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     Starting out as a transgender woman can be very difficult. You're entering and entire new world full of hair, shoes, clothing and makeup. It can be overwhelming and put you off continuing. There is an old saying “How do you eat and elephant?” and of course the answer is one bit at a time. Here are a few bites about make up that might help you out with your transition, making life just that much easier.

      Foundation – Foundation, or base is the first step in putting on your makeup. Like making a perfect canvas for your painting, the foundation sets up the scene for everything else on your face. It is very important to get the shade right when choosing proper foundation. If you are not sure which shade to use than ask the beautician at your local drug or department store. They can be very helpful and after all, that is what they are there for! I know you're going to be nervous at first, I was. Take a friend to give you moral support. If you burn in the sun easily you are more likely to need a “warm tone” or pinker undertone. If you tan easily then you are most likely a “cool shade” or yellow undertone.

     Foundation or powder looks best on clean, moisturized skin. A face cloth is still the best thing for getting your pours nice a clean so don’t be afraid to use it! A natural skin toner like Witch Hazel can be used and is available at your local drugstore. It is very effective and lower priced then other beauty products.

     When applying foundation, moisturizer and/or powder always start in the center of your face and work your way out. You can try making a “t” on your face and then spreading it out all over in circles. This will help to stop the product from going into your hairline and too far down your neck. A sponge works best for this but if you use your fingertips make sure they are clean. Do not press to hard or you will get streaks.

      PowderPowder is used to set the foundation. You can use a sponge or a large brush for a nice smooth application. Remember start in the middle of your face and apply it in circles. Using a brush or sponge, place a small amount of powder over your eyelids as well. This will help your eye shadow from getting mixed in with the natural oils of your skin.

      Cheeks – Once you have selected your shade of blush, place it on a brush and make sure you blot the excess product off of the brush by tapping it over a Kleenex to avoid the build up of product on your cheeks. You can always add more if you wish. Now smile and where your cheeks are you spread the blush in circles lightly. The less the better to achieve the desired effect. If you are using bronze r then make a half-Circe from your cheek to your forehead. The brush a little on your nose and chin, this will give you that “sun kissed look” If you do not have any blush and It is an emergency then you can use lipstick for your blush. Just make sure the product is on the brush evenly and you apply it in circles just like you would a powder. Then place on a small amount of base powder to set the lipstick blush application.

      Lips - Gently apply your chosen shade of lipstick to your lips, applying just enough to cover your lips and don’t forget the corners. People can see the gap in your lipstick when you talk if you forget the corners. Fold a tissue in half and blot off the excess product from your lips. You can continue blotting until you have more like a “lip stain” effect however I would advise using lip gloss to add some moisture to your lips. You may also use lip liner to create a stronger definition if you want. A lip brush can really help to blend the lipstick and lip liner together well.

      Eyes – When applying eye shadow you may use a sponge tip applicator, a brush or a Q-tip, whichever you prefer. After selecting your tool make sure that you put on the product sparingly. You can always add more if you wish to bring out the look. It`s always easier to add a little more than it is to try to remove the shadow without smearing it all over the place. Normally you select a lighter shade to place over your eyelids up to the crease. This will help colors last longer on your eyes and it is often referred to as a “wash”. You can add definition by placing a slightly deeper shade into your crease. This can help create a very polished look to your makeup application. You find your crease by closing your eyes and gently running your finger upwards from your eyelash to your brow bone. The part that goes in after your eyeball is what is called the crease.

      Eyeliner – The point of eyeliner is to create a full looking lash line and its a good idea to select a shade that complements your eye color. A beautician can help you with this. You apply it with a flicker motion by dusting in-between your eyelashes. This motion helps to create a natural look instead of just drawing a straight line; which may end up being to dramatic. You can apply eyeliner to your bottom lashes if you choose however it`s not always necessary depending on the look you want.

      Mascara - Make sure you apply the mascara last so you don’t get eye shadow powder on it; this will help it stand out and not get covered by your other applications. Apply the mascara on both sides of your lashes (top and bottom) and wiggle down into the root of the lash line to get great definition. You can get away with no eyeliner if you get close enough to your lashes with the mascara, creating a nice natural defined look on its own.

      You can see how the little things done in steps can lead to a great makeup job. Take your time, practice a lot and you will soon find that you have a good idea how to do the makeup that is right for you. I hope some of these tips help you get started in your transition and takes away some of the mystery of makeup for transgender women.

The Transgender Handbook
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