Makeup can take you on a vacation from yourself, or align the exterior you with your mood or feelings. As a teenage trans girl, I used makeup as a shortcut to presenting who I knew myself to be, and with the intention of feminizing my face. As time went on, makeup was the best tool I had to ensure everyone saw the version of me that I wanted them to see. There isn’t a singular way to be a feminine-presenting person, and no girl, cis or trans, has an obligation to femininity. I offer this makeup tutorial to all girls as a foundation to build upon, and to trans girls as a starting point for communicating who they are without having to verbally explain themselves. As a trans teenager, being seen as a girl was a means for survival. As a trans adult woman, I allow myself to dance across the varying degrees of femininity. Sometimes I wear a full face of makeup, and sometimes I cannot be bothered to wear any makeup at all. Here’s the makeup look I’ve used to bring the girl I am out of hiding.
What you’ll need:
- Pencil eye liner (Any color or brand works. I used a soft, black liner.)
- Concealer in a shade that’s slightly lighter than your skin tone
- Powder or cream blush in whatever shade you like best
- A peachy or red cream blush or lipstick
- Loose “setting” or “finishing” powder
- Optional: A shimmery highlighting powder (This is one I like.)
How to do it:
Apply foundation, if you’d like, but today we begin with the eyes. Using an eye liner pencil, line your upper eyelids with a rough outline of color. Extend the lines to the outer edges of your eyes. Don’t think of this look as a razor-sharp cat-eye; these lines are soft around the edges. They don’t need to be perfect. The idea is to open up the face by extending the eyes. Eye liner pencil is more forgiving than liquid eye liner, so you can use a Q-tip to smooth out the lines until you get your desired shape:
Add a coat of mascara to your top lashes to finish off the eyes.
Dab a concealer that is slightly lighter than your skin tone beneath your eyes, focusing on the inner eyes, near your nose. The concealer will act as a highlighter to make this area of the face look fuller, and to enhance the opening-up effect we started in Step One. Blend the concealer outward with a makeup sponge or your fingers. Optional: Dust a bit of shimmery highlighter in the inner-corners of the eyes.
Apply the cream or powder blush of your choice to your cheekbones, right where the cheekbone and apple of your cheek meet. (Applying blush a little higher on the face like this will “heighten” cheekbones.)
To conceal the blue undertones of facial hair, apply a peachy or red color-correcting product over your lower face with your fingers or a makeup sponge. The product can be lipstick or cream blush, and whether you use peach or red depends on your skin tone—experiment until you find what’s right for you. The key is that the color and product melt into the skin. Once you’re finished, dot concealer over the color-corrected area of your face, then blend it with your fingers or a makeup sponge.
Dust powder all over your face, and that’s all!
Please feel free to use this look as a starting point for your most comfortable self-presentation. I topped it off with tinted lip balm, but it would look amazing with eye shadow, contouring, or a red lip. Have fun! ♦