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Showing posts with label Beauty. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Beauty. Show all posts

October 24, 2012

Skin Care and Makeup Application for Transgender Women

Skin Care and Makeup Application for Transgender Women

A concise, step by step how to guide and tutorial on skin care and makeup application for transsexual and  transgender women. 


Quite awhile ago I wrote a blog post on skin care for transgender women, however, that post was brief and did not include makeup application. Afterwards, I have been asked many questions from other transgender women on how to do makeup, etc, so have decided to expand on that and create this how to article for transsexual & other transgender women on skin care and makeup application. I myself am a transsexual and although I am no expert in skin care nor makeup application, I am out and living my life on a full time basis as a woman and have the practical knowledge and experience, so, I wish to share my knowledge with others whom are recently discovering their gender identity or exploring it, or for anyone else interested in makeup application and skin care.

 Although I'm not a professional makeup artist, I have spent the time necessary to learn and acquire the skills required in order to successfully transform my appearance to be the beautiful woman I am on the inside.  The above photo illustrates three different looks and yes, all three images are of me.

Getting a Smooth and Soft Face

Preparing Your Face for Makeup Application

Unlike natal females, the transgender woman must shave facial hair on a daily basis until permanent hair removal is achieved through either electrolysis or laser hair removal. To some, it's a known fact that female skin is much softer than male skin, but also, male skin is much more porous, something that needs to be dealt with in order to look good with makeup on since male pores are larger. As a transgender woman whom presents her self as female on a daily basis, it is very important that I take care of my facial skin and daily shaving can take its toll on the skin if not taken care of properly.
  1. Take a hot shower before shaving. The steam and heat from the hot water will open up your pores for deeper cleaning and this will also soften your skin and facial hair, making for a better and closer shave.
  2. Exfoliate in the shower with a facial scrub. While all your facial pores are open, take advantage of this and scrub your face with an exfoliating facial scrub. This will remove any dead skin cells, help prevent ingrown hairs, unclogs your pores and removes dirt, oil, old makeup, etc. It also doubles up as a facial skin massage.. Always massage upward, although you want to exfoliate in all directions, it helps to massage your skin upward. Exfoliating daily will help your facial skin look new and fresh.
  3. Shave. Make sure you do not dry your face prior to shaving. Apply your shaving cream in a circular motion, rubbing it in and wait at least a minute prior to shaving so that the cream can do its job on your facial hair. Using a stiff shaving brush is better, since the bristles will stimulate the facial hairs and get the shaving gel or cream into the hair follicles. For best results, you'll want to use a new blade and shave in the direction of the hair growth, usually downward. however, shaving against the growth can help achieve a closer shave, it may cause nics, bumps or ingrown hairs on some people.
  4. Rinse your face. After you finish shaving, rinse your face first in hot water. You want to open your pores and wash out any traces of shaving cream and loose hairs. Afterwards, rinse again, this time with VERY COLD water. You want to close up all your pores. Make sure you get your entire face. Your goal is to have smooth looking skin, so it is very important to close up all your pores and the cold water will do this. This also helps to prevent shaving bumps and ingrown hairs. DO NOT WIPE DRY.. Always PAT.
  5. Apply aftershave. You want to use a skin conditioning aftershave with aloe to condition your skin after shaving to prevent shaving bumps, redness and irritation, etc. Massage your face in an upward circular motion.
  6. Wait 10 minutes and apply Witch Hazel. After you're done waiting for the aftershave to do its job, you'll want to apply some Witch Hazel to your face. This acts as an astringent and will tightly close all your pores so that your skin appears smoother and will further relieve any remaining irritation as well as heal any skin issues. You do not want your pores to be open when you apply your makeup.
  7. Apply moisturizer. Apply a skin conditioning moisturizer all over your face. You can not skip this step since the last step will dry your skin if left unmoisturized, plus, daily makeup use will dry your skin, so, it is important that you use moisturizer daily. One with aloe will help prevent shaving bumps and you'll want one with vitamin E also since vitamin E is beneficial to skin. I my self use one that also contains collagen. Again, you want to massage in an upward circular motion. Choose a moisturizer that is correct for your skin type if you have very dry or oily skin
Your skin is now smooth and better prepared for makeup application

Getting the Face Ready for Foundation

Before you apply your foundation, you should first follow these steps.

Now that your face is clean, smooth and free of facial hair, you're now ready to begin applying your makeup. One common misconception among transgender women and crossdressers is that they can start off by applying foundation, however, because male skin is more porous, one must use a transparent facial primer. Think of makeup application much like painting, since makeup application is an art form, and you are actually painting your face. But, would you paint a house without first applying a primer? A facial makeup primer prepares the face for better adhesion of the makeup products, plus it fills in the pores as well as small lines and wrinkles, etc.. A facial primer creates a smoother looking face and if you do not use a facial makeup primer, the foundation will fill your pores. A makeup primer fills the pores so that this does not happen. The primer acts as a barrier between the makeup and your skin. Apply the primer to your face the same way you would your moisturizer, rubbing it into your skin in a circular motion. Make sure you do your entire face and down your neck to fill in all those facial hair follicles. You will now have a softer, smoother, younger looking and more feminine appearance after applying the primer and are now ready to begin applying your makeup, however, you're still not ready to put on your foundation. color correcting concealer paletteBefore you're ready to apply foundation, you must first fix any skin imperfections and take care of covering up the beard area. You will need a color correcting concealer palette. The use of concealers hides any complexion flaws you may have. The yellow concealer corrects under-eye circles, covers deep reds and purples, the green concealer hides redness, soft orange neutralizes blue tones, such as the bluish tint of facial hair follicles and the beard area, however, beard coverup will be covered in the next step, and the flesh tones will blend away dark tones and minor imperfections. You will want to use a makeup brush to apply your concealers, and blend them into your skin with the brush, or your fingertips.

Paula Dorf Special CamouflageOnce you're finished with the concealers, the next thing you'll want to do before applying your foundation is to coverup your beard area. I myself achieve this by using Paula Dorf Special Camouflage although the color correcting concealer palette linked above contains a soft orange blue neutralizer adequate for beard coverup, the Paula Dorf Special Camouflage does a better job, is lighter in texture and color and is in my opinion, a superior and more effective product since the peach toned blue neutralizer contained in this color corrector duo actually blends into a natural skin tone and is more easily covered up with foundation after it is applied. It only takes a small amount of Paula Dorf Special Camouflage to coverup the average beard area, since this product is not a coverup, but a blue neutralizer. A males beard area has a blue tint and this blue neutralizer gets rid of that blue tone by chemically neutralizing the tone rather than covering it up with a skin toned layer of some other makeup product. Paula Dorf Special Camouflage is best applied with a small makeup brush by stippling it onto the areas needed. Stippling means you will be taking your brush and repeatedly stabbing dots onto your face until the blue neutralizer is completely blended and over the necessary areas to create a natural looking and seamless, soft finish. Your face is now ready for foundation.

Applying Foundation

How to apply foundation.

Now that your face is ready, the next thing you'll need to do is apply your foundation. You want to choose a foundation that is correct for your skin tone. For a how to on choosing the correct foundation and determining which color is right for you, check out the article Finding The Perfect Foundation...Your Face Will Love You For It! You can also visit a reputable cosmetics dealer and request a color matching consultation from a makeup artist. Many retailers will do this free of charge if you're buying products from them. You will find makeup artists available at retailers such as Sephora, MAC, Macy's and more. Rather than attempt writing up a how to apply foundation, I decided to include a video how to by popular celebrity drag queen Serenity Lopez on how to apply foundation since it is better to see the process in action and how it is done rather than leaving words up for interpretation.

How to Apply Foundation

Video by Serenity Lopez


Finishing Your Face After Foundation

Getting a smooth and shine free finish that lasts

Now that your foundation has been applied, you'll want to apply a bronzer that's slightly darker than your foundation. The bronzer will conceal any concealers that appear through your foundation since the foundation is matched to your skin and will not necessarily cover up the concealers or beard coverups beneath if your skin color or tone is light like ivory. Those with dark skin tones can skip this step if they wish. Bronzer is and can also be used for contouring, but I won't be getting into contouring as it's rather difficult to explain via written word and better learned from watching via videos on YouTube. You can also learn contouring by getting a makeup application lesson from a reputable makeup artist in your area. After you finish applying your bronzer and/or any contouring you wish to do, you will next want to apply your blush. It's a very common misconception among transgender women and crossdressers that blush is applied in a circle upon the cheek bones, however, this is incorrect and looks terrible. Cheek bones on a genetically male face are higher than that of a natal female, and the blush applied in a circle upon your cheekbone will draw unwanted attention to this part of your face, causing you to be a more likely candidate for further scrutiny and likely to be discovered as being "male" instead of female. Your goal here is to draw attention to other areas, and appear female, therefore, your blush should be applied in a line at an angle along your "smile line" and blended in away from your cheeks causing your face to appear thinner. Start a little below your temple and stroke your brush downward at an angle towards the corner of your lip, stopping about half an inch away, then blend the blush to the side, AWAY from your cheeks, not into them. After completing these steps, you'll now need to apply a translucent setting powder. This will set the makeup so that it will remain on your face all day and will prevent the various products from caking and will also blend them all, remove any shine and make your face appear more natural and smooth. You're now ready to apply your eye makeup and lipstick, however, I will not be writing a tutorial on these as you'll better learn from any of the various how to videos available on YouTube.

Also to consider in your quest to learn makeup application, consider purchasing the following two books, both of which I have read and studied and do recommend highly.

MAKING FACES
Making Faces by Kevyn Aucoin

Making Faces by Kevyn Aucoin.


America's preeminent makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin shares his secrets, explaining not only the basics of makeup application and technique but also how to use the fundamentals to create a wide range of different looks. 200 color photos & sketches.

Kevyn Aucoin's faces appear in editorial features, fashion shows, music videos, and advertising campaigns as well as on the covers of virtually every major magazine, and he's be e Ad a guest on many television programs, including Oprah, the Today show, Good Morning America, VH-I's Fashion Television, MTV's House of Style and Entertainment Tonight. His client roster reads like a Who's Who of the entertainment world's elite: This list includes all of the women who appear in this book, as well as Sharon Stone, Whitney Houston, Linda Evangelista, Mary Tyler Moore, Cindy Crawford, Elizabeth Hurley and Bette Midler, among many, many others. Along with the numerous accolades he has received is a special award from the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America), the first and only time such an honor has been bestowed on a makeup artist. The author of the bestselling book The Art of Makeup.

Jemma Kidd Make-up Masterclass: Beauty Bible of Professional Techniques and Wearable Looks 

Jemma Kidd Make-up Masterclass: Beauty Bible of Professional Techniques and Wearable Looks

Jemma Kidd Make-up Masterclass

Millions of women throughout the world wear make-up, but few of them have been taught how to apply it.” This is what inspired leading international make-up artist Jemma Kidd’s vision for her make-up school, product line, and now book, which aims to teach a new generation of women how to use the latest and best techniques.

Jemma Kidd Make-Up Masterclass is a glamorous, contemporary yet timeless book that demystifies the art of make-up and shows women how to enhance their best features and feel confident in their appearance, whatever your age or lifestyle. Beautifully photographed and designed, it offers expert advice in an accessible format: informative text is broken down into bite-size chunks, with tips, insider secrets, and practical stepby- step instructions for fail-safe techniques to maximize natural beauty.
While sharing insights into her life in the beauty industry and a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the preparation that goes on before a show or a photo shoot, Jemma explains how she works with the latest trends to create new looks and color schemes, and shows how extreme looks can be adapted and toned down for everyday wear.

My Makeup Routine

 My Makeup Routine


A few people asked me about which makeup products I like the best or use the most, so, I decided to write this post sharing my usual makeup routine and the makeup products I use.



After showering and shaving, I start off by applying my favorite moisturizer, St. Ives Timeless Skin Collagen Elastin Facial Moisturizer. . It's very important to take care of your skin, and since makeup can dry out your skin, moisturizing your skin is a MUST.






Hard Candy Sheer Envy Skin Perfecting Primer . After the moisturizer sets, I apply my favorite makeup facial primer, Hard Candy Sheer Envy Skin Perfecting Primer. Using a facial primer is a must and I really love how this primer fills in fine lines and pores, giving my face a soft and smooth finish. My second choice for primer is NYC Smooth Skin Perfecting Primer although I only buy this when I can't get to the stores that carry Hard Candy or I'm low on cash since NYC brand makeup is really cheap and it gets the job done.. .. .. .. .. .
Graftobian HD Crème Foundation Corrector 1/4oz, Soft Orange Blue Neutralizer
Paula Dorf Special CamouflageAfter the primer sets, my face is now ready to begin applying makeup, but first, I start off by covering up facial hair shadow that remains after shaving. I start off this two step process with Graftobian HD Crème Foundation Corrector, Soft Orange Blue Neutralizer since it is inexpensive, comes in 1/4 oz container which lasts a very long time since very little is required. I simply stipple it lightly onto my beard area to cover up any visible bluish silver tint from facial hair follicles.

I then follow up with stippling on my preferred blue neutralizer, Paula Dorf Special Camouflage Blue Neutralizer, which in my opinion is superbly perfect as a beard coverup that perfectly matches and blends in with my natural skin tone, but, due to its cost and its .1 oz size, I use this two step process to make my Paula Dorf Special Camouflage last longer as well as to save money. It comes with yellow concealer, however, I only need the peach colored blue neutralizer and really wish Paula Dorf sold this portion as a single product rather than a duo as it is. My face is now ready for foundation, but because each persons skin tone and color is different, as well as skin type, what I use for foundation will likely be much different than what you need, so I'm not going to cover the various foundation products I use.


Rimmel Bronzer After finishing the foundation, the next makeup product I apply to my face is a bronzer. My favorite bronzer used to be NARS Laguna, but it is too expensive for me, although I do love it and because I can not afford it on a regular basis, I switched to cheaper drug store brands such as Rimmel Natural Bronzer Sun Bronze or Wet & Wild ColorIcon, both of which are very cheap and work just as well as the NARS brand, and also seem to last much longer too. I then apply blush, which I won't get into here because the brands and colors vary and I usually just buy the cheapest ones available in either the drug store, or even at the dollar store. It works good enough.

N.Y.C Translucent Loose Face Powder
I finish my face off with a generous application of N.Y.C Translucent Loose Face Powder which blends everything and gives my face a natural looking and flawless smooth finish. It sets the makeup, making it last all day, as well as reduces shine and prevents the makeup from caking. A word of caution though when using finishing powders, do not apply too much as it will make your face look dry and aged. Now that my face is finished, I complete my makeup with eye liner, eye shadow, mascara and lipstick. I won't cover these products since the ones I use vary to a great extent and I have TONS of these, many of which I still haven't even opened or used. There is no routine when it comes to lipstick nor eye shadow since I often change colors or brand used on any given day. although my favorite color combination tends to be white or light pink on upper lid and dark brown on my lower lid.