Xdress!

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I am excited to announce that I am now a blogger for Xdress.com!

Xdress designs dresses, shoes and lingerie for girls like us.  Xdress was one of the first companies to make pretty clothes that were made for our bodies in mind.  Dresses with a little more room in the chest to account for our shoulders and heels that are a little wider, for example.  I remember seeing my first Xdress catalog almost twenty years ago and amazed that something like this existed.  Seeing pages and pages of lingerie and dresses for our community was incredible.  I also remember ordering a lot of their items.

What I like about Xdress is their effort to make crossdressing less of a taboo and more fun and…normal.

My first article posted earlier today.  Please click over and comment if you can!

Love, Hannah

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Covering Up Beard Shadow

Corrie Dupay, makeup artist extraordinaire and owner of Midwest Makeup Supply and Femme Makeovers, is a friend and hero to t-girls everywhere.  I’ve been fortunate to know her for the past year and a half, I’ve had makeup lessons with her and the MN T-Girls have had two makeup demonstrations with her as well.  She is beyond talented.
Corrie has a newsletter that she sends out with helpful makeup tips and with her permission, I am sharing her most recent one here.  It focuses on beard shadow which is something many of us struggle with.

I am certain you’ll find this useful!  You can sign up for her newsletter here.

Love, Hannah
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Ahh, yes….beard shadow. You can be such a pain in the ass some times. I teach a lot of one-on-one makeup lessons and covering beard shadow is topic that comes up in just about every lesson I do. So – how do we get it to stay covered as long and as well as possible? Let’s talk about it!

First – there is some reasoning behind the products I use, and some color theory involved with color correction (which essentially is what we’re doing when we cover beard shadow). But! I want to keep this simple and to the point (or as much as I can) so I’m not going to dive deep into that…unless ya’ll want to know more about it. Shoot me a message if you do and I can do a separate email about it. Okay? Okay!

Ultimately – when we are trying to cover beard shadow – we’re trying to neutralize a blue-ish/purple-ish (or violet as most color wheels will show) shadow. Even if your facial hair is brown, black, etc. – I still consider the shadow we see to be more blue/purple. Some of you may have tried a normal flesh-toned concealer and have had some luck with it kind of working, especially if you have very little or very light facial hair. For the rest of you with the darker facial hair – a normal flesh-toned concealer just doesn’t cut it.

Enter COLOR THEORY! As mentioned above – I’m not going to do a deep dive into color theory – but a good tip for everyone is this: when we are trying to correct/conceal/neutralize something when it comes to makeup – look at what color it is you’re trying to correct or get rid of: beard shadow (blue/purple), under eye circles (purple/blue), blemishes (redness), etc. Whatever the unwanted color is, we need to use it’s color wheel opposite to make it disappear. This is how we conceal our beard shadow!

Example: for a blue-ish/purple beard shadow – using something that is very orange-toned over the shadow will help neutralize the blue color below. If we’re trying to knock down redness – we want to use something with a hint of green. Make sense?

You may be asking – okay – I get it but what the hell do I use for this and where do I find it??

(…raises hand…) I’ve got you!! AND! I have several options depending on the level of coverage you need. What we want to use is called a corrector (or neutralizer) color. They have specific color-correcting undertones that conceal the unwanted colors we see.

But wait, Corrie!! Someone once told me I can use a red or orange lipstick to get rid of my beard shadow? Is that wrong???

Great question! No – technically it’s not wrong. What’s the first rule when it comes to makeup?? There are no rules!! Well – at least that’s my rule! HA! Guidelines and tricks that will help things turn out better, yes. But rules…naw! That’s the whole point of makeup is it have fun with it! So – back to the lipstick. Yes – an orange or red lipstick would help neutralize the shadow – however, lipstick is formulated for your lips. Generally speaking it has a more oily consistency (to keep your lips hydrated and glide on smoothly).

The trouble we might run into with using lipstick is that your makeup might not set properly or as well. So on a nice warm day – your face could be melting away faster than the Wicked Witch of the West. Which we do not want, right? Right! So – using something that is formulated for your face (not lips) is a better choice (in my opinion). If you’re in a bind and all you have is orange lipstick, or, you are out of your corrector color – yes – by all means, do what you have to do to get the job done…but ideally – for longevity and best overall result – the corrector color is product I prefer.

First up: Graftobian Corrector in Soft Orange I (light) and II (medium/dark) ($14). This one is on the lighter end of the spectrum as far as consistency/heaviness goes. So if you have lighter colored facial hair or not a ton of a shadow that pops through – this will cover nicely.

This goes on UNDER your foundation…and because it’s so light, can also be put OVER (unpowdered) foundation to give you an extra bump of coverage if needed (see note below). Works awesome as an under eye concealer, too!

My other favorite is by Kryolan – and that’s their DermaColor Camouflage Cremes ($18). If you’ve every had your makeup done by me – oftentimes this is what I use for the extra longevity. These guys are heavier than the Graftobian products – but if you have a very dark, thick beard shadow – this is the one you want to go with. It gives really great coverage and wears super well. As with the Graftobian one, this also goes on under your foundation.

Side note: Truthfully – I try to avoid putting anything back over the top of my foundation if I can (and never over anything that has already been powdered. We’ll talk about this in another email), but if I need an extra bump of coverage, I most definitely can. We just want to avoid doing too much back and forth as it can look heavy and cakey – see note below about this.

For the application using either product – we want to use our corrector only in the spots we are trying to correct…in other words – keep it contained to where you see the shadow. Brush or sponge it on, building up the coverage if you need by stippling (or dabbing/patting) the product on (rather than wiping it on) in areas that need it. Example: many times above the upper lip is an area I use a little more product. Why? The shadow can show through darker, you will sweat more there and if you are eating and drinking – it can be wiped off more easily if we’re not careful.

This photo shows the three correctors on my hand so you can see the more orange-y undertone it has. From the left: Graftobian Soft Orange I, Graftobian Soft Orange II and Kryolan DermaColor D5.

My note: I mentioned above that you can put more corrector over your foundation if needed – which is true. But – for the best results, we really want the initial application of the corrector to be strong and full enough coverage from the start. We want to avoid layering too much on top of our foundation as we run the risk of messing up our application by making it too heavy, cakey or not being able to blend it properly.

Once you get the corrector on – gently, gently blend it out. We want to blend it in but not away (otherwise, we will see that pesky shadow again sooner than we want). Once it’s blended in – proceed with your foundation application (I prefer to use a creme foundation – I’ll do a follow up email dedicated to foundations later). We want to be a little extra careful (use a stippling or patting/dabbing motion) when we are blending our foundation over the areas we’ve corrected. If we blend too vigorously – we could potentially blend our corrector away, again – resulting in the shadow popping through faster than you want.

Information overload, I know – so I’ll stop here. I hope this makes some sort of sense. If you have any questions – shoot me a message or drop by and I can do a quick demo for you. Okay? And stay tuned in the coming weeks for more tips and trips! And if you have any questions you want answered – send them my way!

PS: You can get everything I talk about in this post at my store – Midwest Makeup located in Uptown. Not local or don’t want to stop by? No worries – we can drop things in the mail to you as well. Call us (612-822-2150) or email: info@midwestmakeup.com to place an order.

Ask Hannah!

I’m new to crossdressing, I have never dressed up in women’s clothes but want to. I am scared to this but if someone were to give me guidance I would love to do it. Another thing, I love the look of women wearing knee high riding boots and I want to see if I can pull that look.

I fully believe that crossdressing is something you learn my doing.  However, I do have a guide that might help you get started.

You can also see if your city has any transformation services that may be able to help.

And yes, you look good in knee high boots.  Everyone looks good in knee high boots.

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Love, Hannah

PFLAG Events for May

PFLAG_TClogoPFLAG was the first support organization I heard of when I was growing up.  I attended their meetings a few years ago and found it was a wonderful, supportive, and inclusive community.

So, what is PFLAG?  Their mission is uniting people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) with families, friends, and allies.  PFLAG is committed to advancing equality through its mission of support, education, and advocacy.  PFLAG has 400 chapters and 200,000 supporters crossing multiple generations of American families in major urban centers, small cities, and rural areas in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

The Twin Cities chapter meets on Tuesdays (please check their website for specific dates and times) at Union Congregational Church and has two scheduled events this month:

-The May 15th meeting and support groups will feature a speaker from Transforming FamiliesI’ve been a guest speaker at previous meetings for Transforming Families and I think this is a wonderful organization.

-The June 19th meeting will be their traditional annual Signs of Pride party.  Please join them for a relaxed and informal evening of chatting and making signs that you (or someone else) can carry in the Pride Parade in Minneapolis the following weekend.

Love, Hannah

Get GORGEOUS with Corrie!

I’ve written a lot about Corrie Dupay and her business Midwest Makeup Supply on my blog.  If you’re looking for an amazing makeover from a huge advocate for the trans community, you cannot do better than Corrie.

Corrie has recently revamped her gender transformation studio for her business ‘Femme Makeovers‘.  I’ve had a chance to visit her new studio at the Vandalia Building in Saint Paul and she has everything you need for an amazing experience…heels, clothes, makeup, wigs….anything a t-girl could want.

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Corrie also offers lessons, makeovers, outings and consultations.

I cannot recommend Corrie enough.  If you go, let me know how much fun you had!

Love, Hannah

Ask Hannah!

I would like to start a group similar to the MN T-girls but I am having trouble finding other CD’s that might join the group. Could you share some of the steps you took when starting the MN T-girls? Particularly how did you contact a community of people that is typically in the “closet”.

 

Congratulations on starting your group!  It will be one of the most rewarding and occasionally frustrating things that you’ll ever do.  I knew it would be difficult to meet others like me, especially those who were brave and confident and ready enough to go out.  Luckily I had a blog and had a lot of people who visited it each day.  I blogged about the group and invited t-girls in the area to email me.  Being a little web savvy, I knew the most searched term people used to find my blog was “crossdressing in Minnesota”.  I knew people were looking for others like me in Minnesota so I started to tag Minnesota on my blog so Google would start directing people to my site.  So, setting up a blog that is updated frequently is a good start.  Of course, starting a blog is a challenge in it of itself, but WordPress is very user friendly option.  You might want to start blogging about LGBTQIA issues in your home state, share your thoughts and experiences and write about resources for our community in your area like I have here.  A blog is a great way for people to get to know you so others feel comfortable reaching out to you.

The next thing I did was posting a thread on crossdressers.com.  There is a section there titled ‘Places to Go, Places to Meet’.  Crossdressers.com is probably the biggest social group for girls like us.  T-girls constantly discover my group through this forum.   You may also want to visit a local PFLAG meeting and invite members to your group.

Creating, organizing and, maintaining a group like this is a challenge and can be frustrating at times.  But it is also very rewarding and fun.  It takes a lot of patience and professionalism and dedication.  It takes commitment.  It is a lot of hard work.  It takes a lot of my time.  However, through the group I’ve been able to do many amazing things and I am constantly looking for new adventures for us.

I will say if you are going to create a group then it really is something you need to commit to. You’ll need to stay in contact with the members, keep them updated about outings and listen to requests. You’ll need to be reliable and consistent. You need to be social and outgoing and friendly and confident. The group really brings me out of my comfort zone in terms of being social, and I really need to be organized and plan ahead. You’ll also need to be able to not take things personally. There have been many events where ten T-Girls say they’ll be there…but two show up. There are times when I get frustrated when not as many girls show up as I expected because the events can take a lot of time to plan. Most outings take a few weeks, or sometimes even months to plan. The last outing was in the works for three months, for example.

I wish you the best of luck! I hope it goes well and thank you for creating a group!  Let me know when you group is up and running and I’ll writ a post about it.

Love, Hannah

 

Dragged Out: St. Paul’s scrappy, sincere drag show secret

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Most crossdressers and t-girls are familiar with the Townhouse, Saint Paul’s oldest gay bar.  For many of us, it’s one of the first places we go when we are ready to leave our living rooms.  The MN T-Girls, as a group and as individuals, have been here many times.

City Pages has written a nice little article about this haven for the GLBTQIA community.  You can read it here!

-Love, Hannah