Makeup Tutorial For Trans Women
Hey loves! I’m about eight months into my hormone replacement therapy journey, and for the longest time I’ve been searching for the right makeup look. For months I wore full face makeup with eyeliner and lipstick on the daily (and that is totally fine for you to do as well) but it got to a point where I dreaded getting ready every morning. It wasn’t good for my skin and sometimes it did the opposite of what I intended it to do, for I kept getting misgendered. So I learned to start doing less; I feel better about my skin, and I am able to pass much easier. And although I know for some of you passing is not a concern, I am aware that for others passing is a matter of safety and security.
So let’s get into this makeup look!
First things first, priming is very important!! Now I know from paying hormones and other things I have to do financially, I have a pretty tight budget. However, through the help of the internet and some makeup YouTubers, I’ve discovered this very cheap primer. It’s NIVEA for Men Sensitive Post Shave Balm ($5). It works like magic, and it is cheap! The glycerin in the formula helps your makeup stay on all day long. Also, I shave my face right before doing my makeup, therefore an after shave balm really helps. You’ll kill two birds with one stone!
Next up, I like to color correct my five o’ clock shadow, which is mainly my upper lip and chin area. I use Wet n’ Wild MegaLast Lipstick Just Peachy ($1.50). Because my facial hair has a blue-ish undertone, I am using an orangey/peachy color before my foundation to cancel it out. I apply and blend it out with my middle finger.
I like to let it sit for a bit, so to save time, I move on to concealing/highlighting/priming- all with one product! And that is the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer, Neutralizer ($7). I apply it on the bridge of my nose for a subtle highlight, under my eyes for brightening, and on my eyelids for priming the eye makeup!
So once I look like I belong in The Lion King, I use a damp Drugstore Beauty Blender ($4), and blend it all out with patting motions. Be gentle, but really work in the products.
Viola! So now we move onto foundation! I used to wear liquid foundation every day, but I found that it was drying and too cakey for a daily look, so I moved on to bb creams! An lawddddddd, they work wonders! It’s light and breathable, yet is buildable and can cover up problem areas, such as the peachy orange color concealer I use. My current favorite is Maybelline Dream Velvet Soft Matte Hydrating Foundation, 90 Honey Beige ($9). I apply it with my fingers all over my face except for the color corrected areas. I will get to that after with a different application!
I learned that it is not necessarily what brand of makeup you use that makes you look incredible, but the techniques and the brushes are what will do you wonders! So for the bb cream I am using E.L.F’s Powder Brush ($3), which is meant for dry products, but the density and surface of the brush makes for a perfect buffing brush. So blend that in!
Now all you are left with is your upper lip area and chin area that has the peachy tone lipstick on it. So what I do is I take more of that bb cream, and put it on my middle finger, and apply a generous amount on top of the areas. Afterwards, I use the bottom part of my beauty blender and pat that in, making sure to blend out the edges so I’m left with one unison color for my foundation.
Yay! Foundation is all complete! Now because there is quite the thick layer on my upper lip and chin area, I need to set it so it does not move or smudge throughout the day. So what I do is I use Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder, Naturally Neutral ($5) with my beauty blender, and pat a generous amount on my chin and upper lip. This is called baking, where you let the powder cook the makeup and set it really well.
Can’t forget about the rest of the face! So what I do is I take a little amount of that loose powder and apply it mostly on the highlighted areas, such as the under eyes, and the bridge of my nose. But this time, I use a little bit and blend it in really well. Because the deweyness of the bb cream is lovely, and you don’t want to take that away!
While I bake, I like to move on to the eyes. I start with highlighting beneath the brow, with Nourishing Long Wear Eye Shadow + Built-in Primer, Classic Nude ($8). I take the top pinkish highlight color with my ring finger and apply that under my brows for a nice shimmery highlight.
Next, I move on to the eyeshadow, which will actually be the bronzer that I use. I like to keep the eyes simple and nude neutral, for a more natural look. I bought Wet ‘n’ Wild Color Icon Bronzer, Bikini Contest ($3) bronzer at the dollar store, and it is by far one of my favorite bronzers to date! I will apply it with E.L.F.’s Eyeshadow “C” Brush ($3) and pack it on my eyelids. After, I use E.L.F.’s Blending Brush ($3) and blend out the edges to smoke out the eyeshadow.
Next, I highlight the tip of my nose, inner corner of my eyes, and cheekbones with ColourPop’s Glo Up Highlighter ($8), all with my ring finger. It has a more thick powder consistency, and I find using my finger to be the easiest method.
The reasoning for highlighting is that because we have concealed, applied foundation, and powdered our face, adding shimmer brings back a glow to the face. Also… highlighters are so pretty!
So the next step is to dust off the powder on the chin and upper lip with a very light and fluffy brush.
Now, I move on to contouring/bronzing. I like to use one single product to do the job. Contouring and then bronzing is too much work, and I’m not going for a night time party look, therefore a warm and bronze glow will do the job, if done strategically. I use E.L.F.’s Complexion Brush ($3) and the bronzer earlier and work it right above the natural hollow of my cheekbones, and blend it in in circular motions, whilst blending in the highlight on the cheek too, to make one uniform look.
Don’t forget the forehead, sides of the nose, jawline, and down the neck. I also blend some on the upper lip and chin because the powder earlier can make the areas look slightly ashy. Blend, blend, blend! Very important!
For my eyebrows, I like to use Maybelline Volum’ Express The Rocket Mascara ($6) because it darkens my brows, and the waterproof formula keeps it in place. Eyebrows frame your face, they are very important, so experiment to see what works best for you!
You can honestly end right here, but I like to do mascara. I find that applying mascara on my eyelashes helps feminize my eyes. Take a looksie!
As you can see, simply curling them makes a big difference. Now let’s apply the mascara! My favorite is L'Oreal Paris Voluminous Miss Manga Mascara, Waterproof Blackest Black ($6). Unfortunately, my genetics did not bless me with the best eyelashes, but this mascara knocked me off the park and gives me length I never thought I could have! Look at the difference in the two eyes.
I focus the mascara mostly on the outer corner because it almost gives it a darker smokey/gradient eye look. Now do the same for the other eye and we’re almost done!
For the lips, I like to line them with Rimmel 1000 Kisses Stay On Lip Liner Pencil, Café Au Lait ($3), and fill them in with CoverGirl Lip Perfection Lip Stick, Sultry ($2)
Because I’m going for a more naturalistic look, I like to make the lips more matte. Here’s the trick: You take a tissue paper, put it over your lips, and use a fluffy brush and a loose powder and lightly brush it over my lips for a matte effect.
AND YOU’RE DONE!!
Now finish up getting ready, and live your life!
You can either add more, or take it all off. At the end of the day, your makeup is your own art, so go with whatever you are most comfortable with!