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.

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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!

New to cross dressing. Do you know any great studios in NYC to start me on my journey.

Thks so much.

-Samantha

Sometimes I wish I could relive those early days of transforming, at least temporarily, my gender.  I have been transgender even before I knew the word existed.

But I digress.

I have never been to New York but I would love to go.  A quick Google search of the terms ‘gender transformation services NYC’ provides quite a few options.  Here’s a few:

Miss Vera’s Finishing School for Boys Who Want to be Girls

Monica Prata

Fairplay Imaging

I wrote a small article on Miss Vera not too long ago which you can read here.

Your journey will be your own, and all of our journeys are different from each other and end at different places.  Transforming your gender is about creating yourself.  This is something you learn.  This is something you learn by doing.  It can be a humbling, frustrating experience.  I have no doubt that you’ll have an amazing time at any studio you visit.  Just be prepared that professional work is not free.

My only caution is that your first (or one of your first) experience with makeup is with a professional makeup artist.  You will look amazing, you’ll feel even more amazing-er.  I know that’s not a word.

However, depending on how often you dress up, it may not be realistic to be able to visit a professional each time you want to get glammed up.  Eventually you’ll have to learn to do your own makeup.  If you’re like most of us, your first few attempts at makeup will be disappointing.  It took a long time for me to be happy with doing my own makeup.  But the more I did it, the more I learned and the happier I was…my skill and confidence grew.

It was a few years of doing my own makeup before I had a professional makeover, and a few years after that until I had a makeover with someone who had specifically trained in the art of gender transformation.  I am still amazed at the magic Corrie at Midwest Makeup Supply can do.   I’m glad I had been doing my own makeup for years before I had these experiences.  Had I visited with Corrie or another professional that early in my journey I would have been incredibly discouraged when I did my own makeup after that.

 

The photo on the left was one of my first attempts, probably taken about six years ago.  The one on the right is from earlier this month.  If I had started with a professional makeover my heart would have sunk as I would not (nor will I ever) be able to duplicate what Corrie did, but these days I am happy with my makeup.  But it took some time.

Working on your look has a lot to do with keeping your expectations realistic and always, always practicing.  I’ve said it many times before and it will likely be etched onto my neon pink tombstone, but crossdressing takes time, practice and money.

Don’t get discouraged when it’s time to do your own makeup after visiting with a professional.  Don’t be too hard on yourself.  Don’t give up.

Love, Hannah

 

 

 

Pinup T-Girl – Part 3!

This is the final photo set from my recent visit to Christi William’s boudoir and pinup photography studio last week.  I had two outfit changes and I posted the first set the other day, but I have to say that of the two sets, this is my favorite.

I love, love, love the poses, the dress and the mischievous smile Christi coaxed out of me.  It was hard to pull off these shots but she made it so fun and I had an absolute blast.

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If you are looking for a once in a lifetime experiences and looking to feel your sexiest, I highly recommend visiting Christi and treating yourself.

Thank you to Christi and to Corrie of Midwest Makeup Supply who did a fabulous job with my makeup.

Love, Hannah

Pinup T-Girl!

Yesterday I had the incredible honor of visiting Christi Williams, the makeup artist and photographer of one of Minneapolis’ most incredible boudoir and pinup studios.  If you’ve known me for more than two minutes you know that I love modeling and having my photo taken.  I’ve been lucky in many parts of my life and working with my friend and photographer Shannonlee from studio Fotofida as been one of the best things that has happened to me.

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I’m always looking for a fun experience and this opportunity seemed too fun to pass up.  I’m waaay too shy to do anything in a boudoir style, but who can resist the fun, flirty dresses of a pinup girl?

Before the visit, I had a makeover with the incredibly talented Corrie Dupay of Midwest Makeup Supply.  I’ve been blessed to know Corrie for a little more than a year now and even had a makeup lesson with her recently.  She always does *amazing* work, but this makeover was dynamite.

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When I walked into Christie’s studio, I was blown away by how…cool it was.  It felt like I was stepping back in time as I was surrounded by vintage furniture and props.

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I was impressed with the wardrobe options, of course.  What t-girl wouldn’t be?

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The shoe selection was to die for.

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Christi is also ready to provide hair styling.

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After picking out a couple outfits, Christi and I got to work.  She helped me pose, showed me where to point my toes, how to position my hand and kept things light, fun and playful.  After we were done shooting, we sat down and looked over her work and picked out the best photos.

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Once the photos were picked, Christi and I sat and chatter about beauty, fashion and of course, the transcommunity.  Christi works with a lot of transgender clients and does some remarkable work.  She does gender transformations and I can absolutely testify to her talent and support.

I am dying to see the final photos and I will post them when I have them.  Until then, I hope you enjoy this preview.

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Thank you to Christi for an unforgettable shoot.  If you’d like to experience this yourself, drop her a line.

Love, Hannah

Time To Up My Game!

I started doing my makeup about ten years ago.  Over the last decade, my face has changed quite a lot.  The first picture here was from about six years ago.  The second is from last fall.

Yes, I am older but I think I actually look younger in the second photo, mainly due to losing a significant amount of weight between the two pictures.  My face has changed shape and has become narrower and more angular.  I also tend to get dark circles around my eyes that I didn’t get when I was younger.

As one’s face changes, a makeup routine will need to adapt as well.  Over the last year or so I’ve been getting a little frustrated with my makeup routine.  No matter how much highlighter or concealer I was using, the darkness would start to show through after a couple hours.  I had tried to contour my face to have a rounder shape to contrast the bonier structure my face had developed after losing weight.

I decided to was time to schedule a makeup lesson with Corrie, the owner and incredibly talented artist of Midwest Makeup in the Uptown neighborhood in Minneapolis.  I had a few goals I wanted to accomplish during our appointment.

First of all, I wanted to streamline my makeup process.  My routine consisted of color correcting by using red lipstick over my jawline to contrast the blueness that facial hair can create under foundation.  It’s effective…but due to my dark hair I need several layers of foundation to counteract the blueness.  Corrie had introduced me to Dermacolor Camouflage Creme beard cover.  I was really pleased with how effective this worked.  I only needed one layer of foundation to use over the beard cover and my jawline.

I also wanted to find new foundation besides the Dermablend (and others) that I normally use.  Besides the Dermablend, I use liquid foundation, but Corrie introduced to cream foundation and corrector for under my eyes.

Cream foundation is used with a pallet and a pallet knife similar to how a painter would use paint…which, if you think about it, is exactly what one is doing.  I then used a brush to apply the foundation.  I really liked the Groaftobin line of foundation and corrector that Corrie taught me how to use.

3I wanted to learn contouring to achieve a more oval shape to my face.  It’s widely thought that the “ideal” facial shape is an oval and contouring is an effective way to achieve that.  After watching a lot of makeup tutorial videos I thought I knew how to make this work for my face but I was never happy with the results.  Corrie taught me how to contour MY face.  My face is different than yours, and it’s different than every face in a makeup video.  What works for one face will not necessarily work for another face.  Corrie matched my skin color to a few different shades and showed me how to which foundation shade to which parts of my face.  She showed me how to blend and how blending foundation uses a different technique than blending highlighter.

Another goal was upping my eyes hadow game.  This was a lot simpler than I was making it, and I was really happy to learn some new techniques using different colors.

Finally, I wanted to find new brushes to use for foundation, blending and for my lipstick.  No matter how careful I am, I can never achieve a nice smooth defining lip line.  Corrie showed me which brush she uses for lipstick and taught me some helpful tricks.

An hour and half later, I was more energized and more excited and confident about my makeup routine that I have been in years.  During the appointment Corrie would work on half of my face and I would mirror her technique on the other side of my face.  She was patient, supportive and talented.  I really feel I know what works for my “new” face, not anyone else’s.   Makeup is one of the most challenging, satisfying things one can learn.  It’s a humbling, empowering skill.  There are times where I feel amazing and times I feel very male.  Although I used the same technique and products for years, I almost always looked different each time I did my face.  It’s not an easy thing to learn, and it’s absolutely worth investing time and money to learn techniques and which products to learn.

Love, Hannah

 

Lights, Camera, MAKEUP!

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Yesterday was the monthly MN T-Girls adventure and it was an unforgettable afternoon!

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The girls visited Midwest Makeup Supply in the Uptown neighborhood of Minneapolis for a day of beauty, makeup lessons and shopping.  Midwest Makeup Supply is owned and ran by Corrie, a rockstar in the Twin Cities makeup world.  She does everything from bridal to special effect makeup to drag makeovers.  She also does complete gender transformations and will soon have a new photography studio in the Saint Paul area.

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This was our second visit as a group to Midwest Makeup Supply and it was just as incredible as the first.  Corrie started the afternoon with three different makeup demonstrations showing us everything from color correcting/beard cover, highlighting, and contouring.

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Corrie then moved onto teaching us how to have fuller lips using liner and lipstick and some tricks for our eyebrows.  I learned so much about everything from finishing sprays, foundation to primer to bronzer.

After the demonstrations were over, it was time to shop!  Corrie and Nico helped us all pick out the right foundations, powders, eye shadow, makeup brushes and everything else.

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After we all maxed out our credit cards we went across the street for dinner at ‘It’s Greek to Me’.  In addition to amazing food we were also treated to incredible hospitality and were made to feel very welcome.

Huge thanks for Corrie and Nico and to all the t-girls who came to the event.  I can’t wait to play with my new makeup!

Love, Hannah