I woke at first light this morning, a slight pain in my right knee, hmmm…. the penalty of high heels! Followed by a wide grin as I recalled the excitement of yesterday’s salon visit, a first, to the House of Transformation, hosted by Arpi, crossdresser, and salon operator par excellence.

My story begins in my early twenties as a student intrigued by the sweet insanity/shenanigans of Frank-N-Furter in the Rocky Horror Picture Show…  after which any excuse to dress and party was game on and which fueled my romance with dressing. Then professional life, marriage, raising four gorgeous children who are now adults, changing continents, adventure riding and mountaineering, etc. soaked up my years, and yet my interest in all thing’s femme remain in a closeted fog.

Up to this point, it’s all been experimental, enjoyable sure, but frustrating in that I can’t physically share the experience. While developing my wardrobe, makeup and styling skills all go to the buzz of seeing transformation, it’s the stepping out that has me captivated. So, with this goal and supportive member advise and encouragement, I threw any misgivings I had to the wind, and booked in.

On arrival I was warmly greeted by Arpi. Her engaging, confident yet gentle manner and salon layout left me in little doubt I was in route to an afternoon to remember… my shoulders relaxing as I started to feel at ease.

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Without going into too much detail, the afternoons plan ran as follows: changing into lingerie and the finessing of tucking, breast form selection, pocket bras vs. adhesives, etc. and what works from both a cost and comfort perspective. Then to the makeup table…… it’s at this point that you realize Arpi’s background in professional theater makeup as artist and teacher come to the fore. We spent an hour discussing the nuances of products, contouring, color selection and application. Literally the art of illusion!

Then to the garment selection and wig rooms, this is when the fun starts…… OMG when I recall it now, I can’t help but crack a smile. I won’t say too much here other than whatever preconceptions I may have had immediately went out the window. After all I was in the hands of a passionate artist whose by-line is “Your beauty is my inspiration”. Hopefully the photos I’ll post shortly will support my narrative here.

In closing, a few things to consider if you decide to explore this option. I sent my height, bust, waist, shoe sizes and natural coloring beforehand which gave time for the host to prepare. I arrived in drab, following the session, and beaming with confidence and information overload. I headed out for some retail therapy which gently brought me back to reality. Secretly, I think I could have stayed in the moment forever!

Lastly, words of encouragement.  A total makeover from a real pro is a must IMHO, a fabulous investment. What I learned will save me a fortune in misguided experimentation…. not to mention buzz, exhilaration and finessing in being super femme!

In closing, a special shout out to Caty Ryan and Sarah Jones for the introduction and encouragement.

Hugzz to you all, Amandah



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    Rozalyn Richards
    Trusted Member
    1 year ago

    Hi Amandah thanks for sharing your experience with us, that’s one of the things on my bucket list to have a professional makeover with a professional makeup artist, then have a professional photo shoot with a professional photographer, I would love to have the whole experience and spend a day being pampered as a real lady, It must have been a wonderful experience for you, I’m hoping to have an experience like that myself some time soon X
    Hugs Rozalyn X

    Rozalyn Richards
    Trusted Member
    1 year ago
    Reply to  Amandah Opal

    I’m sure i will X hugs Rozalyn X

    Sarah Kanter
    Trusted Member
    1 year ago

    Thanks for sharing your experience. This is definitely something I want to do. I’d like to do more with makeup, and being able to sit down with a person who really knows what their doing and have that conversation would be so valuable. So much better than trying to sort YouTube tutorials! I look forward to your pictures!

    Susan Talbot
    Active Member
    1 year ago

    Amandah what a beautiful experience and story. So jealous.

    Roberta Broussard
    Noble Member
    1 year ago

    I stumbled into a Sephora one day, while at Keystone Conference. It was early and I think that I was just browsing. I bumped into the makeup specialist and got to talking about makeup. I found out she wasn’t busy and had time to do a makeover on me. She had me remove what makeup I had on. Then proceeded to redo everything. The store was empty. She spent well over an hour teaching and showing me, what and how to do it. I was just elated with the experience. Plan to do many more, as its a good way… Read more »

    Holly Marie
    Trusted Member
    4 days ago

    @Amandah Opal Can’t belileve I didn’t see this article before; I think you had almost the exact same experience as me!  YOU GO, GIRL!  Love it…  Holly XXX

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