Category Archives: Makeup

Tis The Season

To venture out once more that is.  Now that Fall has finally arrived in the south, I can finally continue working on the progress I had made at the end of Spring earlier this year.  This past Winter and Spring was full of several fun events to get me out of the house and enjoy the company of great friends and continue working on my goals.  But once Summer hit, it was time to pack away the wigs, heels, and take it easy for a while.  Needlessly to say this Summer was longer and hotter than usual and I’m happy to see the changing of the seasons upon us, and as with many women out there, this season is my favorite.  Yay Fall!

Since last Spring I had made a good friend, Shari, on Facebook who happened to live 30 min away from me and we simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity to meet face-to-face and get to know each other.  It definitely feels like the trans/genderfluid community in Memphis is smaller than what it looks like in other larger cities, but it’s a community I hope continues to grows over time.   Last weekend my wife and I had a chance to meet up with Shari over drinks and dinner in the hip Cooper-Young neighborhood of Memphis and spend some quality time together.  We started off by enjoying a couple of rounds of beer at my favorite pub, which I frequent quite often but this was the first time as Katie, and then we enjoyed some great food at a restaurant next door.

This particular meet up was a bit different than my other times out because it was a casual evening with my wife and a friend, and not a big event at night, like I’ve posted in the past.  This meant I needed to tone down my makeup look and try to wear something a bit more casual and appropriate for the occasion.  I tend to do a lot of bold makeup looks, which are more appropriate for a special event or a night out, not so much for something laid back during the afternoon.  So I kept the false lashes at home, toned down the eye makeup, and went with a subtler lip shade.  As for the outfit, I had found this Fall look on Pinterest and was obsessed with it, so I knew I had to wear this out before it got too cold to have bare legs, and with flats it was appropriate for the occasion.

It was a great evening with Shari, catching up, sharing stories, thoughts, and making some fun plans. Towards the end of the night we made plans for our next outing and the possibility of another local trans woman venturing out with us.  The idea is to try and meet up once a month, or whenever our schedules work out.  Being more visible out in public and doing normal everyday things is the kind of activism I can get behind with; one encounter, one interaction, one conversation, and one drink at a time, and all in the company of great family and friends.

Much love to all,

Katie

Time to get my hands dirty…with makeup!

As many of you know, I love makeup.  I love the transformative properties it provides along with the artistic creativity it affords me.  I’ve been working on my skills with makeup for nearly three years now and it seems to be getting me noticed.  I’ll be the first one to tell you that I am by far not a professional makeup artist, and will admit to the fact that I think I’m quite average when it comes to makeup.  With that being said I’ve received many compliments from people all over the place, and recently my friend Hanna has suggested that I give a little rundown on my routine.  So here we go…

Before we get too deep into the post, let me talk a little about the tools of the trade.  If you’re just starting out with makeup, it’s probably a good idea to stick with cheap options, such as using swabs or cheap brushes for applying eyeshadows, and using drugstore brands of makeup.  As you get the hang of it, you can then move up and invest in a nice set of brushes and makeup.  Another basic tip, YouTube!!!  I learned almost everything I know from it, and so can you!

After getting a close shave and finding a confortable place to sit, I usually start of first with my eyes (I usually make a mess with eyeshadows).  I start with a primer base (Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion), and then I start my work with the Urban Decay Naked palette (around $50, a heck of a deal for what you get), for a bold natural eye makeup look. DSC_0089

I usually start with a white eyeshadow and brush that up from the inner corner up to the brow for a highlight color.  Then I take a light gold color for the inner eye, and gradually change to darker shades as I work myself to the outer eye.  Then I take a dark color, and with a blending brush, blend that color from the outside corner towards the inner corner along the crease of the eye.Untitled-1

I use a MAC Kohl pencil (in Feline) to line the bottom and smudge the line with a pencil brush.   I then use the same pencil to color in my bottom and top waterline (the top is not necessary and tough to do), followed by MAC blacktrack gel liner for the inner eye (I get the pointy thin line in the inner corner by using a thin brush I bought at a crafts store, cheap way to go, oh…and a ton of practice).Untitled-2

I finish up the eyes with a brow pencil (I use a thin brush to blend out the color along the brown and fill it in), lashes, and some mascara.Untitled-3

After applying some lotion, and a base primer (MAC Perp+Prime), it’s time for the foundation (MAC studio fix fluid).  Since I am quite pale, I have a noticeable line of foundation at the bottom of my neck, which I blend out into my upper chest with the lightest shade of foundation I could find.  This gives me a nice transition from the face, to the neck, and to the body.  I follow this up with Dermablend along my beard area, which does wonders to coverup the noticeable beard shadow.  I finish up the foundation with a translucent powder to set the foundation.Untitled-4

Next up: contouring.  This is most dramatically used by drag queens to shape their faces, but I tone it down quite a bit for an everyday look.  You can search for YouTube videos to explain how to contour the face.  I use a MAC blush palette to help shape the face, the nose, and the cheeks, using a light color for the highlight, and some shades of brown to create depth.Untitled-5

To finish things up, I add a little blush, line my lips, chose a nice lipstick, and don my wig to wrap it up, at least for the makeup, there’s still an outfit to choose…DSC_0087

Have a great week everyone! Love,

Katie

Own It!

Over the last month, having gone out in public twice as Katie (last night as Bloody Mary), the most important lesson I’ve learned is to “Own It”.  If you set out to do something for yourself, be confident in what you do, and don’t let anyone get you down.  Owning what you do has such a powerful affect on your attitude and those around you.

Last night was the first time in years that I’ve dressed up in a costume for Halloween.  My costume of choice this year had to reflect the feminine side I’ve developed, and a need to satisfy my badass attitude I wanted to explore.  As a fan of MissChievous on YouTube, I fell in love with her vampire tutorial, and I had my mind set on this look for months, as I worked on getting all the parts to build the outfit.  A black leather jacket, with dark jeans, and a kick ass pair of Nine West black platform heeled boots.  After pride, I spent a couple of weekends getting the makeup down, to the point I was happy with.

These boots were made for walking, and stomping the life out of anyone who gets in my way!

On Saturdays, my wife K, has nursing clinicals, which take up most of the day.  The plan was for me to get ready at our apartment and meet K, along with some friends, downtown after they were done with their nursing stuff.  This meant I had to get ready and drive downtown, alone.  I was a little nervous, but I knew this is want I wanted and needed to do.  After putting on the last part of my outfit, the black leather jacket, I had this amazing confident feeling flow over me.  I was so happy with how I looked, I had no problem stepping out that door with my head held high, believing on who I was and what I was doing.

Mmm, you look tasty. What’s your blood type?

The night consisted of wondering downtown on Beale street, having some drinks, food, playing some darts (in my awesome boots), and going to some karaoke bars.  Our group consisted of K (dressed as Katniss from the hunger games), myself, and a couple, one of who is a classmate with K.  This couple have become good friends of ours and have been so respectful and open to me and Katie.

Black and white makes anything look cool.

The one issue that came up last night was which restroom to use.  I figured that since I was about 6’6″ with my boots on, I wasn’t fooling anyone, and to avoid making a scene, I used the men’s room.  Luckily, most of the times I had to go, there weren’t many people around.  The best part was the offer from our friends to kick anyone’s ass if they messed with me, which was a nice offer, and which luckily wasn’t needed.

Where am I?

In the end it was a great night.  Many people stopped me in the street to ask for pictures, and complement me on my heels.  I was proud I wore them all night long without complaining.  I was confident stomping the streets and owning who I was, feeling like a badass, with no one getting in my way.  If they did, I would have just bit them to death and drank their still warm blood.  Muahahahaha!

I guess this beer will do, for now….

Happy Halloween everyone,

Katie

Creative Release

Having some fun with some of those photo editing apps

Having some fun with some of those photo editing apps

I have read that crossdressers often state that dressing up is a way to relieve stress built up, among many others reasons.  I have found that this can be so true.  In general, doing anything that makes you happy should relieve that stress.  Yesterday would be a perfect example.  After a crapy day at work, feeling stressed out finishing things up before our little vacation, I decided I needed a little release.  I usually save my dress up days for the weekend, when I can lounge around most of the day, but today I broke out my makeup kit and had some fun.  Plus a little practice never hurt anyone.  I tried out some new things, like adding glitter to my eye makeup, and contouring my face a lot more than I have tried before.  By the time I was done, my thoughts were in the present, with my issues at work behind me.  Just what I needed.

Now that I’m getting better at makeup, and really enjoying the creativity that it gives me, I’m thinking that I need to learn how to do some drag queen looks.  As I’ve said before, I’ve been catching up on RuPaul’s Drag Race on Netflix, which has lead me to wanting to do some dramatic looks.  Thankfully there are so many great tutorials on YouTube, which I’ll start to study up on after we get back from vacation.  Looks like I’ll be expanding my makeup collection. 😉

Katie

Shoptherapy

There’s nothing like a little shopping to make a girl feel great, and gurl let me tell you, I’m feeling just fine.  I’m siting at my computer, writing, jamming to some music, and wearing some new threads I got yesterday.  I did some online shopping and found an awesome deal on a Calvin Kline top, which should be here sometime next week.  Yesterday, after a long time of not doing much shopping, my wife K and I went to our favorite second hand shop in town.  This shop sell used name brand items at prices I can love.  We sometimes get in trouble when we go there because K loves Coach purses, and they have a wide selection of them.  Anyways, this weekend was tax-free shopping, so we took advantage and bought some nice clothes.  I got some guy clothes and some clothes for Katie.  I was able to get an awesome silk top, which feels great for the summer time, and my first dress.

We then headed over to the mall to get some help from my good friend at the MAC cosmetics counter.  I have a Maybelline lip stick in my favorite shade, and my friend was able to help me find a MAC lip stick (Dark Side) and lip gloss (Decorative) in a similar shade, and they feel great on my lips.  After that, we hit up an ice cream stand to cool off, and headed home.

After reading a post from Nadine, over at Unordinary Style, I’ve decided to start keeping a photo album of each one of my outfits.  I’ll be able to learn how to better build an outfit with the pieces I have if I try on different combinations each time I get dressed, and keeping a record will help me learn what works and what doesn’t.

With that said, I hope you all had a great weekend.

Katie

Practice Makes Perfect

Since January 2011, when K helped me buy my own makeup supplies, I’ve been diligently working on improving my makeup skills, and in the process, really appreciating makeup as an art (I spend lots of time going through Tumblr pictures, looking at some amazing work).  Looking back at those first pictures I took in 2011 and comparing them to those I took this past weekend, I know that I’ve come a long way to learning who I am and becoming comfortable with myself, to the point of inviting friends over to our apartment to see Katie in person.

Left, early 2011; right, July 2012

This past Sunday, after taking a couple weeks off from dressing (heat waves and wigs don’t mix 😦 ), I changed up my foundation routine, and was amazed at the difference it did for me.  Since the beginning, covering my dark beard shadow was the biggest challenge I had going for me (in terms of appearance).  It would just bring me down each time I would take pictures and see that beard popping through.  I’ve tried MAC foundation, and Dermablend, but this weekend I finally found the combination of products that work best for me, and boy what big smiles it brought out of me.  I found that a Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse foundation, followed by a layer of BareMinerals foundation did the best job of all the products I’ve tried.

I spent Sunday in the apartment, taking a bunch of pictures (seems to be a common activity for crossdressers/gender queer), watching some sports, and above all, staying cool (with a fan and a martini 🙂 ).  By the end of the day, my muscles were tired of smiling so much because I was so happy at the improvements I’ve made, even tearing up at times.  These feelings are so much more than just the superficial improvements I’ve worked towards, it’s an increase in my confidence that brought out those smiles and tears.

Yum

Who said alcohol dehydrates you?!?!

Trying to stay cool…

I might have to think about getting some contacts

I finally feel like I have the confidence to stand up for myself in so many ways.  The outside confidant appearance only works to bolster the inner confidence.  I feel like I am getting closer to the goals I’ve set out for myself at the beginning of the year, to the point that I’m running out of excuses to avoid venturing outside.  Having that confidence, and a great group of supportive friends, really make overcoming those fears we share become easier to overcome.

Have a great rest of the week,

Katie

Makeoverpalooza

In my last post I ended it by saying that this past weekend was going to be special, and boy was it ever true.  As I mentioned in my post, Gutturball, I came out to some of our friends from Mississippi.  One of these friends, L, was very interested in what I did, and had lots of questions about how I did the transformation.  Since then, L has been interested in transforming into his feminine self.  So I invited him and some friends over to have some makeovers.

We had plans for this big day for over three weeks, and I was so excited for the chance to dress in front of others (K being the only one who’s seen Katie in person), and give a friend his first transformation.  On Sunday, we invited 4 friends over, including L and his partner T, our bowling friend M and her husband W.

As soon as they arrived to out apartment, L wanted to check out my shoe collection and try on some heels.  He did well for his first time, although it didn’t help my shoes were large on him.  Then we went through my collections of wigs, as lots of questions were asked, all of which I was more than happy to answer.

L wanted to watch me get all dressed up first, but since our bathroom is not large enough for 5 people to watch someone put on makeup, I moved everything to the dinning room.  It was actually nice to have a chair to sit in and do my makeup.  It was my first time doing this in front of anyone, and in this case there were 5 people watching me.  It was a bit awkward to begin with, but after focusing on my routine, I felt more comfortable.  As I did my makeup, I began to explain my process to L, because I would be helping him with his makeup next.

After I got finished and dressed, it was time for L to get his makeup done.  I was a bit hesitant, because I’ve only been doing makeup a few times a month over the last year and a half.  Needlessly to say, I’m no makeup artist, and I’ve only done makeup on my face, which I’ve come to know how to work with.  As I got started, I had to fix a few mistakes, and kept asking the ladies in the room for their opinion for colors which would go well with L’s skin tones.

As we got closer to being finished, I could tell that he was happy with what he saw developing.  After getting into some clothes he bought the day before, and trying on a couple of wigs, we were both happy with the outcome, especially for being his first time.  He soon found out how hot the wigs can be, especially when it’s nearly 100 degrees outside.  The wig stayed on long enough for some pictures to be taken, and some big smiles to come through.

After all the makeup, shoes, food, and drinks, several hours had passed and it was time for them to go.  We all were looking forward to Sunday, and it was not disappointing.  I got a chance to be Katie in front of others (something that was easier than I thought), and helped a friend with his first transformation.  At the end of the day, we all said we needed to do this again sometime, which I’m already looking forward too. 🙂

Have a great week everyone,

Katie

Strawberry Fields

This past weekend was just beautiful in the midsouth.  It was great weather to go out strawberry picking.  My wife K and I went to a local orchard and filled a large bucket with $12 worth of fresh strawberries.  We had so much that we decided to make some ice cream, a pie, milk shakes, and only used up about half of what we picked.  I think next season we’ll have to find a strawberry beer recipe to brew up. 🙂

Besides the strawberry picking, I also got a chance to practice my makeup skills.  I have really come to like the videos from MissChievous on YouTube.  She does some great eye makeup tutorials that I try to duplicate, try being the operative word.  I have found myself really focusing in on the eyes.  With the right kind of makeup, you can really make some dramatic looks.  Flipping through Kevyn Aucoin’s “Making Faces” book has also been a helpful guide.  At least I’m getting better with each time I transform in to Katie.  Some days I do a good job (especially with covering the beard shadow), other days I end up deleting a bunch of pictures because they didn’t turn out well.

It’s something that takes time, but gets better with practice.  Some girls (but not all) spend years growing up playing with makeup and dress up.  I’ve got a lot of catching up to do.  I find myself going through K’s stack of fashion magazines, checking out the latest spring styles, and seeing what kind of clothes might work for me.  At least I’m enjoying the learning experience, which I think is the most important.

Katie

She’s Back

Today has been the first time in four weeks since I’ve had a chance to transform into Katie, and it feels good.  A month away has been too long.  As I’ve stated in the last couple of blogs, I’ve been busy helping those around me that needed it.  My wife K’s issues at work have been heavy, but they seem to be working out for the better.  Only time will tell.

Last weekend was one of the heaviest, emotionally, in a long time.  We were getting things ready for our vacation to New Orleans and Atlanta, when I got a text from a close family member, we’ll call him G, saying to me “goodbye”.  I think my heart skipped a beat as I tried to comprehend what he was trying to tell me, and to think of what I should do next.  G is a few years older than I, and has suffered from depression for a long time.  I decided the best thing to do was to call him.  It was the most emotional hour-long phone call in a long time.  He was angry, and wanted to end the pain, end his life.  He talked and yelled, I was shaking and listening.  After we got off the phone, I was scared, worried, and didn’t know what to do.  Then things changed dramatically.  G called me back, saying he was sorry, but most importantly, he had a clear mind and thoughts.  We talked for another hour, and I came to realize that he just needed someone to talk to, someone to vent his frustrations on.  I’m happy to report that today he’s doing much better, and he’s taking steps to improve his situation.  That last week was emotionally exhausting on me, but I would do it again in a heart beat to help someone close to me.

To say the least, going to vacation after that incident felt good.  It was good to get away from the issues that were on our minds.  New Orleans has great weather this time of year.  We had a great time in the French Quarter, eating at Café Du Monde, partying on Bourbon Street, and walking in the Garden District.  After a couple of day there, we drove to Atlanta and visited the Georgia Aquarium, the world’s largest.  We also toured a couple of breweries, and did plenty of shopping.  We found a Nine West store that was closing, and they had some amazing deals.  I was able to get some nice heels and flats in my size, while K was able to get some for herself.  I also had to stop by a MAC pro store (Memphis doesn’t have one) as I continued to feed my MAC makeup addiction.  I asked the MAC makeup artist for some items and she asked if we were doing a photo shoot or something.  I told her these were for me.  She was very helpful and polite.

Today is all about Katie.  I have been there for others this past month, and now it’s time to focus on my needs and relieve some of that stress that’s built up.  It feels good to be in your own skin and be proud of it.  The only bad thing is that it’s back to work tomorrow, but at least things are looking much better than they did this time last week.

Katie

Latest MAC Haul

So over the last several months I’ve become seriously addicted to MAC cosmetics.  Not only because I like their products, but also because of one makeup artist that works there.  We’ll call him B.  I remember seeing B late last year at our local mall MAC counter and remember seeing his new red hair.  He had some wonderful red hair extensions, heels, and great makeup on.  His eyes are so striking, with wonderfully sculpted eyebrows.  Read the rest of this entry