Make-Up For Transvestites

By sabine

Are there any of you transvestites out there who made a lot of efforts in picking an outfit that actually fits and watching your mannerisms only to find out that you weren't "passing" because of make-up that was either too elaborate or too trashy? Don't despair! Good make-up isn't rocket science, but it does require knowing a few things about the products you use. After all, women weren't born with it either.

Make sure you plan ahead and allow enough time to do it right. It can easily take an hour to apply your make-up, not including preparing your skin beforehand. Also make sure you use quality products. They may cost a little more, but you will usually find that they last longer and give better results. Establish a routine you will go through EVERY time you want to dress-up. You will be less likely to forget something along the way, and you will be calmer knowing you haven't, making your job easier. After all, aren't you doing this to have fun and relax?

Here is what I do when I go out at night. Six hours before I leave, I take a good shower and shave as closely as possible. If you will wear a sleeveless top or gown, remember to also shave your armpits. I then eat a light meal, avoiding alcohol, coffee and chocolate. Remember, you want to be as relaxed as possible to have a steady hand for what comes ahead. Four hours before I leave, I apply a good face cream. This protects your skin and makes the removal of the make-up easier. After that, I put on my nail polish: base, color, and top coat. This way, it has enough time to dry thoroughly before I do anything else. Next, a short nap to relax. Two hours before I leave, I apply my make-up, I comb my wig and put it on, and get dressed. This way, I do not have to hurry, which reduces the possibility of mistakes, and I am ready at the time I told others I would be. This routine works for me, but it doesn't mean you have to follow it exactly. Choose something you will be comfortable with, but do it the same way every time.

A good make-up starts by preparing your skin carefully. Wash your face thoroughly and rinse well. Shave as close as possible. Shaving under the shower has the advantage of opening the pores and softening your facial hair, making shaving easier. You may also choose to appy an exfollient mask for better results. Dirt prevents the foundation from covering well, and the closer the shave the easier it is to apply make-up.

Once your skin is clean, you should apply a good moisturizing cream. This will protect your skin from the drying effects of make-up and will make removal of the make-up easier later on. Do not skimp on quality and choose a moisturizing cream adapted to your skin type.

The next thing to do is to apply beard cover. You will find it at theatrical make-up stores and costume shops, but you can also use any product meant to cover dark circles under the eyes. Apply only a light coat. If you can still see a slight beard shadow, the foundation should blend it in. Now comes the time for foundation. You want to choose a color that is as close as possible to your natural skin tone. The best place to check this is the inside of your forearm, near the elbow crease. You should apply it lightly,from the center of the face outward. Unless you are going for a kewpie doll or japanese geisha look, too heavy an application will make it look unnatural. When you're done, wipe the foundation from the eyelid with a cotton swab.

To women's dismay, most men are blessed with long, thick eyelashes. Should you want to use false eyelashes, however, now is the time to put them on. Use a glue made specifically for this purpose, applying a thin bead all along the support strip. Position the false eyelashes right over your own, starting at the outside corner of the eye. Let the glue dry for two or three minutes before you go on.

Contrary to what many people believe, your eyeshadow should complement the color of your eyes, not that of your clothing. You need to apply it with long, even strokes. For a daytime look, apply a single color evenly from the base of the eyelashes to the eyelid crease. For an evening look, like going to a restaurant or a party, you can use a slightly lighter shade of the same color in the crease and feather it onto the eyelid. For a formal occasion, you can go as far as using three or four shades, applying the darkest near the eyelashes and the lightest between the crease and the eyebrows, feathering one shade onto the next.

Applying mascara is probably the easiest part of putting on make-up. Many professionals, however, apply it in three steps: upper lashes first, followed by the lower lashes. Wait for the mascara to dry (about fifteen seconds, time enough to do the other eye), then apply on the upper lashes again. This will tend to curl them a little more for a better effect. For a daytime look, do not put any mascara on the lower lashes.

Now is the time for eyeliner. ( I can see some people cringe at the thought.) It comes either as a liquid or a pencil: use the one you are most comfortable with. You apply it in a thin line, from a point just above the inner edge of the iris to the point where upper and lower eyelid meet. You may also want to widen the line a little at the outer edge. You can omit the eyeliner on a daytime look.

The eyebrow pencil is probably the most forgotten item of make-up. It is used to fill in the eyebrows. Use a color as close as possible to your natural shade, and apply it with short light strokes going in the same direction as your eyebrow hair grows. Many transvestites also use it to make the arch a little higher, but don 't overdo it if you want to keep it looking natural.

Now is the time to put a little light on your face. With a wide fan brush, apply blush just below the cheekbone and up towards the ear. People with light-colored skin will want to use a light shade of pink. Darker skin tones need a shade that is more a mix of pink and red.

Not many people have naturally perfect, well-defined lips. Defining the shape of your lips is the work of the lip liner. Find a shade just a little bit darker than the color of the lipstick. Trace the outline, then fill it in. Lip liner must be used for a formal look, but it can be left out for a daytime or evening look.

Your lipstick color should match that of your nail polish. You should choose them according to what you will wear: they should complement your clothes, not clash with them. Apply the lipstick just inside the outline of the lip liner, if you used it. If not, trace the outline carefully and fill in. Purse your lips, then check in the mirror to make sure you haven't put lipstick on your teeth.

All that is left is to apply translucent powder over everything. This will set everything in place and give you a healthy glow without making your skin look oily. Use the puff or sponge provided withn it.

The point of all this, naturally, is to go out in public, and no girl EVER goes out without a purse or bag. For touch-ups out of the house, you should carry powder and lipstick with you at all times.

The first few times you try to put on make-up, you may get mixed results. Don't give up. Practice makes perfect, as with many other things. Make sure you have a good mirror and some bright lighting; this will make your work easier. Practice as often as you can, and your looks will improve. You can also use those practice sessions to experiment. Play with eyeshadow colors, find out what goes well with your eyes, or not.

A good make-up remover is just as important as the make-up you use. Most make-up brands have a remover formulated especially for best results on their products. Some brands also have a milder version for the eye area. And, whether you go out or simply practice at home, make sure you remove your make-up before you go to bed, unless you plan on doing laundry the very next day. ( Please, do not ask how I know this.)

One important point to remember: cosmetics are PERSONAL care items. More importantly, because they come in contact with bodily fluids, mascara, eyeliner, lip liner, and lipstick, should NEVER be shared.

Do not hesitate to go to a cosmetics counter and ask for help or advice. You can always use the excuse that it is for your girlfriend, but most clerks will see through it. Tell them the truth, that it is for a costume party, and they will be able to guide you to products that will really be right for you and yous skin type. ( Hint: younger cosmeticians tend to be more open-minded.)

This is it, girlfriends! So, whenever the occasion arises, pick your clothes, go for it, and have fun!