When I first took those steps to transition and begin my new life going forward there were so many questions and concerns. While I had been going out in public, it was to attend events or go to clubs and I could dress for those few hours out in settings that were more forgiving or accepting than say running to the grocery store or going to work. The makeup and outfits I wore were not going to necessarily work and I found myself wondering how I would learn a whole new approach in applying my makeup so it looked seamless and blended. Which colors worked for my skin tone and how will I look after eight hours at work? I knew I had the basic techniques down but I was really lost at making it all come together. I had begun electrolysis and laser treatments earlier in my transition and was fairly pleased with the results. Still, I had been applying thick heavy concealers thinking it would address what I considered areas of imperfections. I didn’t realize I was actually causing them to be emphasized more.
I finally broke down and asked for help from two female friends from a church group I belong to, who knew I was transitioning. They agreed to come over to look over the products I was using. I quickly learned from the two of them that I would have to incorporate a whole new regimen for putting on my face. They started by going through my vanity and had me start by throwing out the hodge podge of products I had bought which were mostly your basic drug store brands. They wrote down a list of branded products like MAC, Lancome, and Sephora for me to try out when I visited the mall and emphasized I should consult the women at the counters to also have them provide recommendations for a proper skin treatment routine that worked with my complexion telling me that this would be the most important thing to religiously follow. They also had me discard the brushes I had been collecting and again recommended I make the investment in good quality ones and to be sure I set up a regular routine to clean them properly. Next they recommended I find a comfortable place for application and to set up a system that would help me organize the overall process instead of just throwing things into drawers. They did approve of the large vanity like area I had but recommended I fix the poor lighting it offered. I began to feel like some of the mystery was vanishing and I had some direction and a plan to go forward.
I had another friend install a strip of those globe lights above the mirror as he was much more skilled at this than I am and immediately saw the difference they made! Next it was off to the mall with my list, deciding it would be best to go mid week during the day when there would be less customers around. Yes I was nervous walking up to the counter, but the woman who was in her mid forties put me at ease almost immediately by taking the list and running back and forth behind the counter to gather samples. I am sure she thought I was going to be her windfall when she saw the list! Two hours later I walked out with several bags of products along with a list of tips she wrote down for me to practice. Walking back to the car I had the mixed emotions of elation and anxiety thinking can I do this? Can I make it all work and create the look that would give me confidence in all the different settings I would encounter?
I have to say it has taken a good deal of practice and I haven’t found many short cuts along the way, but it has also become something I enjoy. The advice and help has made such a difference for me and I am so glad I broke down and asked for it! For me, I focus on my eyes and after trying out different techniques I have found the ones I like and believe work best for me. I have learned how to emphasize what I want like my eyes while minimizing those areas like my nose. One of the neat things that has come out of this is I found someone I can now go to and count on her to continue to provide consultation advice along with resupplying me with the products I like. While I am spending a lot more now, the quality is so much better and I use less in most circumstances so I see this as worthwhile trade off and investment.
The next daunting task was to redo my wardrobe (oh I still kept a good deal of my going out for fun outfits!) and started by focusing on the right undergarments. Talk about a mystery! How does one figure out the mystery of finding the right bra size and cup size? I think I will save this for a follow on article. The main point I hope to make here is that it is possible to live your dream. Yes it takes a good deal of fortitude and commitment and you make mistakes along the way, but even the celebs do that if you ever watch the red carpet snippets!