10 May 2009

It takes a lot of makeup...

As promised, here's my makeup routine. As mentioned before, preparation includes removing facial hair, shaping and trimming brows, washing, toning and moisturising, getting all the makeup and brushes out and laying them out ready to use. My face is quite oily everywhere except between my mouth and top lip but my neck and chest aren't anywhere nearly as oily, and the makeup process reflects that. My current pattern is to organise the makeup in 3 rows. I work along each row then move to the next.
Row 1, foundation:
* wet a makeup sponge and squeeze so it's just damp;
* apply makeup primer to face using sponge. I'm currently using Clinique pore minimizer instant perfector. I'm not happy with its coverage of large pores and will look for something better when I finish it;
* apply an oil control gel to face using same sponge. The current one is Clinique pore minimizer t-zone shine control. It helps to keep my makeup from going shiny for a bit longer than without it, but probably only about half an hour. Again, I'll look for something better when I finish it;
* apply makeup primer to neck and chest down to top of bra using same sponge. I'm using Inglot Under Makeup Base here purely to use it up because it was useless on my face. It didn't help to hide the pores and it didn't help with shine but it does help to keep the foundation in place;
* apply a green colour corrector cream to a few of the reddest spots using same sponge. The current one is Avon Colour Corrective Cream, and it's going to last for years because I use very little;
* if the sponge is worn out, throw away. Otherwise, wash, rinse, squeeze and leave to air dry;
* apply a Dermablend colourless powder over my face with a puff, then brush off the excess with a big powder brush. This helps to absorb oil and to fill in pores a bit more;
* apply foundation using brush, with the foundation in the palm of my spare hand. I start with my forehead and work down around my eyes, over my nose, around my mouth then from the temples down the sides of my face, alternating from side to side. Once I've covered my face using my Estée Lauder Double Wear foundation (which I love), I add some Revlon Colorstay to the remaining foundation in my hand and mix it in. I'm basically using up the Revlon on my neck and chest because it can't handle the oiliness of my face but it's also a shade lighter than the Estée Lauder and I found that using the same foundation all the way down made the face look paler then the chest, so blending from one shade to the other under the jaw actually looks more natural;
Row 2, highlight, contour and blush:
* apply a highlight powder that is paler than the foundation and a contour powder that is darker than the foundation. This helps to change the apparent shape. I use the highlighting to make some places look shallower or more prominent and contouring to make other places look deeper or less prominent. I actually apply all of the contouring, then all of the highlighting but the following descriptions mix the two to make it easier to understand what they're for:
* I have the masculine “bossing” over the eyebrows, and contouring it helps to make the face shape look more feminine. I only contour a small horizontal stripe from about mid-brow to mid-brow.
* I'll sometimes add a small contour spot in the hollow underneath the cheekbone to help to emphasise the cheekbones and make them look bigger.
* I contour along the edges of the jaw for about the middle third of each side and apply a highlighter in an upward pointing triangle on the tip of the jaw, improving the definition of the tip while shrinking the sides a little to improve the overall appearance of the shape.
* I apply highlighter in a large triangle with its points at the outer end of the eye, the edge of the ear level with the eye and the jaw just below the ear to help widen the top of the face to make my long face look more oval.
* I highlight across the bridge of the nose and a narrow line down the ridge and contour the sides and around the underside of the tip to bring the bridge forward (reduces the appearance of the forehead bossing) and emphasise the narrowness of that line against the contour used along the sides of the nose to make it look shorter and narrower.
* I highlight in the hollow under my bottom lip to flatten out that hollow.
* To emphasise cleavage, I contour between the breasts and take a curved Y shape up around the top of the breasts a little bit to emphasise the boundary between the flat skin of the chest and the rise of the breasts, and highlight on the inside side of each breast to emphasise them and increase the apparent depth of the cleavage. Lately, I've actually been using a white eyeshadow (Max Factor 010 Wild White) to highlight here.

* apply blush, going from under the middle of each eye out and up to in front of each ear and up the temples. Might sound odd but that's what my face shape needs. I use different blush colours, depending on the clothing and wig colour that I'm going to wear;
* apply Estée Lauder Double Wear powder to set the foundation and help blend the contouring and highlighting. I use a medium powder brush to apply and a large one to dust off the excess;
* remove the 2 tissues that were tucked into the top edges of the bra and use them and a brush cleaner to thoroughly clean the foundation brush;
Row 3, eyes and mouth:
* pencil in brows, starting at the inside ends and working out along the brows, alternating side to side to try to keep them even. My brows end about 2/3 of the way across my eyes, so once I get to the outside end of the brows, I draw a new line freehand. I start with a narrow line, and they always end up uneven so I thicken them to even them up. If I'm wearing an auburn wig, I start with an auburn pencil that is too subtle on its own, then use a brush and brown eyeshadow to fill in the brows, leaving a fairly natural brown/auburn brow colour. For other wig colours, I simply use a matching pencil;
* apply a white eyeshadow to the middle of each upper lid to help to make the eyes look more open and a patch under the peak of each brow to help to lift (open up) the brows. I apply all of my eyeshadow using a brush;
* apply dark eyeshadow shade to lids and crease, working around the white section. Like blush, the colour of eyeshadow varies with wig and clothing colour;
* apply lighter eyeshadow to outer 2/3 of areas below brows, from a diagonal line up and out from near the inside corner of the eye to the brow, dipping under but blended into the white under the peak and petering out in a curve between the outside end of each eye and the ends of the brows;
* use heated eyelash curler to curl upper lashes. Because the curler is shorter than my eyes, this usually takes about 4 goes on each side before I'm satisfied;
* apply mascara. I'm currently using Covergirl LashBlast waterproof. I use black/brown with auburn and brown warm season wigs and black with blonde and brunette cool season wigs;
* apply eyeliner. I'm using Inovi LiquidPencil with their Fixit makeup fixative at the moment and aside from how badly it breaks up when sharpening, I'm happy with it but their store closed so I'll have to find something else when I use them up. As with the mascara, I use brown or black depending on the wig colour;
* apply white eyeliner to the lower lids above the lashes, in the so called "waterline" area so that that area looks like part of the white of the eye from a distance, making the eyes look more open;
* apply more white eyeshadow around the inner end of the eyes to tone down the eyeliner a little and brighten the eyes;
* apply lipstick and sealer. I use various shades of Max Factor Lipfinity and CoverGirl OutLast (they're the same stuff from the same factory, just in different shades) and I always have trouble getting the lip line to look right and even. I apply the colour, then the clear sealer/moisturiser, blot then apply the clear again.

Now you can probably see why I separated this from the Boy to Girl list. :)


  1. Holy moly Alice! That's one elaborate and detailed process, thanks for taking the time to type all of that out, it's nice to read how others choose to put everything into motion.

    By the way, about how long did it take for you to really get good at putting on the makeup? I'm still not great, but I keep practicing so hopefully soon I will be.

  2. Alice, some really great tips here. I especially like the parts on contouring. More girls should use that info effectively for better results. Nice job!

    Nikki Welsh
    Nikki’s Blog: Lost in Trans Elation
    Nikki’s pics on Flickr

  3. Alice, if you're still looking for a good pore minimizer, Biotherm does a good one. I can't remember what it's called, it's in purplish container. I used it while I was in S'pore (= hot and humid) and it was AMAZING, my pores looked so tiny!

  4. Hi Music. Thanks for that suggestion. I'll have to see if I can find it.