Of course makeup isn’t “practical” in the traditional sense.
I don’t wear makeup because it benefits my health. If anything it can work against healthy skin. Mascara dries out and makes your eyelashes brittle. Foundation can cause you to break out. Ever get liquid eyeliner in your eye?
BUT! Makeup needs to be practical. It needs to WORK. I wear makeup so I look and feel more feminine (not that a girl needs to or has to wear makeup to be feminine, mind you) but I feel prettier in lipstick than I do without it. Makeup needs to do what it’s supposed to do. Lipstick needs to stay on, concealer needs to… uh, conceal.
Like many aspects of this side of us, crossdressing (in this case makeup) takes time, patience, and money. I believe (for he most part) you get what you pay for and a $28 tube of lipstick is typically better than something that costs a couple of dollars. There are so many things I have invested in when it comes to my look. I’ve invested time to learn how to walk and strut (and climb rocks) in stilettos. I’ve spent an untold amount in building my wardrobe. I’ve done so much trial and error when I was learning (and still learning) makeup.
Makeup is supposed to DO something. A bronzer is designed to do something different than what a highlighter does. Same with foundation. Of all the techniques I’ve learned, foundation has been the most crucial. I mean, it’s one of the first (besides a primer) things we apply when doing our face. If your foundation is greasy it’s hard to build on top of that. If it’s the wrong shade for our skin then our whole look will be off.
The foundation I use is different from what you may use. It’s different from what my wife uses but not because we have different skin types and skin color, my foundation primarily is used to color correct the blueish tint my face has where I shave my facial hair. Therefore my foundation (and everyone else’s) must be practical.
When I started to learn makeup I searched for “makeup for crossdressers”. I used this term for two reasons. Firstly, I needed makeup for a typical male face. My face was more rectangular, and a typical girl’s face was more heart-shaped. Thanks to contouring you can enhance and minimize certain features of your face. True, foundation can’t change my facial or bone structure but it can give the illusion of a rounder face. I also wanted to find makeup that was effective in color correcting so counteract the persistent and stubborn facial hair and five 0’clock shadow. Secondly I wanted to buy makeup from someone that didn’t think it was unusual that a guy was buying lipstick. So, finding somewhere that catered to crossdressers was appealing.
Through trial and error I had some success but the thing I found more than anything is that most people and stores really, really don’t care who is buying what, or why they are purchasing it. Trust me, the cashier at Walmart does not care why a guy is buying a dress. Sure, they may briefly think about the purchase but you’ll leave their thoughts as soon as you step away from their checkout lane. However, I found that purchasing makeup is on another level. Makeup artists, the clerks who work at MAC (or wherever) are not only extremely brilliantly talented and knowledgeable about makeup, they are also incredibly enthusiastic and supportive. Not only will they help you with your right shade they will also be so excited about helping you.
When it comes to makeup what I buy is just as important as who I buy it from.
We all want to find businesses that support our community and it seems that there are more and more companies that not only support us but also target us. I love companies like En Femme and The Breastform Store because they have designed products and clothes for girls like me, girls with a body like mine. I also love companies that ignore the entire concept of gender. Clothes are simply clothes, makeup is for anyone.
Because of this, finding Jecca Blac was truly a joy.
From their website:
Jecca Blac’s mission is to be a brand that represents all beauty lovers: all expressions, genders, sexualities, abilities, pronouns, shapes and sizes. As well as providing cruelty free makeup products we also help bring our beautiful community together.
Jecca Blac was kind enough to send some products to review which I used for my last photo shoot.
Before I wore makeup, I thought it was simply lipstick, eyeliner/shadow, blush, and mascara. The obvious things. The easy to see things. When my wife started to teach me I was surprised to learn about bronzer, concealer, highlighters, lip liner, and primer. These are the less obvious things when it comes to doing your face. This is where makeup and practicality meet. Primer is essential! It’s the first thing you apply before anything else. I hate to compare it to painting a canvas or a wall or whatever, but that is essentially what it is meant for. It will reduce your pores and will create a smooth and even base before you apply your foundation. A primer will also help your makeup stay on longer, especially during warmer weather. I can definitely notice a difference when I forget to use a primer as my foundation goes on so much better with it than without it.
A primer will either work, or it won’t, simple as that. This primer works, so yay! But the difference between this primer and others I have used is that it feels very, very soft when applied. As someone who has facial hair my makeup needs to work harder than it does for someone without it. I tend to add more layers and my foundation tends to be thicker and heavier than someone without facial hair. The Blur and Matte Primer feels very… thin, for lack of a better word, but that’s a good thing! My face felt a little lighter than it normally felt, if it makes sense. This primer also made my foundation easier to remove and wash off at the end of the day.
Speaking of facial hair, my technique to balance the bluish tint and to conceal the annoying and persistence of growing facial hair is typically a multi-step process. I shave very closely when I am going to be en femme but as the day progress that five o’clock is returning. My makeup needs to conceal that. Many of us just layer on foundation to do that… and it works to an extent. This can lead to a greasier (ew) feel and it becomes really annoying to wash off at the end of the day. Color correcting is pretty essential but what is it, exactly? Simply put, it’s a technique where you apply a conceal or color correcting powder or liquid where your skin is darker (under your eyes or where your facial hair grows). It’s not meant to be used all over your face, but it can be helpful when it comes to contouring.
I am always looking for a more simplified technique when it comes to color correcting. I like as few layers as possible but the layers need to WORK. They need to be effective. I am delighted that Jecca Blac’s Correct and Conceal Palette works effectively. The palette includes a cream for concealing and a cream for color correcting. I use this after my primer, and before my foundation.
The pictures below are me wearing these products and are without a filter. When it comes to makeup it’s usually obvious when someone is wearing eyeliner or lipstick, but it’s not always apparent when someone is wearing a primer or a bronzer… but it’s sometimes very obvious when they aren’t. My makeup is working, my skin looks clean, and my coloring is even and balanced. The primer in particular is working the hardest because my foundation, my eyeshadow, my lipstick is all dependent on how strong my primer is. Photo shoots require my makeup to be able to hold up under bright lights and since the whole point of a photo shoot is to, you know, take pictures, my makeup needs to LOOK amazing as well as do its job, so to speak.
I am happy to have more makeup that does what I need it to, and I am so happy to have found Jecca Blac. I love finding, supporting, and promoting any business that understands our community, that makes products that a girl like us needs and wants, and looks at makeup as simply makeup, something that anyone can use, regardless of their gender.
Thank you to Jecca Blac for not only these samples but for all they do.