Dressing Up and Dressing Down

Sometimes I wonder if it IS all about the clothes, the makeup, the heels.  But it’s not.  It’s about not feeling comfortable being tied to a specific gender for my entire life.  It’s about feeling comfortable as more than one gender presentation.  I feel just as confident in a suit as I do in a little black dress, but for different reasons.  I don’t want to transition because I like being able to choose my gender presentation whenever I feel like it.  As I get older, I also feel more hesitant to use phrases like “always” and “never” when it comes to my opinions about some things.

Of course, there are exceptions.  Like, should you wear open-toe heels with black stockings?  NEVER.

Oscar Wilde wrote “You can never be overdressed or over-educated.”  I agree.  I like to dress and look my best.  When I am out, I know that I am probably overdressed on some level to hit the mall.  But after days of shirts and ties, the sound of heels clicking on the floor in a department store is heaven.

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When I was younger I used to dream about certain clothes.  I would page through the Victoria’s Secret catalog and wonder what it would be like to wear a matching bra and panty.  I would see girls wearing formal gowns and I would picture myself in such a beautiful dress.  In my closet I am lucky to have everything from leather to sparkley.

There are still outfits on my wish list but let’s be honest, after a certain number of bodycon and little black dresses, it becomes harder to find a dress that becomes a must-have.

Lately I seem to be drawn to a more casual look.  I have tried this in the past, such as pairing a cute top with a cardigan for example, but as I look through my wardrobe I don’t have a lot of outfits that are perfect for a lazy day of going out for coffee and running errands.

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I don’t mind stopping by Starbucks or Target in four inch heels, but when I see girls wearing cute, comfy clothes I start to wonder if I could pull off the leggings/tank top/hoodie look.  I’ve been hesitant to try this in the past as I feel that layering gives me a “bulkier” look, especially my shoulders, than I would like.  I also think that if I am only going to dress up a couple times a month, do I really want to pass up a chance to wear that cute new dress?

 

Of course, expanding one’s style also feels expanding one’s wardrobe (which is exciting and also expensive).  I have an extensive collection of heels and a perfect dress to match each pair, but I have exactly zero pairs of shoes that would go with a more casual look.

I have a photo shoot next month and I am starting to pick my outfits for it.  I have a few new dresses that I am going to model for certain, but I might slip in something a little more causal as well.

Any suggestions for me?

What look do YOU want to try?

Love, Hannah

 

 

 

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Oh STAWP! You’re Making Me Blush!

Corrie Dupay is a makeup artist extraordinaire and owner of Femme Makeovers, an amazing transformation studio in Minneapolis.  She is a friend and hero to girls everywhere.  She is beyond talented and I am lucky to have worked with on photo shoots in the past.
Corrie has a newsletter that she sends out with helpful makeup tips like these and is reprinted here with her permission.  I am certain you’ll find this useful!  You can sign up for her newsletter here.
Love, Hannah
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Blush…how I love thee!
Now, I realize it might sound crazy…especially with ALL the different products out there…but I’m not kidding when I tell you blush is my all-time favorite product. And I especially love creme and liquid blush products. I’m afraid to count how many different blush products I have…because I think I have at least 100!!! YIKES! Don’t tell my husband!

Okay – let’s chat quick about the different kinds of blush…because there’s a few. They are all great – it really comes down to what you prefer.

Creme blush: thicker consistency, similar to a creme foundation (but in a blush color). Apply with a brush, sponge or fingers. I like these because they tend to wear a bit longer and hold up better. I also like them because I can really buff them into the skin, making a really natural looking flush.

Liquid blush: thinner consistency, similar to a liquid foundation (but in a blush color). Apply with a brush, sponge or fingers. It’s been my experience that they tend to be a little more on the sheer side – so can look really natural, but also may not last quite as long (that really depends on the product though).

Powder blush: pressed (or loose) powder blush (similar to an eye shadow or pressed powder). Apply with a brush. Literally zillions of options here!

Let’s talk application methods – just like with your other products – I find you get a better and more even result if you use brushes and sponges. For your liquid and creme products, I prefer a brush (the dual fiber or a sponge – like the Beautyblender) to buff in or dab on. For powders, I prefer a smaller fluffy blush brush to dust on or buff in, but as with anything – there are lots of sizes/shapes and it’s whatever you prefer.
Let’s talk color choice. We want our blush to give us a nice flush and add back some of that color we lose when we apply our foundation (or as we age). I prefer to lean towards something a little more on the natural side – so I’ll go with more of your peach/dusty pinks/pinky/browns (you can see most of the blushes in my palette fall into that color range). Now – I do have some deeper and brighter colors – but use those more for pop of color over my more natural-toned colors, rather than using them alone.
If you are more fair – you definitely want to keep your colors on the softer side – so soft peach/corals/light pinks, etc.  Also – go light with your application and build it up as you go (it’s easier to add than take away). If you have a really pigmented blush, you could look like a clown in one swipe if you’re not careful! And…blend, blend, blend!

If you have a medium-tone skin – you can bump the color up a touch – so something still in that peach/coral/pink range, but with a little more depth or vibrancy. Again, build the color up…and…blend, blend, blend!!!!!

If you have darker skin-tone – your deeper shades of reds, oranges, pinks and purples look FABULOUS!!! Something that looks crazy bright in the package will look really pretty when applied and blended out correctly.

You can also choose your blush based on your undertone. How do you find your undertone? In natural lighting – look at the veins in your arms/wrists. If they appear more blue or purple, you probably have a cooler undertone (so choosing peachy/orange/coral-ly blush colors will compliment nicely), if they appear more green, you probably have a warmer undertone and your dusty pinks and plums will look nice. If you are unable to tell if they are blue/purple or green – you probably have more of a neutral undertone and you can usually wear either, a warm or cool-toned blush. I’ve included a photo of warm and cool blush so you can see the difference.
When it comes to matte (flat/no shine) or shimmer (subtle or intense shine) – that’s your preference. Personally – I like to start with a matte blush and then add a light shimmery blush (or could even be a highlighter) to give the cheek a little more pop. Just remember – the older we get, the less shimmery things we want on our face (the shimmer can enhance fine lines and wrinkles….so if you use it – use it sparingly and in the right places.

Let’s talk placement. Keep it simple! The easiest way to find where you should put your blush is smile big so you see the apples of your cheeks. Lightly dust/dab/buff your blush into the apples of your cheeks, blending and diffusing the blush up and back (so staying on the cheek bone ending right between the temple and top of the ear).  Start with your main color, apply and blend that out, then, if you want – you can add that pop of color to just the apple and blend. Finish by adding a light shimmery highlight at the top of the cheek (optional).

So – a quick recap:
~ You need blush! It gives us the missing color and youthful glow we all want and need!
~ Choose a color based on skin tone (fair, medium, dark) and undertone (warm/cool). ~ Apply in light layers, blending and building up as you go.
~ Add a pop of a brighter color to apple of cheek if desired, and a light shimmery highlight on top of cheek bone if desired.
~ Blend, blend, blend.

Kiss, kiss, lovelies! Until next time! And don’t forget to update your address books with my new phone and email!! 😀

Questions or want to request an appointment? Call/text (612-860-6739) or email Corrie at: corrie@femmemakeovers.com

Be sure to check www.femmemakeovers.com for more info.

Ask Hannah!

Who carries the men’s blue lace shorts lingerie. Wish I could attach photo but they are a bit short and not as loose in the legs as the one on Xdress website, the black ones.

I really have no idea.  I am sure there are many blue lace shorts so I’m sorry that I can’t be more helpful.

If you think about it, this is really an amazing time for those who are non-gender conforming , crossdressers and anyone that loves to wear pretty undies.  You can shop for a variety of options at Xdress, Bodyaware, HommeMystere, Glamour Boutique and whatever else you find by googling “lingerie for men”.

I can’t speak for everyone, but lingerie was definitely my gateway to this wonderful world and ultimately to who I am today.

Love, Hannah

Ask Hannah!

I am trying to help a trans friend of mine find her first really good wig. She has been saving for awhile.  Not a theatrical wig but a natural everyday.  Do you have a recommendation as to where to go?

For some of us, our wig is the most defining part of our presentation.  I always feel my hair completes my look.  Choosing your hair is a very important and a very personal decision.

It’s also a big change.  When I present as male, my hair is short and easy to maintain.  However, as Hannah my hair is long and needs a lot more attention.  Getting used to going from short hair to shoulder-length locks takes some time.  I would recommend investing in a less expensive wig at first and getting used to your new look.  It took me a few styles before I found one that was really ME.  I’m glad I didn’t a lot of money on one wig and only to find out that look wasn’t right for me.  Most of us try a few different styles before we find the right one.  Once you find the right one, then it might be time to invest a higher quality wig in that style.

Make sure you educate yourself between the differences between different types of wigs, such a synthetic or human hair.

I started to buy my hair online when I wanted to try different styles and looks.  I was able to try different styles and lengths without spending a lot of money.  Of course, you get what you pay for and many times I ended up replacing it after a few months but it was good to be able to try different looks before I found the right style.

I recommend visiting Sunny’s Hair in Uptown if you want to shop in person.

I recommend checking out Corrie Dupay‘s advice on taking care of your wig, as well.

Love, Hannah

 

Midwest Makeup Supply

Corrie Dupay is a makeup artist extraordinaire and owner of Midwest Makeup Supply and Femme Makeovers, both in the Twin Cities.  She has recently announced she is making a change in her career and is closing her wonderful makeup shop to focus on Femme Makeovers.

We as a community are beyond fortunate to have such an amazing talent in our city.  I’m sad about the closing of her store, the MN T-Girls have had two events at her store, but I am breathing a sigh of relief that she is still available for makeovers.

For details on her plans, please see the announcement she recently sent out below.

Hello everyone!

Some may already know this but yesterday I made an announcement (via our Midwest Makeup Supply Facebook page) in regard to closing Midwest Makeup, my Uptown retail location, on October 20th. 

Please do not worry! This is a very good thing on all fronts. I WILL be keeping my studio space at Vandalia Towers. Not being tied down to the retail part of things will allow me SO much more flexibility when it comes to doing the thing I love, which is helping YOU and doing makeovers, dress up sessions and outings. 🙂 Change is a good thing and I’m SUPER excited about the coming months!!!!

I will be liquidating my retail store inventory as the close date approaches so please let me know if there’s anything you’ll want. I’m still working out details – my phone number and email might have to change – but I’ll be sure to keep everyone updated with things like that. I also am toying with keeping a limited amount of product (foundation, powder, beard cover, etc.) at my studio – but am not sure yet. If that would be beneficial to you – please let me know. If I get enough positive response about it – I’ll definitely consider having that as an option.

As always – thank you SO very much for your support. It’s an amazing thing to be able to do the work I love!!

Love, Hannah

Ask Hannah!

I have not seen your blog on Xdress for a while. just wonder why

That is an excellent question.

Not too long ago, I started to blog for Xdress and I had a lot of fun doing it.  There was talk of an expanding partnership and I was told the staff was very happy with my articles and they generated a lot of comments.

I wrote about a few blogs for them and then…nothing.  I would submit a blog and would be asked for another one shortly after it posted but I haven’t from them in a while.  I have reached out to them but still nothing.

I am not sure what happened, but if you would like to see my blogs on Xdress again, drop them a line and let them know!

Love, Hannah

T-Girls and T-Grilling!

Minnesota’s summer is winding down beautifully in an almost elegant, graceful way.  The days are increasingly cooler and shorter and although fall isn’t here yet, can see it getting closer with each moment.

The backyard barbecue is one of the season’s biggest tradition.  To be able to eat outside with friends and get to know new people is one of life’s smallest but greatest pleasures.  Most people attend them in flip-flops, but leave it to the MN T-Girls to pair brats with stilettos.

Last night was our monthly event and one of the girls graciously welcomed our group into her home and backyard for one last night of grilling, conversation and fun.  It was a perfect night and provided an opportunity for some new members to get to know the group in a very low-key way.

Very special thanks to Marcia for hosting us and for grilling as well as to all the t-girls who brought something to share.

Love, Hannah