As with so many of my previous outings and big events, I like to look at those experiences and try to see how my perspectives have changed and what I’ve learned about myself. With my recent trip to the Twin Cities to visit my friend Hannah and the MN-T Girls group, my views have definitely changed and I certainty have learned quite a lot about myself from such a huge opportunity.
One of the big things I noticed looking back (especially compared to the first time I ever went out in public) was how relaxed and excited I was. In previous occasions, I used to work myself up so much, mentally and physically, about heading out in public, worrying about the general public and what they thought. But by the time I was due to meet Hannah at a nice restaurant in downtown Minneapolis on a Friday night, I wasn’t nervous at all. I was more excited than anything else! The same goes for the day I met up with all the other girls for drinks and dinner. Looking back, this was a big step forward because I hated how anxious I would get sometimes, and now I feel like I can do whatever I want. I don’t care much that I may be 6’6” in heels, and don’t have a voice to match my appearance. This trip really made me focus on the important things, which is to enjoy the company one has around them, and I definitely did!
The positive experiences continued the next day when Hannah, my wife, and I got some makeovers done at an Ulta store by a wonderful makeup artist. But before we meet up at Ulta, I had to do some light makeup, which if you know me at all is a difficult thing for me to do. I love doing big bold eyes and generally makeup on the heavier side of things, but since I was getting makeup done I didn’t want to do my full treatment and I didn’t want to go without any makeup either. That being said, I was happy to learn that I could do a lighter look, something more appropriate for a daytime look. While Hannah was getting her makeup done at Ulta, I wondered around the store with a smile on my face. I was happy to be out in the world, doing everyday things, being the individual I wanted to be on that day, with great company in tow. What more could one ask for!
The absolutely biggest thing I learned or realized about myself came to me after we made it back home to Memphis. Going forward, getting all dressed up and having a day in at the house won’t mean as much as it once did. What I mean is now that I’ve pushed my comfort zone to new limits, what I used to do, just won’t do any more. There are new frontiers to explore as Katie and I hope to keep pushing myself with every opportunity that comes along.
One has to be confident and fill ones space to show the world we belong and we don’t have anything to be afraid about. It was great to have this feeling reaffirmed and pushed to new heights.
I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving. Much love to all,
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Have a great week everyone! Love,
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. 😉
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.
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.
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.
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,
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,
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.
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