstick are used, start with the lip liner, applying dots at the upper points of the upper lip and at the dip. From the upper points, drop straight down to the bottom of the lower lip and apply two more dots. Two more dots can be applied to the outer corner of the lips. Now connect all the dots with the lip liner and add further contouring if desired. Fill in the lips with lipstick and blot on a tissue, then reapply lipstick and re-blot.
My latest is to use a lip plumper (May or maynot work. My hopes are that it adds a bit and I can always use a bit more. Most the magazines are saying LipFusion is the best. Check out makeupalley.com for reviews on makeup) I put it on first to let it absorb for about half an hour while I do the rest of my makeup. I then use lip liners. a color that is a bit darker than my lips is used to difine the outer edges and color in the rest of the lips. Then I use a darker matching color and go over the outer edge again. If I plan on eating during the evening, I will need lipstick so I always take along a matching color lipstick.
Also known as "loose" powder, not a pressed compact. Use a large brush and apply loose translucent powder to the entire face brushing out and up. Be sure to blend in and brush off any excess. The purpose of this powder is not to add color, but to reduce shine and give a matte finish, so get as neutral a color as possible.
Locate your cheekbone and then the apple or point that protrudes furthest in front. Apply a thin line of blush from this point to the ears. Blend in with a large brush, stroke down and back. Apply the blush to the chin line and blend under the chin. Apply a lighter blush from the apple back and up along the cheekbone, then blend down and back over the dark blush. Use a very light blush or a pink face powder lightly over the rest of the face. For those in therir 5o's forget the apple and just apply to the cheekbone.
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