La Femme Mystique Returns!

Specialty and dedicated services for girls like us are few and far between. I frequent salons allllll the time that generally cater to cis-women. I have had many makeovers from Ulta, MAC, and Sephora and while it’s true I may be the only t-girl in a chair getting her makeup done at any given time, I am not the first, nor will I ever be the last trans woman in that salon.

For some of us we aren’t ready to visit a place like these. We worry if the makeup artist has experience when it comes to the common makeup needs a girl like us has. I need more color correcting and contouring than my wife does, for example. We also want to work with an artist that is comfortable with a trans woman.

Most of the emails I get are from t-girls and crossdressers asking where to shop and find clothes that fit. But I also get a lot of emails asking where a girl like us can get their makeup done or if there’s a transformation studio in their area.

And honestly? There probably isn’t one. Studios and salons like that are not very common and they cater to a very niche cliental. If you live in an area that is fortunate enough to have one, you are indeed lucky.

Since I live in the Twin Cities (the collective term for Minneapolis and Saint Paul) I often get asked if there’s a transformation studio in the area. Most of these inquiries are from t-girls and crossdressers already living here or from those who are visiting the area.

Due to COVID many businesses paused some of their services but as we make our way out of the woods of the pandemic we are seeing many of them return. I am thrilled that makeup artist and photographer Rebecca has reopened La Femme Mystique!

I visited Rebecca a few years ago and had a lovely afternoon. She did my makeup, had a lot of girltalk, and took amazing photos.

I’m so happy she’s back and I know she would love to help you look your best.

Love, Hannah

Ask Hannah!

Can you tell me a good place to get a makeover and maybe a picture at a fair price (I’m a crossdresser)?

Thank you!

There are salons alllll over the world. I live in Saint Paul, Minnesota and I exclusively visit Rita Ambourn and Cajah Salon.

Google is (usually) our friend. If you search “makeovers + (city name)” you will find options. Sephora, Ulta, and MAC also do makeovers and in my experience are all very transfriendly. However, these salons paused makeovers during COVID and I am not sure if they have resumed doing them.

When it comes to scheduling a makeover, I never disclose that I am transgender or that I am a crossdresser. I totally get why some of us feel this is necessary, however. For some of us, we want to make sure that the artist is comfortable with meeting with a girl like us. Let’s face it, there are too many people in the world that hate the transcommunity. For others, we want to find an artist that is skilled when it comes to doing makeup for, well, a girl like us.

But here’s the thing. Every face shape is different, skin is different from person to person, makeup goals are different depending on the occasion.

If my wife and I each sit down for a makeover, we will each have a completely different experience. Not because she is cis and I am trans, our experiences will be influenced by things that have nothing to do with our genders.

She has a cute little heart shaped face. Mine is more square. Because of this, I need a lot more contouring than she does.

I have hair growing out of my cheeks. She does not. Therefore I need color correcting.

My wife has a light skin tone. Mine is darker. We each will use different foundations.

My wife tends to go for a more natural look. I am looking for BOLD.

None of these things have anything to do with gender. Some women have facial hair, some women have a square jawlines and so on.

I’ve been asked at every makeover I’ve ever had “what are we doing today?” This question is really asking “what are your makeup goals?”. My typical responses can be:

“I have a photo shoot today and I need makeup that can stand up to bright studio lights.”

“I’d like an eyeshadow that compliments the color of my dress.”

“I am wearing a light layer of foundation, could you please build and contour on top of that?”

“I prefer a really bold lip color and I love overdrawing my lips a little.”

“I’d love to accentuate my cheekbones.”

“I have a square jawline, I’d love to minimize that.”

“I feel like trying a smokey eye today.”

Again, none of these goals are saying “turn a boy into a girl”. These responses are specific and attainable.

As for photos, if you are in the Twin Cities area and you would like to schedule a photo shoot with my photographer Shannonlee, please email me and I will be happy to put you two in touch with each other.

If you are not in the area, again Google is your friend. I do understand wanting to find a photographer that is LGBTQIA+ friendly, so searching “LGBT photographer + (city name)” is the way to go.

Love, Hannah

Have a question for me?  Oh yes you do.  Ask me here!

Ask Hannah!

I have been a lifelong crossdresser but struggle with makeup. Especially around my eyes. Do you have any suggestions? How did you learn? Are there any businesses to teach makeup to crossdressers?


Eyes are tricky!  I can do my foundation and lips just fine, but even after all this I still can’t do anything more just a simple look with eyeshadow and eyeliner.  When I want something really AMAZING or DRAMATIC (and I always do, lol) I book a makeover. 

 


Have you tried makeup tutorials on Youtube?  Some of them can be very helpful, especially the drag videos.  I know not everyone is going for the drag look but some drag artists are amazingly talented when it comes to some of the challenges a girl like us faces (no pun intended) such as contouring and working with a more masculine facial structure.  


A few years ago I had a private makeup lesson and I found it super super helpful.  I learned about techniques and products that were best for my eye shape and my skin type.  A lot of salons do indeed do makeup lessons.  Look into options with Ulta, MAC, and SephoraSephora even offers classes for girls like us.  Unfortunately some of their locations have hit pause on makeovers due to COVID so keep that in mind.  


One thing I will never get the hang of is false eyelashes (a MUST) but this should be helpful.


Have fun and good luck!


Love, Hannah

Have a question for me?  Oh yes you do.  Ask me here!

Ask Hannah!

When I first started dressing I was taught to use tape to pull my eyebrows up and give me a more feminine look. I would rather focus on my makeup. The taping is not very enjoyable. Do you have any suggestions on my eyebrows and more feminine look without taping?


Of course, there are no standards on what one must look like in order to be feminine.  That being said, a thinner, shaped, arched eyebrow is generally considered to be more feminine.  There are a few ways you can achieve this.


You could have your eyebrows waxed to create this look.  Personally I thread my eyebrows and I love how they look.  Until I started doing this my eyebrows were thick and almost unibrow-ish and I like how they look now, regardless of what gender I am presenting as.

  When you change anything about your appearance (shaving your legs, for example) in order to look more feminine (again, there are no standards any girl must meet to be feminine, but you know what I mean) it will also impact how we look in male mode.  Because of this, I understand that not everyone is able to wax/thread your eyebrows or shave your legs (or arms, chest, back…the list goes on and the list is gross).


In personal experience I have had a small of people comment on my eyebrows.  I don’t think many people notice or care what my body and facial hair looks like.  If they do, they are usually not rude or invasive enough to ask.  I’ve never had anyone ask why I shave my legs or arms.  I assume it’s because most people either don’t notice or they don’t care.  I mean, think about it.  Do you really pay attention to someone’s body hair?  If you do, are you rude enough to simply flat-out comment on it?  I’ve had a few girls comment on my eyebrows on male mode and it’s always been complimentary along the lines of “you have great eyebrows” and that’s it.  


Girls like us tend to be paranoid (which is a survival tactic in a way) about someone making a connection between ANYTHING we do with this secret side of us.  We are petrified that someone will notice our shaved legs and figure out we shave them so we look better in fishnets.  


Anyway, I am waaaay off topic.


You can use makeup of course to change how your eyebrows look.  My friend and makeup artist Corrie wrote about how this can be done and it’s well worth your time.

Love, Hannah

Have a question for me?  Oh yes you do.  Ask me here!

  

Jecca Blac Makeup Review!

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.


Jecca Blac products are available from their website as well as through En Femme.

Love, Hannah

Ask Hannah!

Do you have any recommendations for dealing with (permanent?) razor burn? I can be made up, dressed to the nines, feeling pretty–and then I’ll notice that the razor burn on the side of my neck is visible even through my makeup. Ugh! Any products you can think of to help me get rid of this pox on my femininity? Thanks so much! 

I’ve never heard of razor burn being permanent, but there are a few ways to treat it, reduce it from happening, and prevent it from getting worse.

Razor burn is caused by your shaving habits.  If your razor is dull or dirty you will likely get razor burn.  The solution is pretty simple, replace your razor frequently.  You should also wash your face with hot water before you share as this will open your pores.  Dry skin is also going to work against you so make sure you are using a moisturizer.

Touching your razor burn or continuing to shave will irritate the infected area and will prolong it. Consider taking some time off from shaving.  Personally I shave my face about once a week.


As for covering it up, you could use a concealer (I like the Correct and Conceal Palette from Jecca Blanc) but makeup will also irritate the area.  Covering it up will only, of course, cover it up.  It will also likely make it worse.


So, take a few days off from shaving, switch to a higher quality blade or an electric shaver and use a moisturizer.  If the problem consists you may want to contact a dermatologist.


Love, Hannah

Have a question for me?  Oh yes you do.  Ask me here!

Ask Hannah!

I recently came across your site and am glad I did! I’m wondering where you have gone locally for makeovers, or do you do all of your own makeup/dressing? I’ve tried to separate places in Las Vegas with mixed results. One was really expensive, and didn’t deliver all that they claimed, but the showgirl outfit was fun! The other was less expensive but not very organized.

Wondering if you know of anywhere local or even in the surrounding states.

Thank you so much for your blog!

I can do my own makeup and I have a zillion dresses, but I usually will have my makeup done when I go out, especially if it’s for a photo shoot.

There are a lot of places to get makeovers in the Twin Cities.  My go-to places are Rita Ambourne and CaJah Salon

Cajah Salon

Rita Ambourne

Of course, places like MAC, Ulta, and Sephora also are an option for girls and girls like us.

Love, Hannah

Have a question for me?  Oh yes you do.  Ask me here!

Ask Hannah!

I’m looking for a place to help me turn from a man to a girl makeup wise. A place that would do my makeup for me. I want to look like a girl for Halloween, but don’t know how to use makeup. I live 2 hours west of the twin cities in Minnesota.

There are two ways you can go about this.


You could visit a transformation service, but unless I am mistaken there is only one in the Twin Cities: La Femme MystiqueI visited with Rebecca and had an amazing time.  Rebecca knows what you mean when you say “boy to girl”.


The other option is simply scheduling a makeover.  Don’t look at a makeover as a “boy to girl” transformation.  When you schedule a makeover, think of your goals.  If you simply say “I want to look like a girl”, well, that’s kind of vague.  Every girl looks different from one another, and you and your artist will likely have different ideas about what you want.  


When I get a makeover, I am usually asked these questions:


“What are we thinking today?”  

I let my artist know what kind of look I am going for.  Do I want something dramatic and intense and bold?  If so, I am looking for heavy eyeliner, probably a smokey eye or a cat’s eye look.  I usually want bright red lips and wear false eyelashes.


“What colors are you thinking?”

This question usually refers to what lipstick and eyeshadow shade I want.  Most of the time it will compliment whatever outfit I am wearing.  


“What are you doing today?”

This question is usually in regards to what I am planning on after my makeover.  I am going to the mall?  If so, perhaps something casual or an everyday look.  Do I have a photo shoot?  Some makeup looks better in photos than others.  Am I going to be outside?  If it’s hot out then a setting spray is essential.  


When I get a makeover, I think about what I want in specific terms.  What I ask for includes these things:


-Color correction (an orangey shade that covers my jawline and under my nose to counterbalance the blue-ish tint that facial hair creates) before my foundation).

Contouring -(my facial structure is pretty angular, so I like my facial features to appear a little more round)

-Eyebrow shaping and definition

-Overdrawn lips (a lip liner just outside of my normal lip shape and then filled in with lipstick to create fuller lips)/


There are a lot of places to get makeovers in the Twin Cities.  My go-to places are Rita Ambourne and CaJah Salon.  Of course, places like MAC, Ulta, and Sephora also are an option for girls and girls like us.


Have fun!

Love, Hannah

Have a question for me?  Oh yes you do.  Ask me here!

Genderless Beauty

The mission of Jecca Blac is a cause I wish all designers and companies had. 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 beautiful makeup products we also help bring our beautiful community together.

Jecca Blac is a gender free makeup brand that celebrates all makeup wearers. We believe you should use beauty to express yourself and celebrate your uniqueness.

Jecca Blac was founded by Jessica Blackler who has a professional background doing makeup for television and film. She went on to teaching girls like us how to do makeup.

Jecca Blac sells cosmetics, such as beard cover and color correction, but also provides tutorials including videos about covering up beard shadow.

I am always happy to promote businesses that sincerely provide services and products to girls like us. Inclusion is so important. Every face is different and my makeup needs are different than my wife’s, so its wonderful to find products for me and others like us.

Love, Hannah

Hannah Asks…

Makeup was one of the most intimidating and wonderful skills I’ve ever learned. Over time I learned techniques beyond just simply how to apply foundation, such as using eyeshadow primer to help lipstick stay on longer.

What are some of your favorite makeup secrets you know?


Love, Hannah