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A More Feminine Face

Techniques and Tips

by Ms. Chrissie
Editor-in-Chief of Reluctant Press

        It isn't only crossdressers who have problems like beard shadow: For centuries, women have had to hide excess facial hair and - sadly - bruises and similar dark marks, by using makeup.

        The steps involved are actually fairly simple, but you must follow them carefully. You must also practice them regularly. Applying makeup is just like everything else in that practice makes perfect.

       To begin with, you will need to accumulate the following supplies. I'm going to be brand-specific because I want you to get the right thing, but what you do with the information is up to you.

Finally, a disclaimer and warning: If you haven't tried cosmetics before, there is a very small chance you might be allergic to some of these products. Use them at your own risk. Likewise, if you get caught by someone you didn't want to know about this, that is your problem too. I'm just passing along information from a real makeup artist for you to do with as you will. For those of you afraid to go to a makeup counter, there are several makeup sites online, although the selection tends to be limited and heavily weighted towards the most expensive products. Sites include drugstore.com and beauty.com

Here's what you'll need:

  1. Concealer. I recommend DermaBlend, which normally can be found at  JC Penny stores (their official outlet), The Bon, or at better cosmetic stores everywhere. If you don't find it in your local store (or you are worried about buying makeup at a counter), go to dermablend.com - they just recently added online ordering as an option. Dermablend comes in "Chroma" numbers --  Chroma 1 is a light rosy beige, Chroma 1.25 is a medium beige. The series then starts again through the "yellow" beiges:  Chroma 2 is called "True Beige."  The Chroma 3 series would cover moderately dark ethnic persons and those with olive complexions. The Chroma 4 series covers darker skin tones.

  2. Cheap RED Lipstick. You won't be using this on your lips. A good one is "Wet And Wild" in the shade "535A." You can see the displays of Wet and Wild lipsticks in little racks at the ends of cosmetic aisles in most drug stores. The reason you want to pick a cheap brand is because you want to avoid one with a lot of moisturizer or other surfactants that might keep the surface wet or greasy looking. You'll see why in a minute...

  3. Foundation. I have a few choices you might want to consider:
    • Almay Moisture Tint Sports Formula. This only comes in two shades ("Light" will work for most of you) but it has the advantage of being sweat-proof. Scrubs off with soap and water. This is the one I use most. You can order this item online by clicking here
    • Revlon ColorStay. This stuff really has staying power. Once it dries (in about 60 seconds) it won't come off till you scrub it off with facial cleanser.
    • Max Factor Lasting Performance. This is fairly opaque and tends to stay on well.
    • Revlon's Ultimate II Ultimate Coverage. This is the most opaque of all the items in this list and is recommended for problem faces.

  4. Loose Face Powder. Almay Loose powder, Coty "Translucent Medium" or L'Oreal "Translucide" will work for most of you. Be sure to pick up a good powder brush, too! :)

  5. Max Factor "Pan Stik." Some of you will need this. We will use this if you have a serious problem with dark facial hair shadows even after shaving.

  6. A nice Lipstick (this one is for your lips).

        Once you have assembled your supplies, we can get started!

  • Start with a clean-shaven face. I know that should go without saying, but it is very important. Use a good double bladed razor like Gillette Sensor Excel. If you are using an electric, it is time to convert!
    1. Wet face thoroughly. Use the hottest water you can stand. (Without hurting yourself, of course!)
    2. Apply ivory soap  and use a facial scrub sponge (the rough side) to loosen hairs. Some people use a plastic dish scrubby, even. Just don't injure your face and remember everything you do is at your own risk.
    3. Use a good Gel shave cream and shave carefully.
    4. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry.

  • Make sure your face is completely dry. If necessary, use an astringent such as Witch Hazel to make sure you have removed all oils from the surface of your face. You can use SeaBreeze but it burns...most astringents will. Witch Hazel is weak enough that most people can handle it.

  • Start with your concealer. Put a few dabs on your cheek and blend thoroughly with your fingers, using circular strokes. This, as with all makeup items, should be a thin coating. Continue to cover the entire beard area in this same manner - one section of face at a time. Like every technique you see here, this takes practice.. lots of practice.

  • Take the cheap lipstick ("Wet and Wild" or other crappy brand) and dot your face lightly over the beard area. It will look a little like a case of the measles. Blend this into the Concealer with your fingers. When done, you should have a very slight sunburned look to your face over the beard area. If it is too red then you overdid it and will need to put a bit more concealer on to even out the color. This is not a joke. The secret is that the red of the lipstick cancels out the bluishness of beard shadow. Women have used this trick to hide bruises and such for many many years. It works. Lightly brush some loose powder over the beard area.

  • (Optional). Pan Stik. If you have a bad problem with blue shadows even after shaving, you will want to apply Pan Stik at this point. Make several streaks with the stick over your beard area and blend with your fingers to an even coloration. If you use this step, you will now need to wait about 5 minutes for the Pan Stik to "set" before moving on to the next step. You'll probably need to wait a couple of minutes, use some loose powder, and then wait a couple of more minutes before moving on.  If you look okay without this step, by all means skip it and go directly to applying foundation. The last thing you need is too much makeup!

    At this point you shouldn't have any blueness from your beard showing through. If not, keep working at it, it just takes some practice.

  • Apply liquid foundation. Make  sure the previous layer has "set" first. (That usually takes 5 minutes or so). Again, dot lightly on one section of your face and blend with your fingers to obtain an even color. Don't overdo it. This will give your skin an even, natural tone... assuming you selected the right shade to start with. Wait a few minutes for your foundation to set before proceeding.

  • Apply loose powder. Powder takes off the shine from your skin and "locks in" the makeup you have applied. Do NOT omit this step! Dot powder on your face with powder brush and blend in to an even texture.

  • Apply lipstick to your lips according to your desires.

  • At this point you may choose to apply mascara, shadow, or whatever you enjoy. We may get into these details at a later date. There are some interesting tricks to make your nose and chin look smaller, etc. If I hear from enough of you I'll write more!

       There you have it! You now know how to make yourself more beautiful, and more feminine! This is the "bare-bones" of getting a feminine-appearing face. If you don't get it right the first time just remember that you will get better with practice. It will work once you get the hang of it.  - Ms. Chrissie


***** NOTICE *****

The makeup tips and tricks found on this site were previously published in our monthly newsletter and are Copyright © 1996-2003 to MS. CHRISSIE - All Rights Reserved.
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