When I started crossdressing, I had no experience with makeup and only a few items of clothing. But like others on this site, I had this deep desire to see “Gina” at her best, to look in that mirror and finally see her. I had tried a few MtF transformation services but never felt completely satisfied, they never quite reflected what I had envisioned. I began to wonder if the image of Gina in my mind was just going to remain there.
But I wasn’t going to give up yet, and I told myself that I would try a transformation service one more time to see if I could realize the “Full Gina.” I was flying to the edge of Lake Michigan to meet a couple of new dear friends and there was a highly recommended service in nearby Racine WI, TGMiss (less than an hour drive from O’Hare Airport or 30 minutes south of Milwaukee). I had seen her work online and it looked amazing.
As I flew to meet Missy and her assistant Leigh, I could not stop thinking about my appointment, but I told myself not to get too excited. However, as I entered the studio, I knew immediately that this transformation was going to be a different experience. I was overwhelmed. There was an elevated runway and a digital backdrop, with lighting like I had not seen since my days in theatre. There was a control console with multiple computer screens, cameras all around, and a sound system. It was so much to take in, but for the first time, I knew I was in a professional photo studio. I envisioned myself as a real runway model and I could hardly contain my excitement.
Missy and Leigh were so sweet and comforting, like old friends. As we talked, they led me to what looked like a large walk-in closet and my eyes grew in amazement. The room wrapped around and was filled with a double tier of dresses, skirts, and tops. There must have been over 500 outfits (and Missy said she had 2000 in total), arranged by style from club and summer dresses to formal gowns and even wedding dresses. I wanted to spend hours there just trying on clothes, but I had to keep moving. Next, we moved to the wig room and OMG! Blondes, brunettes, and reds, long and short, straight and curly – I could not stop touching them all. The walls were covered with over 100+ wigs. Imagine going to a wig salon and being allowed to try them all. I picked a few outfits and wigs to compliment what I had brought and we kept moving.
Missy is a very experienced makeup artist, having taken many courses in theatrical makeup, which is one distinction to make. This is theatrical, not glam makeup, so as not to be washed out from the intense lighting; they warned me not to be alarmed when I saw my final look. So, I trusted their expertise, as they carefully chose each element of my makeup from foundation color to eyelashes to lip color. The whole process took about 90 minutes.
With Leigh as my personal dresser and stylist, grabbing necklaces, bracelets, and earrings from their vast collection, it felt like a dream. I pinched myself, and no it wasn’t a dream. Dressed and accessorized, I was escorted to the runway for my first photographs. With a large mirror in front of me and a monitor up high to see my photos as they were taken, we got started. The cameras were automated with a large countdown timer, so the photos just happened. With Missy sitting behind her monitors telling me where to look, to smile (always smile more) and to “open those beautiful eyes,” we just started snapping pictures. And through it all, Leigh was around me, teaching me the basics of posing.
As we moved onto the next outfit and then onto a third look, the digital backdrop kept changing with the mood, from a street scene, a red carpet event, even a club. With music blasting, I envisioned myself on the runway and the energy carried me away. The smile became etched on my face, as I beamed from complete fulfillment. The whole day was surreal, but comfortable, friendly and most importantly, fun.
By the end of the shoot, Missy had already chosen a few photos to show me. All I could think was, “who is that beautiful, feminine woman, that can’t be me?” But it was, I was looking at Gina and she was no longer a vision. She was real and I finally captured her on film (OK digital media). Missy then downloaded over 750 photos onto a jump drive for me to look at later.
Sadly, I had to say goodbye and pack away my things. But as I drove away, lingering in the pink fog of the day, I knew I had finally captured “Gina” for all eternity. This experience was more than anything I could have envisioned and I had finally found the makeover transformation experience that I had so desired. So, if you can find the time and ability to sneak away to Chicago or Milwaukee, just dooooooo it.