Shopping for Lace in Cyberspace

Shopping online is so hit and miss.  When I first started to buy my own clothes, I had to gather up my courage to shop in the women’s department of a store or covertly pop into a Victoria’s Secret (well, not anymore) to find something cute that I hoped to God fit me.  This got expensive and exhausting.  It was stressful worrying about who might see me at Target when I needed to pick up a new pair of stockings.  Years of building (and purging and rebuilding) a wardrobe was expensive, especially since I didn’t know how to take my measurements.

But it did help me realize that unless you bump into someone you know, no one cares what you have in your shopping cart.  Stores don’t care what departments you shop in.  No one is paying as much attention to you as you think.  This realization helped me find the courage to step out into public the first time.

That being said, I would have loved to have been able to shop online all those years ago.

This dress, worn for the recent MN T-Girls recent photo shoot is a perfect example of when shopping online could go so wrong but thankfully ended up fitting like a dream.  For the most part.  It does not pass the “Can I sit down in this dress?” test, but I suppose in a way that’s one of the reasons I like it.

I wore this on a MN T-Girls event earlier this year, but I wanted too show it off in a photo shoot.

Photography by Shannonlee.

Makeup by Ana at Rita Ambourne.

I hope you like it!

Love, Hannah

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Help!!! My skin is SOOO dry!!! My Makeup Looks Patchy and Not So Pretty – What Do I Do???

Corrie Dubay 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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Hello darlings! I hope this newsletter finds you well.

Today’s newsletter talks about dry skin and how to deal with it when applying your makeup. Winter – you can seriously just go away!!!!!!

Also!!! Be sure to check out the new Instagram page (@Femmemakeovers). If you’re on there – feel free to follow me!!

Warm wishes for a happy Holiday Season and super amazing New Year!

XOXO from your favorite makeup guru,

Corrie
FemmeMakeovers

Help!!! My skin is SOOO dry!!! My makeup looks patchy and not so pretty – what do I do????

That’s been a common question the past several weeks with the colder weather we’ve been having. Not only is it the season for parties and gift-giving, it’s that dreaded time of year where the cold weather combined with the dry air wreak havoc on our skin. I don’t know about you but no matter what I do – I feel like I cannot keep my skin hydrated enough….which in turn can cause some frustration when we are applying our makeup.

So…what do we do when our skin dry, flaky and our makeup will not cooperate? Well – for starters – we want to take look at our water intake. I know it might not sound like a big deal – but it’s going to be the best thing for us when trying to keep our skin looking and feeling hydrated.

1From there, be sure you are using a moisturizer (even if you’re not applying makeup)….and consider using twice a day. I actually have two different moisturizers I use. I use my Embryolisse before my makeup application. It hydrates but doesn’t leave my face feeling slimy or sticky. There are lots of great options out there but Embryolisse is my favorite.

At night I use something called a sleeping mask (which essentially is just a heavier moisturizer)…the one I’m currently using is by Laneige (you can find at Sephora). It’s heavier but because I’m putting it on before I go to bed, it doesn’t really matter. I wake up with skin that feels nice and hydrated. They also have a lip mask that is GREAT. Oils also work great for helping to hydrate the skin. I’ll rotate back and forth between the sleeping mask and oil at night…just to shake it up a bit! LOL! 🙂 The one in the photo is by Beautycounter.

Okay – so you’re moisturizing and drinking enough water but still have some flakiness happening. What do you do? Exfoliate!!! You can usually do it once or twice a week (depending on the product). This will help remove some of the dry, flaky skin that causes our makeup to look patchy or uneven. A couple of my faves are SexAppeal (you can use up to twice a week on your face and is gentle enough to use on your body daily if you want). It’s super easy to use: spray the area you want to exfoliate and massage or rub gently. The dead, dry skin will start to come off. Once it does – rinse with water. It leaves your skin feeling so soft. BONUS! This stuff is AMAZING on your feet, hands and elbows!!!!

The other one I just recently found is by Kate Sommerville – it’s called ExfoliKate and can2 also be found at Sephora. This one left my skin feeling AMAZING. Also very easy to use – apply a small amount to hands, gently massage onto your face, let sit for up to two minutes, then rinse. It does tingle a little bit at first but it’s not bad. I was super happy with how smooth my skin felt after though.

Side note: If you do exfoliate, do that before you moisturize and apply your makeup. You may also want to avoid using immediately after a shave as it could cause a little irritation.

3Another thing to help combat dry winter skin and aid with your makeup application is to also use a primer. We might not be able to entirely eliminate all the dry skin (which can cause our makeup to look a little patchy) so adding a primer could help with smoothing things out a little more. A few of my faves are the HD Micro Primer by Kryolan, WaterBalm by Sonia Roselli (This stuff is crazy good! Actually, all of her products are super great – a little pricey but worth the $$) and the Inglot Underbase Primer is also pretty solid (a little bit goes a long way!).
The last product I LOVE and use on just about everyone – regardless what time of year it is – MAC Fix+ – it’s basically a liquid moisturizer (although they claim it is a setting spray – I don’t feel like it has any setting properties – but that is just my opinion). I use it to dampen brushes and sponges, spray it as I apply makeup and also when I’m finished (before or after a setting spray) to add moisture to the application. Hands down the product I go through the fastest and use the most. Plus – it smells really nice.

My final piece of advice when it comes to dry skin and our makeup applications, if 4during winter months you struggle with dry skin – avoid using any sort of foundation that says matte, satin or velvet finish. These usually have a very dry looking finish (in my opinion) which can amplify the dry skin problem we are trying to lessen.

Okay – so as a quick recap:
1. Drink lots of water
2. Moisturize (face and lips) both day and night
3. Exfoliate to remove dry, flaky skin
4. Primers can help smooth things out
5. Using something like MAC Fix+ can add moisture to makeup applications if we’re still feeling especially dry.

Dealing with dry skin is one of my biggest frustrations so hope this helps a little. Good luck!!!

And as always feel free to reach out to me via email (corrie@femmemakeovers.com) or phone (612-860-6739 – and be sure to leave a message) if you have any questions or want to book an appointment. You can also visit www.femmemakeovers.com for more information.

Byeeeee!

PS: All product recommendations are based on my own personal experience using them. I’ve not been paid to make any of these recommendations.

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.

PFLAG Events for December

PFLAG’s 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.

PFLAG 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 supportive and inclusive community.  PFLAG is a wonderful group, especially for our spouses and family members and I am happy to promote the events the Twin Cities chapter has scheduled.

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Please join us for a Holiday party.  

We will be serving hot chocolate and cookies, along with great conversation – all in a relaxed atmosphere from 6:30 until 7:30 pm.  We will then break out into our small, confidential,  support groups until 8:30 pm.

Tuesday, December 18th, 2018 at 6:30 pm
Union Congregational Church
3700 Alabama Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55416
Love, Hannah

Have Yourself a Fabulous Little Christmas!

Last night was the December event for the MN T-Girls…the annual holiday party!

The holiday party is one of my favorite nights of the year.  When else can you wear a sparkly sequined dress and not stand out?  Even better when it’s paired with sparkly heels, right?

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Like previous years, the party was held at a hotel and everyone brought something to share.  We made new friends, had tons of girl talk and thought about what the group will do next year.

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It was a fun night.  I wasn’t able to stay as late as I would have liked and I really want to thank Kylie for stepping in as the night’s hostess.

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Here’s to a happy holiday season and a wonderful 2019!

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Love, Hannah

 

Victoria’s Secret Shame

This may come as a surprise to you, but I love to shop.

Shopping can be intimidating for those in our community.  It’s impossible to predict what our experiences will be like.  Will the cashier stare at me?  Will the customers make whispered remarks to other shoppers?  Will the sales clerk be helpful?  Are those heels available in my size?

I support trans-friendly and trans-positive businesses and avoid those that are not.  Many companies will champion those in the LGBTQIA community.  For example, I shop at Target because of their policy towards our community.  Of course, everyone who works for an organization will have their own opinions even if the corporate culture and core beliefs encourage diversity and inclusion.  Just because their policy is to welcome us to the store and allows us to use the dressing room of our choice does not mean the cashier isn’t going to be rude to you.

I have always loved shopping at Victoria’s Secret.  I have always been treated very well and always had positive, friendly experiences with the staff…regardless of what gender I  presented as.

I was…disappointed, to say the least, when I saw recent comments by Victoria’s Secret chief marketing officer and executive vice president of public relations, Ed Razek.

Shouldn’t you have transsexuals in the show? No. No, I don’t think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy.

Rightly so, there was immediate backlash including comments by Heidi Zak, the CEO of ThirdLove, a new lingerie company:

“How in 2018 can the CMO of any public company — let alone one that claims to be for women — make such shocking, derogatory statements?” she wrote. “You market to men and sell a male fantasy to women. … Your show may be a ‘fantasy’ but we live in reality. Our reality is that women wear bras in real life as they go to work, breastfeed their children, play sports, care for ailing parents, and serve their country.

“Haven’t we moved beyond outdated ideas of femininity and gender roles?” she added. “It’s time to stop telling women what makes them sexy — let us decide. We’re done with pretending certain sizes don’t exist or aren’t important enough to serve. And please stop insisting that inclusivity is a trend.”

There are also calls to boycott the brand by models and modeling agencies, including transgender model Leyna Bloom.

Of course, an apology came quickly after:

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I read apologies with a huge amount of skepticism.  I wonder about the sincerity of such comments as it’s easy for a company to say they’re sorry when a backlash is going to hurt their profits.  The damages has been done.

Normally I would simply stop shopping somewhere when the organization made comments like this, but as I said, I’ve always wonderful service at the stores themselves.  An apology without a change in behavior is worthless.  Was Victoria’s Secret going to do anything to win back the trust and the business of our community?  Should I trust them?  Was this an offhand comment by some insensitive corporate idiot?

I wasn’t sure.  So, I gave them the benefit of the doubt and asked them.

I submitted a comment via their website on November 20th.  I copied the message below:

Hello, my name is Hannah and I am a model, activist and blogger. I am also a transwoman. I’m sure you know where this is going. 🙂   When I started to present in public as a woman, one of the first places I visited was Victoria’s Secret. I waited years to buy your beautiful lingerie and clothes. Of course, I was nervous on my first visit, but on my first, and every visit I’ve made since, I have received nothing but excellent customer service. Whether it is a bra fitting or just friendly smiles at the register, I’ve always felt welcome at your stores.

My enthusiasm for your stores plummeted last week when I heard the disparaging comments of the transcommunity by your Chief Marketing Officer, Ed Razek. It was the first time anyone in your organization referred to a girl like differently compared to cis-gender women.

Transphobia hurts. It hurts even more when it comes from someone who represents a brand that I love, a brand that screams femininity. A brand that, until last week, made me feel welcomed and beautiful.

I have not been to your stores since. I want to, but I will not support an organization that says such hurtful opinions on my community.

Yes, he apologized, but anyone can apologize when faced with criticism. The apology is there but so is Mr. Razek and his opinions…which are possibly a representation of the culture in you organization.

Like I said, I want to shop at your store. I have more of your clothing and lingerie than any other brand, but all I can think of when I see my closet are what Mr. Razek said.

Beyond the apology, what else are you doing to win back the trust of customers like me?

Thank you for listening,

Hannah

I was curious to see what their response would be.  The automatic reply I received stated they strive to reply to comments within 8 hours.

After a few days of silence, I sent the comment again.

Still nothing.

Silence can speak volumes.  Inaction is a form of action.

Their decision to not to respond to my concerns show that they really have no interest in keeping me as a customer.  Any organization can tweet an apology, but it takes real work, fueled by a true commitment to a community, to earn that trust back.

Love, Hannah

 

Meet Angela Ponce, Miss Universe’s First Openly Trans Contestant

From People:

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Angela Ponce, Miss Universe’s first openly transgender contestant, is hoping to inspire young trans people to follow their dreams.

Ponce, 27, was crowned Miss Spain in June, beating out 22 other beauty queens. In December, she will go on to represent Spain in the Miss Universe pageant in Thailand.

After her historic win, Ponce told the Associated Press that she wanted to use the platform to draw attention to legal discrimination for trans individuals and the trans suicide epidemic.

“If my going through all this contributes to the world moving a little step forward, then that’s a personal crown that will always accompany me,” Ponce told the Associated Press in June.

Read more here!

Love, Hannah