Since my coming out, I have had the opportunity to do multiple photoshoots and makeovers. At these makeovers I learned a lot from the makeup artists about makeup. I love a natural look and want to share a bit more about my makeup routine.
My favorite brand is MAC cosmetics. Not only as their makeup is beautiful and applies very well. It is also because their staff in the stores are more than supporting for transgenders. Many times they have helped me wonderfully, independent whether I presented as male or female.
I always with a good shave and making sure my face it clean. Sometimes, if I don’t forget, I use a primer to make my skin ready for makeup.
I start with applying a orange or red lipstick to hide the five o’ clock shadow. Just placing some dots and blend it with a small sponge. The orange pigment counters the blue shadow and will allow for a more even color in your face. Then I start with applying a concealer. My favorite is Blue 1 from Make-Up Studio as it also has orange pigments that help cover the dark tones of the shadow better. After applying a thin first layer with a small sponge I use a transparent power to ‘set’ the makeup. Then I apply a normal concealer below my eyes. Again I use powder afterwards. I learned it is better to use multiple thin layers, than to apply one thick layer. Another tip I got is to use a bit of concealer on my ears and throat to avoid big transitions of color. I also use a bit of concealer on my eye lids, to even out the color.
I use a foundation to cover my full face and made sure to find the right color by going to a MAC store nearby. I have been to many of their stores and even in male mode they will help you find the perfect matching color.
Eyes & brows
When I am happy with the base, I move on to my eyes. My favorite eyeshadow palette is Mischief Minx. I feel it goes well with my brown/green eyes. There are a lot of great videos on youtube on different styles of applying eyeshadow. But independent I always start with a light colored pencil to highlight the brow at the lower outer end. It creates a nice light glow and opens my eye area. I also apply some of this pencil or even a white pencil on the inner corners of the eye to lighten up my eyes. With a soft brush I smoothen both areas out, to give a nice gradient.
I love smokey eyes, but suggest you look at one of the many videos online. The best advice I got wat to apply small amounts and work in layers as it gives you the option to correct it. If you have the opportunity, buy different brushes such that you can use different brushes for different colors. Larger soft brushes will help blend the colors, whereas smaller angled brushes will allow you to be precise, for example when it comes to the eyeliner. When I am happy with the eyeshadow, I start appling a dark liquid eyeliner on the top eye lids. Most of the time I start a bit out of the inner eye corner, but that is obviously up to preference. For the lower eyeline I use a thin angled brush and a grey or dark brown shadow. Using a brush and eye shadow or even a pencil makes the line a bit smoother and easier to blend. On the inside of the lower eyelid I often use a white pencil, which makes my eyes look bigger. Once I am happy I carefully apply some mascara.
Other than plucking them once in a while I am not doing a lot to my brows. I might brush them a bit, but most of the times I just leave them. There are ways to hide them using glue sticks and concealer, and then you can redraw them. It does make your face look more feminine, as masculine brows tend to be thick and closer to the eyes. Below an example where a makeup artist hid half of my brows and drew the outer part a bit higher.
To hide some of my, less favorite and more masculine features, like my jawline, nose, nose bridge, I use contouring powder. With a brush and the highligher, I highlight the top of my cheeks, top of my nose. and the area between my brows. I use a darker contouring color at the sides of my nose, to make it look thinner. Similarly I use this darker color on my jaw lines to make them look smoother and thinner. I also use this darker color to accentuate my cheek lines. Using red blush powder I create a light blush.
For my lips I always start with a lipliner pencil to draw slightly outside my normal lip line. This makes lips look more feminine, as women generally have fuller lips. I always draw a couple of vertical lines on my lips with the pencil, as it helps to blend the color with the lipstick. I am told it also helps to make the lipstick stick longer. After this I use a matching colored lipstick for my lips.
I have practiced enough to complete my makeup in 45 minutes without rushing. I hope you found this useful, and I can definitely recommend to watch a lot of youtube videos and practice. If you don’t like it, wipe it off and start again.